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Homer

Medical News Today — What does it mean to be asexual?

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Homer
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Asexuality describes a lack of sexual attraction. Asexual people may experience romantic attraction, but they do not feel the urge to act on these feelings sexually.

Dec 10, 2019 — https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327272.php

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Homer

#sad

#notaspectrum

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SithEmpress

There's an unfortunate tendancy in that article to try and separate sexuality from romanticism but also trying to shove them back together for simplicity. 

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Laurann

Confusing romantic and sexual attraction and shoving them together is a really basic mistake though. Is it that hard to have an asexual read an article like this over before it gets published to pick out such simple mistakes? It's not like we're hard to find.

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Moderne Jazzhanden

I don't really get the criticisms people have made above. 🙄 I have no problem with the way that article describes romantic and sexual attraction and don't find it misrepresentational in that respect. Sometimes romantic and sexual attraction go together, sometimes they don't - it does rather a good job in making that point. And it also mentions aromanticism! 🙂 Hurrah! A bit of visibility for a change - and couched in non-pejorative terms too. 🙂

 

What I don't like is the opening sentence...

 

 Asexuality is a sexual orientation.

 

Oh no it isn't. 

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Laurann

@Moderne Jazzhanden How is asexuality not a sexual orientation? What else is it then?

 

And I was talking about these confusing parts:

Quote

Demisexual

People who are demisexual experience sexual or romantic attraction, but only after they have formed a close, emotional connection with someone.

Graysexual or grayromantic

Graysexual or grayromantic people identify somewhere between sexual and asexual. This can include but is not limited to:

  • people who only experience romantic attraction sometimes
  • people who only experience sexual attraction sometimes
  • people who experience sexual attraction but have a very low sex drive
  • people who desire and enjoy sexual or romantic relationships but only in very specific circumstances

I think it's important to distinguish romantic attractions from sexual ones, rather than shoving them together.

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Moderne Jazzhanden
18 minutes ago, Laurann said:

How is asexuality not a sexual orientation? What else is it then?

By analogy, isn't that a bit like saying, "How is atheism not a religion? What else is it then?" It's a lack of religion - in a non pejorative sense from an atheist perspective. Actually, I can see atheism as a religion myself but I wouldn't expect an atheist to agree with me. In addition, why should someone commonly referred to as an atheist (literally, someone who is "ignorant of God") wish to use such a pejoratively skewed term when their experiential reality is telling them there is no God? A lot of them prefer 'humanist' - and I can see why - but in a sense they are stuck with the term atheist as it has obviously become common usage. In the same way, we're now  stuck with the term asexual. There ought to be another term but it's difficult to come up with one - looks like we'll have to settle for asexual.

 

In a nutshell, to me asexuality is a lack of sexuality in a non-pejorative sense.

 

In terms of what you quote above I would appear to have read the 'or' as an 'and/or'. 😮 On reflection I suppose the author does actually come across as not seeing a distinction. Well spotted! 🙂  

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Man of the Stoa
11 minutes ago, Moderne Jazzhanden said:

By analogy, isn't that a bit like saying, "How is atheism not a religion? What else is it then?" It's a lack of religion - in a non pejorative sense from an atheist perspective. Actually, I can see atheism as a religion myself but I wouldn't expect an atheist to agree with me. In addition, why should someone commonly referred to as an atheist (literally, someone who is "ignorant of God") wish to use such a pejoratively skewed term when their experiential reality is telling them there is no God? A lot of them prefer 'humanist' - and I can see why - but in a sense they are stuck with the term atheist as it has obviously become common usage. In the same way, we're now  stuck with the term asexual. There ought to be another term but it's difficult to come up with one - looks like we'll have to settle for asexual.

 

In a nutshell, to me asexuality is a lack of sexuality in a non-pejorative sense.

 

In terms of what you quote above I would appear to have read the 'or' as an 'and/or'. 😮 On reflection I suppose the author does actually come across as not seeing a distinction. Well spotted! 🙂  

I think you're mistaking atheist (the "a-" meaning "without" and the "-theist" meaning "god", so someone who is atheist is someone without a god) with agnostic (the "a-" meaning "without" and the "-gnostic" meaning knowledge, usually because they claim that such knowledge is impossible to ever have). There's nothing innately pejorative about it, though certainly the words can be used with hate. This happens all the time, though, like how "Oriental" means "someone from the Orient" and isn't innately hateful, though people speaking hatefully to East Asians while using the term has led some East Asians to dislike the term. 

 

I also think there's a bit of a distinction between religion and orientation as a category. Religion is an active practice, while orientation is an innate feeling. It is entirely possible, for example, to accept and fully believe all the precepts of Catholicism and not be a Catholic, because you don't do the practice. On the other hand, it's possible to be homosexual while having only tried the opposite sex. The feeling is what defines it, not the actions. When someone asks what your orientation is, they're really just asking what sex you are attracted to, to which the answer, "none," is a perfectly valid response that doesn't require re-framing the question.

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Nowhere Girl
On 12/11/2019 at 2:24 PM, Moderne Jazzhanden said:

In a nutshell, to me asexuality is a lack of sexuality in a non-pejorative sense.

But asexual people don't necessarily "lack a sexuality". Perhaps, it could be said of some asexuals - those who have no libido, honestly "don't get sex"... But others have different kinds of sexual feelings and I don't think that it would be accurate in any way to say that I "don't have a sexuality". However, it's fully accurate to say that my sexuality is defined, among others, by a non-desire (or even anti-desire) for partnered sex.

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Iam9man
5 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

But asexual people don't necessarily "lack a sexuality". Perhaps, it could be said of some asexuals - those who have no libido, honestly "don't get sex"... But others have different kinds of sexual feelings and I don't think that it would be accurate in any way to say that I "don't have a sexuality". However, it's fully accurate to say that my sexuality is defined, among others, by a non-desire (or even anti-desire) for partnered sex.

Second this. I experience sexuality, it’s just oriented towards no one.

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frostboot

I agree with @SithGrinch that trying to shove aromanticism in under asexuality like that was really clumsy.
Other than that, I think this is awesome in providing visibility and spreading information, but am I the only one who's uncomfortable with how articles like these often seem to put a focus on normalizing and explaining that "asexual people have the same emotional needs as everyone else"? Because that isn't necessarily true, and even if it was, that shouldn't be the purpose here. We shouldn't have to be like "everyone else" to be accepted. Our experiences are different and we sometimes do experience certain things differently from everyone else (which is the whole point) and it's not a bad thing! 
They also define aromantics as "they prefer close friendships and other nonromantic relationships", which, again, isn't necessarily true and entirely throws aplatonic people under the bus. Why do aspec people that diverge too much from society's norms on how we should form relationships never get acknowledged? 

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