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gray-a girl

Wondering how most people use asexual words? Poll

Definitions and word Use Poll  

124 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you define asexual?

    • Anyone on the asexual spectrum
      20
    • Anyone on the asexual spectrum but also at the same time, it's own distinct orientation
      65
    • Narrowly. Can't have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc.
      2
    • Narrowly. May or may not have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc
      36
  2. 2. Do you find the term aspec (or asexual spectrum) useful/good for people to use, vs. the black and white only terms of asexual vs sexual?

    • Yes- and I use it.
      54
    • Yes- and other people can use it. I just don't.
      46
    • No
      23
  3. 3. How do you define Ace?

    • Anyone on the asexual spectrum.
      83
    • Narrowly. Can't have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc.
      0
    • Narrowly. May or may not have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc
      40


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gray-a girl

Well, after realizing that the way I've been using asexual is not the way some other people have been using the term, and noticing that there seems to be a big variation in how people use it, I am just wondering how most people use certain terms. What way does the majority use it? You look up definitions for things on google or AVEN, but it doesn't give you the nuances of how these terms are used. Depending on how people are using the terms, I am thinking of changing the way I use one of them, at least here on AVEN.

 

I know this is bordering on a controversial topic, so let's please keep things civil if possible! No invalidating please! (Since invalidating is against the rules).

I do seem to come up with controversial or close to controversial topics...but a lot of that, I think, is because my orientation is controversial.

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Star Lion

From my perspective, I think AVEN is the only place where there are multiple people who don’t use aspec. I don’t like that it’s such an unpopular opinion but I’m pretty sure us that don’t like “aspec” are in a very small minority

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gray-a girl
12 minutes ago, Star Lion said:

From my perspective, I think AVEN is the only place where there are multiple people who don’t use aspec. I don’t like that it’s such an unpopular opinion but I’m pretty sure us that don’t like “aspec” are in a very small minority

Good point, to say that AVEN is just one part of the asexual/aspec community. There are other communities too, that may feel differently.

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gray-a girl

I am pleasantly surprised that, so far, most people are using the term "asexual" to mean, on the asexual spectrum (and most also at the same time use it to mean its own distinct orientation). Also pleasantly surprised that most people support the term aspec. From some of the posts I got on my threads, I didn't expect this.

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CharCharChar

Thanks for making this poll. I was just talking to someone about how it seems like more people (including myself) are using ace to mean "ace and/or aspec" and how I saw someone complain that this invalidates asexuality by conflating it with the spectrum. And how LGBT+ nonfiction books are defining ace as the asexuality spectrum. 

 

I'm not heavily taking a stance one way or the other. It could be useful, as an ace-not-aspec person, if there was a word I could use if I ever need to clarify that I really do mean asexuality and not the spectrum.

 

I don't like 100% ace because it feels like I'm saying I'm superior - but I know some people like using percentages in describing their gray-ness like "98% ace". 

 

Then again I haven't run into a situation yet where I need a label to say I'm ace not aspec. I'm fine with people thinking I might be either ace or aspec when I use the ace label. Actually I prefer people thinking I could be anywhere on the aspec, it gives me more wiggle room to be open to realizing I'm not what I thought without people getting the impression being ace was a phase. 

 

And if I did need to explain myself as "not aspec", I think I could just say "I've never felt sexual attraction, in the past I thought I did occasionally but after self reflection and research I've realized that's not what it was."

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gray-a girl

I think it's useful to see how people are using it, since I've gotten into so many arguments (and been invalidated a bunch of times) over what basically amounts to a definition.

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AceMissBehaving

I’d be interested to see the split between aspec people, and asexual people on how they feel about the use of asexual as a catch all term. 
 

I’m personally asexual, and find the use of asexual as a catch all term causes me problems in the real world, and feel it at least partially erases our identity and voices, which is why I am very much  against it.

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gray-a girl
2 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I’d be interested to see the split between aspec people, and asexual people on how they feel about the use of asexual as a catch all term. 
 

I’m personally asexual, and the use of asexual as a catch all term causes me problems in the real world and feel it at least partially erases our identity.

Can you give an example of a problem it caused you? Just curious.

 

As far as your question, wouldn't it be possible to make a poll about that?

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Borderline

 I can see using Asexual as an umbrella term for all of aspec when speaking with people not yet familiar with the asexual spectrum, but I generally see it just meaning the stereotypical "full-ace".

 But the spectrum is wide. If hypothetically only people with 0% - 49% sexual feelings could be counted into the aspec, and only the people with 0% are without sexual feelings, on my use of the word only 1/50 aka 2% of the spectrum could be called asexuals (I know all the numbers are off, but you get my point~). And I don't like sound of that, that would be bound to lead to feelings of exclusion and elitism, and the term would be likely unhelpfully precise. Maybe? We are describing people here, not soulless objective never-changing numbers. Even if I myself would like clear definitions. Tho that brings other subject!

 In asexual spectrum we have people identifying with terms like grey, demi, cupio, anego, etc. . ., if we start using asexual as the spectrum-term, is there any term for the ones who feel zero sexuality? Clear single-meaning term? Does it even matter? Maybe it doesn't. And line between my imaginary 10% and 0% would be so hard to identify in practice, that maybe we would again be on "worthlessly precise" territory. I dunno.

 

 I just know I should re-think my use of the term. Maybe I can count myself as asexual & not "kinda asexual", "borderline asexual". . .

I dunno. . .

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gray-a girl
2 minutes ago, Borderline said:

 I can see using Asexual as an umbrella term for all of aspec when speaking with people not yet familiar with the asexual spectrum, but I generally see it just meaning the stereotypical "full-ace".

 But the spectrum is wide. If hypothetically only people with 0% - 49% sexual feelings could be counted into the aspec, and only the people with 0% are without sexual feelings, on my use of the word only 1/50 aka 2% of the spectrum could be called asexuals (I know all the numbers are off, but you get my point~). And I don't like sound of that, that would be bound to lead to feelings of exclusion and elitism, and the term would be likely unhelpfully precise. Maybe? We are describing people here, not soulless objective never-changing numbers. Even if I myself would like clear definitions. Tho that brings other subject!

 In asexual spectrum we have people identifying with terms like grey, demi, cupio, anego, etc. . ., if we start using asexual as the spectrum-term, is there any term for the ones who feel zero sexuality? Clear single-meaning term? Does it even matter? Maybe it doesn't. And line between my imaginary 10% and 0% would be so hard to identify in practice, that maybe we would again be on "worthlessly precise" territory. I dunno.

 

 I just know I should re-think my use of the term. Maybe I can count myself as asexual & not "kinda asexual", "borderline asexual". . .

I dunno. . .

You do make a good point I haven't thought of. For the people who have 0% sexual interest... is there a word for them? Right now it's just asexual, but to a lot of people asexual also means aspec. So I can kind of see where some people get upset. Especially if, non-aces get confused and start thinking the 0% asexual might be persuaded into sex.

Though I do think, sex repulsed and sex indifferent asexuals are useful terms to use, that can help with that... so there is kind of a term, of a sort.

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AceMissBehaving
Just now, gray-a girl said:

Can you give an example of a problem it caused you? Just curious.

 

Of course, these are a few I’ve encountered...

 

When I say I’m asexual, people don’t automatically know what that means, and when I clarify asexual, they are still confused because I’m using the same word, so I have to go into a whole thing that gets rather personal rather fast before they get it

 

When I’m trying to find people like me and see someone says they are asexual, I don’t know if that means they are like me, or one of the other orientations

 

People think I still want sex under certain circumstances.

 

If I post something about wanting a sex free life as an asexual I get a lot of people coming at me talking about how not all asexual people don’t want sex because demisexual....

 

groups is follow started posting less asexual content because of the above reason leading to a silencing  of our voices

 

I spent my life in the sexual world feeling broken because I didn’t want sex, discovering asexuality was a literal lifesaver, now I feel like an outsider for not being into sex even in the “asexual” community.


I just want to find my people and be understood as being who and what I am by simply using the only label I have.

 

Just now, gray-a girl said:

As far as your question, wouldn't it be possible to make a poll about that?

possibly but it would be less valuable from a data collection standpoint as it would be pulling from a different pool of participants 

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AceMissBehaving
27 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:


Though I do think, sex repulsed and sex indifferent asexuals are useful terms to use, that can help with that... so there is kind of a term, of a sort.

They are not to me because they are overly personal and again centralize sex. A large part of what asexual people want, and need, is to get away from sex as a central topic in a sexual world, to exist as they are and get away from this one single thing.

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gray-a girl
14 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

Of course, these are a few I’ve encountered...

 

When I say I’m asexual, people don’t automatically know what that means, and when I clarify asexual, they are still confused because I’m using the same word, so I have to go into a whole thing that gets rather personal rather fast before they get it

 

When I’m trying to find people like me and see someone says they are asexual, I don’t know if that means they are like me, or one of the other orientations

 

People think I still want sex under certain circumstances.

 

If I post something about wanting a sex free life as an asexual I get a lot of people coming at me talking about how not all asexual people don’t want sex because demisexual....

 

groups is follow started posting less asexual content because of the above reason leading to a silencing  of our voices

 

I spent my life in the sexual world feeling broken because I didn’t want sex, discovering asexuality was a literal lifesaver, now I feel like an outsider for not being into sex even in the “asexual” community.


I just want to find my people and be understood as being who and what I am by simply using the only label I have.

 

possibly but it would be less valuable from a data collection standpoint as it would be pulling from a different pool of participants 

I feel the same way about my orientation. I just want to be understood as who and what I am. Except, instead of needing to find someone like me (though that would be great) I just need someone to be ok with me (ok with me not being sexually attracted to them). I have considered faking it, but that feels wrong.

I do think your orientation has it a little harder, because not only are you not sexually attracted to people, but you don't want sex, which makes it hard to date allosexuals unless they have no libido or are on blood pressure medication. (joke. But only sort of. My ex was on blood pressure meds so we did nothing. Most of the time it didn't bother me, unless I thought about it).

I think there is one thing you can be assured of though... when you go on dating sites for asexuals, I don't think you will find sex favorable asexuals/cupiosexuals... and probably also not demi-sexuals either. Finding another person who is asexual is very hard, and possibly impossible unless you are ok with a LDR. Cupios/sex favorables, and demis can make it work with allosexuals, if the allosexual is ok with the quirks that come with us.

Personally I don't go on asexual dating sites. I leave that to the people who want no sex. Its true that on a dating site I may choose asexual if that's an option, but I usually explain stuff in my description. I try to be aware of people with your specific orientation. Plus, I don't want to unnecessarily narrow down my pool of potential people to date.

Also, a lot of people out there who aren't asexual assume that all asexuals are sex-repulsed. So that also causes me problems too, because right now, most people I've encountered really do equate asexual with not wanting sex.

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AceMissBehaving
1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:

I feel the same way about my orientation. I just want to be understood as who and what I am. Except, instead of needing to find someone like me (though that would be great) I just need someone to be ok with me (ok with me not being sexually attracted to them). I have considered faking it, but that feels wrong.

I do think your orientation has it a little harder, because not only are you not sexually attracted to people, but you don't want sex, which makes it hard to date allosexuals unless they have no libido or are on blood pressure medication. (joke).

I think there is one thing you can be assured of though... when you go on dating sites for asexuals, I don't think you will find sex favorable asexuals/cupiosexuals... and probably also not demi-sexuals either. Finding another person who is asexual is very hard, and possibly impossible unless you are ok with a LDR. Cupios/sex favorables, and demis can make it work with allosexuals, if the allosexual is ok with the quirks that come with us
 

They do use the sites, and it’s one of the main reasons asexual people give up on the sites

 

1 minute ago, gray-a girl said:


Also, a lot of people out there who aren't asexual assume that all asexuals are sex-repulsed. So that also causes me problems too, because right now, most people I've encountered really do equate asexual with not wanting sex.

I mean that to me is an ok assumption since the end result of being ok without sex is what is needed to be understood. 
 

By saying you’re cupio, or grey sexual, demi you avoid that assumption, asexuals don’t have this option.

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gray-a girl
4 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

They do use the sites, and it’s one of the main reasons asexual people give up on the sites

 

I mean that to me is an ok assumption since the end result of being ok without sex is what is needed to be understood. 
 

By saying you’re cupio, or grey sexual, demi you avoid that assumption, asexuals don’t have this option.

I have also used the term "sex favorable asexual" and gotten into an argument with a medical care provider over how I'm not really asexual. So, yeah, it wasn't a good thing for me.  So its not really a good assumption for me. Also, just like you don't like the term "sex repulsed asexual", I'm not too keen on the term "cupiosexual" either. Even though its essentially the same thing in many circles, as sex favorable asexual.

 

Also, are you sure they are using the sites? It doesn't make any sense to me. I can't imagine why a cupiosexual would use it. Maybe a demi-sexual, I could see, but not a cupiosexual. I don't know, I avoid them.

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gray-a girl

I take that back. I don't see why a demisexual would use one of those sites either. It doesn't make sense. People who aren't 100% asexual can date allosexuals, so why narrow your pool down?

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Homer

To my knowledge, "no" is not a "spec" of some sort. Voted accordingly.

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CBC

1. How do you define asexual?
'Narrowly. May or may not have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc.'

 

2. Do you find the term aspec (or asexual spectrum) useful/good for people to use, vs. the black and white only terms of asexual vs sexual?
'No.'

 

3. How do you define Ace?
'Narrowly. May or may not have a libido. Also, excluding demisexuals, gray-as, cupiosexuals, etc.'

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AceMissBehaving
9 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I have also used the term "sex favorable asexual" and gotten into an argument with a medical care provider over how I'm not really asexual. So, yeah, it wasn't a good thing for me.  So its not really a good assumption for me. Also, just like you don't like the term "sex repulsed asexual", I'm not too keen on the term "cupiosexual" either. Even though its essentially the same thing in many circles, as sex favorable asexual.

Grey could also work, it’s easy for non asexual people to talk about who they are with their own labels by just not using asexual, which is to me is mutually beneficial.

 

Like I say so often, I believe in the aspec community, I believe in the common grounds, I will fight for the struggles of grey, demi, et al because they are real.

 

I just want my orientation to be seen and understood as well, I want our needs to be respected and fought for too, and the solution seems so obvious. I literally want to be able to exist and have the same things as the other orientations, and for us all to get a long as a community 

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gray-a girl
Just now, Homer said:

To my knowledge, "no" is not a "spec" of some sort. Voted accordingly.

I am confused by what you mean.

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gray-a girl
1 minute ago, AceMissBehaving said:

Grey could also work, it’s easy for non asexual people to talk about who they are with their own labels by just not using asexual, which is to me is mutually beneficial 

You mean grey asexual? Has the same problem as sex favorable asexual.

But, for the most part, the vast majority of people I've talked to do not invalidate me when I use the sex favorable asexual term.

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Janus DarkFox

I welcome any use of descriptions of Asexuality, just a reminder that this is an opinion poll, not of fact.

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AceMissBehaving
2 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

You mean grey asexual? Has the same problem as sex favorable asexual.

But, for the most part, the vast majority of people I've talked to do not invalidate me when I use the sex favorable asexual term.

Because there are more aspec people than asexual people, and most social media platforms have an echo chamber quality to them that makes it more dangerous for people to speak up, especially places like tumblr 

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gray-a girl
Just now, AceMissBehaving said:

Because there are more aspec people than asexual people, and most social media platforms have an echo chamber quality to them that makes it more dangerous for people to speak up, especially places like tumblr 

I think the reason they didn't invalidate me has more to do with an accepting nature of orientations. Most people don't think its a good idea to tell people what their orientation is... at least in this very very liberal city that I live. (It's so liberal that doctors offices ask gender identity and orientation on intake). I talked to someone in the LGBT community who confirmed my theory on this.

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gray-a girl
5 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

I welcome any use of descriptions of Asexuality, just a reminder that this is an opinion poll, not of fact.

So far this has been a really good discussion!! I really like talking about this issue without people invalidating others or throwing insults, or etc. Just use I statements. It's really interesting to see others perspectives.

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AceMissBehaving
4 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

I think the reason they didn't invalidate me has more to do with an accepting nature of orientations. Most people don't think its a good idea to tell people what their orientation is... at least in this very very liberal city that I live. (It's so liberal that doctors offices ask gender identity and orientation on intake). I talked to someone in the LGBT community who confirmed my theory on this.

I get that, but there’s a difference in ticking the closest box “I’m pan but I ticked Bi because it was the closest option” on a medical form, and claiming something as a personal identity. (I usually check other because asexual isn’t even listed I also live in an enormously LGBTQ+ inclusive city)


Also medical stuff is always crappy for most aspec people “That’s not a real thing” “I’m sure but you need to have this done anyway”

 

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gray-a girl
2 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I get that, but there’s a difference in ticking the closest box “I’m pan but I ticked Bi because it was the closest option” on a medical form, and claiming something as a personal identity. (I usually check other because asexual isn’t even listed I also live in an enormously LGBTQ+ inclusive city)


Also medical stuff is always crappy for most aspec people “That’s not a real thing” “I’m sure but you need to have this done anyway”

 

Well also, I selected the "asexual- Anyone on the asexual spectrum but also at the same time, it's own distinct orientation" option up above. So I've been using the term to mean aspec. To me thats what it means. Also, according to some definitions, because of the OR in AVENs definition for example, sex favorable/cupiosexuals still fit that definition.

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AceMissBehaving
4 minutes ago, gray-a girl said:

Well also, I selected the "asexual- Anyone on the asexual spectrum but also at the same time, it's own distinct orientation" option up above. So I've been using the term to mean aspec. To me thats what it means. Also, according to some definitions, because of the OR in AVENs definition for example, sex favorable/cupiosexuals still fit that definition.

I’m not getting into a definition debate, I just wanted to highlight how this causes a lot of pain and trouble for asexual people in the hope that people might care, and that we could all coexist harmoniously

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gray-a girl
8 minutes ago, AceMissBehaving said:

I’m not getting into a definition debate, I just wanted to highlight how this causes a lot of pain and trouble for asexual people in the hope that people might care, and that we could all coexist harmoniously

Yes, I can see that it does cause problems. Though, it also causes problems for aspec people too. So it goes both ways. Different kinds of problems, but still problems on both sides. 

 

We are both feeling erasure, just in different ways.

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Mackenzie Holiday

When I discuss the definition of asexuality, and all of the subcategories of the ace spectrum, I try to represent each category in whatever way the people within that category tend to represent it themselves. I can't make everyone happy, but I try to relay what I've learned about the experiences of others in the hopes of being constructive and helpful.

 

I think it's unavoidable that asexuality is going to mean different things to different people because sex and sexuality can be experienced very differently by different people, and I think that's perfectly okay. To use my own experience as an example, the label I've given myself here on AVEN seems to disagree with how most gray asexuals here represent themselves, but I feel like it fits me because of the unusual way I experience my sexuality. By the most common definition of asexual (and that of the AVEN FAQ), I should probably consider myself an asexual without the gray. I have no innate desire for sex (by the most common definition of sex I've seen here and elsewhere). There are no rare circumstances where I experience this sort of sexual desire innately. After years of reflection, I believe my past desires for this kind of contact had more to do with feeling pressured and how I had conditioned myself to be more "normal" combined with a lack of opportunity for the nonsexual forms of intimacy I would have preferred. But I've categorized my orientation as gray asexual anyway because the way my sexuality works leaves room for potentially having a genuine sexual/erotic connection with someone through means that the vast majority of people wouldn't consider to be sex, but some people might find to be just as real of a sexual connection as any other. This kind of connection isn't something I seek out, but it's something I would probably really enjoy if given the opportunity. So, to most people, I would be thought of as just asexual because they wouldn't recognize my version of sexual connection as a sexual connection at all, so more often than not I just call myself asexual. But for a tiny  percentage of people, including myself, gray-A would probably fit better. Given that I am one of those people in that tiny percentage where gray-A would be more accurate, it makes sense to me to self-identify as gray-A, so that's how I identify on my profile here.

 

Knowing what it's like to experience myself and my sexuality in a way that's so different from how most others tend to think of sexuality, I think I have an easier time recognizing the simultaneous validity of seemingly contradictory definitions of asexual, because I know that those identities make sense in the context of the subjective experiences of the individuals using those definitions. As an extension of this, I tend to think of asexuality in looser terms than a lot of people here tend to do.

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