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onlyrei42

Input for a Field Study on AVEN?

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onlyrei42

Hi there, I'm working on a mostly observation-based field study of AVEN's forums right now and have been finding a lot of great responses to others' questions for research in this thread, but have a few of my own. Feel free to answer some or any of them, any input would be amazing! I will not include usernames in the writing, so answers to these questions will remain entirely anonymous off site, unless you would like your name to appear.

 

  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

 

Thank you!

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Kieran :)

On the last one:

 

I don't handle it very well. My religion really pushes a family with children. Even if I get married to the ultimate love of my life for many reasons I don't want kids or the act that leads to having kids. I commonly feel like a traitor for lacking this desire... I just can't see myself as a parent.

 

I usually find friends who aren't religious or who don't want kids and talk to them about it to remind me it's okay.

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Osiyo_Waya
  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?
    • Not really. My day-to-day has remained pretty much the same, just with a bit more clarity on how I react with others.
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?
    • I've only come out to one person, and they were very accepting, I just had to explain things a little.
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?
    • Not really, but I have noticed a decrease in conversations, but I am aware of other factors at play. I'm about 98% convinced it's just coincidence, but the timing is suspect, lol.
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?
    • I don't really have any personal experience to share on this.
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them?
    • I've always had a generally positive stance on romance, I just didn't realize the my perception of it wasn't typical. I always viewed romantic relationships as a very intense friendship. I just never really understood the 'romantic' components of it, thinking they were a bit hokey and overly dramatic.
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?
    • I've made attempts at romantic relationships in the past, but they never evolved, at least to me, beyond just a close friendship, which ultimately was why they never lasted. It always felt like the other person wanted more from me than I was content to give, and I never understood why until discovering that I was on the aro-spectrum. 
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?
    • I think every relationship, regardless of how it's defined, should be based on trust, honesty, understanding, and empathy.
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?
    • Honestly, I've never felt lonely. I grew up an only child and a bit of a loner, so I never really needed nor craved a lot of social attention. There was effectively no pressure to get married specifically, but the concept of having children is never said outright, but heavily expected. it is the one thing that is always brought up at family gatherings, and something that always gets questioned whenever I state my lack of interest thereof. 
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senACEay_11

1. As of right now, me being asexual doesn't affect my day to day life too much, as I am not at an age where my family expects me to have had sex. However, being on the asexual spectrum can leave me feeling alienated from my allosexual peers. 

 

2. I have only come out to two people in real life. The first person seemed to understand at first, but when we met up again the next day, they said that being asexual meant that I was sexually attracted to myself, which I told them repeatedly that that was untrue, and then they proceeded to out me to someone whom I was not comfortable sharing that information with. Needless to say, that experience kept me from opening out to anyone else about my orientation until recently where I came out to a close friend of mine. 

 

3. I haven't found that people have treated me any differently. 

 

4. Besides the hurtful misconceptions coming from that one person, I can say that for the most part I haven't received very much backlash from people in real life or online. However, I don't share my orientation with others or anywhere else online, so I can't say that I have received negative or positive feedback from people/spaces I have not told. 

 

5. Since I am also aromantic, I am not a huge fan of the idea that everyone has to have a romantic partner in order to be fulfilled, and that its "unnatural" to not want to be in a relationship, but that's about it.

 

6. I have never been in a romantic relationship.

 

7. In a platonic relationship, I usually only look to see if a person is a genuine, kind human being (And a good sense of humor is always great too lol).

 

8. I usually handle loneliness and societal pressures by going on sites like these to remind myself that I am not a robot, I'm not weird, I'm just a little different from how a lot of other people work, and that's okay :)

 

Good luck!

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oldgeeza
4 hours ago, onlyrei42 said:

Hi there, I'm working on a mostly observation-based field study of AVEN's forums right now and have been finding a lot of great responses to others' questions for research in this thread, but have a few of my own. Feel free to answer some or any of them, any input would be amazing! I will not include usernames in the writing, so answers to these questions will remain entirely anonymous off site, unless you would like your name to appear.

 

  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?
  • No, no one except close friends know of my asexuality, they accept me for who I am, others just gossip behind my back and I'm too thick skinned to care, whilst they're talking about me they're leaving someone else alone
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?
  • They just accepted it, no questions, no change in attitude towards me, it was just accepted
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?
  • No, they just accept me for who I am
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?
  • Never
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 
  • I would love to be in a relationship, I love intimacy, I'm a cuddle slut, I'm too old now, I also have a dysfunction down below, not that it bothers me, I wouldn't want to have sexual intercourse even if I could
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?
  • I had a few relationships many years ago, at the time, I didn't even know there were others who didn't want to have sex, I just thought I was broken, I was only ever used by partners to cheat on their partners and boost their egos to know that they could still get a partner, when I eventually realised that, I stopped chasing that elusive relationship
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?
  • I would love to have a relationship, but only if the other party was happy not having sex, I'm too old now though, I have a job that keeps me away from home for days at a time so it wouldn't be fair on a potential partner
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?
  • I'm far from lonely, I have a brilliant bunch of real good friends, societal pressure hasn't really existed for me, even when I was young, I looked old, I'm not pleasing to the eye, so in all honesty, I knew as a child that I'd never be in a relationship, when I was in relationships, they never lasted more than a week or two, I was always cheated on, I was destined to be single

 

Thank you!

 

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Hollieee
  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?

Not really, although I feel I am sometimes hyper aware of just how sexualised the world around me is and also very critical of it, but I wouldn't say it has a huge effect on me day to day.

  • How have people handled you coming out to them?

I haven't come out to that many people, but my close friends are really supportive and ask questions when they're not sure how to educate others which I like. Friends who are less close often have a lot of questions and maybe don't understand it, and I have had people out-right refuse to believe that a life without sex/romance (both are one and the same to me because I'm an aromantic asexual) is possible to live without feeling somehow disadvantaged.

  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?

No, not really. I'm picky about who I come out to though.

  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?

I've definitely seen hurtful or ace-erasure comments online, but I think people in the "real world" also do this without even necessarily meaning to. I'm not openly out so I can't comment on direct discrimination.

  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 

I'm aromantic so romantic relationships to me are a no-go. I feel like this is almost harder to deal with than asexuality though because romance is in almost every TV series and every book and every movie, and it's so commonly the theme of happy endings that it's hard not to group the two things together. There's way too much emphasis placed on romance and romantic relationships and not nearly enough placed on platonic relationships. It can feel very isolating to see everyone meeting people, looking to date, getting married etc, when it's not something you personally aspire for. 

  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?

Nope.

  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?

I don't really "look for" anything. I have friends who I meet because we get on and have a laugh, but I don't really seek these relationships out, they just happen when they happen.

  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

Mostly privately. I've sometimes told friends I feel lonely because I'm not a part of the dating world and they tell me that I shouldn't feel lonely because I don't want to date. And that's not really true; I would love to feel the same as other people, I would love to want to date, but it isn't about what I do or don't want. I just dont feel romantically about people. But it's lonely and hard to deal with and I guess people don't really get that wanting to feel something and not feeling something are different things, so I just don't talk about it to people anymore. I just tell people "that's not really for me" and laugh when people ask if I'm dating or married. If I'm ever questioned about it by people who I'm not out to, I usually just make jokes and use humour and it stops people probing too much into it.

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Snow in the background
  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?

Not really. I am a white, grey heterosexual, male, so societal pressure is low, in that regard. I mostly pass as an usual guy. I feel a bit strange when others relate to me in a sexual way.

  • How have people handled you coming out to them?

My parents accepted me and my coming out. I remember I've directed them to a blog which described what asexuality means, what grey-sexuals are, etc, etc, I let them read and told them that I am grey-sexual. They accepted it. Also, I once told a university colleague, and she made a joke about it or something like that, it made me feel bad.

  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?

No.

  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?

I have only talked about asexuality with my family and that one other person. The concept of asexuality is foreign and strange in eastern Europe.

  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 

The question is too vague... I don't know what answer should I provide.

  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?

A few...

  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?

Yes, sure. Why not. Romantic, platonic, sounds ok.

  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?,

The loneliness has started to bug me, especially now with the pandemic, but I can manage it. This is what I am and I can only be myself. Surly, talking to other asexuals helps me to combat the loneliness. "Date, get married, have kids", it works very well for others through and through, is starts good for others and ends up badly, it isn't suitable for others. It really depends on the people involved. A relationship, a marriage and a family aren't things one should do for the sake of society. A family may not be something you have chosen to be part of, but it is something you choose to return to, because it makes you happy. I would like to have a family and my own child, but not for the sake of society.

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Lichley
On 11/12/2020 at 6:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

 

1. Not really my day to day life, but there are some general differences in how I perceive certain media, advertisements with the attractive model for example don’t really do anything for me. Apparently there’s supposed to be a “if I use the product I could be attractive like them / attractive person says this is cool so I should buy it”??

 

2. They really don’t understand, I’ve tried to explain it to them in more detail and they’ve decided to not put any effort into learning. Other than that, I’ve personally had a “sure whatever makes you happy” kind of approach from people.

 

3. I actually have to remind people, because they tend to forget, but they tend to avoid discussing sexual subjects with me more, which as someone who is sex-repulsed I actually appreciate.

 

4.  Personal experiences, no, mainly because I’m not out to many people, I’m vary careful who I chose to tell. Although I’ve been on this site for a while, so I’ve heard a fair few tales on here of there being some absolutely horrible people out there who will do things irl. 

 

5. I don’t like how closely sexual and romantic attraction are tied together, mostly because I like romantic affection, but I’m really sex repulsed. There’s also a pressure in relationships to push for marriage and kidskin, and I’d personally prefer it if people were allowed to set their own pace a bit more.

 

6. I've been in relationships, a lot more when I was younger than now. Now it’s hard to find someone I’m interested in who likes me back, as the ones who are interested tend to try to sleep with me first, and I’m not interested in that.

 

7. Communication is the key to every relationship. If communication goes down then the relationship is likely not far behind. More specific to me personally for romantic relationships, I like the idea of someone who feels like home, who I can see at the end of a long day of work and feel relaxed and happy with, who would like to cuddle up on a sofa and watch movies together. Y’know, the mushy stuff. For platonic I tend to look for someone optimistic and outgoing as they valence more with my quieter nature.

 

8. Joining the community definitely helps. Seeing thousands of people out there from all over the world going through the same stuff, and helping each other out when they need it, it’s reassuring. Let’s you know you’re not alone. Plus we have the best cakes :P 

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Ferocia

 

  • Being ace doesn’t affect my day-to-day life. I just do what I do without sexual attraction. Honestly, being sexual attraction shouldn’t be affecting your day to day either. 
  • I have not been in a relationship. Ever. 
  • I’m biromantic, so my ideal man/woman would be someone I’m romantically attracted to, who can respect my ace boundaries, my profession, and my life choices. I also want to be a foster parent so my partner would need to be 100% on board with that. 
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eeza17
On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:

Hi there, I'm working on a mostly observation-based field study of AVEN's forums right now and have been finding a lot of great responses to others' questions for research in this thread, but have a few of my own. Feel free to answer some or any of them, any input would be amazing! I will not include usernames in the writing, so answers to these questions will remain entirely anonymous off site, unless you would like your name to appear.

 

  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?

Not directly? I'm growing up in an Orthodox Jewish community; no one discusses sex explicitly. At the same time, there's this expectation that we'll all grow up and have kids. So I don't think about it much, until a teacher will make an off-hand comment about "when you girls are mothers...."

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?

My friends have been supportive/neutral. I mean, it doesn't inherently affect them. They can't react negatively, the same way if I told them I was gay (like doing that bs where they think, "oh you like girls? you must have a crush on me, ew") because it's a lack of attraction, and they have nothing to gain if I'm ever in a relationship or not. 

 

The adults in my life however basically told me I'm making it up/I can't know until I try it (heh, when I'm stuck in a marriage?? Like y'all would discourage me tryna get divorced then too but okay) and have tried various forms of converting me (which only made me more repulsed but sure)

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?

Not really

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?

The only online discrimination I faced was when I went looking on Tumblr for the ace-phobes. IRL, the adults have been massive aphobes. (Telling me I can't know for sure, my feelings will change, it doesn't matter, lots of people feel like that but then change their minds...etc...)

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 

I don't want the typical things in a romantic relationship. Kisses don't sound appealing, theoretically cuddling would be nice, but I don't actually enjoy being touched. I would want to have a close bond with someone and know they're my ride or die, but I have friends like that already so..

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?

Nope

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?

Platonic-they love me, respect me, I can trust them, they'll be there for me. We can have fun together, people with a sense of humor...

On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

Bold of you to assume I know how??? Legit had a meltdown about this earlier today. I don't. I panic attack, I shut down, I ignore people, I wallow in self-pity and hate.

Taking suggestions!

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ZCE
On 11/12/2020 at 10:00 AM, onlyrei42 said:

How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them?

While I have never been in a romantic relationship, I've observed a high school environment filled with people dating each other.

To me, romantic relationships (and intimate relationships in general) seem like an awful lot of trust to place on each other in general. As someone who sees friendships to be something temporary (although very beneficial while they last), I never understand how people can date each other with the expectation that they're not going to break up someday (and most of them definitely do). And they're not even adults yet!

 

On 11/12/2020 at 10:00 AM, onlyrei42 said:

What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?

To be honest, I don't even really consider myself a platonic person. I just like to nerd out about things, and that's it. I also enjoy collaborating with people on projects, although unfortunately none of those projects got finished (due to either me or the other person losing interest).
 

On 11/12/2020 at 10:00 AM, onlyrei42 said:

How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

The mainstream marriage path is less of a factor on my isolation than many of my other personality traits that go against the grain of mainstream culture, such as not enjoying large groups, as well as not having the artistic tastes of pop culture.

 

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sorathman

1. Effects on day-to-day life - No effect at all. Nothing's changed. Except I know the term now. Otherwise I've always been the way I'm now.

 

2. Coming out - Positively and patiently listened by a closest friend and accepted, which was expected because we are friends since school. But didn't tell anyone else yet.

 

3. Not everybody knows about the reason why I don't want to get involved in merriage etc. So I'm happy the way it is secret, and I save too much time for explaining and convincing others.

 

4. I didn't experience personally anything like discrimination, but I saw in many comment sections on youtube, very few people in my country (India) know about asexuality, mostly are neutral but some of them comment negatively about it, just because it can't get through in their head.

 

5. Common expectations is the main challenge in relationships. Interest in sexual activity is always assumed as 'yes'. And people can't digest it otherwise. About me, I'm okay with everything except 'that' activity.

 

6. I've been in some relationships, none of them went well so far (fortunately). I got to know about my asexuality very recently so these were much before it. Whenever I got involved in romantic relationship, eventually my thoughts were on future because I won't like it from the stage of getting physically involved.

 

7. About potential relationship - an ace-ace relationship (I wish), whether it's dating, serious relationship or merriage.

 

8. I don't feel any loneliness, my favourite time is to be in solitude. I like to know and read stuff, so curiosity works well for me anytime. I was so loud and clear to my family about not getting settled by mainstream way, well before I knew about this, so it's already dealt with. And I don't take seriously what society speaks about me.

 

Have a nice day :)

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Steel13
On 11/12/2020 at 1:00 PM, onlyrei42 said:
  • Does being asexual or aspec affect your day-to-day life? How so?
  • How have people handled you coming out to them?
  • Do people you are out to treat you differently now that they know you are asexual or aspec?
  • There is a common conception or misconception that people on the asexual spectrum only receive push back or discrimination online, and that it doesn’t exist in the "real world." Do you have any experiences with this?
  • How do you feel about romantic relationships and the common expectations associated with them? 
  • Are you or have you been in a romantic relationship? How did/does your identity affect the relationship?
  • What do you look for in a potential relationship, be it romantic, platonic or other?
  • How do you handle loneliness and/or the societal pressure resulting from the mainstream “date, get married, have kids” lifestyle path?

1- Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are times that I hear nonstop about relationships and friends and family are frustrated with me because of my lack of interest in sex/sexual relationships. However, in a good week people leave me alone and I don't really think about my sexuality.

2- Very mixed. My best friend was awesome (a few other friends, too) and believed me immediately and didn't make a big deal out of it. Some friends were freaked out and asked a lot of questions. In their case, they still believed me, they just thought I was a heartless robot that doesn't want to be loved. I have been told by some people that asexuality was fake and that I was repressed by some of my peers if they happened to find out. My mom at first said I was too young to know and was a late bloomer, but since has come to terms with it. They will not ask questions because it makes them sad and disappointed, but they feel better about it as time passes. My father just laughed and won't acknowledge that I am asexual.

3- Mostly, no. My mom has stopped asking if random men are my boyfriend and has stopped pressuring me to date. But generally, people have not changed their behavior. At times, people can say hurtful or ignorant things or call me childish/innocent, but that is not too common.

4- I am rarely online, so I wouldn't know. I have seen and experience pushback and discrimination in person, but I have no interest in the majority of internet sites. In the real world, I have heard LGBTQ+ groups openly reject and insult asexual people. I know of families that rejected their children for being aromantic/asexual. I am also fully aware of the people who think I am inhuman and think asexuals need medical treatment and should not exist. I just think it is harder to identify asexual people and therefore harder to find blatant examples of discrimination consistently in the real world.

5- I do want a romantic relationship/life partner one day, so I think they can be lovely. However, I hate that there is so little flexibility in relationships. Most people are taught to expect that all romantic relationships require sex. Many people think that romantic attraction and sexual attraction are the same, which makes it difficult to find a relationship that would be fair to me.

6- I so far have not had a relationship. I have only had a series of failed dates. Most of them went wrong because I did not want to have sex and I like to know people well before physical contact, and most of the men on the dates did not want to wait and did not think they could have a sex-less relationship.

7- More than anything, I would want my partner to be kind and reliable. I think all relationships should be a mutual/equal give and take for both people involved. Mainly, I want someone I can feel comfortable with and can trust to be there for me, since I would intend to do the same for them. I also love intimacy in both platonic and romantic relationships. Hugs, cuddling, and signs of affection do matter to me very much, I just need to feel close and comfortable first. I do fantasize about having a relationship with another ace person, but it is unlikely to happen.

8- It has been really hard. I try to pour myself into my schooling and career so no one can say I have not lived a worthwhile life and so I can have purpose. Fewer people call me a failure of a woman when I am a 4.0 Neuroscience student, so it definitely helps my self esteem. I also try to build up a heathy social network to try to feel more supported and less lonely. I regularly talk to friends and family and am involved in music groups and community service. Staying busy and filling my life with people has been a major way of coping.

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