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Is it Possible to Have an Intimate Relationship Without Sex?

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PanicAttack53 posted 4/30/2013 18:39 PM

Many here already know my story. For those who donít, the short version is that my stbxWW had a 3 Ĺ year LTA and Iíve filed for D after 11 months of false R. My D will be final on 6/6 if not before.

Anyway, while Iím not actively looking for a committed relationship, I do miss the companionship part of one. Iíve met a couple of ladies Iíd be interested in dating lately, but Iíve hesitated because the fear of intimacy (e.g., sex) coming up is still abhorrent to me after what stbx did. I know Iíll get past this one day; Iím just not ready now. Iíd love to date someone and have a relationship somewhere in between friendship and sex, if that makes any sense. All Iím really looking for is a companion to share conversation with over dinner, a good book a movie etcÖ If that leads to intimacy in terms of touching, a kiss or hug that would also be great but itís as far as I want to go right now.

Maybe Iím putting the proverbial cart before the horse here, but is something like that even possible now a days? Can two people have an intimate relationship without sex?

[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 6:41 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

Chrysalis123 posted 4/30/2013 18:45 PM

I would think so, as long as both people were completely honest about their expectations for the relationship and the communication was crystal clear.

Is it common? I don't know.

Chrysalis123 posted 4/30/2013 18:47 PM

Oops...double post...darn IPad

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 6:47 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

torn2bits posted 4/30/2013 18:51 PM

It most definitely is. Just like some WSs carried on texting, emailing, going out and talking daily with the AP, but no sex.

It some cases its because one or both have some physical reason they can't perform or they simply choose not to get physical and enjoy the emotional aspect of their relationship.

I knew a guy that was soooo sweet, attentive, held hands, loved going out, but he was on meds that could not allow him to have sex.

Heal&Deal posted 4/30/2013 19:03 PM

There are lots of intimate relationships in our lives that do not involve sex.

I go to movies and dinners with my very close girl friends quite often. We have in depth conversations on any number of issues and help each other work through issues. There are inside jokes and an atmosphere of knowing I'm safe to be myself.

I have failed to be successful at this kind of thing with men. Even if it starts out in agreement, there generally comes this point where there is an expectation that there will be more. But maybe, I just haven't met the right guy friend.

Do you think that your need to connect with others could maybe be met through meet up groups or volunteering? It might be more possible to meet people of common interests to center relationships on, which might help with achieving a true just friends relationship or at least help it move more slowly.

kernel posted 4/30/2013 19:21 PM

Yes, I think it's possible. As Chrys said, both parties have to go into it with crystal clear expectations. I think there are plenty of man/woman close friend situations that do not involve a sexual relationship. Some of them are married to each other!

Kajem posted 4/30/2013 19:28 PM

It's possible. Before my marriage ended, XH and I befriended a guy who went thru a bad divorce. When our marriage ended he tried to be there for XH and was snubbed. I got M in the divorce. He held me while I cried. backed me with kids. took care of my pets when I couldn't. etc... we called ourselves friends without benefits. Sex was never going to happen it wasn't that kind of relationship. We were more brother and sister or cousins to each other.

We had a lot of fun... our kids enjoyed each other. When we both got involved with SO's we naturally backed off our friendship. I still consider him a very good friend, but the relationship changed or maybe we changed.

Hope this helps,



cmego posted 4/30/2013 19:42 PM

I've heard some people have massages to help with the need for human touch.

For me, when I feel that need, I snuggle with the kids a little extra. They will pile on top of me in the bed as we laugh and watch TV at night. It helps to give me that "human touch".

I think with open and honest communication, anything is possible.

PanicAttack53 posted 4/30/2013 20:37 PM

Thanks all! The feedback was excellent and much appreciated.

BTW, it may be male ego and also tmi, but I want to include that the *plumbing* still works fine... it's the mental aspect of intimacy right now that's throwing me for a loop. I've never been a prude about sex... but the length and depravity of stbxWW's LTA may have me headed more in that direction. Just something I have to get worked out in my head.

[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 8:39 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

inconnu posted 4/30/2013 20:54 PM

A lack of desire for the intimacy of sex seems to be a normal stage some BS go through. I think it's our way of protecting ourselves from more hurt, while we heal.

Like others have said, if both people clearly understand the expectations for the relationship, it could work.

Before you go looking for someone, though, I'd like to caution you to think about what happens when you heal more, and eventually want sex as part of a relationship? What happens to the woman you're having this intimate without sex relationship with, the one whose expectations haven't changed?

You need to remember that it's not just your feelings you have to consider. You could really hurt someone if you decide you want to change the rules in the middle of the game.

wontdefineme posted 4/30/2013 22:26 PM

After being married for many years, I miss the companionship. I am sure many people would love to have that sort of relationship while putting their lives back together.

PanicAttack53 posted 5/1/2013 00:14 AM

You need to remember that it's not just your feelings you have to consider. You could really hurt someone if you decide you want to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Talk about my male ego... Geesh! I feel like an ass for not considering this as a possibility. Thanks so much inconnu for opening my eyes up to this. After enduring so much hurt from my last relationship, I sure wouldn't want to *ever* hurt someone else *I* care about.

Gonna go soak my head and get the cobwebs out now.

Amazonia posted 5/1/2013 08:10 AM

Why not focus on finding good friends first?

traildad posted 5/1/2013 15:07 PM

I went through a several month phase like this Panic. For about 8 months after XWW moved out. I thought sex was the last thing on my list when considering a new relationship. I even developed a close friendship with a woman that I didn't find terribly attractive, and her medications made her have zero sex drive. I even gave thought to a real relationship with her.

But then about two months ago I started to feel my "mojo" coming back. I started to feel attraction and the desire for sex again. This sort of eliminated my new friend from dating possibilities, and when she poured her heart out to me I had to let her down. Ultimately my quest for "non-sexual intimacy" hurt someone else. And it could have been worse if I had entered a relationship with her before my sexual desires returned.

Use my story as a caution Panic. I think you may be in the same phase I was a few months back. Things have shifted for me and I predict they will for you as well. Give it some time. I actually found that focusing my efforts on my guy friendships was much more rewarding during that time. That base of buddies will be there for life.

inconnu posted 5/1/2013 20:09 PM

Hope I didn't rain on your parade too much. But I know from experience that some of these stages can pass a lot more quickly than we think, and also that most of these stages are necessary for healing.

And I really do get the part of wanting companionship. I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy with my life, but I enjoy being, and having, a partner.

I was very fortunate that, in a matter of about 4 months, I went from "oh god, I don't ever want to have sex again" to "hey, that guy's kinda cute" to freaking out because guys started noticing me (apparently I lost my I'm married, don't look at me vibe at this point ) to wanting to be friends with a certain man to finally realizing that duh, I actually had been showing my interest in this guy for weeks and that I wanted a lot more than friendship. And I say fortunately because the certain gentleman returned the interest, and now we've been together for 3 years.

Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel, and take the time you need to heal. Build the life you want to have, and good things, and the right people, will be a part of that life, when the time is right for you.

traveldad posted 5/2/2013 01:00 AM

If you're a hot blooded male, it may be more difficult than you think. I drive a lot on business, so I started dating a nice Christian girl in a town I drove through frequently. I would take her out for dinner, have some nice conversation, and then drive on. One night she convinced me to come to her house, so I obliged. It went on and we made out on the couch and she convinced me to lay down on the bed with our clothes on. I held her and didn't sleep all night. The problem was that I also stayed excited all night. The next day my twins hurt so bad that I had to stop at a truck stop and take a warm shower. I loved the intimacy, but it was 2.5 yrs after my D. You want to stay in the friend zone for a while before you move on.

ladies_first posted 5/4/2013 11:19 AM

Just something I have to get worked out in my head.

Agreed. This is your issue, and may I ever so gently suggest a couple of IC sessions BEFORE you start dating? *You* need to decide your post-marriage, new-to-dating boundaries BEFORE you start dating.

Iíd be interested in dating lately, but Iíve hesitated because the fear of intimacy (e.g., sex) coming up is still abhorrent to me after what stbx did.

An IC will help you sort out any residual trust and intimacy issues. But don't lay this in the lap of your first/second female date, OK?

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