Saturday, March 30, 2019

Better communication/intimacy during sex

A sociopathic inclined individual sent me a link to an Aeon article about good communication/consent re sexual intimacy, Sex Talks. One thing that I have noticed in meeting sociopaths is that sociopaths show a shocking lack of interest in sex. Shocking I guess only when compared to the neurotypical population, which seems almost obsessed with it. Sociopaths on the other hand are very take-it-or-leave-it about sex. I think it's because sociopaths don't tend to connect emotionally with their partners very well and so sex is either a performative act (which can be fun and exciting depending on the partner and/or situation) or source of pleasure that most sociopaths are better able to provide with their own two hands (and/or feet?). I also think that sociopaths and everyone have a hard time understanding the role of continued consent during any interaction with a person.

A quick word on my own thoughts about sex. I have had plenty of bad experiences, probably not surprising. By bad experiences I mean experiences that seemed to cheapen rather than deepen a relationship, that made me feel used, that felt like a parallel experience, and even experiences where I feel like the lines of consent got blurred against me. I had a bad understanding of consent for a long time so I am sure that people have similar experiences with me. Now, I do not engage in any degree of physical anything with another person unless I am sure that there is consent and that it is a shared experience of love and affection. It's not hard to be very hardline about this because I otherwise care very little for physical affection. But since I have been this way, I experience everything so differently and it really does seem to have more meaning and pleasure for me that I couldn't recreate more efficiently in a solo experience.

I remember in law school studying rape and the Antioch College rules regarding consent, which require not just all sexual or physical activities to have consent, but that anytime a new element is introduced between individuals. Even when I went to law school in the early aughts, this was considered a little bit extremist, as was evidenced by the SNL skit making fun of it (transcript here). 

Antioch College SOPP Media Coverage from Jon Wohlfert on Vimeo.

But Google "Antioch College sex consent" and you'll see a bunch of fresh takes about how the Antioch College Womyn were more prescient than we had thought. Maybe and romance and these things that we think should just be a natural, organic, but most of all unspoken meeting of the minds. I remember growing up thinking that this is what people wanted and expected, but I also had a really hard time understanding subtext or other forms of unspoken communication reliably so I would often just propose whatever physical intimacy to people whenever I felt like it. They would be surprised and almost embarrassed, but I don't remember being turned down, so maybe they were trying to get at the same thing via subtext?

But now I'm super verbal and communicative all of the time during any sort of romantic or intimate situation whatsoever, and it is such a better experience. I wanted to suggest it to everyone. Sometimes I'll get a little quite, and it's always for some reason worse. It is so much easier to stay on the same page with people by asking short simple questions (credit Arthur, a sociopath I met) and trying to say something every minute or so or as things change up. Maybe give it a try?


  1. I wonder if sociopaths have issues with boundaries generally. Maybe there's so much focus on doing what's necessary to get the main prize, there's a risk of being taken advantage of.

    But this is similar to the comment I write on the last post.

    From my perspective, the current malaise with **-* has stemmed from my really putting my foot down this year about my needs. He acquiesced to my requests, which were that he needs to contact me before Tuesday if he wants me to show up on Tuesday night. I mean think that's completely reasonable. But in hindsight, that has seemed to pull him too far from where he wants to be.

    And I think when I wished him happy birthday, that was too close for him, too much like "having a woman in his life" which he doesn't want. But he didn't say that. He kind of accepted that because he didn't want me to lose me.

    But there was an opportunity there for him to say that.

    Instead, out come the claws and it's world war 3.

    So yeah, there's no solution to this.

    Reason being is that in a relationship between non sociopathic people, there's a general level of interest in meeting the other person's needs. There's a genuine pleasure in it. And a little bit of compromise on both sides creates a glue for the relationship and signals mutual investment.

    It didn't work like that for a sociopath, in my experience. ME, I eventually managed to take on board what you said about these things either aligning for people or not.

    I can totally see that's how it works for **-*.

    He doesn't get that pleasure nor incentive to take my perspective. He just wants what he wants when he wants it.

    I get this advice to just "use" him but even negotiation puts him into a tailspin and thinking he's lost control.

    We clearly love hanging out together, but these core issues of respecting each other's preferences are fundamental to sustainability and are lacking on both sides. Fucked if I can discern a practicable method.

    Also, he is super jealous about my career. I thought we were back on track the other morning, but just at that minute, the partner I'm working with called, and I left to talk to her. I knew that would cause trouble but the time of the call was pre-arranged. Nothing I could do about it.

    And he thinks he's old and his equipment won't serve its purpose and that I'll leave because of that.

    It's like he can't understand anything that's important to me. I just want to touch him and kiss him. At the moment, he can't even understand that.

    I've said all this to him but he's not listening. As Anon said, he's just annoyed with me. Nothing to be done unless and until he takes a chill pill.

  2. And this is exactly how he behaved 5 years ago when we first broke up.

    And guess what he said both occasions before the freak out: "I love you"

    And you're telling me it's not to do with vulnerability?

    This has vulnerability stamped all over it.

    The dude is more vulnerable even than me and I've always thought that.

    I guess the only way to love him it's to leave him alone.

    I haven't started a blog yet because that would be too much investment in something that might be dead.

    1. More than that. Maybe he did something he want treally didn't to because he "loves" me and that's what had freaked him out.

      I think that is the most likely scenario.

      That's why he's vulnerable and angry.

      ME, you are so right about continuing communication - just everywhere not only in the bedroom.

      If I knew the things were issues for him, I would definitely have suggested something else.

  3. True sociopath sex is masturbation. When it´s real.

  4. I didn't even take my overnight bag with me to work today because I knew he'd play silly buggers.

    Like clockwork.

    His "clever" little "monster" plots, poor darling.

    What exactly do sociopaths think they control anyway?

    I guess I've learned boundaries are preferable to control. That said, when he initiates the fight, there's no way I'll lose.

    Ultimately, though, I just don't want this unnecessary fighting in my life. I was thinking this morning there's just no way he can be peaceful with me. We can go one or two weeks in equilibrium, max. He has to knock me off balance, or I forget he's "different" and fall into my natural paradigm of relationship, which doesn't work.

    All of this unsettling has given me an opportunity to better integrate my feelings into my consciousness and my responses. I don't dissociate anymore. I can stand my gground.Today my boss had a very challenging conversation with me. 6 months ago, I'd have shut him out. It was still very hard for me but today I stayed present and we healed our relationship.

    This morning, I'll be honest, I felt frightened of **-*. I've never actually
    allowed myself to fear anything. But this morning, I realised that fear is the appropriate response to him. He will always hurt me to protect himself. That's inevitable and unchanging.

    This feeling of being frightened is so significant in my journey. It means the things I've needed him for are being fulfilled by myself, so the next most important feeling can emerge, that is fear of being hurt and desire to protect myself.

    I love him for who he is. I don't want him to be having an experience of being out of control. To me there's a precious tenderness I've cherished all these years and would have changed the world for him.

    But I think that need to be in control means, at the moment, he has to control the ending.

    Okay, baby, have it your way. The best way to love him is to leave him alone. More importantly, that's the best way to love myself at the moment.

    If I could write, I'd write a book for you. Maybe I'll write a book. Or maybe I'll just leave it and get on with my career. Who knows, too early to say. I don't think there's anything I can add. For all my theorising, I've landed where most people begin: boundaries.

  5. Relationship with a sociopath is a sequence of Pyrrhic victories.

  6. I've been working in a trauma related environment recently, with practice guided by trauma-informed principles. I was struck by these principles as being quite similar to the principles that have worked in practice with **-*. The principles for trauma informed practice are:

    Safety - privacy, physical and emotional safety
    Choice - individual had choice and control
    Collaboration - make decisions with the individual and share power
    Trust - task clarity and consistency and interpersonal boundaries
    Empowerment - validation, affirmationa skill building

    I would say safety, choice and trust have been especially important. Hmmm, all of them really.

    This whole scenario had blown up because I wasn't careful enough about his privacy and offering him choices. And because he reacted to that and I enforced my boundaries, I guess he was left feeling very out of control, and is now seeking to reestablish it by being an epic pain in the ass / ultimate frustration.

    What I'm trying to say is sociopaths are as human as all of us and by respecting their human and their particular needs, we can understand them better and offer them dignity above being "monsters".

    But in reality, this is a relationship. I'm not a service provider or counsellor. I need stuff too. I don't, maybe this stuff is useful in a work context. Providing choice especially.

  7. Writing on my phone is ridiculous. Gboard doesn't play nice with the comments box.

  8. Now he's threatening a police case because I left a teddy bear at his door, which I have him full warning about. Apparently the teddy bear has traumatised his son. The likelihood of that having happened is slim to none, since he doesn't take chances about these things and since I sent him text messages and left a voicemail to say I was planning to leave it.

    Just more control.

  9. What a train wreck. Because I wished him happy birthday. Jaysus.

    1. No different to any of his other train wrecks, I shouldn't imagine.

  10. North
    You've got to stop all this. The energy you're expending on this relationship is just too much. Disengage. You know you should. The man is an obvious paranoid idiot. One of you needs to act the adult. Decide that it should be you. His behaviour is not normal (for his personality type). I know psychopaths who have been married for twenty years for goodness sake. Without any angst whatsoever. Have you ever considered he might be mentally ill? Police complaints about a teddy bear??? Paranoia is not a commendable trait. Protect yourself and enforce your boundaries.

    1. Yeah, I called it last night. The "police case" is his response to that.

      Yes, he's paranoid and no, he's not Athena. I'm glad of that, though. Nevertheless, he's been trying to control and I've refused to allow that control, in an endless loop. We've created the limit now and that's definitely a good thing.

  11. My ex husband described sociopaths as living breathing BDSM. There's something to this, to their insistence on doling out pain (or at least discomfort) with pleasure.

    The way **-* described his insistence on his fantasy was that he knows I still love him if I do that thing for him.

    So it's this picture of a person who can't understand the signals of connection and alignment and safety: he seeks to generate signals he does understand. It's pain he understands. Within a relationship, he needs to see his partner's pain as much as anyone else needs connection. The interpretation is the same: it's ok to relax a bit and invest.

    So don't bother bringing any Athena bullshit about logic and loyalty and trust to the table. That's rhetoric with agenda.

    Every human is vulnerable in relationship and we all have methods of managing that vulnerability. The sociopath inflicts pain.

    But it's a very rough proxy, not a good metric for understanding where the relationship is. It doesn't model human social behaviour well enough to provide a reasonable decision making guide. Critical example: I'm quite invested in **-* but am sick of that stupid fantasy. I'm just not going to do it, especially when he's being a nuisance. So he feels all out of control but the reality is he had no clue of the strength of his actual position, no mechanism to detect it or capitalise on it.

    At a fundamental level, the pleasure suffer of the equation was transformative for me. It was worth the pain. And while I still want the pleasure being with him entails, the pleasure has done is work in me. The pain is instantly less tolerable and there he goes, spiralling out of control.

    It's important to be clear about this and to see him as a whole person, both sides of the coin. A babe in the woods with the sharpest of claws.

    When I was a little girl, a had a guinea pig that became sick. I remember reaching to pick him up and he lashed out and bit me. Everything was a threat, even the person trying to care for him.

    **-* is like that guinea pig. For whatever reason, he only perceives threat in relationship. That's just how it is.

    Need for control is a direct measure of threat perception.

  12. In short, what changed for **-* is that the pleasure / pain ratio was no longer worth it for me. Until maybe the end of last year, the pleasure has amplified value for me, and he didn't have an appreciation of that.

    That pleasure is now less critical to my personal journey, so the discomfort factor is much higher and I'm not tolerating it. He still wants me so pushes harder with the pain infliction to see if I'll give off the signals he wants to see. Nope. He keeps pressing the bloody button like bloody Bart and I keep kicking him in the balls (metaphorically) for trying to electric shock me.

    So yeah. Information. All humans make decisions based on information they interpret from the environment and he doesn't have the same sensors or use the same interpretation model.

    It is what it is.

  13. I wrote here that I left Quora to focus more on my own story.

    This split is the inevitable result. I'd shifted from trying to understand him and his paradigm to expressing my own being. I started to forget the things I'd learned about him - that he always needs choice and always needs privacy and airways needs to have agency over his own fate.

    It just goes to show that one can't really be their full self in relationship with a sociopath person, at least not with **-*. He has no boundaries, only claws. No fence to protect himself, only teeth and boots. That's just too dangerous. Unless I'm on his head all the time, he's viscous.

    The saddest part for me is that I've learned to be myself mainly because of the relationship. I learned so much because of him. I didn't mean to hurt him.

    I guess he feels annoyed. Maybe he doesn't have the emotional apparatus to feel the array of things I do. There's still intensity there.

    29th March - last Friday - was the day I think he decided that was it and from there he was just messing with me to provoke the end.

    1. He'll find a married woman now because she won't want too much of his time. He explained that to me. And he'll do the same thing - tell her she's the love of love of his life and that he didn't think he'd find love again, blah blah blah. And when she loves him, he knows he can get what he wants.

      Then when she wants too much, he cuts her loose.

      Those are all things he's said to me, pulled into a single story. My story, same story twice.

    2. For me, it's another step. I would like to experience a relationship with trust, with a bit more communication and without all the goddamn rules. Those are the big things that were missing with **-*.

      I do love him for who he is but more than that, I want to be who I am.

      I promised myself I would let this end naturally and I think it has. That's important because it means I've been able to grow.

      I'm really proud of myself for coming so far. It sucks that **-* wants all that jumping through hoops because I just don't want to do that anymore.

  14. All of his behaviour makes sense. Except that he hasn't deleted Viber.

    Last time this happened, he did continue to check an email address he created for talking to me. So I figure it's the same as that. But I don't understand why.

    1. A measure of my discomfort if I'm sending him messages, giving him a sense of agency or control or victory

    2. Keeping options open.

    Last time it worked out to be the latter.

    This time, I did the best I could. I answered most of my questions. I won't wait around for so long. I'm not traumatised, it's not confusing or intense. I'll miss him but am not devastated. I see my life stretching ahead of me. It's still a grief process, though.

    And I'm curious as to what's going on with him not destroying this comms channel.

    I'm keen to hear your thoughts if you'd like to share. Please let me know if I'm off base or on track with my guesses.


    1. I don't think it's a measure of your discomfort or whatever because what does he really gain from that information? Knowing that you are or are not in discomfort wouldn't give him any control and if he isn't interested in you anymore why would he care anyway? So I think he just wants to keep all options open, at least that is what I would do.

    2. Thanks Anon. I'll just let him go through his process then and I'll go through mine. I figure four months is about the timeframe for me to be ready to move on so that gives him a fair amount of time.


    3. I basically forgot the number one principle for dealing with someone like **-* is to give them choices about what happens in relation to them. No surprises, hands in plain sight. I know this, I just completely forgot because I happened to be relaxed with him.

    4. Jesus fucking christ is all these posts needed? Fucking useless and attention seeking

    5. People in glass houses...

      It took a while to get there, but the one-liner summary is:

      I forgot he prefers choices about everything that happens with him. That little memory lapse turned into a wildfire because he sees everything he doesn't understand (including love) as a threat and attacks it like a mofo.

      As if I'd let him hurt me, or you deter me. There's no where else on the planet where people have the slightest inkling about how to relate to people like him, so I'm not gonna stop asking questions and working stuff out just because you pipe up with a lame ass comment. Say something useful or run along.

    6. Other anon, you are also kind of attention seeking. Why else would you waste your valuable time and write this useless comment.

  15. Anon 1:41pm,

    You were correct. He contacted me today to say I could come over to collect my things and say farewell. He also said he was keeping his son full time...

    Basically, I was thinking that I was wanting to just be close, ie return to my paradigm. I figured that would mean he'd want to get ultra control freaky with things and sure enough.

    But the interesting thing is he offered me options about when to see him. This is new, but it's what I proposed would work for him: options. He had in the past responded well to options and requests.

    That's why I think the strong need for self-determination is at the heart of the sociopathic paradigm. He's less control-freaky when I give him options rather than making direct requests.

    When I called him, he was still thinking I'd be sleeping over so that didn't really sound like a farewell. He also mentioned next week so likelihood he had the kid all the time is pretty slim. But I recognised straight away the while set up was just too out him back in the driver's seat.

    Well, he can have choices :p

  16. When I was a student in psychologist college, I write an essay about communication that affects intimacy during sex. Nowadays, young people don't understand how it's important. And it provokes many problems in sex life. Also, if you need to write some essay or dissertation, you can ask help from Essay Review Expert where professional writers help you with any questions.


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