Is it fair for an asexual partner to force abstinence on the sexual partner?
It is remarkable how much writing your thoughts down in the form a story can help. I don’t have the draft of my original post but if the last paragraphs of this post were pretty much what I was going to post at the beginning. But each forum has a culture and I thought I should begin by reading some other posts to see how others ask questions here. And by chance I found a post where Emma was encouraging someone else to pen down their story before posing the actual questions. I dropped her a note asking if she would want me to do the same and she said it would be great. While writing this post I went down the memory lane and what should have taken me just a few minutes has actually taken hours. I have never opened up about this problem to anyone else in this much detail before. I almost decided against posting it last night but then this morning I thought I should post it but not before I edited it to add some earlier happier memories to the mix which show my wife in a more positive light to give you all some more context.
Let’s call me and my wife Akshar and Devki respectively for the purposes of this narrative. We are a couple in our late 20s living in London. We both have pretty demanding jobs and hers involves a lot of travel. I think of myself as a straight male but she is strongly asexual. I met her about 5 years ago while she was recovering from a very bad breakup. She is not comfortable with me giving the details here and all I can reveal is that she suffered a lot of verbal abuse and forced sex in that relationship. The guy was also cheating on her. She is very sensitive to any suggestion that she was raped. Her past relationships all ended up with her boyfriends cheating on her eventually. I cannot be sure but I think perhaps because of her experiences she is not just disinterested in sex but is actually disgusted by it.
We knew each other causally from a book club but only really took an interest in each other after we teamed up at a quiz night at a pub. We quickly discovered that many of our interests (and even sub-interests) matched and started taking things forward. Fun fact: both of us can read the LOTR back to back any day even if we have just finished reading it but neither of us have ever survived past the first chapter of any other work of fiction. While we were dating, I discovered that there was such a thing as non sexual romance and we developed a very strong friendship. She candidly told me about her past fairly early on because she did not want us to waste our time if her asexuality was a deal breaker to me. It came as a bit of shock to me but for some reason I did not walk away then. I am not sure if this happens to others but I found (and still find) something deeply soothing about being in her presence. I had not experienced that in other relationships.
This was also the first time in a relationship when I was not under any sort of pressure to perform in the bed. The absence of sex in itself was a novelty for me. She found my natural personality attractive and I didn’t have to “win her over”. She tells me she didn’t feel the need to fake hers either. It was just sex that she couldn’t give me but we discussed that it was not a deal breaker for me as I could easily masturbate to make up for that. Over time our relationship grew stronger and I seriously considered proposing to her this one time but got discouraged when on a night out with our friends she made fun of men she calls “proposal sluts” (her term for guys who propose just a few months into a relationship).
While we were about seven months into dating each other my mom (who lives in India with my dad) needed some prolonged care. I could only go there for three weeks due to work constraints so while I was there I tried hard to arrange for good nurses to take care of her. But without even me asking Devki for help, she observed my struggle and took charge. While I was in India she simply turned up at my parent’s house with her suitcases. She had managed to convince her boss to let her work remotely out of India for a couple of months and took complete care of my mom when I flew back to London. The maturity with which she handled the situation amazed me. My mom and her didn’t even know each other back then and while in traditional Indian families the expectation indeed is for the daughter in law to step up and do such things we were not raised like that and she was certainly not my wife back then. It was not just that she had done me the biggest favour a friend could ever have but she also changed my outlook on how to approach life issues in general. She never portrayed this as favour and never in a fight has she ever bragged about this or the other sacrifices she keeps making every now and then.
We decided to marry each other after about a year of dating with the understanding that I would never seek sex from her which was pretty much the condition on which we were dating too. After we got married, I moved into her (bigger) house. We continued like before with our jobs and besides the co-living nothing much changed in our relationship at first. Long hours and long commutes for both of us meant that we could only spend a few hours in the night together and the weekends. I continued to make up for sex by masturbating --not more than 3-4 times a week and usually in the night (I used to feel sleepy after masturbation). Her bedtime routine has always been light reading.
Because of her past experience, sex and sex acts bother her a lot (even the ones that happen in respectable movies). We are ok with cuddles and kisses but any sexual moves and touches are a red line for her. I have never crossed them. I sleep naked and she usually puts a loose gown so we never had skin contact either. In fact, apart from the brief time we spend nude in our garden to soak the sun or when we are getting dressed for the morning I have never even seen her naked up close and properly. On masturbation she laid some ground rules early on after she walked in on me by accident. Masturbation had to be done privately and with advance notice. To make up for her absence I could use toys and some magazines that she would select for me but never internet porn. We have a parental lock on our router and my phone for which she controls the password. My promise was fidelity and no desire to seek sex elsewhere. This live and let live attitude served us really well for a very long time. We travelled a lot that year and started making big life decisions (no kids, joint bank accounts, savings for our first house etc.). You may find it counter-intuitive but one thing that also helped compensate for the lack of sex was separation. Her work frequently involves 3-4 day trips (mostly to Europe) and occasionally to Asia which take a couple of weeks. That separation always rekindles our romance and makes us value each other more.
Our problems started in our second year of marriage. I’m still not sure how it started but she became insecure that I would run away seeking sex from other women. She would just wake up in the middle of night and tell me that she had dreamt I had a secret family. At first she would just ask me as we would lay cuddled together if the lack of sex was boring me out. I always told her that I remained true to the commitment I had made to her and the condition on which she married me. But it did not convince her. Soon came the constant stream of stories of how couples were found cheating and how her past boyfriends started cheating on her. After a while she started getting jealous even of my masturbation and started asking pointed questions about my magazines and the models in them. She became very suspicious if I would get late and I would get frequent texts or calls while I would commute back home. We spent that year in tense arguments and bitter exchanges. After a while we decided to call it off. I moved out of her house and started expecting a divorce notice from her soon. The notice never arrived but after a few months I learnt from a mutual friend that she had worked out an arrangement with her boss and relocated to Hong Kong.
Neither of us saw anyone else while we were on that break. But once again the separation did the trick for us. What we realized during this long period of separation was what we loved in one another. We had many common interests, a matching sense of humour, and a true sense of partnership in doing everything. We had lovely memories and we didn't want to throw all of that away. All we had to do was sort sex out. We decided to do long distance for a while and see if it made sense to continue our marriage. During this time I accumulated serious number of miles as we travelled through different countries in Asia extensively. Her boss however was not pleased when she requested to come back to London. I too was finding it hard to get a job in Hong Kong. Ultimately, she made the big sacrifice and resigned her job at which she was extremely good and on a sure path to a promotion. She moved from that very large firm to a small unknown firm and rejoined me in London. This time we moved into our first house and vowed a fresh start. Ultimately, through sheer will and focus, she did find her way back into a big firm at a senior position but you have to admire the courage it takes to leave a successful job where you are already comfortable and well connected.
It was clear that my libido and her lack of trust in me was the problem. She told me that even if I wanted to stay loyal my urges would one day betray me because that’s what happened to all her boyfriends. I kept telling her that she was overthinking about it and that masturbation was my only outlet to express my sexuality and I felt it within my rights to resort to it given our original agreement from the time were dating. She said she had reconsidered her position and she was convinced that sex was a compulsive element of my life and that one day it would lead me away from her.
At one point I even proposed hormone therapy for myself but she was dead against it for health reasons and she was also convinced it would change my personality and kill my original self. I too no longer consider that to be a viable long term solution but back then it had seemed the perfect solution --she was probably missing some hormone so why not solve that by removing it from my system too? Nonetheless, we moved past that really quickly and resorted to safer techniques such as sex counselling, yoga (someone on reddit nofap convinced me that an particular aasan could curb feelings), and even meditation but nothing worked for long. The counselling went horribly wrong as the counsellor lacked tact and asked her to explore harmless sex by giving me massages and hand jobs. We never went there again. Meanwhile the self control bit went wrong for me and I could never hold myself more than a week.
During this phase of our marriage we never reached the breaking point but there was a clear strain on our relationship. She would feel betrayed and I could sense judgement in her eyes whenever I would go for masturbation and I would feel frustrated if I tried to hold myself any longer than a week. Though she pretended otherwise I could see her feel insecure once again. And soon enough I started to eagerly look forward to her travel just so that I could get some freedom. It wasn’t as if I would use that freedom to browse porn or masturbate at will but there is a difference when you do it without judgement. It filled me with guilt that I secretly wanted her to go away just so that I could masturbate while she gave her career up to save our marriage. Whereas previously it overjoyed me when she used to return back I could not make myself even appear enthusiastic on her return. She could tell too.
I am not sure exactly when but she had been sharing all this with her best friend (our almost neighbour). Let’s call this friend Julia. It was Julia who suggested her to try the cage on me. I was not initially welcome to the idea. I think I may have made up 100s of excuses to get out of that. At the time not really knowing much about cages I was obviously influenced by the “dangers” I had read up on the internet. As in how the visible bulge would give it away, that the cage would reshape my genitals, destroy my balls, give me cancer, and on and on. Of course, today I know that apart from the shrinkage, the occasional painful nocturnal erections, and the peeing problem everything else was just a hoax. Nevertheless, at that time I was the beginner and Julia the experienced. I also finally got the meaning of Julia’s key necklace. Because Julia always wears multiple necklaces with objects such as boots, birds, and god knows what I had never thought any more of that key. Of course, now I know that it signified her partner’s cage.
Although Julia never spoke to me directly on this topic I could sense that Devki’s arguments were all coming from her. I objected to Devki sharing our intimate problems with her friend but she instead encouraged me to do the same. However, my best friend is completely useless when it comes to emotional support which makes me very insecure about sharing such an intimate problem with him.
I think we started properly using the cage only about a couple of years ago. And from here on I think I lost control on this aspect of my life one step at a time. It all started as a novelty of course. While sex was not on the table, even her talking about the whole arrangement would turn me on. She started rationally by doing her research and creating a schedule. I could see her stay late at night on her laptop researching and ordering new models for me to try. For the first couple of weeks she would decide when I would try which model for how many hours and do which activity. I think by a couple of weeks her systematic approach helped us identify a relatively inexpensive model which would allow me to do all my usual activities such as groceries, work, exercise, driving etc. I only had difficulties with biking which I had sort of given up a few years ago anyway.
She really helped me ease into the whole situation --she figured out that Borolin (a Boric acid based cream popular in India) was much better at preventing chaffing than Vaseline. She helped dressed the injuries that I ended up getting as we started using the cage for longer periods (prior to that she had never handled my genitals). She even understood that testicles could sometimes get hurt in the cage and helped me with ice packs and flexible breaks. Once I had settled she decided I was to do one week on and get one day off. But on my day off I would remain free only until I masturbated. As masturbation would result in an immediate lockdown and the start of the next week long cycle, so I had to carefully plan my day of freedom. While it taught me some self control, I also felt I actually wasted the entire day just thinking about sex rather than getting over with a quick one and spending time with her --the exact opposite of what we needed. She of course got more concerned and further toughened the conditions instead of listening to me. At first I was even entitled to cage free nights (because of my shrinkage worries) but she would only do that on the condition that I sleep with my hands cuffed to the bed. Julia stopped it for us after alerting us to fire and other hazards and she took cage free nights away too. We also introduced an honour system for my emergency keys --one for work and one for home. And while she travelled I kept my word and controlled myself.
The main difference between the typical cage setup I read about on the internet and ours was the absence of sexual rewards. There was no teasing or touching involved. In order to be avoid any erections she even started scheduling separate sunbathing times. She was against the whole key flaunting part as well and I would never see the key on her or even lying around. I find it disappointing that while I live with the constant reminder of my cage she would even forget where she had kept her copy of the key. Her objective was clear from day one --I had to stop seeing sex as an essential activity if our marriage were to survive and this also meant not seeing sex as a reward. To this date, I have issues with this setup because she is an asexual but I am not. However, she keeps telling me that it is working and that I just don’t realise it.
To her credit, she compensated by easing my life elsewhere --like fixing small things in our home by herself, taking a larger share of household chores (at least while she was able to come home earlier than me), cooking elaborate dishes for me, and even sometimes getting groceries sorted out from time to time leaving me to pursue other activities freely on weekends. And of course by this I do not mean that I sit idle in a corner while she runs around doing chores in our home but the reduction in my share of tasks was noticeable.
At first I too enjoyed and welcomed the control we had both achieved on my instincts. I could do with once a week masturbation on a schedule. She had stopped questioning my masturbation breaks or bringing up the topic of infidelity. She also became more relaxed about my time away from home. The only topic we could not discuss was the permission to masturbate before the set release date --she would just pretend she had not listened when I asked that and would change conversation very quickly.
And in a bit of time she unilaterally decided that I was to try and hold longer and told me that my new target would be a month. She also became less accommodative of my pain and laid guidelines on what pain was to be worthy of temporary freedom and what I would need to learn to tolerate or manage. The first week is always easy when her challenges start but the second week starts the real challenge. In this challenge, I had a wet dream episode (thankfully at home) in the second week which helped me go a few days more but by the third week I was struggling with shivers and painful nocturnal erections. She managed this by using ice packs and soothing tea and temporary release in the night but a break was out of the question. I spent many a nights crying in a corner alone by myself. When I told her that I had been crying she gave me a long hug, kissed me, stroked my hair and everything but did not budge an inch. All she said was she respected my sacrifice. This system was having the opposite effect --instead of diverting my mind away from sex , I would spend my time in near constant light arousal and think nothing but sex. Earlier I would just act on my urge and get back to productive tasks. One day it was all too much and I ended up abusing my emergency key to unlock myself and masturbate without telling her while she was out with her friends. But as soon as I orgasmed I had this immense sense of guilt instead of pleasure. That night I confessed to her when she came back. She was very upset and even sobbed all night but I still feel she gave me no other option --she would never permit any talk of an early release and demanded total compliance. We had a tense few days and at the end of it she decided that I was to give my home emergency key to Julia. My office emergency key was put in a small safe we bought to which only my wife and Julia know the code. To this date, I don’t mind her control over me as much as I mind Julia’s involvement in the whole situation. I always thought a friend’s involvement had to be consensual in such matters. But she says Julia has her full trust when it comes to this and that I had lost that trust (despite me honestly confessing to her on my own and always honouring her trust before that one lapse). I asked if she could punish me by whipping or spanking but she said she was not into it and that the cage was a device to train me not start off a kinky sex life.
She made me get a PA for extra security some time after that and again put me on the 1 month challenge once I had healed. Once again into the second week I had real trouble keeping my focus. She put me on extra large sanitary pads at day time and on adult diapers in the night to take care of the wet dreams. I still use the pads to cope with the constant discharge. I remember having a few wet dreams that month (thankfully both at home and in the night). When I talked to her about how the wet dreams were embarrassing me she asked me to grow up and learn from women who manage painful periods more gracefully. I still don’t think that analogy is correct --a wet dream represents a punishment while periods were nature’s curse. Her point was that by having them at night and not at day I had demonstrated that I could actually control my sexual thoughts and was already doing better.
At the end of the month I once again got my day of freedom on similar conditions as before. I did not make good use of the free time though. And soon enough I was on the next challenge where she refused to set a date or terms of release. With no end date set my worries too me to another level. I was unable to talk confidently to other men at work whom I deemed free and worth looking up to and was unable to challenge other women at work --even those who were under my management. And I became generally more submissive to my boss even though she is not very authoritative. That month I had a wet dream in the office during a one on one meeting but the pad held well. But all the while I was unable to focus on that meeting and overall my work was affected badly. One night I tried to have a serious talk with her about that episode. She listened intently to me and said while she understood my issues I just had to work through them by controlling my thoughts and improving my assertiveness without associating it to sexual freedom. She said she had read about people going years on chastity control without running into such issues so clearly I could do better. During this period she also ran me on a very tight budget. She got another cage of the same model and instead of giving me 15 minutes to clean them every 3-4 days she would now make me switch the cage daily after shower very quickly. She stopped giving me my brief night breaks and I was told to manage erections by urinating or by pouring cold water over the cage (it works actually). And as always there was no response if I pleaded for an early release. I was told to “just forget it” and “learn to control”. My wet dreams would reset my mental state for a couple of days but it became harder and harder to get past each day because there was no end date in sight. I honestly expected some encouragement or reward at all this effort but none came either. Around Easter last year (basically approximately just over a month into this challenge) I got a lucky break as we travelled to the US for a small trip and she forgot to pack the cages (we always travel cage free until we check into the hotel). Fortunately, she did not buy me a new cage in the US perhaps because it was not available around Yosemite.
But once we were back in London I was once again locked up and haven’t yet been released to this date except for the brief durations where she had no option but to release me. That was when we took two vacations and the annual physical check-up we get usually around year end. The couple of days leading up to the wet dream are the hardest for me to manage but I am trying my level best to distract myself from sexual thoughts when that happens. The wet dreams are also more spaced out and I am now getting them every 3 weeks now. I honestly don’t know what it would do to my body in the long term but the physical check-up revealed nothing bad. I have not had a single episode at work and I think I have managed to work through my issues with my confidence and authority. I never raise the issue of release or ask her for a date now. In fact, we have no conversations/interactions about the cage other than when she observes me changing it and when she sometimes puts me on a larger ring for the night. On the relationship front we are doing better everywhere else. We love our trips to London parks. We look forward to fun weekend activities. We enjoy reading together. We still hate going to the theatre. I have even adjusted to the changes that have happened to my body. First there is the PA due to which I spray urine everywhere even while being seated. Then, and this is by my own choice, because I wear a slightly heavy metallic cage my balls now hang well below their original spot. I think I have lost the ability to pull them back in as I realized during the last physical. I may be overthinking this one though but I cannot remember the last time my balls went in. My penis is without any doubt smaller than before. I cannot measure it exactly until my freedom day but I started with a 45 mm ring and she recently switched me to a 40 mm one. And I have seriously forgotten what a full erection feels like. I can only associate an erection with pain now.
And still Devki is not convinced that I cannot yet go cage free back on the honour system. She thinks the cage is the only reason for our success and removing it would be like removing a parachute when it had slowed down the descent. She says she is doing me favour by taking the pressure of keeping up with the honour system. I think she can at least hand me back my emergency keys purely as a sign of her renewed trust in me but she still keeps them with Julia and reasons that it is a temptation I should not have. What she does not get is that I find Julia holding the key humiliating. For example, when Devki travels for more than a couple of days I have to arrange a slot with Julia for the cage cleaning. Of course I don’t have to change the cage in front of her or have her conduct checks but surely someone should be able to see why I find this embarrassing. It like asking your neighbour’s permission to enter your own home every day. In the meanwhile, Devki does not hold Julia’s husband’s emergency key. I even wonder how much Julia tells Devki about her own sex life.
And what would happen if Devki were out and I had a real emergency? Would I have to explain to Julia the nature of my emergency and seek her approval or validation on the severity? And while I have overcome my confidence related issues we see Julia often in social settings and I feel intimidated by her (I have no such feelings towards Devki).
I also think Devki plans to cage me forever and I think I am paying this price for her ex-boyfriends’ actions here. Surely there are other asexual people out there married to sexual people and living without resorting to such level of control, humiliation, physical alterations, and sex deprivation. I never once cheated on anyone I had a relationship with and if you count masturbation as cheating then except for that one lapse I always did it in Devki's knowledge. But my track record has no meaning to her. My friend would not talk to Devki to put my point forward --he says I need to “man up” and keep him out of this awkward conversation. I think he has started avoid me since I mentioned the cage to him. I find myself alone and in a dark corner.
How can I get some control back? Is there anyone out there who has a third person in the cage arrangement? How do you deal with that? And has anyone gone into permanent chastity? What am I looking at in the near and distant future?
And this question is mainly for the dominating halves, do you think Devki is a dom in our relationship? She keeps telling me that we are not a dom/sub couple and yet I cannot help think that we are really one when it comes to sex because I never get a say there. Would telling her what she has become help her appreciate my issues? I feel she is only focusing on the relationship positivity while completely ignoring my sexual needs.
And last, please don’t tell me that I need to move out of this relationship. I have my friend for that. I love Devki very much. I am not writing this because she is going to read this. She has promised she wouldn’t visit this site and is comfortable with me seeking help here if I feel she is unhelpful. The brief separation we once had was painful for both of us. I want to work this out. If you cannot help me then I would appreciate even if you could just share your experience so that I can relate to it and take some comfort in my own situation.
Hi again everyone,
I made a mistake and I am unable to look myself in the mirror after that. I was unable to sleep properly last night as the consequences of my dishonesty sank into me. My Christian self asks me to step up and own my mistake and humbly ask, but not expect, your forgiveness.
The above story is made up. Apart from the fact that we are both Indians there is nothing true about this story. I feel ashamed for not just lying but the lengths at which I went to show that the story may be true. And if you were smart enough to see through this then you are right to call me a liar. And if you trusted me then I feel ashamed.
I also think you deserve to know why I did this but please also know that I fully well understand that it is not a justification.
My wife wants to introduce orgasm control for me as we remain locked in our apartment. I am genuinely afraid of the concept but she has been trying to show this to me in a positive light by sharing articles and blog posts from various websites.
Instead of admitting my fear to her, I am looking for excuses. I created the story above to show her the negative consequences of locking men up. I have not told this to her yet but I plan to do so tomorrow and also admit my fear. I am not liking the loss of freedom the cage will bring upon me. I think if she knew I felt this way she would stop immediately --she is not evil.
Once again I am truly sorry for doing this.
What an interesting turn of events. I personally don't hate you, I enjoyed reading the above story and I enjoyed you coming to terms with your wife's request to bring orgasm control into your relationship. Anything sexual or perceived to be abnormal can invoke lots of raw emotion and you seem to have dealt with that emotion in your own way.
It has been a couple months. Would you mind sharing how things are going?