#yes no maybe
7 April 2020

My partner is asexual and I'm not. How can we both be happy sexually while being in a long distance relationship?

I feel kinda awkward asking this but there aren’t many ressources so I think this is my best shot. I’m trans and my bf is also trans. We are in a long distance relationship. He’s asexual and I’m not however he’s pretty okay with having sex he just doesn’t get anything out of it and he prefers kinky things then actual sex. We’ve tried a few things but I wanna find a way I can make both me and him happy sexually dépiste being far apart. Any suggestions on how to do that in long distance relationships ?

Équipe -Pose ta question!-
Hi Em,
Thanks so much for contacting AlterHéros and for trusting us with your question. It’s brave of you to share what you’re sharing, especially if you’re feeling kinda awkward asking. This is a great question, and while I know it can feel awkward to ask questions like this, it’s a really cool thing to reach out in order to try and find information, ideas, and support for yourself and the people you’re in relationships with. If I am understanding your question correctly, it seems like there’s multiple aspects in terms of the situation, so hopefully I’ll be able to address all of those things in ways that are helpful to you.
It’s great that you’re trying to find ways to do things with your partner that work for both of you. It sounds like there’s already been some things communicated between you and your boyfriend that help you know some of what might work in terms of figuring out long distance ideas, for example the fact that your boyfriend prefers kinky things and that you are (if I am reading your questions correctly) interested in sex in ways that your partner is not necessarily. Whenever there’s a significant difference in sex needs and/or interest in a relationship, it’s particularly important for there to be clear communication about this aspect of things in order to try and help prevent misunderstandings or any of the people involved feeling pressured around sex. Of course, it’s true in all relationships that involve sex that there needs to be clear and ongoing communication around that as best as possible (as well as more generally), but what I am trying to highlight here is that it can be particularly relevant for folks involved in a relationship who have acknoweldged different needs and wants and feelings regarding sex specifically because there is so much social pressure around the presence of sex in dating relationships.
One example of something that can be helpful in terms of exploring and clarifying wants and needs around sex and around kink (whether sexy kink or not) is to use a structured tool like a “yes/no/maybe” list in order to have some suggestions and structure in terms of thinking about what you and your boyfriend are interested in and okay with, not interested in or not okay with, and things that either or both of you are maybe unsure about. Here’s one example (some of the things on this list may be less relevant in terms of a long distance relationship but/and can still be useful to think about in the overall context of what you and your boyfriend might decide to do or not do together): https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/yes_no_maybe_so_a_sexual_inventory_stocklist. Using a “checklist” like that one or another one can also be helpful in terms of structuring conversations that can sometimes feel awkward or difficult to know how to have in terms of being explicit about what everyone involved wants and needs. If you prefer, you can come up with your own list (either together or each on your own and then share with each other) or choose to approach such a conversation in another way, but something that’s really important and generally helpful in terms of figuring out ways to help everyone in a relationship be happier with what’s going on is to try and do some checking in in detail about what everyone wants and needs. Checking in in detail can also be a really helpful way to figure out some creative ideas for things you can and want to do together!
In a relationship where one person is asexual and the other person is not, it can also be helpful for both folks to consider which things make sense to try and do together (sexually and/or otherwise) and which things might make more sense to do alone or with someone else (if your relationship agreements allow for that). For example, if there are certain things you want or need in terms of sex that your boyfriend doesn’t like or isn’t okay doing, it might be important to consider if those are things that make sense to do with yourself (in the context of masturbation or otherwise) or to seek elsewhere if that’s something that works with the relationship agreements you and your partner have. Likewise, it might also be important to consider which kinky things might be possible for the two of you to do together that don’t necessarily involve sex unless you have very clear indication from your boyfriend that he’s okay with things involving sex much/most of the time even he doesn’t get anything out of it in that particular regard.
In terms of navigating all of this in the context of a long-distance relationship, that can certainly add to the things that need to be considered. Here, too, it might be helpful to do some explicit checking in, if you haven’t already, in order to try and figure out what works best for both of you across distance. For example, what works best for each of you communication-wise? If one of you prefers texting and the other prefers the phone or video chat, maybe that’s something important to figure out together. In the context of whichever communication methods you might be using, it would also be important to figure out your wants and needs and boundaries around what is okay or not okay for a given communication method. For example, some people are okay with sexy texting but not okay with phone sex. Other folks might be okay with doing sexy stuff by chat and phone but not by video. Some people are okay sending sexy pictures by text and others are not (if you’re going to do this, it would also be important to have a conversation around what happens with those pictures and each establish boundaries around that). Or maybe you’re both okay with all of those options, but the point is that many people have particular preferences and boundaries when it comes to sex and kink (even if not sexy) as relates to different communication methods and that would be an important thing for you and your bf to discuss together if you have not already.
You might also decide to explore other ways of engaging in sexy stuff and/or kink (sexy or not) such as writing erotic stories and sending them to each other or writing some together. Reading erotic and/or kinky stories to one another can also be an option if that’s something you both like. You could also decide to create kinky scenes or role-plays together; you can then decide together if you want to then act those things out or not and in what ways you might do so if you do decide to play out whatever you come up with. Another thing that can be an interesting long-distance option is to watch porn or kinky videos together if that’s something you’re both into and comfortable with.
Long-distance relationships can take some particular ways of strategizing and while that can certainly be difficult, it can also present interesting opportunities for everyone involved to use the space and time that comes with that distance to use their creativity in terms of figuring out how works best to be together.
Thanks again for your question and for reaching out to AlterHeros. If you have any more questions, whether about this or other things, please do feel free to write to us again.
Noah for AlterHeros