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Star Bit

Gray-asexual/ the 'asexual umbrella' are not asexual

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Star Bit

đŸ˜©This was a misconception before, but it's bad now. Recently I've been looking at Ace YouTube videos and keep seeing this BS on channels with a significant amount of subscribers! They're saying Demisexuals are asexual, etc. *facepalm*

 

For those who ask why to the title, it means they're close to it in some way but aren't actually it. Then why give it those names? When it was created no one thought it would be misconstrued, and the alternative simply hasn't caught on because the other existed first. Like Heteroflexible or Homoflexible. No one's saying those people are gay/straight because everyone knows it's a specific version of Bisexuality that strongly leans to one side. But in the Ace case, everyone IS taking it literally and saying gay ppl can be into the opposite sex, and straight ppl can want the same sex strictly because these flexible terms exist.

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Philip027

Well, this is where the whole "validation!" thing has gotten us.  AVEN literally promotes and encourages this stuff.

 

Ergo, even though I do agree with you, I don't see this thread ending well.

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Mackenzie Holiday
57 minutes ago, Star Bit said:

Then why give it those names?

 

Quote

Similarly, some people who might technically belong to the gray area choose to identify as asexual because it is easier to explain. For example, if someone has experienced sexual attraction on one or two brief, fleeting occasions in their life, they might prefer to call themselves asexual because it is not worth the bother of having to explain these one or two occasions to everyone who asks about their orientation.

Source: http://wiki.asexuality.org/Gray-A/Grey-A

 

Hope that helps. :)

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bare_trees

Why do people get so upset about this?  Like, how is it hurting you if someone says they are part of the "asexual spectrum" or "asexual umbrella" because that's how they feel most comfortable and its closest to their identity/experiences?  I don't understand policing other people's labels; that's personal. 

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Philip027
Quote

Why do people get so upset about this?  Like, how is it hurting you if someone says they are part of the "asexual spectrum" or "asexual umbrella" because that's how they feel most comfortable and its closest to their identity/experiences?  I don't understand policing other people's labels; that's personal. 

Once you get people expecting sexual reciprocation from you despite the fact you've told them you're ace because they read on the internet that asexuals are completely capable of both enjoying and desiring sex, maybe you'll understand.

 

I don't understand why you don't understand that some people want asexuality to actually mean something and not just be a meaningless buzzword.

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AceMissBehaving
30 minutes ago, bare_trees said:

Why do people get so upset about this?  Like, how is it hurting you if someone says they are part of the "asexual spectrum" or "asexual umbrella" because that's how they feel most comfortable and its closest to their identity/experiences?  I don't understand policing other people's labels; that's personal. 

The answer is because while those in the grey area have defined labels that are clear and make sense, by also saying they are asexual it muddies that term to the point the word become meaningless and essentially useless for actually asexual people who have no other label to use.

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AceMissBehaving

And yes I experience this problem on a practical level quite often...

 

I post about my being asexual 

 

A bunch of people respond they too are asexual!

 

Me does happy dance

 

They start talking about how they discovered demisexuality

 

Me disappointed, next time want to clarify I‘m saying I’m asexual.

 

Next time: “ok how do I make this personal asexual visibility post in a way people understand I’m asexual asexual (which sounds stupid and redundant) without either spelling out all the ways I don’t want to f**k, like ever? Because I want to be understood as what I am, but also don’t want to center sex in the conversation, because de-centering sex in people’s minds is the whole point of what I’m trying to achieve with the post I’m making.


Looks like I can’t because when I say I’m asexual that can mean I’m asexual, graysexual or Demisexual. Since both of the other two labels populations vastly eclipse the asexual asexual population, my voice is lost, and I’m doomed to never be able to say “I am Asexual” and have that be all that’s needed to be understood.

 

I honestly wish the majority of folks in the gray area would care more about this. I want us all to be a community, I think we belong as a community, but community means caring about everyone, and part of that means making changes if one group is being systematically hurt like asexual asexuals are in this instance. We push for change, but we are a minority in our own community and no one will listen.

 

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HikaruBG

This post will go downhills, I can feel it.

 

I'm going to post my 2 cents on the matter later when I get home from the university.

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Mackenzie Holiday

@AceMissBehaving, am I understanding you correctly that the issue is not with the concept of an asexual umbrella/spectrum itself, the issue arises when folks who are gray or demi use the word asexual as said umbrella term at times when their status as gray or demi is relevant to the conversation?

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AceMissBehaving
45 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

@AceMissBehaving, am I understanding you correctly that the issue is not with the concept of an asexual umbrella/spectrum itself, the issue arises when folks who are gray or demi use the word asexual as said umbrella term at times when their status as gray or demi is relevant to the conversation?

Correct. If we could get to a point where the word asexual simply referred to those of us who do not experience sexual attraction or desire, life would be much easier. The issue I have with “asexual umbrella” or “asexual spectrum” is that it does foster the idea that asexual is the catch all term. If we can get away from that things work better for everyone.

 

I’m also not saying “when it’s relevant to the conversation” I mean period, because it’s always relevant to the conversation otherwise it’s still impossible to simply make the statement “I’m asexual”

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bare_trees
3 hours ago, Philip027 said:

Once you get people expecting sexual reciprocation from you despite the fact you've told them you're ace because they read on the internet that asexuals are completely capable of both enjoying and desiring sex, maybe you'll understand.

 

I don't understand why you don't understand that some people want asexuality to actually mean something and not just be a meaningless 

People shouldn't rely on the internet to tell them what their partner wants. And though I am not asexual, I have had people assume I want sex when I don't, pretty much, by default, so I guess I've already been in this situation and I blame the person and not the internet.

 

No one said it's a meaningless buzzword. Identities are complex. We don't have enough terms for all of them. We do the best we can.  I don't believe we should tell anyone what they are. Being a part of this forum has done nothing but cement that for me.

 

I think that mods should probably shut down threads like this because nothing good can come of policing others' identities.

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CBC

Yeah this isn't going anywhere good/constructive, unfortunately. People apparently no longer care about words having specific meanings, and in adopting labels that are logically incorrect they confuse both actual asexuals and sexuals alike, and people in general in terms of what asexuality even is. But I've mostly given up because it's a losing battle. Y'all have fun fighting it endlessly.

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Philip027
Quote

People shouldn't rely on the internet to tell them what their partner wants.

They shouldn't, but they will.  Asexuality isn't that well known yet "IRL" and if someone actually wants to learn more about it, chances are they are going to have to take to the internet to find out.

 

But given how many instances there are on said internet where asexuality is described as basically being whatever the hell it feels like, I would not fault someone in the least for then concluding that "asexuals" are basically like any other (sexual) people, and therefore, likely still have the same interests/desires that they do.

 

Quote

No one said it's a meaningless buzzword.

It is literally this website's policy for it to be a meaningless buzzword.

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AceMissBehaving
14 minutes ago, cbc said:

Yeah this isn't going anywhere good/constructive, unfortunately. People apparently no longer care about words having specific meanings, and in adopting labels that are logically incorrect they confuse both actual asexuals and sexuals alike, and people in general in terms of what asexuality even is. But I've mostly given up because it's a losing battle. Y'all have fun fighting it endlessly.

I do sometimes wonder if I died at some point and this whole mess is the circle of hell reserved for people who often argumentative in life.

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PanFicto.
4 hours ago, bare_trees said:

Why do people get so upset about this?  Like, how is it hurting you if someone says they are part of the "asexual spectrum" or "asexual umbrella" because that's how they feel most comfortable and its closest to their identity/experiences?  I don't understand policing other people's labels; that's personal. 

It's more when you see large groups of sexuals on livestreams and stuff (and making long mocking videos) cracking up at asexual identities. They all agree that there are people out there who just don't inherently want sex, but then they sit around laughing at things like demisexual and grey because really, the vast majority of the time the way they're described is just normal sexual people. All the comments are supportive of the mockery, and frustrated about the state of things when no one can just be a normal sexual person. You have to be a hypersexual sex maniac or you're some kind of ace. Also if you see the occasional ace comment they get attacked due to all the negativity created by the video/stream.

 

So the frustration comes from how it makes asexuality look to the outside world, and seems to push any chance of the ace community being seriously further away.

 

On top of that, it's really bad for education because it promotes unhealthy and inaccurate ideas of how sexual people think and feel, and as it will be mostly teens who are trying to understand sexuality being exposed to the types of vids Star is referring to, yeah that's an issue, a really big one :c

 

If this stuff was confined solely to the ace community, no one would mind so much I don't think. It's the fact that the rest of the world is seeing and negatively judging as a result, and the fact that it means teens are being miseducated about sex and sexuality that's the issue.

 

We don't care how people identify individually, but putting harmful and misinforming 'education' out there to the rest of the world doesn't help the community as a whole :c

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bare_trees

Yeah, y'all enjoy. If y'all can defend something as dickish as putting labels on other people instead of allowing them to define themselves, then I need to stick to other threads, clearly. @Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) sorry--I didn't see your post before I started writing this one. You have some points worth discussing, but I don't have the emotional energy in me. 

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CBC
2 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I do sometimes wonder if I died at some point and this whole mess is the circle of hell reserved for people who often argumentative in life.

I would not doubt that in the least. :P 

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PanFicto.
2 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I do sometimes wonder if I died at some point and this whole mess is the circle of hell reserved for people who often argumentative in life.

Hah it's funny because based on my comments here you'd think I'm argumentative in real life, but while I'm opinionated I actually hate arguing and avoid it like the plague :P

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HikaruBG

Before I start, I want to clarify that Gray-As and Demisexual are valid identities and everyone who identifies like this is very much welcome here. I just want to say this because since I'm a somewhat returning member, I have to clearly state what I think on the matter. However, that being said...

 

Originally, the "asexual umbrella" was supposed to encompass people with similar experiences, so Gray-A and Demisexuals "became part" of the term "asexual" because how their experiences are similar to asexuals to the point where they relate to them.

But the problem is that, these people people still do desire sex with others to some extent, even if it's rarely or under certain circumstances. The difference gets even more apparent if you were to pair them up with an asexual (a.i. someone who doesn't have inherent desire sex) - this does indeed happens because I have seen, outside of AVEN, demisexuals (who have reached the point where their sexual desire for their partner, or whatever, have surfaced) complaining about how their ace partner doesn't want to have sex with them and thus, become incompatable with them.
TL;DR, these guys belongs to the very low end of sexuality, rather than asexuality.

This is one of the reasons, IMO, why the whole debacle with "Invalidation" started in the first place, because certain people started getting pissed off because apparently their issues with dating and whatnot "was not enough to be considered asexual" (as if having issues with dating was some sort of criteria for being asexual 😒), except that it was never about experiences or relating to asexual.

Being able to relate to asexual people to some extend ≠ making you one.
 

 

 

On 11/12/2019 at 7:40 PM, Mackenzie Holiday said:

Source: http://wiki.asexuality.org/Gray-A/Grey-A

 

Hope that helps. :)

That wiki's definitions heavily contradicts to that of AVEN's, especially when you consider how they define sexual attraction.


From http://wiki.asexuality.org/Attraction

Quote

"Sexual attraction is an emotional response that sexual people often feel that results in a desire for sexual contact with the person that the attraction is felt towards. Sexual attraction can be experienced towards any person and any gender. Sexual attraction can be based upon many qualities of a person. Physical qualities can include, but are not limited to; appearance, movement, smell and clothing. The effect to which a person is successful at drawing sexual attraction based upon physical traits is known as sex appeal. Physical qualities that result in a sexual or erotic response affect a person’s Primary sexual attraction. "

This same wiki is pretty much the source of confusion that caused posts like this one.

 

From AVEN (https://asexuality.org/?q=general.html):

Quote

''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.)''

 

Sometimes, I have the feeling that people here don't really believe in the defintions that they themselves listed, so to speak.

 

Also, that definition of Gray-Asexuality is fallacious because it confuses libido/sex-drive with sexual desire for sex.

(Irrevelant info under spoiler... expand at your choice.)

Spoiler

Apparently, I fit partially the Gray-Asexuality according to the wiki's definitons because I can recognize certain physical traits as sexually appealing and even have involuntary physical reactions... except that, I do not because that ''sexual attraction'' never lead to the mental desire to have sex with that person? God forbid separating these two????

 

Edited by HikaruBG
fixing shit up again
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CBC
Just now, bare_trees said:

Yeah, y'all enjoy. If y'all can defend something as dickish as putting labels on other people instead of allowing them to define themselves, then I need to stick to other threads, clearly.

No one is trying to put labels on others, they're trying to define those labels in a clear way. A byproduct of that is that some people will feel invalidated. Which... tough?

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PanFicto.
1 minute ago, bare_trees said:

Yeah, y'all enjoy. If y'all can defend something as dickish as putting labels on other people instead of allowing them to define themselves, then I need to stick to other threads, clearly.

Again, it's more just about wanting the rest of the world to take the ace community seriously, and concern for the harmful miseducation being spread around about how 'normal' sexual people think and feel. It's not helpful for a young teen trying to understand sexuality to stumble across a whole lot of videos about asexuality that completely misrepresent actual sexuality, pretty much claiming that unless you're a sex maniac you're an ace.

 

No one cares how individuals identify, but it's how this is making the ace community appear to the rest of the world that's the issue :c

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

Hah it's funny because based on my comments here you'd think I'm argumentative in real life, but while I'm opinionated I actually hate arguing and avoid it like the plague :P

Weirdly enough I’m the same way, or was before I died and ended up here 💀

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PanFicto.
6 minutes ago, bare_trees said:

. @Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) sorry--I didn't see your post before I started writing this one. You have some points worth discussing, but I don't have the emotional energy in me. 

Opps sorry didn't see your edit until after you responded, all good I totally understand!!

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AceMissBehaving

“Yeah, y'all enjoy. If y'all can defend something as dickish as putting labels on other people instead of allowing them to define themselves, then I need to stick to other threads, clearly.”

 

 this is the part I’m talking about with community, and the lack of listening. Why is it always the “no sex please” folks that can’t get an ear. It’s not about being petty, it’s not about crapping on other people, it’s not even about putting labels on people since people are already using other labels too. It’s about saying “this is causing me real pain and problems, can we please also address our needs?”

 

The fact that actual needs, actual issues from this one group are constantly shut out and shut down isn’t ok, and it isn’t community.

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Philip027
Quote

because I have seen, outside of AVEN, demisexuals (who have reached the point where their sexual desire for their partner, or whatever, have surfaced) complaining about how their ace partner doesn't want to have sex with them and thus, become incompatable with them.

I've seen it too, and this is precisely why this "asexual spectrum/umbrella" shit is more harmful than anyone in charge here seems willing to admit.

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CBC
47 minutes ago, Philip027 said:
Quote

because I have seen, outside of AVEN, demisexuals (who have reached the point where their sexual desire for their partner, or whatever, have surfaced) complaining about how their ace partner doesn't want to have sex with them and thus, become incompatable with them.

I've seen it too, and this is precisely why this "asexual spectrum/umbrella" shit is more harmful than anyone in charge here seems willing to admit

Yeah I remember there was a member here aeons ago, I don't even recall her username, but I believe her husband was a member as well and they both identified as demi. I'll always remember a particular post she made about how their relationship was indistinguishable from that of any other sexual couple. They had very regular sex, and both wanted and enjoyed it. I have no idea how that's kind of similar to "I don't feel sexual desire for anyone ever".

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Mackenzie Holiday
2 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I’m also not saying “when it’s relevant to the conversation” I mean period, because it’s always relevant to the conversation otherwise it’s still impossible to simply make the statement “I’m asexual”

Just to make sure we're on the same page about the kind of thing I was referring to when I said "when it's relevant to the conversation", I'm going to use myself as an example. I'm what we might call a "no sex please" gray asexual (to use the terminology in this specific thread). In most if not all practical situations, the word asexual as you described it is a good representation of me. I identify as gray because of a few things that I know about myself that are mostly if not entirely only relevant to me. When people ask about my orientation IRL, I usually do say that I'm gray asexual the same way I do here on AVEN, but in some situations it would be very useful to just say I'm asexual because the reasons I identify as gray are no one's business but my own, in that they will never be relevant to the person I'm telling about my orientation. I try to steer away from doing that myself, but I understand why others find that useful. But this means that gray-As in this camp would also benefit from the general understanding of asexual being as you described. And I don't think this is an edge case either, I've come across a few people who identify as gray asexual but refer to themselves as asexual for this reason.

 

I'm not bringing this up to dismiss your concerns at all, or to imply that this is the only reason a gray asexual might just call themself asexual. I think these concerns are very important and I want to be part of the solution. All I want to do with this post is to identify how we can all support each other. I completely agree with you that as a community we need to all listen to each other and support each other, and I think a part of that is determining what exactly is and is not hurting those in our community.

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AceMissBehaving
25 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

Just to make sure we're on the same page about the kind of thing I was referring to when I said "when it's relevant to the conversation", I'm going to use myself as an example. I'm what we might call a "no sex please" gray asexual (to use the terminology in this specific thread). In most if not all practical situations, the word asexual as you described it is a good representation of me. I identify as gray because of a few things that I know about myself that are mostly if not entirely only relevant to me. When people ask about my orientation IRL, I usually do say that I'm gray asexual the same way I do here on AVEN, but in some situations it would be very useful to just say I'm asexual because the reasons I identify as gray are no one's business but my own, in that they will never be relevant to the person I'm telling about my orientation. I try to steer away from doing that myself, but I understand why others find that useful. But this means that gray-As in this camp would also benefit from the general understanding of asexual being as you described. And I don't think this is an edge case either, I've come across a few people who identify as gray asexual but refer to themselves as asexual for this reason.

 

I'm not bringing this up to dismiss your concerns at all, or to imply that this is the only reason a gray asexual might just call themself asexual. I think these concerns are very important and I want to be part of the solution. All I want to do with this post is to identify how we can all support each other. I completely agree with you that as a community we need to all listen to each other and support each other, and I think a part of that is determining what exactly is and is not hurting those in our community.

I think we are on the same page, I’ve also found most the gray-A folks I’ve met have been in the same boat with the asexuals I’ve met, including how a relationship will ultimately shake out. I may have just met really charcoal gray-a’s but that’s been my experience so far though I could be incorrect.

 

 It’s a difficult topic to discuss because a lot of the time what can come off as “invalidation” isn’t meant that way. 

 

Like I believe demisexuals  face a lot of issues that are very real, and it’s something I’ll jump into arguments online to defend as well, but it’s functionally a very different experience once a relationship is set, and at least to me a label is in part a tool that sets expectations of what a future with said person might look like. That’s why I think it’s close enough that we should all band together to try redefine the way society as a whole looks at the role of sex in a relationship, but not close enough to be equated as the same thing.

 

”I’m a-spec” works to me then as a group identity, where as “I’m asexual” doesn’t, because a “definitely going to feel these things one day” is very different from “Probably not gonna feel this” or “definitely not going to feel this”. In the latter two instances the listener should be entering a relationship ok with never being sexually desired by their partner

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Star Bit

@AceMissBehaving 

"The issue I have with “asexual umbrella” or “asexual spectrum” is that it does foster the idea that asexual is the catch all term. If we can get away from that things work better for everyone."

 

 

Which is why I've suggested in the past Subsexual Spectrum/Umbrella.

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Star Bit
4 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

 

 

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