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totescrepe

A good metaphor for Asexuality?

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totescrepe

So for a couple of reasons, I've been trying to find a way to explain asexuality in way that is comprehensible to someone who is new to the idea, or maybe is having some difficulty understanding the finer points of it. I want it to go beyond the basic definition of "not experiencing sexual attraction" and cover some of the other fundamentals of what I feel that it is to be asexual, such as dealing with societal expectations, overcoming the feeling that something is wrong with you, trying to empathize with the feelings and actions of other (sexual) people and probably a whole bunch of other things that I myself might not have experienced, but perhaps other aces have.

So far, the only thing I have been able to come with is comparing the desire to have sex with the desire to murder people, which I think is somewhat flawed in that I don't think it's entirely fair to compare sexual people with sociopaths... despite the fact that I find it somewhat amusing :P

It's either that or something completely ridiculous like say.... polka dancing or something. Has anyone seen or thought about a better way to describe how asexuals feel?

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Contrarian Expatriate

I would say that, for me, my feelings about sex are the same as when I was a pre-teen, indifference and/or aversion. I was not craving it or missing it then, and I am not now. The same "yuck, no thanks!" is at play.

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Stained Glass

let's say sexualities are coffee. Some people like it with sugar, some with cream, some with both.

we like it black. no sexy wexy stuff involved

(heard this somewhere, not perfect, but you get the idea)

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KittiesSong

As a person with Celiac (aka gluten intolerance) I compare it to walking by a bakery and smelling all the breads and depending on what kind of ace you (repulsed, ok with the idea of sex but meh, or whatever) you may smell the bread and think hmm smells nice but eh I'm not hungry or eww bread is gross I don't want it and I'm not hungry. Or if you like the idea of sex just not with a person Mmm the bread from the bakery smells soo good and I'm hungry but... I would rather make my own bread because that's better.

Or in my case "The bread looks good and smells so good and I can touch the bread and I like it but... I'm not hungry and can't bring myself to eat it."

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Ricecream-man

let's say sexualities are coffee. Some people like it with sugar, some with sugar, some with both.

we like it black. no sexy wexy stuff involved

(heard this somewhere, not perfect, but you get the idea)

I've heard it said that we don't like coffee period. Some of us like the smell or appreciate pretty coffee art, but none of us really enjoy coffee. Some hate it completely, some don't mind, and some even drink it regularly because that's what those around them expect, but none of us need it and it doesn't do anything for us either.

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KittiesSong

Ooo I like the coffee one better than my bakery I think... ^_^ Go figure.

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Yeast

Consider birds. Just because you are a bird, it doesn't necessarily mean you can fly. Ostriches and penguins do quite well. There are certainly more of them these days than passenger pigeons. To me, it's that just because I have eyes it doesn't mean I can see. Is blindness really a handicap? What if I lived in a cave? Bats do quite well being almost blind because they have developed other senses to compensate. I think this is true of myself and I dare say many others like me. I just reused part of myself for some other purpose. I think I have such an agile memory sometimes because I have simply given the sexual part of my brain new job responsibilities. Why feel pity for bats and ostriches? You certainly can't miss what you've never had to begin with. Sort of sounds like something out of the Wizard of Oz, but I think there's a certain amount of truth in this.

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verily-forsooth-egads

Consider birds. Just because you are a bird, it doesn't necessarily mean you can fly. Ostriches and penguins do quite well. There are certainly more of them these days than passenger pigeons. To me, it's that just because I have eyes it doesn't mean I can see. Is blindness really a handicap? What if I lived in a cave? Bats do quite well being almost blind because they have developed other senses to compensate. I think this is true of myself and I dare say many others like me. I just reused part of myself for some other purpose. I think I have such an agile memory sometimes because I have simply given the sexual part of my brain new job responsibilities. Why feel pity for bats and ostriches? You certainly can't miss what you've never had to begin with. Sort of sounds like something out of the Wizard of Oz, but I think there's a certain amount of truth in this.

Bats aren't blind.

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Scottthespy

I used this one on my mother, and it would probably work well on other older people. She hates computers, with a passion. I love them, as do most of my generation. One day, I asked her 'mom, doesn't it suck that you never get any time to play computer games?" And she looked at me like I'd grown an extra head. I explained to her that sex to me was like computers to her...something every one else seemed to be getting into these days, something I didn't have any issues with, but not something I was inclined to get into myself. It clicked for her that way. If you're trying to explain it to some one you know personally, you can customize this approach by using some fairly mainstream thing that you're into but they don't really see the point in. Bike riding, a certain TV show, something that they don't care about either way, but is fairly commonly done in your area. "Don't you wish you had more time to do ______?" "No, I don't like that. Why would I want to do it?" "Well, that's how I feel about sex."

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Philip027

I just call it the opposite of bisexuality (it's more like the opposite of pansexuality, but nobody outside of the internet is going to know what that is), the same way homosexuality is the opposite of heterosexuality.

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Manly Ace

I just call it the opposite of bisexuality (it's more like the opposite of pansexuality, but nobody outside of the internet is going to know what that is), the same way homosexuality is the opposite of heterosexuality.

The more a thing is simple, the more people have tendencies to make it complicate.

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CBC

So far, the only thing I have been able to come with is comparing the desire to have sex with the desire to murder people, which I think is somewhat flawed in that I don't think it's entirely fair to compare sexual people with sociopaths...

Wait, what? :blink:

So, how exactly does that comparison go?

"So... you know how you really don't wanna murder someone because that's a shitty/immoral/creepy/illegal thing to do? Well, I don't wanna have sex with anybody because to me, that's a shitty/immoral/creepy/illegal thing to do." Something like that, or...?

You don't think it's "entirely fair" to compare sexual people to sociopaths, so that means you think it's partially fair?

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Awkward-Taco

Some people like pasta.

Some people like Pizza.

Some people like both.

Asexual people might like the smell of both, but don't like to eat them.

Aro-Asexual people just dislike the smell and the taste, but appreciate that other people like them and don't think they're bad food.

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CBC

There was a pretty good analogy that one-time member Olivier came up with that had to do with coffee... I forget exactly how it went, though.

Off-topic, but I miss Olivier's input here (he wasn't asexual, but his wife was... well, is, assuming they're still together).

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Ricecream-man

Was it far off from the coffee analogy we have now?

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JustanotherTobigirl

I generally use the persons own sexuality to explain it (except for bisexuals and pansexuals, who are actually the most accepting group it seems, and never need an explanation. Maybe its just my experience, but I think they've felt the same way we have in many cases). Say your talking to a straight girl. I tell her this "How you see women, thats how I see everyone. You can still know if a girl is pretty right? Even though your not sexually attracted to her? No one feels like a sexual possibility to me, I just don't feel it." Romantic attraction is harder though. I just explain that sometimes people want sex without romance, well the same can be said for romance without sex. The two are seperate things that a lot of people choice to add together, but that doesn't mean everyone wants too. This though, only would work for my kind of asexual I guess.

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JustanotherTobigirl

So far, the only thing I have been able to come with is comparing the desire to have sex with the desire to murder people, which I think is somewhat flawed in that I don't think it's entirely fair to compare sexual people with sociopaths...

Wait, what? :blink:

So, how exactly does that comparison go?

"So... you know how you really don't wanna murder someone because that's a shitty/immoral/creepy/illegal thing to do? Well, I don't wanna have sex with anybody because to me, that's a shitty/immoral/creepy/illegal thing to do." Something like that, or...?

You don't think it's "entirely fair" to compare sexual people to sociopaths, so that means you think it's partially fair?

Reading all of this has made me laugh hysterically. I don't think a sexual person would appreciate you comparing them to sociopaths. It might be a little offensive.

"You know how sometimes you just get the urge to brutally murder someone, but some people don't. Well thats like sexuality, asexuals are the ones who don't want to murder anyone....hey, wait, where are you going...STOP...WHY MUST YOU RUN FROM ME. I'M NOT A SOCIOPATH I SWEAR!"

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CBC

Yeah. My point.

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Guest

Olivier's coffee thing was his explanation of sexual attraction vs. desire. You smell the coffee and it smells good, but it's the afternoon and you really aren't in the mood for coffee, but sometimes you smell it and you just have to go have a cup.

Attraction vs desire.

I'm pretty sure it's in the pinned what is sexual attraction thread... hang on, I'll try to find...


Then...wait, what makes sexual attraction sexual? Or anything at all? And what separates it from other types of attractions?


That to me is like asking "well if you smell coffee but don't want to go get one right now, how can you still think it smells good?". Thinking coffee smells good = attraction. Wanting to go get a coffee = desire. Sometimes the two go together, and thinking coffee smells/tastes good and periodically wanting coffee are certainly related. But you can think coffee smells good without wanting to drink the coffee you smell, and you can want a coffee without smelling some first.

Sure, sometimes you smell fresh coffee and you decide you'll have one right now, thanks, but there's no rule that says that's the way it always has to go down.

As far as differentiating sexual and aesthetic attraction, put crudely, it's the difference between "Oooooh, pretty!" and "I'd hit that." It's unmistakeably sexual in nature to me, and it was unmistakeably sexual to me for years before I had any sexual experience. I hate to put forward "you just know" as an explanation, so I've mulled it over, and really the best I can do is that it's a form of attraction that's tied in with sexual arousal and sexual fantasy, so even when you feel it on its own, you know it's sexual. The closest I can get is that it feels like sexual fantasy feels, even if there's no specific fantasising/mental-scenario-building going on.

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CBC

Oh okay, I knew it was something to do with sex and coffee haha.

Also, I'm still thinking of different interpretations of the murder analogy. Is it like, "You know how a killer can't seem to control the urge to kill? Well, sexual people can't control their urges to have sex, so they just... pounce on you."

How did that comparison ever enter anyone's mind...?

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Guest

Oh okay, I knew it was something to do with sex and coffee haha.

Also, I'm still thinking of different interpretations of the murder analogy. Is it like, "You know how a killer can't seem to control the urge to kill? Well, sexual people can't control their urges to have sex, so they just... pounce on you."

How did that comparison ever enter anyone's mind...?

Sounds more or less accurate. It's hard to even walk around outside without getting pounced.

What's a good analogy for "dealing with societal expectations, overcoming the feeling that something is wrong with you, trying to empathize with the feelings and actions of other (sexual) people and probably a whole bunch of other things that I myself might not have experienced, but perhaps other aces have"?

I'm not sure how the sociopath example applies to this stuff, unless it's because of the word "empathize" specifically. But I don't know why asexuals would need to empathize with sexuals... being sexual isn't like having cancer, we're all totally fine with being sexual, I promise. We don't need help dealing with it. :D

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Corretto

I love the coffee metaphor *sips...savors...swallows*.

As an ace-aro coffee-connoisseur; I suggest you should all select a 'personal blend' [an orientation] that you are personally satisfied with.

Your partner can partake in their own blend. One's position on the asexual spectrum can be 'fluid'; ranging from a double-shot espresso to a soy-latte *choke*

The range of this metaphor is limitless; how...when...why...where...origin of the varietals used in the blend...identity of the barista...darkness of the roast.

NB Outright 'celibacy' would be have to be decaffeinated! *blah*

Ciao

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deleted_account

Sexuality is like the television show Doctor Who... a lot of people (pretty much everybody) really enjoy the television show, and they're really big fans of it. It's got a huge following all over the world. But even so, some people are just not very big fans of Doctor Who. It doesn't mean there's anything *wrong* with them, it's just their interests and tastes are different.

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seekingfurtherillumination

I saw a post on tumblr not long ago that actually really helped me understand that what I've been feeling might actually be asexuality. It was comparing an asexual with a libido to when you're hungry and go to the fridge and look inside but see nothing you really want to eat, then go the the pantry and look inside and still see nothing to eat, then end up leaving the kitchen empty handed. I'm afraid that doesn't help explain asexuality in general, but it was an analogy I found enlightening and useful! I wish I could find the post again cos it was much more eloquently written!

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Ricecream-man

I saw a post on tumblr not long ago that actually really helped me understand that what I've been feeling might actually be asexuality. It was comparing an asexual with a libido to when you're hungry and go to the fridge and look inside but see nothing you really want to eat, then go the the pantry and look inside and still see nothing to eat, then end up leaving the kitchen empty handed. I'm afraid that doesn't help explain asexuality in general, but it was an analogy I found enlightening and useful! I wish I could find the post again cos it was much more eloquently written!

That makes us sound so sad and pitiful :(

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Prisma

When I try to explain it to people I ask them to think about the first time they experienced sexual attraction. Most of them remember it. Then I tell them to think about the time before that happened, and explain that this is how it still is for me.

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LookingGlassAlice

I made an analogy with food, it wasn't perfect but it worked ok.

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