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Old 11-05-2011, 09:13 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Hopefully the counselling went well.

Since you asked for anecdotes, I'll write a bit about the sexual issues me and Alec have had. I don't know if it'll be of any relevance to your situation, but maybe it'll be of some help. There wasn't really a specific point in time when our problems started, rather the change happened gradually over a few years, and I've only been able to see some of the things now that we have started to change things. Basically, we were having less and less sex, and we weren't communicating about it. My libido decreased and I was rarely in the mood, although when he initiated (most often in the evening) I would say that I was tired. I couldn't get myself to say that I don't want sex. Alec started to adjust, and obviously didn't enjoy the constant rejection, so he started to initiate less.

I now know that the problem was that I didn't really understand what I wanted sexually. Also, the lack of communication was a problem, but to be honest I don't really know what I could have communicated without understanding it myself. I thought that my low libido was hormonal or just an consequence of a long relationship.

However, at some point I started to realise some of the causes and some of my own preferences: what I do want, and perhaps more crucially to the situation, what I don't want. We had sort of fallen into a pattern with sex, and that wasn't really satisfying to me anymore. One big thing was that at times (not each time but quite often) I really didn't want to have intercourse, which was included almost always in the pattern. First, I tried to make small changes, but that only had too limited an impact without proper communication (which felt impossibly hard at that time). Then my discomfort grew and I had no option but to have a throughout conversation, laying everything on the table. It's not easy to tell your partner that something you've been happily doing for years, and that your partner really enjoys, (and that most of the society regards to be pretty much the whole point of hetero-sex,) makes you uncomfortable. It wasn't easy for Alec to hear, either, but it didn't take him long to accept it.

After that Big Conversation (which was about 8 months ago, a little while before we started a poly relationship), we made a commitment to communicating. First we agreed to only have intercourse if I initiated. Also, we agreed to break the pattern, and to communicate very clearly each time what it is that we specifically want to do. After the first conversation we had regular discussions about sex both in and outside of bed (which reminds me, it's been a while since the last one, should keep it going even when things are good, as they are now). The aim was to make both of us comfortable with the topic, and also so that there would not only be communication when there are some problems. Also, we did the assignment from the Ethical Slut, where you and your partner together list all sexual stuff you can think of, and then rate them into yes, no, and maybe columns, except we rated them from -5 to 5 instead. I can very much recommend that, by the way, but obviously only when you feel ready. It was unbeliavably helpful to us, and there was a lot of new information to both of us. Also, we have made it a habit that when Alec initiates, I take a small while to think about it, to listen to what, specifically, I want to do, and I tell him that right away. He's usually game for whatever it is. He also says what he wants, and I'm game, too, unless I really don't feel like it. This is really good, and there has also been an increase to the amount of sex we have, because even if, when he initiates, I'm dead tired or don't want to be touched myself, there's usually something I may still feel like. Thus, there's no assumption, what sex must include, but it can be anything both of us are comfortable with.

Sorry to write a novel, hope there's something useful in there.
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In long-term relationships with Alec and Mya. Seeing Lily. Metamours with Hank.
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