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  #1  
Old 05-24-2010, 12:14 PM
kittyb kittyb is offline
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Default Poly-thinking girl here :)

Hi there

I've been reading on this site for a little while, and decided to post just to introduce myself. I'm 30 years old, and about to celebrate 5 years with my boyfriend. I've been thinking for about a year now that I might be poly, but I haven't acted on it at all or brought it up with the b/f yet.

I'll probably talk to him about it soon... although if he's not comfortable with it I may just have to suck it up. I love him very much and except for sex we have a pretty awesome relationship. I have a fairly high libido, and he recently, finally, explained to me that he doesn't enjoy sex. After we talked about why, I went a-Googling and found several pages describing ejaculatory anhedonia, and I told him about it. He was astonished that there was actually a name for the condition and that he wasn't the only one. Long story short, he basically doesn't experience either a sexual build-up or an orgasm to any noticable degree, although he has no problem with the act, physically. But for him, there's no payout, except to please me, so lovemaking is kind of a chore for him. For the last 3 years we've had sex on average once a month... If I had my 'druthers it'd be 3 times a week.

But anyway, I don't think it's just about the sex, either. I like to spend time with my partner (partners? if I have em?) and although we enjoy the time we spend together he's more of a hermit and loner. I've found this to be an issue in every prior relationship that I've had as well, wanting to spend more time with my partner, while they would prefer "alone" time. I've gotten much better at giving the needed "alone" and "guy" time, but at the same time I feel lonely and unfulfilled. I have a variety of hobbies and spend a lot of time on my own, working, or cleaning/taking care of our pets, so it's not that I cling to him to the exclusion of all else... I simply feel like I need more love.

I understand that poly is not a solution to a bad relationship, but other than our differing emotional and sexual needs, we do in fact have a great relationship. I've brought up the topic a few times and in general he's very accepting of the idea. I have no idea what he'll think of it, specifically as regards us, but I'm going to proceed carefully, openly, and with love. He had a past long-distance relationship where his ex cheated on him, and I absolutely don't want him to feel like that.

I don't want to replace him, and I want to build a life with him, spend time with him, make love with him, have kids together, all that jazz. He's my sweetheart, my companion in nerdiness, goofiness, gothiness, my buddy, my political debater, my ranter and raver about unfairness in the world, and it's a treat to wake up next to him day after day. Whatever we do in our relationship it will be done with openness, honesty, and mutual agreement, or it will not be done at all.

I simply want my life to be fulfilled and to love, physically, and emotionally, to the fullest extent that I need to be my happiest. Anyway, it's great to read on here and meet other people who feel the same way. If anyone would like to comment or add input or suggestions, feel free to do so

Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:06 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Welcome aboard. It sounds as if you're approaching this in a good way.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:37 PM
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Danny40179 Danny40179 is offline
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Welcome!

As far as suggestions, it seems like you're well on your way. My only concern is that your bf could potentially think that your reasoning behind wanting to explore the poly lifestyle is due to his medical problem. I'm sure you'll assure him that's not the case, but I know us men can be quite insecure. (I know I am at times!)

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:33 PM
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whirlingdervish whirlingdervish is offline
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Welcome, hope all goes superb for you m'dear.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:40 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyb View Post
I have a fairly high libido, and he recently, finally, explained to me that he doesn't enjoy sex. After we talked about why, I went a-Googling and found several pages describing ejaculatory anhedonia, and I told him about it. He was astonished that there was actually a name for the condition and that he wasn't the only one. Long story short, he basically doesn't experience either a sexual build-up or an orgasm to any noticable degree, although he has no problem with the act, physically. But for him, there's no payout, except to please me, so lovemaking is kind of a chore for him.
Something completely unrelated to poly, but may be useful to you nonetheless: Look into Tantra. The main principle of tantra is that it's not about the build-up and the orgasm, which are just physical reactions. In Tantra, there's a focus on energy and feeling each other in a whole new way. You can even do it with your clothes on. Basically, tantra is not about sex, it's about energy. I don't know anything about anhedonia so the condition may persist into tantric practices, but maybe it won't, and could open some amazing doors in your relationship.

Check out the book "Urban Tantra" as a starting point.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:35 AM
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Acroxander Acroxander is offline
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Default Welcome!

I just joined the board today, too.

Welcome! (It feels good to be part of a welcoming community, even if I'm a noob)

I'm in a relationship that's ending because of our differing views on polyamory (she wants monogamy, I'm pretty sure that I can't be happy that way) so I'm just throwing you some good vibes and hoping that all goes well with this partner you obviously love so very much.

Best to you!
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:28 PM
groovy9 groovy9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyb View Post
... except for sex
... at the same time I feel lonely and unfulfilled
Not to be a downer (I'd be great if polyamory filled all of your gaps), but... You know there are other fish in the sea, right?

I realize that on a poly board, poly may seem like a solution to a lot of things, but there's also the old-fashioned breakup to consider. Maybe you stay good friends so you can continue to share interests together.

In my experience, goals and interests (which are the good points of your relationship) tend to coalesce between two people over time anyway. So it seems like you might be happier in the long run with someone whose time and sex habits align with yours, even if he doesn't start out as your political debater.

Besides, if you want sex 3 times a week, you're going to be spending an awful lot of time with someone else. Not that that doesn't work for people, it's just no small thing you're undertaking here.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:00 PM
kittyb kittyb is offline
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I'll check out tantra, Schrodinger. Thanks
Thanks for the input, groovy.

In any case, I've mentioned poly in a joking manner (i.e. I ask him if he'd like to get frisky, he says no, I jokingly say "I could get another boyfriend, then you wouldn't have to worry about it, *smirk*) just to kind of see where he stood even in a humorous way... He basically said "No way." So... /shrug

I don't know. I've been with him for 5 years. He's a great guy. I've had two other long-term relationships, and other than the lack of sex and his bouts of hermit-like behavior everything else is great. I do, in fact, love him very much.

If he had ED or another disorder that made him incapable, physically, of having sex, I wouldn't leave him. The fact that the anhedonia takes away his interest in sex is simply a different disorder. And the question that I ask myself, every so often, is, "Is this relationship awesome enough, does it make me happy enough, am I fulfilled, loved, and hopeful about the future, enough to stay?"

The answer, despite the detractors in our relationship, continues to be consistently yes.

No relationship is perfect, le sigh. I'll continue talking about poly in the abstract with him, talking about articles, political stances, public reactions, etc, and since in the abstract he's all for poly rights, etc, perhaps at some point he'll consider it.

He did at one point say that if two people in a relationship go six months with no sex, then he believes the partners have a right to go get it somewhere else. My problem is that I break down and beg him for sex after about a month... I'm pretty sure if I stopped asking he'd forget about it and we probably would (gulp) go six months with no sex.

/shrug

At that point I could break out a calendar, explain, gently, that it's been a long time, and some of my needs are not being met. He might be more open to the idea if he realized that he really could go that long without sex, without caring, and that I do care.

He's graduating with his first bachelor's degree in 5 weeks- he's a non-trad student and in his mid-thirties. I'm so proud of him! After that we'll be moving to wherever he finds a job, and given his field, it will likely be some distance from where we live now.

I've been supporting us financially throughout his college career, although he's also had some student loans. Before I rock the boat I want him to be settled in a good job and a home, with an income, etc. I love him enough to want him to not be in financial crisis if things between us, for any reason, didn't work out.

And well, having a job with insurance might make it possible for him to get some blood tests, make sure his various chemical levels aren't out of whack. Although generally speaking, with anhedonia sufferers, their blood chemistry is generally normal (and some of the guys with it have had every test under the sun, and then some!) it'd be nice to get it checked out and see if there were any medications that might help him.

Believe me, when we've talked about it, his inability to enjoy sex/orgasm distresses him as much or more than it does me. Imagine if, after 15-odd years of perfectly normal and enjoyable sex, suddenly, your chemistry went haywire and at orgasm you felt nothing. No speeding pulse, no rush of endorphins, barely any discernable pleasure. It's a really sad thing to lose.

Anyhow, the bottom line is, I love him, care for him, and enjoy him. I've never met anyone like him, and I've met few people in general who are as intelligent, funny, talented, sweet, giving, loving, honorable, and moral. If things don't ever get any better in terms of our sex life, then that may be something I have to give up. If it becomes too much to bear then I will have to consider that when the time comes. But for the foreseeable future, he's my darlin', my sweetie, and I'm ok with things.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:24 PM
groovy9 groovy9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyb View Post
Imagine if, after 15-odd years of perfectly normal and enjoyable sex, suddenly, your chemistry went haywire and at orgasm you felt nothing. No speeding pulse, no rush of endorphins, barely any discernable pleasure. It's a really sad thing to lose.
I don't mean to pry, but I'd never heard of this until today. So he has normal arousal, erection, and the typical sensations leading up to orgasm? i.e. sex feels good, but with a disappointing ending?

Every once in a while, I've had it happen that I just couldn't "get there," in which cases I just stopped, shrugged, and moved on to the afterglow phase. I can't say what it's like to have that happen every single time, but for the times it did, the sex part was still worthwhile even without the climax. I mean, I'm still getting naked and sweaty with my girl.

I'm no psychologist, but it seems like there ought to be a middle ground to be had somewhere.

Good for you, for keeping your eye on the total picture rather than getting hung up on the negatives. I'm not perfect either...

Last edited by groovy9; 06-03-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:52 PM
kittyb kittyb is offline
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Hey groovy,

Yeah, ejaculatory anhedonia (EA) is a relatively unknown condition. We didn't even know that it was a condition until I found a message board with hundreds of men posting that they had the same problem, and that the medical community has been attempting to address (or mostly ignore it) for over 30 years.

To answer about my boyfriend specifically (although most sufferers have an individual range of loss of feeling from mild to complete):

He has no physical problems with intercourse. He has normal erections and normal flow of semen when he ejaculates.

Sexual contact feels a tiny bit enjoyable for maybe the first two minutes (i.e. from unaroused to erect) but then after that he feels almost nothing. If you picture the average sexual response to be like these plus signs:

00000+
0000++
000+++
00++++
0+++++
++++++


Then his, as he's described it to me, is like this:

000+000000000+0000
0+000+++++++0++++

A buildup of a tiny bit of sensation, with orgasm barely a blip at the end. And I can verify that neither his heartrate or breathing change when he orgasms. It's as if the dopamine or adrenaline producers/receptors in his body and brain have malfunctioned, the wires have been crossed, who knows. But he doesn't have a typical or very enjoyable time of it.

Here's a link to a very active forum thread discussing it:

http://www.hisandherhealth.com/sexua...without-orgasm

They've started a 2nd thread to continue it, since there are over 2000 replies to the first one. Here's part 2:

http://www.hisandherhealth.com/sexua...tory-anhedonia

This is not an isolated problem; it's just that no one's talking about it and the medical community isn't/can't do anything about it yet.
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