The "awakening"

It is now my second day in this group - I promise I'll not continue to count the days:) But honestly, I'm like a kid at Christmas. To suddenly realize that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of people out there just like me, going through what I'm going through - men and women - people that crave physical contact, intimacy, romance, fulfillment and passion, well it is a bit overwhelming.

My awakening started maybe three years ago. I had an affair. It lasted for about two years, my wife ultimately found out. (This is a story in itself - at the time the affair started it had already been 11 years since my wife and I had any physical contact. Of course I did not react as expected - I guess I was a bit too "well what did you think would ultimately happen? I think the affair was a shock because it was so uncharacteristic of me - I am loyal - I thought to a fault, but clearly an affair is a betrayal of trust and for that I am sorry. In my case I did not initiate the affair - but I certainly did not rebuff the overture - so definitely guilty.)

About the affair - (She was 9 years and 11 months my junior - that extra month was very important :).  She lived half the country away and was married.   I said throughout the relationship to the other party - I've never been able to open up to anyone like this before. I felt then and still do it was the openness of communication that ultimately led to us getting together physically. And physical it was. We would joke that it was dangerous for us to be in the same room or even the same proximity. The first thing we'd do when entering a private room was turn the AC down to about 60. Even then we would generate so much heat, it was utterly amazing. We would laugh about it. But I digress. I maintain it was the openness of communication that led to passion - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

But this was not the "awakening". The awakening occurred during one of our discussions. She was aware of my situation - SM and struggled to understand it, given that it was quite obvious I enjoyed intimacy. I responded by saying - I think it is really quite normal. At the time, she looked at me like I had three heads. She said you are absolutely wrong. Many people that are married enjoy very healthy and satisfying sexual relationships. Then she went on to say - women desire and need sexual contact, intimacy, making love, and yes, sometimes just a wild f***, as much as men. This was my initial awakening - this did not fit my programming. Sure I understand men - being one. I think not unlike most men it doesn't really take a lot to "throw the switch". But women, hmmm this had me thinking.

She then went on to say - what do you think women talk about when they get together? She said when she is out on a "girl's night" sex is often a topic of discussion and most of her friends were married - as was she. (As it turned out, she was in a near sexless marriage.)

Fast forward to two days ago.  As I mentioned in another story I got back to a rigorous exercise routine with the New Year.  With this, I seem to be constantly "aroused" - to the point it has been increasingly difficult to focus, until I address the situation.  That lead me to googling around to see if this was normal and how people were dealing with it.  That is when I found this group.  Certainly well beyond anything I was expecting.  An open forum where women are talking about sexual needs - to be touched, hugged, made love to - this has taken my awakening to an entirely new level.

I mean honestly - WTF is wrong with this world?  How can a man possibly not address his wife's sexual needs?  Beyond the absolute, sheer fun of it, there is an emotional side that I don't think can be tapped any other way.  The feeling of comfort, security, being loved/not judged - sharing the most intimate human condition - and "it's free"!  It doesn't get any better any easier than that.  Come on man - if your wife enjoys intimacy - count yourself lucky, go make wild passionate love to her - make her happy and you as well.

If you've stuck with my story all this way - it ends with a question.  Is there a fundamental difference in the human species?  Now that I know there really are people like me out there - who seem to "get it", desire it - no make that love it and lust for it - is it possible that there is a counter to our condition.  People that fundamentally do not enjoy it, do not look for it, do it out of obligation, or simply avoid it.  (I don't like using the word "it", because "it" cheapens, minimizes the total life impact - but, this is getting too long - so "it" works.)

Now the real tough question - if there are two sets of people is there any chance of converting those that do not share our perspective?

I'm open to all thoughts/perspectives - we've got to figure this out!

Have a great day - it is pretty dreary here.

boater12 boater12
51-55, M
3 Responses Jan 13, 2013

The vagaries of human nature are a fascinating subject. Well worth examining at an appropriate time.

At THIS time however, you might be better to be concentrating at a micro level, on YOU, and what YOU are going to do about YOUR stuation.

Tread your own path.

There may be two sets or there may be any number of graded variations. All that matters is that adults rarely change their essential nature. In most marriages, the "libido grades" of the partners do not match. If they are close enough, and there is adequate (bidirectional) compassion, the marriage survives through the ardor of sex, otherwise not.

<p>I think it's unlikely that there's neat sets or even one continuum. It does appear though, that there are people who actively seek and enjoy sex, and others who do not.</p><p>If you visit a site like the Aven one for asexuals, you'll notice a couple of things. One, there are actually a variety of people who self-identify with asexual (to be PC), and are different between themselves (for example, whether they do or do not enjoy autoerotic behavior). What most of them appear to be getting to is that they do not think they can change - often they have tried. And sometimes they do not even think they want to change. And they certainly don't want to feel broken.</p><p>Then there are others (as some here have the misfortune to have as partners) - who suffer from various forms of personality disorders. These are regrettably hard to change, even when the person wants to do so.</p><p>Equally, from personal experience, "it" is a fundamental part of my life and who I am, and I'd no more want to change it than cut off a limb. And even if I wanted to, I don't think I could change, it would be violence to who I am. I've also developed stout defenses against those (including in the past, W), who denigrated sex.</p><p>So that gets round-about to the simple statement that sex-people need to be with sex-people. </p><p>I'm unsympathetic to non-sex people being insufficiently self-aware or compassionate to raise that explicitly before marriage, because there is a fundamental asymmetry in the set-up of marriage. That is to say, the emotional and sexual fidelity expectation. You cannot morally constrain someone to that fidelity if you are unable to help them be satisfied. It is morally and intellectually indefensible to assert autonomy over your own sex life and simultaneously constrain someone else's. You are subjecting them to harm, and that's morally contemptible in my book.</p><p>So, in particular in your case where you had an affair, you are being apologetic for something where you had every right to assert your own autonomy, you should not even have to ask permission, and there needs to be an expectation that that will happen. I naturally agree with informing them, but unfortunately, and depending on your jurisdiction, the laws can distort what might otherwise be a sensible solution, so that you are looking at making the best of a bad job.</p><p>As for those who develop secondary aversions to sex, or go off it for whatever reason later, you might hope that change would be possible because it's happened in one way, why not the reverse? But it's regrettably common that they are unwilling or unable to recover, and that hope is a trap. And the same moral principal applies (but complicated by sunk-cost and children) - they cannot assert autonomy over your sex life if they're not prepared to step up to helping you.</p><p>Finally, a wonderful observation from VB a bit ago: do not assume that you're doing the refuser any favors by staying.</p>

Perhaps you are doing the refuser a favor by staying. But not all favors are healthy, even to the recipient.