Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:05 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 485
Default Non-sexual partners

I have been pondering this for a while. People here sometimes talk about having non-sexual partners, boyfriends and girlfriends.

I have to confess that I don't understand what is meant.

I suppose that what I'm asking is - what's different between a close friend and a non-sexual partner?

Thanks

IP
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:31 AM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 223
Default

The spelling?

I've basically reached a point where I think partnership/relationship is pretty much an empty label, to be filled with whatever the partners in question decide for their unique situation. That may or may not include sex, may or may not include romance... may or may not include a thousand other things.

Partnership == that thing two (or more) people have who call each other "partners". That's the best objective definition I can give.

I wouldn't mind overly much if peeps called what I have with R. a friendship - because, at its core, that's what we are first and foremost, each other's best friend. There's some kind of very hard to define "extra" energy between us, a special place in each other's lives, that made us arrive at calling it a partnership (and, in fact, joke about how if we were more "conventional" folks, we'd be pretty likely to end up married to each other )... even when that "extra" isn't sexual, and doesn't fit all too neatly into stereotypically romantic categories, either.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2013, 08:33 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 429
Default

I have what I think could be described as a non-sexual boyfriend. I call him Knight and I wrote about him on my blog here

It didn't really start out non-sexual (we used to kiss and make out a little and he turned me on, a lot) He has a lot of issues regarding sex and it became pretty clear pretty fast that we would not have a 'normal' sexual relationship. We slept in the same bed a number of times, the first couple of times it was enormously frustrating because I was so turned on by him and he would never do more than cuddle me and hold me and kiss me (if I was lucky).

We are still what I would call 'dating', although we no lnger spend the night together we talk about this sometimes as a possbility for the future. We meet about once every 2 months for drinks. Very, very occasionally we kiss. We often touch, he holds my hand, I ruffle his hair. I think if someone who doesn't know us saw us in a bar, they would think we are very much in love, the way we talk so intensely and stare in each others eyes, and that we are probably going home and have amazing sex

So I guess that answers the 'what's different between this and a regular friendship' part ?It feels very diffferent to me - I love him with a different kind of love, he's not my friend, he doesn't mix in my social life, we don't meet or connect in between dates. When we meet it's very intense and emotional. It hasn't always felt like a healthy relationship to me and I did break it off a couple of times, but now that I have learned to accept the boundaries, I can anjoy the possibilities.
__________________
early forties, straight.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2013, 01:32 PM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,260
Default

I think it's a good point, that partnership means different things to different people. To me, a "partner" is someone with whom I am consciously cultivating a relationship with the intention of continuing to know each other more and more deeply, supporting each other's goals and development, and finding meaningful ways to include one another in our lives. Very similar to friendship, and yet more charged, more deliberate. It comes down to a combination of intimacy and commitment that's mutual and acknowledged.

Intimacy means a lot of things, and it often means sex. Yet, I've had friends with benefits with whom I have definitely not been in a relationship. Sex, therefore, cannot be enough to define something as a relationship rather than a friendship. Nor, I've found, can its absence be enough to "downgrade" a relationship to a "mere" friendship.

If a marriage becomes non-sexual, are the spouses still in a relationship? Would they be so even in the absence of the legal contact that binds them? I think that, in most cases, people would agree that they are. If we accept the idea of a non-sexual life partnership, then, to use the poly parlance, is it only primary relationships that can be non-sexual and still be relationships? No, I don't think so. A secondary partner is, in most cases, a good deal more than a friend, and it's not just the sex that makes it so.

Those are some initial thoughts, on a subject I'm still working out for myself.
__________________
Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2013, 01:43 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 8,324
Default

It is confusing to me, too. All I know is it's not for me! I want sex as much as I can get it. I would be much too frustrated by having everything but sex in a relationship. Then again, I don't want a partner, either.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-14-2013 at 01:46 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2013, 01:48 PM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,260
Default

Another way to think about it. Imagine a relationship, whatever that means to you... let's say two people who go on dates, do special things just for the two of them, rely on each other, etc. Very close and loving. Let's say they have sex twice a week. That's definitely a relationship, right?

What if they have sex once a week? Still a relationship? Of course.

What about twice a month? Once a month? Every couple of months? Once a year? Never?

At what point does the sex reach a threshold that's low enough that it's no longer recognizable as more than a friendship? Is there such a point?

And what about people who are asexual but not aromantic -- are they incapable of relationships?
__________________
Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2013, 02:50 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,511
Default

There are a lot of things I don't get. Non-sexual romantic relationships is one of them. But I don't have to get them to know they exist and work for some people for a whole slew of reasons.

My marriage ended in part because it had become a non-sexual relationship.

I do know it is not for me. One never knows but I cannot see myself being happy in one for long.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2013, 06:12 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,506
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post

If a marriage becomes non-sexual, are the spouses still in a relationship? Would they be so even in the absence of the legal contact that binds them? I think that, in most cases, people would agree that they are.
I appreciated this point.

I don't have a clear cut response-I don't think there one.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-15-2013, 10:38 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 8,324
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
If a marriage becomes non-sexual, are the spouses still in a relationship?
My ex and I did not have sex for the last three years of our marriage and it totally sucked. I won't go into anymore details about it, but suffice it to say that I was very unhappy about it. It was a major issue between us and one of the reasons why the marriage ended. There is no way I could live with that kind of frustration again, not even if I am in poly situations. I want to express myself physically with people I am romantically involved with. I know I definitely could not get involved with an asexual person, nor someone whose life situation or other relationships would prevent me from getting laid.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-15-2013, 09:02 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 485
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I want to express myself physically with people I am romantically involved with.
This resonates so much with me. I think that for me, a relationship isn't romantic unless there is a sexual element to it. Being able to get sex outside of the relationship just doesn't do it for me - I want to be experiencing that with romantic partners.

I'm totally fine with people not wanting to be sexual with me. I have several important, emotionally intimate, worthwhile relationships that are not and will never be sexual. I just wouldn't call those people partners. They are friends or family.

I wonder often if there is just such a focus on romance that sometimes it just doesn't feel okay not to have it in our lives?

My SO sent this around a group of our friends yesterday and I think there is a lot in it that is interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...st-way-to-live

IP
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
non-sexual, sexless

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:14 AM.