Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

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Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:40 pm

I haven't started any threads here for a while, I had so many of them at once back there and thought I needed to step back from all those questions, and it helped and I have a new mess of questions now. (You know, as in a pride of lions, a murder of crows, a mess of questions.) I have my usual problems with disentangling them enough to write them out. But some of them have to do with sex and what it means and where it belongs.

Sex in a very broad sense, I’m not even sure what it includes or not, but it does include not only sexual touch, but sexual thoughts, sexual imagery, sexually charged flirting, looks that linger on parts of the body, sexual desire in general, desire for someone particular, sexual longing with or without a particular person in mind... sex as a motivator, sex as a goal... and possibly also sexually charged aesthetics, erotic art, writing, etc.

And I know that all aspects of sex take up a certain space in my life, my mind, my interactions, and that there are other parts of my life, mind, interactions where they're not, and that there are probably areas where they're present to some degree or where they're presence is uncertain, and that there are parts where having them there is kind of nice, and other parts where it would be either unpleasant for me or uncomfortable for others or both.

But I’m not clear on what of all of this means, how to tell them apart, when and how much to bring them into interactions with others, how to integrate them with all the other parts of my life, like other bodily functions, like with food... I generally know what food does and doesn't mean in my life, or other aesthetics, say literature, I generally know part reading and writing has in my life. I don't know that with sex.

I like sex, desire sex, am somewhat preoccupied with sex, but in a way it's something foreign to me, and I think that's one of the reasons why I so rarely has it with others.

I am very confused about this. Does anyone even have a clue what I’m asking? Would anyone care to pass on such a clue? I’m usually good at working things out, once I have a clue or two, but for the moment, this is one of the places where I'm stuck.
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:22 am

Hirundo Bos wrote:Does anyone even have a clue what I’m asking?

I don't (then how does that make your reply to his question useful, asshole? Side-eye). I have some thoughts though (and I'd like to preface all of this by saying that you probably, already know this):

You say that you don't understand what sex means and how it fits into your life. You know that sex is just a horny extension of your desire for intimacy with other flesh-bots. Sex like lots of other things only has a meaning that you attach to it. Does it not satisfy you to think of sex and sexual desire as something that just is?

Sorry if this didn't help.

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:29 pm

Hermit, thanks, that is a clue. A rather good one. The horny fleshbotness. Part of my problem is that I do know I am a horny fleshbot, but that knowledge is... not so well integrated with all the other things I know about myself. Reconciling being a fleshbot with having a mind is difficult. For some reason. Does anyone know that reason?

(Even the phenomenon of hornyness itself sometimes clash with mindhaving in my... uhm, mind.)

I'm realizing... I have a similar problem when I look at other people, it's difficult to see the horny fleshbot in them, even in situations where it would be appropriate to do so. No wonder I have a hard time flirting.

Does anyone know why it is that way? I suspect it might not be all that unusual... anyone know how to change it?

(This is, by the way, my post no. 200.)
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Guest on Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:58 am

I think I may be similar?

I feel a lot like my sexuality only exists in the abstract and when I'm alone with my thoughts, and is virtually non-existent around other people.

Perhaps, a reason could be...the frequency with which you get to experience sex with people is nowhere near as predictable or readily available as food, water, literature etc. and so it registers differently? Maybe?

Personally, I was raised in a cultural context that didn't put a lot of emphasis on expecting me to be sexual on par with Western expectations, so the disconnect might be stemming from that?

I dunno, I'm just rambling.

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:17 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:
But I’m not clear on what of all of this means, how to tell them apart, when and how much to bring them into interactions with others, how to integrate them with all the other parts of my life, like other bodily functions, like with food... I generally know what food does and doesn't mean in my life, or other aesthetics, say literature, I generally know part reading and writing has in my life. I don't know that with sex.

I like sex, desire sex, am somewhat preoccupied with sex, but in a way it's something foreign to me, and I think that's one of the reasons why I so rarely has it with others.
Well, you can write/journal about sex and even share it with an audience, depending on the site. Here and on the main Nerdlove MD people do talk about sex pretty frankly at times. Fetlife or WordPress or even Facebook/LiveJournal might be suitable, but it really depends on your filters/intended audience. Flirting is generally pretty socially acceptable, but if you're too overt with it, you can really scare or turn off potential partners.

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:21 am

This will be long, and only partly in response to other posters... it's prompted by your replies though, and I'm grateful for the contributions. There will be a tl;dr at the end.

It used to be for me too, that my sexuality pretty much only came out when I was alone, with myself, in some room. Or when I was with someone I had an established sexual relationship with, because I had some of those, between late teens and mid twenties, but even then it could be awkward, in not always healthy ways, and when it came to establishing those relationships... it took either a huge effort on my part (I once nearly lost consciousness afterwards), or a lot of patience from the other person, because when other took the initiative, I would be very hesitant to respond.

So if I have some confusion about my feelings now, back then they were all a great blur. I knew anxiety, avoidance, frustration – frequently attraction, but that felt so similar to anxiety I could hardly tell the difference. Much of my develeopment over the past years had been learning the "meaning" of feelings. Learning to tell them apart, to see them as messages to myself rather than noise. I think that's what I, uhm, mean when I talk about meaning...

One of the first things I figured out, was that a great part of my fleshbot-fears were about being seen to desire sex. It was so strong I wouldn't even let myself imagine it. In my fantasies the me-person/protagonist would never take initiative, sex would just come along and happen. And when it happened, that was okay... when the context was already sexual, I didn't feel bad about having lust.

I've improved a lot since then... I can, for example, talk about myself as horny fleshbot now, as long as I keep it theoretical. It's harder when it becomes more than theoretical, like talking about becoming fleshbots together... I've managed it a few times in OLD interactions, even raised, or at least probed the subject myself. In meatspace interactions it seems to be beyond me. It may have something to do with how my default state is that the subject won't quite fit the context. And that's as it should be, but I can't seem to switch from that state even when the context does allow it.

And/or... it may have to do with gradualness. I've touched upon that in the forums before. You don't go from neutral mode to all-out fleshbot in one leap, that would indeed scare or turn off a lot of people. You need, at the minimum, some time to get a feeling for compatibility, get a feeling for safety, see if the attraction stands the test of interaction... these are things I see clearer after some forum conversations here...

I think maybe perhaps that while I've now got somewhat in touch with my horny fleshbot side, I still feel somewhat disconnected from many of the feelings that lead there. Feelings like... platonic liking. Initial, sexually charged attraction. Attraction to someone's body. Aesthetic fascination with someone's looks (including hair, clothing, accessories). Sparking with someone's mind. The thing we call a crush, which (for me at least) may be sexually charged or not.

All those feelings... are known to me, I experience them... but on the other hand, I don't feel a lot of continuity between them. When I experience liking, appreaciation, fascination, they're not... feelings that hold the potential for fleshbot. I think. It's getting muddled again at this point. But I think what I should explore next is the dynamics of escalating attraction?

so
Tl;dr: I'm beginning to discern various shades of liking, fascination and attraction, that may or may not be sexually charged, but don't quite know how they relate to one another or how they might evolve into one another. The early steps, I think, are especially muddled.

Does maybe... anyone have any stories that could illustrate this? Or some resources online to point to?
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:41 am

I dunno, a lot of people don't want to be thought of as a fleshbot, and don't want their partner to be one either. I think I understand what you mean, that the horny/sex aspect is kinda its own mood/energy, rather than flirting and stuff leading into it, and being really emotionally engaged. You can flirt and be emotionally connected, but then maybe don't see the other person as available/a valid target? sexually? Not sure if I'm understanding you there. I'm probably not the best person to advise you, since I'm the crock-pot sort of attraction person usually. I occasionally have had sparks/chemistry fly right away, and been really attracted sexually to someone, but they didn't want a relationship, and I didn't want to have casual sex. So, I basically had to stuff the feelings and emotions back in and try to dial them back to neutral/friends.

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:33 pm

Perlandra wrote: You can flirt and be emotionally connected, but then maybe don't see the other person as available/a valid target? sexually?
Yes! That's one of the problems I'm having. Or... flirting? I've been talking about it but I'm not quite sure what it is, whether I'm doing it or not. But interacting with someone, connecting with them in meatspace, makes it very hard to see them as available/a valid target sexually.

And maybe that is as it should be in many cases... at least, sexual targets doesn't sound as a good thing to see someone as. But if I replace it with "seeing them as a valid potential partner", that's not easy for me to do either. Maybe part of the problem is I'm not sure of the difference between the two.

Just as I'm not sure what I mean by "horny fleshbot"... because I see how

Perlandra wrote:a lot of people don't want to be thought of as a fleshbot, and don't want their partner to be one either.

and think I may have extended that phrase a bit too wide. I think what I tried to say with it has to do with the disconnect in my mind between cool intellect and wild passion – as if the two can't coexist in the same person, and though my intellect isn't all that cool really, in my self-image it is, and that makes it really strange to observe that I also have a lot of passion... now it gets confusing again. But I think that by fleshbot, I mostly mean "the part of me that is not my cool intellect".
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:04 am

Oh, I was thinking "not a valid target" in more of a computer sense, that they didn't fit the parameters. I didn't intend to imply that you were being sexually predatory toward them or anything like that!

I think I get what you mean about the dichotomy between the intellectual aspect and the passion/emotions/instinctive parts of ourselves. Personally, I find BDSM stuff helpful for that, because it can make my brain actually shut up so I can just feel! I wouldn't necessarily recommend that for you, since obviously it has different effects on different people, and if you aren't into it, it probably wouldn't help you. Just kinda empathising and thinking "aloud."

Perhaps more reading/movies about people who are both passionate and intellectual, as well as passionate about intellectual things, might help? Trying adrenaline-rush things, not dangerous per se, but just enough to get you out of braniac mode and feeling/being in the moment?

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:43 am

Adrenaline stuff! That could be a very good idea, if I could find some activity suited for it. Part of the reason why I can be confused by feelings is that I'm easily overwhelmed by them. I have Asperger's syndrome, which comes with some sensory irregularities, and I'm particularly sensitive to bodily sensations myself. I tend to sense strong feelings as they work on my body as noise – burning, unpleasant, not carrying a lot of nuance. I've done some work about desensitizing myself to that already, but adrenaline stuff could bring that work further...

Since my last post, by the way, I've discovered that it’s not only sexy feelings that are hard for me to get a grip on... I don’t sense that many other feelings about people in my life either. I can notice like or dislike, trust or distrust... sometimes anger, if we have an ongoing argument. But when I try to summon up, what do I think of this person, what do I feel for that person, I just... don't experience a lot of feeling at all. And that can very well be numbness due do oversensitivity.

And aspects of BDSM could maybe also bring some closer experience of feelings? That's something I'll have to think more about. Getting a sense for which things I like to do myself, which things I'll enjoy doing for others, and which things I really don't... that's also part of the work I have ahead of me.

And I didn't take the word "target" as any kind of accusation. It fitted very well in the context in which you used it, it was more about what language I was comfortable with using myself. A sort of note to self to employ more theory of mind.
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:00 am

Nothing useful to add, but I wanted to point out that your sex generally fits into things due to the fact that arousal causes lubrication.

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:59 pm

Hirundo, I think even if you don't get into any BDSM beyond sensation play stuff, focusing on the consent aspects, learning to read the other person's body language, and communication could be very helpful to you.  I think some of the polyamory based emotional communication tips might be helpful to you as well, even if you aren't interested in a poly or open relationship.  I dated someone who was diagnosed with Asperger's, and picking up things that he could codify into rules, and also learn what doesn't *fit* the rules, really was useful to him.

For example, a lot of BDSM folks use the "traffic light" system.  "Red" means basically stop what you're doing, put the breaks on, and talk about it.  It doesn't mean everything is over, but they're feeling overwhelmed, or something hurt in a way that was extremely negative, or they're having emotional reactions that they can't cope with, or a medical issue.  I like using "orange" as an inbetween thing - I am really struggling to process this, I really want you to lighten up, but it's still within the range of what I can cope with.  "Yellow" is also a slow down/back off signal, but much less urgent.  

You could well be right that the overload (sensory and/or emotional) is numbing your reactions to other people.  Maybe focus on doing some things to connect to people, that evoke emotions, but that aren't sexual?  Volunteering to help with senior citizens, watching sad/scary movies, etc?  If you don't have a pet now, but have a living situation that allows for it, interacting with them can help you open up emotionally.

Here's a couple resources you might find a bit helpful as food for thought:
http://www.sexuality.org/authors/lauren/AboutBDSM2.html
http://xoxoafterdark.com/2015/03/12/elia-winters-talks-consent-culture-bdsm/
https://rewritingtherules.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/bdsm-101-consent-consent-consent/
https://rewritingtherules.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/consent-and-abuse-of-power-in-kink-and-other-sexual-communities/

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:42 am

This is what I like about these forums (well, one of the things) – how I can post something in confusion, talk about it for a while, understand my own questions better, end up with good and specific ideas!

Volunteering is a bit too far out of comfort zone (and is less widespread here in Norway where I live, I suspect), pets aren't allowed in my building – on the other hand, both suggestions touch some longingscared button in me, so connecting is clearly one thing to work more on.

Sad movies is a good idea. And movies with close personal relationships, maybe... I cried my eyes sore at Interstellar, and at some episodes of sense8. And touching story-movies... my sister is a fan of those, maybe arrange a Netflix night with her...

Will be following the links, and other BDSM resources, and keep chewing on the questions that I'm now understanding better. And thanks, a lot, for all the input.
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:44 am

Yay, glad that my suggestions are clicking with you! Ok, so spending time with your sister sounds fantastic, especially doing something she really likes. Even if you don't wind up connecting emotionally to the movies, it still sounds like a positive step!

Brainstorming on the volunteering/pet front - maybe instead of anything formal, keep an eye out for indoor/outdoor kitties who are friendly enough to come up for regular scritches and purrs? Any friends or neighbors (in other buildings) who have dogs that could use more walks? Even if it isn't *your* dog they can be very good to connect with emotionally, and tend to help you connect to/interact with other people.

I just want to clarify that I'm not recommending you get into BDSM per se (it might be too overwhelming with your sensory issues). I think that some of the info/resources that they have for clarifying consent, watching for body language, expressing when you feel overwhelmed, and such might be really helpful to you!

May your understanding of your own questions continue and deepen, and please keep us updated on your progress as you discover answers...and more questions!

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:53 am

Today I went and saw my sister and a dog Smile One that she's volunteered to look after, on a volunteering Facebook group for where I live. So yeah, one shot volunteering is something I haven't thought about, and maybe more feasible...

My sister and I are pretty close, mostly thanks to her efforts over the years when I didn't socialize much. Except for online, and living with mother. (Sister is really half-sister on my father's side.) We live pretty close to each other too, at most a five minute walk from my mother's... and an even shorter walk from my new apartment.

General socializing is also picking up, advice from these forums has helped a lot with that. So a bit of human connection practice is already going on.

I'm currently at the state of chewing and digesting the ideas That I've gotten here, I really hope I'll get around to trying some of them out. Implementation of plans is another weak spot of mine, but one that's also been picking up.
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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Perlandra on Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:08 pm

I'm so thrilled with your progress, Hirundo! Keep pursuing those social connections, explore the volunteering one-off options, and thinking things through. It's a huge struggle for people on the autism/Asperger's spectrum to sort this stuff out (even more so than for the rest of us), but you're obviously putting thought and effort into it instead of just "Oh, I just don't get it."

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Re: Sex and how it fits into things? [adv]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:06 am

Huh. I saw a picture of a loose aquaintance, summer-clad and enjoying the sun, and thought ”wow, she's really hot in that picture”. You know, in the feeling a spark-sense. Not a roaring flame or anything, only a spark. And I thought huh, that's what I've been talking about here, not knowing what that feeling feels like. Now I have an example.

Knowing what you look for makes it easier to find...

And once it’s on my mind of course... a little later, I saw someone on the street, and thought ”those jeans looked good on her,” in a gender-I'm-attracted-to way, but without any of that spark. It was just an aesthetic thing. And that feeling I get a lot, but as I haven't understood the sensation ”abscence of a spark” I’ve been confused by it. Felt there's something nice here, but been confused about exactly what. Wondered if I was doing it right. And minutes after that, I saw a picture on an advert, of someone casually dressed, relaxed pose, and thought ”yeah, that was hot”. Glowing with something.

Even later, I chatted with someone and felt that pleasing connection. Connection-without-a-spark, another sensation that’s had me confused before.

So, I've been able to discern the spark from some neighbors in feeling-space. Appreciation. Connection. And from the roaring flame.. I think that one thing that's been making me uneasy with the spark is its distinction from the roaring flame. The ”oh YEAH I want that person NOW.”

The roaring flame belongs only in certain contexts. There are many contexts where expressing it would be inapropriate or worse, where even feeling it would feel weird. Out of place.

I think the sense of out-of-placeness with flame somehow seeps into my experience of spark.

that is – first I get the spark then it feels out of place because flame would have been out of place, so I shy away from the spark and never get to the point where flame would be in place

Of course, spark wouldn't always be approriate either. It wouldn't be good to tell my loose aquaintance how hot she is in that picture. I still don't know approximately when it would be good to tell someone that. Or what if any kind of compliment would be good with a loose aquaintance... when it comes to feeling it though, I think feeling a spark out the blue is how these things go, while roaring feelings without a bit of build up would point to miscalibration?

In older days, the only feeling I associated with attraction was the roaring flame of anxiety. There was little nuance. I thought someone looked good? Headaches, uneasy stomach, confused thoughts (mostly around approaching) that wouldn't stop. Got a sense someone liked me? Headaches, uneasy stomach, confused thoughts. Felt that spark out of the blue? Headaches. Uneasy stomach. Confused thoughts. Liked but without spark someone of preferred gender and age? Headaches and so on. Had a moment of connection with someone? A day, maybe two of warm feeling. Then changed to you know what.

Any other kind of excitement felt that way too. It would. The body reacts more or less the same way whether you are angry, afraid, or even happy... as it does with physical excercise, which is why I didn't do a lot of that. Lust have some other components as well, but the roaring flame bit is much the same.

So yeah, learning to tell feelings apart, and getting to know the character of each, has done a lot to make my life easier today. As for working out the flame of lust and how it develops and when and where to act on it or not, the spark is what makes lust come not out of the blue, and the thing and would probably ve a good place to start.
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