Jump to content


Photo

What is "asexual elitism" and why does AVEN discourage it?


  • Please log in to reply
522 replies to this topic

#1 gbrd143

gbrd143

    Asexy Authoritay!

  • AVEN Members
  • 8,350 posts
  • Location:South Sound area, Washington state
  • A/Sexuality:Flamin' Asexual! YEAH, baby!!

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:08 PM

*
POPULAR

An asexual elitist is simply somebody who thinks that asexuality is defined by sexual behavior rather than by sexual attraction.

That was quick and painless, right? :D You can stop reading now, if you want to, because this is an old subject, which, for some reason, Just. Won't. Die.
In the 6 1/2 years I have been here at AVEN, I have lost count of how many times I have seen it.

The same old thing keeps keeps coming up over and over again:
You can't possibly be a "pure" asexual because *gasp* you do X, Y, or *double gasp* even Z!

It's worth noting that the people who make these statements are, without exception, NOT speaking from a position which represents AVEN. This is not to say that they aren't sincere in their beliefs, or perhaps even very well-intentioned in stating them, only to say that they don't fully understand what AVEN's definition of asexuality IS.

The definition of asexuality as it pertains to humans has nothing at all to do with sexual behavior. Full stop. That's it.
In theory, a person could even earn their living as a prostitute and still be a perfectly valid asexual.

Asexuality is defined as not experiencing sexual attraction to either (or any) gender. That's all. It has nothing at all to do with libido or with behavior.

Libido could be defined as a type of itch. Some people itch more than others, but the amount doesn't matter. What matters, when determining sexual orientation, is whether the person would prefer for somebody else to help them scratch it when/if it happens. If they would prefer help, and if they prefer it from someone of their own sex, we call them homosexual. If they get the itch, and prefer help from someone of the opposite sex to help them scratch it, we call them heterosexual. If they get the itch and would prefer no help from anybody in scratching it, we call them asexual. (To put it very bluntly, whether or not a person masturbates has no bearing on their sexual orientation.)

A person who has sex with someone to whom they are not sexually attracted does NOT have to change their orientation in order to do so.
In other words, a gay person who has straight sex under extenuating circumstances is still gay, and a straight person who has gay sex under extenuating circumstances is still straight.

An asexual who has sex under extenuating circumstances is still asexual.

An extenuating circumstance can be almost anything. Seriously! It doesn't have to be a death threat! It might be nothing more than the path of least resistance which will avoid an argument or, even worse, the loss of a relationship.

None of us can get inside another person's head and know, with absolute certainty, WHY they do what they do, so we have to take them at their word. That's why the policy at AVEN is to let each person decide, for themself whether or not they are asexual.

*climbs down from soap box*

Ya'll go ahead and chime in if you want to!

-GB
  • Frigid Pink, OwlSaint, Tigger4life and 58 others like this
Brought to you by:Posted Image
Greybird's Gallery of Death
and by

APositive!

#2 bristrek

bristrek

    A-gent

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,643 posts
  • Location:England
  • A/Sexuality:Demi-panromantic Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:17 PM

*CLAPS*


Great post and I fully agree. Does get a bit annoying with people saying otherwise, especially people with all of twenty posts under their belt as I've noticed a few times the past month. But never thought it was AVEN's official stance on it *g*


Good post.
  • Maroshka H'ghar and Jubbles like this

INTERNET ERGO SUM
 


#3 mindlife

mindlife

    AVENator

  • AVEN Members
  • 3,589 posts
  • Location:Buffalo, NY
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:19 PM

I get this too, from time to time.
And I always counter it.
The position that asexuality is determined by behavior is not valid, any more than the position that homosexuality is determined by a single marital status.
There are no behavioral, personality, or physical determinants of this orientation.
It is a phenomenon of the perspective and emotions.
  • Acing-it and michaelajmason94 like this
Join hands with me, then; and, in the name of that Being in whose image the flogged sailor is made, let us demand of Legislators, by what right they dare profane what God himself accounts sacred. Herman Melville, White Jacket.

#4 eee

eee

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,302 posts
  • Location:somewhere
  • A/Sexuality:solo asexual, solo romantic

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:31 PM

jaws dropped, eyes wide open, hands clapping still...............amen to that! You got it spot on!
booo

#5 Frankentan

Frankentan

    Phantom Poster

  • Moderators
  • 35,865 posts
  • Location:The Atrix is MINE!

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:44 PM

Thank you, GB. As you say it comes up from time to time...I think it would be a great idea to have this 'stickied', it would save us either having to find this or you having to recreate ;) . It's just a pity we have to do this again and again.
"You lose nothing when fighting for a cause ... In my mind the losers are those who don't have a cause they care about." - Muhammad Ali
 
"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice"  - Abraham Lincoln
 
"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."  G. K. Chesterton

#6 michaeld

michaeld

    AVENt Horizon

  • Project Team
  • 5,495 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:teeekz-azzz!!!
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:53 PM

Asexuality is defined as not experiencing sexual attraction to either (or any) gender. That's all. It has nothing at all to do with libido or with behavior.

B.b.b.but... what about THE TEST!? http://web.archive.o...ctssimple7.html No sexual attraction indeed... how can one possibly be quaified as a card-carrying asexual unless they pass THE TEST, by the "Official Asexual Society", no less.

Actually that site, and its later version re-named as "The Official Non-Libidoist society", was, while it existed, possibly the best example of asexual elitism out there. Seems there was an early asexual schism of that site v. AVEN. I'm glad the "liberals" won!

#7 Spaghetti Munster

Spaghetti Munster

    Evil Internet Overlord

  • Administrators
  • 37,470 posts
  • Gender:Higgs Boson
  • Location:Hogwarts

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:58 PM

It was a very early schism indeed!

AVEN became the tolerant asexual network.

:cake: to AVEN

:cake: to GBRD

Quotes from the TV show NUMB3RS
Sometimes cake is a series of algorithms to formulate an analysis. And sometimes cake is just...cake - Professor Charlie Eppes
Is this about the cake problem? What's the matter with you mathematicians, cake is never a problem. - Professor Lazlo


#8 Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

    Too Asexy for this Site

  • AVEN Members
  • 610 posts
  • Location:Milan, Italy

Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:59 PM

Chapeau.


B.b.b.but... what about THE TEST!? http://web.archive.o...ctssimple7.html No sexual attraction indeed... how can one possibly be quaified as a card-carrying asexual unless they pass THE TEST, by the "Official Asexual Society", no less.

Actually that site, and its later version re-named as "The Official Non-Libidoist society", was, while it existed, possibly the best example of asexual elitism out there. Seems there was an early asexual schism of that site v. AVEN. I'm glad the "liberals" won!

O-M-G. I repeat, O-M-G. People never stop to surprise me.

#9 mindsword

mindsword

    Asexy Samurai

  • AVEN Members
  • 998 posts
  • Location:New Hampshire
  • A/Sexuality:Aromantic Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:07 PM

A very good post. I like the analogy with the itch.

Actually that site, and its later version re-named as "The Official Non-Libidoist society", was, while it existed, possibly the best example of asexual elitism out there. Seems there was an early asexual schism of that site v. AVEN. I'm glad the "liberals" won!

Darn it, I'm on the side of the liberals! I think I'm in the wrong place...
  • Pharaz likes this
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, its too dark to read." Groucho Marx.

"Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they can talk sense." Robert Frost

"Build man a fire and he shall be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he shall be warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchett.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Please click the eggs.

#10 Sally

Sally

    Cakemaster

  • AVEN Members
  • 24,101 posts
  • Location:Seattle
  • A/Sexuality:old asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:28 PM

I get tired of the "sexual orientation is fluid" argument also, which seems to be put forward by people who believe that an orientation is a straight-jacket and they don't want to be defined, or even self-defined. But they seem to claim that the fluidity theory applies only to asexuality, not that homosexuals or heterosexuals float around between orientations in some sort of cosmic lake. You needn't define yourself, ever, if you don't want to, but don't deny others the right to define themselves by claiming that orientation is always fluid. That's a kind of intellectual orientational elitism, it seems to me.

End of rant.
  • Frac, Tamarma, Of The Forest and 5 others like this

I don't have the energy to do PMs.


#11 byanyothername

byanyothername

    Formerly Known As Bear

  • Moderators
  • 4,651 posts
  • Gender:biologically female, though indifferent to gender most of the time
  • A/Sexuality:panromantic

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:29 PM

*applauds*

I do believe this post made my day!

I fully agree and even wonder why anyone would want to use the term "pure", anyway. We have quite a number of aces on AVEN from varying backgrounds and circumstances. Regardless of what we did or do feel comfortable doing, sexually, the common denominator is still lack of sexual attraction. Is that really so hard to fathom?
  • pugetjan and Anonamousey like this
"If only our eyes saw souls instead of our bodies...how very different our ideals of beauty would be."

"I don't mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited."

#12 lindi

lindi

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,221 posts
  • Gender:female (but close to genderless)
  • Pronouns:She/her
  • Location:Finland
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual, aromantic/lithromantic(ish)?

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:34 PM

Great post! *claps for the excellent, clear wording of your points* :)
Luckily, what it seems to me, usually there's hardly any wannabe-elitism going on on AVEN!
But recently there has been... some posters who continuously have stated that "your not a real ace if you have sex" and other BS <_<
Well, when I was all noobie I might have said something a bit unthoughtful of the pure lack of understanding... but after reading more posts I realized better what the definition of asexuality fundamentally is about. So let's hope it doesn't take long for anyone else to understand it either, and be patient... :ph34r: I guess... :wacko: Probably there's no way to avoid it that points like this have to be brought up over and over again...
(sorry for extra crappy english, I'm sleepy :P )
  • Anonamousey likes this

#13 Plaid

Plaid

    Aeros Incarnate

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,090 posts
  • Location:Land of the long White Cloud.
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual, Panromantic. I think. XD

Posted 22 June 2010 - 07:59 PM

I'm linking to this every time I find someone who rants about asexuals who have sex not being asexual. I find a lot more sexual people getting confused over that than asexual ones, coincidentally, and its bloody annoying trying to convince them otherwise. DX
  • Frac likes this
The ace formerly known as Tanzy.

#14 Sciatrix

Sciatrix

    A-gent

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,929 posts
  • Location:University of Georgia
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:14 PM

Thank you for writing this. And I would support it being stickied, also.

I have a blog now: Writing From Factor X.


#15 prettyeyes

prettyeyes

    AVENistor

  • AVEN Members
  • 4,415 posts

Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:23 PM

*applause*

#16 bristrek

bristrek

    A-gent

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,643 posts
  • Location:England
  • A/Sexuality:Demi-panromantic Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:24 PM

I get tired of the "sexual orientation is fluid" argument also, which seems to be put forward by people who believe that an orientation is a straight-jacket and they don't want to be defined, or even self-defined. But they seem to claim that the fluidity theory applies only to asexuality, not that homosexuals or heterosexuals float around between orientations in some sort of cosmic lake. You needn't define yourself, ever, if you don't want to, but don't deny others the right to define themselves by claiming that orientation is always fluid. That's a kind of intellectual orientational elitism, it seems to me.

End of rant.



Mmmm, either it's fluid for people of all sexualities or of none. My theory is we have fuzzy areas may move around in, but what they are and how big they are varies person to person. And in the end, whatever you identify yourself as is valid no matter that shape. To be honest, don't think those areas are all that big for most people lol.
  • Tamarma likes this

INTERNET ERGO SUM
 


#17 geek-in-a-half-shell

geek-in-a-half-shell

    Mitosis to the Max

  • AVEN Members
  • 366 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:32 PM

:cake:

Excellent post!
Posted Image

#18 Gho St Ory Qwan

Gho St Ory Qwan

    A-phrodite

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,806 posts
  • Location:Great (!) Britain
  • A/Sexuality:Pan-affectionate, aromantic (?), Asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:30 PM

I get tired of the "sexual orientation is fluid" argument also, which seems to be put forward by people who believe that an orientation is a straight-jacket and they don't want to be defined, or even self-defined. But they seem to claim that the fluidity theory applies only to asexuality, not that homosexuals or heterosexuals float around between orientations in some sort of cosmic lake. You needn't define yourself, ever, if you don't want to, but don't deny others the right to define themselves by claiming that orientation is always fluid. That's a kind of intellectual orientational elitism, it seems to me.

End of rant.

O.o I say that. Although for me it is true and i let people decide for themselves what they are or aren't.
I think I might have multiple personalities or something so it kinda would be fluid. Well that's not a good word to describe it really but that's the reasoning behind why I suggest it to others.
My friend was bi sexual then kinda went back to being straight and she was genuinely into girls but isnt now so I'd see that as fluid too.
They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me. --Nathaniel Lee

AroAce


#19 Sally

Sally

    Cakemaster

  • AVEN Members
  • 24,101 posts
  • Location:Seattle
  • A/Sexuality:old asexual

Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:46 PM

I get tired of the "sexual orientation is fluid" argument also, which seems to be put forward by people who believe that an orientation is a straight-jacket and they don't want to be defined, or even self-defined. But they seem to claim that the fluidity theory applies only to asexuality, not that homosexuals or heterosexuals float around between orientations in some sort of cosmic lake. You needn't define yourself, ever, if you don't want to, but don't deny others the right to define themselves by claiming that orientation is always fluid. That's a kind of intellectual orientational elitism, it seems to me.

End of rant.


Well, having read my comment, it does seem a bit over the top in tone. I believe what I said but didn't need to put it quite that emphasis-ly. Or whatever.
  • pugetjan likes this

I don't have the energy to do PMs.


#20 sips

sips

    Too Asexy for this Site

  • AVEN Members
  • 636 posts
  • A/Sexuality:A

Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:54 PM

absolutely Love that post
And yes I did laugh when I read that soap box thing it's probably something meaning something else like it's a slippery subject but I just can't help myself imagening someone stepping down from a real soap box gosh that's hard :lol:

and again; loved the post. Absolutely agree. Absolutely very much and
if I didn't already know this would make me so relieved because I did actually think I couldn't be asexual from all those reasons and that made me only more confused so thanks and thanks again for being here and making things understandable for someone like me.
I'm an Asexual, Asperger Adhd knitting Addict wondering if I'm genderless, wondering if I'm romantic and if that is towards men or both females and males trying to figure out how to cope with myself. Confused? Yeah!

My two cats saves me a little bit every day!

#21 mindlife

mindlife

    AVENator

  • AVEN Members
  • 3,589 posts
  • Location:Buffalo, NY
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:31 AM

I think pinning this thread is an excellent idea.
The ideas of writing and pinning a thread like this are ones whose time has come. I do get tired of having to explain this over and over again.
Join hands with me, then; and, in the name of that Being in whose image the flogged sailor is made, let us demand of Legislators, by what right they dare profane what God himself accounts sacred. Herman Melville, White Jacket.

#22 mindlife

mindlife

    AVENator

  • AVEN Members
  • 3,589 posts
  • Location:Buffalo, NY
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:35 AM

I get tired of the "sexual orientation is fluid" argument also, which seems to be put forward by people who believe that an orientation is a straight-jacket and they don't want to be defined, or even self-defined. But they seem to claim that the fluidity theory applies only to asexuality, not that homosexuals or heterosexuals float around between orientations in some sort of cosmic lake. ... don't deny others the right to define themselves by claiming that orientation is always fluid. That's a kind of intellectual orientational elitism, it seems to me.

Excellent arguments.
Sexual orientation, in my experience, has not been fluid. I think the fluidity of such a thing is more the exception than the rule.
I've had the experience of being uncomfortable with my orientation. To say that sexual orientation is fluid brings with it the implication that I could just think my way beyond this and be oriented some way else.
It's not going to happen.
Join hands with me, then; and, in the name of that Being in whose image the flogged sailor is made, let us demand of Legislators, by what right they dare profane what God himself accounts sacred. Herman Melville, White Jacket.

#23 WhenSummersGone

WhenSummersGone

    **********

  • AVEN Members
  • 4,115 posts
  • Gender:Demigirl
  • Pronouns:They
  • Location:Canada
  • A/Sexuality:Hetero-Romantic Bi-Demisexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:07 AM

Absolutely agree with all of this. I can really relate to this "Some people itch more than others, but the amount doesn't matter. What matters, when determining sexual orientation, is whether the person would prefer for somebody else to help them scratch it when/if it happens". Also about a person who could still earn their living as a prostitute and still be a perfectly valid asexual
"I Am Who I Am" by Lee Ryan.

Small rant: One thing that really bugs me is when people use the words gender and sex as if they are the same. What if you were born a man but feel like a woman? Or a woman who feels like a man? Gender is between the ears and sex is between the legs.
My own personal definition of Sexual Attraction: Directed sexual desire. An attraction that causes sexual desire towards that gender, genders or someone. Someone that "turns you on" and not just being horny.

#24 chipmunkgirl

chipmunkgirl

    Asexy

  • AVEN Members
  • 429 posts
  • Location:Canadian eh?
  • A/Sexuality:asexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:11 AM

Great post- I vote we have it pinned, too.
Ms Tamias

#25 Puiseag

Puiseag

    Aeros Incarnate

  • AVEN Members
  • 2,132 posts
  • Location:I'm not quite sure... Hmm... This is quite a conundrum. Oh well! More fun that way!
  • A/Sexuality:Pan-romantic ace.

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:30 AM

*claps* Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

#26 asexual cake

asexual cake

    AVENator

  • AVEN Members
  • 3,621 posts
  • Location:midwest

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:31 AM

This post deserves mass amounts of :cake:. Delicious pastries for delicious, logical knowledge.

(does cake count as a pastry? no matter! we shall have it in abundance regardless!)

#27 PinkOlorin

PinkOlorin

    Mitosis to the Max

  • AVEN Members
  • 311 posts
  • Location:Honolulu
  • A/Sexuality:asexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:51 AM

I joined the site back in 03, and then there was a big "but that's not really asexuality" thing came up and I stopped visiting the site because I felt uncomfortable. Something like this would have made me feel a lot better back then, when I was unsure, and I think other people will find it similarly valuable today.

#28 lindi

lindi

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
  • 1,221 posts
  • Gender:female (but close to genderless)
  • Pronouns:She/her
  • Location:Finland
  • A/Sexuality:Asexual, aromantic/lithromantic(ish)?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:26 PM

An asexual who has sex under extenuating circumstances is still asexual.

An extenuating circumstance can be almost anything. Seriously! It doesn't have to be a death threat! It might be nothing more than the path of least resistance which will avoid an argument or, even worse, the loss of a relationship.


That makes very much sense! (I'm reading this post again now that I'm not sleepy anymore, and wow, it's like a new post I've never read before :lol: :lol: And a great one, besides :) )

The part I didn't understand when I was new on AVEN, was that some asexuals who have sex even enjoy the act itself (not talking about masturbation but "real" sex)... :unsure: Now I know that it's possible, that aces who enjoy sex are still just as asexual, whether or not you enjoy the act of sex has nothing to do with the definition of asexuality and so on... Now I know all this.
But I have to admit, that the idea is still hard to really grasp (like... internalize and deeply understand) for me - I mean, I can't imagine myself in that situation, that I'd enjoy sex itself although I didn't feel sexual attraction towards anyone.
But on the other hand, I can't even imagine myself in the situation of a common sexual, who has a strong desire to have sex with people they're attracted to... so maybe my "skill to imagine myself in situations" doesn't matter :P
It would be interesting (and hopefully enlightening :) ) to hear someone, who likes sex (not only to please their partner but in other ways too) but feels no attraction, to describe how it is to feel that way, though. But I understand that it could be just as impossible as to get me understand how it is to be sexual, and I've given up the hope to ever fully understand it :lol:
  • ThorHera likes this

#29 Olivier

Olivier

    AVENger

  • AVEN Members
  • 3,120 posts
  • Location:Australia
  • A/Sexuality:Sexual

Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:37 PM

It would be interesting (and hopefully enlightening :) ) to hear someone, who likes sex (not only to please their partner but in other ways too) but feels no attraction, to describe how it is to feel that way, though. But I understand that it could be just as impossible as to get me understand how it is to be sexual, and I've given up the hope to ever fully understand it :lol:

It's been attempted: http://apositive.org...c.php?f=15&t=15

And thanks GBRD, for putting it so well :cake:

#30 cuauhtemoc

cuauhtemoc

    Amoeba

  • AVEN Members
  • 53 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:10 PM

*Applauds the OP*

http://web.archive.o...ctssimple7.html


"15. Anything to add that might help in this questionaire?" Uh, I might have a few suggestions...

And not just about spelling. That site is like an asexual equivalent of old anti-homosexual 'educational films', like this horrorshow:
WARNING: You may, nay, *should* find the views expressed in this You Tube video appallingly offensive.




"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
Dolly Parton




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users