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Chihiro

Why AVEN is not educating staff members on Asexuality?

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Sally
12 hours ago, michaeld said:

 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've been on AVEN for about 12 years now, and I've never seen that article by DJ, although I certainly haven't deliberately ignored it.  However, although DJ was the initiator/owner of AVEN and we're all certainly glad that he did that for us, he's one asexual, not the arbiter of all asexuals' definitions of asexuality.   No one (I don't think) is saying that AVEN must exerciser "brand control" -- however, individual AVEN members certainly have the right to state that they don't agree with the mooshy definition of asexuality which you say AVEN has supported from day one.    

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Skycaptain
13 hours ago, michaeld said:

They simply don't find anyone hot.

Now, that really is a hot potato :P:P

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Janus DarkFox
4 hours ago, cbc said:

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

There’s all the other senses as well, cake can taste hot 🍰

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Timeless
11 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

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"...

What about asexuals who want to have sex to have children or please their partner?

 

what’s your definition of ‘want’?

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Anthracite_Impreza
1 hour ago, ratherdrinktea said:

What about asexuals who want to have sex to have children or please their partner?

 

what’s your definition of ‘want’?

FFS, it's really not that difficult... Wanting sex to please a partner or have kids is not wanting sex.

Most people don't want to go to prison, so they might say "I want to get my taxes done today". They don't actually want to do their taxes (sex), but doing them is the easiest way to remain legal and free (child/partner), which is the part they DO want.

 

I have no idea why people have to make this so bloody convoluted.

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Philip027
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What about asexuals who want to have sex to have children or please their partner?

We've been over this a thousand times already.

 

That's not wanting sex.  That's wanting to have children.  That's wanting to please their partner.

 

Sexual people want sex, for sex's sake.  It isn't a substitute for anything else, and nothing else can substitute it for them.  It doesn't matter what else they might be getting; if they are not getting their sexual needs met in a relationship, said relationship is going to feel like there's something missing, and very often it will feel critical enough to damage the relationship over time.

 

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There’s all the other senses as well, cake can taste hot 🍰

It doesn't matter if you're blind or not; you can't go around evaluating people's hotness via taste unless you like getting arrested, so that's kind of a pointless measuring stick.

 

Quote

When doing educational outreach work, we're never going to cover every nuance.

Nobody sane is asking for that.  But it would probably help if we could at least get the core definition of sexuality/asexuality correct.

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crazy ace

.

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Timeless

You know what? None of us have to reply to you. We reply out of the kindness of our hearts. If you want replies from people, try showing those replying to you some shred of respect. 

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michaeld
11 hours 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?

I know for a fact many sexual people find other people hot (not all other people, just some). That doesn't mean all sexual people do. I would never tell someone they are not sexual on this basis. But you know, I've been in situations where I've been severely isolated by the fact I don't find people hot. I've had porn magazines shoved in front of me in order to try and cure me. I've been bullied over my failure to say which girls I find "fit" (which as far as I can tell is a British slang term for sexually attractive).

 

It just so happens I'm repulsed by sex and have no desire for sex, so my asexuality isn't in question (except by the people who think asexuals can't have a libido - which was the previous decade's raging argument). But I can say if it's totally normal to not find anyone hot, it certainly didn't seem that way to me when I was having my face smashed in for being the odd one out. It didn't seem normal to me when I faced years of shame because of it.

 

There are also some sexual people who don't want or seek out sex. @Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte said earlier they are one of them, and I know of others too. Their perspective is just as important. That doesn't mean you can't say "I'm sexual because I like / seek out sex", which is what the analogous statement would be. @Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte would be entitled to say "oh fancy - incidentally I also consider myself sexual though I don't like or seek out sex". They would not be entitled to undermine your (or the person's) identity because of it.

 

Quote

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 that's what you said, I'd feel free to tell you that not all asexuals are scared to have sex. I wouldn't dream of invalidating your identity because of it, e.g. telling you that you actually are asexual after all. In fact I'd be very careful not to undermine your identity in any way. Similarly, if someone makes false generalisations about sexual people, it's fine to point out the false generalisations as long as you're making it clear you're talking about sexual people and not invalidating their identity. Now you may think that your correction undermines their entire basis for their identity, but that's up to the person to decide and them alone.

 

10 hours ago, gisiebob said:

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

^^ I'm wondering very much the same thing. I don't want to invalidate anyone. Having a different perspective on sexuality isn't invalidation. It only becomes invalidation when I impose my understanding on someone else, despite the way they identify.

 

7 hours ago, Sally said:

I've been on AVEN for about 12 years now, and I've never seen that article by DJ, although I certainly haven't deliberately ignored it.  However, although DJ was the initiator/owner of AVEN and we're all certainly glad that he did that for us, he's one asexual, not the arbiter of all asexuals' definitions of asexuality.   No one (I don't think) is saying that AVEN must exerciser "brand control" -- however, individual AVEN members certainly have the right to state that they don't agree with the mooshy definition of asexuality which you say AVEN has supported from day one.    

(My opinion: -->) It isn't a definition of asexuality. You can define asexuality how ever you want. It's an operational criterion not definitional. It tells us how we accept people as asexual (or any other orientation), even if they are using a different characterisation of asexuality to the one we prefer.

 

My main point in bringing it up is that the policy is not a new thing. DJ would be the first to say he isn't the arbiter of asexuality. He is however the founder of AVEN, and this is the philosophy AVEN was founded on. If anyone thinks this policy or attitude is a new thing we've just brought in, the article is an excellent reminder otherwise.

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Philip027
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You know what? None of us have to reply to you.

pouting-585x297.jpg

 

 

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It isn't a definition of asexuality. You can define asexuality how ever you want.

This isn't how language works.

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Anthracite_Impreza
18 minutes ago, michaeld said:

You can define asexuality how ever you want

Then what's the fucking point? So I can say "I only want sex dressed as a hippo while being serenaded by cicadas, and if a partner won't accept that I don't want them. That makes me asexual", and you'll just accept that? Don't you understand how that completely undermines the position of asexuality in the world's eyes? AVEN is actively HARMING the very demographic it's supposed to be supporting!

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michaeld
31 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Then what's the fucking point? So I can say "I only want sex dressed as a hippo while being serenaded by cicadas, and if a partner won't accept that I don't want them. That makes me asexual", and you'll just accept that? Don't you understand how that completely undermines the position of asexuality in the world's eyes? AVEN is actively HARMING the very demographic it's supposed to be supporting!

Yep you can use whatever definition you want. That doesn't mean it's what we will promote when educating the world about asexuality. But when it comes to the individual, you can use whatever criterion you want to determine whether you fit the asexual label or not, when on AVEN. Same with any other orientation, again as far as AVEN goes.

 

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

 

Every time you advocate a different definition you are making use of the freedom AVEN offers to define asexuality in your own way. This is apparently what some now wish to deny others, when it comes to deviation from their preferred characterisation. I hope that's not it.

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Philip027
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If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

No, we would want you to realize that sometimes the Old Ways aren't always the best ways and to actually take steps to make it right, but apparently that's too much to expect when your focus isn't actually on Education but rather placating as many people as possible.

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

You know what? None of us have to reply to you. We reply out of the kindness of our hearts. If you want replies from people, try showing those replying to you some shred of respect. 

Respect needs to go both ways. We go to so much effort to try to explain, and it's like many on the staff don't even read our comments because you then come and ask a question like that after we have reiterated a thousand times that the ONLY thing we are taking issue with is the idea that asexuals can be unhappy without sex (so actively seek it out for pleasure) but "don't find anyone hot". That is an incorrect and offensive standard of sexuality because many sexuals aren't sexually motivated by appearance yet still desire sex for pleasure (are they suddenly all ace?), and many aces also do find people attractive to look at (are they sexual now?)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
5 hours ago, michaeld said:
Quote

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

I'm wondering very much the same thing.

No one is saying someone MUST be invalidated (well, except you and gisiebob apparently). We are asking AVEN to stand by IT'S OWN DEFINITION OF ASEXUALITY and for staff to try to support that instead of reiterating "asexuality is whatever you want it to be, even when your asexual identity is based on an utter, rather antisexual misunderstanding of how actual sexual people think and feel".

 

Otherwise why bother having a FAQ at all?

 

4 hours ago, michaeld said:

we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

Yes that's what everyone wants because sexual attraction has literally been defined for a very long time here as 'desiring partnered sexual contact with other people'. So yes by all means, please clamp down on that definition. The only people who don't like that defintion (and say it invalidates them) are the people who say they are aces who can't be happy without sex. Not our problem.

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

Respect needs to go both ways. We go so much effort to try to explain, and it's like many on the staff don't even read our comments because you then come and ask a question like that after we have reiterated a thousand times that the ONLY thing we are taking issue with is the idea that asexuals can be unhappy without sex (so actively seek it out for pleasure) but "don't find anyone hot". That is an incorrect and offensive standard of sexuality because many sexuals aren't sexually motivated by appearance yet still desire sex for pleasure (are they suddenly all ace?), and many aces also do find people attractive to look at (are they sexual now?)

consider the possibility that you have not been misunderstood, from the beginning.

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Chihiro
3 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

Yes! We need a consistent definition.

 

3 hours ago, michaeld said:

Every time you advocate a different definition you are making use of the freedom AVEN offers to define asexuality in your own way. This is apparently what some now wish to deny others, when it comes to deviation from their preferred characterisation. I hope that's not it.

Wait... so we are spending all the money on giving different definitions to the world? This must be a joke.... can you imagine every member of staff, BoD etc giving their own definition of asexuality? We must rename this website to 100 shades of asexuality! No wait... now everyone in the world can claim to be asexual and use their own definition, so billion shades of asexuality?

 

If there is no consistency then there is no point of any education or this website. This whole thing is a joke. Can you tell us what exactly are you educating the world? When someone asks what is 'asexuality' what responses are you giving them?

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

consider the possibility that you have not been misunderstood, from the beginning.

Only a few posts before this one, the staff member I was replying to asked the question "what about people who want to have kids?" when we have very clearly reiterated time and time and time again that we are only referring to those who say "I love sex so I seek it out because I enjoy it, and I'd be sad without sex in my life, but I don't find people hot" (there are many sexual people out there who are not sexually motivated by appearance, is the point we are making). Those people feel invalidated by AVENs definition of asexuality because of the whole 'desiring partnered sex' part.

 

The staff member (and certain others) show by their comments that they are either skim-reading or just completely misunderstanding much of what members are actually trying to say.

 

 

 

You seem to be reading one or two comments then jumping in to make a response without understanding the context of what's being said. I have now had to waste time clarifying something that (yet again) was already made clear. Please read my comments (and the comments of others too) thoroughly before responding to me next time if you feel you need to make further input with regards to my own comments. 

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Anthracite_Impreza
3 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

Considering sexual attraction is defined BY AVEN as "desiring sex with others", YES, that's exactly what we want! ONE, sensible, clear definition instead of all this namby-pambying around worrying about "invalidation" of people who don't even fit AVEN's definition, while kicking the rest of us to the kerb. I don't want to hound people off the site, I don't want to sit for hours arguing with them, and won't, as long as AVEN itself takes a stand. If it does that - says, "This is what asexual means. End" - none of us would get quite so pissed off, because to the world outside? AVEN itself, and thus asexuality as a whole, would make sense, would be respected, would be able to actually EDUCATE.

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Homer
4 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

How is that even a question? :huh: If you want to educate people on something, lining out what that something is (and subsequently isn't) is the very first step. If you have fifty totally valid definitions (TM) for something, you don't have any definition.

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

There are also some sexual people who don't want or seek out sex. @Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte said earlier they are one of them, and I know of others too. Their perspective is just as important.

 

Thank you for saying my perspective on all this is important. I am also a sexual person who does not seek out sex (and I'm perfectly happy without it). Yet that changes nothing.

 

The fact is, I am capable of desiring some forms of sexual intimacy under the right circumstances, very very rarely. I cannot have penetrative sex or receive oral though, and do not want those things due to knowing I can't get anything out of them.

 

I have a severe sexual pain disorder (Pumpkin spice has also previously been vocal about suffering from a similar disorder I believe), which obviously means I'm going to be much less sexually inclined than the average person, while also having low desire and being an extreme introvert.

 

That doesn't make me less sexual just because I'm not running around looking for men to bang every chance I get. Okay? Agreed.

 

7 hours ago, michaeld said:

"I'm sexual because I like / seek out sex"

I've never said that, and I never said that's the defining factor that makes someone sexual.

 

What makes someone sexual is that they have an innate desire (under some circumstances, to varying degrees, with varying triggers) for sexual contact with other people/another person.

 

And that aligns perfectly with AVENs defintion of asexuality, wherein asexuals have no desire for partnered sexual contact with other people.

 

Simple.

 

Your whole explanation above just proved the point we are all trying to make. That sexuals aren't all appearance-driven horndogs who chase any tail that looks good.

 

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Timeless

Well actually, I was replying to that member as an individual as I haven’t seen them post in this issue before. I was under the impression that yourself and A_I were not a single entity.
 

Yes. I skim threads a lot. I’m on LoA from modding and don’t plan on not skimming these posts any time soon.

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Kimchi Peanut

Literally what is the point of AVEN if not to educate on asexuality? What is the point of defining yourself as asexual if the word is meaningless? Because having no definition/endless definitions is the same - it renders the word meaningless. It may as well be gibberish. Is THAT what you want?

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

I haven’t seen them post in this issue before. 

@Anthracite_Impreza is as vocal as the rest of us on this topic, and posts just as regularly. You took their comment out of context due to skimming/not having read previous comments.

 

Maybe staff should try to be a little more involved in these kinds of threads (by actually reading comments etc) so they can understand the issues members are actually having, instead of just jumping in and making posts that aren't addressing the issues being discussed?

 

I wouldn't say that if this was just some random thread, but it's posted in Site Comments and directed directly at staff as a whole about serious issues with the whole 'education' thing on AVEN.

 

So it feels like if staff members are commenting, they should at least try to have some context before responding to members who are raising legitimate concerns.

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Anthracite_Impreza
15 minutes ago, ratherdrinktea said:

I haven’t seen them post in this issue before

Then you've not been paying attention, cos I've been at it for YEARS.

 

16 minutes ago, ratherdrinktea said:

Yes. I skim threads a lot.

Then don't have a go at people if you aren't bothering to read what they're saying.

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Philip027
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Yes. I skim threads a lot. I’m on LoA from modding and don’t plan on not skimming these posts any time soon.

It shows.

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Serran
1 hour ago, ratherdrinktea said:

Well actually, I was replying to that member as an individual as I haven’t seen them post in this issue before. I was under the impression that yourself and A_I were not a single entity.
 

Yes. I skim threads a lot. I’m on LoA from modding and don’t plan on not skimming these posts any time soon.

You skimmed the thread and then misread their post. And have time to do this on AVEN, but not to mod? ... that's not going to be filling the membership with confidence. 

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crazy ace

Hey guys? I usually try to sty out of these, but I thought (admittedly idiotically) that this one would stay civilized. However, now I'm seeing ad hominem attacks and just general toxicity from left and right. If you want to debate, could we attempt to do so respectfully? Please? 🥺

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
17 minutes ago, crazy ace said:

Hey guys? I usually try to sty out of these, but I thought (admittedly idiotically) that this one would stay civilized. However, now I'm seeing ad hominem attacks and just general toxicity from left and right. If you want to debate, could we attempt to do so respectfully? Please? 🥺

There have been no ad hominems (beyond the suggestion, which a staff member agreed with, that one specific member should be invalidated. That was weird). People are expressing legitimate frustration at being misunderstood repeatedly by staff, who continue to skim and miss the point. This isn't 'toxicity', it's a discussion where not everyone is agreeing. Yes it's frustrating (as there is seemingly no end in sight) but you don't have to participate (or read the thread at all) if you don't want to. Hopefully staff members address the most recent things members have discussed on this page of the thread, as a lot of good points have been made regarding the definition of asexuality, and sexuality in general (ie you can not seek out sex and still be sexual).

 

Believe me, we'd like everyone to be in agreement as much as you would, but until staff start taking these concerns seriously (or at least thoroughly reading member posts instead of skimming) then we won't get anywhere unfortunately.

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Knight of Cydonia
6 hours ago, michaeld said:

If we were to clamp down on the definition, we would have insisted everyone uses the lack of sexual attraction definition as that's been AVEN's official definition from founding. Is that what anyone wants?

Out of curiousity, did you look at the responses to the poll about concerns with the invalidation policy and AVEN's stance? The poll that's been pinned on these very site comments for a couple weeks now?

 

Three times as many people voted "Education will be impossible without clear definitions" as did "not concerned".

 

Three times as many people voted "Asexuality will not be taken seriously by outside communities" as did "not concerned".

 

Three times as many people voted "'Asexual' will lose meaning leading to the disintegration of the community" as did "not concerned".

 

And two times as many people even said "AVEN is not supporting a large section of the asexual population".

 

Why have such clear concerns remained unacknowledged, and why are staff members asking questions they already know the answer to?

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