jadex23

Being sex repulsed or sex positive is an opinion or not?

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jadex23

Basically, is that an opinion of the person, like political preferences and things like that, or does it comes naturally with asexuality? I'm sex repulsed and for now I can do nothing about it, I'd like to be less repulsed but I can't, for example.

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FIick

I'm pretty sure it's not a preference at all, it comes as part of your asexual identity. As a sex-repulsed asexual I panic at the thought of sex, and am uncomfortable in sexual situations, and there's nothing I can do about that, as it's just how my sexuality works. Believe me, if I could flip a switch and become sex-positive, I would have come to terms with m asexuality so much sooner.

 

Unless you already have a positive view on sex, I don' think there's anything you could do to become this way without actively placing yourself in unsafe sexual situations. So I think it's something that comes naturally. Sort of like tastes in food. You can't force yourself to like a food by eating a lot of it, you'll just be torturing yourself by eating a ton of food you hate. So you just come to terms with the fact that you don't like it.

 

 

(p.s, if you're wondering why I always show up, it's because I have AVEN open in the background so whenever someone posts a new topic it makes a noise. It's very useful)

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Guest Talgo

Doesn't sound like an option.

 

I'm sex indifferent. If there is sex in a show I might not react, or it might even turn me on. But I have no interest in having my own sex. 

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TheAP

Being sex-repulsed isn't an opinion, it's more of an involuntary reaction. Sex-positive usually means you think that sex isn't a bad thing and people should be able to make their own sexual choices, whether you want it for yourself or not, so if used that way, it is an opinion. But I've also heard sex-positive used to mean sex-favourable, used for asexuals who are okay with sex or even enjoy it. So it depends on how you define the term.

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jadex23
12 minutes ago, Flickering said:

I'm pretty sure it's not a preference at all, it comes as part of your asexual identity. As a sex-repulsed asexual I panic at the thought of sex, and am uncomfortable in sexual situations, and there's nothing I can do about that, as it's just how my sexuality works. Believe me, if I could flip a switch and become sex-positive, I would have come to terms with m asexuality so much sooner.

 

Unless you already have a positive view on sex, I don' think there's anything you could do to become this way without actively placing yourself in unsafe sexual situations. So I think it's something that comes naturally. Sort of like tastes in food. You can't force yourself to like a food by eating a lot of it, you'll just be torturing yourself by eating a ton of food you hate. So you just come to terms with the fact that you don't like it.

 

 

(p.s, if you're wondering why I always show up, it's because I have AVEN open in the background so whenever someone posts a new topic it makes a noise. It's very useful)

Don't mind, I like your answers and in the end this is a forum, comment whenever you want my posts. ❤

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jadex23
13 minutes ago, Talgo said:

Doesn't sound like an option.

 

I'm sex indifferent. If there is sex in a show I might not react, or it might even turn me on. But I have no interest in having my own sex. 

For me it doesn't sound as an opinion too. I've never been abused, my parents taught me sex is a positive and a natural thing but... even tho i'm open minded i can't really stop being sex repulsed, even tho i feel my libido. still i don't experience sexual attraction, just crushes

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Laurann

I think you meant to say 'sex-favorable'. Sex-positive means you think people should be allowed to have as much (or little) sex as they want without being shamed for it. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you, personally, want to have sex or not. I'm both sex-repulsed and sex-positive at the same time. Being sex-positive is an opinion, but being sex-repulsed definitely isn't.

 

so there's sex-positive versus sex-negative

and there's sex-favorable versus sex-indifferent and sex-repulsed/averse.

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Groobly

It comes down to the individual person. There's plenty of asexual people here who just don't care about having sex and are willing to compromise with allo partners and have it sometimes rather than actively wanting to avoid it out of disgust. That's why a lot of people talk about the "asexuality umbrella", because there's people who are definitely close to asexual, such as demisexual people, but since they still like sex with specific people they deeply trust, they can't be considered ace.

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Anthracite_Impreza

Repulsion/aversion isn't an opinion. It can be made more or less intense by circumstance or effort, but it's still more instinctive than anything. Sex positivity, neutrality or negativity are opinions though, because they're your feelings on how other people should behave.

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Just Somebody

I don't think repulsion/aversion,  nor apathy towards sex is an opinion.

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HonoraryJedi

Yeah, as previous posters have said, these are different things. I am sex positive in that I am of the opinion that people should have sex if they want and not be judged for having sex. I am sex averse in that I absolutely do not want to have any sex myself. The first is an opinion I have, the latter is how I'm naturally wired.

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RK800

Sex repulsion isn't opinion, being sex positive or negative is.

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Athena32
53 minutes ago, Laurann said:

I'm both sex-repulsed and sex-positive at the same time.

Me too. Other people can do whatever they want (as long as it's safe and consensual), and that's fine, even great. But the thought of me specifically having sex ever makes me want to throw up. I don't think that that dramatic of a reaction is a choice, however, there are things I an probably do to work with managing it if I really wanted to. (Spoiler- I don't, because it's just not important to me right now.)

 

I think it's a little like a phobia: it's not a choice, you can find ways to cope with it if it's dramatically affecting your daily life, and not everyone has identical reactions or levels. 

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jadex23
2 hours ago, Laurann said:

I think you meant to say 'sex-favorable'. Sex-positive means you think people should be allowed to have as much (or little) sex as they want without being shamed for it. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you, personally, want to have sex or not. I'm both sex-repulsed and sex-positive at the same time. Being sex-positive is an opinion, but being sex-repulsed definitely isn't.

 

so there's sex-positive versus sex-negative

and there's sex-favorable versus sex-indifferent and sex-repulsed/averse.

Thank you, I didn't know

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glitchberry

Assuming you're meaning sex favourable not sex positive, I would say that no, it's not really an opinion, but I can see why you might think that. It's an opinion in the same sense that hating a certain food is an opinion. You don't really have a say in the matter. It's just something you don't like and don't want. Sex positive would be like saying 'yeah girl you eat that thing that I hate because I know you love it and I don't judge you for loving it even though I can't stand it!'

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glitchberry

Oh and as for the coming naturally with asexuality - no. Some asexuals (in fact quite a lot of asexuals) are sex repulsed, but some aren't. I myself am sex indifferent. I have no real interest in it. To go back to the food metaphor (I'm hungry lol shush). 

Sex repulsed - 'I hate cake. I do not want anything to do with cake.' 

Sex indifferent - 'I wouldn't go out of my way to get cake or anything, but if I was hungry and someone offered me a slice I would probably say yes, but I would prefer a pie or something.'

Sex favourable - 'I love cake! I have cake as often as I like! It tastes really good to me!'

 

The difference between sex favourable asexuals and allosexuals would be that an asexual wouldn't see the cake and immediately want to eat it right then and there because hot damn that cake looks good.

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jadex23

Thank you all for answering me. I've got my answers now ❤ you're adorable

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Float On

Being sex repulsed is a reaction to sex, not to people.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nowhere Girl
18 hours ago, Laurann said:

I think you meant to say 'sex-favorable'. Sex-positive means you think people should be allowed to have as much (or little) sex as they want without being shamed for it. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you, personally, want to have sex or not. I'm both sex-repulsed and sex-positive at the same time. Being sex-positive is an opinion, but being sex-repulsed definitely isn't.

 

so there's sex-positive versus sex-negative

and there's sex-favorable versus sex-indifferent and sex-repulsed/averse.

[Caution: I'm just having heightened anti-sex sentiments today. I wanted to add it above the quote, but don't know how; I hate computers.]

 

Just to add that sex-positive and sex-negative aren't the only options.

I'm not against sex, but I don't subscribe to the sex-positive ideology and will not be shamed into it. I'm not ashamed to be non-sex-positive.

I believe that sex has no value of its own outside of an individualised context. "Sex as such" is a worthless concept, what matters is real sex people have - and when a lot of sex is not very wanted or just plain unwanted, I don't think that shouting "consent is sexy!" will solve any problems.

I've just read an article about marital rape. Predictable statistic: a lot of women have been coerced to sex by their husbands or partners - but the majority is unwilling to admit that it is rape. Perhaps our (= society's) predominant models of consent don't even work because sex is skewed in favor of men from the start.

Perhaps if we were able to analyse all sex acts worldwide which had place within one day, we would have discovered that only a minority was fully consensual. Don't you think that hurrayoptimistic sex-positivity just ignores the facts in such circumstances?

And another thing I always say: I believe that the "sex is good" rhetoric offers too little protection against unwanted sex. It has the potential to trap people into thinking "How can I not want sex if sex is good?". People should know that not having sex - including never having sex - is as worthy as having sex.

 

Perhaps indeed I have to deal with internalised shame: I'm not ashamed to be non-sex-positive, but still kinda ashamed to be openly sex-negative. I feel like it would be hypocritical and it certainly has something to do with my conflicting personal feelings: I'm sex-averse, but not fully sex-repulsed; I'm only repulsed by the idea of personally having sex and willing to fantasise about NOT-ME1 AND NOT-ME2 having sex. But I largely agree with Jillian Horowitz from the link below - or at least I believe that such an opinion is very refreshing...

UNPOPULAR OPINION: I’m A Sex-Negative Feminist

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Float On

Huh, am I sex negative? I might be. I’m more against the common propaganda from sex positive messages then negative about sex itself. 

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anisotropic

I prefer to think of "sex repulsed" as a very normal feeling, separate to ace orientation -- and not an ace phenomenon. Many/most sexuals are also repulsed by the idea of sexual intimacy with someone they aren't attracted to! Totally normal for *any* orientation to have that reaction IMHO. 🙂

 

TBH I suspect aces are be *less* likely to be sex-repulsed in the absence of attraction. An allo, after all, compares this to its alternative, and so has all-the-more reason to dislike it.

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Laurann

@Nowhere Girl

Thanks for the article. It was an interesting read.

 

The only thing I mean when I say I'm 'sex-positive' is that I think nobody should be shamed for how much sex they have (as long as it's safe and consensual). I don't mean to say that I think sex is inherently good. It can have positive and negative aspects, just like anything else can.

 

And I totally agree with you that consent is not a simple concept, and that we need to factor coercion and societal expectations and pressure to conform into it. I don't agree that every form of coerced sex is rape though. I think that's too strong of a word. If a husband is like 'Aww please honey??' and she agrees because she wants to do it for him, even though she's not really into it (yes this is unnecessarily gendered, I'm aware), then in that case I think it would be unreasonable to call that rape, but it is a form of coercion. I think there should be gradations. We can't just treat every form of coerced/non-consensual sex as equally evil.

 

 

This part of the article I think is especially relevant for sex-repulsed and asexual feminists (like me):

Yet when sex is the topic, we fall over ourselves in an attempt to pass the least amount of judgment and avoid being categorized as "man-hating" or "anti-sex" or "judgmental" or "shaming" or "prudish." Too many of us are so committed to escaping accusations of frigidity and joylessness that analysis falls by the wayside, leaving feminist sexual politics in an untenable position.

 

Aces are more likely to be categorized (stereotyped) as all of those things named above, making the pressure to be sex-positive much higher. I think this does affect my decision to call myself sex-positive. I don't want to be put into that stereotype. I really do agree with a lot of sex-positive rhetoric (like fighting slutshaming and advocating for the legalization of sex-work), but not all of it.

 

For example, I think porn, the way it is now, is very harmful to both men and women. It's violent. It objectifies women. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-brains-see-men-as-whole-women-as-parts/. I do think there could be a better form of porn though (with explicit consent from both parties shown in the footage), so I'm not against the concept in general, just against what porn is like now.

 

I don't know if that disqualifies me from being sex-positive. If it does, then so be it. I guess I'll be frigid and joyless. Not that I'd say that to anyone irl who knows I'm ace because I'd feel I was 'representing' asexuals and I wouldn't want them to think aces were sex-negative. So yeah. The stereotype affects me and pushes me to advocate for sex-positivity more than I'd otherwise do. 

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Nowhere Girl
1 hour ago, Laurann said:

This part of the article I think is especially relevant for sex-repulsed and asexual feminists (like me):

Yet when sex is the topic, we fall over ourselves in an attempt to pass the least amount of judgment and avoid being categorized as "man-hating" or "anti-sex" or "judgmental" or "shaming" or "prudish." Too many of us are so committed to escaping accusations of frigidity and joylessness that analysis falls by the wayside, leaving feminist sexual politics in an untenable position.

 

Aces are more likely to be categorized (stereotyped) as all of those things named above, making the pressure to be sex-positive much higher. I think this does affect my decision to call myself sex-positive. I don't want to be put into that stereotype.

Exactly what I thought today. There is definitely a heightened pressure "not to make asexuality look bad", to make the popular image of asexuality more "nice" and non-radical... I recall this text by Sciatrix:

I Am Not Your Sex Cheerleader

Quote

I frequently see this attitude where you can’t discuss sex in ace spaces unless you hedge it about with “but for other people, it’s really great” and otherwise profess its awesomeness as an activity. And in some spaces, that’s frankly a good thing. You wouldn’t want to put a diatribe about how disgusting this or that activity is where someone who really enjoys it could stumble across it, in the same way that I’d really rather not trip over porn gifs in my Tumblr feed without warning. Unfortunately, that norm being so stringently enforced means that there are almost no places to talk about sex as something unpleasant or uncomfortable–especially if you aren’t a rape or assault survivor. It’s also really ridiculous that I default to being a sex cheerleader when personally, I find the whole thing absolutely horrifying when it comes to myself.

Doesn’t sex has enough advocates for its amazingness as an activity without needing asexuals to re-emphasize how amazing it is every time they talk about it?

(emphasis mine)

 

Still, this pressure to be sex-positive doesn't seem to work for me. Most likely it's because I'm very "assailable" anyway, I have next to zero chance of becoming a "poster child for asexuality": I'm physically unattractive by almost any standard imaginable, I'm sex-averse (and libidoist at the same time, which is probably even worse on the "Unassailable Assexual" scale), I'm chronically ill and even openly admit that I consider it the reason for my asexuality (and yet also a bad thing which has given rise to a good thing, because I'm glad that I'm asexual), I'm a weirdo with no relationship experience at almost 40, and it's not due to being aromantic - which I'm not - but rather due to being so emotionally intense that I scare most people away, I'm afraid... So I feel like I have nothing to lose, people who are unfavorable towards asexuality are not going to take me seriously no matter what I say, so I can take liberty of being openly sex-critical. And nevertheless I share a lot of sex-positive views - I'm not against other people having sex, it would be completely inaccurate, I'm only against anyone having unwanted sex - but still I just don't identify with sex-positivity and prefer to label myself "sex-critical" or "sex-neutral" instead...

And, just to make it clear: I mentioned the word "radical" and I indeed want a more radical asexual movement, one that would alliance itself with other forms of nonsexuality (such as voluntary celibacy) and work towards dismantling compulsory sexuality and normalising sex-free lifestyles...

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Laurann

@Nowhere Girl

I've been thinking about why I identify as sex-positive a bit more. I just realized that I've never seriously considered being sex-negative, because I associate it with religiosity and conservatism (you know, the 'sex is shameful' 'abstinence only' - types) and since I'm a queer agnostic atheist progressive feminist and all of my peers with similar political ideologies are sex-positive, I am too, by default.

 

I only just looked up what exactly the sex-positive movement advocates (I've never looked it up in detail, but I know the outlines), and while I do agree with a lot of it (pro-sexual diversity, anti slut-shaming, pro-legalization of sex work, pro-comprehensive sex ed), I think I hold more hostile views to pornography than other sex-positive people (I think most contemporary porn is harmful, violent, objectifying. It could be improved upon, but I have no confidence that that will happen). Since opposition to anti-porn feminism is how and why sex-positive feminism originally formed, this might actually disqualify me. I'm not happy about that.

 

I'm fairly unassailable, other than being non-cis and sex-repulsed, and I guess I do attach importance to that. I do hide the parts of my identity that are assailable, especially when people know I'm asexual. I guess that's because I've been 'assailed' on those (meaning that people said I wasn't actually ace, just 'repressed' etc). I don't know how to feel about that right now. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

 

On another note, what exactly do you mean when you say 'radical'? What is the root cause of the issue that you want to go back to? Compulsory sexuality? How does your ideal version of an asexual movement differ from what we have now?

I think the asexual movement already wants to dismantle compulsory sexuality, doesn't it? Isn't that kinda the point?

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Nowhere Girl
10 hours ago, Laurann said:

On another note, what exactly do you mean when you say 'radical'? What is the root cause of the issue that you want to go back to? Compulsory sexuality? How does your ideal version of an asexual movement differ from what we have now?

I think the asexual movement already wants to dismantle compulsory sexuality, doesn't it? Isn't that kinda the point?

Well, it's not enough for me - but then, I'm not exactly following every asexual event, I'm just grateful that there is an asexual community on the Internet... But I sometimes get the impression that the community is too sex-positive out of fear of being perceived as "judgemental", and even worse - sometimes I see snippets of text which read as if it was only OK for aces not to desire sex. It shouldn't work like that. If nobody should have unwanted sex, everybody must have the right not to desire sex and not even to be obligated to give a reason for that. This is what I mean when writing that "in a way, asexuality should become redundant" or even "meaningless". I'm absolutely not against anyone identifying as ace, but I am to some extent against people having to identify as ace in order to have their preferences recognised.

When thinking about my ideas for a more radical asexual movement, I always think of a fragment from an article by Andrew Hinderliter, "Pathology and Asexual Politics" (sorry, no link, because I like it so much that I have it in a file):

Quote

A political question that those challenging the pathologization of asexuality must ask is whether to challenge the pathologization of asexuality only or whether to challenge the pathologization of sexual disinterest more generally. This is an important question because asexuals seem to be a small minority of the people not interested in sex. This question parallels two general approaches I have seen among those supportive of asexuality. The first is to limit the domain of “sexual dysfunction” and to distance asexuality from it. This approach often involves placing strong emphasis on the requirement of distress (e.g. Brotto, 2010) and claiming that some data supports the view that asexuality is not a sexual dysfunction (e.g. Prause &  Graham, 2007). Also falling in this approach is a suggestion by Brotto (2010), who proposes adding a comment in the DSM that this diagnosis does not apply to asexuals. The second approach is to question the notion that lack of interest in sex is dysfunctional or to question the very notion of sexual dysfunction. To date, the second of these has not been given much voice from within the asexual community, but there are some outside of the asexual community who have been advocating a similar position (e.g. Tiefer, 2004).

You know... I'm not a scholar, just a user who happens to be asexual, and so my opinion just doesn't have too much influence. But when I see it presented like that, I instinctively choose the more radical position. In this specific case, I consider distancing asexuality from "sexual dysfunctions" by stating that the diagnosis doesn't apply to asexuals (which has, after all, at least been succesful) quite laughable, to be honest.

1. It really sounds artificial.

2. It really sounds selfish, as if supposed ace lobbyists only cared about their own group.

3. It's ridiculous to base the decision about someone having a disorder or not on something so accidental as whether they happen to have heard of asexuality.

4. And anyway, I believe that "Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder" = asexuality + pathologisation.

So, I would rather want low or inexistent sexual desire to be recognised as part of normal variation for everyone. I want acceptability of not wanting sex and not having sex - not just within the asexual community, but in the whole society. I want more individualised ideas of what consitutes "sexual normalcy" and "a healthy sex life". This is what we can do. "Sexual liberation" failed to truly address gender inequality and has endangered true consent in its own way, by making having sex into something which is generally expected of people. So "asexual liberation" - persistently promoting the idea that not having sex is always a valid choice - is also a weapon against some forms of sexual violence.

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Alejandrogynous
11 hours ago, Laurann said:

I only just looked up what exactly the sex-positive movement advocates (I've never looked it up in detail, but I know the outlines), and while I do agree with a lot of it (pro-sexual diversity, anti slut-shaming, pro-legalization of sex work, pro-comprehensive sex ed), I think I hold more hostile views to pornography than other sex-positive people (I think most contemporary porn is harmful, violent, objectifying. It could be improved upon, but I have no confidence that that will happen). Since opposition to anti-porn feminism is how and why sex-positive feminism originally formed, this might actually disqualify me. I'm not happy about that.

 

Seems to me that settling for being 'not sex positive' because you disagree with certain elements of what the sex-positive movement advocates is rather like saying you can't be a feminist because sometimes people include elements of man-hating. You can be pro-something and still have your own opinions about the subject. If anything, I'd say that being able to think critically and recognize problems in any organization/movement makes you a better supporter than if you blindly accepted every single idea associated with it.

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Laurann

@Nowhere Girl

But sex drive can be decreased by medical issues though. And people can be distressed by that and want it to be fixed medically. I don't see why we should deny that. I don't think we're basing the decision as to someone has a disorder or not on whether they've heard of asexuality, we're basing it on whether they're distressed about it and want it to be fixed. I don't think that's unreasonable.

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Nowhere Girl
2 hours ago, Laurann said:

@Nowhere Girl

But sex drive can be decreased by medical issues though. And people can be distressed by that and want it to be fixed medically. I don't see why we should deny that. I don't think we're basing the decision as to someone has a disorder or not on whether they've heard of asexuality, we're basing it on whether they're distressed about it and want it to be fixed. I don't think that's unreasonable.

I'm not saying that we should never "treat" low sex drive in people who are distressed. But filbanserin is a bad drug and its very promotion is harmful because it necessarily promotes the view that low sex drive is a disorder. The filbanserin campaign turns the issue upside down - low sex drive is very rarely a neurological issue, much more often than not it has interpersonal and often also cultural background. What I would advocate is an individual approach to sexual problems, without promoting the idea of any "sexual norm" outside the basic moral fact that a sexual norm which shoul be valid for all people is: never satisfy one's sexual desires in a way which is harmful to anyone else.

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Ace_Of_Diamonds-
On 7/13/2018 at 2:32 PM, Athena32 said:

Me too. Other people can do whatever they want (as long as it's safe and consensual), and that's fine, even great. But the thought of me specifically having sex ever makes me want to throw up. I don't think that that dramatic of a reaction is a choice, however, there are things I an probably do to work with managing it if I really wanted to. (Spoiler- I don't, because it's just not important to me right now.)

 

I think it's a little like a phobia: it's not a choice, you can find ways to cope with it if it's dramatically affecting your daily life, and not everyone has identical reactions or levels. 

I understand the part about it being a phobia. I can barely get through a hug from another person, let alone sex.

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uhtred

There are feelings and there are actions.  Its possible to be "repulsed" by something, but to outwardly indicate to people that you do not object to it.  So someone might get a strong repulsion from eating meat, but accept that it is OK for other people to do so. 

 

It is also possible to be repulsed by something for yourself, but not for others:  Many people are repulsed by the idea of sex with someone of the gender that they are not attracted to, but not to have any negative feelings about others who want to engage in those activities. 

 

At the other extreme it is possible to find something repulsive and believe that others should avoid it as well.  Some of these will meet with widespread agreement (like repulsion at pedophilia) others will have widely divided opinions (like homosexuality). 

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