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Cassiopeia

Sexuality, Aro Relationships and Safer Sex (Q&A)

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Disclaimer: this is exactly what it says on the tin. We are going to talk about all sorts of sex, STDs, consent, safer sex, birth control, hookups, relationships, being poly or preferring monogamy, kinks, sextoys, etc.Therefore all posts may contain content of a sexual nature. All sorts of sexual orientations, including aces are welcome.

 

Okay, so lets be honest, celibacy and solitude isn't the thing for everyone.

Wanting sex as an allosexual aro, people face a stigma, so its difficult to get advice...

 

I'm trying to create a friendly, accepting space where people could ask the questions and find the answers they are looking for. So please be open minded, respectful and do not make negative remarks on other users' sex lives or the lack of one.

 

You may ask questions such as: Should we come out the gynecologist/GP if our identity affects our sex lives? When is the right time to have the Aro Talk with a (potential) regular sex partner? What is the best way to negotiate condoms/dental dams/barriers in a one night stand? Is it a good idea to come out as aro on Tinder? How do you know if your potential partner respects your consent and boundaries? Should we pursue sex with alloromantic people, and if yes, how should we tell them about romance repulsion? Should we keep the sexual part of a sexual friendship a secret or not? etc.

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36 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

When is the right time to have the Aro Talk with a (potential) regular sex partner? What is the best way to negotiate condoms/dental dams/barriers in a one night stand? Is it a good idea to come out as aro on Tinder? How do you know if your potential partner respects your consent and boundaries? Should we pursue sex with alloromantic people, and if yes, how should we tell them about romance repulsion? Should we keep the sexual part of a sexual friendship a secret or not? etc.

IMHO It's always best to be as honest as possible if you are looking for any kind of ongoing relationship.
There is also the practical matter of exactly how do you come out as aro on Tinder (and other dating sites).
Alloromantic people are very much in the majority, being able to find even one aro of compatible sexual orientation may be impossible. Though there is then the risk of being dumped in favour of a romantic relationship.

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How popular do you think cyber is among aro sexuals? ^_^

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Speaking of hi-tech, has anyone here had a toy (maybe even a replica of a partner's body part) made by 3D printing? :clapping:

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On 2016. 06. 25. at 0:59 AM, aroMa(n)tisse said:

Speaking of hi-tech, has anyone here had a toy (maybe even a replica of a partner's body part) made by 3D printing? :clapping:

Absolutely not, and please do not 3Dprint stuff that comes in contact with body fluids.

The way they create the three dimensional shape produces a finely textured surface, and and all sorts of mess will remain there, so its not hygienic at all. Those micro textures also may pierce the barrier you use, so it just nope. :|

 

I have heard that certain types of silicone are better. Just make sure it will not chemically react with the lube and/or the condom, and the natural chemicals of your body.

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On ‎23‎-‎06‎-‎2016 at 10:06 PM, Mark said:

IMHO It's always best to be as honest as possible if you are looking for any kind of ongoing relationship.
There is also the practical matter of exactly how do you come out as aro on Tinder (and other dating sites).
Alloromantic people are very much in the majority, being able to find even one aro of compatible sexual orientation may be impossible. Though there is then the risk of being dumped in favour of a romantic relationship.

btw how is Tinder as an app for aros?

I only got grindr which im okay with, but feel annoyed by the gender limitation.

I do worry that about Tinder being a "straight app" meaning there may be lgbt people but they would be in the minority? or maybe you would have to choose only looking after one gender? such things..

 

 

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@Natkat I have never used Tinder so no idea. But usually the search engines aren't prepared to handle too specific settings such as romantic orientation...

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On 6/26/2016 at 7:04 AM, Cassiopeia said:

Absolutely not, and please do not 3Dprint stuff that comes in contact with body fluids.

The way they create the three dimensional shape produces a finely textured surface, and and all sorts of mess will remain there, so its not hygienic at all. Those micro textures also may pierce the barrier you use, so it just nope. :|

 

I have heard that certain types of silicone are better. Just make sure it will not chemically react with the lube and/or the condom, and the natural chemicals of your body.

I have a couple of Platinum cure silicone toys, which are meant to be one of the most body safe materials for sex toys. Not cheap, but they're very durable and easy to care for - you can put them in boiling water for a while to sterilise them, for one thing (as long as they don't have motorised parts). Just don't use silicone lube with silicone toys, only water based (and condoms with water-based lube). Hope this is helpful, anyway!

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I've got a question: I've been checking out the Reelmagik 'pack 'n play' models, and it says on the site that "This particular silicone is non-toxic and safe for use on skin, but was not intended for sexual penetration.  If our customers choose to use the item for penetration, the use of a condom is required, for the safety of yourself and of your partner."

 

So... does oral sex count as penetration? Would it be safe to put in your mouth without a condom? (Is putting condoms on during oral sex a thing?)

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10 hours ago, Confidential_Con said:

So... does oral sex count as penetration?

generally yes (I mean fellatio). But in this case??

10 hours ago, Confidential_Con said:

Would it be safe to put in your mouth without a condom?

I don't see a reason why putting anything non-toxic, non-sharp in your mouth should be unsafe. But ... since it's not explained why you should use a condom if you use it for sexual penetration (is it the texture?), we can only speculate.

10 hours ago, Confidential_Con said:

(Is putting condoms on during oral sex a thing?)

probably few people do it. But just because it's very unlikely to get HIV by unprotected oral sex even if you go the whole nine yards, it doesn't mean that it is a good idea, you know. Never understood the cavalier attitude regarding the other (less) nasty stuff.

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On 3/18/2017 at 1:01 AM, Confidential_Con said:

I've got a question: I've been checking out the Reelmagik 'pack 'n play' models, and it says on the site that "This particular silicone is non-toxic and safe for use on skin, but was not intended for sexual penetration.  If our customers choose to use the item for penetration, the use of a condom is required, for the safety of yourself and of your partner."

 

So... does oral sex count as penetration? Would it be safe to put in your mouth without a condom? (Is putting condoms on during oral sex a thing?)

Looking at the packer, it looks like it's probably airbrushed; without a condom, friction could make the paint wear off and junk. Not sure why it might be a silicone issue, but paintjobs definitely are harmed by sex.


Make sure your condom is non-lubricated or has water-based lube, btw. Silicone lube is the devil.

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So I've got a question or two I've been dying to discuss and this seems like a good place to do it.

 

How do you lose your virginity without a relationship? As a 21 year old girl who is aromantic allosexual, I've never had the opportunity to have sex simply because I really don't want to date. I don't know how else to find a sexual partner I trust enough to lose my virginity to.

 

also, although I'm not particularly attached to my virginity and would love to have sex, I know the first time can be uncomfortable or even painful. This seems like reason enough to tell a potential partner, but would they really be able to tell? Is there any way that if I didn't tell someone I was a virgin they would be able to figure it out?

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16 minutes ago, Kickaxe said:

How do you lose your virginity without a relationship? As a 21 year old girl who is aromantic allosexual, I've never had the opportunity to have sex simply because I really don't want to date. I don't know how else to find a sexual partner I trust enough to lose my virginity to.

I lost my virginity outside of a relationship. I was out with a guy friend of mine and I started flirting with him. Flirting lead to a nervous conversation about our interests, and that lead to me asking if we could meet tomorrow to have sex at his place. He agreed, and whoop, there it goes. Before I even had my first kiss.

 

Excuse the generalization, but guy friends generally respond pretty well to offers to fool around. This has just been my experience. So they might be a good place to start. Apps like Tinder are crawling with folks who wanna hook up; choose wisely though. You're gonna want to establish a good rapport with anyone you're hooking up with so you can tell them frankly what you want out of the experience. 

16 minutes ago, Kickaxe said:

also, although I'm not particularly attached to my virginity and would love to have sex, I know the first time can be uncomfortable or even painful. This seems like reason enough to tell a potential partner, but would they really be able to tell? Is there any way that if I didn't tell someone I was a virgin they would be able to figure it out?

There should be no way to tell. Any myths that you may have heard about popping cherries or hymens breaking (ffs, why are people still saying bleeding is normal?? You know what causes bleeding? Sticking it in too fucking soon). I'd say to avoid most of the discomfort, get to know your own body before you ever get with a partner. If you're gonna do penetrative sex, know where in your insides feel good. Does penetration not feel good? Then don't do it. Sex is what you want out of it. If you're having sex that you don't want, it's not sex. (Sorry if this was a bit of a tangent ^^")

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5 minutes ago, 6star said:

 

Excuse the generalization, but guy friends generally respond pretty well to offers to fool around. This has just been my experience. So they might be a good place to start. Apps like Tinder are crawling with folks who wanna hook up; choose wisely though. You're gonna want to establish a good rapport with anyone you're hooking up with so you can tell them frankly what you want out of the experience. 

 

This may seem like a stupid question, but I know nothing about any of this. I've had a lot of problems in the past with my male friends wanting to date me. It's ruined many a good friendship. Will fooling around make that more likely to happen again? I don't want anyone getting hurt, especially my friends, and I know a lot of allos get their romantic and sexual wires mixed sometimes.

 

Tinder seems a bit daunting to be honest. If there's the expectation of a hookup (as there would be on a site made for hooking up) I'm afraid I'd be more nervous with my inexperience, and less apt to trust the person I'm with.

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On 5/25/2017 at 6:43 AM, Kickaxe said:

How do you lose your virginity without a relationship? As a 21 year old girl who is aromantic allosexual, I've never had the opportunity to have sex simply because I really don't want to date. I don't know how else to find a sexual partner I trust enough to lose my virginity to.

 

Good question! If you replace "21 year old girl" with "31 year old guy" then I could have typed exactly the same thing! 

 

I always figured that if I tried making friends with people then at some point I'd find somebody I was a) sexually attracted to b) comfortable enought to have sex with and c) was on the same page as me in terms of relationship aspirations (although I wasn't questioning whether I was aro back then (never heard of it, lol) so if you'd asked me what I wanted out of a relationship, I probably woulda just shrugged or assumed it was all the conventional stuff by default). But none of that ever worked out for me. Partly because I have some very male dominated hobbies/intererests, so my 'odds' are poor. But maybe also partly (not sure about this one though...) because people in general don't seem to be very open to a friends/buddies becoming sexual partners setup. They seem more open to a romance/dating leading to sexual partnership setup? And I don't really wanna do dating, but also don't really wanna do 'casual hookups', so that leaves me a bit stuck... (has anyone here tried conventional 'dating'? How did you find it? Is it possible to 'subvert' the standard process to allign it with your own warped agenda?! xD)

 

So, yeah, it should be clear by now that i have no actual advice for you @Kickaxe!  Since I wasn't ever  able to resolve the situation myself :P. But I sympathise with the question.

 

Can anyone else help out here?! :D 

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3 hours ago, NullVector said:

They seem more open to a romance/dating leading to sexual partnership setup? And I don't really wanna do dating, but also don't really wanna do 'casual hookups', so that leaves me a bit stuck... (has anyone here tried conventional 'dating'? How did you find it? Is it possible to 'subvert' the standard process to allign it with your own warped agenda?! xD)

I had an ONS in the mean time. Because after reading about the flake-out rates at Tinder and the many other reasons, I opted for the old-school IRL approach. SO, (a) it's possible even if you're just using the lamest pretense to go home together :D and (b) I never was so conscious about my looks before and didn't imagine I would have difficulties to be relaxed at all (but still, I had them). Yet compared to all my other experiences it was soooo much better, I behaved MUCH less awkwardly (no aversion to kissing etc. which before nearly reached absurd levels – ok, surprisingly not much of this went on anyway but this wasn't because of me, lol). So I would say, maybe at some point you shouldn't be so picky anymore. And it's also positive that worst case you only embarrass yourself in front of someone you don't have to see anymore.

 

I would now agree that with a friend it would be really the absolute best arrangement for me, if only all people were aromantic... but since they aren't I'm not willing to risk my friendships for that.

3 hours ago, NullVector said:

But maybe also partly (not sure about this one though...) because people in general don't seem to be very open to a friends/buddies becoming sexual partners setup.

From the surveys I've read it happens much more often than I expected, but it still seems to be seen as “problematic” or an “accident” about which you are embarrassed afterwards.

On 5/25/2017 at 8:22 AM, Kickaxe said:

Will fooling around make that more likely to happen again?

From what I've read here, sadly, it is likely, though it goes against the trope of “all men are aromantic”.

On 5/25/2017 at 8:22 AM, Kickaxe said:

I don't want anyone getting hurt, especially my friends, and I know a lot of allos get their romantic and sexual wires mixed sometimes.

I completely understand this. I just want to add that if you're clear about what you want and the guy still goes along with it and feels angry/hurt afterwards, it is not your fault, of course.

On 5/25/2017 at 7:43 AM, Kickaxe said:

also, although I'm not particularly attached to my virginity and would love to have sex, I know the first time can be uncomfortable or even painful. This seems like reason enough to tell a potential partner, but would they really be able to tell? Is there any way that if I didn't tell someone I was a virgin they would be able to figure it out?

Well anatomically, you know, it's possible to prepare yourself in a way that it will not be painful (or to be precise, the first time will not be different than the second time) and definitely not noticeable. If you have been penetrated, well, you've lost your anatomical virginity, it doesn't matter if the penis was made of silicon or real. I know that many people have mystical ideas how first sex should be connected to losing anatomical virginity, but honestly at your age I would just try to lose anatomical virginity first.

 

And from your behavior (nervousness, passivity etc.) it can only be inferred that you're not that sexually experienced.

On 5/25/2017 at 8:22 AM, Kickaxe said:

Tinder seems a bit daunting to be honest. If there's the expectation of a hookup (as there would be on a site made for hooking up) I'm afraid I'd be more nervous with my inexperience, and less apt to trust the person I'm with.

The connection of Tinder with your facebook profile is the most daunting part for me. O.o

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On 6/3/2017 at 0:27 AM, DeltaV said:

So I would say, maybe at some point you shouldn't be so picky anymore. And it's also positive that worst case you only embarrass yourself in front of someone you don't have to see anymore.

 

I think your advice here is 100% valid. But 'picky' is putting it a bit mildly in my case - more like 'pathologically indecisive'! :D But I should give it a try anyway!

 

On 6/3/2017 at 0:27 AM, DeltaV said:

From the surveys I've read it happens much more often than I expected, but it still seems to be seen as “problematic” or an “accident” about which you are embarrassed afterwards.

 

Yeah, this one really bugs me. Particularly the bullshit gender norms that would also usually surround it. Like how it would expected (by her female friends?) that the girl "should" be embarrased about such a thing having happened.  Wheras the guy would be encouraged (by his male friends?) to brag about it. Which is fucked-up and gross, respectively. Even the terms that get thrown about are quite revealing. "Fuck-buddy" is not a term I would use to describe a person I respected - the implication being that a friend you have sex with is not a relationship archetype deserving of respect (well, why not? friends are nice to have* and sex (I'm assuming) is fun, so why treat it as something shameful?)

 

*I wasn't intending the pun here - I only noticed after reading it back xD 

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@Kickaxe You might find this an interesting read (I did). I liked this part in particular:

 

Quote

 

Just because someone might not want a major romance or life partnership right now doesn’t mean they must remain celibate or without romantic spark, or that they must resort to one-off hookups with strangers. Sexual friendships can help people feel happy, more comfortable or less stressed.

 

I’ve frequently had relationships of various types evolve into what I categorized as "friends with whom I occasionally have sex.” This means we care about and support each other, without the pressures or expectations of being in a romantic relationship. And we still enjoy physical intimacy when the mood strikes us. I have found this type of relationship actually suits me best, and plan on having only this type in the foreseeable future. — Dragon Fox, polyamorous

 

Swingers often establish ongoing sexual friendships with their play partners — as do people who consider their relationships open, monogamish or nonmonogamous, but not necessarily polyamorous.

 

We fall somewhere between being swingers and strictly polyamorous. We are both allowed to have sex with anyone we want, apart or together. By choice, both of us really only want to sleep with people we feel a connection with. So far, that has meant sex with friends. — JH, swinger/poly

 

We were monogamously married, but have since opened up our relationship to include sexual and emotional connections with other people. My wife and I have a group of friends who we are sexual with. — Cecil, in an open marriage

 

 

Although I would have liked more details on how the people quoted above were able to actually find (and maintain) these types of relationships - and avoid (or at least navigate) some of the common pitfalls (such as their friends developing romantic feelings for them and wanting "more" out of the relationship...)

 

I also think this (from the same article) was an important observation and well articulated:

 

Quote

However, there is a big potential disadvantage to how sexual friendships are commonly perceived. In mainstream culture, people often view friends with benefits arrangements as strictly casual. In turn, casual sex is commonly construed to mean no emotions involved, no strings attached, sex-only hookups. Hence, another common and sometimes derisive label: fuck buddies.

 

Friendships, whether they include sex or not, involve real people with real feelings — and ideally, some level of mutual appreciation, consideration and respect. Also, strictly recreational, no-commitment sex is fine, with mutual consent.

 

That said, social presumptions that devalue casual sex sometimes lead people to treat their sexual friends with stunning inconsideration. When one person sincerely values the “friends” part, while the other is solely focused on the “benefits,” hard feelings can result — even if neither of them ever wished to ride the Escalator.

 

Sex with someone you're not committed to doesn't have to be empty. It is a sharing. It’s a way to grow closer. — Slyph, in an open relationship

 

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On 6/3/2017 at 7:22 PM, NullVector said:

Even the terms that get thrown about are quite revealing. "Fuck-buddy" is not a term I would use to describe a person I respected - the implication being that a friend you have sex with is not a relationship archetype deserving of respect (well, why not? friends are nice to have* and sex (I'm assuming) is fun, so why treat it as something shameful?)

Aside from the gender norms, I would say it's the assumption that it just cannot work and therefore like “uuuh, what have you done???” =>  “Shame. Shame. Shame. Ding Ding Ding.”

 

From here:

Quote

3. He’s Not Your Friend – And definitely Not Your Boyfriend

A fwb arrangement is supposed to fill one very specific role in your life – sex. That’s it. Nothing beyond that.

The second you try to fit him into some other role in your life is when things get messy between you – fast. This is how the majority of fwb arrangements crash and burn.

 

That’s because the second you bring other emotions besides “I’m horny right now” into your arrangement, you open the door for one of you to develop feelings – and a million things to go wrong.

So if you’re feeling lonely and looking for a connection with someone, call a friend. Or your parents. Or anyone besides your fwb. He’s not there to connect with you or be your emotional outlet – he’s there for sex. That’s it.

Yeah, maybe that's sound advice for the majority of people. I just think: :facepalm:

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13 hours ago, NullVector said:

Although I would have liked more details on how the people quoted above were able to actually find (and maintain) these types of relationships - and avoid (or at least navigate) some of the common pitfalls (such as their friends developing romantic feelings for them and wanting "more" out of the relationship...)

I would like to know this, too, because I have no idea. That's why interrogating me didn't went anywhere. :D

 

I think that there's just a culture gap. Probably polyamorous “Dragon Fox” has a very different social circle than myself.

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On 02/06/2017 at 9:11 PM, NullVector said:

I always figured that if I tried making friends with people then at some point I'd find somebody I was a) sexually attracted to b) comfortable enought to have sex with and c) was on the same page as me in terms of relationship aspirations (although I wasn't questioning whether I was aro back then (never heard of it, lol) so if you'd asked me what I wanted out of a relationship, I probably woulda just shrugged or assumed it was all the conventional stuff by default).

What I wanted was never that conventional. I just didn't realise exactly how "radical" it was when I was younger.

 

On 02/06/2017 at 9:11 PM, NullVector said:

But none of that ever worked out for me. Partly because I have some very male dominated hobbies/intererests, so my 'odds' are poor. But maybe also partly (not sure about this one though...) because people in general don't seem to be very open to a friends/buddies becoming sexual partners setup.

Never worked for me either. Very frustrating, since until I found out about the concept of romantic orientation, it made little sense.
IME many seem actively against the whole concept.

 

On 02/06/2017 at 9:11 PM, NullVector said:

They seem more open to a romance/dating leading to sexual partnership setup? And I don't really wanna do dating, but also don't really wanna do 'casual hookups', so that leaves me a bit stuck... (has anyone here tried conventional 'dating'? How did you find it? Is it possible to 'subvert' the standard process to allign it with your own warped agenda?

My experience is that nobody is interested in doing any kind of "dating" with me. Even though I'm actually very much OK with the activity. More along the lines of being an end in itself rather than a means towards amantonormativity. Effectively I want to subvert it into actually trying to get to know someone or something to do with friend(s).
An obvious complication is that my feelings towards the whole asking/being asked are very much "girl" whilst I typically get seen as "boy"...

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12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Yeah, maybe that's sound advice for the majority of people. I just think: :facepalm:

Jeez. And why is it that these "relationship guru" types always sound so damn definitive and sure of themselves when it comes to this sort of ambiguous, subjective stuff?

This one from the same site is even more terrifying. "Here’s how I made the man of my dreams addicted to me and eagerly DEVOTE himself to me…"O.o

 

12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

That's why interrogating me didn't went anywhere. :D

 

Haha, I hope it wasn't too traumatising an experience xD 

 

12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

I think that there's just a culture gap. Probably polyamorous “Dragon Fox” has a very different social circle than myself.

 

I did think that myself when I saw the name :D.

Having any sort of IRL example of somebody in an unconventional aro-esque relationship would be handy. Not necessairily a "role model". Just a person you could point to and say "Thing exists! Thing is not impossible!" All my friends and family are in conventional "monogamous-romo-sexual" relationships, which can make doing anything a bit different (never mind a lot different!) seem pretty daunting...

 

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10 hours ago, Mark said:

An obvious complication is that my feelings towards the whole asking/being asked are very much "girl" whilst I typically get seen as "boy"...

 

Pretty random aside: I always related to that thing vampires have about needing to be invited in xD 

Perhaps it's just not in some people's natures to "invite themselves in"?

As usual, fixed gender norms are dumb! 

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