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Sexuals - Initial Attraction Thoughts?

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Guest

first example I can think is someone in a homophobic environment, who isn't allowed to be gay without hate crimes so he acts straight because he is too afraid of hate. but he's comfortable enough to tell the people he trusts that he's gay, because it's the culture that hates him not the individuals.

Being in the closet is not an orientation. If his statements are lies, they are obviously not to be taken into account.

or maybe he is trans and is actually a she and by "gay" he means "I'm a girl that likes girls"

(S)He'd probably call him(her)self Lesbian then, and would probably correct people about their perception of him(her) as a man.

or maybe he is bi but from his perspective it makes sense to call himself gay and mean the same thing

If he only wants all these things with women, he's not bi, either. He is factually straight, plain and simple. End of story.

or maybe he is gay, but for some reason he doesn't actually feel comfortable around men like he does around women and has trouble forming relationships with men but finds relationships with women so much easier. he pines for the male touch but settles for the female touch.

Then he doesn't fulfill the "only wants..." part with women.

I wouldn't tell him "you aren't gay" I would say "I don't understand. Gay means you like men, but you say you don't like men you like women. what am I missing?" and if he could never figure out words that makes me understand how he can be gay, I wouldn't try to censor him or block him out of my community.

You'd be harming the community for not doing that. It would be better for the community as a whole to do challenge his choices, and allow him to find a better identity label for himself.

If that is the meaning we are using, than the only exclusion our community CAN use is sexual attraction. And no other exclusion, and if we don't like that we need to change the definition of asexuality. which isn't an easy task, since the asexual community is basically built off of that definition.

No, we can also work to change the definition to something that works better. Since "sexual attraction" is such a vague term, it fails at being exclusionary, and thus it fails as a definition of asexuality.

that is my argument. gay and straight are words we use to express who we are. words are fallible. we are seeing them be faulty right now. we disagree because our words aren't perfect descriptions of our thoughts. don't put some words on a pedestal, our life and even our personality in one moment aren't things that can be simplified to a 3-second sentence. trying to argue that "gay" means specifically one thing is a hate crime in my eyes. because it's saying that gays can only be one way. that if there is someone who doesn't fit your preexisting notions, there is no chance your ideas can change, that person must change.

Basically, with this stance, visibility and education is impossible. Do you support abolishing the Project Team and redefining AVEN as a mere social networking site, for people who, for whatever arbitrary and subjective reason, choose to go by with the label "asexual", whatever that word is supposed to mean in the real world?

And if the mere fact of having a definition of a word like "gay" is a hate crime to you... well, in that case, I'm a hate criminal and quite proud of it! I Hate crimes are good for society, without them, we'd be stuck in primitive, pre-scientific barbarism. I invite everybody reading this to commit at least one hate crime today, to make the world a better place! Don't wait for later, just be a hater! :D

Sarcasm aside: I think you're either very much misguided in thinking "hate crimes" are always bad, or are using a completely effed-up definition of "hate crime". Most probably, it's the latter.

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Tarfeather

Don't wait for later, just be a hater! :D

Mysticus for president. What could possibly go wrong? :D

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Guest

It's one thing to argue that specific cases of people calling themselves asexual are ridiculous. It's another to categorically exclude everyone from the label who doesn't match criterion X. I don't think that any proposed definition of "asexual" thus far can possibly accurately define asexuality as sexual orientation; It'll either be too inclusive or too exclusive. That's because we can never be sure whether someone is asexual by orientation or by life choices. In some cases the distinction even is irrelevant.

I don't have an issue with policing the label, but I think it'd be pretty presumptuous for anyone to think they have a better understanding of someone else's sexuality than that person does themselves. For veganism this is different. It's easy. For sexual orientation, there's so much data to consider that each case must be looked at carefully and reasoned out, before you can even come to a conclusion that is mildly accurate.

Then we must further search for a criterion/criteria that do(es) the job. As long as we don't have it/them, it is way too early to be thinking of striving for asexual V&E, and it is especially misguided to intrude on the LGBT+ movement. Their association with a group of so-called asexuals - a vague, undefined sociopolitical term - costs them credibility. Let's not do that to them.

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Float On

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Tarfeather

how? if you say "any person I see who is like X can't be asexual" it's exactly the same logic as "all people I see who is like X can't be asexual"

The difference between looking at an individual and concluding "Yeah, I don't think they're asexual" vs concluding "Nobody like this person can possibly be asexual".

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Float On

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Tarfeather

or maybe he is bi but from his perspective it makes sense to call himself gay and mean the same thing

If he only wants all these things with women, he's not bi, either. He is factually straight, plain and simple. End of sto
so if someone bi is in a relationship with a woman they are now magically straight?

and people's orientation is the only thing that determines their behavior, neither preference nor decision making?

Nailed it.

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Guest

so people lie. and it seems you acknowledge not all lies are evil, some are necessary and some are helpful. so if someone is saying something that doesn't make sense, why must they be rejected? you don't need to trust someone to accept them. trust is only a matter of our level of caution.

Could we please not moralize? I said nothing at all about anything "being evil".

What I'm saying is that lies people tell should never, ever be taken into account in the decision what their real orientation is... which should be obvious common sense, really.

Skully calls herself gay all the time. why do some lesbians get to call themselves gay and others are stuck with lesbian? and don't say that a person is unlikely to say something about themselves as if that is the same as no one would say something about themselves. as soon as we see someone say something strange, we should assume that it's likely there is something uncommon that's driven them to say it.

Skulls never calls herself a man, though (at least to my knowledge). That makes this statement irrelevant as a counterexample. ;)

or maybe he is bi but from his perspective it makes sense to call himself gay and mean the same thing

If he only wants all these things with women, he's not bi, either. He is factually straight, plain and simple. End of sto
so if someone bi is in a relationship with a woman they are now magically straight?

and people's orientation is the only thing that determines their behavior, neither preference nor decision making?

Nailed it.

Nope, no nailing involved. (Sorry for the lame pun. :lol:) If a bi person is in a straight 'ship, they will still feel sexual desire for same.sex people. If they don't, they aren't bi, they're straight.

same thing as above. the point is that assuming it is true that orientation is always something we're born with, we aren't forced to behave according to our orientation. and since we've already acknowledged that sometimes a lie is more straightforward than the truth, doesn't it make sense that someone who is born liking men but for whatever reason in life he chooses to like women, that it is actually a better representation of who he is to at least sometimes tell someone that he is straight? that it isn't always conducive to his well being to say he is gay but chooses to form a relationship with a women. heck, why are we assuming that this guy trusts us? maybe he is afraid if he told us the truth we would reject us, poor guy made the mistake of assuming something that was actually something else.

Leaving aside that I don't think orientation is neccessarily 100% inborn and unchangeable...

Where do you even get the "a lie is more straightforward than a truth" bit from? Are you saying that all closeted gay people who live with a "beard" are actually straight or bi? :huh:

His true orientation is the thing that is on the layer behind the lie. You're twisting the example into something it simply was not.

We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

More like "words mean something, and we won't let false-flag intruders erode the meaning from within".

If thinking that words and concepts can be defined makes one a Borg, then we - the Mysticus-unit, 5th of 12 - are gladly Borg. (Heck, if we leave aside the forcible mutilation and large scale warlike destruction, I actually do find the unity of the Borg quite appealing... individuality and the separation it causes is a constant force of suffering for me, after all. *sigh* )

And if we're not supposed to thinking so... well, then I honestly think it's better if we stop portraying this "asexuality" thing as real and serious, comparable to real, actual orientations like homo-, hetero-, and bisexuality, which are far more cohesive. We are pretty much special snowflakes who have nothing substantial in common with each other; I can't take that seriously. It makes little sense bringing up whatever is the issue behind our choice of "asexuality" - because it is most definitely a choice to "be asexual", when that's just a sociopolitical group you can belong to - outside of private situations that warrant it; everything else is pretty much just seeking attention. I prefer a bit more humility than that. The world doesn't need our voices creating more empty noise.

This is also an option that I see. But I don't see any sense in saying "orientation is exclusive" and then instead of using the established definition as the exclusive, use some undefined gut feeling as the exclusion factor. Which is what sparked this whole debate.

It's not "the" established definition. It's one definition. German AVEN, for example, uses a completely different one. And threads like this - and the many others of its kind - prove that there are a sizeable number of voices who think the AVEN.us definition, taken just as the sentence up there at the top of the page, is very deeply flawed.

To discard models and definitions that don't work, and replacing them with better working ones, is how scientific advancement works, whereas just accepting things as unchangeable is the realm of dogma. I'd prefer asexuality be treated as a concept that holds up to scientific logic, instead of being one that doesn't rate as anything more substantial than quasi-religious ideology.

The sentence up there in the banner must remain open to be modified, otherwise the cause is already lost. I'm not interested in being part of a dogmatic New Age internet cult, and I can just warn people of it who would be - they're not on a path that I see as one to make the world a better place.

who said anything about education needing defined rules? psychology and advanced physics are entirely theoretical. Science itself is build off of the notion that we make an assumption then try to disprove the alternative. When we're talking about establishing a structure of a community, which means establishing a moral code for the individuals to base their interactions off of, which is more harmful: telling each person that if they think they understand something, they're allowed to be a vigilante, or telling everyone that we have this one theory but to defer to the individual's attempts to express themselves over our own personal judgement?

and the latter is what I already see all over the place. I see people everywhere talking about paying attention to the individual when you can, and to not make assumptions. if you do not see this, than either we have some fluke where we each see some entirely different section of the internet, or one of us isn't paying attention.

Why should people in the outside world bother to listen to us if we can't even consistently explain the thing we're trying to educate them about?

As long as we don't have something more solid to go by, visibility and education efforts will probably do more harm than good to asexuals as a whole. It's not about being a vigilante; it's about having a message to tell that is worth hearing. "We're asexual, but we don't really know what that means" is not a message we should bother the world with. We're wasting their time with such nonsense, and only make fools of ourselves in the process.

I didn't say having the word "gay" is a hate crime.

You did, however, say that attaching a clear meaning to that term would be a hate crime. And to be honest, if that were the case, I'd support hate crimes a lot sooner than I'd support the LGB+ movement, because the former includes people who think with logical sobriety, while the latter is just a ragtag bunch of clueless special snowflakes. :P

I said that rejecting someone who calls themselves "gay" because "they don't seem gay to me" is exactly what prejudice is. prejudice like saying that all gays are flamboyant, and anyone flamboyant must be gay and everyone gay must be flamboyant.

There's a world of difference between "has to be flamboyant" and "has to have the desire to have sex with guys". If the latter rates as prejudice in your eyes, then dear god yes, we are in dire need of more prejudice against gay people, not less... because to be non-prejudiced against them is to completely misunderstand them. I will only take "prejudiced" people seriously, the ones without "prejudice" are always, and obviously, talking out of their arse about things they have no clue about.

Regardless of how strongly you feel that someone isn't gay, telling them that they aren't allowed to call themselves whatever they want is ignorance. I could call myself a firetruck if I so chose. There is no reason why orientation should be treated specially. You're allowed to disbelieve that they guy is gay, but if you make any action against him because you think he is wrong, I don't really see that as a positive interpersonal relationship there. And I've seen some pretty hateful words coming from many AVEN regulars against posters who they assume are trolling. If you think someone is trolling, say nothing and ignore them, because the chance that they aren't trolling is still there and I've seen people who came here to try to find a home and got kicked out by the community member because multiple people came in and dumped sarcasm and rejection on a new member of the community. and then they got upset because the first thing they saw when they came out of the closet, was a bunch of pitchforks and torches. and then because they were upset, then more pitchforks and torches turned up.

You can call yourself a firetruck, but I'd fully support any firetruck enthusiast forum for not wanting a weirdo like you as a member, because you will misrepresent what the word "firetruck" actually means. :P

Also, last time I checked, people don't have to be asexual to be on AVEN. It would hurt asexuality as a whole if we treated any comer as an asexual, regardless of what their life situation and feelings are. It is an intrinsic part of education to be able to give people who come here and share their situation the answer "no, that does not sound like asexuality at all, maybe you should look into [XYZ] instead?" Undermining this means undermining the cause of AVEN, as a whole.

Of course, that does not mean we should call troll on them. Which is against the ToS here, anyway... so if you see that happening a lot, press the report button. That's what it's for.

is this sarcasm? because it sounds more like parody. There is some truth in what you are saying, unfortunately. (the same could also be true of the LGBT movement and just about any movement xD)

Nope, it isn't. What made you think I was being sarcastic? :huh:

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Tarfeather

Mysticus, do you believe the issue of asexual visibility and education to be your responsibility? I honestly don't care about it. It's good that this site and its resources exist for asexuals and their closest, heck even for sexuals who just don't see sex as such a big deal this is a great site, but I don't really care what other people think about asexuality.

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Guest

My personal, sole responsibility? Certainly not. But I think it is an important issue, in general, and I wouldn't want to see AVEN fall behind the "mission statement" that is in its very name and just become some sort of mere social club (which some people think it has already turned into).

Asexuality becoming better known in the world would be a good thing, as it could spare others the experience of over two decades of confusion that I, myself, had to go through before finding a label that fits.

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Tarfeather

My personal, sole responsibility? Certainly not. But I think it is an important issue, in general, and I wouldn't want to see AVEN fall behind the "mission statement" that is in its very name and just become some sort of mere social club (which some people think it has already turned into).

Asexuality becoming better known in the world would be a good thing, as it could spare others the experience of over two decades of confusion that I, myself, had to go through before finding a label that fits.

Well, the people suffering from asexuality not being well known largely aren't related to you or me. The people responsible for asexuality not being well known also largely aren't related to you or me. My personal response is to stop caring about the stupidity. I'm surprised you consider it something that you should deal with at all.

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Guest

Caring about logical consistency, which you know I'm... rather interested in to put it mildly ( ;) ), includes caring about A-VE-N actually doing V&E. :P

Making the world a better place even for folks I don't know and will likely never meet is a nice side effect of that.

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Serran

or maybe he is bi but from his perspective it makes sense to call himself gay and mean the same thing

If he only wants all these things with women, he's not bi, either. He is factually straight, plain and simple. End of sto
so if someone bi is in a relationship with a woman they are now magically straight?

and people's orientation is the only thing that determines their behavior, neither preference nor decision making?

Nailed it.

Erm. Except, Myst didn't say behavior. They said if he only wants these things from women he's factually straight. Want isn't behavior, it's feeling. People who ID as bi typically do so because they've had wants/wishes/desires (again, whatever word we want to use there) towards more than one gender. Even if they do not choose to act on said feelings, they exist.

Also, Teagan, if you actually had READ the posts you'd see I said defining a word doesn't mean only X people can use said word. People ID as bi, lesbian, etc if they do not fit the exact definition. People ID as vegetarian by their own interpretation of "meat". Self-identification means no one can say you CAN'T. But, the terms still have definitions, because without them, they have no meanings. And also that no definition will ever fit 100% of people, but that doesn't mean we should simply not define it. Homosexuality IS clearly defined and the LGBT community DOES question people, to help them find the right label, they aren't all inclusive. My Aunt was questioned when she came out as lesbian, because she'd always been with men and she still found men attractive, just didn't desire them in the way she did women.

If we want to keep using sexual attraction, let us define sexual attraction rather than just letting any and all interpretations stand unquestioned. Because, currently, if we have to use ALL definitions of it, asexual means: A person who may or may not desire sex. A person who may or may not enjoy sex. A person who may or may not have fetishes. A person who may or may not seek out sexual relationships for personal fulfillment. A person who may or may not masturbate. A person who may or may not watch porn. A person who may or may not find people attractive.

While a sexual person is "a person who experiences a magical pull based purely on physical appearance" ... so most sexuals I know are no longer sexual. Skulls cannot possibly be sexual.

And actually, because I do not understand what sexual attraction really means to sexuals (as they each have their own definition) I have been told *I* am not asexual, just "somewhere on the spectrum" (so, with the greys and demis)...even though I lack even aesthetic attraction and all desire for sexual anything. :D

And we're not supposed to disagree with any of this. Just blindly accept it to be inclusive and not "elitist". And not even talking about aces that enjoy sex (starry and others say they can enjoy it, I don't think that matters much in the orientation definition).

There is something seriously wrong with this picture when Skulls can be the same orientation I am. And sorry, I AM going to argue that it's the wrong picture.

As for visibility & education - many of us do care about it. Because it can save a lot of hurt for other asexuals out there.

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Autumn Season

I agree that words have meanings. This is what makes words powerful. The only reason we are able to communicate is because when we use a certain word, all of us see the same (or at least a very similar) meaning in it. Definitions are used in order to explain words. Some definitions are flawed. Then they have to be corrected. This is for the sake of understanding each other better. It is also OK to use one word and connect a very unusual meaning to it, as long as we explain why we feel like our meaning makes sense in this situation. But to say that we can use one word and connect any meaning we want to it, erases the whole purpose of words.

About "asexuality": I want more scientific studies on this orientation in order to find a fitting and logical definition.

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Serran

About "asexuality": I want more scientific studies on this orientation in order to find a fitting and logical definition.

More studies would be good :)

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Ricecream-man

I'm going to agree with the exclusivity camp here. While I understand that it is a much more difficult task to try and properly define asexual as an orientation than the sexual orientations, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done.

It's been mentioned before, but attraction by itself is much too vague to define asexuality by itself. If that was the case, then a good amount of my male sexual friends would be considered asexual. I've heard too many instances of "Nah, she's not hot. I just needed to fuck someone. It's been too long, man."

Then there's the opposite end of many asexuals who end up defining the term "sexual" in a manner that's too exclusive. I think Skulls mentioned it before, but this viewpoint that sex and sexual attraction is purely physical is a huge misconception too. Sex isn't purely lust, and to consider it that way is harmful both towards sexual and asexual people.

how? if you say "any person I see who is like X can't be asexual" it's exactly the same logic as "all people I see who is like X can't be asexual"


The difference between looking at an individual and concluding "Yeah, I don't think they're asexual" vs concluding "Nobody like this person can possibly be asexual".

there is no difference. The only way that that can be different, is if you say that orientation is not an exclusive thing. if orientation is exclusive, than excluding one individual for one reason means that all individuals who have the same trait are excluded. but if you use your gut feeling to determine who "belongs" than you are already saying it isn't a strict exclusivity. only a "if more X then X. if more Y than Y." and I wouldn't call that exclusive. i'd call that abstraction.

We base our concept of orientation off of one definition. we interpret that definition as an abstraction, kind of like the focal point of a statistical curve. and then we say that all humans who are asexual can be plotted on this curve, and that there are outliers. and we can only then say, that this person is enough of an outlier they probably aren't asexual. but we can never say for sure, that our original assumption wasn't quite correct. so we can't say the person isn't asexual, only that we believe with a certain margin of error that they aren't asexual.

and a lot of the AVEN community instead just outright rejects new members, instead of giving them time to learn and hear other people talk about who they are, and find the better definition for them. most people, once they see others who use the same label but they don't identify with, start to wonder if maybe their assumption was wrong. but rejecting them before they have a chance to see those examples, is exactly a mob mentality. it's a monster, so let's slay it. it's no different than dumping two pages of "no you aren't allowed to be asexual" on someone.

By that notion we have two options ahead of us.

1. Nothing is truely certain and then all we can ever do is agree to disagree. This then becomes similar to trying to argue religion and there's no common ground.

2. We use that idea of having a "certain margin of error" as the proper definition of the word and treat it similar to being "definite" whenever we discuss words and semantics.

May I ask where you see people in the community rejecting members in the beginning/introductory posts? From what I've seen it's the opposite. I primarily see people either fully agreeing with / accepting their self identified definition or pulling up the list of a million and one "types" of asexuality that includes everything that's not considered a "normal sexual". The closest to rejection I see is a mild little add on after acceptance that they might just be a different type of sexual. I've only seen these exclusive definitions of asexual coming up in threads like these.

My personal, sole responsibility? Certainly not. But I think it is an important issue, in general, and I wouldn't want to see AVEN fall behind the "mission statement" that is in its very name and just become some sort of mere social club (which some people think it has already turned into).

Asexuality becoming better known in the world would be a good thing, as it could spare others the experience of over two decades of confusion that I, myself, had to go through before finding a label that fits.


Well, the people suffering from asexuality not being well known largely aren't related to you or me. The people responsible for asexuality not being well known also largely aren't related to you or me. My personal response is to stop caring about the stupidity. I'm surprised you consider it something that you should deal with at all.

Well, as someone who frequent AVEN and interacts with people who are asexual, wouldn't you be able to argue that those who suffer from asexuality not being well known are related to you? I understand you might not associate much with those who are actively struggling with it as compared to those who have come to terms with it, but while "struggle" might be a bit extreme it's still an issue that all asexuals have to deal with in some shape or form.

Caring about logical consistency, which you know I'm... rather interested in to put it mildly ( ;) ), includes caring about A-VE-N actually doing V&E. :P

Making the world a better place even for folks I don't know and will likely never meet is a nice side effect of that.

I read this and had to look at your signature for a quick chuckle. "to put it mildly" :P

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Skullery Maid

There is something seriously wrong with this picture when Skulls can be the same orientation I am. And sorry, I AM going to argue that it's the wrong picture.

As for visibility & education - many of us do care about it. Because it can save a lot of hurt for other asexuals out there.

That's an excellent nutshell of the issue. If asexual can mean me, Serran, and everyone in between, it means nothing at all.

I also care about visibility. I personally believe that the inclusion of sexuals under the asexuality umbrella is a serious issue that I simply cannot condone.

If I have to say "my partner is one of those weird asexuals who don't want sex", we have a huge fucking problem. If sexual partners come on here and find out that unlike their partners, most asexuals do desire sex in some form, then do you think they'll stop pressuring their ace partner for sex? No! Why should they, when AVEN has told them that asexuals can and do seek out sex? It's a fucked up day when my partner is a minority amongst her own group just because she, you know, actually fits the definition.

It's a real problem.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

There is something seriously wrong with this picture when Skulls can be the same orientation I am. And sorry, I AM going to argue that it's the wrong picture.

As for visibility & education - many of us do care about it. Because it can save a lot of hurt for other asexuals out there.

That's an excellent nutshell of the issue. If asexual can mean me, Serran, and everyone in between, it means nothing at all.

I also care about visibility. I personally believe that the inclusion of sexuals under the asexuality umbrella is a serious issue that I simply cannot condone.

If I have to say "my partner is one of those weird asexuals who don't want sex", we have a huge fucking problem. If sexual partners come on here and find out that unlike their partners, most asexuals do desire sex in some form, then do you think they'll stop pressuring their ace partner for sex? No! Why should they, when AVEN has told them that asexuals can and do seek out sex? It's a fucked up day when my partner is a minority amongst her own group just because she, you know, actually fits the definition.

It's a real problem.

Yep that exactly.

This is exactly why I personally flip my lid whenever this ''definition'' debate arises. When literally anyone can be asexual regardless of the fact that they are no different sexually than many sexual people, it makes actual asexuals (people who do not desire partnered sexual contact regardless of the level of their libido) a minority who will be even more misunderstood because ''hey, asexuals do want sex just as much as everyone else does? well there must really be something wrong with my partner then as she definitely does not want sex with me, despite saying she loves me and finds me attractive''

This scenario we are having (Skulls and Serran both being the same sexual orientation, and my ex as well of course) is exactly like this:

Two gay men who both have high libidos are in a relationship together. Although they love each other they are utterly miserable because despite both being homosexual, the definition of homosexuality is so broad and all-inclusive that one of the men only desires sex with men, the other man only desires sex with women. They do love each other, but trying to compromise sexually has become a nightmare because one man wants sex with his partner, the other does not want sex ever as he does not desire sex with other men. They may need to break up due to their vastly different sexual preferences, despite both being exactly the same sexual orientation''

See this is why sexual orientations have specific definitions. Without specified definitions, it's chaos. A homosexual man desires sex with other men. That's what homosexuality is. Sure that is most often described as ''homosexuality is sexual attraction to the same gender as oneself'' (almost all dictionaries word it that way) but what they mean by that is ''a homosexual person is drawn to have partnered sexual contact with people of the same gender as themselves'' they do NOT mean ''homosexuality is when one finds people of the same gender attractive in a way that causes sexual arousal, yet can exclusively only desire partnered sex with people of the opposite/a different gender as themselves and still be homosexual''' ..That is NOT homosexual, and that is NOT what the dictionary means when it says that a homosexual person is ''sexually attracted'' to people of the same gender. Sexual attraction in the context of defining sexual orientation literally means desiring partnered sex with people of a certain gender/s. Why must asexuality be sooo different? How can anyone take it seriously if it's the 'airy fairy orientation which can mean anything at all'? (unless it's because it IS just a special snowflake label, as opposed to a legitimate sexual orientation in which people have no desire for partnered sex with people of any gender)

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Keels

This scenario we are having (Skulls and Serran both being the same sexual orientation, and my ex as well of course) is exactly like this:

Two gay men who both have high libidos are in a relationship together. Although they love each other they are utterly miserable because despite both being homosexual, the definition of homosexuality is so broad and all-inclusive that one of the men only desires sex with men, the other man only desires sex with women. They do love each other, but trying to compromise sexually has become a nightmare because one man wants sex with his partner, the other does not want sex ever as he does not desire sex with other men. They may need to break up due to their vastly different sexual preferences, despite both being exactly the same sexual orientation''

This is what's been bugging me about this whole conversation. Let me preface this by saying I really appreciate the passion you all are bringing to this discussion. I envy your clarity and force of opinion; I feel really confused and ignorant by comparison. I've tried to chime in a couple of times, but then the conversation takes a turn that makes it feel like I don't have any idea what I'm talking about after all. Anyway.

The thing is, your scenario makes it sound like sexual orientation is some kind of very deterministic checkbox that is supposed to instantly communicate a specific amount of information about someone. It sounds like one of your guys was 'tricked' into a relationship with the other because he observed the other's homosexual label in a vacuum and said, all right then, let's proceed, things will work out because clearly we have compatible sexual orientations. Almost as if it was a matter of ordering a partner out of a catalog: "Very well, the product is labeled homosexual, this will fit my needs."

I just don't think people rely on the DEFINITION of sexual orientations like that -- at least, not those who are seeking a conventional sexual relationship.

Here's the crux of it for me: Asexuality, by its very nature, is more complicated than the other sexual orientations. It's simply not a parallel concept to heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. There's a reason why nobody worries about the "definition" of heterosexuality/homosexuality/bisexuality. It's the issue of defining a lack: there are a whole bunch of ways of describing or explaining or rationalizing or elucidating the details of the way something doesn't exist, while there are comparatively fewer ways to describe something that does exist.

As someone said above, you get a fairly complete idea of the other orientations by just asking, All things being equal, who would you like to f*ck? 90-plus percent of the world can give a straight answer:

  • Men
  • Men, with some exceptions
  • Women
  • Women, with some exceptions
  • No gender preference

If asexuality were a parallel concept, the asexual answer to this question would be similarly straightforward: Nobody. But it's not, for a large chunk of asexuals. For many of us, the answer is, "Well, in general, nobody, but it's complicated".

It strikes me that some (large) part of the conversation in this thread consists of litigating the boundaries of "it's complicated". It seems like the hope is that some magical phrasing of terms will dissolve the complications, and then we'll be able to state our asexuality with equal clarity and have everyone understand instantly. But… I think that's a fool's errand. I think we're stuck with the complications.

Anyway… apologies for the length, but here's one other thought. It's been a revelation to read Skullery's disavowal of the entire concept of "sexual attraction". I asked my (very sexual) best friend about it and he said exactly the same thing: no, he doesn't have a feeling of "sexual attraction", let alone an internal monologue, when he sees an attractive woman; he just appreciates the scenery (as I do!) and moves on (as I do). So, while I'm not prepared to say that "sexual attraction" is an empty concept for everyone everywhere, I do agree it's a poor choice as the foundation of the definition of asexuality. It's actually funny, and feeds back into other parts of the issue, in the sense of defining a lack of something: just because we lack "sexual attraction" doesn't mean it has any particular importance as a concept in the scheme of things; it turns out a lot of people lack "sexual attraction" in the AVEN sense! (Every person lacks an infinity of things.) We need to respect sexuals' assertion that it's not a particularly useful concept and move on.

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Ricecream-man

Polaroid, you've hit it pretty well there. The crazy part is that there are quite a few people here who would try and argue that he has a good chance of being some sort of asexual. That's the kind of thing that frustrates me.

Side thought.

Is there any reason we can't just define it as sexual desire and exclude the attraction bit? This would still exclude low libido and celibate sexuals as those still have an inherent desire even though celibates choose not to act on it.

It also includes asexuals who may fantasize about it but have 0 desire to actually follow through and may even be disgusted if they did.

It also excludes that weird area of people who claim to be ace because it's "purely emotional" for them and will hopefully will diminish this image that sexual people don't have sex for emotional bonding and are lust driven animals.

You still get to include asexuals who have sex with partners purely because it satisfies their partners. The ones who'd rather do something like get a massage if it made their partner equally happy, but since it's not the case do continue to have sex with them.

Did I miss anything?

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Float On

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Guest

Side thought.

Is there any reason we can't just define it as sexual desire and exclude the attraction bit? This would still exclude low libido and celibate sexuals as those still have an inherent desire even though celibates choose not to act on it.

It also includes asexuals who may fantasize about it but have 0 desire to actually follow through and may even be disgusted if they did.

It also excludes that weird area of people who claim to be ace because it's "purely emotional" for them and will hopefully will diminish this image that sexual people don't have sex for emotional bonding and are lust driven animals.

You still get to include asexuals who have sex with partners purely because it satisfies their partners. The ones who'd rather do something like get a massage if it made their partner equally happy, but since it's not the case do continue to have sex with them.

Did I miss anything?

No, spot on. We - the "desirists" - have been saying this exact thing for over a year by now. ^_^ :cake:

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Float On

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Guest

how about the scenario where two homosexual men are attracted to each other but, their wants and needs in the bedroom aren't the same. is one of them suddenly not homosexual, because they are sexually different?

If the difference you speak of is that one of them does not desire partnered sex at all, then indeed, he isn't homosexual. He's a homoromantic asexual.

Seriously, if you want to blow up every difference there can be to different orientation status, then we start having the mess that is already happening and going overboard - the umpteen millions of tumblr labels.

And frak no, I'm not spectacloaesthetic or rubioromantic, even though I like redhead women with glasses (that's not a clumsy attempt at a pass, Skulls, I promise! :lol: ).

The question of "who do you desire sex with, gender wise" is the only, both neccessary and sufficient, question to ask about sexual orientations. Everything else - yes, including whatever "sexual attraction" is supposed to be or not - is additional detail fluff.

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Float On

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Guest

hm. Polaroid is a better person than me. and better at speaking. :unsure:

:mellow: Why do you think so??

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andreas1033

Surely if your asexual, you do not get sexual feelings or attraction to anyone.

That is what thies board is about is it not.

Personally i think of most of the masses as sex maniacs, and most people cannot fathom there is people, especially males not sexually interested in them.

So i view the majority of people as sex mad.

I do get attracted to people in a sexual way, as i never had no sex drive. Thats what asexual is. This is what most people cannot fathom. I have no interest in others, or there bodies, so i have literally reacted ina sexual way to anyone, and never will thankfully.

I am just numb to others thankfully, and i would think others understand this to, and always have been. But i also know you people have you own unique ideas on this, as we are all individuals.

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Guest

no, I'm saying that sexual attraction is not a unanimously experienced emotion. no emotion is. we all have this jumble of emotions inside of us, and learn to call some of those emotions one word and some other of those emotions some other word. but if somehow technology gave us an image of what two people felt completely, we'd find that some of one person's emotions they categorize one way but the other person categorizes the other way. and one person will feel some emotions in a way that is entirely foreign to the other person's experience.

and desire and attraction are emotions. they may be "more core" to our individuality, if you want to make that argument... but they are still emotions, being described by individual experience. and that will always result in a variance of personality, experience, and identity. there will be trends that come up, and we will name those trends "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" but they are not something like gravity or the speed of light. they are more like height and weight. there are "fat" people and there are "skinny" people but, we create a definition to separate those concepts from each other. and then we find people who challenge the definition itself. because they don't quite fit either description, but they also sorta fit either...

But what, then, is the point in making a sentence using this vague, subjective term, which is different for everyone and not even believed to be a real thing by all, and not only call that sentence a "definition", but the one and only definition?

This is what really makes no sense to me. If I want to follow your logic, then it would only make sense to take the banner down completely, and honestly admit that we do not want to define asexuality, because we consider emotions too malleable. Having a sentence, any sentence, up there that starts with "an asexual is---" would be false advertising, and I just can't agree with "education" that relies on fraudulent dishonesty right from the start.

maybe it is in my mind. I feel bad about my posts here, like I am being a shitty person to you all and to pan :unsure: I don't want to be shitty to you guys...

Well, I can't speak for the others, of course, but I don't think you're shitty. I just don't agree with your arguments, that's all. :cake:

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Serran

hm. Polaroid is a better person than me. and better at speaking. :unsure:

:mellow: Why do you think so??

maybe it is in my mind. I feel bad about my posts here, like I am being a shitty person to you all and to pan :unsure: I don't want to be shitty to you guys...

:s I don't take disagreement and debate that way. You are allowed your opinions and you're not being rude/disrespectful in expressing them. Don't feel bad about not totally agreeing with us.

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