This Is Us

My Shame-Free, Sexless Relationship

My husband and I are sexually incompatible — but instead of ditching each other, we ditched monogamy

Jonathan Fobear
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readFeb 14, 2020

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Photo: Kizty Chan/EyeEm/Getty Images

IfIf a time traveler from the future would’ve told me, “Jonathan, your future husband will be the man of your dreams — but it’ll be a sexless marriage,” I would have laughed in said time traveler’s face, gone out to a gay bar, found a hot stranger, had sex right in front of him, then replied, “See? I love sex, and you’re wrong.” But actually, the time traveler would’ve been right.

Mark and I met eight years ago, on a website. He was 27; I was 33. I was just out of a 2.5 year relationship that was emotionally and verbally abusive. The sex was heart-pounding, sweaty, frequent, and great — but literally everything else was hostile. Meeting Mark was a breath of fresh air: He was someone who could make me laugh until I cried, who I never felt annoyed or awkward around; someone I could be in constant contact with for weeks and months and still enjoy his company every minute of every day. I could be goofy, or vulnerable, or wrong, or bloated, or thin, or masc, or femme, or smart, or stupid, or mistaken — and no matter what, it was fine with him.

It wasn’t very long before we discovered that the way we kissed each other was… yikes! Neither of us enjoyed it. And our sex? It was “Meh” on good days and “Let’s just stop” on bad ones. We tried different things to make the sex better, but it didn’t improve. It felt like we were shoehorning something into our relationship that just didn’t fit. After 1.5 years, it was time to either break up, or try an open relationship. I’d only been in monogamous relationships before, so the uncharted waters of an open relationship were scary to me. However, as a queer person, I didn’t have a millennia of compounded hetero rules and traditions I was expected to follow. I was born with a get-out-of-heteronormativity-free card — so trust and believe, I was damn well going to use it. Let the open experiment begin.

Before I continue, I want to say something to all those emotionally healthy, sexually active, loving couples (or throuples) out there: I support you, I am happy for you, and, to tell the truth, there are times I’m a little jealous of you. Depending on who…

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Jonathan Fobear
Human Parts

A creative person who learns and changes. I go through this world hoping that I am living the campsite rule of: “Leave it better than you found it.”