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-   -   He's a kid in the candy store, but can he really follow through? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26087)

persephone 07-30-2012 12:42 PM

He's a kid in the candy store, but can he really follow through?
 
My primary partner, D, has two lovers, me and his brand-new secondary partner C. He is interested in starting a sexual relationship with someone else, R. The problem is that D isn't very interested in sex to begin with most of the time. He has a fairly low libido and suffers from frequent erectile dysfunction. I am frustrated much of the time over this issue and try to deal with it as best I can. C doesn't get much opportunity to be sexually intimate with D, and so far she seems happy, but they are a new relationship and have only been together sexually a couple of times (plus C is married to a man who has a very high libido and I know she isn't hard up for sex, ever, unlike me.)

My feeling is that D should keep R as a platonic friend and concentrate on his relationships with me and with C, especially since his relationship with C is only about a month old and I know she wants more time with him than she has had so far. I had hoped that C would rev D up a bit sexually, but so far I haven't seen this. In fact, she might be having the opposite effect on him, but it's too early to tell for sure. A past partner of his didn't rev him up either.

I don't believe D would have started anything new right now, but R had put their potential relationship on hold so she could work through some personal stuff, and (maybe now that she has seen him with C), she is suddenly interested again and wants to finally pursue things with him.

D promised me a while back that he wouldn't pursue more than one additional relationship at a time, and I am tempted to hold him to this. I would feel bad about it because he really likes R, but he doesn't meet my sexual needs even without C in the picture, and I can't even imagine what might happen to our sex life with yet another person wanting sex from him.

Yes, I do have other partners, a LDR whom I can only see a few times a year, and a local lover who doesn't often get a chance to see me, plus finding private space for intimacy with the local one can be very difficult. I don't really want to consider adding a fourth partner, I'm very happily in love with the three that I have and don't feel that I have much to give emotionally to a fourth sweetie, but at times I am one hard up woman, even with three lovers. It's pretty surreal when I take a step back from it.

AnnabelMore 07-30-2012 02:58 PM

Fwiw, I would consider it perfectly reasonable to ask him not to start an additional relationship at the present time, even if you WERE getting all your needs met, simply to give his new secondary relationship a chance to settle into a groove so you guys can really see how it's going to affect your lives, how much energy and time he'll ultimately want to put into it, etc. But especially considering that you're feeling a need for more from him, it's totally reasonable and probably wise for him to hold off and cultivate what he has.

persephone 07-30-2012 03:45 PM

Thanks, AnnabelMore. We've talked about him holding off with R and he's acting very unhappy about it, although he admits he did promise me "only one at a time" back before C came into his life. He definitely had more of a romantic spark with R early on than he's had so far with C, although he's very fond of both of them. I regret that it worked out this way, but it's not my fault that R wasn't ready to date him back when his dance card was empty. At this point, I just want him to be a good partner for C, whom I am very fond of, and for our own bedroom life to stay viable too.

AutumnalTone 07-30-2012 04:47 PM

You have two partners and you want to hold him to an empty promise for "one at a time" made when he had none? You seem to want to decide a hell of a lot for him, instead of supporting him in the process of him deciding what he wants and what he will do.

persephone 07-30-2012 06:22 PM

I do have two partners in addition to my primary relationship, one of whom I see four weekends a year. The local one has a busy life and small children and we will probably be lucky to arrange sexual intimacy together twice a month in the future, although it's hard to tell since we're very new. I also don't have any issues that get in the way of having sex, and I can meet the sexual needs of any of my partners with enthusiasm, no problems at all.

My primary partner's promise wasn't "empty," and I don't know where you got that idea. It was an agreement we made with the enthusiastic support of our sex therapist, who thought that one new lover at a time made a lot of sense for him considering his physical and mental issues and things we've weathered as a couple. Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to hold him to that. I didn't expect that R would ever be interested in dating him again, I thought they were over.

Anneintherain 07-31-2012 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by persephone (Post 145929)
My feeling is that D should keep R as a platonic friend and concentrate on his relationships with me and with C, especially since his relationship with C is only about a month old and I know she wants more time with him than she has had so far.

Quote:

Originally Posted by persephone (Post 145929)
At this point, I just want him to be a good partner for C, whom I am very fond of

First I'll say that you might not want to worry so much about advocating for C. If D wants to spend more time with C he will, and if he doesn't, he shouldn't. You even giving the impression of pressuring or suggesting in any way that he should spend more time with her instead of spending that time elsewhere might actually lead to problems for them. If she wants more time than he feels like giving, that's really up for them to figure out what will work for them. I'd shudder if if found out a partner was making more time for me only because a metamour felt sorry for me.

Secondly, I understand some of what you are going through. My husband is only interested in sex a certain frequency, and we have had our share of issues trying to figure out a balance between him making sure he has energy for me if he is dating. We had a lot of our own discussions about how if him having other partners decreased the amount we had sex that I wasn't going to be OK with it (sex is very low on his list of priorities, even when he dates, so this was something he agreed to). I would not have a problem holding D to his agreement, especially as the therapist agreed it was a good idea, not everybody can always have everything they want, are you both clear on what the consequences are if he takes on another partner and doesn't put energy towards what he already has?

That said, there is no guarantee either way if dating R would be good or bad for your relationship. I'm getting the feeling that the only thing you have against him taking on an additional relationship is that it makes it easy for him to be so distracted that he's not making the energy to be present for you as a sexual partner? There is always the additional option of a X month wait before taking on a third local partner, to see if he is following through on the work he has to do in your own relationship. There is also the option of being more-than-platonic-yet-not-sexual friends with R? I remain convinced nobody ever died from not having sex with somebody they wanted to have sex with.

persephone 08-01-2012 01:35 AM

Thanks, Anneintherain. I haven't seen anyone else discuss a comparable situation in a forum, ever, where a partner wanted multiple sexual relationships despite a low libido. It's reassuring that I'm not alone.

I may be quoting this to him: "I remain convinced nobody ever died from not having sex with somebody they wanted to have sex with."

I'm not ruling out him getting more serious with R in the future, but right now, I don't feel good about that. We are currently having sex about half as frequently as we normally do, and it's hard on me. It almost feels to me that he gets unconsciously confused when he has more than one sex partner and his libido shuts down with me. I don't know what to do about that. Sexually, we always seem to do better as a couple when he's not in any other relationships.

GalaGirl 08-01-2012 04:01 AM

Is it sex as a spectrum? Any sex is fine, just make the TIME with me to get all sexy? Or are we talking penis in vagina, in anus, in mouth stuff that a non-erect penis makes hard for him to execute? What are you asking of him sexually -- more TIME with you or more of a specific act or technique? (Has he seen his doctor? He's responsible for his own equipment and physical health, right? Age? Could it be andropause?)

Last, if he promised you, in my world? He has the responsibility to follow through on a promise made. So I'd call the marker in.

And if he's not happy about that, renegotiate contract before proceeding with R. Basically, be in right relationship with YOU before adding more to the mix.

GalaGirl

persephone 08-04-2012 11:10 AM

Galagirl, D isn't making much time to be with me sexually, no. Our best time, when things are most likely to work for us, has historically been mornings, but lately, even though we are both usually awake early enough to make that happen, he isn't wanting sex. Evenings, he tends to come to bed when he's exhausted and still try to have sex with me, which almost always ends up with me frustrated as hell. (Yes, he's always willing to get me off manually, but a lot of the time I just don't want that, especially since I am used to having intercourse first, sexual play after. We got into that pattern years ago because his sexual arousal can vanish in five seconds, so we tend to seize the moment.)

He's seen a doctor and he's on testosterone injections. I give them to him weekly. They help, but don't solve the problem. He has performance anxiety since he had dysfunction for five years but refused to see a doctor or do anything to help himself at all until five years had passed. We saw a sex therapist together for close to two years and I think she was very good, but performance anxiety isn't something you can necessarily fix.

Last night he was with C after we had a two and a half week period where we had intercourse exactly once. (The norm for us is three or four times a week.) I wanted to be OK with it. I certainly wasn't going to tell him he shouldn't be with her, I like her a lot, and I am in a romantic relationship with her husband. But after it was over, I felt so awful I wanted to punch D in the face, hard, and I locked him out of our bedroom, which is a first for me.

Sorry for the vent.

Cleo 08-04-2012 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by persephone (Post 146492)

Last night he was with C after we had a two and a half week period where we had intercourse exactly once. (The norm for us is three or four times a week.) I wanted to be OK with it. I certainly wasn't going to tell him he shouldn't be with her, I like her a lot, and I am in a romantic relationship with her husband. But after it was over, I felt so awful I wanted to punch D in the face, hard, and I locked him out of our bedroom, which is a first for me.

this may seem a silly question, but do you know for sure that he actually had intercourse with her? or are you assuming this?


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