post-Exchanges discomfort

Submitted by MCCrochet on
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Hello everyone,

After about 3 years of being cognizant of these ideas, I finally got the courage to ask my partner to try the Exchanges with me. He agreed (though in large part to support me, and "try something different") and it was a lovely three weeks. I felt more "on", more energized, way more stable emotionally, and present. I was able to laugh things off easily, and laugh more loudly than I have in a long time.

Our intercourse exchanges were very awkward. He felt that he just was fighting the urge the move the whole time, and we didn't really feel "anything." We were really unsure of how much we could move or if we should just be still. It was pretty frustrating and not what I had hoped at all. I know that it takes time to readjust to a different way of making love.

Since my partner wasn't super on board for his own seek previous to the Exchanges, we're left wondering where to go from here. I'm certain I want to keep avoiding orgasm, he's sure that he doesn't. The difficult part is, he is having a hard time allowing me to let go of orgasms. He really insists that it's an important way to bond. It seems like he's really going to miss that intense experience with me. But I keep saying (mostly in my head so far) because I don't want to get into a fight, that I it's my body, my neurochemistry, and I want to decide how to manage my sexual energy. If I'm happy avoiding orgasm, and feel fulfilled, then it's about him. I wonder if me giving up orgasm nudges him towards acknowledging it more for himself, the negative affects on him from the passion cycle?

Basically we're just not sure where to go from here. It's stressful not knowing when we are going to make love next, stressful trying to let him know I am interested in making love without approaching him in a "hungry" way. Likely I am experiencing some fallout from the non-orgasmic, conventional sex we've had a few times this week, plus the effects on him from his orgasms. Yikes.

I know people come to different solutions on this but any advice you have on how to move forward after the Exchanges when one partner is more keen than the other to avoid orgasm would be appreciated. We have a great relationship and do lots of bonding behaviours every day.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Hopefully the men here

will have some useful insights.

Sadly, I know of no magic cures for a partner who isn't on board. Could you tell him you want to try having orgasmic sex once per menstrual cycle, say, right before your period? The goal is to help him see a contrast between orgasmic and non-orgasmic behavior, but without making that goal explicit.

Is he willing to read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, do you think? It has a lot of interesting science in it, and it sometimes helps open minds. Even more research has come out since it was written. It affirms that many women have unexplained irritability and tears after sex. The researcher of the most recent one told me that since the publication of his study, he has been contacted by both men and women reporting the post-O effects.  Here's my note on it with links:

UPDATE: 2015 study found half of women have experienced post-coital blues. And "There appears to be no relationship between PCD and intimacy in close relationships." Article for lay readers: Post-sex blues’ hit nearly half of women'

It seems to me that if he begins to understand that this is, in effect, a medicalphysical issue for you, he might be more willing not to try to enforce his own beliefs. But that may be wishful thinking.

Good luck!

Thank you Marnia for your

Thank you Marnia for your response! I gave him CPA to read early in our relationship. He read it but didn't say much about it (I actually didn't know he had finished it until recently). It would have been over a year and a half between the times he read it and when we tried the Exchanges. I think he has the idea that the book is for people who are really having problems or sexually incompatible.

I think we both recognized lots of benefits during the Exchanges. Now we are a week after, and we are fighting every day, which is very unusual for us. The fights mostly centre around me not wanting to orgasm, and then this dynamic of him wanting to separate for a while, which feels scary and intolerable to me, the whole pursuer/distancer thing.

I think I may have just dropped a bomb on him with me telling him I was done with intentional orgasm. I had no idea he would take it so hard, or that this was so important to him. Comments from other readers are helping me to see why this was so.

I hope we can ride out this fighting and come back to a place of equilibrium. We have also been living together for 8 months. In my past two relationships, this has been about the time that the relationship has fallen apart, after living together. I'm wondering about the pattern there.

At this point I feel really hesitant to ask him not to have orgasms, in fact, I promised him I would never do that. And I myself don't want to have orgasms anymore.

Still sorting through things. Thanks again for your response...

Years

It's taken me years to get some idea of it...and I'm interested!
My ego/identity has been very caught up with my self definition as a "good lover". I was a slow and accommodating lover and my ability to "give" her an orgasm was central to that identity.
I can't believe I'm going to say this and my thinking isn't real clear and I don't want to take the time to develop the thought fully but what the hell! I'll throw this out there. Perhaps there will be a piece somewhere in the mess that is helpful. Remember no matter how I say it, it is all about me. I take full responsibility.
There are many gods at work in our psyche. The unacknowledged ones can create huge problems in our lives. Let me propose Lord Priapus. He is unrecognized, much maligned and dismissed as crude in our culture. Yet He wrecks havoc with over sexualized entertainment/advertising, repression and violence. He is the agent in so many divorces. It's almost a joke that "he left her for a younger woman", but it's a real tragedy and the role of Lord Priapus should not be lightly dismissed. MY cock centered identity requires His worship by orgasm, your orgasm is better than mine. Your orgasm tells me/Him that he is loved and appreciated. Extra caresses, kisses, and words of praise might be acceptable substitutes for orgasm. Of course it would be done in the spirit of love/curiosity/worship without the desire to excite. Holey Moley! now you know something about me and what I want! There is a reason why women giving blow jobs and talking about loving that big beautiful cock is an important part of pornography and, of course, the appearance of orgasm is always presented.
I also like the idea (western Tantra?) of the vagina as sacred sanctuary...what's her name? If he can buy into that it will help. Diana Richardson has written some great stuff along those lines.
Marnia's suggestions of once a month of orgasm for him and reading CPA are good ideas to help him see the effects of orgasm. Dunno if premenstrual is the best timing, check it out. You might prefer to try at ovulation when your signals to him for procreation are at their height.
Love y'all

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your insightful comments. They, along with conversations with my partner, are helping me to see the power and significance of female orgasm. Indeed, I remember a time in my sexual life when it was very, very important to me to come every time, and a source of great frustration to date men with whom that didn't work so well. In contrast, my current partner is very generous, affectionate, skillful, so it has not been a problem. We have this baseline of what feels to me to be a great abundance of touch and affection, and if I did want to have orgasms regularly, I know that he would be willing to facilitate that!

We've had some interesting conversations since then. He says that when one of us comes, he feels a sense of merging that he does not feel at any other time, and it's this he would miss. He would be sad to let this go. I feel as though I have a sense of other ways we can experience great closeness and I expressed this to him. I think ultimately we may decide upon a once-a-month kind of schedule for me, or less, I'm not sure yet.

Right now he's kind of mad at CPA! But I told him my whole journey with it over the last 4 years, and how I"ve come to this decision after much trial, error, and observation.

Thanks again for your response.

Enough About Me

I applaud your courage and the state of your relationship that allowed for the 3 week trial! It sounds like it really worked for you. Laughter is a great gauge of one's state and progress along the Path (whatever that is).
As for him acknowledging the Passion Cycle, the seed has been planted. A clear piece for me (oops, here I go again, talking about me!) is after getting jacked up for sex or having an orgasm, is to check my level of dissatisfaction with the Relationship. I am definitely addicted to the O, your partner? I dunno. After a good Big O I'm high for a couple of days and am really pissy if I don't get another one by day 4. I'm thinking about divorce and having an affair and all kinds of other shit. Maybe you could check in every day while your cuddling, " Hey Honey, how ya feelin'?"
The piece I really get and enjoy about karezza, is sex without a goal. No goal to have an orgasm, no goal to stop an orgasm. I just choose not to pursue it and relish and enjoy whatever it is that we are doing without striving for anything. If we have PIV intercourse, my Isadora goes for the O. When she does, it's rare that I don't cum too.
"It's stressful not knowing when we are going to make love next, stressful trying to let him know I am interested in making love without approaching him in a "hungry" way." I'm interested in the stress and would like to hear more.
I think it's great that y'all did the Exchanges, why stop? and "lots of daily bonding behaviors" awesome! that alone should carry you through.
Best wishes

Thanks again Aphrodites Chela

Thanks again Aphrodites Chela. I have been thinking it would be nice to still do the exchanges at night. That really did a lot for us, the discipline in it. I love the idea of some kind of schedule, but my partner's more of a spontaneous kind of guy. Do you make love on a schedule?

It's a bit stressful for me because I am trying to be more careful about touching my partner "hungrily", so I feel like I can less easily communicate my interest in sex without words. This week I have just be straight up asking if he would like to make love, the following morning, or that evening, etc. That's usually really nice, because we can see what happens but of course there's no pressure ever to do anything in particular beyond snuggling. So that's where the stress comes in, just choosing to rely less on feeling him up to let him know I'm interested....

Thanks for your vote of confidence to, "that alone should carry you through" is very comforting! Sometimes I get into a bit of doomsday thinking with habituation, like things will fall apart no matter what.

Stress

Sounds to me like you're on the right track. Of course there is stress in trying to change away from expressing hunger. 'sender" told me it takes 90 days to change an old habit.
"That's usually really nice, because we can see what happens but of course there's no pressure ever to do anything in particular beyond snuggling" would seem to be a winner!
Best Wishes

"...any advice you have on

"...any advice you have on how to move forward after the Exchanges when one partner is more keen than the other to avoid orgasm would be appreciated..."

This is my situation exactly, with the roles reversed: I want Karezza, my wife wants me to orgasm with her. We have been at Karezza for 2 1/2 years. Neither one of us orgasms, though I have inadvertent ejaculations every few weeks. I feel wonderful, as does my wife. Her requests for orgasm -- "Let's have 'real' sex " -- happen less often, but are still there.

I think if you direct your partner to the 'No Fap' websites, he will read and see videos from men about the benefits of male continence: increased confidence, creativity, warmth, and muscles, and the ability to perform sexually every day, longer and better, multiple times per day (if the opportunity arises!). I found the benefits from the 'No Fap' websites to be the big carrot, right alongside the potential for a stable, warmer, more loving marriage, as laid out in CPA.

"...We were really unsure of how much we could move or if we should just be still. It was pretty frustrating and not what I had hoped at all..." It has taken years for my body to readjust from decades of orgasmic sex, porn, and masturbation. But, it has happened. Now, my wife and I have better sex -- more movement, more positions, longer periods of time, more frequently -- than we have ever had. Sex with my wife is just plain great fun! No doubt, initially with Karezza, there was lots of starting and stopping, frequent inadvertent ejaculation, etc. But, I was patient with myself, as the rewards written about in CPA and from the NoFap websites were compelling.

My recommendation is to stick to what you want -- no orgasms -- and let your partner sort through his orgasms himself. If he wants to continue to orgasm, so be it. You have planted the seed of male continence and its benefits in his mind, and there is a strong possibility that the seed will germinate, grow, and bear fruit. It is excellent that you "...have a great relationship and do lots of bonding behaviours every day..." Lots of physical contact softens and warms the male heart and psyche, and will calm and comfort him as he sorts out the 'new you.'

I am very happy for you, MCC-; you are on the right path, and given your strong relationship, you are in a wonderful position to strengthen it and deepen it.

P.S. -- to some extent, I think my wife thinks she is missing out on something given that orgasmic sex is all that is trumpeted on TV, in film, in magazines, etc. I consume very little popular media. However, my wife gets lots of exposure to it through her women's book club and movie club and from watching a bit of TV to relax. I accept her choices, and do not comment on them.

Moving

Oh yeah! I read CPA, cruised around here and said, "OK, I'm a no O man". We got in bed didn't have a clue what to do. She says, "OK, now what?". I dunno, just lie here? Awkward and a half! We gave it up.

It's comforting to know

It's comforting to know others have found it awkward! That's definitely something I found to be missing in CPA, realistic accounts of how things actually might go...so many glowing, beautiful scenarios to provide inspiration and breadth of what this technique can do...but beginners! Beginners! How did you move forward from your first initial awkward tries?

I think you are right Marnia.

I think you are right Marnia. I also think he still views orgasm as a "bonding" experience. We talked today and I said I agreed it can be bonding at the beginning with all the honeymoon neurochemistry, but that I notice having orgasms actually makes me feel less close to him in the medium term (we've been dating about 1.5 years) Close for a few minutes, but then distance for a week or more.

HIs pleasure definitely has to do with it. I think that's why I was so angry in our first conversation about it. It's my body and I feel it should utterly be my choice whether I have orgasms or not. That he was a bit peeved with me about it felt ridiculous.

He's a bit "mad" at the book for "planting these ideas" in my head, but I explained to him it's been a 4-year journey of exploring and taking note of my state of mind around orgasm, and it really is the thing for me.

One thing that went a bit awry was throughout the exchanges I kept saying I wouldn't pressure him to stick with this after if he didn't want to...perhaps I shouldn't have put so much emphasis on this, but I just didn't want him to feel controlled or manipulated. I hate that feeling myself! However, in actuality I had already decided to give up orgasm. I only meant I would never pressure him to do so. So when I told him I was going off orgasm, it really surprised him, and he felt I had been keeping something from him. I didn't quite realize it would be a such a big deal to him.

I think it's not all about

I think it's not all about his pleasure though. I think he really does feel close and like he is nurturing and healing me by helping me orgasm. I don't think he has his sites set on other ways we can feel close. I think this is an important part for him. I tried to remind him how close we felt during the Exchanges, but I guess it is easy to forget!

*sigh*

I understand his resentment, but I also understand why it is jarring to you to discover that he believes your decision to orgasm or not is not strictly your own decision. Did you share the research that shows how many women have experienced post-O fallout? If he really understands that it is perfectly normal for orgasm to set off unpleasant feelings, he might be more willing to accept that his assumptions about orgasm only having an upside are simply incorrect. This isn't a "funny idea from CPA," it's (unfortunately) reality for many women (and perhaps many more who don't make the connection). You don't have to bash him with this information, but maybe there's a way to gently bring it to his attention. Believe me, I resisted this information too, for a long time. I preferred to think my projections (that any friction was somehow the result of my partner!) than to consider my own neurochemical shifts were altering my perception of him. Fool

I also understand how difficult it is to change direction when you're already concerned that the relationship's future feels uncertain. Remember, daily affection is the best protection, so continue it, no matter what!

Awkward?

We never found it awkward to know what to do. We just did what we had always done, but massively slowed down. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, but it's all the 'technique' you need. It took me years to learn any sort of control over the urge to speed up. Now it's a breeze, so even complete stillness feels like we're still moving. My wife fell in with this, learning by default. We still speed up on occasions, though.

The major difficulty we experienced (and still experience, to some extent) was to do with knowing how lovemaking ended, if not in orgasm. Once I had learned to fully appreciate the pleasures of the pre-orgasmic state, this became less of a problem. The same went for my wife, though she still prefers 'the icing on the cake', at least half the time. I find I have to occasionally examine my motives for assisting her in having an orgasm, as I derive almost as much pleasure from it as she does.

Basically, it's down to who 'sets the pace', and whether the other accommodates themselves to that. Only you would know who does what in your relationship. I remember in the early days how deliberately slowing things down when my wife wanted to speed them up often felt almost jarring. Movement is great, until it becomes out of control, which is great, too, but not if you want to avoid orgasm.

Thanks for your comments. It

Thanks for your comments. It sounds like what you have with your wife is really working. Thanks for telling me about your journey with that.

It's interesting to hear you derive almost as much pleasure from orgasm as your wife. This is a bit alien to me. I certainly feel thrilled when my partner comes...and when I think about it, a lot of my movement during vigorous lovemaking is geared towards his orgasm sometimes, other times my orgasm. But there's something different about the way he talks about enjoying my orgasm, which I don't think I experience.

With my current partner we have a really good sort of back-and-forth rhythm going on. I've always preferred it slow, so...we go slow for a while when I'm taking the lead, and he does lots of movement when he's in the lead. We trade back and forth. We even have times of stillness interspersed in this as well, which is my favourite time.

I think we'll find a way to interweave it all in, though yeah, it might be a little jarring to alternate between fast and stillness. He likes the stillness too to some degree.

I think he's finding it really, really hard to be the one "in the lead" and not move. And as per previous posts, he's not totally convinced of the merits of this way of making love, so isn't too motivated. Interesting!