I really need support
I need support. I'm really upset right now, so I hope that I can get this across ok. So, I've been seeing FV for 6 months. We were waiting to have sex until DW was ok with it. We finally set a hotel date for mid-November and then I ended up with a yeast infection, but I suggested that we keep the hotel date just so that we could have private time to cuddle and talk more intimately. So, we did that. We did some kissing, which really needs work (not to sound arrogant, but I consider myself an awesome kisser) and cuddling. Looking back, something did seem off.
I wrote him an email to that fact a few days later, and he confirmed that yes, he was having issues with physical chemistry with me—that he finds me beautiful, attractive, etc., but the chemistry is not there. He said that this has happened several times before and he does not understand it. So, I was crushed. It's not that I wanted to tear the guy's clothes off, but to me, sex is an expression of the emotional connection that we both feel for one another (and yes he feels it). To him, they are separate. I have all kinds of theories as to what is going on, but no matter. It's been a huge blow, but I decided not to lose a wonderful person in my life and sucked up my pride and went on a date with him last night. He has been adamant all along that he definitely wants me in his life.
Well, the weekend after our “hotel date”, he had a weekend gathering with some poly folks including a new woman he is seeing (one other meet up and one date). He told me last night, at the very end of the night, no less, that he had sex with her that weekend. I'm terribly hurt. I know that I'm new to this poly stuff, but am I the only one who finds it disturbing that I was home sobbing and he was having sex with her? Does that seem really low to anyone else? And the thing is, he's so into etiquette and all. I mean, he got mildly upset with me that I hadn't mentioned a platonic coffee date that I had. And he thought it was ok to have sex with her?
I don't know what to do. I am so hurt.
I can only say this if it can help.
Don't take it personally ! I know that's easier to say than do, but if you think about it, even from your own experiences, sexual chemistry is a funny thing.
There's a lot of variables that go into what turns us on. It's not all about looks etc. A lot of it has to do with people's sexual outlook which is something I think you pick up/feel rather than see or discuss. And from what I've seen it's pretty hard to make oneself into a different sexual being than we really are by nature. People try I know, with some limited success, but when the truth comes out it seems the effort usually fails. Neither party is fully comfortable knowing it's almost a form of acting and it seems everyone really wants sex to be real !
The other side of the equation is that many people repress their true sexual being for fear of disapproval by a (potential) lover. So it's easy for someone to read the signals we are trying to send (let's say a little conservative) when in reality we'd love to have someone discover the tiger in us. So what you ' see' is not necessarily what you may be getting in the end.
I guess this is why I always try to start an open discussion really early on about sexual desires & preferences. To avoid just such scenarios as this ! I don't want to end up hurting someone's feelings over sexual differences.
All of this says nothing about who you are as a person. People's sexual appetites vary as much as their culinary appetites. It's just part of who we are. We're not going to want to spend a lot of time dining with someone who eats primarily seafood if we abhor seafood. The best we could hope for is opportunities where we could find a varied menu where we both could have choices we enjoyed best.
If you're thinking this is a big part of what poly is about...........well.........:)
I'd suggest letting it go (the sexual thing) for now, but dig deeper, including into yourself, to see what some of the true preferences might be and which ones may have been masked. It happens that people make some very interesting discoveries that run counter to what first impressions were.
I'm going to try and repeat back to you from FV's perspective what you have shared (with some creative deduction,-get out your grain of salt)
For six months, FV was repressing sexual desire for you out of respect for the relationship between you and DW. Six months of denying himself while you carried on with your own sex life with DW.
Finally the three of you work out a space where you and FV can be intimate- and it is nerve-wracking for FV. He is used to being restricted by your and DW's rules. You are in an unfamilar place (hotel), there's the awkwardness of the first time, and it turns out that no, really you can't be intimate.
Enter new woman that doesn't impose restrictions at all, it seems. He finds release with her. With you he is still operating in terms of rules and restrictions so he focuses on that in defense because he knows this will be difficult for you, but still has the balls to tell you.
He is being honest, maybe not doing exactly what you want him to do, but what he feels he needs to do for himself. Remember that you have been doing that exact same thing for six months and good for you for waiting until you and DW were ready. I hope you all keep doing it.
He wants to be in your life, he said. If you want that too, let him be. you can work out the kinks, but don't give up if you have the emotion.
My perspective is surely incomplete, but this is how I read your post. I hope you find light and warmth for yourself again soon.
Having to "turn it off" does impact desire. I've seen it happen in my husband. I've seen it happen in me over the course of a vanilla weekend. There's something to be said for striking while the iron is hot. Nevertheless, it sounds like your friend was being honest with you. It doesn't make hearing "I don't have sexual chemistry with you" easy to hear, but it's probably better for him to tell you up front, rather than wait and see and hope things improve. It sounds like he does respect you.
I feel that was insensitive to me.
Yes, it was. I can see why you were hurt.
But, wasn't there sexual interest and tension all along? I mean, you 2 were hoping to have sex as soon as you got the green light from David... and now that you do, yr SO is all, fugedaboudit? Weird.
Very disappointing and hurtful.
It was, even in its best light, pretty damn insensitive.
I really need support
GS--I know that it is ideal not to take it personally and I am *trying*, but it is very hard. Sexual chemistry for me is *rarely* about how one looks. I need to be emotionally connected. So, it came as a shock that sexual chemistry does not rise out of emotional connection for him. He can have sex with someone to whom he has no emotional connection and can have no desire to have sex with someone whom he deeply loves. So, yes, my ego was wounded, but I was willing to work that through. What I'm finding the most difficulty with is him going off and having sex with his new gf while I was home in pain. The exact same thing that he (and I of course) refused to do to DW until we felt he was ready. Understand that FV was completely on board with that the entire time--his ethics are very sound.
I had decided to do exactly what you said, and let go of the sexual thing for now (there was even some relief in that for me). I will do some thinking about whether there were "true preferences" that may have been masked. Thank you.
I personally think that there were a lot of other factors at play. He's kind of uptight, and at the last minute, I suggested that we go back to meeting at a hotel even though we would not be having sex. I knew that this would throw him off, but absolutely gave him an out if he did not want to. He explained that he ended up doing more (longer work out at the gym, more with his kids) than he would have if he knew we were going to have a hotel date. But he insists that this is not what contributed to his lack of desire to be intimate. He thinks it's a pheromones thing. He has many sensitivities to various forms of touch and smell which I was very nervous about, so I think it is a combination of those factors, and do not feel that it is insurmountable. But, part of me wonders if I should protect myself and close the door to sexual intimacy. And now with him having sex with the new woman (whom I've also become friends with), I'm very hurt and am considering ending the relationship all together, even though I love him dearly. I don't know what to do. Part of me says, "hold on and see what happens." and the other part says "don't be a fool, if he was willing to do that, you are just setting yourself up to get hurt more"
As a secondary, I have no "right" to ask him not to have sex with a new gf yet, but I had truly hoped that he/they would do, or not do this rather, out of respect to me. I personally cannot imagine having sex with a new partner while I knew my gf was home sobbing. That's what I'm having the most difficulty with, but yes, it does hurt that he's not currently physically attracted to me. I was surprised that it took him 6 months to figure that out, but understand that a bit more since he has elaborated on his past and current experiences.
Thank you for your lovely wishes too!
Jade: My gut tells me that he does respect me, and I think that ironically, some of what seems insensitive is greatly impacted by guilt. He is seriously thinking about throwing in the towel on poly because he is having such a hard time feeling that he should be giving more, even though both his other gf and I are very understanding (and have our own families).
Magdlyn: As to whether there was sexual interest and tension all along, yes and no. I really tried hard to turn that off in myself because I didn't know if DW would ever feel ok with it. It is only now that he has experienced sexual feelings for another woman that he has been able to get his head around it and give a true green light, although he admits that even now, it would be hard for him.
FV claims that he has no way of knowing until he actually lies next to a prospective lover on a bed. I believe that to a point, but some of it doesn't add up. And I feel that I should have known that this could happen much sooner.
Jade: TY, I just needed a reality check. I do feel it was insensitive, but I can be very sensitive to that *and* I knew that I was ego-wounded so that is why I wanted to check it out with others. I know that I am very poly, because I am very supportive of multiple relationships. Hell, DW has the total green light to have sex with his gf in our bed whenever they are ready. And I truly feel no jealousy for that at all. I think it's really damn cool ;-).
So, I have many poly qualities, and up until now have not experienced jealousy at all (and I'm not even sure this is jealousy; I don't resent FV and his gf having sex, I'm hurt by the timing).
Thanks all. FV has since sent an email expressing frustration in a sort of "I can't win" variety. He doesn't seem to get that it is the timing that I find so upsetting. He is also very stressed about it all, and ready to give up poly all together. So, I try to laugh at the irony of me starting out fast and furious, with 3 partners and now they've all faded away. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. I'm also supposed to be on a date right now with someone new, but I think he may have over-slept (he's a med student).
I'm trying to focus on having a relationship with myself, and feeling attractive from within, not needing it confirmed by others. It's a big task, I've found!
I had a perspective that might help explain his tortoiseyness in relation to how slowly he seems to be developing a sexual bond with you as opposed to how quickly he seems to have developed it with the other GF. Some men need to build a concept, for lack of a better word, of sexuality around their partners in that they feel more comfortable knowing what turns her on, or off, what sends her through the roof, and what just doesn't matter to her. For some it helps to have some tension and expectation going into a sexual situation. Also, if he is a "giver", he likely wouldn't be as interested in a one-sided exchange if you were unable to benefit mutually from it at the time. It may be that the door feels only partially open to him after a long period where sexual contact was off the table, and he may just need to start to "feel" you more in that sense. For the other GF, that door may have been open at an earlier point allowing him to have that buildup earlier. After realizing how much you were hurt it he may be putting a lot of pressure on himself making it difficult for him to just be natural with you until he feels like that tension has passed.
At any rate, he sounds like he does care about you and that is the most important thing. Perhaps if the two of you could establish a more comfortable rapport in regard to sex it might help him relax a bit.
As a side note: I don't know where you two are with expectations of sex, or how much time you have spent discussing it in a suggestive as opposed to factual matter, and I don't mean to suggest. A lack of that kind of interaction. I hope the best for the two of you :)
We have spent time talking about his experiences and our theoretical ones, but have not been suggestive with one another at all. I was wondering if this was a factor, but for now, I think I'm just going to let the cards fall where they may. The funny thing is that I've realized that I'm not attracted to him at all. It dawned on me one day as I was talking to a friend who I am crushing on (and really enjoying the crush) that I was much more attracted to my crush than my bf <shrug>. It just may not be in the cards.
You are absolutely right that we care for each other a great deal, and that's so wonderful.
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