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float on

please let us establish a strong definition for greysexuality.

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roland.o
15 hours ago, Sally said:

someone who is old enough to have grey hair.

I got my first gray hair ripped out at the age of thirteen. It must have been pre-destined... :cake:

 

On 10/11/2017 at 5:39 PM, float on said:

if there's some way to capture X without stating it

Alright, I'll give it a try...

 

"Graysexual" describes a person who does experience sexual attraction or desire, but within limits that make it difficult, if not impossible, to connect with potential partners on a sexual level. It is an umbrella term, due to the vastly differing nature these limits might assume. Examples include... yadda yadda.

 

The first part is obviously the distinction from asexuality, yet without referring to that term.

Then "limits" hints at a low level, infrequency, rare circumstances or the like. Yet without implying "broken", I hope.

The last part refers to the nature of the problems it causes, without requiring an understanding of "regular" or "normal" sexuality.

 

You might have noticed that I'm not trying to define the noun "graysexuality", but rather a label "graysexual". I find it easier to think of it from that angle. But it also has to do with this:

On 10/11/2017 at 0:18 AM, Graveful said:

I don't personally believe greysexuality is a sexuality in its own right.

and a similar, now deleted statement by "New display name". After some pondering, I partially agree with these views. Graysexuality isn't a well-defined sexual orientation like heterosexuality or asexuality. To some degree, it describes a sexual disorientation. And as such, the term is important and the corresponding label valid. It merits a definition. And it can be a suitable answer to the question "What's your sexual orientation?" :-)

 

On 10/10/2017 at 8:56 PM, Star Bit said:

it's just an additive.

I agree with that, too. But I didn't want to squeeze too much into my first attempt. And I'm certainly not going for a distinction between gray-sexual and gray-asexual here. I'm trying to grasp the "gray area" itself.

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FictoVore.
4 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Why the stereotype that all not-fully-asexual people are open to having sex?

But there seems to be such a stereotype indeed and that's why I identify as asexual and not anything in between (except perhaps "functionally asexual"): to emphasize that I'm not willing to have sex under any circumstances. I just won't.

There's a difference between 'being able to have a regular sexual relationship with someone where both partners desire sex under some circumstances' and not actively wanting one. Being capable being able to desire sexual intimacy with others doesn't mean there has to be anyone you actively want to sex with right now. Most sexual people, however, are capable of having a sexual relationship (in which both partners desire the sex) with many other sexual people, they just have to meet the 'right person' based on whatever their unique sexual preferences are, before actively engaging in that.

 

Then you get someone like me, who, while I'm sexual, I still don't care if I never physically have sex again. There is one person alive who I actively desire sexual intimacy with, but if for whatever reason that desire stopped existing (I don't think it would) then I'd still be a sexual person, just one who didn't actively want sex with anyone right now until I met someone I could want it with again (which for me requires romantic attraction.)

 

So it's not that 'all sexual people are open to having sex' it's that they're still capable of desiring it under certain circumstances with certain people regardless of whether or not they're open to having it right now.

 

I am actually 'grey-ish' in that I'm not really capable of desiring or enjoying 'regular' sexual intimacy (I desire extreme types of fetish that most people can't even think about, let alone do) so wouldn't be able to have a sexual relationship with the vast majority of the population ..And it's vital for me that the other person not mind if we never actually have sex and has literally no expectation of having it with me, yet also desires it with me as much as I do with them.. which makes partner choice even rarer as most people do expect sexual intimacy once they've entered a relationship which is an instant turn-off for me. So, I'm really only capable of having relationships with 'grey' people or those who previously suspected they may be asexual due to their lack of seeing sex as a necessity in relationship or whatever. I'm still sexual though, much more sexual than the guy in my original example.. but there are very, very few people I could ever actually want to have it with. I thought I was asexual, and had lived as an asexual before knowing there was a word for it, until I was around 28. So it also took a very long time for me to work out what I want and who I want it with. 

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FictoVore.
1 hour ago, roland.o said:

I got my first gray hair ripped out at the age of thirteen. It must have been pre-destined... :cake:

 

Alright, I'll give it a try...

 

"Graysexual" describes a person who does experience sexual attraction or desire, but within limits that make it difficult, if not impossible, to connect with potential partners on a sexual level. It is an umbrella term, due to the vastly differing nature these limits might assume. Examples include... yadda yadda.

 

The first part is obviously the distinction from asexuality, yet without referring to that term.

Then "limits" hints at a low level, infrequency, rare circumstances or the like. Yet without implying "broken", I hope.

The last part refers to the nature of the problems it causes, without requiring an understanding of "regular" or "normal" sexuality.

 

You might have noticed that I'm not trying to define the noun "graysexuality", but rather a label "graysexual". I find it easier to think of it from that angle. But it also has to do with this:

and a similar, now deleted statement by "New display name". After some pondering, I partially agree with these views. Graysexuality isn't a well-defined sexual orientation like heterosexuality or asexuality. To some degree, it describes a sexual disorientation. And as such, the term is important and the corresponding label valid. It merits a definition. And it can be a suitable answer to the question "What's your sexual orientation?" :-)

 

I agree with that, too. But I didn't want to squeeze too much into my first attempt. And I'm certainly not going for a distinction between gray-sexual and gray-asexual here. I'm trying to grasp the "gray area" itself.

I really like the definition you came up with, I'm too busy to sit down and ponder coming up with one like Float asked, so I'm glad you did instead!

 

Regarding the rest, I think it's only an orientation for some people like the guy in my example, who doesn't have desire or attraction based at any specific human, but at a specific type of fetish (feet). It's almost like 'feet' is his sexual orientation. HOWEVER, if a man strongly desired sex with women specifically, but found he couldn't actually want or enjoy it when it came to HAVING sex so could never have a sexual relationship with anyone, he's technically 'hetero' - just in the grey area.

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Nowhere Girl
On 11.10.2017 at 0:18 AM, Graveful said:

I don't personally believe greysexuality is a sexuality in its own right. I feel that you're either sexual or asexual. Some people are sexual but less sexual than the average person. They might be in a grey area if you're measuring with a scale.

And this is the kind of reasoning I'm against in my "antipsychological rebellion".

If we put it this way, than I'm against "sexual" and "asexual" as cathegories. And I have said several times: in a way, there's no such thing as "asexuality" (but there is also no "allosexuality", there are only unique experiences of people who identify as asexual or are considered by others to fit this definition. This way I'm also not asexual, I'm just the subject of my own unique experience/thoughtfeeling which includes actively wanting not to have sex.

I'm not against the idea of sexuality. I believe that we can speak of sexuality broadly, in a way which fully includes not practicing any kind of sexual behavior - this is such a person's kind of sexual expresssion. So, with this reservation, without in any way alienating fellow virgins: there are approximately 7 billion different sexualities. No person's experience, no person's thoughtfeeling is identical to that of any other person.

This is why I choose literature and philosophy over science.

Trying to squeeze this 7 billions into two labels only is reductionist to the extreme.

The problem is that I also recognize that labels are sometimes necessary. And that a lot of microlabels can make other people ridicule such attempts at self-definition. But the very least we can do is speak, but not define. In company of people whom one can trust and with whom one can speak about private matters - say what makes you the person you are, and not what labels fit you best. Don't police labels. And don't trust scientific explanations. They only show a relatively small part of the picture, much less than a personal testimony can show.

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Graceful
5 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

But the very least we can do is speak, but not define. In company of people whom one can trust and with whom one can speak about private matters - say what makes you the person you are, and not what labels fit you best.

I do agree with this bit. I think knowing who you are is far more important than finding a highly specific microlabel. While I don’t think it’s important for most people to know about the ins and outs of your sexuality, I do think a simple explanation would be better than a microlabel - or even a blanket term that doesn’t explain the intricacies of who you are as a person. 

 

I can only use myself as an example. If someone asked me what my orientation is, I’d probably just say straight. But if it’s my best friend trying to understand me, I wouldn’t use labels. I would say I’ve only ever liked men romantically but out of the few men I have had crushes on, I’ve only had sexual feelings for one. I’m not sure if I would have developed sexual attraction to the others had I entered a relationship with them or if I just hadn’t “found the right person.” I could easily live without sex but do enjoy it with someone I am sexually attracted to and wouldn’t want to give that up unless he wanted to. I used to have no libido at all but now it’s just relatively low.

 

I feel like that explains my sexuality a lot better than saying I’m heterosexual or demisexual or greysexual because it’s specific to me. I’m a unique person, as is everyone else in the world. However, simplifying it into a few words or less is easier when filling out a dating profile, for example. So I do recognize the need for some labels. I just disagree with microlabels as a whole and I would put greysexuality in that category.

 

Apologies if this makes no sense. I just woke up minutes ago 😜

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Puck

To continue the train of thought above, I generally agree with the idea of not needing to get to specific with the labels. I think it's awesome and fantastic for people to understand what they want and feel, but the labels are what's needed, just the verbiage to explain oneself.

 

A fun way I tend to think of sexuality is like those silly "most interesting man in the world" commercials:

 

If one is a lesbian, they might say "I don't always want to have sex, but when I do, it's with a lady"

 

If one is a straight female, they might say "I don't always want to have sex, but when I do, it's with a dude"

 

If one is bisexual, they might say "I don't always want to have sex, but when I do, it could be with a man or a woman"

 

It doesn't really work for asexuals, though, because if one is asexual, they would probably just say "I don't want to have sex" :P

 

My point is, sexualities have been established to describe what gender one wants to have sex with when they do want to have sex. Obviously, if someone who is sexual wants to have sex with someone, it's not just their gender that makes that desire happen. It's emotional bonds or actions or personality.... I think that's why gray-sexuality is hard to define in the way float on is looking for, personally. It doesn't stick with the pattern of sexuality definitions as has been established. This isn't to say anyone's experience is less than, not important, or not legitimate; simply that some of the micro-labels answer questions people aren't asking when they ask about one's sexuality. I've never met anyone who thought they could have sex with just ANYONE that fits their sexualities perimeters (so, I've never met a straight male who is willing to have sex with every female they've ever met). Society at large gets that it's nuanced, that not everyone is compatible. They use words to try to describe that compatibility, such as the word "chemistry." Watch any movie with romance in it and typically there is a reason the couple gets together that isn't just gender or looks based.

 

I guess my point is, I don't believe we need to use labels to describe every minute feeling we feel sex-wise. I think we should absolutely talk about those minute feelings, but we can utilize our words like we do with other experiences. Frankly, if society would have just allowed people to have sex with anyone they wanted, we wouldn't even need labels to describe what gender one wanted to have sex with. But society felt the need to make those who want to have sex with the same gender/multiple genders feel other, thus the labels came to be... And labels can be empowering as it people can bond with others under said label, but there may also be a danger in feeling the need to make everyone fit into different boxes without just allowing for unlabeled nuances and small differences to exist between us all.... 

 

But importantly, by all means, if it's helpful to you, keep using the grey-sexuality label if you choose to and explore different definitions if it's beneficial to you. No matter what anyones opinions on micro-labels, your experience is legitimate and talking about it is a wonderful thing to do :)

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Snao Cone

Discussing greyness is useful for normalizing varying levels of sexuality, but it's not the same type of category as homo/hetero/bi/pan/ace, which is about the with whom of whatever level of sexuality one has (with ace being "not applicable"). It's a different conversation from the type of identity that is occasionally relevant outside the bedroom, like in the process of meeting partners or expressing basic affection.

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kiaroskuro
13 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

I'm not against the idea of sexuality. I believe that we can speak of sexuality broadly, in a way which fully includes not practicing any kind of sexual behavior - this is such a person's kind of sexual expresssion. So, with this reservation, without in any way alienating fellow virgins: there are approximately 7 billion different sexualities. No person's experience, no person's thoughtfeeling is identical to that of any other person.

I couldn't have said it any better, that's always been my point: No two human beings experience sexuality - or the lack thereof - in the same way.

 

I have used so many labels for myself in the past, it's ridiculous. The fact is that human sexuality can change over the years, it's fluid, and the same is true for romantic orientations etc. What's more, one's approach to friendship or to any kind of relationship can change as well, which could be even more important than one's sexual orientation if you ask me.

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roland.o
On 10/13/2017 at 0:36 PM, Graveful said:

if it’s my best friend trying to understand me, I wouldn’t use labels.

Yes, labels are of limited use when explaining personal feelings. The labels are understood only by the few that already know about them, and even then you'd have to check whether the other's interpretation of the label is the same as yours.

 

But labels are useful for connecting with people that have similar feelings, and as search terms or references to find more information. When somebody comes here and introduces themselves with a post that shares some of their feelings, along with their uncertainty, it can be helpful to tell them: "Hey, read up on label XYZ, maybe it resonates with you." Because if what they read resonantes with them, they will feel less alone, and might be able to find FAQs or other kinds of advice, without explaining their feelings in a public forums as if it were to their best friend.

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jackanope
On 10/12/2017 at 11:48 AM, Deus Ex Infinity said:

While I could certainly come out as demigray-A and might even do so eventually some day, I ike to keep things as easy and simple as possible. It's hard and complex enough as @jackanope just said before. I also don't think that you can set up a solid definition of the term and must not do so because it's supposed to be experienced quite differently to each one of us. It's ok to have some sort of basic definitions to work and understand but it should still be kept open and flexible at the same time to not exclude any people who might eventually find or discover themselfs somewhere on this spectrum.

VERY well said!! :cake:

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float on
On 10/12/2017 at 4:52 PM, roland.o said:

"Graysexual" describes a person who does experience sexual attraction or desire, but within limits that make it difficult, if not impossible, to connect with potential partners on a sexual level. It is an umbrella term, due to the vastly differing nature these limits might assume. Examples include... yadda yadda.

I also am generally liking this. I am a little hesitent because just, generally I amn't excited about advertising greysexuality as an orientation for peeps who have difficulties. but I do understand my goals are necessarily unrealistic heh. I don't mean to criticize the suggestion of course, especially since it is in fact true that a lot of greysexual and asexual folk have had a history of difficulty establishing a relationship.

 

I find myself again noticing the relative freedom defining greysexuality has over asexuality, considering that it doesn't really change very much whether asexuality is defined off of attraction or desire :lol: some greys have low or negligible of one, others have low or negligible of the other, and yet others have relatively meaningful amounts of both but just for whatever reason aren't full sexual.

 

 

 

On 10/12/2017 at 6:21 PM, FictoVore. said:

(paraphrasing to clarify what I'm responding to)
generally pan FictoVore talked of her own identity as a sexual person, who in ways may appear greyish, and with implications (which I may have read too far into) that perhaps this should be a standard for the upper bounds of grey.

(and again, not necessarily what she said - i may be reading into it too deep)

I do in fact trust your identity strongly and do not criticize it nor challenge it.

However one thing I've become very aware of over the past few years is how important the individual determining for themselves their orientation is - one point of that is how: the person may mostly or generally appear to fall into one category, or perhaps the most common description of said category describes the person quite well; however something about that person's experience makes them instead identify another way. and while generally many of these folk would be happy to talk about it under the right circumstances; it is in fact inappropriate to pressure them into sharing it - it could be really personal, or controversial. Or even it could be hard to describe or whatever really - the fact is, that there is a very valid reason why that person identifies the way they do, even tho mostly they appear to belong somewhere else.

 

of course this factor can be problematic if it is like the example of the person who loves sex with anyone, who claims they are asexual for their lack of directed attraction - so silly SMH. but - on the flip side, what I just described applies to a few of us in this thread, demisexuality in general... and other examples too. I don't feel comfortable listing the examples but I hope we can trust my judgement on the difference between someone with valid reason and someone who lacks realism in their belief.

 

so to summarize my point here - whether or not it was what FV was saying, I would oppose the idea that people with sparing or niche sexual desire should necessarily ID as sexual anyway. I am sure there are many sexuals who do - and my vision is that, no one would feel forced to be grey or demi or any sort of grey-spectrum identity. I just want there to be clarity in a definition what greysexuality is.

 

a challenging endeavor but we're definitely making progress :)

 

 

 

On 10/12/2017 at 6:37 PM, FictoVore. said:

I really like the definition you came up with, I'm too busy to sit down and ponder coming up with one like Float asked, so I'm glad you did instead!

 

Regarding the rest, I think it's only an orientation for some people like the guy in my example, who doesn't have desire or attraction based at any specific human, but at a specific type of fetish (feet). It's almost like 'feet' is his sexual orientation. HOWEVER, if a man strongly desired sex with women specifically, but found he couldn't actually want or enjoy it when it came to HAVING sex so could never have a sexual relationship with anyone, he's technically 'hetero' - just in the grey area.

I am not sure (again) if this is your implication but - I don't think it's correct really to claim that asexuality/grey spectrum isn't orientation. I do understand that technically, "orientation" implies directionality - but it also can extend beyond that - not just by the position which is nondirectional, but also:

Quote

 

a person's basic attitude, beliefs, or feelings in relation to a particular subject or issue.
"his book is well worth reading, regardless of your political orientation"

Generally, I feel also that especially with ace and grey specturm orientations, this becomes apparent when someone may be attracted to only women but it isn't sexual or fully sexual. maybe it is only romantic. It is quite relevant how they feel towards that person, not just who they feel towards. Claiming otherwise would be like saying that the ball originating in out-of-bounds isn't relevant for its direction towards the goal, or like saying it doesn't matter how much or for what reason, when someone dislikes obama.

 

 

 

 

 

I will continue reading and responding later, to the other replies. tomorrow hopefully. sorry for being absent last week...

 

 

 

 

 

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FictoVore.
24 minutes ago, float on said:

 

I am not sure (again) if this is your implication but - I don't think it's correct really to claim that asexuality/grey spectrum isn't orientation. I do understand that technically, "orientation" implies directionality - but it also can extend beyond that - not just by the position which is nondirectional, but also:

I was more saying that if someone legitimately is only attracted to feet (regardless of gender, it's just the feet) and doesn't want sex with anyone, then 'feet' is kind of their orientation. I personally disagree with the idea of 'grey' as an orientation in itself though, because a lot of grey identifying people still have an orientation in that the types of sex they do want are with men and/or women (so they're hetero, homo, bi, or pan).

 

I myself don't actually believe I have an orientation as such (as in, a preference for any specific gender), I wouldn't feel right calling myself hetero/homo/bi/pansexual. It's love that makes me desire sex with someone specific, not the specific person themselves, so 'love' or 'emotional connection' is my orientation if I had to say I have one :P

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Brennarr

I like to think of sexuality as a grid. The further up the y axis the closer you get to asexual, and the further down the more sexual. The further to the left of the x axis the more heteroromantic and to the right homoromantic. Now obviously we can get far more complex than that, but I find with something as abstract as sexuality breaking it down into simple chunks helps us understand it better. Grey is all the area between the axises, and is a prefix that can be used in each axis. So to me if one is a Grey Asexual it would mean that they are 0 or above on the y axis, but below the top of the axis to a varying degree. I'm not sure there is really a solid definition of grey asexual the way there can be asexual or heterosexual or homosexual. Grey is sort of blanket term for the "sub-sexualities" in each category that covers anyone who doesn't fall in the traditional categories, and with in those is even more sub-sexuality and so on.  

 

 

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Sally

If you want sex only under certain circumstances (like with someone you love), you're simply a sexual.  The only person who'd care about how and when you want sex would be your partner.   

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Graceful
31 minutes ago, Sally said:

If you want sex only under certain circumstances (like with someone you love), you're simply a sexual.  The only person who'd care about how and when you want sex would be your partner.   

I would agree with this.

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miettaisace

isnt it when your kinda ace kinda not.

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roland.o
21 hours ago, Sally said:

If you want sex only under certain circumstances (like with someone you love), you're simply a sexual.

That's technically correct. But not always as simple as you make it sound.

 

21 hours ago, Sally said:

The only person who'd care about how and when you want sex would be your partner.

If you have a partner. But if those circumstances are so rare or fleeting that you don't find a partner, or that your partners leave you because they don't feel desired, you have a problem. Because from a "normal" sexual's perspective, whatever normal would be, you might act as if you were not a sexual, because you never want to have sex when they feel like it, or because you never initiate, for example. A dear, sexual friend was in that kind of relationship, and decided to break up. I'm not going to guess whether their partner was ace, gray, or had a low libido. Whichever, it was a problem.

 

But from an asexual's perspective, the same person would be considered sexual, as per your statement above. "simply a sexual". Not fitting into the world of sexuals and their sexual relationships, but not fitting into the world of asexuals either. There's nothing "simple" about it when you're stuck in that situation. Sexuals don't understand how you feel. Asexuals don't understand how you feel either. And that's what we (well, at least I) want to grasp with "gray".

 

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roland.o

Time for another draft, accommodating more of @Star Bit's input...

 

When applied to a sexual orientation, "gray" describes a person who does experience sexual attraction or desire, but within limits that make it difficult to connect with potential partners on a sexual level. Example usage: gray-heterosexual, gray-pansexual, gray-asexual, gray A,... (likewise with ~sexuality, spelled as "grey", or without a hyphen)

Gray-sexuality, but also gray-asexuality, are sometimes used to refer to the gray area as a whole. At other times, they are used to distinguish between gray-(allo)sexuals and gray-asexuals as distinct subgroups in the gray area.

Gray is an umbrella term, due to the vastly differing nature which those limits might assume. Examples include... yadda yadda.

 

 

I've switched from defining "graysexual" to simply "gray". That makes it necessary to explicitly mention to sexual orientations as the scope of the definition, because there are also gray-romantic labels. I've dropped the "if not impossible" part of the first draft, to keep the grammar of the first sentence in check. Also, "impossible" has a negative connotation which is not helpful for the definition.

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Sally
54 minutes ago, roland.o said:

That's technically correct. But not always as simple as you make it sound.

 

If you have a partner. But if those circumstances are so rare or fleeting that you don't find a partner, or that your partners leave you because they don't feel desired, you have a problem. Because from a "normal" sexual's perspective, whatever normal would be, you might act as if you were not a sexual, because you never want to have sex when they feel like it, or because you never initiate, for example. A dear, sexual friend was in that kind of relationship, and decided to break up. I'm not going to guess whether their partner was ace, gray, or had a low libido. Whichever, it was a problem.

 

But from an asexual's perspective, the same person would be considered sexual, as per your statement above. "simply a sexual". Not fitting into the world of sexuals and their sexual relationships, but not fitting into the world of asexuals either. There's nothing "simple" about it when you're stuck in that situation. Sexuals don't understand how you feel. Asexuals don't understand how you feel either. And that's what we (well, at least I) want to grasp with "gray".

 

I didn't say the situation was simple.  Every situation between two or more people is complex.  I said that the person was simply a sexual, in the sense that they were not an asexual.  

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Sera1001

I like using this term. Back when i was super confused, i was more using gray ace but then i got confused again because of sexual attraction and desire. It's still confusing to me but i'm currently trying to understand it little by little. Maybe i barely experience desire because i always felt like i had to force it out to experiment with visual (you-know) stuff. I also thought that Autochorissexual really defined me but at the same time, it felt too specific to me. It felt more of a box to me than something freeing. There were a bunch of things going around it too so that made me uncomfortable. But since the gray area is a spectrum, it's very wide and open than a label that's too specific because i'm sure that eventually that if i stay at a label that describes me too much, it will lose its meaning and purpose. Or maybe that's just me. I just don't find it fitting if it's a certain thing like "THIS" is me. Since i'm a bit confused.. It's a safe place for me to identify in the gray area.. Though, not necessarily identifying but at least, i know it exists. 

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Winter Holly
On 10/10/2017 at 9:47 AM, Laurann said:

I'm not greysexual so I can't contribute too much, but the definition for greysexuality that's made most sense to me is : a person who isn't fully asexual, but whose experience is closer to that of an asexual than that of a sexual person. And with experience I mean their experience of their own sexuality. And that they face the same kinds of problems aces face.

 

The wording of that definition could be a lot better, and I'm sorry that it still relies on people knowing what asexuality is, but I felt that this was clearer than just "a sexuality that's between asexuality and (allo)sexuality", because that one relies on what people think 'normal sexuality' is, and if people think hypersexuality is normal, then almost everyone could be greysexual.

 

On 10/12/2017 at 2:52 PM, roland.o said:

I got my first gray hair ripped out at the age of thirteen. It must have been pre-destined... :cake:

 

Alright, I'll give it a try...

 

"Graysexual" describes a person who does experience sexual attraction or desire, but within limits that make it difficult, if not impossible, to connect with potential partners on a sexual level. It is an umbrella term, due to the vastly differing nature these limits might assume. Examples include... yadda yadda.

 

The first part is obviously the distinction from asexuality, yet without referring to that term.

Then "limits" hints at a low level, infrequency, rare circumstances or the like. Yet without implying "broken", I hope.

The last part refers to the nature of the problems it causes, without requiring an understanding of "regular" or "normal" sexuality.

 

You might have noticed that I'm not trying to define the noun "graysexuality", but rather a label "graysexual". I find it easier to think of it from that angle. But it also has to do with this:

and a similar, now deleted statement by "New display name". After some pondering, I partially agree with these views. Graysexuality isn't a well-defined sexual orientation like heterosexuality or asexuality. To some degree, it describes a sexual disorientation. And as such, the term is important and the corresponding label valid. It merits a definition. And it can be a suitable answer to the question "What's your sexual orientation?" :-)

 

I agree with that, too. But I didn't want to squeeze too much into my first attempt. And I'm certainly not going for a distinction between gray-sexual and gray-asexual here. I'm trying to grasp the "gray area" itself.

Beep.  Our concept of grey is along the same lines.  We consider ourself to be grey because we're sexual, but feel disoriented and sometimes alienated by others' reports and descriptions of sexual feelings which we can't seem to grok, and find that our husband (with whom our relationship is sexual, BTW) has similar difficulty with our lack of some of those feelings.  Other peops' behaviour, including speech, make it very conspicuous that our experience of sexuality fails to circumscribe what is "normal" and expected by most peers.  

On 10/14/2017 at 11:59 AM, roland.o said:

Yes, labels are of limited use when explaining personal feelings. The labels are understood only by the few that already know about them, and even then you'd have to check whether the other's interpretation of the label is the same as yours.

 

But labels are useful for connecting with people that have similar feelings, and as search terms or references to find more information. When somebody comes here and introduces themselves with a post that shares some of their feelings, along with their uncertainty, it can be helpful to tell them: "Hey, read up on label XYZ, maybe it resonates with you." Because if what they read resonantes with them, they will feel less alone, and might be able to find FAQs or other kinds of advice, without explaining their feelings in a public forums as if it were to their best friend.

  Yes!  Out in real life, most times we find precise but obscure labels useful is when asking, "Ah, so like homoromantic heterosexual, or are we misunderstanding?" or "Are you familiar with the term, 'skoliosexual,' and if so is that what you're trying to explain?" or some such.  

On 10/23/2017 at 1:19 PM, Brennarr said:

I like to think of sexuality as a grid. The further up the y axis the closer you get to asexual, and the further down the more sexual. The further to the left of the x axis the more heteroromantic and to the right homoromantic. Now obviously we can get far more complex than that, but I find with something as abstract as sexuality breaking it down into simple chunks helps us understand it better. Grey is all the area between the axises, and is a prefix that can be used in each axis. So to me if one is a Grey Asexual it would mean that they are 0 or above on the y axis, but below the top of the axis to a varying degree. I'm not sure there is really a solid definition of grey asexual the way there can be asexual or heterosexual or homosexual. Grey is sort of blanket term for the "sub-sexualities" in each category that covers anyone who doesn't fall in the traditional categories, and with in those is even more sub-sexuality and so on.  

 

 

  This reminds us of a time we helped some one of a gender minority explain to us where they are.  We grabbed paper and a pen, drew what we guess we'd call the "binary plane" with orthogonal "masculine" and "feminine" axes, then explained that some peops describe one or moar gender charges orthogonal to that plane, and we ourself cannot conceptually distinguish between multiple such axes which others seem to be able to distinguish between, so roll them all into a single "z axis" in our simplified model of gender configuration space.  We recall pointing out where agender, bigender, woman, man, demigirl and demiboy are on the "gender binary" face of the cube, and that when some one says "neutral" we sometimes want to ask whether that's somewhere between manhood and womanhood or bigender or agender or off that plane entirely or questioning or whatnot.  We might have drawn a blob for fluidity and a cluster of points for polygender, we don't remember clearly.  

 

  We've also referred to orientations in terms of "the Kinsey axis and the A/Sexual spectrum," but feel like we're talking in pidgin dialect.  To us personally, the hetero-homo axis feels inadequate because it puts our orientation in such terms that one must know our gender to know which way the axis is pointed, and it would completely fall apart if we belong to any of a wide range of gender minorities ior happen to be oriented toward such- the latter of which we do, as it happens: we have a bit of a skoliosexual leaning.  Does that nudge us toward the hetero end of the spectrum because we happen to fit neatly into the binary?  That signal interferes destructively with our lesbian leaning, which feels wrong to us since those components feel orthogonal to us, not opposed.  Wethinks it makes moar sense to define in terms of gender configuration(s) oriented toward and not complicate things with flipping the sign based on our own gender configuration.  As for the ace-allo axis, there are so many qualitatively different ways to be grey-sexual that it deserves to be expanded into a configuration space just as rich as that for gender, if not moar.  We ourself happen to be grey in a way we haven't yet stumbled across a micro-label for.  (We can experience sympathetic sexual feelings, including desire and creative direction, but as far as we can tell... well, we're kinda like a ferromagnetic material to our partner's magnetised material.)  

 

  Now let's apply the same to romantic orientation, as well as orientation in terms of every other channel of intimacy which lotsa peops consider important, since treating sexuality as the only one worth consideration prolly rubs a lot of us a wrong way!  These include every kink out there- both physical such as sensation play and psychological such as power exchange.  

 

  Now that we're considering multiple channels, let's consider relationships between them.  For example, we have bonding experiences in an affirmatively asexual headspace which we consider in some ways more meaningful than our sexual experiences.  In our case, they're in the context of the same relationship with the same partner, but for some one else there might be things which have to be in different relationships.  If it seems the slightest bit esoteric, remember that besides romantic-sexual life partner relationships, we also have close kinship ties, and for most people those are like oil and water since most of us are averse to incest.  That immiscibility can apply to any two [groups of] relationship dynamics, so the totality of "intimacy orientation" must be moar than just a collection of individual channel orientations, it must include relationships between those channels.  

 

  Speaking of romantic-sexual relationships being different from kinship relationships, one major difference between the two in our cultural defaults is that if we expressed bafflement and incredulity at the idea of some one having multiple siblings, or children, or parents and loving them all equally, any one taking us seriously would rightly suspect that our cheese has slid off our cracker, yet we see lotsa bafflement and incredulity at polyamory and other nonmonogamous relationship orientations.  Maybe we're biased by our own polyfidelitous orientation, but it seems like another important axis to consider, applicable to each channel.  

 

  We didn't really realise how big our conceptual model of intimacy orientation has grown until we started writing this reply, so thank you.  We oughtta put together a primer or something, it might come in handy.  At the very least, we could use it to scare off peops who ask us whether we're gay or strait, as if that's a sensible question to lead with when investigating a near-stranger's potential compatibility.  Boop.

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Winter Holly

Beep.  Somewhere the last few days' shower thoughts, we were thinking about how we're used to thinking of sexual experiences in terms of affect, cognition, conation, and inhibitions thereof.  For instance, we understand sexual arousal as a phenomenon of erotic affect and ideation, attraction and repulsion as a type of arousal which is connected to some target, and desire as a conative impulse tied to arousal- not necessarily of the attractive ior repulsive type.  We personally have used the term "sexual receptivity" to refer to lack of repulsion, which includes both attraction and neutrality.  Any of those phenomena can be limited in pleasantness, intensity, duration, or simply circumstances in which they can manifest.  

 

  Okay, so let's draw a table.  The columns are pleasantness, intensity, duration, and circumstance, any of which can be expanded if one wants to get into micro-labeling.  The rows are affect, ideation, impulse, and targetability.  Each cell is an axis defining the "grey sexual" configuration space.  We expect others to point out axes which we've neglected, but for now we'll use those broad categories for a starting point for defining "grey sexual."  Is this at least approaching semi-solid, like gelatinous, if not a solid but open skeletal structure?  

 

   Of course, the same table can be used for grey romantic, grey sensual, grey kinky, etcetera, though the latter might not have much use since it's prolly hard to find some one to expect every one to experience kink as "fully" in these terms as we're expected to experience the other things which overlap with our interpersonal interfaces.  We've been focused mainly on those interfaces, which for instance overlap with romance and sexuality but naively have little to do with private non-partnered experiences thereof, (dunno what romance is, so can't speculate on what non-partnered romantic experiences might be like) while including non-sexual aspects of personality such as neurodivergence and tastes relevant to social interaction.  We personally have to pause, take a step back, and keep in mind that here we're trying to focus on sexuality.  Boop.

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roland.o

Hmm... is your goal to come up with an easily understandable definition of grey sexual, or to build a scientific model to diagnose it? ;-) :cake:

Either way, I'm looking forward to following your train of thoughts.

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QueenOfTheRats

for me, grey sexuality means 1)not being sexually attracted to people 2)getting aroused by scenarios that may or may not involve other people, and may or may not be possible in real life.

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QueenOfTheRats

This is not my situation , but I know a greysexual lady who get's off to the idea of having a penis and penetrating men with it. She is not trans, and strap-ons don't do it for her, she wants the actual anatomy. It's a fetish, which is not that uncommon. However, she ALSO lacks the ability to be aroused by people, outside of her one fetish scenario . Therefore, she falls under the greysexual umbrella.

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Alejandrogynous
1 hour ago, QueenOfTheRats said:

This is not my situation , but I know a greysexual lady who get's off to the idea of having a penis and penetrating men with it. She is not trans, and strap-ons don't do it for her, she wants the actual anatomy. It's a fetish, which is not that uncommon. However, she ALSO lacks the ability to be aroused by people, outside of her one fetish scenario . Therefore, she falls under the greysexual umbrella.

Using that criteria, anybody with a true fetish would then be greysexual, since technically something is only a "fetish" if a person is unable to be aroused and/or climax without the the object of their fetish being present. That seems kind of silly to me. Even if we're just talking kinks or using the term fetish in a more relaxed way, having one does not make someone greysexual. It just means you have a kink/fetish. *shrugs*

 

Also, I disagree with using arousal as any standard in determining asexuality or greysexuality, since arousal doesn't automatically mean you desire sex, regardless of the situation in which it occurs. A libidoist asexual could be aroused and still not want sex, while a sexual person with a low libido could feel no arousal at all but still desire sex.

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QueenOfTheRats
2 hours ago, Alejandrogynous said:

Using that criteria, anybody with a true fetish would then be greysexual, since technically something is only a "fetish" if a person is unable to be aroused and/or climax without the the object of their fetish being present. That seems kind of silly to me. Even if we're just talking kinks or using the term fetish in a more relaxed way, having one does not make someone greysexual. It just means you have a kink/fetish. *shrugs*

 

Also, I disagree with using arousal as any standard in determining asexuality or greysexuality, since arousal doesn't automatically mean you desire sex, regardless of the situation in which it occurs. A libidoist asexual could be aroused and still not want sex, while a sexual person with a low libido could feel no arousal at all but still desire sex.

That's not true. Plenty of people with fetishes can get off to normal sex. In fact, most of them do.

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Alejandrogynous
2 hours ago, QueenOfTheRats said:

That's not true. Plenty of people with fetishes can get off to normal sex. In fact, most of them do.

If a person with an actual fetish is having sex, they are going to have to be, at the very least, fantasizing about their fetish in order to perform/climax. That's what separates fetishes from kinks - kinks are something you like, fetishes are something you need.


Yes, plenty of kinky people can also enjoy 'normal' sex - liking a little spice in the bedroom doesn't mean you can't also like vanilla in the right circumstances. Absolutely. But the way you describe your friend, that she literally CAN'T be aroused except in that singular fantasy? That sounds like a fetish. Now, you never specified if she ever does have sex and I obviously can't speak for her regardless, but either way, if she can't get off on anything except that one fantasy, that's textbook fetishism. And no, it doesn't (inherently) make a person ace/grey.


Disclaimer: Ace/grey people can have kinks and fetishes, I don't mean to imply that fetishism excludes people from being asexual. Only that while you can be asexual AND have a fetish, having a fetish doesn't MAKE you asexual.

 

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QueenOfTheRats
8 hours ago, Alejandrogynous said:

If a person with an actual fetish is having sex, they are going to have to be, at the very least, fantasizing about their fetish in order to perform/climax. That's what separates fetishes from kinks - kinks are something you like, fetishes are something you need.


Yes, plenty of kinky people can also enjoy 'normal' sex - liking a little spice in the bedroom doesn't mean you can't also like vanilla in the right circumstances. Absolutely. But the way you describe your friend, that she literally CAN'T be aroused except in that singular fantasy? That sounds like a fetish. Now, you never specified if she ever does have sex and I obviously can't speak for her regardless, but either way, if she can't get off on anything except that one fantasy, that's textbook fetishism. And no, it doesn't (inherently) make a person ace/grey.


Disclaimer: Ace/grey people can have kinks and fetishes, I don't mean to imply that fetishism excludes people from being asexual. Only that while you can be asexual AND have a fetish, having a fetish doesn't MAKE you asexual.

 

I know what you are talking about, but that's not how people use the word fetish in daily life.

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QueenOfTheRats

I also think that probably most of the people in the group you are describing would fall into the category of grey-sexual. Just a hunch, seeing as they will not be enjoying sex the majority of the time, even if their libido is up..etc.

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