Originally Posted by DavidWebb
What I hear is that a sexless marriage is ok, but sexless secondaries are not. Why?
For me (and I may be strange for this, but I do feel like I relate to a whole lot of what Christie is saying), either a sexless marriage or sexless other relationships would be potentially be okay if the lack of sex was not externally imposed
. If my boyfriend said "I am not interested in ever having sex again, but I want to continue our relationship and don't want anything else to change," I would be fine. I would stay with him in a heartbeat. However, if my husband said "you can continue your relationship with your boyfriend, but you can't ever have sex with him again," I would have a serious problem with that. Decisions made by the people within the relationship are not the same as what is enforced on them from outside the relationship. To me, this is not about how important sex is or isn't, but about how much freedom people do or don't have to function as autonomous adults within their relationships. Christie might not feel the same way I do, but in my version of poly, I need to be able to offer myself as an autonomous individual in my other relationships in order to feel like I'm being fair to that other person. I would not be comfortable making myself available for relationships on any other terms.
My husband and I have had issues with intimacy in the past, and I think that he went through a lot of the same things you're feeling with regard to "how can she be so content with so little sex with me, and then want to go out and sleep with other guys?!" I can't speak for him, but I can totally understand how that can feel confusing. In our situation, being poly has really improved our sex life (with each other) rather than being a strain on it, and a lot of my hangups to do with intimacy had really been the result of feeling too controlled and not able to be myself. Freedom with other people=feeling more freedom with my husband=sex feels less compulsory and comes a lot more naturally. I don't know if that's typical, but it's been great for us.
Good luck to you working through all of this, it's clear you're really trying hard to process everything and deal with your feelings constructively!