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Why AVEN is not educating staff members on Asexuality?

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Sally
21 hours ago, michaeld said:

It's not the definition of ace. That is simply one possible experience some aces have. That doesn't make it the definition.

 

 

That's the kind of mooshiness that I think AVEN is now purveying.  If some "aces" have the experience of wanting sex, enjoying it, and seeking it out, then just how are they aces?  How do they differ from what the general definition of sexual is?  I can't see that they do.  

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Serran
5 hours ago, Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte said:

I'm a sexual who doesn't enjoy sex or seek it out because...ouchie.  I think we need to clarify the difference between attraction and desire better because according to a lot of people I am ace for sure but...I'm really not.

So you while in a relationship at no point initiate partnered sexual activity for your own desires / pleasure and never desire partnered sexual pleasure ? Or are you just defining sex as PiV ? In your thread in SPFA you said your preference is oral sex. But is your personal preference zero partnered sexual activity? Sally doesn't use the PiV only definition of sex, so trying to figure out if you two are even speaking same language in this discussion. 

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Philip027
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I'm a sexual who doesn't enjoy sex or seek it out because...ouchie. 

The thing is, you still presumably desire it to at least some degree, and that's why you presumably still think of yourself as sexual.  You simply cannot fully act upon that desire because of other factors, such as... ouchie.  Unless I'm incorrect in my assessment here?

 

I'm not sure why other people would label you as asexual because of that.  Sexuals aren't required to be able to enjoy sex, just like asexuals aren't required to hate it.

 

However (going off a bit of a tangent, and people might find this contentious), I personally don't see any significant harm in someone who absolutely will not (or literally can't) have any form of sex labeling themselves as "effectively asexual" because obviously they are going to run into major incompatibilities in relationships with sexuals if they try to present themselves as "sexual" on a dating site or whatever... BUT that should be their choice to identify that way in such a context, not someone else's.  If at the core they still feel sexual enough to the point where an "effectively asexual" ID wouldn't feel right to them, well then, they shouldn't have to ID that way.  It just means that they are more prone to running into the issue of sexual incompatibility.

 

Quote

I think we need to clarify the difference between attraction and desire better because according to a lot of people I am ace for sure but...I'm really not.

I don't think there's such a radical difference between attraction and desire that we need to split that hair any further.  (I personally think the splitting of this hair has already caused enough problems as it is.)  To me attraction IS desire, just directed at a specific person, and the sex/gender of that person compared to one's own is how we determine whether the person is hetero- or homo- or whatever else.

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daveb
8 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

BUT that should be their choice to identify that way in such a context, not someone else's.  If at the core they still feel sexual enough to the point where an "effectively asexual" ID wouldn't feel right to them, well then, they shouldn't have to ID that way.

Which is exactly what people have been saying about people who identify as asexual. That's what the TOS invalidation clause is about and what the BOD statement is about. It works both ways, whether people call themselves ace or call themselves sexual.

 

Try it this way:

BUT that should be their choice to identify that way in such a context, not someone else's.  If at the core they still feel asexual enough to the point where an "effectively sexual" ID wouldn't feel right to them, well then, they shouldn't have to ID that way.

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Philip027

You're drawing a false equivalence, though.  The people we're talking about here that are sparking the controversy are not only people who desire sex but aren't incapable/unwilling to have it.  Many of them actually do have it, and many of them would not pursue/consider relationships in which they weren't getting it.  In essence there's nothing really separating them from the sexual/gray crowd, and there's also nothing that really makes them asexual.

 

In addition, many of them cling to the "no sexual attraction" thing as if that were the sole deciding factor, when I think exactly what sexual attraction is is being gravely misunderstood.  These people think that it's possible to desire sex with someone without being sexually attracted to them.  I think that's patently impossible, because desiring sex with someone IS more or less what sexual attraction means.  And every time I try to ask what they think sexual attraction is, I either get no answer or an answer that only broadly (and insultingly) paints sexuals as slavering horndogs, such as the whole "I'm not sexual / don't experience sexual attraction because I don't go drooling after every hot person that passes by" argument.  Which tends to make me think there actually isn't any good answer.

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michaeld
15 hours ago, Sally said:

That's the kind of mooshiness that I think AVEN is now purveying.

Not "now purveying". We always have done, if that's what you consider it to be. AVEN was founded on this very philosophy. I've already linked the article by DJ several times but here it is again. Note DJ goes further than I personally would on several points - I have a slightly different perspective to him - but it really underlines the fact that there was a very deliberate decision not to allow any brand control of asexuality on AVEN, right from more or less the start.

https://medium.com/@davidgljay/identity-is-a-tool-not-a-label-10f96c24174a

 

I will absolutely agree there are places in which it's important to have more objective distinctions in place, especially in a research context. I visited the lab of Lori Brotto of UBC yesterday and she was telling me about the Asexual Identification Scale they use, which doesn't always correspond to self-identity. AVEN's policy is not the only way of doing things, but as a board we believe it's the right policy for AVEN.

 

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If some "aces" have the experience of wanting sex, enjoying it, and seeking it out, then just how are they aces?  How do they differ from what the general definition of sexual is?  I can't see that they do.  

Sex favourable aces have written in detail about why they consider themselves asexual, and I can't speak for them as I'm not one of them. But here is a possible answer. They simply don't find anyone hot. They may still have a libido, and just like your straight man in an island full of only men, they may end up having sex with other men - even seeking it out - to quench that itch. As orgasm is pleasurable to most people, they may get enjoyment from it. But they're still not attracted to other men.

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Philip027

If you are ultimately driven as a guy to pursue sex with other guys, how is that not having a sexual attraction to said guys?  How is that not homo/bisexual?

 

Straight guys don't just wake up one day and are all like "welp, there's no suitable females around; I guess I'll just go fuck some dude today"

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LeChat
9 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

...Straight guys don't just wake up one day and are all like "welp, there's no suitable females around; I guess I'll just go fuck some dude today"

Quote

...One heterosexual man said that he had had consensual sex with gay or bisexual prisoners “out of necessity”. He said he had resumed exclusively heterosexual relationships since leaving prison, and he added: “I’m completely straight; what happened then was just about having my sexual needs met, in a particular time and place, where I couldn’t get [heterosexual] sex.”...

From https://howardleague.org/news/prisonersexperiencesofsexinprison/

 

(TW: both sites mention rape)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_sexuality

 

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Philip027

Yeah, I don't buy it.  If you willingly fucked other dudes (and you actually desired to do it), even though there were no other options, that's still at least bi with preference for the opposite sex.  Again, guys that are actually straight don't just wake up thinking they'll go fuck a dude; it doesn't matter if it's prison or not.  Sounds more like a shamefulness of admitting to homosexuality or anything resembling it, if you ask me (which is typical of males, so not really surprising)

 

Killing another person for food just because there were literally no other options for food doesn't somehow make you not a murderer (or not a cannibal, for that matter).

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Janus DarkFox
28 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Again, guys that are actually straight don't just wake up thinking they'll go fuck a dude

It can feel like that for a few, bi-curiosity is a thing and I've chatted with a few exactly like this is how it started for them.  They're still straight until that thinking, the thought of sexual curiosity if fulfilled.

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Una Salus Victus
3 hours ago, michaeld said:

 

They simply don't find anyone hot. They may still have a libido, and just like your straight man in an island full of only men, they may end up having sex with other men - even seeking it out - to quench that itch. As orgasm is pleasurable to most people, they may get enjoyment from it. But they're still not attracted to other men.

This here is where I think is a fair bit of the problem. Attraction isn't always "finding someone hot." There's things like emotional factors and the like as well. So there's a good chance in a few cases that they aren't attracted to someone, just attracted to them in a different way that isn't "hot."

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Pan Ficto.
5 hours ago, michaeld said:

They simply don't find anyone hot.

Sexual people experience that too.

 

There are plenty of sexual people who don't care at all about appearance and seek sex out/desire sex because 1) they have a libido and/or 2) they enjoy the intimacy/closeness/feelings of partnered sex.

 

It's actually offensive to suggest that what makes someone sexual is solely their potential to find others 'hot' which is why so many people here take issue with that specific definition of sex favourability. It comes from a misunderstanding of how sexual people think and feel.

 

And of course there are many aces who can find people hot, which proves that the ability to experience that form of attraction and actually desiring sex with other people are in certain cases two very separate things.

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Pan Ficto.
On 11/13/2019 at 4:14 PM, michaeld said:

You can be ace while seeking out and desiring sex for pleasure

So what makes someone a sexual person, to you? Genuine question here (as a sexual person who does not seek out sex for pleasure).

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CBC
4 hours ago, michaeld said:

They simply don't find anyone hot.

Ye gods, do we actually have staff phrasing it that way?

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Philip027
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It can feel like that for a few, bi-curiosity is a thing and I've chatted with a few exactly like this is how it started for them.  They're still straight until that thinking, the thought of sexual curiosity if fulfilled.

Curiosity is different from actual want and desire, and I'm sure these prisoners didn't screw just once because they were curious.

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Anthracite_Impreza

This made me both giggle and think, cos I have found vehicles hot/sexy/phwoar/insert other "sexually coded word" here loads of times... but have never wanted sex with anyone. And yet, many sexuals (who do want sex with at least one other) would never understand how I can have such a strong reaction to appearance (let's ignore the mecha part for now...). Doesn't this just prove that finding others "hot" is not the defining aspect of sexuality? Wanting sex, at some point, is literally the only thing sexuals can all agree they share! Thus, the opposite - not wanting sex, at any point - is what must define asexuality.

 

I really would like to know how this is not the obvious conclusion here, without appeals to "we must not invalidate" or "the BoD/Tumblr/my mate Gaz says so"...

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Pan Ficto.
34 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Doesn't this just prove that finding others "hot" is not the defining aspect of sexuality? Wanting sex, at some point, is literally the only thing sexuals can all agree they share! Thus, the opposite - not wanting sex, at any point - is what must define asexuality.

Yes I'm actually baffled to see staff publicly repeating the old "hot" misconception after everyone here has spent so long (especially over the past few months) trying to explain that being sexual is *not* about "finding people hot", and that aces *can* still "find people/things hot". That's a massive misconception that invalidates both many sexuals and many asexuals 😕

 

I think @Snao van der Cone even went to quite a lot of effort to try to clear that misconception up in the FAQ? So to see staff still repeating it like it's a fact (especially after members have been raising their concerns over this so vocally lately) is disappointing and disheartening to say the least Y_Y

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Knight of Cydonia
1 hour ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

There are plenty of sexual people who don't care at all about appearance and seek sex out because 1) they have a libido and 2) they enjoy the intimacy/closeness/feelings of partnered sex.

It's almost like sexual people can have a wide variety of experiences and reasons for desiring partnered sex! :o

 

But no, as long as you don't find people hot, you can desire as much sex as you want and you're still asexual. Not like all those horndog sexuals...

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

That's a massive misconception that invalidates both many sexuals and many asexuals 😕

Which is hilariously ironic considering what they claim to be trying to avoid.

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Philip027

I've been saying from the start of all this, they're trying so hard to crack down on invalidation that they don't even realize they're being invalidating in the process.

 

It is exactly what is meant by cutting off one's nose to spite their face.

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michaeld
3 hours ago, Una Salus Victus said:

This here is where I think is a fair bit of the problem. Attraction isn't always "finding someone hot." There's things like emotional factors and the like as well. So there's a good chance in a few cases that they aren't attracted to someone, just attracted to them in a different way that isn't "hot."

Well the relevant concept here is sexual attraction rather than attraction as such.

 

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

Sexual people experience that too.

 

There are plenty of sexual people who don't care at all about appearance and seek sex out/desire sex because 1) they have a libido and/or 2) they enjoy the intimacy/closeness/feelings of partnered sex.

 

It's actually offensive to suggest that what makes someone sexual is solely their potential to find others 'hot' which is why so many people here take issue with that specific definition of sex favourability. It comes from a misunderstanding of how sexual people think and feel.

 

And of course there are many aces who can find people hot, which proves that the ability to experience that form of attraction and actually desiring sex with other people are in certain cases two very separate things.

I'm suggesting it's one possible criterion people may use. I'm certainly not saying it's a universally valid way of distinguishing between sexual and asexual. I was asked why someone who likes and seeks out sex may still call themselves asexual. I gave a possible answer.

 

If you don't think finding people hot is a relevant criterion in deciding your identity, by all means don't use it. I would be invalidating if I were to tell you that you are or aren't asexual based on it, despite what you identify as. But I'm not. It's up to each person to decide what orientation fits them, based on their understanding.

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Pan Ficto.
23 minutes ago, michaeld said:

But I'm not. It's up to each person to decide what orientation fits them, based on their understanding.

But how can they understand if they're being given inaccurate information and spreading false ideas about both sexuals and asexuals in the process?

 

How can AVEN stand by the claim of 'education' in the title of this website if we literally refuse to take a stance on accurate and informative education? (especially if the things being said contradict what's actually written in the FAQ)

 

 

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

But how can they understand if they're being given inaccurate information and spreading false ideas about both sexuals and asexuals in the process?

 

How can AVEN stand by the claim of 'education' in the title of this website if we literally refuse to take a stance on accurate and informative education? (especially if the things being said contradict what's actually written in the FAQ)

I don't think we are spreading false ideas about sexuals and asexuals. We try hard to avoid absolute generalisations. But the fact is, people in both these groups use language in different ways, and within reason we need to accommodate these different possibilities.

 

When doing educational outreach work, we're never going to cover every nuance. Frankly, I think the fact asexuals mostly don't like sex is covered more than adequately. People are far more likely to come away thinking all asexuals dislike sex than the opposite misconception. If anything, it's sex favourable asexuals that tend to be short-changed by our outreach efforts. So are gray-As to a large extent. It's easier to get across a simple message, and nuances tend to fall by the wayside. However on an individual level they are still vitally important, which is why we ask everyone to respect how each individual self-identifies.

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Pan Ficto.
1 hour ago, michaeld said:

If anything, it's sex favourable asexuals that tend to be short-changed by our outreach efforts.

But people who claim to be asexuals who love sex but 'don't find people hot' are literally just experiencing a misunderstanding of actual normal everyday sexuality, that's the problem.

 

Are you able to see where I am coming from on this? Someone is making a blatantly false (and quite offensive) blanket statements about sexual people and basing their asexuality around that, which you support apparently. Can you understand why so many people (both sexual and ace) take issue with this?

 

1 hour ago, michaeld said:

these groups use language in different ways

 

It's not that we are using different language, it's that someone is literally not understanding what sexuality is, and multiple sexual people here are trying to explain how it feels to be sexual, yet they are being told by asexuals such as yourself 'well people can interpret sexuality however they want even if their assumptions are offensive and misinformed, it's not up to AVEN to correct them'.

 

I just don't know how to explain it so you can understand how much of an issue this is: this offensive blanket generalisation about sexual people (which also reflects badly on all aces who find people 'hot' because it's pretty much saying they're not asexual).

 

Can anyone else explain this more clearly because I don't think it's getting through the way I am explaining it 😕

 

(and no I'm not referring to sex favourable people who say they can enjoy the feelings of sex when they have it even if they don't have interest in seeking it out - that falls within the definition of asexuality. I mean those who say 'I love sex but I don't find people hot', to clarify)

 

1 hour ago, michaeld said:

we're never going to cover every nuance.

I'm not talking about some small, unimportant nuance. I am talking about blatantly false and offensive blanket statements about sexual people. That's not some minute nuance.

 

How would you feel if someone said 'I'm not asexual. Asexuals are all too scared to have sex and I'm not scared of it'...? That's a blatantly false (and offensive) blanket statement. Exactly like the statement 'I am unhappy without sex, but sexual people get aroused by how others look and I'm not like that so I'm ace'. It's also EXTREMELY sexist against women.. but I just don't know how to make you understand where we are coming from.

 

 

 

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

But people who claim to be asexuals who love sex but 'don't find people hot' are literally just experiencing a misunderstanding of actual normal everyday sexuality, that's the problem.

 

Are you able to see where I am coming from on this? Someone is making a blatantly false (and quite offensive) blanket statements about sexual people and basing their asexuality around that, which you support apparently. Can you understand why so many people (both sexual and ace) take issue with this?

 

 

It's not that we are using different language, it's that someone is literally not understanding what sexuality is, and multiple sexual people here are trying to explain how it feels to be sexual, yet they are being told by asexuals such as yourself 'well they can interpret sexuality however they want even if their assumptions are offensive and misinformed, it's not up to AVEN to correct them'.

 

I just don't know how to explain it so you can understand how much of an issue this is: this offensive blanket generalisation about sexual people (which also reflects badly on all aces who find people 'hot' because it's pretty much saying they're not asexual).

 

Can anyone else explain this more clearly because I don't think it's getting through the way I am explaining it 😕

 

(and no I'm not referring to sex favourable people who say they can enjoy the feelings of sex when they have it even if they don't have interest in seeking it out - that falls within the definition of asexuality. I mean those who say 'I love sex but I don't find people hot', to clarify)

 

I'm not talking about some small, unimportant nuance. I am talking about blatantly false and offensive blanket statements about sexual people. That's not some minute nuance.

 

How would you feel if someone said 'I'm not asexual. Asexuals are all too scared to have sex and I'm not scared of it'...? That's a blatantly false (and offensive) blanket statement. Exactly like the statement 'I am unhappy without sex, but sexual people get aroused by how others look and I'm not like that so I'm ace'. It's also EXTREMELY sexist against women.. but I just don't know how to make you understand where we are coming from.

 

 

 

if you are saying that somebody MUST be invalidated, why not you?

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CBC

What about blind people who really love sex but can't find anyone hot because they can't see anyone. Are they asexual? :ph34r: 

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Pan Ficto.
2 hours ago, gisiebob said:

if you are saying that somebody MUST be invalidated, why not you?

Why is it invalidating to want accurate education on a website with education in its name? :huh:

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

Why is it invalidating to want accurate education on a website with education in its name? :huh:

that is an excellent question to explore, but I cannot do that for you. if you would like to explore that question INACCURATELY WINK, you are welcome to.

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Pan Ficto.
1 minute ago, gisiebob said:

that is an excellent question to explore, but I cannot do that for you.

That is why I am asking staff members to better explain the situation, that's the point of the discussion we are having right now.

 

And it's not only sexuals (mostly sexual women) who are being invalidated by that inaccurate definition of sexuality, it's also every asexual who feels aesthetic attraction. So one incorrect blanket stereotyping of sexual people has a lot of negative repercussions right throughout the community, when the simple solution is to just accurately define sexuality and quit with the inaccurate generalizations on a website that is meant to be about education.

 

Again, it's no different than if someone said 'I'm not asexual because asexuals are scared of sex and I'm not scared of it at all'.. According to what's been said here by the staff member I was talking to, it would be invalidating to give that person a more accurate (and less offensive) definition of asexuality.

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Sally
6 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Wanting sex, at some point, is literally the only thing sexuals can all agree they share! Thus, the opposite - not wanting sex, at any point - is what must define asexuality.

 

Yes yes yes yes yes.  

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