Three men unique situation
Hey, I just joined this forum to seek out some advice. I am a late 20s man who's been in a polyamorous relationship with two men for the last 3 years, they were together for 7 years before I came into the picture. We have no remaining issues around jealousy or trust (it takes a while and a lot of communication to get there). In it's simplest form, here is my problem:
I love both of them very much and feel very strongly about each of them. However, in the last year, I have been feeling physically disconnected from one of my partners. I'm a psych student and the closest thing I've come up with so far is that I am experiencing a type of sexual aversion disorder specific to one partner but not the other. There's a lot more to this problem which I can elaborate on but everyday I am riddled with frustration and anxiety about this because I really love this relationship and both men however, if this can't be resolved I will have no choice but to leave. This is very specific but if there's anyone who has gone through this please help me out
Note: Please do not respond if the message is suggesting that I am just not into one of them as this problem has only emerged recently. Also, I am in lov e with both of them. This post is about saving the relationship, not leaving it
Thanks a lot!
Well have you talked specifically with this partner about this issue, is it one sided or does he feel the same and have different feelings about being sexual with you lately?
Has anything new happened in the relationship? Moves, new job, new partners, bad habit of him starting to really get on your nerves? Is something in their sexual interactions affecting you negatively? If you cant identify when it started or what it is, I'd suggest going to a counselor because
"if this can't be resolved I will have no choice but to leave." sounds like a very serious problem is going on. Lots of people have lower desires or disinterest in sex with a partner for (even extended) times but don't jump to the "I must leave" solution when most things in the relationship are good unless every avenue has been explored.
With the limited information you have given, it's difficult to offer advice. How is your relationship functioning with the partner you feel disconnected from? I understand that you care for him, but how would you describe spending time with him right now? Do you enjoy talking to him? Are you happy to see him when he comes home? Do you enjoy being affectionate with him if it's not sexual? If these answers are nos, and you don't know why, it may be that you need to put some conscious effort into reconnecting on more than one level.
Sometimes it's ok to have sex with a partner not because you're dying to do it, but because you want to reconnect and get back into the habit of doing so. Take things slowly and relax into it. Focus on how you want to make your partner feel out of your love for them. Don't pressure yourself to feel or create fireworks, just decide that you want to resume your sex life and take steps to do so, even if it's not on the top of the list of things you'd like to do at that moment.
Thanks for the responses, I agree I should not jump to the conclusion that I need to leave the relationship.
To add more details, I'm doing graduate work in another country. I've been going back and forth for about 2 years now. We use skype to see each other and work everyday. It somedays feels as though we maintain all the elements of a relationship without the sex (all the work non of the play) so when I am finally on leave or on camera I just don't feel sexual.
With the partner I am having the disconnection with I raised this issue with him a year ago and he's been very patient, he's not feeling a disconnect towards me.
When I have difficulty performing with him I just find my mind shifts to concern about whether or not I'll be able to perform, why can't I do so etc...and I just get so anxious I now avoid even talking about sex. Whereas the other partner does not illicit this response.
This is especially challenging because my time overseas is about to end and I will be coming home for good soon and I am extremely happy yet really nervous about what will happen.
Hope this has given more info clearly, thanks everyone
Well you're right to be concerned because when you're talking triads, the "weakest link" can often set the tone for entire triadic relationship. Been there, done that. Fortunately though it's pretty clear you love both your partners and both love you. So fortunately it's only a sexual link that's got problems, not a love or romance one. Therefore talking about it as something that could ruin the whole thing and make you leave is definitely over the top---so I would relax on that point.
You've talked to him and he's patient. That's a good sign!
At this point what you really need to do is get to the root of this problem. I would highly recommend at this point finding a gay-friendly and poly-friendly sex therapist. It may take a professional knowledge to figure out exactly why this is happening. (And this advice is coming from someone who normally shies away from jumping to therapy as the cure for much....I've never cared for it that much myself.)
Keep the waves of communication open and talk to both your partners about your feelings, wants, etc and be sure to keep your emotional connection strong, even if there are bumps in the road on the physical connection. Hopefully with some work and maybe some professional help, it can be figured out and fixed!
We're rooting for ya!
What's this "sexual aversion?" Where is it coming from? Did he hurt your feelings?
Are you burnt out from school and trying to keep this relationship going long distance?
Where did your lust and desire go?
OTOH, men and their "performance..." Unless you're a Top and must wield that tool, can't you use your hands and mouth? Do you 3 get it on all together? Don't you get hard for/with the other partner?
I don't do 3ways much with my 2 partners, but when we do, we are all aroused in a big jumble. (I am a cis gendered female, my gf is a pre-op transwoman and our bf is cis gendered male. They both get hard from all the kissing and touching and so on when we're all getting it on.)
Hopefully things will get better when you're back home and things can flow and be fun and romantic and hot in 3D real time! Maybe you don't need therapy just yet, just to relax and have some fun reconnecting. Camming and trying to show off for the camera can seem artificial perhaps if that's all you've had lately.
Hey, first of thanks so much for the responses, I'll answer them in the order they came in
I am very much in love with both of my partners and I've received a lot of support from them both before and during my time away from home. In regards to the therapy session. I've been going to individual therapy for a few years for other issues and recently started talking about this to my counsellor.
When I am home, the three of us actually see a counsellor together (she was their counsellor before I came into the picture, and we all go to discuss communication, balance, jealousy etc..) We are planning on seeing a sex therapist together when i am back which I am really looking forward to.
I've got my own ideas over why this is happening, but I can't seem to think my way out of this situation. IT causes me a lot of frustration and guilt on a regular basis, espeically because my partners are both very attracted to me and not had difficulties in connecting physically.
Sexual aversion disorder is a condition where a person feels anxiety or stress around sexual intimacy. It can either be global, so you can't connect physically with anyone, or specific, with your partner(s). In my case, it is specific to one of my partners.
I identify as a cis gendered male as do my two partners and we connect both together and one on one when the other person is not around. I am verse so I have definitely transitioned into more of the bottom role (which is fine). but the challenge is that I sometimes will not be hard at all even though the sex is gratifying I am preoocupied with the feelings of anxiety around it.
I definitely agree with you about the relaxing and focusing on connect, but my problem is that I can't get out of this routine or whatever it is...I've tried to snap myself out of it lots of times but it doesn't work. We totally used to cam in my first year away, but in the last little while I've become to nervous to even get naked on cam in case I can't get hard.
I was diagnosed with depression right before I left home in August, and I've veered away from medications for the time being, so I have challenges in just letting myself 'be' if you know what I mean
This has been happening for a while and my partners have been really patient. I think we don't communicate as much as we could on this issue because I am worried about 'incepting' them with my performance anxiety, and they are worried about making me feel on the spot.
I hope the therapist will be able to help us out and I'm doing my own solo work to figure things as well
If anyone has been in a similar situation, with any configuration of poly, and you moved through this period, please let me know how that worked for you and what you did.
Thanks for the support!!
The only thing that I can think to add, is a gentle reminder to NOT try to be your own therapist. One of the benefits of therapy, in my opinion, is reflecting your thoughts off of an "uninvolved" or " objective" observer - which you are NOT. (Isn't there an ancient cliche about being your own lawyer? Healthcare workers being the worst patients? etc.)
By thinking that you should be able to "think your way" out of the problem, in my way of thinking, you are adding another layer of complication to every interaction - as you are both the "observer" and the "observed" thereby negating your ability to be fully present as either. (This is not to say, in any way, that introspection and self-reflection are not useful! But...these are internal processes.)
Agree with Jane. I'm glad y'all are seeing counselors and I wish luck with the sex therapist too.
The good news is there is a LOT of silver lining to your cloud. I highly recommend focusing on the good things going on as much as you can---it should lessen the anxiety you're feeling about this issue.
The silver linings I'm referring to is one, the loving/emotional aspect of your relationship seems intact. Everyone sounds very much happy and in love with each other. And two, you're still able to do sex with this partner at least somewhat. Like you said, you can still be a bottom role (and I would think he appreciates that as well as any foreplay/oral/etc than you do). Concentrate on the good there---you and him can still have a good sex life to a degree.
Give this time and try to remain positive.
Have you seen a medical doctor to check things out, like blood pressure, testosterone levels, etc? Stop stressing about the "performance issues". Accept that things may not always function the way you want them too and/or when you want them to for now and make adjustments to enjoy the moment anyway (happens to me quite frequently). If you break your leg, you don't just sit in bed all day, you grab the crutches and figure out how to function until the broken parts heal and are strong again, you adapt to the situation. Eventually things can heal, but it takes time. Stressing about it is likely making it worse and compounding your depression.
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