I've posted here before asking about kinks and sexual connection in old vs new poly relationships. Here is the ongoing dilemma which I guess sparked the question, and now it's coming to a head:
When I first met my SO we had a crazy connection. Like physically the most intense I've ever had. We'd have sex 5 times a day, never sleep, do very extreme BDSM, explore each other's fantasies.... etc. It was amazing, I've never felt so wanted or so turned on, I felt he really knew my body and I knew his, it was so special.
After a while, I noticed that not only things calmed down in a way you'd expect when a relationship gets established, but also the kink levels dropped, a lot. A few major changes I noticed:
Now you can probably gather I analyse a lot, it's in my nature, and he says he feels under scrutiny and he knows that underneath his "super lover" thing he does with new partners he is actually insecure and overly sensitive to feeling like his performance is criticised. So apparently it was enough that I once responded unenthusiastically to a flirty text about anal that now we just don't have it any more, or that I once declined sex as soon as we got in that he stopped bending me over and taking me when he likes. He says I have a controlling nature and I know he has a point, but this is something I'm working on and I think I've made great progress with. But trying to tease out what is going on with how vanilla our sex life has become makes him defensive. Trying to talk about treatments for delayed ejaculation (which has apparently caused him problems in EVERY relationship he's been with, and there are effective treatments online) makes him super defensive. Trying too hard to flirt about the things I crave makes him defensive. And when he gets defensive I get emotional. I'm walking around with a craving for the sex we used to have and the things he wanted to do to me when now he wants to snuggle. I know intensity dies over time but surely the ability to be playful and dirty doesn't have to?? I grieve for the connection he used to have towards me, and this is compounded by the fact that I still want him just as badly as I did at day one. None of this is being helped by the fact that in my last relationship I was constantly rejected sexually by a lower-libido partner and that in his last relationship he retaliated against his ex-wife's lying to him by refusing to have sex with her for a year. So we have a complex connection to our sexualities...
But here is where things are getting even more complicated: he has a new poly partner who sounds great (I'm supposed to meet her soon) and I've just found out - yes I asked, and in a way I'm glad I did - that they do kink, anal, SM. I've been getting these needs met with another lover but have always wanted them in my primary relationship. Finding out that he has (at least for now) lost the ability to express himself sexually this way with me but can with her is saddening. His argument is "we've been together for over 2 years, we have sex nearly every time we see each other so what's the problem" and when I tried to say I am happy he's found someone to explore those things with but it is difficult for me when I've been craving and asking if we can do these things for ages... well then he said I make him feel bad. Idk. I guess my questions are -
Thank you so much for listening to my rant :)
The biochemistry that gives you such an intense zap with the right person is a limited time offer. Eventually even the most passionate relationship cools somewhat.
Plus you have to consider the physical aspect; five times a day with little sleep? Good gods, I hope you're not using oil-based lubricants because I'd be worried about your junk catching fire. It sounds like you're pushing the physical boundaries quite a bit and eventually the body both gets used to extreme stimulation and just plain gets worn out.
When I was younger (14-16ish) I had a girlfriend and we messed around EVERY chance we got. That translated to maybe 50-80 encounters a week, all with orgasm. After a few months I found that I just plain wasn't working, I'd feel aroused but nothing physical would happen. This was at a point where most guys spend half their day holding a backpack in front of them and I had the opposite problem. When we split, I found my problem went away rather quickly. There is such a thing as too much sex and in my experience, that leads to a lack of performance and interest in sex from the male perspective.
That's why in my current relationships, I actually favor fewer sexual encounters than most because it helps keep things exciting and passionate.
Consider taking a break for a few weeks (physically) and see what happens.
Thanks, I agree completely but the issue isn't frequency - I'm happy with the frequency and would even be happy with less if it continued to involve the things we both used to enjoy rather than an ever-decreasing repertoire (currently it's vaginal sex in 2 positions, oral and manual stimulation, always in bed, always before sleep or when waking up, he never really comes and it's about playing with my until I orgasm than we stop). Gosh, just reading this... I would probably respond "he's just not that into you any more" to myself but there are many ways I know he is, I think :(
I think I'll ask to see each other less. I can manage to be the "chilled" less analytical person he wants me to be for approx one evening a week. We'll see how it works out...
Edit: for the record I'm 33 and he's 42 and we currently see each other about 4 nights a week. And this isn't about his age, he's very fit and obviously manages to have the more epic sex sessions quite happily with his other partner.
I doubt its "he's not that into you anymore" but like I said, the biochemistry that causes that kind of spark fades over time. It doesn't mean he doesn't care.
Problem 2 is that he is avoiding giving you a reason for this. He wants to brush it under the rug.
And he should be able to communicate back "Yes, I would be willing."
Or " No, I would not be willing."
And you should be able to inquire why if not willing.
And he should be able to give you a reasonable answer.
"I have frogs in my pants." ( I joke on purpose to keep it light. Not trying to minimise or devalue your feelings.)
Then you could ask him if he needs help removing the frogs or if this is just how it is now. Permanent frogs.
So you can then choose to accept him as he is now, and adjust your want to have this kind of sex with him or not.
Since you have this kind of sex with your other partner, I suspect it is not the mere sex acts. It's the intimacy -- emotional intimacy perhaps. Sex is both an expression of physical intimacy. Or a combo thing of (physical intimacy+ emotional intimacy.) If he has aged and now has frogs in his pants, how else do you share emotional intimacy together other than via sex?
Since he's unwilling to TALK about Shared Vulnerable -- and thus help create emotional intimacy with heart-to-heart talks... where else do you guys do this together? Share emotional intimacy? Could these things be plumped up a bit? Does he write you love letters? Sing you songs? What?
Is he of age for andropause? Could that be affecting him?
I just wanted to say thanks for posting about this. I'll be following the progress of this thread with great personal interest. I sympathize with your predicament and hope this works out for the best for both of you.
And then his answer is....?
So basically he is not willing to try because of the unnamed THING. And he's also not willing to look too deeply into the thing to identify what that thing IS.
And since you cannot force him you have to decide if you are happy with
1) Vanilla sex with him AND no responsiveness, and not giving of clear communication. (where you are at now)
2) Vanilla sex, with plenty responsiveness in communication (would you be ok there?)
3) No sex at all, plenty of responsiveness in communication (would you be ok there?)
4) No sex at all, no responsiveness (would you be ok there?)
5) something else?
To me? I'd be alright adjusting to changing sex ability with age. I won't be doing bondage with DH if no longer fit to edge play safely because of age issues! Non-kink sex is great with DH -- we don't have to always kink it up.
But I am not ok being in relationship with DH if he just stops communicating and relating with me. I want to know him, and I want to know his wants, needs and limits. I want to tend the relationship together.
1) The problem of communication: giving clear communication, responsiveness, constructive feedback.
2) The problem of no kink play -- like bondage. Then could choose take the bondage off the table. Like he's suggested.
"Alright, this is causing fuss. Let's just take the kink off the table for 6 months. We just enjoy each other in sex however it comes without pressure for it to be kink sex. Then we revisit the topic on ____ date in 6 mos to see if how we feel about bondage staying off the table or coming back again. Would you be willing to do that?"
Then you negotiate for what you need more of at the same time.
"If I am willing to do that and you are willing to do that, let's take it off the table.
New thing -- since now that is off the table -- are you willing to put some extra time in creating special date times with me in other ways? I miss you, I want to be with you, I crave closeness. So if we don't want to have in via bondage right now, what are you ideas for having special date times? And are you willing to talk to me about THAT then? Having special dates with me?"
And see what response you get there.
Find out where is IS willing to work with you. And if he's not willing to work with you at all anywhere, find out if you are willing to stay in relationship with him like that or not. If not, end relationship.
You can give it a good try. But not an endless good try. It takes two participating people to have a relationship in. If one person is not participating, it is a one sided relationship. That's not a healthy dynamic when he is capable of relationships with others. It's neglect of you.
It's not like his illness is at extreme level like family being ok with a one-sided relationship with grandma who now has Alzheimer or something.
If I'm reading her correctly, it's not that straightforward, gg...
She says "do you still like x?"
He says "yes, I still like x."
She says "great, let's do x."
Then they do x, but he puts in the bare effort required to check x off the to-do list, with no enthusiasm.
Then he goes and does x enthusiastically with someone else.
So it's not a question of age, enthusiasm for x in general, or ability. It's that he says he wants to do it with her, but then does it half-assed.
I suspect this will not be solved without counseling, both as a couple to deal with their communication, and him solo to deal with his self-esteem issues.
I can relate. There are things my husband used to do for me (like cooking pancakes) and I said something critical one time about the way he did it, and now he refuses to ever do it again because he's convinced I think he can never do it right. It's completely related to his self-esteem issues and communication problems we had early in our relationship.
I think it is simple.
He's either willing to participate in something with her or not:
1) The sex she wants to have with him.
2) The communication she wants to have with him.
3) the repair work (like counseling) to solve only 1, only 2, or 1 AND 2.
If he's just not IN this relationship any more and not saying it... she can choose to accept that he's just not IN this relationship any more and not saying it.
Once accepting that?
Then she can choose
1) She chooses to keep her expectations of him and she chooses to continue to participate in relationship where he does not meet expectation. (May still find it unsatisfactory, but that's the feeling ensuing after choice in her behavior)
2) She chooses to let go of any expectations from him and chooses to participate in the relationship. (See if change in her behavior (letting go of expectation) ensues in her feeling better or not.)
3) She chooses drop expectations of him and to choose to stop participating in the relationship and drop him. (See if change in her behavior (breaking up) ensues in her feeling better.)
4) She keeps her expectations of him. She chooses to stay in relationship. AND he chooses to meet her expectations. (That I grey out because she cannot control all of that option. Only her bits. HE controls him and what his behavior is and what he contributes to the relationship. So options 1-3 are things she actually has full control over. She may wish for 4, but she's not in control of him.
By no means is all this easy to FEEL. I am in no way saying it is easy to feel! :(
I wish for option 4 for her sake! But if he is not delivering to spec, she's got to think about the return on her investment. And whether it is enough to keep her here and feed her.
It simply boils down to actions done/not done. And what she is willing to live with or not. What SHE wants to continue participating in.
And that is simple. Take inventory. What does he do/not do? Is this enough to keep her here and keep her well fed? Yes/no? Only she can answer that.
One of those crossroads moments in life. "Which options stinks least? And which option leads to my best long term health improvement?"
I don't think just staying in limbo helps the stress level in the mental health bucket. :(
It's time to take stock. She could spend some time probing to see if he will respond to other things. And after her probing time? Come to Final Decision.
You can give your partner a good chance to respond and get their input taken on board. But if they shillyshally, then you have no choice but to move forward without them and make the call without their input on board. Sigh. :(
Lolalondon -- hang in there. I know it's hard for you right now as you try to sort all this out for yourself and where you want to be next. *hug*
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