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Telecaster68

Asexuals... explain attraction and desire to a sexual person...

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Kimmie.

This thread is really interesting. And shows why i rarely post in this parts of the forum. I mean if i don´t experience something then i have no right really to tell people about what that things feels like or is. I just read and ask questions to people that i know have knowledge in the field in question.

 

And to be honest the only ones that have made asexuality make sence to me is the sexuals here. 

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, Law of Circles said:

...I started typing this up before Pan replied, so I'm probably repeating her somewhat. In any case, though, here's the thread that Pan is referencing (about choosing between sex or celibacy). It's an interesting read. :)

It's quite interesting to see how much some people's opinions changed over the years on AVEN haha.

 

I found myself getting all annoyed reading that thread again, wanting to respond to Skullery ''WHO the heck says women are wired for polyamory??" (Her and i used to yell at each other a lot before we worked out we agreed with each other on a lot of things, lol). Before she left she'd been trying to explain how differently women experience sexuality than men do but that's how much your opinions can change over the years! I used to be convinced I experienced sexual attraction with no desire for partnered sex.. Now I know I was just desiring to screeeeew penis but without anything being done to my genitals (I somehow didn't realize that sex not involving my genitals being stimulated was an option back then so was just convinced I didn't want sex. As soon as I got with the right person and started experiencing the right kind of sex, I realized it's definitely something I can enjoy enough to actively choose to have for pleasure) :P

 

The asexuals who kept piping in made the thread look a bit unbalanced because they don't always identify that they're ace on their profiles. So they're like OH MY GOD I WOULD RATHER HAVE MY DICK CUT OFF!!!! but they're ace so of course they'd choose the celibacy, haha. Then one chick was like OMG you guys are disgusting I'm grey asexual I'd only have sex with very rare super attractive super nice guys! :P *sigh*

 

I still find that thread fascinating, and as has been going on for years now we can see some people there trying to point out why the desire for partnered sex is clearly more important than the attraction in many cases!

 

Okay, ramble over :P

 

Oh my, this post had a lot of tongue faces lol.

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Telecaster68

Misaki


 

Quote

 

I did not know beforehand that I lacked desire and attraction

 

Thing is, I’m presuming your actual subjective experiences haven’t changed. AVEN has given you (and other asexuals) a couple of concepts as a way to think about those experiences.

 

If this thread has any point, it’s that they’re not very good or useful concepts. I’ve never seen a sexual poster say ‘Yes! Attraction and desire articulate exactly how I experience sex’. Generally they seem baffled and either wander off, or say ‘but it doesn’t fit, it’s way more complicated than that’. Asexuals, of course, have no personal experience of anything in that ball park; if they’ve had sex, their experience is about two things: whether they, as an individual, liked it, and how it affects their partner as an individual - in other words, two separate people's experiences, not the shared experience that's inherent to sexuals'. Naturally, they’re left speculating and guessing about what ‘desire’ and ‘attraction’ as proposed by AVEN and sundry academics might actually be, because the definitions they’re handed are contradictory and unclear.

 

Some of the ideas punted are potentially more useful - separating romanticism and sex for example. Generally, they’re intertwined for sexuals in relationships, but sometimes not. And they’re never intertwined for asexuals. That helps sexuals understand another way of looking at sex, and it helps asexuals understand they’re not necessarily ‘broken’.

 

Normally, when concepts clearly don’t work, intellectual thought tries to find others that will. That’s how we improve our understanding of the world; if our current ideas don’t work, it’s the ideas that are wrong, not the world. If the world cannot be crowbarred into our ideas, change the ideas, don’t vainly insist the world must change.

 

The ‘no innate desire for partnered sex’ is another approach, which we can apply to people’s experiences. It seems to work a lot better when it comes to understanding how asexuality and sexuality differ, and therefore how asexuals and sexuals differ. It’s clear and understandable how it allows for asexuals to have a libido, enjoy romantic partnerships, fantasise, etc. and still have no innate desire for partnered sex. Contrast this with the desire and attraction concepts, which mean you have to break down desire and attraction into dozens of sub-types to account for people’s experiences - and sexuals share those experiences, generally. So the whole model is confusing rather than clarifying.

 

But many asexuals want to cling on to this attraction/desire model because AVEN effectively backs it, and because it’s they associated the emotional relief of ‘wow, I’m not weird’ with reading about them. Those ideas were validating, and naturally they want to hold on to them. But beyond that initial basic validation, they don't have to much to add, and there's nothing in the ideas of attraction/desire that are inherently more validating than saying 'yep, some people just don't have any innate desire for partnered sex. It's a thing. Here's a forum'.

 

It’s like early astronomers deciding the sun and planets orbited the earth, and endlessly making their calculations more and more complicated to account for their wrong assumption, instead of accepting Copernicus’ model that all the planets orbited the sun, which was simpler and clearer, which is a big clue that it was right...

 

 

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Telecaster68
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I don't think anyone's ever said the ace view is more valid.

It's implicit in fairly common statements like 'some sexuals don't even realise that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are different'. That's an asexual saying they understand sexuality better than sexuals.

 

You can view romantic and sexual attraction as different if you want, but for most sexuals, they're so intertwined that it makes no sense. It makes sense for a lot of asexuals, and that's great, but it's about how you think about sex and relationships. It can help for asexuals, but for sexuals, it's alien to our experience and doesn't elucidate anything. It's not inherently 'true'.

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Telecaster68
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Imagine a regular sexual person a desert island, all by themselves for many years, feeling all sad and dejected for many reasons, but one of those reasons would be that they miss and desire sexual intimacy with other people. They don't just magically stop wanting sex because there is no one around they are attracted to

This comes closer to my own experience, and I think most sexuals. If we want to have a couple of ideas to contrast when thinking about experiences, because often that throws up useful conclusions, these would work for me:

 

- innate, undirected horniness, with no specific person in mind (but includes a desire for a partner in the abstract - there's a vacancy to be filled, if you like). This happens with or without a relationship, and to an extent can be sated with masturbation, but only partly. It's an antsy, urgent, 'I really need a shag' feeling, and behind picking up randoms in a bar for one night stands.

 

and

 

- desire to have sex with a specific other person, because you find them attractive in a combination of physical, personality, availability etc. Sex is a function of your relationship and wanting to feel close to them. Asexuals don't get this, though they may be okay with having sex because of the closeness.

 

For sexuals, these two concepts are generally intertwined - antsy horniness gets aimed at a specific person, or desire for sex with a specific person is an outlet for antsy horniness - in complicated ways.

 

These two things seem universal to sexuals, from what I can see. Asexuals can have the first without the needing a partner bit, and the second without it the urgent, antsy need for sex with another person, but just the closeness and bonding.

 

They have similarities to 'attraction' and 'desire' as some people define them, but they're not the same. There's a clear dividing line: one is entirely individual, the other is inherently part of some kind of relationship, whether that's hitting on someone in a bar, or a 20 year marriage, or anything in between. They also relate to Nagorski's spontaneous vs reactive desire to an extent.

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Philip027
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It's implicit in fairly common statements like 'some sexuals don't even realise that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are different'. That's an asexual saying they understand sexuality better than sexuals.

Mmmm, not really.  It isn't really a statement about sexuality, it's moreso a statement about attraction.

 

If you are an asexual (and especially an asexual romantic) who's being invalidated because people assume that everyone has to be "into" something in a sexual way (and that you presumably just either haven't found out or aren't willing to disclose what it is), you'd understand why the distinction is necessary.

 

Outside of asexual communities, it is rarely if ever discussed.  If people were more aware of the differences involved, there'd be more talk about it.  But there isn't, because the attractions are so conflated for most of the 99%.

 

Quote

You can view romantic and sexual attraction as different if you want, but for most sexuals, they're so intertwined that it makes no sense. It makes sense for a lot of asexuals, and that's great, but it's about how you think about sex and relationships. It can help for asexuals, but for sexuals, it's alien to our experience and doesn't elucidate anything. It's not inherently 'true'.

Case in point.

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Telecaster68
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Mmmm, not really.  It isn't really a statement about sexuality, it's moreso a statement about attraction.

It's about attraction as part of sexuality, in the sense that for sexuals, they're intertwined, mostly, and for asexuals they're not. The blanket assertion that they're different things for everybody, always, doesn't hold for sexuals, but an asexual is saying it does.

 

Quote

Outside of asexual communities, it is rarely if ever discussed.  If people were more aware of the differences involved, there'd be more talk about it.  But there isn't, because the attractions are so conflated for most of the 99%.

Because they are functionally all part of the same thing, for sexuals, most of the time. The different only exists for asexuals, in any meaningful way, and asexuals insisting that it does in fact have any meaning for sexuals is exactly what I'm talking about. Even if sexuals are having sex outside of anything that could be called a romantic relationship, like for instance with a prostitute, they understand what's missing, and its absence is a huge reason why most people don't like it. The idea that sex has emotional - therefore romantic - connotations seems alien to most asexuals, and they certainly don't get any positive emotional bonding from it as distinct from cuddling etc.

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Nidwin

I can't explain sexual attraction or destire because I don't experience it. I do accept the fact that sexual peeps experience that stuff.

If there's a need to explain it's up to the sexuals to come forward and we, aces, should accept their explanations and be done with it. We, aces, shouldn't even try to explain something we don't experience.

 

It's like the tingles (controlled paresthesia).

It's not up to you folks to explain something you can't experience but up to us, the WT's, if there's a need to explain.

 

It's like walking on the moon.

Only folks that have been on the moon can explain how it feels, walking on the moon.

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Philip027
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It's about attraction as part of sexuality, in the sense that for sexuals, they're intertwined, mostly, and for asexuals they're not. The blanket assertion that they're different things for everybody, always, doesn't hold for sexuals, but an asexual is saying it does.

Nobody's saying they're different things for everybody, it's that they don't necessarily have to be the same.  The assumption that they're always the same is why we get people constantly wondering why we don't want to screw the people we like.

 

Quote

Because they are functionally all part of the same thing, for sexuals, most of the time.

I know that, that's pretty much what I just said.

 

It's not really the sexuals' fault for not discussing this more because it's not an issue for the majority of them.  But this is why the fact that they can be different keeps getting brought up in asexual circles and why I consider it to be practically one of asexuality's tenets.  There is a wide mistaken notion that because we (mostly) aren't DTF, it means we must be soulless robots incapable of love not really be into anyone *at all*, and this is the notion that statements like that are challenging.

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Telecaster68
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Nobody's saying they're different things for everybody

The words I used - 'some sexuals don't realise romantic and sexual attraction are different' - are absolutely saying they're different things for everybody. They're making a statement about objective reality, and I've seen asexuals use pretty much those exact words frequently.

 

Quote

this is the notion that statements like that are challenging.

Which is fair enough, as long as they're not made about sexuals. For one thing, it seems arrogant, and for another, it's so clearly intuitively wrong to sexuals that it seems like special snowflaking.

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Diamond Ace of Hearts
7 hours ago, Snao Çoñé said:

Does the ability to listen to and grasp the experiences and perspectives of sexual people make me sexual myself? Like, if I identify as asexual, do I have to give up all understanding of human sexuality to fit the stereotypes of the clueless asexual? Or can I still agree with sexual people?

Hmmm... fair point. I don't think the issue is just understanding. Anyone should be to understand on some level what telecaster or fictovore are saying. The problem is internalising it, relating to it. I don't know if your post was a response to my points or not  but I'll say that I don't think there's an essential conflict between my belief that asexuals struggling to internalise sexuals' experiences is natural and your belief that an asexual can understand those experiences. I will also own that my Russian-Spanish-Swahili metaphor/post was not well thought out and that did indeed suggest "lack of understanding" when I meant "low ability to internalise".

 

7 hours ago, Snao Çoñé said:

I mean, it seems pretty clear that some sexual people cling to this assumption that asexual people are ignorant of sexuality, when it's more due to personality and experience.

Yeah, it's kind of the same thing in reverse, isn't it? Sexuals can't relate to what asexuals say about sexuality so they can seem dismissive of the asexual perspective. Their position is more understandable; why would you listen to someone else's views on something they don't feel but you do? Personally I think the outsider's perspective of anything is useful but I can see why it gets dismissed sometimes.

 

And of course, I'm not saying that every asexual would be unable to relate to the feelings of a sexual person, or vice-versa; just that I judge mass misunderstanding as being pretty likely to occur.

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Telecaster68

Yes, the outsider's perspective can be useful - personally I found differentiating sexual and romantic attraction helpful in understanding asexuality, but that doesn't mean it applies equally to sexuals' experience.

 

If sexuals seem dismissive, it's because sometimes asexual assertions are flat wrong and based on nothing, and when an asexual says, in the face of all evidence and logic 'well that's my opinion and that's my definition and everyone can define xxxx exactly how they like' there's nowhere left to go apart from 'you're just wrong, and you have no idea what you're talking about'.

 

Obviously that's not all asexuals, and that attitude seems to fade as they get older.

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Philip027
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The words I used - 'some sexuals don't realise romantic and sexual attraction are different' - are absolutely saying they're different things for everybody.

I don't interpret that statement the same way you do (but I somehow don't get the feeling any minds are going to be changed on that matter).  It's very obviously not going to be *different* things for everybody because most people have matched orientations.  I'd guess sexuals are probably far more likely to have matched orientations than asexuals, but you will probably find little to no research on the matter precisely because of the fact that the world by and large only really recognizes the sexual orientation.

 

The point is that they since they are still separate entities that do not HAVE to be one and the same, they are different for some people, kind of like how some people might equate "libido" with "wanting sex with someone" but that is not necessarily so either, even if to many people they ultimately mean the same thing.

 

To try to throw in another potentially useless analogy to the pot, I feel it's like comparing hunger with wanting to eat something.  Many people would probably think of these as the same thing, and they very well often go hand in hand.  But hunger is an autonomous bodily response; the desire to eat something can be quite different, and manifest for different reasons.  Ever felt hungry but didn't want to eat what was available because you were calorie counting and were trying to refrain?  Ever reached for a tempting dessert just because it was there and looked delicious, even though you just had a satisfactory, filling dinner?

 

Quote

Which is fair enough, as long as they're not made about sexuals. For one thing, it seems arrogant, and for another, it's so clearly intuitively wrong to sexuals that it seems like special snowflaking.

Thing is, this is something that many asexuals (again, particularly the ones with mismatched orientations, or also the ones with libido) are faced with and have to learn about right away when they discover asexuality (both the orientation thing and often the libido thing, too), whereas it's something most sexuals don't even have to face at all because it isn't even an issue for them; there is no discrepancy to detect in the first place because everything already clicks together nicely for the most part.  A number of asexual people go through at least some part of their lives thinking something is off or even "wrong" with them because of this, so I wouldn't really say this is usually a matter of arrogance.

 

Bottom line is, by asexuality's very nature, asexuals don't tend to get this whole "if you love this person why don't you wanna have sex with them" attitude from other asexuals.  Hence why it's specifically sexuals that get mentioned in statements like the one you mention.

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Diamond Ace of Hearts
2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's implicit in fairly common statements like 'some sexuals don't even realise that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are different'. That's an asexual saying they understand sexuality better than sexuals.

56 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The words I used - 'some sexuals don't realise romantic and sexual attraction are different' - are absolutely saying they're different things for everybody. They're making a statement about objective reality.

I disagree. I've only rarely seen that phrase used but where I have seen it used there has always been an implicit "for asexuals" at the end there.

 

2 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

You can view romantic and sexual attraction as different if you want, but for most sexuals, they're so intertwined that it makes no sense. It makes sense for a lot of asexuals, and that's great, but it's about how you think about sex and relationships. It can help for asexuals, but for sexuals, it's alien to our experience and doesn't elucidate anything. It's not inherently 'true'.

Is that not the very point I was making? Your OP was complaining that the asexual perspective was alien to your experience and I was saying of course it is; you're not asexual. It's equally valid for me to say "You can view romantic and sexual attraction as intertwined if you want, but for most asexuals, they're so different that it makes no sense. It makes sense for a lot of sexuals, and that's great, but it's about how you think about sex and relationships. It can help for sexuals, but for asexuals, it's alien to our experience and doesn't elucidate anything. It's not inherently 'true'."

 

There is no inherent truth to this on either side, the whole debate relies on subjective experience.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's about attraction as part of sexuality, in the sense that for sexuals, they're intertwined, mostly, and for asexuals they're not. The blanket assertion that they're different things for everybody, always, doesn't hold for sexuals, but an asexual is saying it does.

Just because one (admittedly large) set of people experience them as corresponding doesn't mean they are inextricably linked. For sexuals, sexual desire/attraction may direct romantic attraction, or vice-versa, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have to be intrinsically linked. Look at it like this: the course of a river carves a valley and in the future the valley directs the river, but a river is not a valley and both valleys and rivers can occur independently of one another. Now I'm not presuming to tell you that this is the case, I'm simply asking you to consider the possibility that sexuals are like a river-valley where the two interplay and asexuals are a glacier-carved valley or a river in a meadow, experiencing similar things in a different way and therefore articulating them differently.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

The difference only exists for asexuals, in any meaningful way, and asexuals insisting that it does in fact have any meaning for sexuals is exactly what I'm talking about. 

Functionally, I would agree that it seems to be the case from my interactions with my not-ace acquaintances that the difference is not hugely important for them, but do you not find it philosophically or psychologically fascinating to consider the possibility of separating the two, even just as a thought-exercise? Don't you wonder what might be learned by looking at things a different way? Back when I assumed I was heterosexual, I was having these thoughts of different kinds of attraction all the damn time. Of course that could very easily be linked to the fact that I now believe I'm probably asexual but even so I think if I later come to the conclusion that I'm not ace after all, I'll still keep hold of those ideas.

 

3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yes, the outsider's perspective can be useful - personally I found differentiating sexual and romantic attraction helpful in understanding asexuality, but that doesn't mean it applies equally to sexuals' experience.

That's not the outsiders' perspective then, is it? The asexual view of these things as used to understand asexuality is the insiders' perspective (which is no less helpful, I hasten to add). And of course it doesn't apply equally to a sexual person's experience (that's pretty much what I've been saying this whole thread) but that doesn't make it inherently wrong or bad. It's one view, rooted in one person or group's experience, which might naturally make no sense to another group.

 

And you are absolutely correct that asexuals trying to define sexuality would be arrogant but I would suggest that asexuals aren't actually saying '"well that's my opinion and that's my definition and everyone can define xxxx exactly how they like'" even if that's exactly what they type. What I feel is meant is something along the lines of "this is how I understand these things, this is how I have to conceptualise these things so that they are relatable to my lived experience, others may disagree and certainly people who actually feel these things will have different ideas, but as I am incapable of feeling these things, this understanding is the only one that works for me right now, others may understand it differently but I am sharing my personal understanding in case it is helpful to others." Our language evolved from telling the other chimps where the good fruit is, to stay away from our fruit and that we are horny. You really think you can take the words people use about anything in often quick-moving multi-strand online debates as 100% accurate representations of their meaning? Not everyone has the time, the inclination or the lexical access to lay out their exact nuanced meaning when a general statement is far simpler.

 

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Snao van der Cone
6 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Obviously that's not all asexuals, and that attitude seems to fade as they get older.

I do think the tendency to explain as fact (as well as labelmania) comes down to developing minds and establishing familiarity with ideas. Young people do that all the time with a variety of subjects - sexuality, religion, philosophy, politics, etc - and think they're on the cutting edge of new ideas. Young sexual people also have wild ideas of what sexuality is as they figure themselves out. What frustrates a lot of us (sexual and asexual alike, though sexual people like you, Pan, and Skullz get more of this than others) is that ideas based on experience is struck down as invalidation.

 

There are a few zealous people who will lambast societal norms of sexuality using oversimplified if not outright incorrect characterizations of sexual people. This type of absurdly inaccurate commentary needs to be debunked - by both sexual and asexual members - for the quiet majority in the background reading these discussions to learn more than people who already think they know it all.

 

(This isn't a counterpoint against you, but the way. I see where you're coming from on the type of person to do this, but I suppose I'm more optimistic than you on the number of people who are legitimately learning from experienced folks here rather than joining naïve crusades. I don't know if I can say the same about Tumblr, though... :P

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Telecaster68
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There is no inherent truth to this on either side, the whole debate relies on subjective experience.

I agree with you, but I have seen the 'some sexuals don't understand...' trope enough times clearly not meaning '... for asexuals' that we're going to have to disagree.

 

Quote

do you not find it philosophically or psychologically fascinating to consider the possibility of separating the two, even just as a thought-exercise?

Yes, and practically too, as I've said at least a couple of times.

 

Quote

I would suggest that asexuals aren't actually saying '"well that's my opinion and that's my definition and everyone can define xxxx exactly how they like'" even if that's exactly what they type.

In which case I would suggest they shouldn't type it. AVEN posters are very quick to insist on qualifiers most of the time, so when they're not there, I'm not going to try to read between the lines. The onus is on the poster to be clear, and like most forums, comments that oppose the groupthink get challenged far quicker than ones that don't.

 

Regardless, being able to use words to mean whatever you want to mean is one of AVEN's shibboleths, to the extent that explicitly pointing out that someone identifying as an asexual (or pretty much anything else) while at the same time describing themselves in ways that make the label ludicrous must not be told they're wrong. It's against the ToS and a warnable offence.

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Law of Circles
8 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

It's quite interesting to see how much some people's opinions changed over the years on AVEN haha.

That's true. I identified as fully asexual when I wrote my response to that thread, and now I no longer do. I still largely agree with what I wrote before, though, even if I'm seeing the issue from the other side of the coin now, as it were. :)

 

It's also interesting to see how many sexuals responded to that thread, many of which are no longer here. If the same thread were made today, I wonder how many would respond.

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Misaki

First, let me say this... TELECASTER-SENPAI NOTICED ME! I can die happy now. Okay.

 

So... yeah, I remember my last relationship and that person telling me that they didn't feel loved, and my therapist telling me that maybe they didn't feel desired. At this point I just reacted with a big wtf, because I didn't understand (maybe because I don't experience it) what did it mean.

Anyway, I always received the same complaints over and over when I was in a relationship with anyone, and the same went with my friends or classmates at university and school. I was always the weirdo who didn't get what they were talking about, yet still wanted to fit in.

Setting this aside, I'm fairly sure that for some asexuals (again, side of the spectrum) it is equally difficult to define what they feel without making taxonomies, without making up labels in order to understand what they feel (or don't). I trust it is really important to find words to explain our feelings, to rationalize them and understand ourselves, the more if asexuality is something still unknown for a lot of people. Sexual orientations are obviously and without doubt a lot more than a mix of a lot more than desire and attraction.

Regardless, that oversimplification that seems so pointless at first, help us to start from somewhere when we are new to aven and the whole "asexual world". But it is exactly why, in my opinion, sexual's opinions should be respected and taken seriously, because just like everyone is different, they can give new insights and ideas on how it feels like to be sexual. The more we stay in the community, the more we learn and the more we can understand of the complexity of sexuality (talking as a whole spectrum and including all orientations, of course).

 

:D

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Telecaster68
58 minutes ago, Law of Circles said:

It's also interesting to see how many sexuals responded to that thread, many of which are no longer here. If the same thread were made today, I wonder how many would respond.

I had the same thought. There's definitely fewer of us around. I wonder why that is. 

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Snao van der Cone
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I had the same thought. There's definitely fewer of us around. I wonder why that is. 

Too busy having sex 24/7.

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Diamond Ace of Hearts
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I agree with you, but I have seen the 'some sexuals don't understand...' trope enough times clearly not meaning '... for asexuals' that we're going to have to disagree.

Well, as I say, I'm not around on the forums a great deal, and only frequent certain areas so it's very probable I just haven't seen the phrase used the same way as you have but as you say below this that you're unwilling to read between the lines, maybe you're just missing the point that people are trying to make?

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

Yes, and practically too, as I've said at least a couple of times.

Yes, I did see that you'd said so but I only read that after I'd typed my response. I left it in because what you had said elsewhere seemed to contradict it slightly. Just trying to clarify.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

In which case I would suggest they shouldn't type it.

Totally agree, people shouldn't be allowed to post anything until it's been proofread, sense-checked and edited by at least 5 different people, that'll make for a very well-ordered forum. Unfortunately life isn't like that.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

AVEN posters are very quick to insist on qualifiers most of the time, so when they're not there, I'm not going to try to read between the lines. 

...

The onus is on the poster to be clear,

So you divest yourself of any responsibility in communication? You think a message needs only a sender and the right form of words, and the receiver can/should be passive?

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

and like most forums, comments that oppose the groupthink get challenged far quicker than ones that don't.

I understand your point (and sympathise - in most forums I post on I'm massively in the minority) but I'm not going to dignify the way you made it with a response.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

Regardless, being able to use words to mean whatever you want to mean is one of AVEN's shibboleths, to the extent that explicitly pointing out that someone identifying as an asexual (or pretty much anything else) while at the same time describing themselves in ways that make the label ludicrous must not be told they're wrong. It's against the ToS and a warnable offence.

There are a multitude of ways to challenge those people without falling foul of the ToS and, let's be honest, those people who need challenging are unlikely to respond well to a simple "you're wrong" aren't they? You tell them that and they'll dig their heels in, the more gentle approach is far more likely to be effective anyway so why do so many people care about this ToS thing about labelling others?

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Law of Circles
1 hour ago, Snao Çoñé said:

Too busy having sex 24/7.

Yeah, the few of us that are able to post on AVEN are proficient multi-taskers.

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m4rble

I don't even know for sure that I'm asexual, but I do know I'm a particularly clueless virgin. I do seem to be sexually attracted to people on some level but the physical act of sex doesn't seem enticing, which is why I would separate the concept of attraction from desire. There are some things that I've seen sexuals say that have  seemed rather bizarre to me at first, but then I hear the same idea repeated by many other sexuals and realize it may be a pretty common experience. 

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StormySky

I am attracted to fancy frosting decorations but at this current moment I desire cake with no frosting

 

A stupid guess from someone who's never been attracted or felt desire to anyone in a sexual way, but maybe attraction is in patterns but desire is like a momentary craving??? 

Defining stuff is hard.

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Kimmie.
12 hours ago, m4rble said:

I don't even know for sure that I'm asexual, but I do know I'm a particularly clueless virgin. I do seem to be sexually attracted to people on some level but the physical act of sex doesn't seem enticing, which is why I would separate the concept of attraction from desire. There are some things that I've seen sexuals say that have  seemed rather bizarre to me at first, but then I hear the same idea repeated by many other sexuals and realize it may be a pretty common experience. 

You could describe me there somewhat.

 

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MiraMeyneth

*I hope i dont derail this conversation oof*

 

In all honesty, I really doubt that I could explain sexual attraction. So many sexual people experience it differently, as humans have a tendency to vary. I have never felt sexual attraction or even romantic attraction (and considering I've nearly finished puberty and I still feel nothing in those areas makes me quite sure i'm ace) whereas I see 14-15 year olds going mad over sexual things. In all seriousness, just from seeing the sheer amount of variance among sexual people in general, I'd wager that humanity as a whole can't categorize it very well. I can't describe it from the eyes of a sexual person, but from my side it seems like an injoke that everybody seems to know, and when you ask about it, everybody looks shocked you don't know the joke, or says that you'll learn it eventually. However, considering that I've never felt sexually attracted to anyone, I personally think I don't have any place to judge on how to explain sexual attraction.

 

I must admit though, the whole idea of sexual attraction is rather fascinating. Considering it's as alien to me as a giant flying saucer, it's nice to try to get some insight into the thing that separates me from most of the world.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

Okay so for those who don't really get where Tele is coming from with this thread, here is an example of what we are talking about. This happened in a different thread just now which I thought was THIS thread as I usually only respond to notifications directly without properly checking the title. I'd been getting so annoyed at the other thread (well, namely a certain member) that I gave up responding. Then responded by accident Y_Y but here's what happened.

 

Asexual: ''I'm asexual and from what I understand "sexual attraction" means you see someone who looks a certain type of way and wanna bang them into nonexistence.''

 

Pan: ''Ouch, as a sexual person (who has literally never experienced what you are talking about) that hurts.

 

SOME sexual people are like that, but even other sexuals will often call people like that shallow (I'm not necessarily saying the are shallow, just that sexual people will often label people like that as shallow).

 

This is why so many people disagree with the sexual attraction definition of asexuality: Many people here define sexual attraction the way you just did, which paints all sexual people in an extremely negative light and is certainly not an accurate view of what actually makes someone 'sexual'.''

 

Asexual: ''Well now, I didn't say they didn't have self control ... You can have such feelings but most people do have self control. So much for "sexual attraction" explained by an asexual. This was merely my interpretation of it and nothing more.''

 

Pan: (I'll spoiler it because it's another of my many, many long explanations of all the different ways sexuals experience their sexuality, this is the important part though) ''Many asexuals refuse to accept our explanation [of how it feels to be sexual] and insist it must be something else, and continue their futile debates/discussions/attempted educational threads about what sexual attraction is and how if you don't experience their one specific definition of it, you're asexual [regardless of what any sexual person has to say about how it actually feels to be sexual]''

 

 

 

 

'Liking someone a certain type of way' also is not an accurate definition of sexual attraction when it comes to defining an entire orientation though, because people can like other people in all sorts of ways for all sorts of reasons, whether they're sexual or asexual  'Liking someone in a way that makes you desire to connect sexually with them for pleasure' would be closer, but then you get the people who desire sex for the sake of sexual pleasure itself and they don't really mind so much who they have it with, and those who literally are only capable of desiring sexual intimacy with someone they are in love with, yet if they weren't in love with that person they'd have no interest in having sex with them (that's just two examples of many). Some people in the ace community like to say those types of people are asexual, but if so then the percentage of asexuals in the world has just increased vastly! ..At least 40% of the population is asexual based on many of the definitions of sexual attraction (as a defining factor for an entire orientation) by asexuals around here! 

 

Examples of people I have met in my own life: Some people will literally just go to regular group sex sessions at a fetish club without wanting to make personal sexual or intimate relationships with anyone other than friendships. People like this are after partnered sexual release but not with any specific person (having a specific partner can actually be a turn off for them). In my experience these people are usually aromantic without actually using that word themselves - but they're not asexual. Yet they're vastly different from a sexual person like myself who has a very hard time falling in love with people as I don't really have a physical 'criteria', it just happens if it happens. But if I didn't fall in love with them I could not desire sex with them, no matter how 'perfect' they are for me. I can only actively desire to connect sexually with someone I am in love with - and if the love fades, so does my interest in sexual activity. (that's more common than people on AVEN seem to think it is). Then you get people who are very appearance-based and actively seek attractive people to get turned on by to have sex with, and want to keep them as a sexual partner for a while until they get bored of them and move onto someone else. It goes on and on. These people have NOTHING in common when it comes to what drives them sexually, other than the fact that at least some of the time, to varying degrees, they desire partnered sexual intimacy with others for pleasure with certain people (which is generally how people know if they're hetero/homo/bi/pan - it's who they innately prefer to have sex with and 'sexual attraction' is just a term used in the English language to sum up all the different things that make one person prefer one gender over another (or seek sex with any gender). Individually from person to person though, it's experienced very differently from person to person.)

 

Telecaster68 was just trying to emphasize how futile it is for asexuals to try to define sexual attraction, yet they're still insistent that it's all about sexual attraction even if they admit they can't define it and that part should be left to the sexual people to define. Then the sexual people try to say ''Well, many sexual people define sexual attraction quite differently and experience their sexuality quite differently from person to person, there really isn't 'one box that fits all' other than the fact that to some extent or another, we all desire to connect sexually with certain other people for pleasure (which can be either sexual pleasure, emotional pleasure, or both, depending on what a person is after at the time) under certain circumstances to some extent or another, at least some of the time. The criteria for who we choose as sexual partners varies so greatly from person to person that you can't sum it up in one term unless you accept that that term means something different to almost every individual who is sexual (ergo, the term sexual attraction). But yeah, at least sometimes, under some circumstances, we all desire to connect sexually with other people for pleasure. That's the one thing that is unanimous among sexual people'' then asexuals say ''Uuum well no, it's still about attraction because there are asexuals who love having sex for pleasure but don't care about appearance so by your definition of what makes someonesexual, those people wouldn't be asexual!!!'

 

..Yet neither myself nor anyone else were actually trying to define asexuality when we said that, we were just trying to clarify what it's like to besexual - it's not our fault if some people have maybe completely misunderstood what it's like for a normal sexual person to be sexual (it's easy to see how they could get confused on a place like AVEN though!) and identified as asexual based on that mistaken assumption about sexuals. So, many asexuals refuse to accept our explanation and insist it must be something else, and continue their futile debates/discussions/attempted educational threads about what sexual attraction is. and how if you don't experience their one specific definition of it, you're asexual.

 

As far as I can tell, one of the points of this thread was to draw attention to that exact fact.

 

Asexual: ''Ok, to be blunt I think that sexual attraction does have something to do with the outward aesthetic because I've heard many people say that they have to be psychically attracted to someone before they could ever date or pursue them so maybe it just have to do with their looks.''

 

Pan: *facepalm*

 

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Telecaster68

Although loving the irony of the typo of 'psychically' for 'physically'. Assuming it was an autocorrect thing... . 

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Snao van der Cone

Furnishing a home means you see a couch and you want to buy it. If you don't experience that but still need furniture, having furniture doesn't mean you've furnished your home, as you didn't feel the desire to buy any specific piece of furniture. So a home filled with couches and tables and lamps can still be unfurnished, if the person living there didn't buy that furniture because they specifically wanted it.

 

(I'm going to regret posting this.)

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Telecaster68
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So a home filled with couches and tables and lamps can still be unfurnished, if the person living there didn't buy that furniture because they specifically wanted it.

Surely it's just furnished with furniture you don't like.

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