thjb

Defining asexuality - a better definition?

  

201 members have voted

  1. 1. Please select your orientation;

    • asexual
      959
    • grey-asexual
      150
    • demisexual
      53
    • heterosexual
      19
    • homosexual
      7
    • bisexual
      6
    • pansexual
      4
    • other
      19
    • rather not say
      13
  2. 2. Which of these would you prefer as a definition of asexuality/an asexual person?

    • a person who does not experience sexual attraction (current AVEN definition)
      586
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex (with emphasis on the "partnered")
      94
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex and/or little or no sexual attraction
      145
    • a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction and/or little or no desire for partnered sex (again an emphasis on the "partnered")
      290
    • another definition (please post below)
      23
    • a person who is not intrinsically attracted to any gender sexually
      92
  3. 3. do you think most non-asexuals understand you when you explain asexuality?

    • mostly
      138
    • to some extent
      435
    • not really
      358
    • not at all
      74
    • not sure
      225


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"asexual" people never desire sex with others,

No. Stop. Desire does not mean sexual desire.

asexual people desire sex with others all the time. if an asexual person has sex with their partner when their partner asks, and does not desire sex, then it is nonconsensual.

desire is not some pristine word you can throw around like everyone knows what you mean by it. desire officially may be defined as "an urge or longing for" but it is used much more commonly than just that one meaning. more advanced dictionaries recognize the more informal uses of the word.

desire. does not mean. sexual desire.

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus

asexual people desire sex with others all the time. if an asexual person has sex with their partner when their partner asks, and does not desire sex, then it is nonconsensual.

Absolutely no to both of these statements. Having sex you don't desire does not mean it's nonconsensual. You don't have to desire sex in order to give free, informed consent to having it (ever heard of prostitution, for example?), and that is the only thing that matters for whether sex is consensual or not.

This the same reason why I call BS on the whole "enthusiastic consent" dogma, which I consider a thoroughly sex-negative narrative that needs to die.

This is coming dangerously close to giving tons and tons of people a standard excuse for spurious false rape accusations, because every time an asexual has sex, they either did so "practically nonconsensually" (even in cases where they freely and clearly say "yes"), or they aren't truly asexual to begin with (because, here's the other "hell, no": asexuals don't desire sex all the time. Someone who does so is sexual. Fullstop.). If you agreed to the sex, then it is consensual; whether you desired it or not is utterly, utterly irrelevant for that qustion.

This argumentation is dangerously close to antisexuality and sexual-shaming, with a sprinkling on top of trapdoors both for ace elitism and snowflakey vagueness (which is quite a stunt, actually). Please, just stop with it, right there.

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Lost247365   
Lost247365

yes I agree with you on these points.

I am not against saying that an asexual cannot desire sex for sexual pleasure. The thing I am against is saying they can't desire sex for physical pleasure - it makes no sense to say an asexual can physically enjoy sex but not desire it for physical purposes or physical experiences. There is no difference between "enjoying because X" and "being capable of desiring because X" IMO.

And while I say that it's better to imagine this case being a want and not a desire - I am not denying that there are many ways in which "want" and "desire" are interchangeable in casual tongue. It's not about word choice that makes a person a certain way, it's the experience itself, which they happen to be describing, that determines whether they experience what we call "sexual desire" or not. Someone saying "I desire sex" just is not enough information to say they experience our concept of "sexual desire". We can say they "sound like they are experiencing sexual desire" of course, but I hate when I see people say "you are sexual" when the person just did not show enough information to determine that conclusion.

I think this comes back to the whole intrinsic desires vs instrumental wants. If it is pleasure they are seeking and not the pleasure specific to having sex they would be just as willing to have sex as eating a cake. Whatever is easiest and gives the most pleasure.

But, if they are seeking the pleasure specific to sex and that pleasure only, that intrinsic desire.

That said, I am not sure I get what you mean by there being no difference between "enjoying because X" and "being capable of desiring because X." One is stating a reason for enjoyment and the other for desiring. For them to be equivalent enjoyment would have to be the same as desire.

For instance take a sex-repulsed sexual person. They desire sex, but they get no enjoyment from it.

This I disagree with. I wouldn't say it's wrong off course... just too extreme. If someone says "I want sex over masturbation" in most cases, yes, that person is probably sexual. But, from personal experience, there have been times in my life when masturbation was downright repulsive, but sex was not. I know that I am grey - but that is irrelevent for my point.... that if someone would PREFER not to stimulate themselves at all, but because of the drive and irritation of their libido does so anyway... as soon as their ultimate preference "no physical stimulation" stops being an option, then whichever secondary option they go for is still not their preferred option.

so if someone says "sex is different than masturbation, and better. I'd rather have sex than masturbate. I want a sexual partner in order to deal with my libido" but that person is someone who might be witnessed to say "I hate sex and masturbation, and strongly desire to go my whole life without either" then why would we say that person is sexual? they clearly are not. and the language I've quoted here, would dictate that they are sexual.

functionally speaking, as the community stands now, I'd recommend that that person would ID as grey because for reasons they need sex in their life. But I would never tell them they are a normal sexual person, because that is not a normal sexual experience, and I would objectively say that that person is an ace. And it is because of the possibility of experiences like this, where an asexual person has some obscure reason to include regular sex in their life, that I support the idea of a sex-favorable ace. Because as long as it is possible for an ace to enjoy sex, then it is also possible for them to want it.

I am saying that if the desire is about pure hedonism a person will do mental calculations and based upon convenience and degree of enjoyment to determine their course of action. If it is about sex then those calculations become irrelevant because they want sexual pleasure specifically.

Why would someone who desires pleasure choose sex over masturbation if it takes infinitely more effort to have sex? They will derive more pleasure more often masturbating. But, if they come home and there is a person of the opposite sex laying naked in a sexual pose on their bed waiting for them then pleasure from sex becomes easier and is theoretically more intense.

If it is about pleasure their actions will be defined by whatever gives them the most pleasure overall. If it is about the specific pleasure derived from sex and sex alone, then that is different. Using your example of a person who only seeks out either because they can't take the arousal anymore, that person is seeking to get rid of their arousal not sex. They desire sex as an instrumental want. They might have a preference but they would still do a calculation, and their desire/want would still be instrumental.

Another food analogy. Let say there was a person to whom all food and drink was repugnant. However, their body gets hungry and eventually hits the point where they have hunger pains. They eventually can't take the pain and break down to eat. They might have preferences for cake over hamburgers but they don't intrinsically desire either, and if someone were to devise some pill that got rid of hunger pains and kept them alive they would take that over either.

Lacking said pill they do calculations over the best way to get rid of their hunger pains, generally choosing the easier path. They might be willing to put up with their hunger pains a bit longer for the cake over the burger but it still comes down to calculations of which is easier to get and which is the less worse option. The want for cake is just an instrumental want to achieve their intrinsic desire: to get rid of the hunger pains.

Compare their to a person who LOVES the taste of cake and seeks it out for its own sake. The calculations in their mind is no longer about their various options to get rid of hunger pain, but rather their various options to get the cake. Cake is moved from the category of an option to obtain an ultimate goal, to being the ultimate goal itself.

Instrumental want vs Intrinsic desire.

No. Stop. Desire does not mean sexual desire.

asexual people desire sex with others all the time. if an asexual person has sex with their partner when their partner asks, and does not desire sex, then it is nonconsensual.

desire is not some pristine word you can throw around like everyone knows what you mean by it. desire officially may be defined as "an urge or longing for" but it is used much more commonly than just that one meaning. more advanced dictionaries recognize the more informal uses of the word.

desire. does not mean. sexual desire.

They don't intrinsically desire it.

And I don't throw desire around like that. I almost always try to use the adjective "intrinsically" with it. And more often than not I also give this link:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/desire/#IntInsReaDes

Absolutely no to both of these statements. Having sex you don't desire does not mean it's nonconsensual. You don't have to desire sex in order to give free, informed consent to having it (ever heard of prostitution, for example?), and that is the only thing that matters for whether sex is consensual or not.

This the same reason why I call BS on the whole "enthusiastic consent" dogma, which I consider a thoroughly sex-negative narrative that needs to die.

This is coming dangerously close to giving tons and tons of people a standard excuse for spurious false rape accusations, because every time an asexual has sex, they either did so "practically nonconsensually" (even in cases where they freely and clearly say "yes"), or they aren't truly asexual to begin with (because, here's the other "hell, no": asexuals don't desire sex all the time. Someone who does so is sexual. Fullstop.). If you agreed to the sex, then it is consensual; whether you desired it or not is utterly, utterly irrelevant for that qustion.

This argumentation is dangerously close to antisexuality and sexual-shaming, with a sprinkling on top of trapdoors both for ace elitism and snowflakey vagueness (which is quite a stunt, actually). Please, just stop with it, right there.

Why can I only like this once? Desire and consent are two very very different things!

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.

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Frigid Pink   
Frigid Pink

asexual people desire sex with others all the time. if an asexual person has sex with their partner when their partner asks, and does not desire sex, then it is nonconsensual.

Absolutely no to both of these statements. Having sex you don't desire does not mean it's nonconsensual. You don't have to desire sex in order to give free, informed consent to having it (ever heard of prostitution, for example?), and that is the only thing that matters for whether sex is consensual or not.

This the same reason why I call BS on the whole "enthusiastic consent" dogma, which I consider a thoroughly sex-negative narrative that needs to die.

This is coming dangerously close to giving tons and tons of people a standard excuse for spurious false rape accusations, because every time an asexual has sex, they either did so "practically nonconsensually" (even in cases where they freely and clearly say "yes"), or they aren't truly asexual to begin with (because, here's the other "hell, no": asexuals don't desire sex all the time. Someone who does so is sexual. Fullstop.). If you agreed to the sex, then it is consensual; whether you desired it or not is utterly, utterly irrelevant for that qustion.

This argumentation is dangerously close to antisexuality and sexual-shaming, with a sprinkling on top of trapdoors both for ace elitism and snowflakey vagueness (which is quite a stunt, actually). Please, just stop with it, right there.

I agree (enthusiastically)! ;)

As far as consent goes, I personally like the "yes means yes" slogan. It doesn't have to be enthusiastic, however, I think it's better to have clear consent (a "yes") then no "no."

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sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

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Lost247365   
Lost247365

sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

Effectively raped?

Huh?

Dudette, that is wrong on sooooo many levels.

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus

sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

Sorry, but you obviously have no clue about rape. Please don't use that word until you understand what it means.

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Star Bit   
Star Bit

Ignorance aside, what exactly is supposed to be the difference between physical pleasure and sexual pleasure?

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I love how starbit assumes I'm ignorant. it's so welcoming and encouraging. I feel like my attempts to show my point is worth doing.

sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

Effectively raped?

Huh?

Dudette, that is wrong on sooooo many levels.

that's prettymuch my point. If a person wants to not have sex, they should never have sex. it will hurt them. "compromise" is almost always the wrong thing to do, an asexual person should only have sex if it's something they feel they would like or accept. essentially, a person should only have sex with their partner if there is some amount of this lovely trigger word "desire" in them - no not sexual desire, but desire to undergo the activity.

sexual desire is not "desire for sex" it is an emotional experience that a person has whether or not they actually decide to pursue sex.

when an asexual thinks about sex, and says to themselves, "well I like masturbating, so while my partner would proably be really inexperienced with my parts it's basically just masturbation. and if I'm patient I can teach them what I'm comfortable with and learn what they like too, and so it can be a shared experience. I guess then, it's not so bad, so let's do it"

that person just decided they wanted to have sex.

they aren't experiencing sexual desire

but they are, in informal toungue, desiring sexual contact with their partner.

humans use desire in that informal way all the time. "Want" and "Desire" and even "like" are interchanged from time to time.

NO, they don't mean the same thing as each other, I'm not fucking stupid.

But language is this thing where, people use metaphors, and sarcasm, and similies, and use words where they aren't prescribed to be used, because we change the meaning of things that way. all the damn time.

it's easy to say that "all uses of the word desire are referring to an urge or need or longing" but that isn't true. Sometimes people use or interpret the word desire in other ways.

and so when anyone says "what you said in your one paragraph post that you desire sexual touch? get out of here you ignorant sexual" I go "what the literal fuck?" because people who aren't familiar with the context that we prescribe in AVEN, will use words differently than we do. and so when we treat new members like they are necessarily not welcome, all we do is look abrassive to the outside world and get a bad reputation and more importantly, ostracize a person who may or may not be asexual (or grey)

and why are we ostracizing sexuals anyway??? if someone IS sexual but thinks they're ace, chances are education will still help them understand their sexuality and how they should choose to approach relationships in their life. but I guess because they use a word they don't know is this super-loaded keyword, we just shove them out and call them ignorant fools.

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sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

Sorry, but you obviously have no clue about rape. Please don't use that word until you understand what it means.

I'm sorry, but I know exactly what I'm talking about. maybe it's you who's glorified the ideal rape scenario and so when I talk about a different scenario you've not considered before, you just assume I'm a bitch?

I can be really harsh. So let's just avoid the personal attacks, they will only escalate. I'd like to think this is a more mature discussion than this.

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus

that's prettymuch my point. If a person wants to not have sex, they should never have sex. it will hurt them. "compromise" is almost always the wrong thing to do, an asexual person should only have sex if it's something they feel they would like or accept. essentially, a person should only have sex with their partner if there is some amount of this lovely trigger word "desire" in them - no not sexual desire, but desire to undergo the activity.

How about you leave that to the compromising aces themselves to decide, instead of needlessly moralizing about it?

And there's your big mistake in a nutshell: Not desiring sex is not at all the same as wanting to not have sex. If the world functioned as you think it does, then I would most definitely say that anyone who ever had consensual sex could, by definition, not be asexual. Asexuals must either be virgins, or victims of rape. :rolleyes:

In contrast, in the world as it actually is and not as you see it in your mind, people most certainly can freely and informedly agree to have sex they do not desire. There is no rational reason to assume there would be harm in doing so, either; and it is 100% fully consensual. And it is utterly ridiculous, and a slap in the face of real, legitimate victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence and coercion, to call this "effectively rape", so stop implying it were. You are spreading offensive and sex-negative misinformation.

sexual desire is not "desire for sex" it is an emotional experience that a person has whether or not they actually decide to pursue sex.

when an asexual thinks about sex, and says to themselves, "well I like masturbating, so while my partner would proably be really inexperienced with my parts it's basically just masturbation. and if I'm patient I can teach them what I'm comfortable with and learn what they like too, and so it can be a shared experience. I guess then, it's not so bad, so let's do it"

that person just decided they wanted to have sex.

they aren't experiencing sexual desire

but they are, in informal toungue, desiring sexual contact with their partner.

No they don't. They agree to sexual contact with their partners (and that is all it takes to make it most definitely not rape). They do not desire it. If you take one look at the SPFA sub, you will see it again and again that there is a huge difference between these two scenarios. If they desired it, their sexual partners would not complain about "charity sex". They would just have sex with their "asexual" partner that is indistinguishable from sex with a "sexual" partner (because such an "asexual" would actually be sexual, not ace.)

sorry, I forgot that, legally speaking, a person can "consent" to being effectively raped. my bad.

Sorry, but you obviously have no clue about rape. Please don't use that word until you understand what it means.
I'm sorry, but I know exactly what I'm talking about. maybe it's you who's glorified the ideal rape scenario and so when I talk about a different scenario you've not considered before, you just assume I'm a bitch?

I can be really harsh. So let's just avoid the personal attacks, they will only escalate. I'd like to think this is a more mature discussion than this.

The scenario you talk about simply is not rape (not even "effectively") by any reasonable definition of the term. Not just, as you imply, the legal one. People who "got raped" according to it, should never make a fuss over it - they brought it on themselves and should get over it already, instead of putting false blame on their innocent sex partners, who did absolutely nothing wrong, neither legally nor ethically. They are not victims of rape, and we should not ever validate it if they try to pass themselves off as such. End of story. What you call "rape" is simply a valid and completely unproblematic form of consensual sex, and no, you apparently do not understand this and need to be educated on your mistake.

If you think "any sex that is not desired == rape", you are an apologist for false rape accusations. That is nothing I am okay with, nor do I consider it something anyone should ever wish to become okay with; I will strive to change your mind on that. This is neither a personal attack, nor a sign of an immature discussion. It merely means I won't leave your dangerously false, offensive, and sex-negative assumptions unchallenged.

If you feel on escalating this instead of discussing it like a reasonable adult, do expect to be reported.

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Star Bit   
Star Bit

No, sexual desire IS the desire for sex, it's literally in the name. Sexual=sex and desire=desire i.e. desire for sex. Dictionaries that define it word it exactly as such.

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if sexual desire is literally the desire for sex, then it's toxic to say that asexuality is the lack of sexual desire, because it's basically saying that every non-asexual experiences desire for sex every day of their lives, and nothing that they experience that asexuals don't can be described other than desire for sex.

sexual desire creates the desire for sex.

but sexual desire is not literally the desire for sex, it's basically libido, sex-drive, horniness.

like, it honestly does make more sense to call the concept sexual attraction, outside of the fact that then it sounds like all attraction a non-asexual experiences is sexual attraction. because there is an experience of attraction that is sexual in nature, distinctly not the same experience as the rest of the attraction package. and calling it sexual desire does not make it a literal desire for sex.

unless you want sexual desire to literally mean the literal desire for sex, in which case we either need to accept the sexual attraction term, or come up with some new keyword to talk about what it is that separates an asexual person from a non-asexual person, which you probably won't like either.

you're all probably thinking I'm the bull-headed one :rolleyes:

here let me propose this: an asexual person is a person who's libido doesn't lead to or involve a desire for partnered sexual contact.

how's that definition sound? that way your "sexual desire" can literally talk about the desire for sex, we aren't misusing the word "desire" by forcing its formal definition to be its only possible interpretation, there isn't any controversial ground where we're using some loaded term like "sexual attraction" or "sexual desire", and there's no way that a person who loves sex can believe they're a special snowflake.

I suppose we're still left with the confusing area where someone asks if their sex fantasy is desire for sex when they don't actually want sex in person, but that's always going to be a grey area no matter what our definition is, unless we said an asexual person is a person who desires not to have sex. but then that'd include celibacy, and apparently that's not OK to include so.

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How about you leave that to the compromising aces themselves to decide, instead of needlessly moralizing about it?

oh, I see. only asexual people are allowed to be in compromising positions. a non-asexual person never has to face the trauma of agreeing to sex they don't want to have.

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The scenario you talk about simply is not rape (not even "effectively") by any reasonable definition of the term. Not just, as you imply, the legal one. People who "got raped" according to it, should never make a fuss over it - t

holy shit what are you smoking???

1) partner A believes they are supposed to want to have sex

2) partner B wants sex

3) partner A says "OK let's do this"

4) partner B goes ahead and fucks partner A

5) partner A doesn't like it. but they're supposed to like it. so they say nothing. they cry on the inside. but try not to show it, because if they did, then partner B would feel bad, and it's partner A's problem for not liking it, they shouldn't unload onto partner B, they shouldn't force partner B to worry. after all, they just need to be patient until they get over the shock of growing up all of a sudden. because adults have sex, and they're an adult now.

6) this repeats the next night. partner A is bold enough to suggest a different sex position. it's not any better. parter A continues to bully themselves out of fear that they'll lose the love of parnter B if they said anything. they continue to preten to be happy, because that's what society has tought them they needed to do in such a scenario. Turn the other cheek, and be kind and forgiving.

7) this repeats over and over and over, until finally they hide from partner B, not saying anything, hurt and torn and confused and scared and sad and dead inside.

BUT I guess they brought it upon themselves, and don't have the right to claim that they hurt, and don't have the priviledge of asking for advice in dealing with their pain, and don't have the ability to talk about what rape feels like, because they're situation isn't rape, it's them being stupid.

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus

The scenario you talk about simply is not rape (not even "effectively") by any reasonable definition of the term. Not just, as you imply, the legal one. People who "got raped" according to it, should never make a fuss over it - t

holy shit what are you smoking???

Nothing, thank you very much. Consider this your last warning: Keep this act up and you'll land on my ignore list.

It is painfully obvious that you are completely clueless about rape. Please, for everyone's sake including your own - Just. Stop. Talking.

BUT I guess they brought it upon themselves, and don't have the right to claim that they hurt, and don't have the priviledge of asking for advice in dealing with their pain, and don't have the ability to talk about what rape feels like, because they're situation isn't rape, it's them being stupid.

Yes. [/sincerity mode] No sarcasm, irony, or anything else - just a flat statement that this is, indeed, a pretty solid view of the situation. Your sarcasm is misguided, because your entire perspective on this situation is deeply messed up.

Of course they may feel hurt in such a scenario. However, if they blame anyone but themselves for this feeling of hurt, they're acting out of immature entitlement. And if they blame the partner and accuse them of "rape", they're dishonorable assholes and should absolutely not be validated, but firmly told to stop spreading vile lies and start overthinking their choices in life - the only actual victim in that scenario is their partner. Siding with the so-called "rape victim" (a.k.a., a liar who falsely accuses innocent people of one of the most heinous crimes there is) and mollycoddling them while they engage in such deeply abusive behavior is nothing else but victim blaming.

If you don't want to "get raped", then just don't agree to have sex. It is really that simple. If you do freely and informedly agree to have sex, then I absolutely, 100%, unreservedly do expect you to keep your big mouth shut about the "rape" you were a "victim" of if you feel hurt afterwards, because it's a lie if you call the consensual sex you had by that name; and it's a lie vile enough to be able to ruin an innocent person's life. You absolutely brought this on yourself when you agreed. Noone else but you is responsible for it. If you feel hurt, then you got hurt by your own doing, not by the partner's. So stop with the lies, start acting more responsibly in future, and leave innocent bystanders of your self-harm, such as your poor partner in consensual sex who ends up falsely smeared as a "rapist", out of it already.

Your entire stance on this is deeply unethical and disturbing. Come off it, stat.

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Rising Sun   
Rising Sun

SwankyPants, I was in the situation you describe 8 years ago, it was far from perfect and sometimes verbally abusive, but never, ever would I say that my ex was a rapist. It's truly horrible to call that rape and you have no right to call people like my ex criminals. If I said I was raped, I would be a liar and I would be a monster.

I took the decision to have a sexual relationship with him, even though I didn't enjoy it, but I'm a grownup and adults who take this decision are grownups perfectly capable of informed consent and decisions. Please don't speak at their place, as if we didn't know what we were doing.

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Larien   
Larien

This thread is being locked temporarily for a cooldown. I will be back to unlock it in ~24 hours.

Please refrain from making these debates too personal.

Larien, Census mod

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Larien   
Larien

This thread is being reopened. Please remember to keep things civil and refrain from making this debate too personal.

Larien, Census mod

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Lost247365   
Lost247365

Sooooo, to get back on topic....

What do all of you think the result of this poll would be if it were re-released today and everyone could vote again.

Would the result be any different? Would the desire definition win? The and/or definition? The AVEN definition?

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Star Bit   
Star Bit

That completely depends if the people voting are properly informed, which alot obviously aren't and thus skew the results.

If this poll is redone, it should have a "must read before voting" that is as brief as possible (possibly an elaborated version in spoiler box).

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Frigid Pink   
Frigid Pink

Sooooo, to get back on topic....

What do all of you think the result of this poll would be if it were re-released today and everyone could vote again.

Would the result be any different? Would the desire definition win? The and/or definition? The AVEN definition?

I think we ought to create a new poll, the one that was previously posed by a member in this discussion (that I posted above recently), which I'm willing to do, so, I'll plan to do that soon.

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IMO the best definition we have includes neither the word "attraction" nor the word "desire" in its definition asexual -

a person who experiences an enduring lack of sexual inclinations or feelings towards others

I might propose a little tweak:

a person with a consistent lack of sexual inclinations or sexual feelings towards others

because "endure" is about withstanding, and so implies celibacy rather than asexuality...

but it completely dodges the "I want it but no one is special" issue with attraction, and the "is it ok to want it for their sake" question, by just completely ignoring those controversial words of "attraction" and "desire"

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Lost247365   
Lost247365

IMO the best definition we have includes neither the word "attraction" nor the word "desire" in its definition asexual -

a person who experiences an enduring lack of sexual inclinations or feelings towards others

I might propose a little tweak:

a person with a consistent lack of sexual inclinations or sexual feelings towards others

because "endure" is about withstanding, and so implies celibacy rather than asexuality...

but it completely dodges the "I want it but no one is special" issue with attraction, and the "is it ok to want it for their sake" question, by just completely ignoring those controversial words of "attraction" and "desire"

I think that would only make things even more confusing and unclear.

What is a sexual inclination or feeling? That could be simply another synonym for sexual desire or attraction or it could be as broad as as arousal in general. I think it has the same problems as the attraction definition has of being vague enough anyone could claim it, or so narrow that it eliminates all libidoist asexuals...or anyone who experience any attraction at all.

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float on   
float on

IMO the best definition we have includes neither the word "attraction" nor the word "desire" in its definition asexual -

a person who experiences an enduring lack of sexual inclinations or feelings towards others

I might propose a little tweak:

a person with a consistent lack of sexual inclinations or sexual feelings towards others

because "endure" is about withstanding, and so implies celibacy rather than asexuality...

but it completely dodges the "I want it but no one is special" issue with attraction, and the "is it ok to want it for their sake" question, by just completely ignoring those controversial words of "attraction" and "desire"

I think that would only make things even more confusing and unclear.

What is a sexual inclination or feeling? That could be simply another synonym for sexual desire or attraction or it could be as broad as as arousal in general. I think it has the same problems as the attraction definition has of being vague enough anyone could claim it, or so narrow that it eliminates all libidoist asexuals...or anyone who experience any attraction at all.

if that is the argument against that definition, then why are we bothering to change the current definition? if someone doesn't know a word enough to have to look it up, chances are they'll find the definition confusing and unclear no matter what it is. at least "sexual attraction" is a very common concept in our culture.

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus
if that is the argument against that definition, then why are we bothering to change the current definition? if someone doesn't know a word enough to have to look it up, chances are they'll find the definition confusing and unclear no matter what it is. at least "sexual attraction" is a very common concept in our culture.

Certainly not in my culture. And seeing as 80% of folks in an AVEN poll don't think it's well and consistently defined, apparently not the culture the majority of AVENites live in, either.

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Lost247365   
Lost247365

if that is the argument against that definition, then why are we bothering to change the current definition? if someone doesn't know a word enough to have to look it up, chances are they'll find the definition confusing and unclear no matter what it is. at least "sexual attraction" is a very common concept in our culture.

Because it is just as confusing if not more so? While sexual attraction has a set dictionary definition it also has many colloquial definitions and it is incredibly easy to mix up which one should be the one that defines asexuality (Attraction based upon sexual desire) and the colloquial ones that should have no part in defining anyone's orientation. When it does, it creates dumb results like this study.

Not to mention how does one even know if the attraction one is feeling is based on sexual desire or not (unless they don't have any sexual desire at all).

That said, there is no dictionary definition for sexual inclination, or sexual feelings like there is for sexual attraction and sexual desire. Those two terms you are proposing must then be based upon the combination of the words "sexual," "inclination," and "feelings." This leads to making things LESS clear and multiple interpretations.

For instance "sexual inclination" could be defined as:

"Relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals"

plus

"A person’s natural tendency or urge to act or feel in a particular way; a disposition or propensity"

And you have natural tendencies or urges to act or feel in a particular way relating to the instincts, physiological processes and activities connected with phyical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals.

Which can be anything sexual desire to simply having an erection in the morning. You have just erased all libidoists. Sexual feelings would be even more confusing and exclusive.

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Star Bit   
Star Bit

More so, that study was fine, but either sexual people are misinterpreting the results or the study/scientists are actually misunderstanding things.

(random recollection link, oy, engrish)

I did originally supported the "inclination" addition because if you use the right definition then it covers both attraction and desire and solves the aromantic definition problem (i.e. an aromantic does not have romantic inclinations) but then i started wondering how much clearer inclination was to the people who say they don't understand the word desire. And it does have many variations in definitions as well as can include the word like, which would eliminate aces who enjoy sexually compromising. I wonder if there's a more conclusive synonym we could use in its place. I also agree that "sexual inclinations" can be read as not masturbating. That's the problem with the broad term "sexual". And if we say "no inclination for sex" it really amounts to no difference from "no desire for sex".

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Mysticus Insanus   
Mysticus Insanus

"A [persistent/enduring/etc.] lack of inclination for partnered sex" would be a wording I could agree with. *suggests it as an addition to the new poll alternatives*

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