What is Asexual?

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

McElroy:

I'm generally against people manipulating kids with their identity politics, asexuality included. Even if their intentions are good, I believe they are misguided, and the support needed for kids who don't neatly fit the heteronormative ideal is not a bunch of labels. To put it simply.

Oh. A "Someone please think of the children" card. Classy.

Introducing kids to alternate identities and concepts is exactly what they need. Or is this "manipulating" kids in the same way that the Texas GOP thought that teaching critical thinking skills would undermine parential authority?

McElroy:
Yes. Strawmen have feelings too.

I'm generally against people manipulating kids with their identity politics, asexuality included. Even if their intentions are good, I believe they are misguided, and the support needed for kids who don't neatly fit the heteronormative ideal is not a bunch of labels. To put it simply.

I'm going to ask you to clarify your Strawmen comment. Because in this very thread, I see CyanCat47 and aegix drakan share their asexuality and have had some say their way of life is a lie.

And what you spoke of has been child-rearing in society up to this point. I'll admit to over-correction of late, but I understand why. We have forum members chased out of their home due to bigotry. Due to being true with what they feel. That touches people, and that makes people who care never want their children to feel unloved or like they were abandoned. Everything is in the extremes nowadays, but I have no issue whatsoever with parents tripping over themselves to make sure that their children feel safe and loved.

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:

Person B: "That can't possibly be the case. Because I don't feel that way. I don't know many people who feel that way. Therefore you're either lying to yourself for your entire life or you're just confused. You probably need help"

Why should a random someone's general feelings be somehow more indicative of a specific person's reality than that very specific person's own feelings?

Yes. Strawmen have feelings too.

You...DO realize that stroopwafel has made more or less that exact argument, right?

Unless you think he's made of straw?

aegix drakan:

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:

Person B: "That can't possibly be the case. Because I don't feel that way. I don't know many people who feel that way. Therefore you're either lying to yourself for your entire life or you're just confused. You probably need help"

Why should a random someone's general feelings be somehow more indicative of a specific person's reality than that very specific person's own feelings?

Yes. Strawmen have feelings too.

You...DO realize that stroopwafel has made more or less that exact argument, right?

Unless you think he's made of straw?

OK, so let's say you have me convinced that true asexual people exist that never experience sexual desire and that there are no disturbances in the formative years or in psychosocial development or hormonal activity that would rationally explain it. Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

Silvanus:

Kaleion:
-Snip-

It's rather helpful information, isn't it? If I'm interested in asking someone out, it'd sure be helpful to know what they're into.

Sure thing, which is why I said that probing for that information is rather invasive unless you have interest in seeking either a relationship or sex with that individual, however I do understand the appeal of announcing it, I guess it's a way to let people know which kinds of relationships you'd be open for, which is definitely useful.

Perhaps it's just my lack of interest in the subject that makes me so annoyed about the over-abundance of sexuality labels, it in part is because I'm greatly annoyed at how often people ask about the subject, it personally makes me a bit uncomfortable to answer those kinds of questions, but sometimes not answering leads to more trouble than it's worth, for example every time a friend asks if X person is attractive I just have to answer yes in some manner or another to avoid further probing because that's really not something I care to explain, but my apathy tends to come through anyway so I still get asked which is just annoying.

saint of m:

Kaleion:
-Snip-

I think it depends. As long as it doesn't pigeon hold you, they are ok. At best they tell you either where one's limits are or where one can have a start point.

Finding out I had autism when I was 4 months into my 19th year made somethings in my life make sense, and I took some psycology and public speaking classes in college to fill in the gaps.

When I was a kid, my bleeding disorder could get so bad I was like a one man Tarintino filmography.

Other labels tell me my does and don'ts.

Vegans don't eat anything with animal parts or byproducts.
Arachnophobe can't go near spiders.
Guidos will die if they don't have Axe body spray.
Epileptics can't watch "Electric Soldier Porygon.

Certainly due to the topic at hand it should be pretty evident that I was referring to things such as sexuality rather than medical & psychological issues, certainly a thing such as a guido is pretty pointless, but to illustrate my point when someone insists in boxing themselves into a label of sexuality it might stop them from experiencing a relationship they might have enjoyed, happened to a friend once, he was head over heels for a woman who was a mid-op trans, & he denied himself the opportunity to go out with her due to a hang-up because he was straight, he ended up expressing a lot of regret over it later when he was drunk.

But anyway that's the kind of thing I was referring to, I obviously have no issue between labelling jam & preserve bottles differently or being sure that schizophrenic person is labelled appropriately so that he can receive the appropriate treatment & of course if someone has dietary restrictions & you can sum it as easily as saying Vegan or Vegetarian & you knowing what it means without further explanation that is of course extremely useful & not something that I would find disagreeable.

stroopwafel:
Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

I can't know for sure, nor can I speak for all asexuals, but I'd probably lean towards a yes.

I am under no illusions that we're a teeny tiny little minority. More studies and research likely needs doing to find out how small a minority, but I'd guess we're incredibly small.

EDIT: Haven't been able to really dig deep and verify this, but apparently there's an organization called GLAAD that did a study and aces are somewhere around 4% of the population. 0_o That honestly seems too high by my estimation, but that's apparently a stat that exists somewhere.

stroopwafel:
OK, so let's say you have me convinced that true asexual people exist that never experience sexual desire and that there are no disturbances in the formative years or in psychosocial development or hormonal activity that would rationally explain it. Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

Can I ask why you're coloring this entire exchange with such condescension? For a second, let's forgo "Convinced" and "Concede". Why must you further regulate it to be irrelevant because the population is small? Hospitals and Psychiatrists must be on the look out for Capgras Syndrome, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and/or Exploding Head Syndrome. Because even if these experiences are very rare, they need to be addressed due to the severity of stress it can place on a person's life.

And if things are 'irrelevant', they normally don't get the funding to study the condition to better treatment sufferers in the future.

If it's a part of the human condition, then it must be recognized and placed with every other permutation that a successful birth can yield. It's not for us to categorize it's relevancy. It is. It just is.

Kaleion:

Certainly due to the topic at hand it should be pretty evident that I was referring to things such as sexuality rather than medical & psychological issues, certainly a thing such as a guido is pretty pointless, but to illustrate my point when someone insists in boxing themselves into a label of sexuality it might stop them from experiencing a relationship they might have enjoyed, happened to a friend once, he was head over heels for a woman who was a mid-op trans, & he denied himself the opportunity to go out with her due to a hang-up because he was straight, he ended up expressing a lot of regret over it later when he was drunk.

That's a real shame. But it's not the label that prevented him from pursuing that avenue; it's a lack of openness.

The attitude comes first. The terminology merely describes it.

aegix drakan:

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:

Person B: "That can't possibly be the case. Because I don't feel that way. I don't know many people who feel that way. Therefore you're either lying to yourself for your entire life or you're just confused. You probably need help"

Why should a random someone's general feelings be somehow more indicative of a specific person's reality than that very specific person's own feelings?

Yes. Strawmen have feelings too.

You...DO realize that stroopwafel has made more or less that exact argument, right?

ObsidianJones:

I'm going to ask you to clarify your Strawmen comment. Because in this very thread, I see CyanCat47 and aegix drakan share their asexuality and have had some say their way of life is a lie.

Seemed like it was directed at me. stroopwafel perhaps makes too many jumps to conclusions.

erttheking:

McElroy:

I'm generally against people manipulating kids with their identity politics, asexuality included. Even if their intentions are good, I believe they are misguided, and the support needed for kids who don't neatly fit the heteronormative ideal is not a bunch of labels. To put it simply.

Oh. A "Someone please think of the children" card. Classy.

Introducing kids to alternate identities and concepts is exactly what they need. Or is this "manipulating" kids in the same way that the Texas GOP thought that teaching critical thinking skills would undermine parential authority?

In essence this thread is about kids or teenagers. There is little reason to care about adults picking up whatever label they want for themselves if they feel it's the right thing for them. When a young person is unsure of what society wants them to be, you ask why they feel that way and build up from there. To be fair, if these "alternate identities" were up to be explored without repercussions I could be on board, but that's not our reality.

And the GOP might be on the right path, those kids could start seeing things my way.

ObsidianJones:

stroopwafel:
OK, so let's say you have me convinced that true asexual people exist that never experience sexual desire and that there are no disturbances in the formative years or in psychosocial development or hormonal activity that would rationally explain it. Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

Can I ask why you're coloring this entire exchange with such condescension? For a second, let's forgo "Convinced" and "Concede". Why must you further regulate it to be irrelevant because the population is small? Hospitals and Psychiatrists must be on the look out for Capgras Syndrome, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and/or Exploding Head Syndrome. Because even if these experiences are very rare, they need to be addressed due to the severity of stress it can place on a person's life.

And if things are 'irrelevant', they normally don't get the funding to study the condition to better treatment sufferers in the future.

If it's a part of the human condition, then it must be recognized and placed with every other permutation that a successful birth can yield. It's not for us to categorize it's relevancy. It is. It just is.

That's your interpretation, it wasn't meant to be condescending. Also your comparison makes no sense, b/c the whole intent of aegix' reply was to refute asexual people 'suffer' under their predisposition or that it's some kind of comorbid symptom unlike people who suffer from rare medical or psychiatric disorders. Their lives or health are at stake a far cry from someone who is contend with just not having sex.

Also public resources are limited so I don't think you'll find many supporters that share your advocacy to study a non-issue.

stroopwafel:

ObsidianJones:

stroopwafel:
OK, so let's say you have me convinced that true asexual people exist that never experience sexual desire and that there are no disturbances in the formative years or in psychosocial development or hormonal activity that would rationally explain it. Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

Can I ask why you're coloring this entire exchange with such condescension? For a second, let's forgo "Convinced" and "Concede". Why must you further regulate it to be irrelevant because the population is small? Hospitals and Psychiatrists must be on the look out for Capgras Syndrome, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and/or Exploding Head Syndrome. Because even if these experiences are very rare, they need to be addressed due to the severity of stress it can place on a person's life.

And if things are 'irrelevant', they normally don't get the funding to study the condition to better treatment sufferers in the future.

If it's a part of the human condition, then it must be recognized and placed with every other permutation that a successful birth can yield. It's not for us to categorize it's relevancy. It is. It just is.

That's your interpretation, it wasn't meant to be condescending. Also your comparison makes no sense, b/c the whole intent of aegix' reply was to refute asexual people 'suffer' under their predisposition or that it's some kind of comorbid symptom unlike people who suffer from rare medical or psychiatric disorders. Their lives or health are at stake a far cry from someone who is contend with just not having sex.

Also public resources are limited so I don't think you'll find many supporters that share your advocacy to study a non-issue.

We're all intelligent here. Use of words in communication is key to unlocking meaning, especially in text.

We can not read your eyes. We can not read your body language. All we have here are our words.

Concede is not a word that has a positive connotation. Irrelevant is not a word that has a positive connotation when you are talking about people and whether they matter or not.

Word choices and how we say things do matter, because they are the things that leads to 'interpretation'. Because if I fucking talked like a straight-OG Thug from around the way wihout any real punctation and whatnot wit spellin' and stuff youknow what I mean not many ppl hear would take me srsly ya heard me kid?

I could have the best point in the world. But if I do not choose the way to express my feelings in a manner that is palatable for others, the message gets lost through the medium I chose to convey it in. If I called you names or questioned your intelligence, my message wouldn't get through. If I took my time to frame my argument with derisive or condescending word choices instead of sticking to the facts of the matter, who cares if I was going somewhere? I poisoned the well before I even tried to draw water from it.

And my comparison is apt. I listed several conditions that many people have no knowledge of, but they do affect a very small population of people. If there was no one who actually tried to understand these people, literally hundreds of thousands of people would just be shoved off into the looney bin without any real way of treating them. To counsel or help, you need to have knowledge of a matter.

If something is considered "practically statistically irrelevant" or "a non-issue", like you said, funding doesn't go to it. We agree on that. But you still declare something a 'non-issue' when once again your fellow members say they are Asexuals. And beforehand, you dismissed their even existence because it doesn't fit into your world view.

I won't speak for CyanCat or Aegix. I don't think they are suffering under it. But some people do. Some people 'wish to be normal'. And they need support. And that's crucial for people, to talk to someone who gets it when you're confused about life.

evilthecat:
Asexual people can masturbate, asexual people can experience non-sexual attraction towards others, asexual people can even have sex. None of these things are enough to exclude someone from being asexual. Asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction towards other people, it does not imply anything about a person's lifestyle.

Perhaps.

But if I, a self-described atheist, still prayed, attended a place of worship, and admitted a belief in a god, people would understandably be confused. If your lifestyle runs counter to what you claim as a defining personal characteristic, that muddies the waters. Labels are just words, but words have meanings that are by definition decided by committee, and are not the sole property of the individual.

Batou667:

evilthecat:
Asexual people can masturbate, asexual people can experience non-sexual attraction towards others, asexual people can even have sex. None of these things are enough to exclude someone from being asexual. Asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction towards other people, it does not imply anything about a person's lifestyle.

Perhaps.

But if I, a self-described atheist, still prayed, attended a place of worship, and admitted a belief in a god, people would understandably be confused. If your lifestyle runs counter to what you claim as a defining personal characteristic, that muddies the waters. Labels are just words, but words have meanings that are by definition decided by committee, and are not the sole property of the individual.

Asexuality is a spectrum with various behaviours and feelings towards sex, though. From "Meh, I get nothing out of it, but sure, I'll do it to make my partner happy" to "Eww, gross!"

In my case it's "Sex is long and boring and exhausting and awkward with lots of potential for accidentally bonking a sensitive bit somewhere, with a climax being unlikely before I lose the mood/get tired. Why put myself through that when I can get guaranteed satisfaction in like 2 minutes by myself?"

I see no way to really describe how tedious the experience is without literally describing my first experience, and I don't know if that's a wise idea. XD

Batou667:

evilthecat:
Asexual people can masturbate, asexual people can experience non-sexual attraction towards others, asexual people can even have sex. None of these things are enough to exclude someone from being asexual. Asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction towards other people, it does not imply anything about a person's lifestyle.

Perhaps.

But if I, a self-described atheist, still prayed, attended a place of worship, and admitted a belief in a god, people would understandably be confused. If your lifestyle runs counter to what you claim as a defining personal characteristic, that muddies the waters. Labels are just words, but words have meanings that are by definition decided by committee, and are not the sole property of the individual.

Have you never taken a girl to a concert or movie that you hated just because she wanted to see it? The thought of someone saying to you "Well, you didn't hate it. You went to go see it. If you really hated it, you would have not even gone there." is a backwards way of thinking about it, right? Just because you do something, doesn't mean you actually want to be doing that thing.

In fact, that kind of explains most of human life in our society.

I don't think it was any of our first choices to go to school from kindergarten to our senior years. None of us wanted to have to work for everything in our lives. Avoid foods because they are bad for us even though they taste great. Jury Duty, Follow Traffic rules, what have you. None of us do this because we secretly really, really want to do these things but we won't admit it outwardly. We do it because we have to.

How many of us have a friend born from a closeted parent's fake wedding because they did it because they had to, back in a time where homosexuality had actual repercussions? I know I have at least 4.

And to the atheist comment, needing a physical release is different than sexual attraction in someone. There are times that I don't want to climax, but the woman is so damn hot to me that I just want to enjoy being with her. There are times that I'm not even aroused, but she walks in and all other thought leaves my mind BUT sex.

Hell, have you never had sex with your partner when you really didn't want to, but you wanted to bring happiness? Sex was the furthest thing from your mind, but you did it because it was expected and you didn't want to rock the boat? Sometimes, Asexuals who are in relationships with Sexual people do that. They feel it's something they must do, but they are just never, ever in the mood. They still love their partner, but their love and mental attraction doesn't include sexuality.

And hell, yeah, even physical attraction. I've seen women I completely feel are physically attractive and want nothing sexually to do with them.

The way your atheist comment would work if you prayed expecting a theological force to change your life in a meaningful way. Again, I actually know atheists who did go to church, prayed on the regular, and spoke about God every day. They were in the south growing up. You did not disrespect the Lord back in the 80's and you did not disrespect football. Sometimes you go along to get along.

aegix drakan:

Batou667:

evilthecat:
Asexual people can masturbate, asexual people can experience non-sexual attraction towards others, asexual people can even have sex. None of these things are enough to exclude someone from being asexual. Asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction towards other people, it does not imply anything about a person's lifestyle.

Perhaps.

But if I, a self-described atheist, still prayed, attended a place of worship, and admitted a belief in a god, people would understandably be confused. If your lifestyle runs counter to what you claim as a defining personal characteristic, that muddies the waters. Labels are just words, but words have meanings that are by definition decided by committee, and are not the sole property of the individual.

Asexuality is a spectrum with various behaviours and feelings towards sex, though. From "Meh, I get nothing out of it, but sure, I'll do it to make my partner happy" to "Eww, gross!"

In my case it's "Sex is long and boring and exhausting and awkward with lots of potential for accidentally bonking a sensitive bit somewhere, with a climax being unlikely before I lose the mood/get tired. Why put myself through that when I can get guaranteed satisfaction in like 2 minutes by myself?"

I see no way to really describe how tedious the experience is without literally describing my first experience, and I don't know if that's a wise idea. XD

You know, besides me wanting to pay you money to hear this story, you brought up something that I haven't noticed until now.

This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

ObsidianJones:
This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

I recall that those musing always end up being about your penis size. :^)

ObsidianJones:

This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

I'm going to make a very broad generality and argue that rather than this forum being filled with asexuals, it's more likely that forums such as these mostly attract socially awkward people (and that's to be taken in negatively) who find community anonymously discussing subjects like videogames, movies and current events in lieu of the more [potentially] uncomfortable issues like interpersonal attraction, intimate relationships or other topics that require one to bring more of oneself to the discussion than a strong opinion. Not to discount or prescribe how anyone feels or thinks, just saying that to me it doesn't seem like sexual indifference or aversion is the order of the day so much as it does physical attraction, relationships and/or sex are difficult or hopeless topics.

That said, you should not stop trying. Start a new thread or resurrect one of your older threads on the issues; they are interesting to talk about, and hopefully people can open up, and who knows, maybe even help one another?

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:
This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

I recall that those musing always end up being about your penis size. :^)

... wait, what?

Xprimentyl:

ObsidianJones:

This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

I?m going to make a very broad generality and argue that rather than this forum being filled with asexuals, it?s more likely that forums such as these mostly attract socially awkward people (and that?s to be taken in negatively) who find community anonymously discussing subjects like videogames, movies and current events in lieu of the more [potentially] uncomfortable issues like interpersonal attraction, intimate relationships or other topics that require one to bring more of oneself to the discussion than a strong opinion. Not to discount or prescribe how anyone feels or thinks, just saying that to me it doesn?t seem like sexual indifference or aversion is the order of the day so much as it does physical attraction, relationships and/or sex are difficult or hopeless topics.

That said, you should not stop trying. Start a new thread or resurrect one of your older threads on the issues; they are interesting to talk about, and hopefully people can open up, and who knows, maybe even help one another?

I meant semi-asexual in terms of no one is tripping over themselves to constantly talk about sex. It doesn't seem to be a natural, shareable interest here.

Which is fine. Just something that struck me.

ObsidianJones:

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:
This is semi an asexual forum.

Like, we barely ever talk about dating, sex, sexual interest. Like Physical Attraction is one of my favorite topics to really talk about. And I tried like... maybe twice, and no one seemed to be interested. Even at the height of our population.

Ever since then, I've kept my musing to little one offs. We really don't seem to want to broach the topic here.

I recall that those musing always end up being about your penis size. :^)

... wait, what?

First of all, I'm joking, of course, but you honestly don't remember how often you mention that people assume you're packing because of your outward appearance? Anyway, joke's ruined. You should've been in on it from the start.

McElroy:

ObsidianJones:

McElroy:
I recall that those musing always end up being about your penis size. :^)

... wait, what?

First of all, I'm joking, of course, but you honestly don't remember how often you mention that people assume you're packing because of your outward appearance? Anyway, joke's ruined. You should've been in on it from the start.

No, no. Take me to joke jail. Criminal Negligence of the Funnies. I'm all for it.

That, though, is true. And as always, wanting to deny that out of habit doesn't bode well for me. So I'll plead the fifth. :-p

Batou667:
But if I, a self-described atheist, still prayed, attended a place of worship, and admitted a belief in a god, people would understandably be confused.

Only one of those things is confusing.

Atheists can still pray and attend places of worship, even if we leave aside the existence of atheistic religions.

I know because I've done it myself. People might do it because it makes other people happy, because they have a cultural connection to a theistic religion even if they don't actually believe in God, or because they find the ritual of prayer or religious participation gives something else which is lacking in their lives.

Belief is not a prerequisite of religion, and sexual attraction is not a prerequisite of sex. People can have sex for reasons other than sexual attraction, and the fact that they can should really be no less obvious. After all, it's incredibly common. The world is full of people who have sex with people they're not actually attracted to for all kinds of reasons (some of which might actually involve religion). Many of those reasons may be quite negative, people feel pressured because of the expectations of a relationship or social group, but some of them can be as simple as a desire to be close to someone or make them happy even if there's no attraction there.

evilthecat:

Atheists can still pray and attend places of worship, even if we leave aside the existence of atheistic religions.

I know because I've done it myself. People might do it because it makes other people happy, because they have a cultural connection to a theistic religion even if they don't actually believe in God, or because they find the ritual of prayer or religious participation gives something else which is lacking in their lives.

Belief is not a prerequisite of religion, and sexual attraction is not a prerequisite of sex. People can have sex for reasons other than sexual attraction, and the fact that they can should really be no less obvious. After all, it's incredibly common. The world is full of people who have sex with people they're not actually attracted to for all kinds of reasons (some of which might actually involve religion). Many of those reasons may be quite negative, people feel pressured because of the expectations of a relationship or social group, but some of them can be as simple as a desire to be close to someone or make them happy even if there's no attraction there.

It was an inaccurate comparison, I was aware of that. Perhaps a different question I could have asked is, how frequently can you eat meat before you can no longer call yourself a vegetarian in any meaningful sense? Labels have to reflect some kind of observable reality, not just how an individual wishes to describe themselves, that's the point I was trying to make.

And, dice it up how you will, asexuality still strikes me as a rather tragic form of dysfunction (and/or sour grapes), rather than something that should be held aloft and celebrated as another vibrant component of the sexuality spectrum. The idea that there are plenty of people routinely having passionless, unenjoyable sex for the sake of expectation... in most other discussions of sex anything short of enthusiastic consent is considered coerced and potentially abusive, no?

Batou667:
The idea that there are plenty of people routinely having passionless, unenjoyable sex for the sake of expectation... in most other discussions of sex anything short of enthusiastic consent is considered coerced and potentially abusive, no?

All those marriages...

stroopwafel:

OK, so let's say you have me convinced that true asexual people exist that never experience sexual desire and that there are no disturbances in the formative years or in psychosocial development or hormonal activity that would rationally explain it. Would you then atleast concede such 'orentation' is so exceptionally rare as to be practically statistically irrelevant?

Hate to interject but even if they were the only human being on the planet who lacked interest in anyone else, it would not invalidate the experience.

Also, think of the gender you are not attracted to. Speaking for myself, I feel almost revolted at the thought of getting it on with another guy who is not Bowie's Goblin King. Is it THAT much of a stretch to think that there can't be a lot of people who feel that way about everyone?

I can understand a lot of the confusion. I watched a documentary on Netflix that talked about it, focusing on one main group of activists trying at the time to get to add it to the LGBT grouping. When they handed out flyers during a pride parade, they had mixed reactions.

It has since be a proud part of queer culture, but its still something worth noting.

A small minority this is potentially, but theoretically so are gingers are I still believe in them.

Batou667:
It was an inaccurate comparison, I was aware of that. Perhaps a different question I could have asked is, how frequently can you eat meat before you can no longer call yourself a vegetarian in any meaningful sense?

That's an even more inaccurate comparison.

Most of us, I think, would understand that vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice. It is about the choice to live in a certain way, specifically by not eating meat. There are also people who refrain from sex because of a lifestyle choice (volcels, some religious people) and in the case of those people the question you asked might be pertinent.

Vegetarians and celibates are different from asexuals in that they are not defined by how they feel about meat or sex, but rather their choice to reject it anyway. Vegetarians can like the taste of meat and yet still be practising vegetarians, celibates and can be sexually attracted to people and yet still maintain celibacy. What defines as part of that group is their lifestyle, how they practically behave.

Asexuality, to those who identify with it, is usually seen as a form of sexual orientation or sexual preference. Most of us can pick out a type of person to whom we are sexually attracted, but we don't have any conscious control over who we pick, it's something rooted very deep in our subconscious or possibly even in our biological functioning. Some people, however, cannot pick out a type of person to whom they feel sexually attracted, or have criteria which are highly abstract. Those people are asexual or demisexual.

It's not common as any more, but in the past it was (and still is in many cultures) normal for gay and lesbian people to enter heterosexual marriages, often quite conscious that this went against their own orientation, in order to live a normal life or to have children. These marriages could be both loving and sexually active, but that doesn't mean the participants were any more heterosexual, because a heterosexual orientation isn't defined by what you do or who you are emotionally close to, but who you are sexually attracted to. It's the same for asexuality.

Batou667:
And, dice it up how you will, asexuality still strikes me as a rather tragic form of dysfunction (and/or sour grapes), rather than something that should be held aloft and celebrated as another vibrant component of the sexuality spectrum.

I disagree.

The "sexuality spectrum" isn't just there to be celebrated and provide some colourful gay spice to the stew of heterosexual culture, it also has serious responsibility to people, especially young people, who feel alone or abandoned in that same culture, and who deserve a language to articulate themselves and a community which might be capable of understanding them.

Batou667:
The idea that there are plenty of people routinely having passionless, unenjoyable sex for the sake of expectation... in most other discussions of sex anything short of enthusiastic consent is considered coerced and potentially abusive, no?

Do you watch porn?

evilthecat:

Atheists can still pray and attend places of worship, even if we leave aside the existence of atheistic religions.

I know because I've done it myself.

This is a complete digression (and a week-old one at that), but I don't consider prayer without at least a degree of genuine belief to be prayer. I don't know, but I imagine many religious people would agree with me on that. The concept of prayer/worship implies a kind of active involvement, not just a very superficial display of going-through-the-motions; in kind of the same way that laying down with your eyes closed and actually sleeping are two very different things even if a casual observer might mistake one for the other.

And admittedly that's another example of my analogy falling down, as it's abundantly possible for people (especially women, but to a lesser degree men) to take part in sex without much arousal, let alone enthusiasm.

evilthecat:

The "sexuality spectrum" isn't just there to be celebrated and provide some colourful gay spice to the stew of heterosexual culture, it also has serious responsibility to people, especially young people, who feel alone or abandoned in that same culture, and who deserve a language to articulate themselves and a community which might be capable of understanding them.

OK, fine, I get that.

But does "I don't like sex very much" deserve an equal seat at the table alongside L, G, and B? At this point we're not discussing the x-axis of "who do you want to bone" but rather we've switched to the y-axis of "how much". I mean, you've discussed how asexual people may still have romantic interest, so presumably they would also overlap into having a straight, homosexual or bi identity regardless of how much sex they want/have. Do we NEED yet another pigeon hole?

Genuine question, if asexuality gets to be a noodle in the LGBTQIA+ spaghetti soup bowl, why not N for nymphomania?

Kids need to recognise there are others like them, I completely understand that. But I still honestly believe that for many self-described asexuals, it's a transitionary state rather than an innate identity like being homo/hetero. As much as having this label may help them make peace with their place in the world, isn't it also limiting? ("Dave, did I catch you buying condoms in the pub toilet? But you're asexual! Back in your lane, bitch")

Do you watch porn?

You bet I do. And I know there are plenty of progressive types who would say that in some nefarious way I am, in so doing, reinforcing the patriarchy, or "making women's bodies spaces for violence" or somesuch hyperbole. The idea that mutually consenting adults could freely partake in whatever they wanted fell by the wayside around the time progressive society decided that everything had to be viewed through the lens of power dynamics, no?

Batou667:

evilthecat:

Atheists can still pray and attend places of worship, even if we leave aside the existence of atheistic religions.

I know because I've done it myself.

This is a complete digression (and a week-old one at that), but I don't consider prayer without at least a degree of genuine belief to be prayer. I don't know, but I imagine many religious people would agree with me on that. The concept of prayer/worship implies a kind of active involvement, not just a very superficial display of going-through-the-motions; in kind of the same way that laying down with your eyes closed and actually sleeping are two very different things even if a casual observer might mistake one for the other.

And admittedly that's another example of my analogy falling down, as it's abundantly possible for people (especially women, but to a lesser degree men) to take part in sex without much arousal, let alone enthusiasm.

As someone who considers themselves asexual, i don't think religion is a good analogy, humans can ultimately choose what they want to believe in. I have the opportunity to have sex, hookup apps would probably allow me to find someone or other out for quick sex and nothing more if i wanted it, but i don't have any desire to pursue that opportunity. I don't see any benefit to it, neither do i see any need to try to involve sex in any of my relationships with other people

Batou667:

evilthecat:

The "sexuality spectrum" isn't just there to be celebrated and provide some colourful gay spice to the stew of heterosexual culture, it also has serious responsibility to people, especially young people, who feel alone or abandoned in that same culture, and who deserve a language to articulate themselves and a community which might be capable of understanding them.

OK, fine, I get that.

But does "I don't like sex very much" deserve an equal seat at the table alongside L, G, and B? At this point we're not discussing the x-axis of "who do you want to bone" but rather we've switched to the y-axis of "how much". I mean, you've discussed how asexual people may still have romantic interest, so presumably they would also overlap into having a straight, homosexual or bi identity regardless of how much sex they want/have. Do we NEED yet another pigeon hole?

Genuine question, if asexuality gets to be a noodle in the LGBTQIA+ spaghetti soup bowl, why not N for nymphomania?

Kids need to recognise there are others like them, I completely understand that. But I still honestly believe that for many self-described asexuals, it's a transitionary state rather than an innate identity like being homo/hetero. As much as having this label may help them make peace with their place in the world, isn't it also limiting? ("Dave, did I catch you buying condoms in the pub toilet? But you're asexual! Back in your lane, bitch")

Do you watch porn?

You bet I do. And I know there are plenty of progressive types who would say that in some nefarious way I am, in so doing, reinforcing the patriarchy, or "making women's bodies spaces for violence" or somesuch hyperbole. The idea that mutually consenting adults could freely partake in whatever they wanted fell by the wayside around the time progressive society decided that everything had to be viewed through the lens of power dynamics, no?

I think it would be hard to find any general asexual stance on where asexuals belong in terms of spectrums and communities. Personally I don't consider myself part of the LGBTQ+ community as i associate that with a movement for emancipation and rights, things asexuals don't really have to fight for. Asexuality is effectively in stealth by default. No government could realistically opress me for my sexuality. The hypothetical scenario you describe of it being potentially limiting seems highly implausible, not impossible perhaps, but one i could never recognize myself in. If an asexual person were to start engaging in sexual activity for whatever reason, the reaction would much more likely be 'i told you, you weren't really ace'. What you described is probably more likely to happen to a bisexual engaging sexually with someone of the opposite sex, which I have heard some bisexuals complain of being disparaged by homosexuals for. Speaking from personal experience, the main reason for having a term is that asexuals simply don't agree with the idea that sex is a need, is the purpose of all social dynamics or of humans in general, because that simply isn't true for the way an asexual experiences life

Batou667:

You bet I do. And I know there are plenty of progressive types who would say that in some nefarious way I am, in so doing, reinforcing the patriarchy, or "making women's bodies spaces for violence" or somesuch hyperbole. The idea that mutually consenting adults could freely partake in whatever they wanted fell by the wayside around the time progressive society decided that everything had to be viewed through the lens of power dynamics, no?

I think you're missing the point. It wasn't an attempt to shame you; it was to point out that "plenty of people routinely have passionless, unenjoyable sex".

Batou667:
This is a complete digression (and a week-old one at that), but I don't consider prayer without at least a degree of genuine belief to be prayer.

And that's a valid personal viewpoint. It's just not applicable to many religious denominations, or to the way many people live their lives.

Batou667:
But does "I don't like sex very much" deserve an equal seat at the table alongside L, G, and B?

Don't forget the T.

A lot of people still try to exclude or minimise the fact that trans people are included in the LGBT acronym. After all, the experience of being trans is quite different from being gay or bi. The reason they're so closely linked is primarily because straight people have always had enormous trouble separating them. Gay, bi and trans people have always existed in the same spaces by virtue of shared discrimination, which is why we talk of a single "LGBT community" even though there have also been enormous tensions within that community. It's never been about whether we logically fit together as some kind of natural taxonomy, it's about the fact that we all have to live in a society that still treats us like shit.

And yes, living in a society where people are literally incapable of understanding that your attraction (or lack thereof) to people exists and is meaningfully distinct from their own perception of your sexual behaviour is a part of that shitness. Just ask bisexuals.

So it's not really about whether more pidgeonholes are needed, it's about gradually unpacking and recognising the various ways in which people are already pidgeonholed by a cisnormative and heteronormative culture that remains utterly, destructively incapable of adequately dealing with any form of gender or sexual diversity.

Batou667:
Genuine question, if asexuality gets to be a noodle in the LGBTQIA+ spaghetti soup bowl, why not N for nymphomania?

For one, nymphomania is an archaic term to describe women (and only women) having an inappropriate desire for sex.

Nowadays, while there remains a lot of societal stigma around sexual promiscuity in women, we generally accept that sex is a good and nice thing, and that the desire for it is normal and natural.

There are people who develop an unhealthy and compulsive relationship with sex. We would describe these people as hypersexual or as having a sex addiction. Hypersexuality in this sense is generally accepted to be a very bad thing, and typically not at all fun for the person experiencing it, which means it's nothing like being LGBT or being asexual.

Batou667:
But I still honestly believe that for many self-described asexuals, it's a transitionary state rather than an innate identity like being homo/hetero.

Again, there are plenty of people who say the same thing about being bisexual.

And really, so what if it is? Sexuality in general really isn't as innate as people like to pretend. It's just not something we can control, which is different.

Batou667:
You bet I do. And I know there are plenty of progressive types who would say that in some nefarious way I am, in so doing, reinforcing the patriarchy, or "making women's bodies spaces for violence" or somesuch hyperbole. The idea that mutually consenting adults could freely partake in whatever they wanted fell by the wayside around the time progressive society decided that everything had to be viewed through the lens of power dynamics, no?

Do you think the actors in the porn you watch are always sexually attracted to each other?

Also, the fact that you still think those people are "progressive" or represent some mainstream voice of progressivism is pretty funny for me. Like, I wasn't even born when that was a progressive position.

I mean, yeah. Porn is pretty gross. The industry that makes it is gross and misogyny of straight porn isn't exactly something you need to be Andrea Dworkin to see any more. But in case you missed the memo from SJW headquarters, SWERFs are cancelled now.

Whenever I see a discussion in queer communities about whether or not Ace folks should be under the general LGBTQ+ umbrella, I always think about these sorts of discussions with people who think somebody not being interested in sex or finding other people sexy is some sort of tragic dysfunction.

That shit fucked my up in high school. Because if I'm not interested in anybody like that, either they're all shallow, petty assholes and/or I'm fundamentally broken, and that doesn't lend itself to putting you in a good headspace for *anything*.

If I'd known that some peop"e just aren't into other people like that, I'd've had a much easier time. Cultural programming is a helluva thing.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here