It's Just Us Here discussion

The Partner (It's Just Us Here #3)
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message 1: by Gabi (last edited Apr 24, 2019 04:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments If you have questions about the series, or some events that took place in this book, feel free to ask them.

If you just want to vent your frustrations, or gush about Chris and Mark you can do that too.

If you want to share you're personal thoughts about sexuality, we'd be happy to lend an ear.

This is a judgement-free zone, please keep that in mind and try not to hurt anyone.


Gabi | 46 comments Testing, testing... does this work? When you go to the book's page, can anyone see this topic?


message 3: by annob (last edited Apr 24, 2019 02:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

annob | 27 comments Hi Gabi, excellent idea!

Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "When you go to the book's page, can anyone see this topic?"

Usually it takes 1-2 days for book pages to show things like newly attached lists and discussions topics.


Gabi | 46 comments annob wrote: "Hi Gabi, excellent idea!

Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "When you go to the book's page, can anyone see this topic?"

Usually it takes 1-2 days for book pages to show things like newly attached lists and..."


Yeah, I thought so. I wanted to link the other books to this topic, but I can't. I can only add one book. :( Should I open up a new thread for each book, do you think? Maybe to avoid spoilers?


annob | 27 comments I think opening up a thread per book is a good idea. That way it's easier to avoid spoilers for the ones we haven't read yet.


Mymymble | 11 comments So here I am . Hello.
I agree with Annob, a thread a book would be lovely once they're published.
Thanks for doing this, guys.


Gabi | 46 comments Mymymble wrote: "So here I am . Hello.
I agree with Annob, a thread a book would be lovely once they're published.
Thanks for doing this, guys."


Okay, I'll do that.
Uhm I see you had to join the group, Mymymble. So apparently readers can only comment if they join. Maybe I should open a thread outside the group then...??


message 8: by Mymymble (last edited Apr 24, 2019 03:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mymymble | 11 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "Mymymble wrote: "So here I am . Hello.
I agree with Annob, a thread a book would be lovely once they're published.
Thanks for doing this, guys."

Okay, I'll do that.
Uhm I see you had to join the g..."


I don't know. I had to join the group for Marc's CMBYN discussion too. It's not something bothered me, and any discussion should have some moderating but it might bother some people. I joined a poetry group by mistake once that I didn't 'appreciate' and just asked how to leave it. It was like being attacked by swarms of threads. The only thing worries me is if someone joins who's only read The Friend, would they get notification of all the books' threads which would be spoilerish.


Elena | 12 comments Thank you for setting this up, Gabi. :)

Like I said in my review's comments section, I was wondering about how non-ace (what term do we use here? Sexuals? Allosexuals? I'm fine with everything, I just want to be sure that we are all understanding each other) readers would interpret and feel about Chris's POV in a sexual context.

Bear with me, I'm not sure I'll make sense, but I'll try.

In this book we see for the first time in details one of the many ways an asexual can think about having sex with someone they are in love with. Specifically what can go on inside an asexual's head while they are having sex.
Chris's inner dialogue obviously isn't the same as every other asexual's in the world, but it didn't strike me as completely alien.
I was reading the sex scenes and I found myself laughing at the thoughts that were going on inside Chris's head when he was waiting for Mark to finish. (The 'blah blah blah' moment was priceless. Lol)
And then a thought struck me. It was funny to me, because I know that the fact that Chris seemed so uninterested (for lack of a better term) had nothing to do with how much he cared for Mark and Mark's happiness and, I think, Mark's sexual gratification.
I was able to filter that and see that that Chris's lack of sexual desire had nothing to do with his feelings for Mark, that it didn't make them less, just different.
But I know that one of the main problems sexual people express when they talk about finding out that their partner or potential partner is asexual is that the lack of desire on their partner's part makes them feel unwanted, unloved and rejected. For (some of) them sexual attraction is very much linked to the idea of romantic love.
So I thought about those scenes from that perspective and I realized that they must be weird and probably very depressing from a non-ace perspective. To be honest, they were a bit depressing from my perspective too, but that's on me.

Of course, that's my theory based on me trying to put myself in their place. I'd like to hear actual non-ace people's opinion on that, if they are willing to share their thoughts. :)


Elena | 12 comments Mymymble wrote: "The only thing worries me is if someone joins who's only read The Friend, would they get notification of all the books' threads which would be spoilerish."

But they'd be able to see which book we are discussing, because it shows in the thread's title. So they could avoid the discussion if the want to avoid spoilers.
That's what I do in my other groups. :)


message 11: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments I wonder if Mark ever felt unwanted, as you said. But I think he understood from the beginning that it's not him. It's just how Chris is, I don't think it ever occurred to him that he's not desirable. I mean just look at him. ;)

Joking aside, well I don't think I have a right to comment on this, seeing as I'm on the ace spectrum too. It felt weird to me only because I'm used to gay romance book where both parties enjoys the sex, and they're seemingly know what to do with their limbs, and they do not stop in the middle of it to discuss Survivor or Game of Thrones or whatnot. lol But I also like that with Chris and Mark not everything goes that smoothly as in books, and that's real.

I also wanted to say something else, but maybe after you guys read the Lover. :)


Elena | 12 comments Nola Superba wrote: "I felt grateful to the author for letting me read this honest report."

Definitely this, Nola.

Nola Superba wrote: "Chris defined himself as an ACE, but for me this wasn't the main issue between him and Mark. Everything Chris was doing with Mark was a first time, not just the sexual part. Too many new things, too many emotions."

I agree. It's just that the difference in their approach to sex is what really stands out in this book, in comparison to every other m/m book I've ever read. Does it make sense?


message 13: by Elena (last edited Apr 24, 2019 05:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elena | 12 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "I wonder if Mark ever felt unwanted, as you said. But I think he understood from the beginning that it's not him."

Mark has always seemed to me remarkably very accomodating and understanding of Chris's needs, despite the fact that sometimes he didn't seem to get the meaning of 'going slow'. Lol
I'm not sure I agree with the fact that he understood from the beginning, though. He probably understood that it didn't have anything to do with him specifically, but he didn't understand the real implications of Chris's asexuality on their relationship. Not until the famous phone call that sent him into a nervous breakdown.
When I mentioned the fact that many sexual people feel that way when partnered with an ace person, I wasn't referring to the fact that they don't understand intellectually that it's not about them, at least once they know about asexuality.
It's more that they can't live with the fact that their partner doesn't desire them in a sexual way, because for them that's a fundamental part of being in a romantic relationship and they need to feel desired on a sexual level too to have a fulfilling relationship.

Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "Joking aside, well I don't think I have a right to comment on this, seeing as I'm on the ace spectrum too."

Why not? I didn't specify, but I took it for granted that anyone could offer their view on the matter, if they wanted, regardless of their sexuality. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear, I wasn't asking only for a specific group's opinion.

Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "they do not stop in the middle of it to discuss Survivor or Game of Thrones or whatnot."

Or think, 'I'm hungry. What's for breakfast?'

😂😂😂


annob | 27 comments Elena wrote: "So I thought about those scenes from that perspective and I realized that they must be weird and probably very depressing from a non-ace perspective."

Hi all lovely Aces! I'm a sexual person myself, but I didn't find those scenes depressing. Mostly I had fun reading the scenes too. Occationally I could feel discomfort when Chris made himself do things he didn't want to. But not depressing.

Elena wrote: "... one of the main problems sexual people express when they talk about finding out that their partner or potential partner is asexual is that the lack of desire on their partner's part makes them feel unwanted, unloved and rejected."

These books have been an eye opener to me. They've made me wonder how I would handle a long term relationship with an ace partner. Understanding each others perspective seems of key importance, otherwise I could easily feel rejected or unwittingly push them too hard. Having Chris' books as rolemodels of a happy ace-allo couple, I wouldn't hesitate to persue a person just because told me they were ace. And by now I know a lot more of what that means. :)


annob | 27 comments Elena wrote: "... they can't live with the fact that their partner doesn't desire them in a sexual way, because for them that's a fundamental part of being in a romantic relationship and they need to feel desired on a sexual level too to have a fulfilling relationship."

I'm looking forward to see how Chris and Mark work this out in the upcoming books. One of the things missing from your (harsh but close to true) argument is that sexuals need love too. Walking away from someone you're deeply in love with, due frustrations within the relationship, is still hard for the heart.


message 16: by annob (last edited Apr 24, 2019 06:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

annob | 27 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "... romance book where both parties enjoys the sex, and they're seemingly know what to do with their limbs, and they do not stop in the middle of it to discuss Survivor or Game of Thrones or whatnot. lol"

Ha! I had a lot of fun reading the realistic sex scenes. I may share Mark's sexual nature, but I do like to laugh a lot in bed, and be silly, just like Chris does. I frequently roll my eyes at the many, many romance novels where both MCs always have perfect simultanious orgasms. Yeah, right.


Elena | 12 comments annob wrote: "Hi all lovely Aces! I'm a sexual person myself, but I didn't find those scenes depressing. Mostly I had fun reading the scenes too. Occationally I could feel discomfort when Chris made himself do things he didn't want to. But not depressing."

Thank you for sharing your view on this, Annob. :)

annob wrote: "They've made me wonder how I would handle a long term relationship with an ace partner. Understanding each others perspective seems of key importance, otherwise I could easily feel rejected or unwittingly push them too hard. Having Chris' books as rolemodels of a happy ace-allo couple, I wouldn't hesitate to persue a person just because told me they were ace. And by now I know a lot more of what that means. :)"

THIS. This is why I think these books are so important in general, not just because of ace representation. It is difficult for us to explain ourselves, but it must be just as much difficult for everyone else to understand us. Like you said, Annob, understanding is the key, without that there's no moving forward.


message 18: by annob (last edited Apr 24, 2019 06:31AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

annob | 27 comments Elena wrote: "THIS. This is why I think these books are so important in general, not just because of ace representation. It is difficult for us to explain ourselves."

The books should be in every school library around the world. :)

I also found it so uplifting to see how many Ace persons there are just here in this little pond of romance readers on Goodreads. That means there are many of you everywhere, and that's also an important insight.


Elena | 12 comments annob wrote: "One of the things missing from your (harsh but close to true) argument is that sexuals need love too."

I'm truly sorry if I gave you the impression that I'm not very aware of that. I would never think or imply that allosexuals don't need love or that they value the sexual aspect of their relationship more than all the others.
When I was talking about it, I took for granted that the sexual aspect was one of the fundamental needs sexual people require to be happy in a romantic relationship. I focused on that one because the other one, romantic love, went without saying, but I should have been more clear. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

annob wrote: "Walking away from someone you're deeply in love with, due frustrations within the relationship, is still hard for the heart."

It's the worst thing, and I'm aware that it's a common scenario in allo-ace relationships. I've heard so many heartbreaking stories from both ace and allo-sexual people about that particular brand of hell that I've had to make a conscious decision to avoid ace forums on the internet because I couldn't take it anymore.

Mark and Chris's story is kind of the opposite of that in a way. I hate to see them going through the bad times, but it's good too, because I know they made it through and they're still together and happy. That means a lot.
I'm looking forward to seeing how everything works out, too. :)


Elena | 12 comments annob wrote: "I also found it so uplifting to see how many Ace persons there are just here in this little pond of romance readers on Goodreads. That means there are many of you everywhere, and that's also an important insight."

There are a lot us, right?! It's so weird, because every statistics I've heard about says that we should be around 1% of the total population, but I seem to see asexuals coming out of nowhere left and right on GR! :D

Although, a friend here told me the other day that she read an article that claimed that a more accurate percentage would be 5%. Still not much, but it's less weird than thinking that all the asexuals in the world have found their way to the m/m community on GR. Lol


annob | 27 comments Elena wrote: "I've heard so many heartbreaking stories from both ace and allo-sexual people about that particular brand of hell that I've had to make a conscious decision to avoid ace forums on the internet because I couldn't take it anymore."

Sorry to hear there are so many sad real life stories. And good on you for avoiding those places. We all need to see postive outcomes, no matter who we are.


message 22: by annob (last edited Apr 24, 2019 06:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

annob | 27 comments Elena wrote: "... every statistics I've heard about says that we should be around 1% of the total population, but I seem to see asexuals coming out of nowhere left and right! ... a more accurate percentage would be 5%."

Yay! I hope the numbers are going to change for the better as awareness grows. Just like with the other identities under the lgbtqia umbrella.


message 23: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Elena wrote: "I'm not sure I agree with the fact that he understood from the beginning, though. He probably understood that it didn't have anything to do with him specifically, but he didn't understand the real implications of Chris's asexuality on their relationship.."

That's what I meant to say. :) The rest came later for him. There must have been an "Oh" moment for Mark, when he truly realized... "okay... so, no sex? wut?" ehehhe lol


message 24: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Elena wrote: "There are a lot us, right?! It's so weird, because every statistics I've heard about says that we should be around 1% of the total population, but I seem to see asexuals coming out of nowhere left and right on GR! :D"

That 1% is a total bullshit. Though I also think a lot of people just don't care enough to label themselves. I myself ignored it too. And then there was Chris... and I wanted to know, wanted to feel like I belong, like I'm not alone. So I read and read and read and did some researching and soul-searching and now here I am waving my flag. I mean, I'm not shouting from the rooftops but if I want to tell anyone who really needs to know, at least I can explain to them easier. :)


message 25: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Nola Superba wrote: "Yes, it makes sense :). But that's the reason I can't enjoy the other M/M books so much anymore (with very few exceptions). In the M/M romance, sex is there just to entertain the reader. It's too "perfect" and often boring."

You're absolutely right, Nola! It does get boring sometimes. And certain books feel like the sex scenes were written first, and the story was written around them just to fill the space. lol
Though I honestly think it depends on the writing style... or maybe not the style but how the writer presents it. I dunno.

And, like Annob, I love when there's laughter in their somewhere, it feels less like a transaction, a means to an end. Or deep emotions. That's why I love slow-burn. :) There needs to be some connection for me to enjoy a sex scene... most of the time, though I did read erotica in the past. :D


message 26: by Mymymble (last edited Apr 24, 2019 08:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mymymble | 11 comments I'm allo, not ace but I so sympathized and loved the blah blah blah. Also the phone call and Mark's revelation were, well, a revelation. Partly this book but also this group of people has encouraged me from that standpoint and I think it's really valuable. A close friend recently was in a longish relationship with a young medically Ace guy and we had no idea. None of us. If only Chris had written this a couple years ago it would have been such a comfort . All I found was Reddit's Dead Bedroom thread which is so sad I didn't show her. So I suspect there will be men and women in Mark's position who'll love this too. And need it.
Mark was very accepting but so was Chris. In terms of your original question, Elena, the only parts of Chris' sexuality that squicked me out at all was the germ phobia, since a previous partner was OCD and I was wondering if he ever felt like that. Otherwise it was brilliant. I felt totally convinced and grateful to get his pov.


message 27: by Mymymble (last edited Apr 24, 2019 08:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mymymble | 11 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "Elena wrote: "I'm not sure I agree with the fact that he understood from the beginning, though. He probably understood that it didn't have anything to do with him specifically, but he didn't unders..."

I thought it was the phone call. The just a smiling head. Not his drive or bod but just a smile. The Mark "Ooh shiny object!" POV was hysterical.


message 28: by Mymymble (last edited Apr 24, 2019 08:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mymymble | 11 comments Elena wrote: "Mymymble wrote: "The only thing worries me is if someone joins who's only read The Friend, would they get notification of all the books' threads which would be spoilerish."

But they'd be able to s..."


Is there a way to automatically stop these posts appearing in my updates apart from ticking each post which seems to reset a couple of times each posting? If not could we put a danger - spoiler zone at the top of the thread?


Elena | 12 comments Mymymble wrote: "I'm allo, not ace but I so sympathized and loved the blah blah blah."

Mark's reaction when Chris said it out loud was priceless. 😂😂

Mymymble wrote: "Also the phone call and Mark's revelation were, well, a revelation. Partly this book but also this group of people has encouraged me from that standpoint and I think it's really valuable."

I'm glad you found it useful, Mymymble.

Mymymble wrote: "Mark was very accepting but so was Chris."

True. They work well together. :)


Elena | 12 comments Mymymble wrote: "I thought it was the phone call. The just a smiling head."

Me too. Maybe there's another moment later in the other books...?


Elena | 12 comments Mymymble wrote: "Is there a way to automatically stop these posts appearing in my updates apart from ticking each post which seems to reset a couple of times each posting?"

I'd like to know this as well. Is it a group setting? It doesn't happen with any of my other groups, only in the Feedback one and that's an 'official' GR group.


message 32: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Elena wrote: "Mymymble wrote: "Is there a way to automatically stop these posts appearing in my updates apart from ticking each post which seems to reset a couple of times each posting?"

I'd like to know this a..."


I'll look into it when I get home.


message 33: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments So it seems, when Chris created this group, he chose it to be public and not private. And since the "Comment on a book or discussion" feature is enabled in the Feed Settings for everyone... every comment will show up on your update feed.

If Chris changes the group settings to private, the problem would be solved I think. The downside of that is that outside of the group no one would be able to comment.

For now, you guys can try this:
Go to your Account Settings -->Feeds-->Only on Goodreads.com section, and uncheck the second box "Comment on a book or discussion". This should not effect your comments on other readers' reviews.


message 34: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments I think it worked for me. My previous comment did not show up on my feed.


Mymymble | 11 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "I think it worked for me. My previous comment did not show up on my feed."

Thanks, Gabi but won't that will stop my other non-group discussions from going on my updates?
Also people joining the group will assume, like Elena said, that the default setting will be that group discussions aren't put on updates, only to members of the group, albeit that being a group open to all (which is great since we want lots of readers to be transformed by these books).
Sorry to mention this when you're taking such trouble because a couple of us wanted to join the group. I'm sure it's easily solvable but I'm far too SM untechi to suggest a solution. I just think it's easier to be more open in groups even open membership groups than if all my mates who like apocrypha/2nd WW history/James Lee Burke etc. aren't getting notified of every post about my very open sexuality.
I expect Chris can just check a box as mod (if he wishes) while still keeping the group open membership.


message 36: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Mymymble wrote: "Thanks, Gabi but won't that will stop my other non-group discussions from going on my updates?"

It shouldn't. There's a "Reviews" section in your feed settings for that box. If 'Comment on someone's review' is checked in, then your comments will show up on your feed no problem. At least that's my interpretation. :)
So if you uncheck that box I mentioned in my previous post, your friends won't see your every comment you post here. I admit, I wouldn't want that either. This turning out to be a very intimate group. :)

This is the best option I can offer right now. Chris might not be able to help with this feature after all :( But I'm sure he'll see our comments when he logs in, and he'll think of something.

I think it should stay a public group though.


message 37: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments I just tried to create a new group to see the options I can choose from and there's only 4.

This group is public.
Anyone can join this group. Anyone can view the group information and discussion board.

This group is restricted.
New members must verify they own an email with one of the listed domains. Anyone can see the group information, but only members can see the discussion board.

This group is private.
New members must be approved by the group moderators. Anyone can see the group information, but only members can see the polls and discussion board. Only Moderators can invite new members.

This group is secret.
New members must be approved by the group moderators. The group will not appear in search results or in the profiles of its members. Only members can see the group information, polls, and discussion board. Only Moderators can invite new members.


There also isn't seem to be any options about the updates. :(
Hmm... maybe the restricted group would be best.


Mymymble | 11 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "Mymymble wrote: "Thanks, Gabi but won't that will stop my other non-group discussions from going on my updates?"

It shouldn't. There's a "Reviews" section in your feed settings for that box. If 'C..."


I think it should stay open, too.
If GR wasn't set up so that the update feed box wasn't so random this wouldn't matter! For example this post the feed's unchecked but an earlier one I unticked three times before it stopped ticking itself. 😚


Mymymble | 11 comments Gabriella (Gabi) wrote: "I just tried to create a new group to see the options I can choose from and there's only 4.

This group is public.
Anyone can join this group. Anyone can view the group information and discussion b..."


I don't know. It seems a shame. A GR mod would know.


Elena | 12 comments Thank you, Gabi! I changed my settings. :)
I agree that the group would be better left public.


Mymymble | 11 comments I asked my GR mod friend and she said your suggestion is the only way to do it, Gabi, so I've followed Elena and unchecked the box. Thanks.


message 42: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments I'm sorry there's no better option at the moment. :( Hopefully with the new GR Helpdesk we will be able to bring this problem to their attention. (And get a solution) :)


message 43: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa | 1 comments Hi, everyone. Just noticed this discussion going and wanted to jump in as a beta reader and resident of the gray ace spectrum. I recently finished The Stud. I’ve loved this series so far because of the detail. I’m so glad to read such an in depth look into Chris’ asexual mind and into Mark and Chris’ sweet romance. Glad to see the comments of so many who consider themselves ace as well.


message 44: by Gabi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gabi | 46 comments Hey Lisa,
Glad to have you with us. :) And I'm happy you love Chris and Mark's story just as much as we do. :D


Elena | 12 comments Lisa wrote: "Hi, everyone. Just noticed this discussion going and wanted to jump in as a beta reader and resident of the gray ace spectrum. I recently finished The Stud. I’ve loved this series so far because of..."

Hi, Lisa! It's good to have a new addition to the group. :)


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