From the inbox 628

TW: Mentioning of rape

“My partner and I have been together 10 years. No kids. I’ve been identifying with the asexual label for a year or two. Two years ago, I joined a martial arts club that broke me out of a depressed rut. My partner and I have been arguing a lot for the past year. More than we had in the previous 9 years. We had talked about having an open relationship in the past and last year my partner found someone else that he clicked with and at whirlwind speed she had also moved in. I started anti-anxiety meds that are amazing. 2016 has been rough, bewildering, and full of changes.

I’m a sexually active woman who hasn’t been interested in sex in years. Touching, caressing, and cuddling were always better than the hot and sweaty parts, but I enjoyed the sex too. I don’t mind making my partner happy, but achieving orgasm hasn’t been on my personal agenda. When I was younger, I was keenly interested in BDSM and fantasizing about bondage and rape was paramount for me to achieve orgasm, whether I was masturbating or copulating. About five years ago though, my libido sunk through the floorboards. In addition, I’ve become more aware of the realities around rape and abuse… and while I am aware of healthy, consensual BDSM practices, I can’t fantasize about it anymore and still have a positive self-image. It’s been difficult to figure out how much of that was biological (would my libido come back?), psychological (was I scared of my libido coming back?), and personal preference (would I be upset if my libido never came back? No.).

My partner has a very high libido and would like to be more sexually active than he is. His girlfriend, who lives with us, is a trans-woman who had never been sexually active before and had practical difficulties with sex. My partner learned more about consent during their first month together than he and I had ever talked about ever. I was figuring out how to stand up for myself in our relationship and he was figuring out his own preferences and how much of our previous relationship had felt more like bullying than calm discussion and that led to our first major heated fight and made me feel like a rapist. Let me tell you, that does not feel good. And it certainly illustrated how poor our communication had been for our first 9 years together. We almost broke up.

Now, I feel that we are stronger and we communicate more and in healthier ways. It may be counterintuitive, but opening our relationship helped to make that happen. Our roommate, my partner’s girlfriend, has been patient, logical, and has encouraged us to talk about our issues. She has come to the conclusion that she doesn’t care much for sex. So my partner is now trying to find a sexual partner online, with our blessings.

This sort of relationship was so far from being imaginable 10 years ago, that I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe half of it back then. It’s still evolving and we’re all still learning.”

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