Talking to your partner is scary. Asking for something you need is scary. And especially because we live in a society that encourages us all to be independent beings that need don’t need anybody, especially if you’ve been encouraged by society to see yourself as ‘clingy’ or worry about being so, and especially because non-monogamous reinforce the idea that you shouldn’t need anyone too much, it can be that much harder to want anything from anybody.
I found myself in my relationships trying to manipulate situations so that I got what I really wanted without having to ask for it because asking directly for something you need and being told by someone you care for greatly that they refuse to do it is absolutely gut-wrenchingly horrifying. And the greater my need for any one thing, the less likely I was to ask directly for it.