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Setting Boundaries with Intimate Friends

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CW: Medication, Talk of Sexual Intimacy, Unhealthy Relationships with Sexual Intimacy

I have a couple friends where the lines between romantic and platonic are fairly blurred. (I'm gonna keep the language light here, for reference, but it's not particularly a FWB situation, but we've never called it a QPR either.) One such is someone I hold very dear to me, we'll call them T.  I've known T a little under a year, and we've always had this sort of dynamic between us. They're allo, and after stating the boundaries I have we've come to a mutual comforted medium. We talk openly and revisit boundaries fairly often, making sure to meet one another's needs as they come. They met me at a time during my transition where my libido was especially high, so a lot of our interactions centered around that. Yet we're still close and remain so, talking pretty much every day. I'm just giving all this for context.

Lately I've started medication for my mental health. It's been a hard (new) process, and I've struggled with being able to provide that same intimacy as before. (Which was already difficult due to privacy issues and yadda yadda.) As well, I've noticed an unhealthy attachment toward sex and how I find it a way to "provide" for people I care about. I know it'd be better for me mental health wise to provide affection in other ways. Yet I don't know how to break this to them, and I've come out as ace to partners before (before I called myself aro) but I don't wish for them to feel unattractive to me.

If anyone has experience with this, it'd be great.

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Ufff mate this is a rather complex question. Ok, I shall try my best to help you. It is good that you are keeping conversation with T, idk how much you share with T, but I will base my assumption that you have a strong connection (since that is how I am seeing it from what you described). You both have boundaries, that is good, but what interests me is how you described your attachment to sex. I am guessing that sex is something you are doing and is kinda important to you because it is your way of compensating. You feel that you have a strong point with sex, and that if you lose that point, then you are scared that T won't stay with you or something bad happens. Let me tell you something, people have lots of strong points ^^, that you are losing one because of meds doesn't take the rest of you. Yes it sucks that some meds basically take your libido and put it 10 km under ground (I have this issue but this is about you so won't speak about my experiences). 

You can always sit down with T, and say: "Mate, this is not easy for me, but rn I don't think that I can provide you with X, Y, Z, because I am on meds that don't let me provide you with this parts of whatever we are having" Be honest with T, if they want to be with you, it won't be a problem ^^. You talk about boundaries, so you can set up a new one, it can be temporary since maybe the side effects will go away, or maybe they stay. Both cases are fine, and just deal with them one step at a time. Really, if T cares about you, they will understand you, you just have to tell him (cuz thankfully people can't read minds).

Ok, this next part is me explaining how side effects of meds impact sexual life. Skip if not needed.

Spoiler

It will be short but to the point. w/o meds hormones are having a party, with 1 or more meds (antidepressants/antipsychotics/ansiolytics) hormones don't even move an inch. This is common side effect for those meds because the job they are doing is keeping some hormones in line and if they fall off line, they block them so basically you'll need to concentrate very very hard on getting aroused. A tip to combat this is to find meaning in your actions and take your dear time in exploring yourself under the effects of the meds.

If you came as ace and aro to T, that is good and T should understand your position (if not then why being with someone that doesn't put effort into what you both have). I am sure as hell that you are attractive af, and I am sure T can see that too, so not providing for something is totally ok, you can work something out with the cards that life has given you ^^. Hope it could help you

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