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Defining asexuality - a better definition?

  

569 members have voted

  1. 1. Please select your orientation;

    • asexual
      1258
    • grey-asexual
      183
    • demisexual
      72
    • heterosexual
      20
    • homosexual
      9
    • bisexual
      7
    • pansexual
      7
    • other
      24
    • rather not say
      18
  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)
      779
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex (with emphasis on the "partnered")
      110
    • a person who does not feel a desire for partnered sex and/or little or no sexual attraction
      183
    • a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction and/or little or no desire for partnered sex (again an emphasis on the "partnered")
      374
    • another definition (please post below)
      27
    • a person who is not intrinsically attracted to any gender sexually
      125
  3. 3. do you think most non-asexuals understand you when you explain asexuality?

    • mostly
      172
    • to some extent
      580
    • not really
      464
    • not at all
      90
    • not sure
      292


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Guest

Mystic...the current and original definition has always been incredibly clear accurate and self explanatory....those with a vested interest in changing it to suit purpose believe it to be not clear but clear never the less it is

So, you're ready to ignore a vast majority of people because they're "not smart/enlightened enough" to understand The Plain Truth and/or have some kind of shady agenda?

If that's how you see "asexuality", then I think it's a concept in dire need of less visibility. It's inherently elitist, it's probably made-up (and I'm certain that it is not an actual orientation), and it's certainly not relevant enough for the world to take any notice of it. Like tons of other weird internet trends, it will probably die off in time. There also is zero need for education on it - the "enlightened few" probably get it automatically, the less enlightened will never do so and are a lost cause.

So - what purpose does this site serve again, in your opinion?

Btw, there "has always been" the "incredibly clear definition" of sexual orientations as being gay, straight, or bi. What vested interest do you have for adding some fourth one to it, and what purpose of yours does such an addition suit?

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Naosuu

naosuu...you can highlight and disagree all you wish but the definition is the definition..and it isn't difficult at all...who mentioned sluts? I never

let me put this to you...when all the grey semi demi crew try to explain what they are..why do they resort to saying what an asexual is when they are in fact sexual? my point on this is that even sexuals know what the definition is and it to be correct, asexuals know this to be correct...that is how we define ourselves

want or partnered sex is and has never been part of what an asexual is and like first nmentioned....it is something that never was that has been attempted to be added to the definition to bolster numbers and create confusion

I used sluts as an example of using words to mean one thing, however the actual application of the word is very liberal and doesn't actually mean anything outside of that group. In the study, groups of girls used it to mean someone who slept around but also used it to police each other's behaviours: what men they should be seen flirting with; what make-up they wear; how they should act at parties and how they perceive people of higher/lower economic statuses. Richer girls saw lower girls as "not classy" and "trashy"; whereas girls from working families saw richer girls as "rich bitches in sororities." Both were "slutty" whether these "sluts" actually existed or not.

The same is being done with sexual attraction; those whom, in my opinion, do experience sexual attraction but mentally twist themselves into knots in order to fit the definition. It's commonly done with getting turned on (without any physical stimulus) by kinks, porn, fetishes, etc. The moment someone points these things out, they are often ignored or, sometimes, met with aggression, especially if the poster is sexual. Much like the "slut" study, we will police our own definition onto newcomers, giving them a checklist of behaviours and perceptions about how "asexuals" should be and how they should relate to their kinks, fetishes, turn-ons, etc.

For your Gray statement: while I don't always agree with posts I read in TGA, I also understand that it isn't really anyone's place to "force" labels upon other people. Yes, there are can be very serious misconceptions, however this kind of "force-feeding" attitude about labels also implies that sexuality has an "end". While some people reach a comfortable state in their sexuality, other people will continue changing. Whether grays see themselves as sexual, asexual, bi, gay, lesbian, or somewhere in between, the choice to pick up a label is ultimately up to them. What we can do, however, is to clarify the definitions they research and work with.

We are not attacking the definition. If asexuality inadvertently changes the way we understand human sexuality, I think some words/terms need to be revised, changed or even thrown away for newer ones.

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Vampyremage

PiF - I understand your position regarding the fact that you believe the definition of asexuality does not have anything to do with sexual desire. However, your assertions that, by trying to change the definition to include those who really aren't asexual, make the question relevant. Based upon other posts you have made on these boards both in this thread and elsewhere, I wonder how you would reconcile the idea that there are some asexuals that legitimately have a desire for partnered sex. How, then, do you differentiate them from sexuals and especially sexuals such as Lady Girl who have stated quite clearly that she does not experience sexual attraction and yet does experience sexual desire and does identify as sexual?

Naosuu - I think that's a great point. Most no in the asexual community would count being aroused by porn (except perhaps when one brings specific fetishes into the mix) and being aroused by non-physical stimuli such as when someone attractive walks by as sexual attraction. Certainly if there's a pattern of arousal due to non-physical stimuli (such as a particular type of attractive individual walking by) almost everyone would agree that such was an example of sexual attraction. Based upon the current definition, even if that individual never experienced an innate desire to ever act upon such attraction with a partner, they would be excluded from being asexual and thus are forced to jump through mental hoops in order to 'qualify' as asexual. This problem is easily rectified with the addition of a desire half of said definition.

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Lady Girl

I found an old post of mine and want to quote a few things from it. The definition as it is now is not the original, and is indeed somewhat less inclusive because it has become somewhat narrowed and disallows people to do what they should be doing here...talking about what it feels like to be asexual (instead of trying to somehow comply with the "AVEN words" asexuals are allowed to use).

I read a lot, if not all, of Lord Happy Toast's writings and watched the video,and I want to do some quoting here. But first, I gathered from reading, that besides the ethical importance of being able to self-identify there are three ways asexuality can be defined and they are, in terms of preference (does one prefer to have sex or not, not as in a choice one makes as in celibacy, but an inherent preference), desire, and attraction. A woman in a study he quotes sounds a lot like my husband, and then LHT says, "She does not define her asexuality in terms of sexual attraction. She defines it in terms of sexual preference, and then explains this in terms of sexual desire. This isn't at all uncommon. Lots of asexuals explain their asexuality in these terms."

Furthermore, LHT says, "Each asexual person is different and has a somewhat different idea of what being asexual means to them. There is no need to stick stringently to the AVEN definition or to any other. That really is not what the definition is designed for. It's supposed to be more of a guidepost for people, something to help people think about their lives and something to be useful in presenting asexuality to audiences unfamiliar with it." I believe he also referred to it as a sound bite.


That has to do with the definition...this has to do with my husband and how he describes his feelings (which incidentally is part of the reason he tends not to post much; he technically isn't asexual, but I am, as Vamp pointed out...and that's just plain silly). The first "I" in this quote is me talking, I use quotation marks when he's talking:

...to start with I'm going to say it means he's not interested in having sex. This is from my observation, and also are his own words. Tonight I asked him, what is asexuality? He asked, "What does it mean to me?" Yes, to you, I responded. The answer was quick and precise. "Not interested in having sex."

I asked him to tell me a little bit more about it in reference to AVEN's official definition. He said, "It has more to do with a lack of desire than it does a lack of attraction. Even when I was young, and my body, and society, and all my friends told me I wanted to have sex, I really didn't want to have sex. Even when I felt attracted to someone and felt some amount of desire, I didn't want to have sex. Attraction has always been there, just no desire to have sex, other than to make you happy and fulfill my duties as a husband. To me, asexuality is not wanting to have sex with people (or trees, or shoes). Not interested in having sex, hence the word asexual...you don't start with sexual attraction or lack of, you start with not wanting to have sex and then work from there."


Anyway, regarding the strict adherence to the attraction bit has not only flipped my husband's and my orientations around (technically speaking), but one other person I know of specifically too:

I was talking to my partner about it last night and she fits perfectly with the definition of sexual, and I fit perfectly with the definition of asexual. It's all assbackwards.


Vamp is right, this kind of problem could be easily rectified without taking anyone's asexuality away from them or making others sound like they're something they're not.

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Sally

If you define asexuality as not desiring sex with any other person, I don't see how that could flip you and your husband's orientations, LG.

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Vampyremage

If you define asexuality as not desiring sex with any other person, I don't see how that could flip you and your husband's orientations, LG.

I believe LG meant the reverse; that an attraction based definition flipped their orientations.

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Lady Girl

If you define asexuality as not desiring sex with any other person, I don't see how that could flip you and your husband's orientations, LG.

I know our orientations aren't flipped, but according to a strict "lack of sexual attraction" definition they are. I don't really experience sexual attraction in the sense of "sees someone and thinks about sex, desires sex with them, or is aroused in their presence." My husband on the other hand, probably experienced what many people might call sexual attraction, but never felt compelled or a desire to create a sexual situation out of it.

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Sally
Lady Girl, on 28 Jun 2014 - 10:31 PM, said:
Sally, on 28 Jun 2014 - 10:21 PM, said:

If you define asexuality as not desiring sex with any other person, I don't see how that could flip you and your husband's orientations, LG.

I know our orientations aren't flipped, but according to a strict "lack of sexual attraction" definition they are. I don't really experience sexual attraction in the sense of "sees someone and thinks about sex, desires sex with them, or is aroused in their presence." My husband on the other hand, probably experienced what many people might call sexual attraction, but never felt compelled or a desire to create a sexual situation out of it.

Then my definition might be unambiguous. I didn't mean all sexuals desire sex with someone they see; I meant that they are capable of actually desiring the activity of sex with someone. Asexuals, on the other hand, by my definition, don't ever experience that feeling.

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PiF

:cake: :redface: Apologies for the delay in replying

a mixture of ..of late when ever I get into an interesting debate the sql's appear from nowhere and push me out of aven for a while and....I needed my ugly sleep

I'll address the kind individuals who replied then come back to my own summation if I may

thjb....I'm beginning to wish I had never opened this can of worms.......Don't worry....this lid has been opened many times and it's only those who are afraid that keep trying to put it back on...I will explain why at the end...however without testing boundaries...how are we to know where they are?

Mystic....bloody copy and pasting in aven has suddenly stopped on this bloody pc grrrr Your claim of elitism is the usual shut down used by those who may also use phobe..ist...etc where you see elitism there is only a desire for the truth and accuracy...the fact the truth is uncomfortable does not make it elitist...it makes it accurate.

I would agree we need less confusing visibility...far better we continue with the accurate drip feed of slow visibility based upon the definition...than riding the coat tails of a sexual body sending out messages like...an asexual is a person who lacks sexual attraction......except for..then list many many contradictory statements as possible.... as a visibility projection..this is possibly why so many are confused what an asexual is both externally and internally

naosuu..... you mention those who do not fit the definition then twisting themselves up in knots to try and meet it...could it just be simply they never met the definition in the first place?..lets have some honesty here....as to being met with aggression...you will certainly have seen in my history and there is enough there to show......I feel the grey area is a sexual area for those who align with certain aspects of asexuality.....now ..you will also find with that, I have raised this many times....about how aven often is anti sexual and on occasion downright offensive to sexuals......I have also said the grey section are incredibly valued sexual allies

for me it isn't about saying what they are not but more about who and what we are..that is not elitism and never has been..accuracy about asexuality should never be discouraged due to convenience of numbers

Vamp...hi... the asexuals desiring sex...first..desire I think we have finally agreed ? is a want and asexuality is not about a want....there are some asexuals who like me are sex positive...unfortuneatly for some...they have seen my sex face :ph34r: :redface:....for those of us ..want is the wrong word...some asexuals are happy to have sex with a person we have a relationship with...the want is the want to please that partner and sex is just one method, as would be cooking a meal...giving a neck massage or even clipping their toenails...don't ask...but wanting to pleasure a partner does not remove the lack of sexual attraction for us asexuals

so the want isn't for sex as such but for a tool to pleasure a partner of which one for the sex positive asexual...maybe sex.

again I go back to naos direction and yours about people beating themselves up to meet the definition and the reply would be the same...could it just be simply and truthfully that they are doing so because they are not asexual but want to be and the individual is putting themselves through that torture and is no cause of the definition?

Lady girl....love her :cake: ..... your comment about less inclusive will lead to my summation nicely...this I feel is an half empty glass comment....the half full glass would say..we are more accurate about what an asexual is and whilst we are small the drip feed of accurate information means that people get us from minute one and understand mostly who and what we are....the race to have as many members as possible no matter who and what they are has caused...like it or not..more doubt than ever about what an asexual is.....which skullery leans towards...the definition is fine but the way it's being used to promote everything could be is ass hat backwards

now my summation..unusually for me it won't be short...some who have known me long enough know I deal with uncomforteable truths and generally they come right...that is just how it is

I don't like comparrissons with the lgbt but on this one point it's a stark vision of what is to be

when it was started it was simply the lg...Not lady girl but lesbian and gay..as it became bigger it started to include the bi then trans and now is almost a joke with so many letters being added it's like they are trying to play themselves and win at scrabble

my point..during that evolution many of the original people who the lg definitions met suddenly started to feel isolated within their own communities as it stopped being their community and as it went even the later groups complained hey...we are getting to a point where we are no longer a rights, information, visibility group but more a joke social forum that happens to have a few gays and lesbians in it

I know how they feel as a full time asexual...aven sometimes is like a gay person visiting a gay club and it's full of straights ....it's like wtf? my community has gone!!!....that is why I sometimes say and feel it to be correct that on occasion...if you are a full asexual...then aven is the most isolating place you could go

the full asexuals comment is not elitist..it's a case of who are we anymore?...I saw a comment that said asexual is the term for a full asexual....yes it used to be..but look in grey...peoples descriptions under their avatar and in the forums in general..people who are not....often now say they are asexual ...so what do we as full asexuals now call ourselves anymore?

We havn't changed .....aven has and then it starts to tell full time asexuals we are elitist and wrong???? it's why I feel we need a faceplam smiley in aven.....I just hope we don't have to pay to use it...I maybe skint by the end of the week

as with the lgbt...although we have smaller numbers...it will evolve and become less about asexuality as a content..and more about asexuality as a title and nothing more...it will isolate quite a large group of people who are full asexuals...who will feel the asexual message has been sold out for numbers and as such places that were created for asexuals will become no longer their place ...they will have turned into social clubs and forums which happen to have a few asexuals in but largely isolate the many asexuals out there...(I will mention that Apositive is largely still about asexuality though 8-) )

it is evolution that those who create are often discarded when others seek to create a new...it will happen..it has already started to happen so aven has to be carefull

why?...purely on user information...asexuality is something that happens to mostly females between 18 - 24........asexuality needs a rounder picture of what asexuality is..a more accurate one..and turning away full time asexuals because they feel unwelcome in their own "home" is a reciepe for disaster

so this debate is coming no matter how many times we try and stifle it...it will create divisions and will isolate a lot of historic and full time asexuals.....and aven will be a worse place without them making asexuality look like it is something for confused teenagers only......we need to be honest about this to try and discuss the best way to reduce the loss of the valueable resource we have and are pushing away

at the same time some of the longer established full time asexuals are also in the real world fighters of rights away from the computer and in the real world....don't be surprised with that heritage if we bite back from time to time ;) and say hold on a minute..have you thought this through?

the definition stands..it is the most concise, accurate and visible definition we have....it is inevitable as we evolve that it will change in some way....just be prepared for discussion when it is discussed.

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Lady Girl
Lady Girl, on 28 Jun 2014 - 10:31 PM, said:
Sally, on 28 Jun 2014 - 10:21 PM, said:

If you define asexuality as not desiring sex with any other person, I don't see how that could flip you and your husband's orientations, LG.

I know our orientations aren't flipped, but according to a strict "lack of sexual attraction" definition they are. I don't really experience sexual attraction in the sense of "sees someone and thinks about sex, desires sex with them, or is aroused in their presence." My husband on the other hand, probably experienced what many people might call sexual attraction, but never felt compelled or a desire to create a sexual situation out of it.

Then my definition might be unambiguous. I didn't mean all sexuals desire sex with someone they see; I meant that they are capable of actually desiring the activity of sex with someone. Asexuals, on the other hand, by my definition, don't ever experience that feeling.

I like your definition. :) :cake:

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bonny

I ave confused feelings about the "no desire for partnered sex" definition, because I fantasize about sexual activity with fictional characters, and I don't know whether some people might think that counts as a "desire for partnered sex"? :unsure:

In the perfect circumstances of an ideal world, would you ever desire to act upon these fantasies? If the answer is yes then you have some desire for partnered sex. If the answer is no and these are merely fantasy, then you have no desire for partnered sex. Fantasy in and of itself does not imply a desire to transform that fantasy into reality.

I thought someone would comment something like that. :) The problem is that I honestly feel I don't know the answer. As "the perfect circumstances of an ideal world" are never going to really exist, I know I will never be in a position to act on such fantasies. Perhaps I enjoy the fantasies precisely because there's no chance of them ever happening in reality? Or perhaps I would act on them if "the perfect circumstances of an ideal world" really existed? But I have no idea how to distinguish between those two possibilities.

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bonny

A desire for sex might be placed in a similar context as a desire for love. For the romantics among us, we aren't going to die if you don't have a romantic partner. However, there may very well come a point where if we don't have that romantic attachment for a certain period of time, it can lead to psychological stress and depression. I think, for most sexuals, a lack of sex for a certain period of time is of a similar nature.

Ahhhhh! So - "desire" as a kind of impulse that drives you to want sex? Well, if you define "desire" like that, then I don't think I do experience it. I only had one sexual relationship in my life, that was out of curiosity about what sex was like (and a long time before I knew asexuality existed), 18 years ago, and I don't care if I never have sex in my life again.

I find it very interesting to see the difficulties in this thread where we are trying to use words from everyday speech in a technical sense (I studied Philosophy at Uni. :) )

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the bumbling rotifer

Vamp...hi... the asexuals desiring sex...first..desire I think we have finally agreed ? is a want and asexuality is not about a want....there are some asexuals who like me are sex positive...unfortuneatly for some...they have seen my sex face :ph34r: :redface:....for those of us ..want is the wrong word...some asexuals are happy to have sex with a person we have a relationship with...the want is the want to please that partner and sex is just one method, as would be cooking a meal...giving a neck massage or even clipping their toenails...don't ask...but wanting to pleasure a partner does not remove the lack of sexual attraction for us asexuals

so the want isn't for sex as such but for a tool to pleasure a partner of which one for the sex positive asexual...maybe sex

I think maybe we're operating with different conceptions of the word 'desire'. I think that, to proponents of the desire-based definition, desire is something more than a 'want': it's something deep and innate. Therefore an asexual who chose to have sex in order to please their partner wouldn't be considered to be 'desiring' sex.

Would it help to ease your concerns if the word 'innate' was included in the definition, PiF?

I.e. An asexual is a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction and/or little or no innate desire for partnered sex

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Lady Girl

Hi PiF! :)

My statement had less to do with the number of members and boosting it (I honestly don't think anyone cares about that), and more to do with the reality of what asexuality means to people and letting those asexuals use the words that describe them (not words that are prescribed for them). I also wanted to show that it was always intended to be a guidepost for self discovery, not something set in stone...that was originally part of the intention of the current definition.

Any asexual should be able to define themselves in terms of lack of desire for sexual interaction and not be challenged by insisting that they conform to "AVEN speak."

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the bumbling rotifer

And now, a short cake interlude to congratulate Lady Girl on her 13,000th post.

4578105511_525x238.jpg

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warrigan

i dislike these discussions about definitions because nothing changes and like a fictional character once said, "it gives me tummy rumblings when you guys fight" (10 points if you get the reference!)...but i can't help replying. oh, well.

i strongly disagree with the use of a desire-based definition. i much prefer the term "attraction," and i define sexual attraction simply as the gender(s) you consider in a sexual light.

first off, as has been pointed out, there are asexuals who enjoy sex. there are asexuals who want to have sex, either to try it or because they like doing it. to me, saying that asexuals don't/can't feel the desire for partnered sex is effectively saying that asexuals who enjoy sex and want to have it are no longer "legitimate" asexuals. it's restricting the definition of asexuality to the sex-averse and the sex-indifferent, and excluding asexuals who enjoy sex. taken at its most extreme, a desire-based definition could be used to contribute to some truly elitist stuff- people saying that you can't be asexual if you're okay with having sex, that sort of thing. (yeah, it might be unlikely, but people already do this stuff without a desire-based definition.)

another issue i have with a desire-based definition has to do with a common argument, which is this:

I also don't understand how adding more variations to an already clear definition.....will help avoid confusion or doubt over what an asexual is...could someone explain that bit too me?

Because the current definition is not clear at all. Changing it to a desire-based one wouldn't muddy the waters, it would clear the current muddyness out.

because how is a desire-based definition ANY better than an attraction-based one? no, seriously, how? yes, the attraction-based one is ambiguous, but so is a desire-based one! what is "sexual desire"? arousal? arousal doesn't have to be linked to desire. just because something arouses me doesn't mean i want sex from it/with it/because of it. and there are people who identify as sexual despite having a very low (or nonexistent) sex drive. if you're talking about a "desire for partnered sex," then we again run into ambiguous territory. we've already run into ambiguous territory in this thread (with fictional characters)! if i desired sex with my (nonexistent) partner to make them happy, would i still be able to consider myself asexual? if you say that the desire has to be really strong for it to "count," then what about sexuals who don't feel a strong need for sex? are you going to insist that they are asexual despite what they say? if you say that your desire has to be internally motivated, then you again run into the issue of asexuals who don't consider any gender in a sexual light but still enjoy having sex. i just really, REALLY don't see how changing the definition will solve anything, because a desire-based definition is really not much clearer at all, and it just seems to exclude more people.

basically, i can't get behind a desire-based definition. i really like the term "sexual attraction," because i think that it stresses that orientation is mental rather than physical. and actually, i like that the definition is more ambiguous, because then everyone gets to decide for themselves what it is that makes them identify as asexual.

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Guest

Mystic....bloody copy and pasting in aven has suddenly stopped on this bloody pc grrrr Your claim of elitism is the usual shut down used by those who may also use phobe..ist...etc where you see elitism there is only a desire for the truth and accuracy...the fact the truth is uncomfortable does not make it elitist...it makes it accurate.

If truth and accuracy are what you look for, and you think the current definition is accurate, then you should strive for asexuality not being mistaken for an orientation. And it's hardly accurate then to call it by a word that evokes orientation by sharing their naming structure (heterosexuality, homosexuality, etc.).

It would be better to call that "asexuality" concept of yours sometihng else, then - anattractionism, attractivity-blindness, or whatever. Definitely not something that evokes the - obviously false - idea it were the fourth orientation. It has nothing in common with how stuff called "-sexuality" works.

I would agree we need less confusing visibility...far better we continue with the accurate drip feed of slow visibility based upon the definition...than riding the coat tails of a sexual body sending out messages like...an asexual is a person who lacks sexual attraction......except for..then list many many contradictory statements as possible.... as a visibility projection..this is possibly why so many are confused what an asexual is both externally and internally

There is no solid definition of what "sexual attraction" even is. (The ones that have come closest to being agreed upon, including the one in AVEN's current FAQ? Guess what - they boil down to desire for partnered sex, anyway.) It's not an "except for" that we're striving for here. It's the much more basic "which is supposed to mean".

If we're unable and/or unwilling to understandably explain the term we use as the sole definition, then that means we simply do not have a definition, period. Basically, "asexuality is the state of calling oneself asexual" (except that we don't have the guts to say this outright): That's it.

And yes, that's the very essence of 'special snowflakes': "I'm not like you normal folks, but it's not like I can or want to explain in solid words what the difference between us is supposed to be." Your "...and you'd understand it if you didn't have some hidden agenda" sure doesn't help.

Vamp...hi... the asexuals desiring sex...first..desire I think we have finally agreed ? is a want and asexuality is not about a want....

Thoroughly disagree here. If anything, desire is an inherent/intrinsic want; and yes, that is absolutely what orientations are about. If it's not true about asexuality, then asexuality is simply not a legitimate orientation.

there are some asexuals who like me are sex positive...unfortuneatly for some...they have seen my sex face :ph34r: :redface:....for those of us ..want is the wrong word...some asexuals are happy to have sex with a person we have a relationship with...the want is the want to please that partner and sex is just one method, as would be cooking a meal...giving a neck massage or even clipping their toenails...don't ask...but wanting to pleasure a partner does not remove the lack of sexual attraction for us asexuals

Neither sex-positivity nor wanting to please a partner has anything to do with a desire for sex.

so the want isn't for sex as such but for a tool to pleasure a partner of which one for the sex positive asexual...maybe sex.

I can't say I understand the end of that sentence, but the start is exactly what the "desirists" are saying here: People can have sex without having a desire for sex.

Of course asexuals - at least the ones who aren't repulsed - can use sex as a tool to achieve some other goal (getting pregnant, pleasing a partner; heck, earning cash - you can be asexual and work in prostitution). That doesn't mean they desire sex.

If they desire sex, they're not asexual. That's the only actual criterion differencing sexuals from asexuals.

again I go back to naos direction and yours about people beating themselves up to meet the definition and the reply would be the same...could it just be simply and truthfully that they are doing so because they are not asexual but want to be and the individual is putting themselves through that torture and is no cause of the definition?

Lady girl....love her :cake: ..... your comment about less inclusive will lead to my summation nicely...this I feel is an half empty glass comment....the half full glass would say..we are more accurate about what an asexual is and whilst we are small the drip feed of accurate information means that people get us from minute one and understand mostly who and what we are....the race to have as many members as possible no matter who and what they are has caused...like it or not..more doubt than ever about what an asexual is.....which skullery leans towards...the definition is fine but the way it's being used to promote everything could be is ass hat backwards

now my summation..unusually for me it won't be short...some who have known me long enough know I deal with uncomforteable truths and generally they come right...that is just how it is

I don't like comparrissons with the lgbt but on this one point it's a stark vision of what is to be

when it was started it was simply the lg...Not lady girl but lesbian and gay..as it became bigger it started to include the bi then trans and now is almost a joke with so many letters being added it's like they are trying to play themselves and win at scrabble

my point..during that evolution many of the original people who the lg definitions met suddenly started to feel isolated within their own communities as it stopped being their community and as it went even the later groups complained hey...we are getting to a point where we are no longer a rights, information, visibility group but more a joke social forum that happens to have a few gays and lesbians in it

I know how they feel as a full time asexual...aven sometimes is like a gay person visiting a gay club and it's full of straights ....it's like wtf? my community has gone!!!....that is why I sometimes say and feel it to be correct that on occasion...if you are a full asexual...then aven is the most isolating place you could go

the full asexuals comment is not elitist..it's a case of who are we anymore?...I saw a comment that said asexual is the term for a full asexual....yes it used to be..but look in grey...peoples descriptions under their avatar and in the forums in general..people who are not....often now say they are asexual ...so what do we as full asexuals now call ourselves anymore? We havn't changed aven has and then it starts to tell full time asexuasl we are elitist and wrong???? it's why I feel we need a faceplam smiley in aven.....I just hope we don't have to pay to use it...I maybe skint by the end of the week

as with the lgbt...although we have smaller numbers...it will evolve and become less about asexuality as a content..and more about asexuality as a title and nothing more...it will isolate quite a large group of people who are full asexuals...who will feel the asexual message has been sold out for numbers and as such places that were created for asexuals will become no longer their place ...they will have turned into social clubs and forums which happen to have a few asexuals in but largely isolate the many asexuals out there

it is evolution that those who create are often discarded when others seek to create a new...it will happen..it has already started to happen so aven has to be carefull

why?...purely on user information...asexuality is something that happens to mostly females between 18 - 24........asexuality needs a rounder picture of what asexuality is..a more accurate one..and turning away full time asexuals because they feel unwelcome in their own "home" is a reciepe for disaster

so this debate is coming no matter how many times we try and stifle it...it will create divisions and will isolate a lot of historic and full time asexuals.....and aven will be a worse place without them making asexuality look like it is something for confused teenagers only......we need to be honest about this to try and discuss the best way to reduce the loss of the valueable resource we have and are pushing away

How many of these "real historic asexuals" are there, even? One in a million? Why would it be necessary to create visibility for such an utterly marginal group, let alone pretend it were a full-fledged orientation? These "asexuals" are not facing any kind of common problem in real life (they won't have a problem with "mixed" relationships - if they can desire sex just fine, their partners will never even know the difference unless they start rocking the boat by - needlessly - "coming out" to them), and are a tiny minority. Why do we want to waste time on creating visibility for them instead of just ignoring them like we do, say, people who build replicas of famous buildings from toothpicks? Read about such funky birds once in some online article, shake your head at them, move on.

"Asexuality", put like that, just seems like another one of the odd quirks the craziness that is human minds has hiccuped into existence. It certainly has no place among visibility and education projects for actual, real life problems like the ones LGBTwwhatchamacallit strives for combatting.

I can just repeat: What is the purpose of this website, in your opinion?

the definition stands..it is the most concise, accurate and visible definition we have....it is inevitable as we evolve that it will change in some way....just be prepared for discussion when it is discussed.

If that were true (and I absolutely don't think it is - every single one of the other definitions mentioned in the poll is better according to these criteria, IMO) I honestly think AVEN's mission is screwed and doomed to fail. We're better off resigning ourselves to an as-comfy-as-possible internet ghetto and help others who share our closet to overcome the impulse to come out and face the frustration coming out will bring, as I simply don't see visibility ever succeeding on this basis. The world at large won't buy this... and I, for one, can't even blame 'em.

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because how is a desire-based definition ANY better than an attraction-based one? no, seriously, how? yes, the attraction-based one is ambiguous, but so is a desire-based one! what is "sexual desire"? arousal? arousal doesn't have to be linked to desire. just because something arouses me doesn't mean i want sex from it/with it/because of it. and there are people who identify as sexual despite having a very low (or nonexistent) sex drive. if you're talking about a "desire for partnered sex," then we again run into ambiguous territory. we've already run into ambiguous territory in this thread (with fictional characters)! if i desired sex with my (nonexistent) partner to make them happy, would i still be able to consider myself asexual? if you say that the desire has to be really strong for it to "count," then what about sexuals who don't feel a strong need for sex? are you going to insist that they are asexual despite what they say? if you say that your desire has to be internally motivated, then you again run into the issue of asexuals who don't consider any gender in a sexual light but still enjoy having sex. i just really, REALLY don't see how changing the definition will solve anything, because a desire-based definition is really not much clearer at all, and it just seems to exclude more people.

basically, i can't get behind a desire-based definition. i really like the term "sexual attraction," because i think that it stresses that orientation is mental rather than physical. and actually, i like that the definition is more ambiguous, because then everyone gets to decide for themselves what it is that makes them identify as asexual.

I really, honestly don't see the "problem".

Desire for partnered sex = the internally motivated longing to have your genitals be stimulated by another person in order to achieve pleasure/release (regardless of all other factors).

You feel that = sexual.

You don't = asexual.

You very rarely/only under very special circumstances feel it = gray area.

How is that ambiguous in any way at all? It could not be simpler, clearer, and more concise. (And it clearly is mental, and not physical... I don't get where that part of your criticism even comes from.) Quite unlike that fuzzy "attraction" thingy. (What does "consider in a sexual light" even mean?)

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PiF

Actaully rig....we need discussions as I tend to see before most people do...this discussing I feel even more will happen considering the world pride event some asexuals are attending at the moment...the evolution of asexuality is part of the natural process..even if some of us hate that change

yay lady girl..14,000 your busy than me :cake:

I agree any one person can call themselves what ever they like...where it gets sticky is if they then project...I am a cuboid lithoromatic cis gender queer platonic demi sexual grey asexual ghandis left flip flop...they ask..hey man I've been clear what an asexual is what part don't you get???...that is why our definition is best left well alone...it works!

speck..you can see the problem

we have one definition..it's clear, accurate and precise...then some want to add desire to it as well but even in the two posts between us we both have different views on what a want is lol

Changing for changes sake rarely works and this is one example

mystic re orientation..It's well documented that I personally feel that asexuality is not an orientation...I have highlighted this even within this thread but I also accept others feel it is

as to this comment ....how many of these "real historic asexuals" are there out there even? One in a Million? Why would it be necessary to create visibility for such an utterly marginal group, let alone pretend it were a full fledged orientation.

if you can see what you have just written and how it looks like you have also said why create visibility for such an utterly marginal group....then I am shocked

we as asexuals are an incredibly marginal group..are we to be denied visibility because we are small in numbers???... and the even lesser numbers are not entitled to any visibility....can't say I'm surprised but more disappointed as you have in one paragraph explained why the elitism is not from asexuals saying they are full time....but from comments that make full time asexuals feel marginalised and unwelcome in aven

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Mysticus Insanus, on 28 Jun 2014 - 11:55 PM, said:Mysticus Insanus, on 28 Jun 2014 - 11:55 PM, said:
How many of these "real historic asexuals" are there, even? One in a million? Why would it be necessary to create visibility for such an utterly marginal group, let alone pretend it were a full-fledged orientation?

Well, there's me. I doubt if I'm alone, and as asexuality becomes more known (by the media), there will be other older asexuals coming forward. I feel like I'm part of the asexual orientation; no other orientation has ever fit me. If everyone were to deny that asexuality is an orientation, where would I and other asexuals old enough to have a "history" be? Nonexistent?

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...that is why our definition is best left well alone...it works!

I'd think the very existence of this thread (and the many others like it) shows that it doesn't work sufficiently well.

we have one definition..it's clear, accurate and precise...then some want to add desire to it as well but even in the two posts between us we both have different views on what a want is lol

As noone here asked for adding "wants" to the definition.

Well, there's me. I doubt if I'm alone, and as asexuality becomes more known (by the media), there will be other older asexuals coming forward. I feel like I'm part of the asexual orientation; no other orientation has ever fit me. If everyone were to deny that asexuality is an orientation, where would I and other asexuals old enough to have a "history" be? Nonexistent?

Nah, Sal, You don't count. :P

And, snark aside, here's why - as you don't subscribe to the "attraction, and nothing but attraction" definition, and have often agreed with the desire-based ones, you clearly are not one of the people PiF described as "real historical asexuals". That remark, and my reply to it, weren't about age, they were about, for lack of a better term, "orthodoxy".

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first off, as has been pointed out, there are asexuals who enjoy sex. there are asexuals who want to have sex, either to try it or because they like doing it. to me, saying that asexuals don't/can't feel the desire for partnered sex is effectively saying that asexuals who enjoy sex and want to have it are no longer "legitimate" asexuals. it's restricting the definition of asexuality to the sex-averse and the sex-indifferent, and excluding asexuals who enjoy sex. taken at its most extreme, a desire-based definition could be used to contribute to some truly elitist stuff- people saying that you can't be asexual if you're okay with having sex, that sort of thing. (yeah, it might be unlikely, but people already do this stuff without a desire-based definition.)

I'm an asexual who enjoys sex and a strong proponent of the desire-based definition. I don't feel excluded by it at all, because one can enjoy something without having an innate desire for it. Having an innate desire for something means you'll miss it when you haven't had it for a while and probably actively look for it. Asexuals don't feel that way about sex, even if they can enjoy sex. I wouldn't seek out sex if I weren't with a sexual partner, and I'd be totally fine with not having sex ever again. By contrast, most sexuals would find the thought of not having sex ever again horrible, maybe even worse than death. This is a very clear difference between sexuals and asexuals, and it's what makes most mixed relationships difficult.
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Mysticus Insanus, on 29 Jun 2014 - 12:19 AM, said:

Nah, Sal, You don't count. :P

And, snark aside, here's why - as you don't subscribe to the "attraction, and nothing but attraction" definition, and have often agreed with the desire-based ones, you clearly are not one of the people PiF described as "real historical asexuals". That remark, and my reply to it, weren't about age, they were about, for lack of a better term, "orthodoxy".

My point about age (if I actually made one, but at least I'm making it now) is that it does, I think, take a goodly amount of years to determine who you are. I'm way past those amount of years, and I grew up in an era where nobody was looking for the newest thing to be; the era I grew up in didn't allow you to be anything other than heterosexual. Having gone through those years with no change in who I am, I think I'm pretty orthodox AND historic.

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My point about age (if I actually made one, but at least I'm making it now) is that it does, I think, take a goodly amount of years to determine who you are. I'm way past those amount of years, and I grew up in an era where nobody was looking for the newest thing to be; the era I grew up in didn't allow you to be anything other than heterosexual. Having gone through those years with no change in who I am, I think I'm pretty orthodox AND historic.

If orthodox and historic aces like you support the desire-based definition, I think there's hope left for V&E. ;)

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PiF

I suppose the next thing we need to see is exactly what comes back from the pride thingy and as an addage...to help us go forward the project teams aven census would help

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mystic re orientation..It's well documented that I personally feel that asexuality is not an orientation...I have highlighted this even within this thread but I also accept others feel it is

I must have overlooked that in this thread, and am not well-versed enough in your "documentation". :P So okay, ignore that part - I can respect that view of yours as logically consistent, then, much as I disagree with it. If you don't think of asexuality as an orientation, okay. Defining a non-orientation solely in terms of attraction is logically defensible.

The question remains: Why use a word reminiscent of orientations ("-sexuality") for it, instead of calling it anattractionism or something along these lines?

as to this comment ....how many of these "real historic asexuals" are there out there even? One in a Million? Why would it be necessary to create visibility for such an utterly marginal group, let alone pretend it were a full fledged orientation.

if you can see what you have just written and how it looks like you have also said why create visibility for such an utterly marginal group....then I am shocked

we as asexuals are an incredibly marginal group..are we to be denied visibility because we are small in numbers???... and the even lesser numbers are not entitled to any visibility....can't say I'm surprised but more disappointed as you have in one paragraph explained why the elitism is not from asexuals saying they are full time....but from comments that make full time asexuals feel marginalised and unwelcome in aven

WIthin AVEN? Well, duh. You have an account, a username, and are free to post your opinions (as long as they don't break TOS, of course). How much more visibility do you want? ;)

Outside of AVEN - which is the way the big V up there is actually meant - well, what do you want visibility for? Why would be needed, what purpose would it serve? I don't think anyone cares about who people are or aren't attracted to; it makes no appreciable difference. So, seeing as there are no inherent problems to being "asexual"-as-you-define-it - and I honestly don't see how it would impact your life in any way, there is no discrimination resulting from it, no relationship problems, nothing - why would you bother people with that unbidden information? It reminds me of an odd stranger on the bus telling you the details of their recent colostomy. Noone needs to know this except their doctor... so don't tell before you're explicitly asked (and explicitly asking is kinda rude, unless you're the very rare kind of person with a need to know... a psychotherapist talking to their patient, maybe). Having a wikipedia page to the topic is considerably more than sufficient visibility, in perpetuity.

Basically, I think that when the thing to be visible about is a personal private quirk irrelevant to any practical matters, remaining inobtrusively invisible about it just seems the polite thing to do.

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because how is a desire-based definition ANY better than an attraction-based one? no, seriously, how? yes, the attraction-based one is ambiguous, but so is a desire-based one! what is "sexual desire"? arousal? arousal doesn't have to be linked to desire. just because something arouses me doesn't mean i want sex from it/with it/because of it. and there are people who identify as sexual despite having a very low (or nonexistent) sex drive. if you're talking about a "desire for partnered sex," then we again run into ambiguous territory. we've already run into ambiguous territory in this thread (with fictional characters)! if i desired sex with my (nonexistent) partner to make them happy, would i still be able to consider myself asexual? if you say that the desire has to be really strong for it to "count," then what about sexuals who don't feel a strong need for sex? are you going to insist that they are asexual despite what they say? if you say that your desire has to be internally motivated, then you again run into the issue of asexuals who don't consider any gender in a sexual light but still enjoy having sex. i just really, REALLY don't see how changing the definition will solve anything, because a desire-based definition is really not much clearer at all, and it just seems to exclude more people.

basically, i can't get behind a desire-based definition. i really like the term "sexual attraction," because i think that it stresses that orientation is mental rather than physical. and actually, i like that the definition is more ambiguous, because then everyone gets to decide for themselves what it is that makes them identify as asexual.

I really, honestly don't see the "problem".

Desire for partnered sex = the internally motivated longing to have your genitals (and/or other erogenous areas) be stimulated by another person in order to achieve pleasure/release (regardless of all other factors).

You feel that = sexual.

You don't = asexual.

You very rarely/only under very special circumstances feel it = gray area.

How is that ambiguous in any way at all? It could not be simpler, clearer, and more concise. (And it clearly is mental, and not physical... I don't get where that part of your criticism even comes from.) Quite unlike that fuzzy "attraction" thingy. (What does "consider in a sexual light" even mean?)

To be more complete, sexual desire also includes "the internally motivated longing to stimulated the genitals (and/or other erogenous areas) of another person in order to induce pleasure/release".

Sex is not just about receiving pleasure, there are also those of us that prefer giving more and that is not any less sexual in nature than receiving. I'd say at it's core sex is about sharing pleasure with someone.

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