Jump to content
gray-a girl

What being a sex favorable asexual means to me

Recommended Posts

Nowhere Girl

@Laurann - I wish I could give more than just a "like". This post deserves a hundred "likes".

Just for @gray-a girl's information, it is very similar to what I feel, with the exceptions that:

  • I am much more scared of sex than disgusted by sex, my nudity aversion is its defining aspect (which also makes the issue of "whether a partner would stop" less relevant - I feel that I couldn't conset to even try having sex because I couldn't get past the hurdle of undressing).
  • I never considered sex inevitable - I simply decided, already in my childhood, that this is not something I want to do when I grow up, so I won't. It felt simple - I had already decided (at the age of five, still not knowing how do people have sex) that I don't want to have children or to marry a man, so the decision to not have sex either felt like a logical extension.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl
37 minutes ago, Iam9man said:

Genuine polite question: Sex-favourable asexuals sometimes feel we’re essentially being erased by certain interpretations of the “desire” definition. Do sex-averse/repulsed asexuals feel erased by the “attraction“ definition itself, or by it being strongly applied / narrowly interpreted (as you mention above)?

I personally could feel erased by the attraction-based definition because I consider myself to experience sexual attraction without desire. But I just accept that it's an untypical experience, different from what most asexuals experience, and probably just a result of the fact that I'm effectively, but not strictly asexual, and that I'm effectively asexual because I'm sex-averse, not the other way around. I also accept the fact that my own understanding of sexual attraction is different from that most commonly used here (according to my own definition, what I experience is sexual attraction, according to the most widespread view - it just isn't, because it doesn't lead to any desire for sexual contact). So I'm generally fine with that, I just continue reminding that these two definitions of asexuality are potentially conflicting.

However, I definitely feel erased, invalidated and even personally attacked by such a narrow interpretation which assumes that sex aversion is a pathological symptom and not "real asexuality". I just cannot accept invalidation of sex-averse people. This is my life. I accept my sex aversion, I don't want to "cure" it, I don't want to become a different person. I won't let anyone take my sex-unwillingess from me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whatsis
On 10/16/2019 at 1:56 PM, Iam9man said:

Genuine polite question: Sex-favourable asexuals sometimes feel we’re essentially being erased by certain interpretations of the “desire” definition. Do sex-averse/repulsed asexuals feel erased by the “attraction“ definition itself, or by it being strongly applied / narrowly interpreted (as you mention above)?

That’s an interesting question. I think part of an answer would be in experiences such as those described in @Laurann’s very eloquent post above, or in the article they quoted, as in many similar asexual experiences, really. While an exact meaning of the attraction definition can seem elusive, wooly and academic in terms to some of us, the desire definition actually provides a practical, comprehensible and profoundly necessary home and refuge from compulsory sexuality. I think it’s a given that there exist sex-favorable aces; also deep-gray-aces and even sexual people that can identify more often with aces than their peers, and all these experiences are of course absolutely valid and fascinating. The sexual spectrum is mile-wide and diverse. But there exists exactly one point, one corner in the model of sexual orientations for asexuality (sex-averse/repulsed and sex-favorable), one that actually and explicitly makes room for non-attraction/non-desire, and when somebody seemingly starts to chip away at, annex or appropriate that identity, well, “erased” barely begins to describe it.

 

Posts by OP all over the forum (not just in this thread; not just when provoked and "in self-defense") about how sex-avoidance is pathological per se also aren’t… helpful.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whatsis

To add: Certainly no asexual person should be made to feel erased, be they sex-favorable, sex-repulsed or anything in between. But if we put it in starkly practical terms, what’s the worst that happens when a sex-favorable ace’s experience gets erased? People will fundamentally misunderstand their reasons for enjoying sex, their thoughts and feelings around it. They will miss some of the language to accurately relate and relate to their experience of having sex. Which, I repeat, would be wrong and should never happen! But:

 

What’s the worst that happens when a sex-averse or repulsed ace’s experience gets erased? They not only get pushed out of their (a)sexual orientation, but out of the sexual orientation model altogether. Into what? Well, back to before asexuals built this concept of asexuality for themselves from the ground up, no? Into freaks and aberrations, frigids, prudes, and whatever other sorts of slurs you can think of. Or they get pushed back into pathology as described in older, unrevised versions of the DSM, complete with threats of what amounts to sexual conversion therapy.

 

As demonstrated in this very thread, unfortunately.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Laurann
6 hours ago, Iam9man said:

Genuine polite question: Sex-favourable asexuals sometimes feel we’re essentially being erased by certain interpretations of the “desire” definition. Do sex-averse/repulsed asexuals feel erased by the “attraction“ definition itself, or by it being strongly applied / narrowly interpreted (as you mention above)?

I don't feel erased by the attraction definition itself. I just think it's too vague, because the term 'sexual attraction' is often misunderstood and narrowly interpreted. If sex only means PiV, oral and anal, excluding all the rest, and sexual attraction only means "I look at someone's naked body, get turned on and think 'I want to have sex with that,'" excluding all other forms of sexual attraction, then half the world's population can identify as asexual, rendering the word effectively meaningless.

 

6 hours ago, Iam9man said:

We’re quite obviously at opposite ends of the sex-aversion spectrum, but isn’t there room for both of our experiences within asexuality?

 

My personal opinion is that either definition is fine, as long as neither is used to invalidate anyone.

I agree, and yes, there should be room for both of our experiences within asexuality. 

I'm noticing that written articles tend to erase mine, while people on AVEN tend to erase yours. On AVEN you can respond and call someone out on their shit. I can't do that with these articles, and they will reach far more people than any AVEN poster could ever hope to. Can you see how that is incredibly frustrating, and makes us feel powerless? While I don't agree with people telling those who use the attraction definition that they're not ace, I do think this frustration is why they're acting out.

 

When most articles on asexuality say that most asexuals still pursue sex to experience physical pleasure or to feel closer to their partner, you bet I feel erased.

When those same articles insist that asexuals are not afraid of sex, so 'don't worry it's not a disorder', heck yeah I feel erased. (First three articles that popped up when I googled 'asexual' all did this.)

 

When most people on ace dating websites still expect sex in a romantic relationship, I feel erased, betrayed, lost, alone, broken, hopeless. If ace places aren't for people like me, where else am I supposed to go?

If the term 'asexuality' is appropriated and changed to actively exclude people like me, to the point of implying that there is something wrong with me for never wanting sex (like OP did), then I feel like I'm back to where I started before I found the term asexuality. I can't even express how that makes me feel. Anger and indignation are definitely in the mix. 

 

 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

So the truth is I do feel threatened by people like @gray-a girl, who want to push people like me outside of the definition of asexuality and back into this:

8 minutes ago, Whatsis said:

Into freaks and aberrations, frigids, prudes, and whatever other sorts of slurs you can think of. Or they get pushed back into pathology as described in older, unrevised versions of the DSM, complete with threats of what amounts to sexual conversion therapy.

I've been called all of those things and more.

 

I haven't been through any type of conversion therapy, but my mom did want to send me to the doctor to fix it when I came out to her as ace, and I seriously considered going for over a year. Thank gosh a friend convinced me not to. But there are aces who've gotten pills to fix their 'issue.'

 

And there isn't only conversion therapy, there's also corrective rape, which I was also very close to experiencing, though I fortunately escaped it. (He was so drunk he fell asleep within seconds, though I was still locked inside his apartment. The next day he thankfully changed his mind and decided I fell into the 'innocent child that you pat on the head'- category, rather than the 'confused inexperienced babe who I will convince sex is awesome'- category, so I got away fairly okay.)

 

I need the word asexuality to include me (obviously among others, there's room for diversity), and I need it to be taken seriously, because the shit I wrote above has to stop sooner rather than later. So if someone tries to push me out of it, that means I get pushed back into pathologization and mandatory sexuality. That doesn't just make me feel erased, it makes me feel like my future, and the future of younger aces like me, is under full frontal attack.

 

 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

The hearts mean the same thing as in my previous post. React to it all you want, but don't use it to tell me what I am.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iam9man
1 hour ago, Whatsis said:

Certainly no asexual person should be made to feel erased, be they sex-favorable, sex-repulsed or anything in between. But if we put it in starkly practical terms, what’s the worst that happens when a sex-favorable ace’s experience gets erased? People will fundamentally misunderstand their reasons for enjoying sex, their thoughts and feelings around it. They will miss some of the language to accurately relate and relate to their experience of having sex.

I guess quite similar to what you shared about the worst thing that could happen when sex-averse/repulsed asexuals are invalidated (though maybe not as extreme): we’d go back to feeling fundamentally broken, like outsiders again.

 

I can’t speak for others but to me, whilst I can certainly enjoy the act of sex under the right circumstances, it still feels alien to me. As such, whilst I can easily pass as heterosexual should I feel like it, I know deep down I am different and I probably had just as big an “aha!” moment as more repulsed asexuals has when they first found AVEN. So we’re in this together, and I for one really like it when we can have civil conversations about our similarities and our differences 😊👍

 

1 hour ago, Whatsis said:

Into freaks and aberrations, frigids, prudes, and whatever other sorts of slurs you can think of. Or they get pushed back into pathology as described in older, unrevised versions of the DSM, complete with threats of what amounts to sexual conversion therapy.

 ☹️👎

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Internetlionboy

I just want to say that this thread helped me realize that that I'm a sex favorable ace actually ghsdjfh

 

What it means to me is that I like having sex I just don't feel sexual attraction. Also if my bf asked me if we could have sex, then I wouldn't turn it down because I don't mind it at all 😛

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gray-a girl
8 hours ago, Laurann said:

@gray-a girl

Okay, we're going to try this again. Please actually listen to what I have to say this time. When you want to reply to something I said, quote the thing I said, so that you don't twist my words. Thank you.

 

I am not interested in telling you whether or not you are asexual. I do believe sex-favorable asexuality is a thing. I don't have a problem with people using the attraction based definition, as long as they don't think sexual attraction has to be a physical attraction. If that is what you want to talk about, yell at someone else.

What I am interested in, is discussing why saying that sex-repulsed asexuals have a problem they need to fix is wrong and incredibly harmful.

 

In this post I am making myself vulnerable. I am opening myself up, so that you understand where I am coming from. It is an invitation for you to try and put yourself in my shoes, and to understand. It is not an invitation for criticism. If you at any point start using what I wrote in between the two ❤️ emoji lines to tell me what I am and what I am not, whether or not I have a mental disorder, what my level of confidence is, or what I should do with my life, as you have done to others in this thread, consider yourself blocked and ignored. That isn't a measure I've ever had to take on AVEN before, so feel special.

 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

 

I am one of the people who is extremely sex-repulsed, and yes, I am terrified. In certain cases, yes, there is shortness of breath, heart palpitations, feeling like I'm going to vomit, getting lightheaded, in short: panic. However, it is not sex itself that I am so afraid of. This article by the author of 'the invisible orientation' is what helped me realize that, please read it:

  Reveal hidden contents

https://swankivy.tumblr.com/post/137517271475/fear-of-sex

 

Fear of Sex

As an asexual person who does not desire sex and actively does not want to have sex, and plans to never have sex, I am of course frequently asked The Question:

 

“Well are you AFRAID of sex?”

 

It’s kind of a good question, I guess, but at the same time, the following is generally expressed or implied:

 

“… Because if you’re AFRAID of sex, that means you have a PROBLEM.”

 

And that’s where I disagree.

 

Here’s the thing. I think I’d be pretty neutral about sex if the world wasn’t the way it is. It probably would have been something I’d have been more curious about, more willing to try “openly,” less weirded out about, and just more generally indifferent to.

 

But the world IS the way it is.

 

I live in a world that dumps some crushing value judgments on me about whether, why, and with whom I have sex. About what it means if I do, and if I don’t. About what it says to others about myself, about what I clearly must feel toward someone else if I consent to it or withhold it, about what kind of person I must be depending on what sex I have or don’t have.

 

I live in a world that aggressively pushes its values about sex onto me, and sometimes those values are contradictory (e.g., I’m supposed to save it for the one I love if I’m a “good girl,” but being a “good girl” means I’m obsessed with purity and I need to get over myself, and also must be suffering and denying myself pleasure, etc.). As an able-bodied non-religious cis white woman in the West, I have a different set of expectations about sex than people of different genders, ability palettes, races, orientations, religious upbringings, and national origins, and no one at any intersection is free of expectations about how they should have sex. I know how mine have affected me. And I know that “fearing sex” isn’t just about fearing the sex act.

 

I am not attracted to anyone sexually. I actively do not want to do sex with any partners. And the fact that this upsets so many people as they insist I need to change myself to view sex as beautiful and necessary is incredibly disturbing. That attitude right there does a LOT to turn sex into a thing I might have otherwise been sorta “meh” about into a thing I think I would fear or hate. Because I am being told that my lack of attraction and desire is unacceptable, and that it is very very important that I either reject/silence myself to experience it or just endure it for other people’s sake and shut up about it. I will never know how I would look at sex if this world really did give me a “take it or leave it” choice about it. Not engaging is considered an act of aggression toward men who want me, or an act of self-hate and self-denial, or a political statement, or a sign of unthinkable selfishness. (You know, because one of my functions is SUPPOSED to be accommodating those who desire my body.)

 

I think I am afraid. Because there is no decoupling sex from what has always surrounded it for me. I do a pretty damn good job analyzing it and separating those things from my actual experience, and in those instances where I can focus on it, I just get “meh.” “Meh, no I would not want that person to lie on top of me and thrust. No I would not want to trust that person with my body in that situation. No I don’t want my clothes off around that person and I don’t want their hands on me. No I don’t want them in my bed. No I don’t want them to look at me like that. Meh, meh, meh.” It’s a shrug. A disinterest. A lack of attraction. A non-issue.

 

But there is no denying that all the baggage surrounding what I am EXPECTED to value about sex turns into a firestorm of hatred and harassment when I don’t, and I am expected to calmly accept that my fear of that package describes a personal failure of mine. If I’m afraid of the ugly picture people have painted of sex through their DEMAND that I enjoy it in a prescribed way on other people’s terms, then that’s ammunition to assign me a disorder that I should want to cure. Notice I said “ammunition.” Because they are wielding it like a weapon, this shriek of “YOU NEED ~HELP~”–not because they want me to be helped, but because they want me to accept that how I am is synonymous with being wounded.

 

You can’t stand there with the weapon, shooting me with it and then threatening me with it again, and then ask me to accept that I have a pathological fear of bullets caused by something internally wrong with me.

 

I’m afraid of the bullets. I’m afraid of the guns. I’m afraid of the people who scream while wielding them. And I don’t think I’m to blame for assuming, in this environment, that I would not like being shot.

 

If someone says they’re afraid of sex, it’s not your job to say they’re not really asexual and their fear is a signal of pathology that must be treated. I think it’s a pretty rational response to the way people treat disinterest (or, relatedly, feelings about “healthy” sex after the only contact they’ve had has been violent or unpleasant). If you push them and continue to build up this cloud of violence around the need to accept sex, you make it much worse than it ever could have been on its own. Someone who’s afraid of sex isn’t yours to mock and invalidate and boot from the club of sex-favorable and sex-indifferent asexual people. Being neutral toward or accepting toward sex are NOT the only acceptable ways for an asexual person to live an authentic life. I venture to say MOST people would have some gradation of fear toward having sex with those who aggressively desire them and toward whom they have no matching desire, but they get “excused” if there is a subset of the population they’ll consent to sex with. Those of us who feel that way toward all sex are so frequently put in a category of “broken” that we often start to believe it.

 

And that feeds into the fear too.

 

It’s not just an act. It’s not always done out of love. It’s not a neutral activity for everyone. It’s not isolated from all its social, interpersonal, and cultural baggage, ever. And if someone says they’re afraid of sex, it is not anyone’s job to shake them by the shoulders and demand to know why, or set about fixing this fear, or making them “admit” that this is evidence of dysfunction as a fully alive person. If they want to talk about it, or change it, or risk sex with someone despite their fear, that’s about THEM. It’s not for anyone to decide they should not have this fear or should not deal with this fear by avoiding the cause.

 

I’m a lot more afraid of the HATRED that rolls out of people when I say I don’t want sex than I ever was of having it.

 

When I think about having sex with a woman, the crushing panic doesn't set in. It's just a 'Meh, no thanks, can you stop that please?' and then, in my imagination, they stop, and we're all good. When I think about having sex with a man, I don't trust that they will stop and I panic. I can't push my brain in that direction for too long. It doesn't want to go there. It's too awful. (No I am not simply a lesbian, I have considered that, thank you for not assuming you know more about my life from reading a couple of posts than I do living it. Also, any sex that doesn't involve me doesn't give me any type of panic reaction, fyi.)

 

That difference is due to society being the way it is (people who insist that I will/must please a man someday, media that idealizes men who pursue women and don’t take no for an answer and idealizes women as sex objects, dudes who made rape jokes about me, dudes who grabbed my privates on the street, dudes whistling, staring, making sexual gestures at me, dudes who don't stop touching you when you tell them to, dudes who stop but just try the same thing again 5 minutes later, dudes who take an arm when you offer them a finger.)

So yeah, I think my repulsion towards sex may not be inborn. I think I would be able to get to the ‘meh, no thanks’ reaction with men as well if the world wasn’t the way it is. But it is.


I remember vividly I used to cry myself to sleep back when I was a little nine year old, because people told me I was pretty, and media has always been clear about what the role of a pretty woman was. I would have to sleep with a man when I grew up, and my opinion on the matter did not matter. I was so deeply convinced of that. And of course that was dumb kid logic, but still, it came from somewhere. It wasn’t only the media that convinced me of this, it was also the people (like my parents) who, when I told them that I didn’t want to ever have sex because ‘ew, gross’, told me that I’d change my mind, and when I said I wouldn’t, told me I was wrong. People still tell me I’ll change my mind. They tell me I will have sex with a man someday. And each time they do, it feels like they are taking away my right to choose. My no is continuously swept under the rug as if it had never been uttered. Other people are choosing for me. If nobody listens to me when I say no, is my yes still mine to give? Do I have a choice at all? Can I still consent? My ability to give my consent has been taken away from me so many times, that I cannot trust I will be listened to anymore. And so I cannot imagine myself consenting to having sex with a man. Asking me to imagine myself in a sexual situation with a man, is asking me to imagine my own rape. Of course that is a situation that will induce panic.

 

An extreme fear is a disorder when it is irrational. My fear in response to how I've been treated is completely rational to me. Think of a straight guy getting the same messages I've received about my body from the media, and the same treatment I've received from men. How would he fare when told that he just needed to get over his lifelong experience-induced fear of sex with men and just have sex with them already? He wouldn't want to force them into celibacy now would he? 

 

(Please don’t take this as me saying I was traumatized into being asexual. I may have been traumatized into being sex-repulsed, maybe, but if that hadn’t happened, I’d just be a sex-indifferent asexual.)

 

When you tell me that my sex-repulsion is curable, and that I should try to desensitize myself to it, because I should be having sex and enjoying it, you are doing that same thing to me. You are pushing me in the direction of panic again. 

And on top of that, when you say that the way to be a real asexual is to have sex and enjoy it, just without experiencing sexual attraction, you are taking away what I need most from the word asexuality; the ability to say "No, I never want to have sex, and you should take my word for it. It's not just 'not right now', it's not just 'not with this person', it's 'never,' period." Me claiming the term asexual is essentially me screaming that no matter what society says, I will not change my mind, and please please please please please finally take me seriously on that. Please stop trying to make me change my mind. 

 

I stopped replying on here for a couple of days because of this. I had trouble sleeping. When it comes from someone within the community, it hits harder than when it comes from some random ignorant person. AVEN is the last place where I should be defending my right not to have sex, and not to be considered mentally ill for that.

 

Please don't ever tell anyone that they need to cure their sex-repulsion again. You are contributing to their repulsion when you do that, because you are reinforcing the view that sexuality is mandatory and valuable to everyone. I would not be repulsed if people treated sex like a take it or leave it kind of thing.

 

If I was to desensitize myself, who would I be doing that for? It's not for me. I want no part in any of this. I would be going through a lot of pain just so that I could be considered normal in society's eyes, and to please potential partners, in other words: for other people. If any partner of mine wanted me to go through that for them, they would not have my best interests at heart.

 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

You say this as if denying a partner sex is some sort of crime, again, reinforcing that sex is mandatory. If a sexual person agrees to be the partner of an asexual  person, then that is a choice they make. The asexual partner isn't forcing anything on them. (and no, I don't plan on being a sexual person's partner anytime soon, so rest assured, I won't be committing that 'crime.')

 

Saying that you respect people's identities, that you are not invalidating any specific person but a whole group of them (so it doesn't count), that you only do it as some sort of revenge (so it doesn't count), and that it's people's own choice whether they deal with their 'mental disorder' (because if they want to keep being weaklings who are lying to themselves, that's their problem, I'm only going to be shouting my judgement of them over multiple threads on this forum, so I clearly don't care); those things are completely hollow when you look at the full context of the rest of your posts. Yes you have been invalidating people, yes you are hurting people, and no this is not what respect looks like.

 

Same goes for your surface level support of people with mental health issues. Of course people with mental health issues aren't lesser than neurotypical people, and nobody was saying that they were. But telling people 'You have a disorder' is not a kind or respectful thing to say to someone who says they don't, especially when you are wielding it as a weapon in order to dismiss the points they are making. Don't dictate people's experiences, especially since all you know about them is a couple of paragraphs they wrote on a forum. A psychologist with a license to diagnose people would never ever diagnose people they haven't met, or without asking people why they feel the way they feel, yet that is what you are doing. I've studied psychology quite a bit too, but I'd never claim I was able to diagnose a whole demographic of people with anxiety, because that is an absurd, realistically impossible and profoundly unethical thing to do, as anyone with such a license would know. 

 

I am sorry my comments have hurt you, you have been very respectful to me in your post so I wish that you had not felt hurt by it.
I feel like I have been invalidated so many times on this website, and I have tried to explain myself (like you have), yet still been invalidated, that I have just become extremely angry in general. Yes, I have opinions about certain things, but I would have kept them to myself if I was not invalidated so many times, despite me explaining it so much. So, I talked about my beliefs which, invalidated you, and it never should have. What I believe about it is irrelevant, everyone still deserves respect, and everyones label of asexuality should be respected, and it was only because of how angry I have felt due to being invalidated so many times, that I lashed out. I have tried to explain my position about why I'm sex favorable and still asexual on here in the way you described your desire to never have sex and how asexuality gives you permission for that. However, the people who invalidated me did not care and completely ignored me.

I think that part of the problem we are having is that there are essentially two definitions going for asexuality, and many of us only meet one definition (rather than both). There is a) a lack of sexual attraction for people and b) a desire to never have sex/ or no desire to have sex.

 

 So, for example, I suspect people in your position, don't want asexuality to mean "its ok for some of us to have sex" because, then how can you use the word to tell people "no and never" to sex when some of us have it? But for those of us like me, who have no other word to describe the lack of sexual attraction we experience and the problems it has caused, we need a word to mean that. The word asexuality makes sense (homo- sexual attraction to the same sex, bi, sexual attraction to both, and a- sexually attraction to neither). And, I feel like my relationships will go better if people understand I am asexual in that I lack attraction to people. They won't expect things of me that they would expect of a sexual person. They won't expect me to react like a sexual person does, because I don't. I may have sex with them, but even THAT won't happen like it does with a sexual person. The label of asexuality gives me that.

I think perhaps, a solution to this whole mess, might be do sub-divide asexuality again, into two types. One that is not sexually attracted to people, but may or may not be interested in sex, and one that is not interested in sex, but may or may not be sexually attracted to people. I think if we did something like that, then there would be space for everyone to be under the asexuality umbrella without anyone else saying "no you are not asexual". In a sense, thats what I think sex repulsed and sex favorable asexuality is supposed to mean, but a lot of people get really rigid about their half of the definition.

I really do tell all sexual people that I meet, that sex favorable asexuality is rare. I think this is important because there are people who do not want to have sex, or who are indifferent to have sex, and my existence shouldn't put pressure on other asexuals to have it. So I do feel like it is the responsibility of all sex favorable asexuals to explain how rare we are, and if said sexual person is to meet another asexual, they shouldn't be expecting them to be sex favorable. 

I think one of the points in this post (or was it another) is that people who are sex repulsed, or fear sex, are probably going to feel like you do: asexuality gives them permission to never have sex and it gives them permission to never have people expect sex of them. So if asexuality also includes people who do want sex, but lack attraction to people instead, sex repulsed asexuals might feel horrible because they are afraid that sexuals will start wanting them to have sex again even with the asexual label. (So I do feel like, most likely, the ones invalidating me are most likely to be sex repulsed for this reason. Thank you for not being one of those people who invalidates me.) But again, I don't think it has to be that asexuality will lose it's "no to sex" meaning, if we are very clear about educating people that sex favorable asexuals are rare. I think if people are properly educated, they will get it and stop pressuring people like you. When we talk to sexuals about asexuality, maybe we all need to have more of a conversation about the sex spectrum, from sex-repulsed, to indifferent, to sex favorable.

 

I am also not completely alien to your not wanting sex thing, either. While I have never experienced a fear of sex, there was a time when I did not want sex at all, with anyone. (well, not Piv. And I was never fond of giving oral to anyone either). But thats because for me, sex can hurt pretty easily. If you had caught me maybe 6 years ago, I would be saying no to sex all the time too. But I have since had it where it didn't hurt, so I'd be interested in trying it again. Also, I like sexual activity... (playing with toys, etc). But I do understand some of the pressure people get to have sex, when you do not want it. I don't think I've had quite the negative reaction that you've had towards people asking me to have sex (I've never cried about it) but I do know that people can be pretty insistent. I suspect another part of the problem is that sexuals have trouble understanding why someone wouldn't want sex, because its such a big part of their life.

 

Anyway, I do think there is room for everyone who needs it to use the asexuality label. I just think, we need to not invalidate each other, and for those of you who think that I'm not asexual because I don't meet definition b) and only definition a), then you need to keep that to yourself. There are, after all, two definitions of asexuality going. I think there is room for both to exist. If I had not been invalidated so many times, I never would have gotten so angry and lashed out in the first place. But, me getting angry and hitting innocent bystanders (you) is not good either.

I also want to add, that the invalidation sex favorable asexuals have felt, has gotten so bad on AVEN, that most of us have left. Which means, we have no place to be. That's not right either. The people who remain (like me) feel like we have to fight for our right to exist here. You are not part of the problem and I'm sorry I hurt you in regards to this.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Laurann
16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I am sorry my comments have hurt you, you have been very respectful to me in your post so I wish that you had not felt hurt by it.

Thank you for your apology. I appreciate it. I wish you would not have felt the need to hurt others who have been invalidating you, because I don't believe in 'an eye for an eye,' and I don't consider anger a valid reason to intentionally hurt people, but you've promised to be more careful in the future, so I accept your apology.:) 

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I suspect people in your position, don't want asexuality to mean "its ok for some of us to have sex" because, then how can you use the word to tell people "no and never" to sex when some of us have it?

Well, no actually. I don't have a problem with aces who have and even enjoy sex. I just want sexuality in its entirety to be optional rather than mandatory. Us aces have to stand united in not pathologizing a total lack of interest in sex/ a total denial to engage in sex. I want sexual people/society to understand that sex just is not valuable to everyone.

That doesn't mean that all aces have to have a total lack of interest, never engage in it and not find any value in sex, but it does mean that when someone says that's the case for them, you'll (you =  sexual people/society in general/ you personally @gray-a girl) need to take their word for it that they know themselves best, and not impose your own narrative on their life and increase the pressures on them to be sexual/normal. It's not your existence I have a problem with, but you saying that what I am is something pathological that needs to be fixed, that, that I do have a problem with.

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I really do tell all sexual people that I meet, that sex favorable asexuality is rare. I think this is important because there are people who do not want to have sex, or who are indifferent to have sex, and my existence shouldn't put pressure on other asexuals to have it.

Thank you for that. I want you to know that whenever I put on my asexuality explanation spiel, I make sure to always include sex-favorable asexuals in there. I tend to explain sex-favorable asexuality with the cake analogy I mentioned in an earlier post, and it's had great success so far. People suddenly understand why sex-favorable asexuality can be a thing, even if they were reluctant to accept it was a thing before. Your initial post didn't seem to fit within my cake analogy, so I felt that it maybe wasn't sufficient. That is why I was asking you to explain your experiences further. If I can understand your experiences, I can explain them to others, and fight for you.

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I think perhaps, a solution to this whole mess, might be do sub-divide asexuality again, into two types. One that is not sexually attracted to people, but may or may not be interested in sex, and one that is not interested in sex, but may or may not be sexually attracted to people.

These terms do already exist. People who experience desire for sex, but no sexual attraction, have coined the term 'cupiosexual' for themselves. People who experience sexual attraction, but no desire to act on it, have the terms lithsexual (outdated) and akoisexual.

I don't experience either of these two things, so I'd fit both definitions of asexuality, and I wouldn't fit within cupiosexuality or akoisexuality, so that would mean having only those two terms wouldn't be enough, you'd need a third 'both' option, which I guess could be just 'asexual' with no spectrum qualifiers.

 

Another reason I was asking you some probing questions was because I was trying to figure out if you would fit within the cupiosexual label. If you'd fit that, I wouldn't have to adjust my standard asexuality explanation story, but just say 'some people who would technically fit the cupiosexual label prefer to identify as sex-favorable asexual' and then all I'd have to do is figure out why you prefer sex-favorable asexuality over cupiosexuality, and add that in too. 

 

I initially clicked this thread in order to challenge the way I tend to describe sex-favorable asexuality and see if it was accurate enough. I wanted to understand sex-favorable asexuality better and you said you wanted to explain.

But I just legitimately had trouble understanding your post, because you said things like 'sex-favorable aces experience sexual desire' (and I'm like 'cupiosexual tho?'), and then 'but that's not true, because I don't experience sexual desire and I'm a sex-favorable ace' (and I'm like, okay, the plot thickens), and then you start describing things you experience which at first glance I would have probably classified as sexual desire, so at that point I wanted to know whether you experienced it or not.

But before I could know that, I had to figure out if maybe you just had a very narrow definition of sex (only PiV) and figure out what you meant with 'sexual activities', because a non-standard definition of 'sex' would change the meaning of 'experiences desire for sex'.

My second post was only the first batch of questions. 

The second batch would have depended on your answers, but would probably have included:

  • 'do you identify with cupiosexuality? If not, why not?'
  • 'why do you think stuff with fingers and toys isn't sex?'
  • 'do you identify as asexual, ace-spectrum, or both?'
  • 'would you have a problem with people who'd call you cupiosexual, and then say that that's ace-spec, rather than full ace? If so, why?'

So I don't feel we've gotten very far from where we started yet. There's been a lot of escalation and not much progress in how much we understand each other. I mean:

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

sexual activity... (playing with toys, etc)

Your last post is the first time on this thread where you clearly say what the term 'sexual activity' means to you, it was the first question asked, we're on page four of this thread, and the thread's entire purpose was to explain your experiences!

 

I still want to know how you relate to the cake analogy.

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I don't think it has to be that asexuality will lose it's "no to sex" meaning, if we are very clear about educating people that sex favorable asexuals are rare. I think if people are properly educated, they will get it and stop pressuring people like you. When we talk to sexuals about asexuality, maybe we all need to have more of a conversation about the sex spectrum, from sex-repulsed, to indifferent, to sex favorable.

Completely agreed, and that's what I'm doing :) 

 

16 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I also want to add, that the invalidation sex favorable asexuals have felt, has gotten so bad on AVEN, that most of us have left. Which means, we have no place to be. That's not right either. The people who remain (like me) feel like we have to fight for our right to exist here.

Agreed again. Nobody should be bullied off the platform. I do think you should take 'fighting' a bit less literally. When I say 'fight for' I mean that I'm going to explain my perspective as calmly and clearly as possible, so I can change a maximum number of people's minds for the better. Yelling and throwing ad-homs doesn't work.

I think you must have noticed that with every inflammatory, intentionally hurtful statement you made, the pushback and invalidation you received increased. Lashing out escalates a situation. It doesn't solve anything. De-escalation tends to be more effective, if less cathartic, than escalation. That goes for life in general, but it especially goes for the internet, where you can hide behind a screen and it's easy to forget that you're talking to actual human beings. (that's not just to you @gray-a girl, I think a lot of people could stand to be a little more patient and ask more questions instead of making assumptions about others.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
daveb

Great post, @Laurann!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
daveb

It's good when we can take a step back, listen to each, not make judgments, and respect each other's experiences. :) 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gray-a girl
6 hours ago, Laurann said:

Thank you for your apology. I appreciate it. I wish you would not have felt the need to hurt others who have been invalidating you, because I don't believe in 'an eye for an eye,' and I don't consider anger a valid reason to intentionally hurt people, but you've promised to be more careful in the future, so I accept your apology.:) 

 

Well, no actually. I don't have a problem with aces who have and even enjoy sex. I just want sexuality in its entirety to be optional rather than mandatory. Us aces have to stand united in not pathologizing a total lack of interest in sex/ a total denial to engage in sex. I want sexual people/society to understand that sex just is not valuable to everyone.

That doesn't mean that all aces have to have a total lack of interest, never engage in it and not find any value in sex, but it does mean that when someone says that's the case for them, you'll (you =  sexual people/society in general/ you personally @gray-a girl) need to take their word for it that they know themselves best, and not impose your own narrative on their life and increase the pressures on them to be sexual/normal. It's not your existence I have a problem with, but you saying that what I am is something pathological that needs to be fixed, that, that I do have a problem with.

 

Thank you for that. I want you to know that whenever I put on my asexuality explanation spiel, I make sure to always include sex-favorable asexuals in there. I tend to explain sex-favorable asexuality with the cake analogy I mentioned in an earlier post, and it's had great success so far. People suddenly understand why sex-favorable asexuality can be a thing, even if they were reluctant to accept it was a thing before. Your initial post didn't seem to fit within my cake analogy, so I felt that it maybe wasn't sufficient. That is why I was asking you to explain your experiences further. If I can understand your experiences, I can explain them to others, and fight for you.

 

These terms do already exist. People who experience desire for sex, but no sexual attraction, have coined the term 'cupiosexual' for themselves. People who experience sexual attraction, but no desire to act on it, have the terms lithsexual (outdated) and akoisexual.

I don't experience either of these two things, so I'd fit both definitions of asexuality, and I wouldn't fit within cupiosexuality or akoisexuality, so that would mean having only those two terms wouldn't be enough, you'd need a third 'both' option, which I guess could be just 'asexual' with no spectrum qualifiers.

 

Another reason I was asking you some probing questions was because I was trying to figure out if you would fit within the cupiosexual label. If you'd fit that, I wouldn't have to adjust my standard asexuality explanation story, but just say 'some people who would technically fit the cupiosexual label prefer to identify as sex-favorable asexual' and then all I'd have to do is figure out why you prefer sex-favorable asexuality over cupiosexuality, and add that in too. 

 

I initially clicked this thread in order to challenge the way I tend to describe sex-favorable asexuality and see if it was accurate enough. I wanted to understand sex-favorable asexuality better and you said you wanted to explain.

But I just legitimately had trouble understanding your post, because you said things like 'sex-favorable aces experience sexual desire' (and I'm like 'cupiosexual tho?'), and then 'but that's not true, because I don't experience sexual desire and I'm a sex-favorable ace' (and I'm like, okay, the plot thickens), and then you start describing things you experience which at first glance I would have probably classified as sexual desire, so at that point I wanted to know whether you experienced it or not.

But before I could know that, I had to figure out if maybe you just had a very narrow definition of sex (only PiV) and figure out what you meant with 'sexual activities', because a non-standard definition of 'sex' would change the meaning of 'experiences desire for sex'.

My second post was only the first batch of questions. 

The second batch would have depended on your answers, but would probably have included:

  • 'do you identify with cupiosexuality? If not, why not?'
  • 'why do you think blabla isn't sex?'
  • 'do you identify as asexual, ace-spectrum, or both?'
  • 'would you have a problem with people who'd call you cupiosexual, and then say that that's ace-spec, rather than full ace? If so, why?'

So I don't feel we've gotten very far from where we started yet. There's been a lot of escalation and not much progress in how much we understand each other. I mean:

 

Your last post is the first time on this thread where you clearly say what the term 'sexual activity' means to you, it was the first question asked, we're on page four of this thread, and the thread's entire purpose was to explain your experiences!

 

I still want to know how you relate to the cake analogy.

 

Completely agreed, and that's what I'm doing :) 

 

Agreed again. Nobody should be bullied off the platform. I do think you should take 'fighting' a bit less literally. When I say 'fight for' I mean that I'm going to explain my perspective as calmly and clearly as possible, so I can change a maximum number of people's minds for the better. Yelling and throwing ad-homs doesn't work.

I think you must have noticed that with every inflammatory, intentionally hurtful statement you made, the pushback and invalidation you received increased. Lashing out escalates a situation. It doesn't solve anything. De-escalation tends to be more effective, if less cathartic, than escalation. That goes for life in general, but it especially goes for the internet, where you can hide behind a screen and it's easy to forget that you're talking to actual human beings. (that's not just to you @gray-a girl, I think a lot of people could stand to be a little more patient and ask more questions instead of making assumptions about others.)

1. Do I identify as cupiosexual? Hmmm, I would say that I have been on and off confused about the definition of that one. At pone point, I was thinking yes, but then someone else confused me about the meaning of it and someone else said that wasn't asexual. But, given your definition I would say that that is accurate.

2. Not sure what balbla is, but I consider sex to be one of the following: PiV sex, any form of oral sex, and the way gay guys have sex... not sure of the nice acronym for that.... PiA? I do not consider someone fingering you, or using a toy on you (even if it is another person) to be sex. And those last two, partiularly toys, in my opinion, are some of the ways I like to orgasm most. (But I like other people to control the toys.  The lack of control its one of my kinks). I'm open to receiving oral as well, but do not like giving it.

3. I identify as both for a few reasons. First, I see "asexuality" as the umbrella term for all the different asexualities that have some variation of, not attracted to people and/or not wanting sex. I know that not everyone sees it this way, but its how I see it. So to me, cupiosexual is a type of asexual. Then there are straight up asexuals too, that don't have a type, of course. But to me asexuality is the umbrella term. The other reason is that, its a lot easier to talk to sexuals about being asexual than cupiosexual, gray-a, etc, and talking to other sexuals is the main context in which I need to use it. Because when I'm dating, my partner needs to know I fall on the asexuality spectrum so they don't expect me to react in the way that other sexuals do. It's easier to say "sex favorable asexual" then have to use a whole new term and explain its meaning. I think it would be too much for some sexuals. Third, asexual, in its literaly meaning, a, not, sexual...when we say bisexual we are not talking about people who are only interested in having sex with both genders, rather it is described as someone who is attracted to both genders. Same with "homosexuality" or "gay". Its not talked about in terms of having the sex, but who you are attracted to. It's the "who you are attracted to" rather than the behavior, when its used in bisexual or homosexual. So to me, asexuality just continues that meaning...  "a" as in not, sexually attracted to people. (Which, that doesn't mean we can't also have it mean not wanting sex, btw... just to add). But when I am in ace communities, I will probably qualify my asexuality and say that, type wise, I could say I'm cupiosexual....and if you look at my whole life, I would also be gray-a because I've experienced sexual attraction a small number of times, I can count on one hand basically and I'm 35. But, I haven't experienced sexual attraction in over ten years, so using the term asexuality is more accurate for how I experience things right now. And actually of those times I am counting as an attraction to another person, I may have at the time confused a kink the person was doing for the person themselves. I also was in, an unusual state of mind, (not the way I typically am and not in a healthy way) when two of the "attractions" happened. I dunno, they were unusual circumstances.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Laurann
3 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Not sure what balbla is

Haha I just forgot to edit in 'sex with sex toys and sex with fingers'. It wasn't supposed to stay 'blabla' but I hit 'submit reply' too early. I realized my mistake maybe half an hour later and edited it in, but I must have been too late already :) 

3 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I do not consider someone fingering you, or using a toy on you (even if it is another person) to be sex.

Yeah, so why is that? I think it's unusual to exclude those from the definition of sex, so I'd like to know the reasoning behind it :) 

 

3 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I identify as both for a few reasons. First, I see "asexuality" as the umbrella term for all the different asexualities that have some variation of, not attracted to people and/or not wanting sex. I know that not everyone sees it this way, but its how I see it. So to me, cupiosexual is a type of asexual. Then there are straight up asexuals too, that don't have a type, of course. But to me asexuality is the umbrella term. The other reason is that, its a lot easier to talk to sexuals about being asexual than cupiosexual, gray-a, etc, and talking to other sexuals is the main context in which I need to use it. Because when I'm dating, my partner needs to know I fall on the asexuality spectrum so they don't expect me to react in the way that other sexuals do. It's easier to say "sex favorable asexual" then have to use a whole new term and explain its meaning. I think it would be too much for some sexuals.

This makes a lot of sense, thanks for explaining 

 

3 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

when we say bisexual we are not talking about people who are only interested in having sex with both genders, rather it is described as someone who is attracted to both genders.

In English that is definitely true. I would be wary of language bias here, because there are languages where their equivalent for 'attraction' isn't really used, and 'wanting to have sex' sounds more natural.

In my native language for example, the translation for attraction 'aantrekkingskracht' sounds incredibly awkward and clumsy. Nobody would use that to define an orientation. They would define it with words for wants and desires. Though through influence from the English language, that is starting to change.

 

But yeah, I feel like I understand you a lot better now, so yay for that :) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dodoa
8 hours ago, Laurann said:

In English that is definitely true. I would be wary of language bias here, because there are languages where their equivalent for 'attraction' isn't really used, and 'wanting to have sex' sounds more natural.

In my native language for example, the translation for attraction 'aantrekkingskracht' sounds incredibly awkward and clumsy. Nobody would use that to define an orientation. They would define it with words for wants and desires. Though through influence from the English language, that is starting to change.

Yes, it's similar in German. Outside of people trying to translate stuff about asexuality, Anziehung, the German word for attraction is only really used for magnets and gravity and atoms and the like. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl

And in Polish the word for "attraction" is the same as the word for "train": "pociąg". From the verb "ciągnąć", or "pull". A train engine pulls the cars, attraction is supposed to be like a "pull" towards someone. This in turn leads to some untranslatable puns such as "Sexual attraction left without me". ;)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gray-a girl

Well anyway, regardless of language stuff, I know that "attraction" is how other LGBT people define orientation, so to me asexuality deals with attraction. (Of course no sex is also another meaning).

 

And actually I was thinking about what i said earlier, and what Lauren said, and I don't think there are any straight up asexuals after all. I can't remember the name, but Lauren said there is a name for someone who experiences attraction but no desire to have sex. So, really, every type of asexual can be sub-divided. I guess in Laurens case she would be subdivided into both the cupiosexual and the...other type I don't remember the name. (But both). I think she said she feels no attraction and no desire to have sex, so thats what I am basing that on. But point is, I don't think any type of asexual cannot be furthur subdivided.

 

On to the other issue...Why do I consider fingers and toys not sex? Well mostly, for a few reasons. First, they can be done by oneself. Sure if someone else fingers you its their fingers, but really theres not much difference between one persons fingers and your own. Only difference is you aren't controlling them. And toys, same thing. They are independent of a person.

Sex, originally, meant just PiV, but when people began to become more aware of other orientations, especially ones that couldn't have sex that way (gay people mostly) then oral sexual activity and other forms of activity (PiA) that they can do, are included. So thats the main reason, I consider those to be sex and fingering and toys not.

I also don't think calling playing with a sex toy, even if another person is holding it, or fingering, is that different from doing it yourself other than not being in control of whats going on. And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume). I've actually never heard of playing with toys, especially, as ever referred to as sex. Fingering, still, isn't really sex to me and I don't think it is for most people. I only think its included as sex, here, because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather), so its lumped together with the other stuff.

 

Anyway, thats speculation, but calling playing with toys or fingering...calling that sex is something I've never heard of outside of AVEN. The other things? Yes people will refer to that as sex (oral, Piv, and PiA). So I guess, more than any of my other reasons, it's general usage as I've seen it used, off the internet, is why I am defining things the way I am.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dodoa
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume). I've actually never heard of playing with toys, especially, as ever referred to as sex. Fingering, still, isn't really sex to me and I don't think it is for most people. I only think its included as sex, here, because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather), so its lumped together with the other stuff.

I have to disagree there and I actually talked to a whole group of allosexuals about this last new years. Context, we were playing a game somewhat similar to Never Have I Ever and quite a few of the questions dealt with situations people had sex in, so being the bunch of nerds me and my friends are, we decided we needed a clear cut definition of sex and the one everyone agreed to in the end was "any partnered activity with the goal of making at least one person orgasm". And the most heated discussion was around whether an orgasm happening was a requirement and not at all what kinds of contact were required. I'm not saying that's how all allos define it but that was a group of about 20 people and none of them even suggested that fingers and toys didn't count. 

And at least for me it's not about orgasming at all. It's about the partnered aspect. I identify (if I have to) as sex indifferent, though that might change if I ever actually (try to) have sex since a few experiences I've had over the last few years made me think that while I'm indifferent in theory I might be more repulsed than I originally thought in practice. But I do have a libido (mostly ruled by my hormonal cycle) and I masturbate every now and then and it feels good, but I simply have zero desire to involve someone else in that.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl
1 hour ago, gray-a girl said:

I only think its included as sex, here, because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather), so its lumped together with the other stuff.

Huh? No, libido and attitudes towards having sex are two different things. I'm very sex-averse and I enjoy orgasms (or - even more - the phase leading right up to an orgasm, because my orgasms are usually quite disappointing). Just please no partners. ;)

1 hour ago, gray-a girl said:

Why do I consider fingers and toys not sex? Well mostly, for a few reasons. First, they can be done by oneself. Sure if someone else fingers you its their fingers, but really theres not much difference between one persons fingers and your own. Only difference is you aren't controlling them. And toys, same thing. They are independent of a person.

(...)
I also don't think calling playing with a sex toy, even if another person is holding it, or fingering, is that different from doing it yourself other than not being in control of whats going on.

Yes, but for me this is the issue: there is a substantial difference between doing something by oneself and with a partner. Sure, sensations can probably be very similar. But sensations from most kinds of partnered sex can be simulated through different techniques, toys etc. Still the fact remains that exactly the presence of a partner is what sets sex away from self-pleasuring. It's not the kind of sensations which matters, it's the fact that with a partner's presence it becomes a different kind of activity.

Sure, one can argue about where do we draw the line - for example, is partnered sexual activity without physical contact ("virtual sex", putting on a show for a partner...) still "sex" or another kind of sexual activity?

One thing I at least remain sure about is that anything sexual involving a partner is personally unacceptable for me.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
7 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Well anyway, regardless of language stuff, I know that "attraction" is how other LGBT people define orientation, so to me asexuality deals with attraction.

But whenever they say 'attraction' in the context of sexual orientation, they mean 'who you desire to have sex with'. When someone says "I'm a gay man" he does not mean "I like the way men look but I only want sex with women, I have no interest at all in having sex with men". If he did say that, the vast majority of the LGBT community would say he's not gay at all, he's straight (they wouldn't really even concede that he's bi if he doesn't want sex with men). So it really does come down to the act of partnered sex and who you want that with. Without the desire to connect on a sexual level, then it's not considered 'sexual orientation' (except for asexuality, which is the orientation where you don't want partnered sexual intimacy with anyone).

 

7 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

On to the other issue...Why do I consider fingers and toys not sex? Well mostly, for a few reasons. First, they can be done by oneself. Sure if someone else fingers you its their fingers, but really theres not much difference between one persons fingers and your own. Only difference is you aren't controlling them. And toys, same thing. They are independent of a person.

Lesbian sex is still 100% valid as sex though, even if they only use fingers and toys on each other. What makes something 'sex' isn't the methods you use, but the act of partnered intimacy leading to sexual stimulation and/or orgasm. It doesn't matter what you actually use to get there though. 

 

7 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Sex, originally, meant just PiV

That was just that the Bible (church) claimed that every intimate act not leading to babies was a sin. That included anal, oral etc (whether you're gay or straight). You could still be prosecuted for doing these acts up to relatively recently in our history, just because the Bible and the church had so much control over what you were and were not allowed to do in the privacy of your own home. 

 

7 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume).

Sexual person here, and believe me, the vast majority of us include things like strap-ons, dildos, butt plugs etc etc as valid parts of sexual intimacy. Especially in lesbian relationships but really any kind of relationship if both partners prefer stuff like fingering, using kinky toys etc. It's still valid sex if you both get off, regardless of the methods you use or what genders you are.

 

7 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Anyway, thats speculation, but calling playing with toys or fingering...calling that sex is something I've never heard of outside of AVEN

You claim knowledge of LGBT+ communities above, but seem to have a baffling lack of knowledge as to how lesbians function within sexual relationships :o And then there's all the kinky relationships that may have no interest in things like oral and PiV (I am one such person. I mostly desire intimacy with partners with a penis, but am not interested in receiving oral or having PiV).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mackenzie Holiday
29 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

When someone says "I'm a gay man" he does not mean "I like the way men look but I only want sex with women, I have no interest at all in having sex with men".

I think a slightly more charitable example of what @gray-a girl was likely referring to might be a gay man who finds that sex with his wife is more enjoyable than masturbation, even though he's not attracted to her. If he wants to have sex with her because he enjoys it more than masturbation, but he doesn't want to have sex with men because reasons (religion, loyalty to his wife, what have you) even though he's attracted to men, he'd still easily be considered gay. So, an asexual man who finds sex with his wife more enjoyable than masturbation even though he's not attracted to her, and also isn't attracted to men, would have an entirely different experience of sex and his sexuality than that gay man would or a straight man would in the same situation.

 

There are so many factors that go into why we do or don't want to have sex with people, I don't think it's fair to use that one aspect of sexuality alone to determine someone's sexual orientation. Heck, a lot of people figure out their sexual orientation when they're just kids, way before they've experienced a remote interest in partnered sex. I think everyone's sexuality means something different to them. For some it has more to do with what behaviors they're seeking and avoiding, for others it has more to do with how they feel about other people, and for others still it might have to do with something else entirely. I don't think labels for sexual orientation should have to favor one kind of person over the other.

 

But that's just me. :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
theV0ID
10 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume). I've actually never heard of playing with toys, especially, as ever referred to as sex. Fingering, still, isn't really sex to me and I don't think it is for most people. I only think its included as sex, here, because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather), so its lumped together with the other stuff.

 

As someone who spends a lot of time on forums where people openly discuss sex all the time I can assure you that the vast majority of sexual people consider these sex. If it is an activity involving sexual stimulation, leading to sexual satisfaction or orgasm, and more than one person, it is sex. The "more than one person" part is the thing that separates sex and masturbation.

 

Erm... sex repulsed, averse and indifferent doesn't mean the person doesn't want orgasms. I'm sex averse, border on repulsed in some situations, and I love orgasms. Masturbation is fun. It's  partnered sex that we are averse to.

 

1 hour ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

I think a slightly more charitable example of what @gray-a girl was likely referring to might be a gay man who finds that sex with his wife is more enjoyable than masturbation, even though he's not attracted to her. If he wants to have sex with her because he enjoys it more than masturbation, but he doesn't want to have sex with men because reasons (religion, loyalty to his wife, what have you) even though he's attracted to men, he'd still easily be considered gay.

Actually I think he would more likely be considered homoflexible. A high 5 on the kinsey scale maybe, but not a solid 6.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

think a slightly more charitable example of what @gray-a girl was likely referring to might be a gay man who finds that sex with his wife is more enjoyable than masturbation, even though he's not attracted to her. If he wants to have sex with her because he enjoys it more than masturbation, but he doesn't want to have sex with men because reasons (religion, loyalty to his wife, what have you) even though he's attracted to men, he'd still easily be considered gay. So, an asexual man who finds sex with his wife more enjoyable than masturbation even though he's not attracted to her, and also isn't attracted to men, would have an entirely different experience of sex and his sexuality than that gay man would or a straight man would in the same situation.

The gay man isn't actively desiring sexual intimacy with his wife in the way he does with men, he's doing it because he's capable of it and has been pressured into conforming by societal standards.

 

I was referring to what sexual people inherently mean when they say 'sexual attraction' when defining sexual orientation, in response to this quote:

 

10 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Well anyway, regardless of language stuff, I know that "attraction" is how other LGBT people define orientation, so to me asexuality deals with attraction. (Of course no sex is also another meaning).

I was explaining what people inherently mean they say "so and so is sexually attracted to....". (and gray-a-girl doesn't actually seem to have spent much time in the LGBT community anyway, based on the fact that she apparently has no idea about how lesbians have sex. Either that, or she's denying that lesbians are capable of sex. I'm not sure which).

 

Now on to this:

 

2 hours ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

So, an asexual man who finds sex with his wife more enjoyable than masturbation even though he's not attracted to her

That person is misunderstanding what the term 'attraction' means. Not everyone has sex with their partner because just looking at them makes them gag for sex or whatever... people have sex with other people first and foremost because sex is an enjoyable and pleasurable experience which is preferable to masturbation (for sexual people). Now all kinds of other factors go into that (love, a desire for intimacy, an attraction to appearance, just wanting sex..all kinds of different things for different people) but obviously a fundamental factor of it is that sex is obviously more pleasurable than masturbation under certain circumstances for sexual people. So anyone who would *actively* choose to have partnered sex purely because it's more pleasurable than masturbation is clearly showing they have an innate drive to connect with other people on a sexual level (which is a form of sexual attraction). An asexual may have sex to try to keep a partner happy or whatever, but they would never prefer that sex to masturbation. They don't have that innate drive to connect with people on a sexual level... For an asexual who wants an orgasm, masturbation will always be preferable even if they're in a situation where (to keep a partner happy) they have sex instead of masturbating. An innate preference for a partnered orgasm over a solo one though is an innate sign that someone is, in fact, experiencing sexual attraction  (a desire to connect on a sexual level with another person).

 

2 hours ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

Heck, a lot of people figure out their sexual orientation when they're just kids, way before they've experienced a remote interest in partnered sex.

That's because they discovered their romantic orientation very early, and for the vast majority of sexual people, their romantic orientation coincides with their sexual orientation. Heck, even many aces knew from a young age who they want relationships with, but the whole 'sexual' aspect just never clicked. For sexual people, it does 'click' once sexual orientation develops. But that's a different topic.

 

2 hours ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

I don't think labels for sexual orientation should have to favor one kind of person over the other.

That's fine for you to believe that, but for the vast majority of sexual people, labels for sexual orientation (and specific definitions to define those labels) exist for a reason. Heck, people of certain orientations were tortured and executed for centuries as a direct result of the meaning behind those labels. Being 'gay' certainly never would have been punishable by death if it meant "desires sex with people of the opposite gender just as much as I desire sex with people of the same gender, but also perfectly happy to solely have opposite-gender sex forever".. that's NOT what gay means. Straight (hetero) would have been punishable by death though if it meant "I desire sexual intimacy with people of the same gender, but am unable to desire sexual intimacy with people of the opposite gender"

 

Am I making sense? Orientation labels have specific meaning for a reason, and it's not up to the asexual community to twist those labels into something completely different. Especially not when people have been tortured and executed for centuries (and still are to this day in some countries) as a direct result of the very real meaning behind those labels. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
On 10/18/2019 at 7:22 AM, Dodoa said:

Yes, it's similar in German. Outside of people trying to translate stuff about asexuality, Anziehung, the German word for attraction is only really used for magnets and gravity and atoms and the like. 

Fun fact: If you go to Wikipedia, look for "sexual attraction", and then switch to German... you get the page for Sex Appeal.

 

I guess that being the one and only allowed criteria for asexuality means asexuals are so ugly and/or dorky that they just can't get laid.

 

 

Also fun fact: German AVEN, for damn good reason, defines asexuality as "no desire/urge for sexual interaction".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
7 minutes ago, Mysticus Insanus said:

Also fun fact: German AVEN, for damn good reason, defines asexuality as "no desire/urge for sexual interaction".

(I know you know all this but I'm commenting for the benefit of others reading)

 

Even English AVEN technically defines asexuality that way, but you have to go to their FAQ to find how they're defining sexual attraction to see that.

AVEN defines sexual attraction as 'the desire for sexual contact with someone else' and if you don't have that then you're ace. It's just too bad AVEN won't put that into the definition at the top of the page so more people could actually see it because there would be so much less confusion on this website if they'd just do that like the German AVEN has Y_Y

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iam9man
34 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

So anyone who would *actively* choose to have partnered sex purely because it's more pleasurable than masturbation is clearly showing they have an innate drive to connect with other people on a sexual level (which is a form of sexual attraction).

I think this is a very fine line. I think I follow your logic, but note I have been invalidated with very similar wording before (not saying that’s what you’re doing) so am a bit reluctant to fully agree. Personal opinion.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mackenzie Holiday
7 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

I was referring to what sexual people inherently mean when they say 'sexual attraction' when defining sexual orientation

Oh, I totally understood you. I just wanted to point out that sometimes things are more complicated than that. Typically when we discuss sexual attraction, there's a lot of baggage, expectations, and stereotypes that go along with that. But not everyone fits neatly into those assumptions.

 

9 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

That person is misunderstanding what the term 'attraction' means. Not everyone has sex with their partner because just looking at them makes them gag for sex or whatever... people have sex with other people first and foremost because sex is an enjoyable and pleasurable experience which is preferable to masturbation (for sexual people). Now all kinds of other factors go into that (love, a desire for intimacy, an attraction to appearance, just wanting sex..all kinds of different things for different people) but obviously a fundamental factor of it is that sex is obviously more pleasurable than masturbation under certain circumstances for sexual people. So anyone who would *actively* choose to have partnered sex purely because it's more pleasurable than masturbation is clearly showing they have an innate drive to connect with other people on a sexual level (which is a form of sexual attraction). An asexual may have sex to try to keep a partner happy or whatever, but they would never prefer that sex to masturbation. They don't have that innate drive to connect with people on a sexual level... For an asexual who wants an orgasm, masturbation will always be preferable even if they're in a situation where (to keep a partner happy) they have sex instead of masturbating. An innate preference for a partnered orgasm over a solo one though is an innate sign that someone is, in fact, experiencing sexual attraction  (a desire to connect on a sexual level with another person).

Sometimes sexuals have sex with someone who is of the gender they're usually attracted to, but who they're not sexually attracted to individually. Yet they have reasons for choosing to have sex with them anyway, and I'm sure we would both agree they shouldn't be told that they must in fact be attracted to that person for wanting to have sex with them for whatever reason they chose to, when that's not how they felt about it. If an asexual wants to have sex with another person for, say, an extra set of hands, I think that they also shouldn't be told that they're attracted to that person when they don't feel that way about them. I agree that sexual attraction is a LOT more complicated than just wanting to throw everything else to the wind to get down with a person, I would never say that, but I don't think the opposite extreme works for everyone either. All I'm saying is that there should be room for nuance. That's all.

 

20 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

That's because they discovered their romantic orientation very early, and for the vast majority of sexual people, their romantic orientation coincides with their sexual orientation. Heck, even many aces knew from a young age who they want relationships with, but the whole 'sexual' aspect just never clicked. For sexual people, it does 'click' once sexual orientation develops.

This is totally fair. I stand corrected. :) 

 

20 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

That's fine for you to believe that, but for the vast majority of sexual people, labels for sexual orientation exist for a reason. Heck, people of certain orientations were tortured and executed for centuries as a direct result of the meaning behind those labels. Being 'gay' certainly never would have been punishable by death if it meant "desires sex with people of the opposite gender just as much as I desire sex with people of the same gender".. that's NOT what gay means. Straight (hetero) would have been punishable by death though if it meant "I desire sexual intimacy with people of the same gender, but am unable to desire sexual intimacy with people of the opposite gender"

 

Am I making sense? Orientation labels have specific meaning for a reason, and it's not up to the asexual community to twist those labels into something completely different. Especially not when people have been tortured and executed for centuries (and still are to this day in some countries) as a direct result of the very real meaning behind those labels. 

Yes, that totally makes sense. But at the same time the socio-sexual landscape here has changed since then, and with it the way people understand their sexualities. I really, really am not trying to convince you to change the way you define sexual orientation for yourself or for anyone else, I just think that people who experience their sexuality in an uncommon way aren't wrong to use the words they have available to them in an equally uncommon way in order to make sense of their experiences for themselves.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
14 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Well anyway, regardless of language stuff, I know that "attraction" is how other LGBT people define orientation, so to me asexuality deals with attraction. (Of course no sex is also another meaning).

 

And actually I was thinking about what i said earlier, and what Lauren said, and I don't think there are any straight up asexuals after all. I can't remember the name, but Lauren said there is a name for someone who experiences attraction but no desire to have sex. So, really, every type of asexual can be sub-divided. I guess in Laurens case she would be subdivided into both the cupiosexual and the...other type I don't remember the name. (But both). I think she said she feels no attraction and no desire to have sex, so thats what I am basing that on. But point is, I don't think any type of asexual cannot be furthur subdivided.

 

On to the other issue...Why do I consider fingers and toys not sex? Well mostly, for a few reasons. First, they can be done by oneself. Sure if someone else fingers you its their fingers, but really theres not much difference between one persons fingers and your own. Only difference is you aren't controlling them. And toys, same thing. They are independent of a person.

Sex, originally, meant just PiV, but when people began to become more aware of other orientations, especially ones that couldn't have sex that way (gay people mostly) then oral sexual activity and other forms of activity (PiA) that they can do, are included. So thats the main reason, I consider those to be sex and fingering and toys not.

I also don't think calling playing with a sex toy, even if another person is holding it, or fingering, is that different from doing it yourself other than not being in control of whats going on. And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume). I've actually never heard of playing with toys, especially, as ever referred to as sex. Fingering, still, isn't really sex to me and I don't think it is for most people. I only think its included as sex, here, because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather), so its lumped together with the other stuff.

 

Anyway, thats speculation, but calling playing with toys or fingering...calling that sex is something I've never heard of outside of AVEN. The other things? Yes people will refer to that as sex (oral, Piv, and PiA). So I guess, more than any of my other reasons, it's general usage as I've seen it used, off the internet, is why I am defining things the way I am.

Look up lesbian sex methods and fingering and toys are most certainly included in ways you can have sex. Personally, I ID as sexual and fingers are my preferred method, not into penises and oral sucks since I like to kiss during sex. My wife and I have never done oral or PiV and we have a very active sex life together and absolutely no one except AVENites try to tell us we don't, to be honest. AVEN is the only place I have run into "three drawers of sex toys and fingering each other every day means you aren't sexually into each other". Cause it's a non-sensical statement IRL. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iam9man
11 minutes ago, Serran said:

AVEN is the only place I have run into "three drawers of sex toys and fingering each other every day means you aren't sexually into each other"

I’m sorry you’ve experienced that. No one should be telling anyone how they should ID, least of all by their behaviour (one way or the other).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
Just now, Iam9man said:

I’m sorry you’ve experienced that. No one should be telling anyone how they should ID, least of all by their behaviour (one way or the other).

Several sexuals on AVEN have been told we are asexual, despite very active and fulfilling sex lives, just due to we don't fit the very narrow definition of sexual that some people use to ID as ace. And, I guess they have to push us into ace to keep that definition of sexual, rather than admit sexuals are varied. 

 

Which, is fine, I mostly just find the idea of being called ace amusing ... cause I am certainly not. My sex life with my wife is quite active by mutual choice and I quite like it that way. I don't need her tongue on my vagina to count as sexual. 

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Laurann
14 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

And actually I was thinking about what i said earlier, and what Lauren said, and I don't think there are any straight up asexuals after all. I can't remember the name, but Lauren said there is a name for someone who experiences attraction but no desire to have sex. So, really, every type of asexual can be sub-divided. I guess in Laurens case she would be subdivided into both the cupiosexual and the...other type I don't remember the name. (But both). I think she said she feels no attraction and no desire to have sex, so thats what I am basing that on. But point is, I don't think any type of asexual cannot be furthur subdivided.

I would strongly disagree here. Cupiosexual means you don't experience sexual attraction, but you experience sexual desire (the second clause isn't true for me, so I don't fit), and akoisexual means you don't experience sexual desire, but you experience sexual attraction (again, I don't fit the second clause, so I don't fit).

You can't just ignore the second clause of these terms. That is ignoring half the definitions.

 

I fit both definitions of asexuality, so I only identify with the term 'asexual,' and not with any other ace-spectrum terms. We're not going to suddenly get rid of the word 'asexual' as a standalone identity (as opposed to as an umbrella term for the ace-spectrum) and change the definitions of the terms cupiosexual and akoisexual, which are already in use by many ace-spec people all over the world. It's complicated enough as it is.

 

Don't you think that would be kind of insensitive to the people who coined these terms to describe their own identities, and then continuously painstakingly explained them over and over again to spread awareness about them until they were finally picked up by more and more people? That takes a lot of dedication. 

You can't single-handedly overwrite definitions for other people's identities. That's not how it works. 

 

Also, I do still go by 'they' as is noted below my profile picture, just a a reminder :) 

 

14 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

because sex repulsed or indifferent asexuals aren't particularly interested in orgasming (Or so I gather)

That's very far from true. Asexuals are actually statistically just as likely to masturbate as sexual people are. You don't need other people to orgasm. Most aces prefer to take care of it alone.

Look up 'autochorissexuality.' I have Anthony Bogaert's book 'Asexuality' in full (which is where he coins that term, but it's also just a good resource), in case you want to learn more about asexuality, because you seem to be 'gathering' and 'assuming' quite a lot of inaccurate things. If you want it, I can send it to you via PM :) 

 

14 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

I also don't think calling playing with a sex toy, even if another person is holding it, or fingering, is that different from doing it yourself other than not being in control of whats going on. And I don't think any sexual person would say that that is equivalent to sex. (well, I assume). I've actually never heard of playing with toys, especially, as ever referred to as sex. Fingering, still, isn't really sex to me and I don't think it is for most people.

Maybe you should ask some of your friends whether they consider fingering and sex with toys to be sex, especially lesbian friends, instead of assuming. You might be surprised. Or maybe you could look into the field of sexology, and see how those who study sex for a living define sex. Your definition of sex really isn't standard.

 

I was asking for a reasoning behind your decision not to include fingering and toys in the definition of sex, and what you gave instead was a common sense fallacy/appeal to popularity (except that this definition is not actually the most common, so even if I did consider fallacies valid arguments, this one wouldn't work).

 

The difference between self-pleasuring and sex is that one of them you do by yourself (as the term suggests), and the other you do with a partner. This distinction is clear cut. There are either multiple people involved, or there aren't. No grayscale. That's why it makes for a good definition.

 

The distinction between oral/ fingering/ sex toys is blurrier. I'm sure you can think of a lot of 'what if' situations that are in between what you'd consider sex and what you would not consider sex (which I probably shouldn't describe here, because graphic, but people can get creative with what body parts they use to stimulate each other), and at that point, people would start disagreeing what qualifies as sex, and it would become a subjective mess. A definition is not a satisfactory definition if it's a subjective mess. That would kind of beat the point of having a definition in the first place.

 

14 hours ago, gray-a girl said:

Sex, originally, meant just PiV

So I did some pretty extensive googling into this, and 'sex' actually originally means 'to divide' (in this case into male and female). It has the same root as 'segregation' and 'dissect'.

The more recent meaning of sex comes from a colloquial abbreviation of 'sexual intercourse.' This use of the word 'sex' wasn't documented until 1929! So that's much more recent than I expected.

'Intercourse' meant 'social interpersonal relations' (which could be talking or dancing etc) back then, and it was a very innocent word, not sexual at all. So the term 'sexual intercourse', meaning 'social interpersonal relations between men and women,' was a very tame euphemism for sex.

 

Either way, the term was inherently exclusionary of gay sex (because of the whole 'men and women' thing), and I don't think it's useful to get stuck in 'well this is how people used to use the word between 90 and 50 years ago, and that timeframe is convenient for me, so that's what it means.' We should be trying to find an optimal definition for our own time. And I think that optimal definition is 'an activity between two or more people involving genital stimulation,' because it's clear, concise and accurate.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...