Learning Curve

Let’s get a little Dr. Phil or some shit like that here for a hot minute, dear readers.  I wanna talk about my feeeeeeeelings.  Because I do have them, in case you were wondering.

The feelings I wanna talk about are related to my boyfriend.  Maybe “feelings” isn’t the best word.  “Thoughts” might be better, but not by much.  The meaning I’m aiming for is somewhere in the middle.  Theelings?  Foughts?  Whatever.

I have been in relationships before.  Several different types of them, in fact.  M (Mr. English is far too tedious for me to type out in this post that’s going to be humongous  anyway) has been in a relationship prior to our current one as well.  But this one that we’re in right now is quite different for both of us.  For me, it’s the first time I’ve been in a relationship where sex isn’t the cornerstone of the relationship.  For M, it’s the first time he’s been physically intimate to this extent.

It’s a learning experience for both of us.  However, I feel like I have more of a learning curve because I have expectations of how things “should be.”  Since M’s only got one less-than-traditional relationship under his belt, he’s basically learning everything from scratch.  I, on the other hand, have things that I’m going to need to unlearn and/or relearn in a different way in order to make all the pieces fit together, so to speak.

The biggest thing that I need to learn is how to deal with M’s sexuality.  His sexuality isn’t as cut-and-dry as mine is.  I’m about 99% heterosexual.The one time he labeled his sexuality, he sort of lumped himself in under the asexual umbrella, although that might not be the best way to describe his sexuality.

I’ve always dealt with partners who know and are comfortable with their own sexuality.  So the issue with M and his non-traditional sexuality is that he’s still getting used to identifying as a sexual being (as cliche as that phrase is).  He doesn’t respond in the same way as my previous, more-experienced-than-me partners.  And since I’m used to marking my own value in a relationship by how often my partner wants to/has sex with me, M’s interest in other things and his preference to focus on me when we do get intimate throws my self-value system for a loop.

I don’t think M feels completely comfortable with his body as a sexual thing yet, and I’m sure nerves contributes to the whole thing, too.  More often than not, he’s much more interested in learning my body and how it works and what it likes than figuring out what his body responds to.

I know how terrible/awesome it sounds to A) feel like your value in a relationship is derived from your ability to get your partner off and B) have a partner so focused on learning what gets you off.  But the dichotomy there throws off my balance in the relationship.  The more the focus is on me, the more I feel like I’m not doing my part, so to speak.  It’s definitely something I need to readjust my thinking about.

Aside from all these things I need to overcome in terms of learning how to navigate my relationship with a self-described asexual virgin, there’s one thing that isn’t an issue for me anymore.  I’ve had self-esteem issues pretty much all my life. Being with M is helping me confront those demons and fully embrace myself.

Part of the reason I see my ability to fuck as one of my most important features in a relationship is because that physical act of sex reaffirms that I am attractive – that I am, in fact, worth something.  M has taught me that my worth in a relationship does not come expressly and directly from sex, but from the chemistry between us, my actual personality – the good parts and the bad parts of it – and how our personalities mesh.  How we fill in the little holes and blank spaces within one another.

It’s not a difficult pill to swallow – that I’m more than my physical appearance.  But it is a pill I’ll have to take for months before I see the benefits.  For right now, every time M stares at me with this dreamy grin on his face and tells me how beautiful I am, it gets easier and easier to believe.

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3 thoughts on “Learning Curve

  1. “The one time he labeled his sexuality, he sort of lumped himself in under the asexual umbrella, although that might not be the best way to describe his sexuality.”

    I’m confused here, because you should take his word for how he identifies, unless he’s specifically said he’s unsure about it. Are you suggesting his self-chosen label isn’t credible, or… something else?

    “M has taught me that my worth in a relationship does not come expressly and directly from sex, but from the chemistry between us, my actual personality – the good parts and the bad parts of it – and how our personalities mesh.”

    That’s wonderful.

    1. Yes, the reason I worded it that way was because when he explained it to me he was unsure about the terminology and hadn’t really given it a lot of thought up until that point because to him, it hadn’t mattered to him until we had that conversation.

      If he had firmly identified as asexual, then that’s fine. But he said he was “more or less asexual probably?” It was the first thing he found that he related to, but as I understood it, he wasn’t 100% comfortable owning that label.

      1. Ah, okay. That’s pretty common. I dunno if y’all have any ace groups in your area, but there are plenty of resources and ace people online that can help if he’s interested in exploring it more. Let me know if you want any link recs.

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