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Playing devil's advocate

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Careful... at this point my sex aversion and my vegetarianism get slightly mixed up.

Sorry, was just using the analogy already provided.  Substitute any non-meat food you could probably eat once or twice a year if you had to, for at least two years, before you just couldn’t stomach it anymore.

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greynonomous

Actually to build on it.

 

Someone very averse to repulsed  (vegan or allergic) OR less averse (doesn’t like fish specifically) could forgive someone for not knowing... the first time they offered up some fish. 

 

but definitely if a loved one kept bringing fish home every day and tried to get you to eat some after you’ve told them you don’t eat fish at all... that would definitely rankle. They should listen, and even if they slave over that fish for hours and tried to give out to you every which way... it’s still fish! 

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SCPDX
3 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

Remember one thing: that not for everyone are all positions easy or even possible to perform. Some sexual position drawings often leave me, on the one hand, astonished... and, on the other hand, just angry over the assumption that everyone is Healthy, Pretty and Fit.

Remember one thing: effectively everyone is perfectly well aware that not all sexual positions are for everyone or easy or possible to perform.

 

You may be shocked to realize that even I a cis, straight, allo male was well aware of that long before you lectured me on it. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of sexual positions that *I* can’t do either. I’d lay money that even if I had heard of a tiger jump, I probably wouldn’t be able to pull it off. 

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Nowhere Girl

@SCPDX - sorry. No need to be sarcastic. I just have always been a person of a low level of physical fitness and have indeed seen people who don't realise how some things are impossible for my body.

 

A "tiger jump" looks like this, particularly the later part of the video, where they are jumping over a crosswise placed obstacle. I'm not sure how it's called in English-speaking schools (the Polish name could be best translated as "box jump", so I'm using the more graphic "tiger jump" to show what kind of movement is involved). One of several exercises I have never been able to do, but in this case nobody even required me to do it because teachers realised that with my level of fitness it would be dangerous in a very strict sense.

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ryn2

That’s not what we mean when we say “box jump” where I live... and it’s also not something we were ever shown or asked to do. It’s been a long time since I was in school, though, so I don’t know if kids do it now.

 

Sorry to get off the topic; I was just curious what a tiger jump was as well.

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Serran

Ive seen gymnasts do it... but work in a school and never seen any school kids do anything close. 

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ryn2
20 minutes ago, Serran said:

Ive seen gymnasts do it... but work in a school and never seen any school kids do anything close. 

That’s a better way to word what I was trying to say.  I’ve seen it/similar things done by gymnasts/in gymnastics training as well, but anything beyond very basic gymnastics training doesn’t seem to be part of the routine US scholastic program.

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Telecaster68

They were a thing when I was at school but I was too short and too much of a klutz to be able to do them.

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ryn2

I definitely get the impression that gymnastics is (and has long been) a bigger part of general scholastic “physical education” in other parts of the world than it is in the US.  That’s historically been true in countries where amateur athletics is by selection rather than by volunteerism, but it seems to be true elsewhere as well.

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Telecaster68

Yep, lots of the girls, especially did some kind of 'grades' in them at school and there were charts about gymnastics everywhere at middle school.

 

Personally, I stuck with the recorder.

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Traveler40

I’m in the US and my daughter happens to be in her second year of gymnastics.  She’s just 6, but there’s zero chance she could do that and she’s in great shape, limber and dedicated.  It would take time and education to execute without injury.

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anisotrophic

To be fair, I think @Nowhere Girl 's statement felt a bit unfair.

 

I think if someone's exposure to "sex positions" is via media, I can see why the topic might be misunderstood to be related to fitness. But for people that are less physically able, trying a variety of positions for sex may be even more important -- to find ones that don't cause pain. I can think of many positions that are a variant of one partner lying down.

 

Refusing to change position does seem to communicating aversion to the activity. And on the topic: I don't think it works out well to want someone to have sex when they dislike it.

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Telecaster68

Most sexual people would at least try the position, or a version of it, and most people can do some version of 'on top', 'underneath', etc. A flat 'no' is basically saying 'just shut up and get done, and don't expect any engagement from me. I'm here on sufferance'.

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, anisotropic said:

Refusing to change position does seem to communicating aversion to the activity.

The flip side of that is that expecting someone who is averse to sex to want it more/be less averse to it in another position is bound to lead to disappointment...

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

A flat 'no' is basically saying 'just shut up and get done, and don't expect any engagement from me. I'm here on sufferance'.

Well, that is how most people “get through” things they greatly dislike.  When I’m at the dentist I sure don’t want anyone to keep calling my attention to it.  Same for being in the MRI machine; don’t keep making small talk, trying to engage me, or asking if I’m okay.  Just leave me be and get it done as soon as you can!

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Telecaster68

Well if you feel sex is like an unpleasant medical examination then, yes, there's a parallel.

 

It all depends on where you are in the aversion/neutral/enjoying continuum, I guess. If an asexual is on the enjoying end, it would behove them to at least try to have some grace about it, within limits, in the same way it behoves their partner to understand that while their partner enjoys sex a couple of times a month, any more than that would be wearing.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It all depends on where you are in the aversion/neutral/enjoying continuum, I guess. If an asexual is on the enjoying end, it would behove them to at least try to have some grace about it, within limits, in the same way it behoves their partner to understand that while their partner enjoys sex a couple of times a month, any more than that would be wearing.

Agreed, but I feel like that’s probably going to come more naturally - not necessarily picking new positions, but being polite about trying them - when people fall to the enjoying end of the spectrum.  It seems pretty safe to speculate that someone who reacts to requests for sex as they would to requests to roll in dog vomit is not someone who enjoys (or is even neutral towards) sex with the requestor.

 

(It wouldn’t have to be medical procedures... that’s just what came to mind when I tried to think of common examples of things people don’t like, endure, and are frequently “pestered in the name of caring” during)

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Traveler40
23 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

...a couple of times a month...

THAT would have saved a ton of despair. 

 

Edit: oops, missed the bit about “ace being on the enjoying end...” 😬. Yeah, not applicable here. Sigh

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Telecaster68
11 minutes ago, Traveler40 said:

THAT would have saved a ton of despair. 

Yep. Same here. 

 

Being averse/repulsed is one thing, but being on the neutral/enjoying end of the continuum and still resolutely refusing compromise is another.

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ryn2
7 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Being averse/repulsed is one thing, but being on the neutral/enjoying end of the continuum and still resolutely refusing compromise is another.

Perhaps people who seem to be neutral/enjoying but resolutely refuse aren’t actually neutral/enjoying after all?  Or they were at one point but aren’t anymore?

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Telecaster68
19 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Perhaps people who seem to be neutral/enjoying but resolutely refuse aren’t actually neutral/enjoying after all?  Or they were at one point but aren’t anymore?

Maybe. The onus is really on them to say something though isn't it?

 

I'm not saying this is necessarily what you're implying, but to me, this is one of those examples of the way asexuals always seem to get the benefit of the doubt on AVEN. The assumption is that an asexual person can't sustain their selfless front any longer because it's so draining, and they can't be expected to be up front about this because: reasons. One way or another, they're trying to be heroic and are beyond criticism. Meanwhile the sexual is getting months and months of unexplained rejections (and not just of sex, of them as people, because that's how it works for sexuals) because their partner isn't being honest with them, but per AVEN, sexuals have to be endlessly sympathetic about this. 

 

Alternatively, the asexual partner is just being thoughtless and selfish. Occam's Razor would suggest the latter, but it always gets short shrift on AVEN. 

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ryn2
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

The onus is really on them to say something though isn't it?

Yes, it is.  I feel for both sides here.

 

Even on AVEN it seems like most successful compromises are between sexuals and aces who are truly and continually neutral or “better” towards having sex.  Some sexuals in successful mixed relationships qualify their stories with “I don’t think this would work if my partner was averse.”  So the message to aces (or anyone who would rather not have sex with their partner) is “if you can’t make it work some of the time there’s no hope.”  That’s bound to lead to some people lying to themselves/to their partners.  On the other side, the partners are getting confusing, unpleasant mixed messages and making decisions based on false information.

 

It’s a hard conversation for conflict-averse people on either side to have, too.  Not many people react well initially to “I love you very much but I really dislike having sex with you,” and not many people react well initially to “I know you say you don’t mind having sex but you act like I’m asking you to roll in s**t so I think you are not being truthful” either.

 

Re: apologists, I can only speak for myself... with posts like the above, I’m not apologizing or trying to excuse; I’m trying to explain.

 

I agree that at some level being conflict-avoidant is selfish, but it’s not what people often mean when they call someone selfish.  The former is “this makes me so uncomfortable that I’m going to - often unconsciously - avoid it if I can even if so doing causes me and others problems down the road” whereas the latter is “I’m intentionally choosing to do this with no regard for others.”

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Telecaster68
4 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

I agree that at some level being conflict-avoidant is selfish, but it’s not what people often mean when they call someone selfish.  The former is “this makes me so uncomfortable that I’m going to - often unconsciously - avoid it if I can even if so doing causes me and others problems down the road” whereas the latter is “I’m intentionally choosing to do this with no regard for others.”

'..even if so doing causes me and others problems' is effectively the same as '... no regard for others' isn't it? Knowing your actions will cause problems for someone else and doing them anyway, but saying that's different from having no regard for others, seems like sophistry aimed at getting someone off the hook.

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anisotrophic

I think unconsciousness selfishness shouldn't be so excusable, broadly speaking. The consequences remain. (cf the legal principle that ignorance of the law is not an excuse) furthermore, a habit of lack of awareness is not a good one, and ignorance can be disingenuously claimed.

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ryn2

I don’t think it’s unacceptable to tell people “I can’t stay in this relationship if you are unwilling or unable to address [mental health issue that is exascerbating relationship conflict]”; I just think those types of issues are a different flavor of selfish than garden-variety selfishness.

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Telecaster68

It sometimes seems to me that it's hard to tell to what degree mental health issues may be claimed to cover garden-variety selfishness. And yet again, we're back to whether to put more faith in actions or words....  

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ryn2
35 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

'..even if so doing causes me and others problems' is effectively the same as '... no regard for others' isn't it? Knowing your actions will cause problems for someone else and doing them anyway, but saying that's different from having no regard for others, seems like sophistry aimed at getting someone off the hook.

To me it’s a difference of degree. Garden-variety selfish is “I know you like x but I don’t give a f**k.” Things like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and behavioral patterns of conflict aversion, pleasing, codependence, etc. can lead to the same result (you don’t get x) but not because the person just casually doesn’t give a f**k...

 

Again, not excusing, explaining.  It would be great if we all got our mental houses in order before we went out and entered into relationships with others but life doesn’t often work that way.

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It sometimes seems to me that it's hard to tell to what degree mental health issues may be claimed to cover garden-variety selfishness. And yet again, we're back to whether to put more faith in actions or words....  

Well, no one can decide for you if 1) you think your partner is lying or not, 2) their lies are justifiable, or 3) you can and should put up with it.

 

To me there’s a difference between “I easily could do the thing but I don’t feel like it” and “between me and doing the thing stands years of therapy.”  That doesn’t mean someone else has to tolerate it either way.

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Telecaster68

I think there's often a grey area where the difference between making the effort and not is down to empathy. Sometimes therapy is needed, but, I suspect sometimes not, and the assumption on AVEN is that it must be needed because asexuals are assumed to be good, moral people victimised by an unfeeling world. And logically, that just simply isn't always the case.

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ryn2

Well, again, (at least) two possibilities:

 

1) the person just lacks empathy (or doesn’t like you)

 

2) the person is (not effectively) dealing with mental health challenges that are interfering with their ability to be effectively empathetic, and/but would be more empathetic if they could move past those challenges

 

There are two options in the first case - live with it or leave.  All the change has to come from your end.

 

There is a third option in the second case, which is to wait it out in hopes the person successfully tackles their “stuff.”

 

No one is obligated to do that, and in some cases it is a losing proposition... but if people are asking for options that give them hope it’s one that might.

 

I don’t hear it as “all aces are poor, damaged angels.”  Anyone’s partner could be a plain old a**hole.  But when someone is asking “is there any possibility to fix this?” saying “eh, I think your partner is an a**hole” doesn’t feel very helpful (even though one could argue it is).

 

Also, as someone mentioned elsewhere, people tend to jump to others’ defense when they hear someone accused of being an a**hole for things they themselves do for reasons not being considered.  That’s a human thing, not an ace thing.  Anywhere you are not in the majority that’s going to make you feel like “your side” gets slammed more than supported.

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