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Una Salus Victus

Definition discussion.

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Pramana

Perhaps we're overthinking this a bit, though. Isn't the idea just that someone doesn't think that on balance sexual relationships are worth the effort required for their formation? It can require extra effort to go from an emotionally fulfilling relationship to a sexual relationship, especially if one is sex-repulsed.

I don't think that to be pursuing sex you would have to initiate it. It seems to me that the concept is broad enough to include pursuing relationships where the other person would be willing to initiate it (hence, that would account for responsive desire types).

 

Overall, though, my thought is that instead of a definition of asexuality, maybe there should be three or four different ways of explaining it (none of which is exactly right on its own, but no definition is exactly right).

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FictoVore.
10 hours ago, Pramana said:

Overall, though, my thought is that instead of a definition of asexuality, maybe there should be three or four different ways of explaining it (none of which is exactly right on its own, but no definition is exactly right).

But that just takes us back to the original issue people have with the definition: it applies to almost anyone depending on how they personally define sexual attraction.. which makes asexuality meaningless as an orientation. "Homosexual" doesn't apply to anyone depending on how you define sexual attraction, everyone knows that homosexual means you desire sex and sexual relationships etc with people of the same gender as yourself.

 

There is ONE "way" to be asexual (a lack of an innate desire to connect sexually with others for pleasure) but there are obviously all sorts of different types of asexuals (romantic, aromatic,  kinky, a-aesthetic, high-libido, etc etc) in the same way there are all sorts of different types of homosexuals. But the one defining factor for asexuality is that lack of an innate desire to connect sexually with others for pleasure. That's the one thing that ultimately sets asexuals apart from sexuals, and that only needs one definition (though yes you can explain that in different ways to help an individual see clarity. Or how I will sometimes say ''an asexual has no desire for partnered sexual contact'' ''an asexual has no innate desire to connect sexually with others for pleasure'' ''an asexual is someone who would be happiest without partnered sex in their lives. They may still be romantic but have no desire to experience sexual intimacy with their partner'' ''an asexual would never actively choose to have partnered sex specifically for sexual and/or emotional pleasure'' etc. That's different ways of explaining one definition.)

 

Having four explanations for asexuality in place of one definition would be taking us away from what we seek with a clarified definition, not bringing us closer as a community to a better understanding of asexuality.

 

But I can see how four explanations in place of one definition would work for supporters of the "asexuality is whatever you want it to be" ideal.

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Snao Cone

There are three or four ways (or more) to explain everything, though. Which ones should be made standard or official or whatever? When I have to explain things through my job, a lot of it is complicated because the people in explaining it to never have to consider the complex variety of factors I'm trained to do. I like to explain it one way, then ask the person if they want to framed another way to understand it better. Having a few ways to look at it to ensure it can be communicated to any learning style is a good idea, but these are elaborations on the definition, not different definitions themselves.

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FictoVore.
2 hours ago, Snovocado said:

there are three or four ways (or more) to explain everything, though. Which ones should be made standard or official or whatever? When I have to explain things through my job, a lot of it is complicated because the people in explaining it to never have to consider the complex variety of factors I'm trained to do. I like to explain it one way, then ask the person if they want to framed another way to understand it better. Having a few ways to look at it to ensure it can be communicated to any learning style is a good idea, but these are elaborations on the definition, not different definitions themselves.

There are already multiple ways of explaining any definition to make it clearer. We are talking about the definition itself in this thread though (there should be one easy to understand definition) and of course if people want to choose different ways to explain it to make it clearer for individuals, that's one thing.

 

But I assumed Pramana meant asexuality should be explained as three or four different things, with no one set definition. So like:

 

''An asexual is someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction.

 

and/or

 

An asexual is someone who doesn't peruse sexual activity.

 

and/or

 

An asexual is someone who doesn't think about people in a sexual way.

 

and/or

 

An asexual is someone who has no desire for partnered sexual contact with other people''

 

I was disagreeing with the idea that asexuality itself should be explained like that ^ instead of having one clear definition that can be explained different ways depending on who you're trying to explain it to for clarity.

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Snao Cone

@Pan.Yeah, I agree. We're on the same page here, as usual. :) A good definition won't have people misinterpreting it so easily and walking away without asking the questions to clarify the ambiguity.

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prib23

Here's my definition. I don't give a flying fornication about fornication. Or married sex for that matter.

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Sally
4 hours ago, Snovocado said:

. Having a few ways to look at it to ensure it can be communicated to any learning style is a good idea, but these are elaborations on the definition, not different definitions themselves.

Yes!

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Zendalis

*Looks down at signature*  Yep, that about defines it.

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aceidk

It seems to me that, at least in the academic literature, sexual orientation is defined in relation to sexual attraction. Thus, asexuality--as a sexual orientation--should also be defined in terms of (the lack of) sexual attraction. If you want to define asexuality in terms of sexual desire, then perhaps one needs two different words.

 

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Snao Cone

The definition used by my local LGBT+ resource centre is:

 

"a sexual orientation whereby a person lacks sexual attraction or a personal interest to engage in sexual expressions. Asexuality is distinct from abstaining from sexual activity, celibacy or lower/lack of sexual desire due to stress, illness, or injury. Some asexual people do however engage in sexual activity to please romantic partners or who desire to have children."

 

Not the best definition for a number of reasons, but at least it goes beyond the oversimplified "sexual attraction" definition that some people freely use to identify based on being attracted to their partners for reasons beyond their need or desire for sexual intimacy (when sex is still a needed part of their relationship).

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