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Mackenzie Holiday

Should there be a definition discussion forum?

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

 

Again though, if AVEN just makes an effort to accurately define normal sexuality, then I think that would help a lot. Some people come here with so many negative misconceptions about sexual people, and assume you must automatically be asexual if you don't fall into those negative stereotypes or whatever. I've been saying it for years now, but AVEN really needs a page in the FAQ dedicated to accurately defining normal sexuality, to help clear up all the misconceptions about sexual people that are rampant in this community!

Yeah. That's why I started recommending people visit Scarleteen, (basically, a sexual version of AVEN, where mostly sexual teens and young adults go to ask questions about their sexuality) where the staff attempt to educate and explain sexuality. When I was younger, I tried browsing the site, trying to understand what sexual orientation/arousal is or was supposed to be and also tried reading other young peoples' experiences, to try to understand how and where their sexual arousal came from, in order to try to figure out when mine might show up.

 

Like you pointed out, they also wrote that sexuality is more than just hormonal arousal.

 

https://www.scarleteen.com/article/bodies/sexuality_wtf_is_it_anyway

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

It's just a sad fact that many people here are confused and have very negative and/or stereotypical ideas about what 'normal' sexuality actually is.

I am ashamed to say I was one of them, partly because I thought people couldn't control themselves because I heard so much about cheating and rape, and I didn't understand what "normal" sexuality was. I was scared of having it forced upon me, and scared of ending up that way myself (yes, I know. I was even more paranoid back then than I am now); all because the only sexuality I knew was the rapist in the alleyway or someone who loses their house and kids because they couldn't control themselves and fucked when they shouldn't have. I had no idea people had sex for fun, or for love, or for closeness. I had this idea it was for babies or animalistic urges and that was it. I have a feeling there are many who are in the same boat, and when those people are actually sexual but are ashamed of or scared of their feelings, they want to find ways to set themselves apart from the "animals"; calling themselves asexual will have the effect of "cleansing" them.

 

I'm being candidly truthful here not to shame people or accuse them of being deliberately obtuse, but to say that I understand. I understand why people would do that when they're scared or ashamed or plain confused, but the way to deal with that isn't by indulging in it. It's by educating and reassuring that it's ok to be sexual or asexual, that being sexual doesn't mean you must have sex if you don't want to, ever, or that sexuality is somehow dirty and wrong. At the same time, we have to keep the definition of asexuality sensible and concise for the public at large, and focused on those who do have issues in society because we are the odd ones out - we don't feel the same as 99% of the population! It isn't fair to have our only label taken away by people who are doing exactly the same as the other 99%. Many of us need a refuge, feel broken or are just plain fed up, so imagine how it is when someone waltzes in and says, "well, aces can love and seek out sex too, so why aren't you doing it?". We need asexual, because it's where we belong in a very sexual world.

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Puck
36 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) do you think that those changes to the FAQ and the main site outside of the forum would prevent definition debates from occurring enough that no further action (such as a definition discussion forum) would be necessary?

I know you aren't asking me, but I'd say no.

 

Again, HUGE updates have occurred to the front page, including new and updated FAQs (I, like Snao, have no idea where the second definition Pan quoted came from tho). They might have some flaws, but they are worlds better than the meager ones that has been up there for years if not a whole decade. Personally, I think they are some of the most helpful resources out there for aces right now, little bugs and all.

 

Considering what is happening right now is happening right now... I don't think just updating those resources specifically is enough. But they help. And creating more helps. And going to press and queer spaces and non-queer spaces with a united understanding helps.

 

Some people who come here with wrong definitions come because of a wrong definition they got on tumblr, twitter, or wherever else. We can't control those folks, but we can control our main pages and share them with folks who come here with incorrect definitions while also validating their experiences, while maybe suggesting they try a new label if they identify with a different definition of ace.

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AceMissBehaving
7 minutes ago, Puck said:

I know you aren't asking me, but I'd say no.

 

Again, HUGE updates have occurred to the front page, including new and updated FAQs (I, like Snao, have no idea where the second definition Pan quoted came from tho). They might have some flaws, but they are worlds better than the meager ones that has been up there for years if not a whole decade. Personally, I think they are some of the most helpful resources out there for aces right now, little bugs and all.

 

Considering what is happening right now is happening right now... I don't think just updating those resources specifically is enough. But they help. And creating more helps. And going to press and queer spaces and non-queer spaces with a united understanding helps.

 

Some people who come here with wrong definitions come because of a wrong definition they got on tumblr, twitter, or wherever else. We can't control those folks, but we can control our main pages and share them with folks who come here with incorrect definitions while also validating their experiences, while maybe suggesting they try a new label if they identify with a different definition of ace.

I went to read the FAQ and it seems much clearer than I remembered so I may have been lurking since before the last updates, a few things seem different, but whats currently there seems pretty clear especially on sexual attraction the place people seem to get most tripped up on...

 

"Sexual attraction: Desire to have sexual contact with someone else or to share our sexuality with them. (Note: sexual attraction does not need to be based on appearance, and can also develop gradually over time.)" that seems pretty tightly worded so I'm at a loss to the confusion I've been seeing in various forums lately on the subject

 

 

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Anthracite_Impreza
1 minute ago, AceMissBehaving said:

"Sexual attraction: Desire to have sexual contact with someone else or to share our sexuality with them. (Note: sexual attraction does not need to be based on appearance, and can also develop gradually over time.)" that seems pretty tightly worded so I'm at a loss to the confusion I've been seeing in various forums lately on the subject

They either aren't reading the FAQ, or are just ignoring it and substituting their own.

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Sithgroundhog
43 minutes ago, Snao van der Cone said:

Where?

That's a good question. I'm looking throug the FAQs and I don't think any of them have that exact quote. It also says asexuals experience arousal and just don't want to engage in sex with others. 

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Sithgroundhog
2 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

They either aren't reading the FAQ, or are just ignoring it and substituting their own.

Which is why I think AVEN needs to at least stand by it's own definitions. 

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Anthracite_Impreza
Just now, SithGirl said:

Which is why I think AVEN needs to at least stand by it's own definitions. 

It does, but it seems almost to want to hide them, to ignore them, in favour of inclusivity. Yes, being welcoming and inclusive is good, I do not fault them for that, but it is in the website's name what is supposed to be most important: asexual and education. I cannot imagine a website for gay education to sit back and allow people to use the word gay to mean anything people want, so why should we?

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Mackenzie Holiday

@Anthracite_Impreza, do you think a common practice of referring people to the FAQ will prevent the kinds of debates we end up seeing?

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Anthracite_Impreza
Just now, Mackenzie Holiday said:

@Anthracite_Impreza, do you think a common practice of referring people to the FAQ will prevent the kinds of debates we end up seeing?

Not if they've decided they're asexual and aren't willing to reconsider, no. If AVEN takes a definite stance on the matter though, and uses only that one definition (instead of this utterly ridiculous situation of having two, polar opposite ones), it will certainly help with those people who genuinely want to learn.

 

[Disclaimer: I fit both definitions, so I'm not gonna lose or gain either way]

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Mackenzie Holiday
Just now, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Not if they've decided they're asexual and aren't willing to reconsider, no. If AVEN takes a definite stance on the matter though, and uses only that one definition (instead of this utterly ridiculous situation of having two, polar opposite ones), it will certainly help with those people who genuinely want to learn.

 

[Disclaimer: I fit both definitions, so I'm not gonna lose or gain either way]

Thank you for sharing.

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Mackenzie Holiday

I would just like to remind everyone that this thread is about whether or not starting a Definition Discussion Forum would be a useful way to reduce the number of definition debates in other parts of the forum. This thread is not itself a discussion of which definitions AVEN should or should not be using. :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Snao van der Cone said:

Where?

I'm on my phone again now and on way to docs so can't take screencap right now, but the person I was just discussing this with like 4 hours ago was quoting it to back up their claim that all sexual people look at hot people and get aroused and I was like "whaaaat? How is that nonsense still in the FAQ after we've been complaining about it for years???" lol

 

I'll link/screencap when I get home.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

WHYYYY does AVEN keep double-posting my comments????????

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AceMissBehaving

I think I found the confusing place...
http://wiki.asexuality.org/Lexicon#Sexuality_related_terminology

I remember the part of the site that gave me difficulty being blue, and that's because it was the Wiki not the home page. The wiki link is easier to come by through the forums, and seems to be less recently updated

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
1 hour ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

 

[Disclaimer: I fit both definitions, so I'm not gonna lose or gain either way]

I'm 100% asexual by one way of defining it (the ridiculous way which makes like 30% of the population asexual lol) and sexual by the more sensible way of defining it :P

 

ps: still not home to grab that screencap/link for Snao, walking home from the docs now!

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Snao Cone
2 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

ps: still not home to grab that screencap/link for Snao, walking home from the docs now!

If it's what from what post I think it is, I didn't see any links in that post that showed where it came from. The FAQ on the main site don't describe sexuality as getting horny at people, or other overly simplistic and narrowly applicable interpretations, so it wouldn't be from there. I checked a few of the wiki pages and didn't find that one there either. (The wiki hasn't been kept up with in a while, and it's a massive project that Puck and I haven't had a chance to tackle, though we had grand visions of making it more current and navigable with better information. But we're adults with jobs and bills, which is totes unfair. :()

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RoseGoesToYale

Mon idée est prêt. (See the sig)

 

I agree, it's not perfect, but this FAQ's all we got in terms of a concise rundown of the usual questions.

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AceMissBehaving
2 minutes ago, GhostGoesToWail said:

Mon idée est prêt. (See the sig)

 

I agree, it's not perfect, but this FAQ's all we got in terms of a concise rundown of the usual questions.

yay

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
34 minutes ago, Snao van der Cone said:

The FAQ on the main site don't describe sexuality as getting horny at people, or other overly simplistic and narrowly applicable interpretations, so it wouldn't be from there.

The one she quoted is the exact one from the FAQ that I always had an issue with (because of how overly-simplistic and offensive it is) so unless it was copy/pasted somewhere else before being removed from AVEN, I think it must still be there but I'll have to look :o (dammit now I'm going to have to find it on my phone but I still wont be able to post a screencap)

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daveb

I did a search, but couldn't even find just the word "hot" in the FAQ (searched for the whole phrase, no results; tried narrowing it down to just "hot people", still nothing; so I tried just "hot", nothing found either). Of course I could have missed something.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

This is the quote from the person this morning:

 

 

Quote

I just pulled this from AVEN:

"Sexual attraction - Seeing someone and not only finding them attractive, but thinking you'd like to have sex with them, like fantasies and such. It's attraction to another person that at it's end wants to be physically intimate, as opposed to being attracted to someone in a way where you think, "I'd like to get to know them" or "I want to be their best friend" or "I want to be close to that person".

 

 

(Great, now my writing is tiny) Y_Y

 

That's the part of the FAQ I always hated most, and because it's a direct quote I just assumed it was in the same place it always was. However I see now the answer to that same question (where that quote used to be found) has changed now - much better by the way, so I'm confused as to where she found that specific quote. Will have to look through the FAQ when I get on my comp later to try to find where she pulled it from :o

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Whore*of*Mensa

Random observation (sorry):

 

People seem threatened by the idea that if people think that asexuals enjoy sex, there will be more pressure on all asexuals to have sex. 

 

I am much more threatened by the idea that asexuals who DON'T enjoy sex should have sex for their partner. That has much more potential to increase pressure on asexuals. 

 

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Mackenzie Holiday
2 minutes ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

Random observation (sorry):

 

People seem threatened by the idea that if people think that asexuals enjoy sex, there will be more pressure on all asexuals to have sex. 

 

I am much more threatened by the idea that asexuals who DON'T enjoy sex should have sex for their partner. That has much more potential to increase pressure on asexuals. 

 

If you decide to start a thread on this topic, feel free to link to it here. I would be really interested in hearing what people would have to say on that subject, honestly. But I would really rather keep this particular thread focused on the idea of a Definition Discussion Forum or other ways we might insulate new and vulnerable members from heated definition debates. :)

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Sally
7 hours ago, Puck said:

I wish that we'd all just choose one definition and move the fuck on. 

That's not going to happen.

 

So I think it would be very helpful to have a permanent thread for definitions.  Then we could avoid that thread if we didn't feel particularly strong on any given day.  

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Whore*of*Mensa
20 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

If you decide to start a thread on this topic, feel free to link to it here. I would be really interested in hearing what people would have to say on that subject, honestly. But I would really rather keep this particular thread focused on the idea of a Definition Discussion Forum or other ways we might insulate new and vulnerable members from heated definition debates. :)

Sorry...Good point. I will keep my random comments to myself. I sort of knew it was a silly idea to post it as I did it. 

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Mackenzie Holiday
1 minute ago, Whore*of*Mensa said:

Sorry...Good point. I will keep my random comments to myself. I sort of knew it was a silly idea to post it as I did it. 

It's okay! Normally, I like when my threads go every which way and follow the natural flow of conversation. I just feel like I'm playing with fire with this particular topic, so I'm being much more of a stickler than normal, just to make sure no one gets burned and this thread doesn't last any longer than it needs to.

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Skycaptain

Then we'll just hav up debates everywhere defining what a definition debate is :P:P

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Mackenzie Holiday
1 minute ago, SkyenAutowegCaptain said:

Then we'll just hav up debates everywhere defining what a definition debate is :P:P

We'll have to make that one a pinned thread on the definition debate forum :P 

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ithaca
8 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

 

Again though, if AVEN just makes an effort to accurately define normal sexuality, then I think that would help a lot. Some people come here with so many negative misconceptions about sexual people, and assume you must automatically be asexual if you don't fall into those negative stereotypes or whatever. I've been saying it for years now, but AVEN really needs a page in the FAQ dedicated to accurately defining normal sexuality, to help clear up all the misconceptions about sexual people that are rampant in this community!

I understand what you're saying, but I really strongly object to the use of the words "normal sexuality". I think it is, unintentionally from you I'm sure, a dangerous wording that gets people to think some people are "normal" and everyone else is "weird". Again I know you didn't mean it, but that's the same wording homophobic people use to create opposition to LGBT folks (for being "abnormal"). I guess this is just personal feedback, you can do what you want with it :)

 

8 hours ago, GhostGoesToWail said:

This has happened before!? -faints-

 

Honestly, at this point, I feel a lot of debates could be avoided if threads asking "What is the definition of asexuality?" or "Am I asexual?" were directed, Reddit Bot-style, to the FAQ. It seems cold, but not really. People legit no longer know how to search for information like in pre-Google days, sometimes you just have to tell them where to go so they can read. The FAQ is comprehensive, it answers so many of those basic questions, but newbies don't go in there and read, and so they post questions in Q&A largely answered by other newbies who have not gone in there and read, and by the time any one tries to quote the FAQ, the whole thing has gone to bhjasfdyfauywegf. Plus it's harder to argue with an FAQ that has been compiled, edited, and made official by the workers of AVEN than it is to argue with a user throwing words at you.

 

We could give people resources, which is the whole purpose of AVEN, til everyone's purple in the face, but it won't mean a hill of beans if people don't read them.

 

The more people read those resources, we should get more nuanced/complex questions in the forum that the FAQ doesn't address, things not involving the precise definition of asexuality. One would hope. The definition debate will never be fully solved, but AVEN seems to function best when the focus is away from the definition.

 

J'ai une idée. Un moment, s'il vous plaît...

Giving people resources (and sharing our own experiences for those who want to) is exactly what's supposed to happen in Q&A and Welcome Lounge. Yes people ask for labels but we ain't supposed to give it to them! We shouldn't say "yes you are ace" if they seem to fit the label or "mmmm maybe you're not?" if they don't. I remember back in the day when I was newer to AVEN there were a few people who had a "template" reply they used to tweak here and there to adjust it to each thread, but was mostly the same. Is it what someone begging for a label is looking for? Not necessarily, but it's no one's job to give them a label, it's their journey to make. If they choose to read resources, good for them, if they don't, that's their choice, but we'll have done our job at our end, if you see what I mean.

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