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Star Bit

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

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AceMissBehaving
20 minutes ago, Star Bit said:

@AceMissBehaving Which is why I've suggested in the past Subsexual Spectrum

Which sounds perfect to me. 

 

It's not a matter of invalidating anyone, it's a matter of trying find and make changes like this that can allow all these identities to co-exist and come together.

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Skullery Maid
1 hour ago, Star Bit said:

@AceMissBehaving 

"Thes IssueI 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.

Yeah I concur with the benefit of a subsexual umbrella. I think the concept of an asexual spectrum is fine, but the word asexual... which shouldn't be so confusing... is obviously creating issues. 

 

If you have a bunch of people in front of you saying they're hungry, saying "no you aren't" isn't solving the issue. Here, we have large groups of people who feel more connected to asexuality than sexuality. Telling them they're wrong isn't going to work. Giving them a non-confusing name actually may. 🤷‍♀️

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Homer

I can already see people crying foul over "subsexual" being "seen as 'less than' XYZ".

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AceMissBehaving
7 minutes ago, Homer said:

I can already see people crying foul over "subsexual" being "seen as 'less than' XYZ".

Yeah, I remember someone coming up with one that was rather solid I think in one of the “sex favorable only” threads that popped up a little bit ago, but can’t for the life in me remember what it was. I could also be miss remembering (which could possibly be a better user name for me!)

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Philip027

Also not a fan of subsexual, yeah.  Sub- almost always means under, lesser, beneath, etc and of course people will draw negative connotations from it.

 

Don't see what's wrong with the graysexual term/umbrella we already have.

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Skullery Maid
22 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

 

Don't see what's wrong with the graysexual term/umbrella we already have.

Ok this confuses tf outta me because I feel like this is the first time in quite some time I've seen it suggested that greysexual is a legitimate term. 

 

Fwiw, I couldn't give a shit less what the lower sexual spectrum is called... greysexual, subsexual, whatever... people gonna bitch no matter what, so as long as it works in practice, I'm not personally concerned with finding something 100% of people agree with. 

 

But for real, Phil, you're down with the greys? Legit surprised by that. 

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Philip027

It's totally fine with me so long as it's not getting regarded like it's the same as being asexual, or under some sort of asexual "umbrella" or whatever.

 

There's people that don't feel like they can cleanly fit in either camp, and that's... fine, whatever.  Most of them probably have their reasons for thinking that way.  I just want them to actually recognize and acknowledge that, rather than try to barge their way into our camp and pretend like we're the same just because they're "not as sexual" as they could be.

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Skullery Maid
1 minute ago, Philip027 said:

I just want them to actually recognize and acknowledge that, rather than try to barge their way into our camp and pretend like we're the same.

And I understand that. But does it matter what the middle is called, so long as some people acknowledge their place in it? Why wouldn't I be just as offended by sexual spectrum as you are by asexual spectrum? I'm fully sexual. I'm not the same as someone who wanted to bang once. So why isn't it offensive to full sexuals to call them sexual but it is offensive to asexuals to call them asexual? Either way, they're not the same. Which is why the middle exists in the first place, right? 

 

I'm legitimately trying to figure this issue out, fwiw. The discussion is helpful, so, thank you. 

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CBC

So, I went through a phase... I'd spent a number of years in my previous mismatched relationship where the sex never worked out very well other than being physically ok, and I had a number of negative feelings surrounding sexuality in general. I had actually assumed at that point for quite a while that I was not ace, the proof of which was borne out recently when I found an old post of mine from the summer of 2010, in a thread for sexual members (not that I thought my memory was faulty on how long it'd been since I really considered the possibility, but still). But there was enough disconnect for me in the following period to still... wonder. All I knew is that I seemed to want sex and consider it a natural part of a relationship, but also that the reality of my experiences at that point didn't match up and I preferred not to bother. Perhaps that was a product of that specific relationship, I don't know really; at any rate, I didn't know where I fit and may have even adopted the 'grey-a' term for a little while. Ultimately that left me with some sort of unease because... what on earth did it mean? I know for certain that I went through a long period of describing myself as "not a very sexual person", because although I learnt that the reality is quite different when I'm in a relationship that's comfortable and connected, at that point I didn't give much of a shit. I'm the sort of sexual person who can live completely fine without sex if there's no one I want to be having it with (which of course is entirely normal for many of us), and I certainly didn't feel any desire whatsoever for my previous partner. I still felt the capacity for wanting sex with a partner was there, but I didn't have proof. Was I sexual? Asexual? Grey-a? Demisexual?

 

I don't know where I'm going with this tbh, just that I think there are valid reasons people don't know where they fall. But the terminology is fucked because lots of people who are clearly not asexual are using the word 'asexual' (or some variation thereof) when that's not the case. I do not at all dispute their experiences though, nor think there's anything wrong with recognising the similarities they share with aces.

 

And just to throw another word in the mix... loooong ago, I'm gonna say 2010 maybe, or even earlier, people tried to make 'semisexual' a thing. I never did understand what that was supposed to denote, but something in the same realm as grey, I imagine.

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daveb
45 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

Also not a fan of subsexual, yeah.  Sub- almost always means under, lesser, beneath, etc and of course people will draw negative connotations from it.

Yeah, like sub-human. :( 

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Philip027
Quote

And I understand that. But does it matter what the middle is called, so long as some people acknowledge their place in it?

Not particularly.  I just think "subsexual" is going to be regarded by some as pretty degrading.

 

Quote

Why wouldn't I be just as offended by sexual spectrum as you are by asexual spectrum?

Because sexuality is a wide variety of experiences.  It truly is a spectrum.  On a scale of 0.00 to 1.00, it's everywhere from the 0.01 and up.  Most sexual people would probably readily admit that the way they experience sexuality is not going to be the same as another.  That's just the nature of human diversity, there.

 

The same cannot be said for asexuality.  Asexuality is just the 0.00.  There's not a lot of variety there; at least there shouldn't be, or else there is a severe problem with the way it's being defined.

 

My beef with it is that the 0.00 typically (not universally, I know) comes with a particular set of experiences (being made to feel alienated from / lack of an ability to relate to your adolescent/adult peers from a sexual perspective, to name just one) that someone who does experience sexuality, even if it's just a 0.01, simply cannot fully relate to -- even if they'd like to think they can.  And it's usually insulting for them to presume that they can.  Imagine trying to tell someone who just lost their parents that you "know what it's like", even though your parents are actually still alive.  No, you actually don't know what it's like -- and it's both presumptuous and insensitive for you to act like you do.

 

Quote

I'm not the same as someone who wanted to bang once. So why isn't it offensive to full sexuals to call them sexual but it is offensive to asexuals to call them asexual? Either way, they're not the same. Which is why the middle exists in the first place, right? 

I think someone who has wanted to bang, even just once, still indicates that they have the capacity for being sexual and that they are much closer to being on that side of the fence than the asexual side.  BUT, I can still see why they would still feel that same sense of alienation from the more "typical" sexual experience as a result of that.  That's exactly why the gray umbrella exists.

 

Quote

Yeah, like sub-human. :(

Or... ORRRRRRR... subordinate.

 

Eh?  Ehhhh?  Geddit?  Wink wink nudge nudge?

 

 

 

Okay I'll stop bringing that here

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, Skullery Maid said:

Yeah I concur with the benefit of a subsexual umbrella.

 

1 hour ago, Philip027 said:

There's people that don't feel like they can cleanly fit in either camp, and that's... fine, whatever. 

 

56 minutes ago, cbc said:

'semisexual'

 

1 hour ago, Homer said:

I can already see people crying foul over "subsexual" being "seen as 'less than' XYZ".

 

4 hours ago, AceMissBehaving said:

it's a matter of trying find and make changes like this that can allow all these identities to co-exist and come together.

 

51 minutes ago, daveb said:

Yeah, like sub-human. :( 

and @Mackenzie Holiday too

 

In my humble opinion, I always thought this was the whole reason for the grey area. No it shouldn't necessarily be classed as under an 'asexual umbrella' because there are plenty of Greys who are more sexual than ace, and asexual only means one thing: No sexual attraction(ie no desire for partnered sexual contact). But grey does fall in the foggy area between asexuality and sexuality for many people, and is often much closer to asexuality than sexuality. We don't need a new term though because the vast majority of greys already have much more in common with aces than most sexuals, which is why they often get along so well in this community and why they are welcome here. The term 'grey' meets those needs.

 

All we are saying is that grey is not, well, totally asexual by definition, due to those few differences. 

 

You have sexuals, and you have asexuals.. And in between there's the grey area. It's an area on it's own that encompasses everything that isn't quite sexual enough to be sexual, but also isn't asexual enough to be ace.

 

I always thought that's how it was technically meant to be, and it works that way as far as I'm concerned. No one is pushed out, because greys still fall in their own distinct place on the spectrum. So there's no need for any new terms :o 'Grey' is itself an umbrella that covers a range of experiences and identities.

 

Just my two cents :cake:

 

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CBC
1 minute ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

 'Grey' is itself an umbrella that covers a range of experiences and identities.

If there's anything that is proven by the wide variety of people who adopt that label, yep.

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

If there's anything that is proven by the wide variety of people who adopt that label, yep.

Yeah those labels and identities of the people who adopt the label just aren't 'asexual' by definition because asexual literally means: No sexual attraction(no desire for partnered sexual contact). They experience something different enough from that for them to know they're not 'fully asexual', but for whatever reason they also don't believe they're sexual. So yeah, it's an umbrella term all on its own pretty much, one that encompasses that foggy area between 'no sex please' and 'yes, sex please!'. lol. :P 

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Mackenzie Holiday

When it comes to creating a framework for a sexual spectrum similar to the one we have for the asexual spectrum, I think that's ultimately going to be up to the people who would benefit from adopting that framework to make so that they can tailor it to their own unique needs. I'm sure plenty of people would benefit from that kind of framework, but they know what they need better than we do.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
38 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

When it comes to creating a framework for a sexual spectrum similar to the one we have for the asexual spectrum, I think that's ultimately going to be up to the people who would benefit from adopting that framework to make so that they can tailor it to their own unique needs. I'm sure plenty of people would benefit from that kind of framework, but they know what they need better than we do.

Could you further explain what you mean please? Sorry I don't understand this comment because I'm not sure who you're referring to. We have sexuals commenting in this thread (both 'lifelong' sexuals and those who used to think they were ace), we have aces, and greys, all commenting together at the moment. So I'm just not sure who you mean by 'we' or 'they' when you say "they know better than we do" or which sexual framework you are referencing? :o

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Mackenzie Holiday

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?), by 'they' I meant the people who feel that they would benefit from adopting that kind of framework and by 'we' I meant everyone else, sexual and asexual alike. :)

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anisotrophic

hyposexual?

 

Oh, that's taken already.

 

Demi seems really different to gray to me.

 

Demi is like... you need a bond, trust, love -- first -- to feel attraction? That seems... pretty normal to me. Slow to warm up. Ok. Making this not "sexual" means "normal" sexuality is ... casual sex? Like someone must be unusual if they don't want casual sex? 😕

 

Gray sounds like confusing-sexual and I can see why it feels distinct.

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Philip027
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Demi is like... you need a bond, trust, love -- first -- to feel attraction? That seems... pretty normal to me.

Giving my own input on this as a demiromantic...

 

While I'm sure it's common enough (way more common than ace/aro, anyway), what really seems to be the most common to me are people who ARE capable of being attracted to people they don't really know and aren't particularly close with.  I was surrounded by so many people like this growing up that it was enough to make me eventually realize that there was a marked difference in the way I experienced attraction.  I, not them, was the oddball.  To demis, this sort of behavior may very well be unfathomable, and has a lot of us questioning if we might actually be ace/aro in the first place.  It's why it very often gets confused for being ace/aro and is why a lot of them might initially identify that way until they get enough life/relationship experience to know better.

 

I do consider demisexual to be on the sexual spectrum, though, for what it's worth.  It definitely isn't asexuality, but I do realize exactly why it can be confused for asexuality, and therefore can fall under the gray umbrella.  Other demis might not experience the same social divide that I did, and therefore might not think of themselves as any different from typical sexual people.  It's really up to the individual there just how "sexual" of an identity it is to them.  It just isn't asexual, because again, asexual is the 0.00.

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
48 minutes ago, Mackenzie Holiday said:

@Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?), by 'they' I meant the people who feel that they would benefit from adopting that kind of framework and by 'we' I meant everyone else, sexual and asexual alike. :)

Oh okay so are you saying that if some people feel left out, they should just make up their own new umbrella?

 

I think a lot of the upset comes from people feeling they're being banished from the community or something by topics/threads like this (as was shown by some of the upset in certain earlier comments on the previous page) when really it's just an acknowledgement that asexuality (by definition) is one specific thing and the grey area is it's own separate entity for everyone who feels they don't squeeze in somewhere exactly.

 

I know that by the definition, I'd be what most people here would call grey. But to me that side of it isn't that important so I say I'm just a not-very-sexual sexual, haha. Works for me. :)

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
7 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

While I'm sure it's common enough (way more common than ace/aro, anyway), what really seems to be the most common to me are people who ARE capable of being attracted to people they don't really know and aren't particularly close with.  I was surrounded by so many people like this growing up that it was enough to make me eventually realize that I (not them) was the oddball.  To demis, this sort of thing may very well be unfathomable, and has a lot of us questioning if we might actually be ace/aro in the first place.  It's why it very often gets confused for being ace/aro and is why a lot of them might initially identify that way until they get enough life/relationship experience to know better.

I guess it depends on the type of demi you are. For a lot of average demisexual folk (those who haven't actually labelled themselves that) it's just that an emotional bond might be easier to form, hence it seems like they're.. I don't know..  into casual stuff to an outside observer. In my experience, a lot more people (especially women) are like that, as opposed to just instantly being able to want to bang someone just from looking at them :o

 

Whereas for some it can take a long time to form a bond or (like in my case) it's just very, very, very difficult to find anyone you even want to try to form a bond with.  Those people might feel they have more in common with the ace community and might feel they're more 'grey' even if they're still actually sexual within a relationship, they're just not actively seeking or wanting sex outside of a bond.

 

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Mackenzie Holiday
1 minute ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Oh okay so are you saying that if some people feel left out, they should just make up their own new umbrella?

Oh, no, not at all. Starting at the end of the last page and moving into this page, people were talking about potentially making a subsexual umbrella or something like it. I was just saying that I don't think it's really up to anyone to create a new category for other people. If people think such an umbrella would be useful for themselves, they should be the ones to create it. But if no one finds it useful enough to create for themselves, then there's no reason anyone else should create one for them.

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anisotrophic
2 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

To demis, this sort of thing may very well be unfathomable, and has a lot of us questioning if we might actually be ace/aro in the first place.  It's why it very often gets confused for being ace/aro and is why a lot of them might initially identify that way until they get enough life/relationship experience to know better.

 

Well... I was not in a microculture that celebrated casual sex. I think "hookup culture" became more popularized in the years since my own adolescence.

 

It feels like something another generation is pushing back on with stuff like "demisexual". Which is good, I think! Good. Pressure to participate in hookup culture seems ...problematic. I wish it were just... normal sexuality again, to not be interested in hookups. 😕

 

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

Whereas for some it can take a long time to form a bond or (like in my case) it's just very, very, very difficult to find anyone you even want to try to form a bond with.

I guess I'd think of it as... really slow to warm up, or very selective?

 

I totally get that people don't know until it happens. Asexuality is annoyingly tough to "confirm" and nobody should feel like they need to prove asexuality.

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Skycaptain

This is my opinion, not staff opinion or BoD opinion. 

 

Asexual should be the null point, anything else grey/demi etc. That would run along a similar line to the gay/bi/curious used for people on the sexual spectrum who are still working out their orientation. I'd also agree with not using sub-  as it has derogatory connotations, or hyposexual as that is the clinical catch-all term for disorders as opposed to orientation 

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

Oh, no, not at all. Starting at the end of the last page and moving into this page, people were talking about potentially making a subsexual umbrella or something like it. I was just saying that I don't think it's really up to anyone to create a new category for other people. If people think such an umbrella would be useful for themselves, they should be the ones to create it. But if no one finds it useful enough to create for themselves, then there's no reason anyone else should create one for them.

outside Oooooh okay, I'm with you now. Sorry my brain isn't functioning at full capacity today, used too much mental energy thinking about strange disappearances and the Younger Dryas impact theory (my brain has been far too busy) :P

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Serran
12 hours ago, Skullery Maid said:

Yeah I concur with the benefit of a subsexual umbrella. I think the concept of an asexual spectrum is fine, but the word asexual... which shouldn't be so confusing... is obviously creating issues. 

 

If you have a bunch of people in front of you saying they're hungry, saying "no you aren't" isn't solving the issue. Here, we have large groups of people who feel more connected to asexuality than sexuality. Telling them they're wrong isn't going to work. Giving them a non-confusing name actually may. 🤷‍♀️

There are labels that popped up to explain it. But, they all got lumped under "asexual" as a catch all term too with the micro labels being secondary. On dating sites when I did ID as ace for example, cupiosexuals and sapiosexuals were using asexual ... then also saying they needed sex in a relationship or they couldn't be happy. It was highly confusing and frustrating. A couple of aces who also listed on their profiles no sex had even put in the profile "If you are asexual and want sex from a partner, don't message me". And a lot of as @AceMissBehaving calls them asexual asexuals are being told to go by non-sexual asexual if it bugs them. Which I can understand being quite annoying to them. 

 

 

Like... if aces who prefer no sex are being told they need a new label, I feel like something has gone wrong. 

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Serran
6 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

 

 

Demi seems really different to gray to me.

 

Demi is like... you need a bond, trust, love -- first -- to feel attraction? That seems... pretty normal to me. Slow to warm up. Ok. Making this not "sexual" means "normal" sexuality is ... casual sex? Like someone must be unusual if they don't want casual sex? 😕

 

The "normal" experience tends to be the bond can form quickly and is guaranteed. Demis can form a romantic bond and never feel it. Even years in to a romantic relationship. Or, it can take quite a long time. For example... I technically fit demi, I just don't use it. It was 6 months dating my wife (after a year or so of being good friends) to ever try anything sexual. It was another couple months where I wasn't sure if I felt sexual desire for her or not so we experimented to see. Then, my desire started out weak and very occasional. With a deeper bond it has built into something more "normal", with us having regular sexual contact and desire and enjoying that part of our relationship. 

 

Me taking basically two years to develop an average sexual relationship is not at all an experience most people could even tolerate. A lot of average sexuals would never enjoy being with me. I gave up traditional dating because I was expected to want romantic stuff within a few dates and I couldn't do it. I need like a year of knowing you to be able to hold hands, cuddle, kiss, etc. And then I can't guarantee my romantic feelings will become sexual ones, we may have to date a year longer for me to find out. That's a huge investment just to see if we are compatible. 

 

I accept I am not normal. I just don't call myself ace and demi seems... not useful to me cause only potential partners would need to know I am odd and I am capable of an absolutely regular sexual relationship (and am in one). So, sexual works for me because even though yeah it took me a long time to develop a sexual interest in someone, now you couldn't tell me from any other sexual married person (except lack of interest in other people). 

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Galactic Turtle

I was expecting this thread to be locked by now but it isn't yay~~~~

 

I agree that there really doesn't need to be a new word. We already have language like the gray area/gray/demi. However, as was spoken more about at the beginning of this thread, simply saying something like "demisexuality is different from/is not asexuality" will get you banned/blocked/ejected/bombarded in the vast majority of large ace spaces. Let's not even start on the number of articles/interviews of asexual people who at some point say "not all asexual people don't experience sexual attraction, there are multiple types of asexual, I'm the type called gray-a." It just all seems like another tornado of misinformation to add to the already existing tornado of misinformation surrounding asexuality. 

 

And again, it's not that gray area folks are being kicked out of ace spaces or that they're not wanted. It would just be nice if the gray/demi population didn't insist on, for whatever reason, being called asexual... because they aren't. Similar perhaps, but definitely not the same yet for some reason it's an injustice to acknowledge that. 

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Galactic Turtle
2 hours ago, Serran said:

And a lot of as @AceMissBehaving calls them asexual asexuals are being told to go by non-sexual asexual if it bugs them. Which I can understand being quite annoying to them. 

*points at profile* lol

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Philip027
Quote

Well... I was not in a microculture that celebrated casual sex. I think "hookup culture" became more popularized in the years since my own adolescence.

 

It feels like something another generation is pushing back on with stuff like "demisexual". Which is good, I think! Good. Pressure to participate in hookup culture seems ...problematic. I wish it were just... normal sexuality again, to not be interested in hookups.

I'm not even talking specifically about the act of casual sex though, just the attraction bit.  I'm saying most people around me were *clearly* capable of experiencing that toward anyone that passed by that happened to look "hot" to them or whatever (to the point where they'd usually vocally comment about it as soon as the "hot" person was out of earshot), and I wasn't, and it was a very visible divide that affected my social interactions with these people, especially my ability to relate to male peers.  Obviously they weren't necessarily all interested in having casual sex or something; that's painting them with too broad of a brush.

 

Quote

This is my opinion, not staff opinion or BoD opinion. 

 

Asexual should be the null point, anything else grey/demi etc. That would run along a similar line to the gay/bi/curious used for people on the sexual spectrum who are still working out their orientation. I'd also agree with not using sub-  as it has derogatory connotations, or hyposexual as that is the clinical catch-all term for disorders as opposed to orientation 

I appreciate you saying at least that much.

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