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Chiaroscuro

I Suddenly Hate My Kind

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Chiaroscuro

Em wrote:

But one day he said, "for an asexual you sure do a lot of sexual things" I asked him what he meant and he explained that my piercings were sexual to him. The way I snuggled up to him seemed, to him, to be catlike and sexual. The way I touched him, to him, felt sexual. And I realized that every thing I do with a sexual partner will be seen through a sexual lens.

That's really true. There are many things in life that have nothing to do with THE ACT that are imbued with sexuality. That's what your friend was noticing. For me, there is a sexual element to most art. When I appreciate a beautiful woman or man, there's a sexual element to my pleasure. That doesn't mean that desire is the primary reaction, or even a conscious reaction. Sometimes it's not even desire, just a call to that part of yourself. A lot of music has that sort of sexual undertone.

So it's true that A's and S's are perceiving the world through completely different lenses. Em, if I were attracted to you and you tackled me, pinned me to the ground and kissed my nose, hell yes, I'd be aroused by that. Denying that arousal would be difficult... in a man it would be a physical act (our bodies react as they react, we have no control over that).

I run into those moments all the time with my wife, to the point where we almost never touch, and I have walled off my desire for her. We are friendly, and loving, but there's a whole world of experiences that doesn't exist for us because of our different orientations. Never, NEVER would I tackle her, much less hug her or kiss her nose. It's just unimaginable. Which is as sad for me, as it must be for you.

-chiaroscuro

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M51

I don't blame sexuals for being the way they are at all. It is just more and more baffling to me as I realize how pervasive their sexuality is. It was not too hard for me to go, oh, they have this drive and want to have sex, okay. And of course the porn industry ingrains the idea that they are turned on by sight. But then they get turned on by smell, sound...every sense. That actually took me a bit to grasp.

And I think the thing that really threw me for a loop this time was that it wasn't just him, the sexual, interpreting things about me as being sexy. I was not surprised that the way I cuddled up to him turned him on. I can see that. But he interprets it as me acting sexually. It was the projection of his sexuality onto me that surprised me. He academically understood that I was asexual, yet every move I made he interpreted as me acting as a sexual person. I can understand him thinking my piercings looked sexy. But it was not just that. He interpreted the act of getting/wearing the piercings as a sexual act on my part.

I don't know if that difference makes sense. But it really surprised me.

And yeah, it does suck. The guy meant no harm but it really made it clear to me that any relationship I ever pursue with a sexual will be constantly sexualized, even if there is no actual sex, and there is no amount of communication or understanding that will alleviate that. Which sucks because there are some nice sexual guys out there, and I am lonely. All I want is happiness with a soulmate. Is that asking too much?

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jaybird721

I always feel like I have to be careful and not act in ways that can be interpreted sexually... I mean, sure, I like to joke around with people in a semi-flirty sort of way, but I usually chicken out fairly quickly, even when it's obviously a joke [like throwing an arm around another girl and throwing a really ridiculous pick-up line].

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Revenge of Rain

Sexuality as some all-important connected-to-everything sort of thing is, fortunately, another lame cultural thing. Now if people could just start realising that and learn that it's not as connected (or doesn't have to be) as they currently think, then we'd be going somewhere.

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Chiaroscuro
Sexuality as some all-important connected-to-everything sort of thing is, fortunately, another lame cultural thing. Now if people could just start realising that and learn that it's not as connected (or doesn't have to be) as they currently think, then we'd be going somewhere.

Gee, Wally, thanks for snapping me out of my commercial-induced haze. I've been such a fool.

All I want is happiness with a soulmate. Is that asking too much?

Em, we all want the same thing. Sexual, Asexual, we're all human, and want a mate (or maybe that's just another lame cultural thing). My wife and I were walking the dog today and she tried to hold my hand. It felt almost shocking, and she said "oh my god, I hate this." I really do love her, and, as you say, on an intellectual level, I understand how that she must feel. But it doesn't affect my feeling cut off from her in some important way. We can't even hold hands.

She would be very happy with someone with a similar aversion to intimacy, and I would be very happy with someone who had a similar desire for intimacy. There are no 100% matches in the world, but you should be able to get in the ballpark somewhere. The more asexually identified people there are in the world... the more they come out... the easier it will be for you to find a partner that you can actually bond with.

Chiaroscuro

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Mark from the OCD board

Yet another incredible thread!

As a gay sexual male, a person with OCD, and a person who helps people with the HOCD form of OCD (false sexual fears about one's sexual orientation--something I have never had but something I have explained in my "Someone from this board..." thread)... Well, I have a few things to add. I hope you find them interesting, and I hope they contribute to this discussion.

1. Many heterosexual and bisexual women called, unfortunately, "fag hags" or "fruit flies," spend a large amount of time or all of their free time with gay males. Some even hang out in gay bars or go to otherwise all-male gatherings. And some, admittedly not many, sit in on gay make-out sessions or even gay sex because they like to watch. In addition, much good male/male gay literature and cinema, including Brokeback Mountain, has been penned by women.

These women want to hang with guys, get really close, and be appreciated for their minds and personalities; some want to press against guys, flirt, and talk dirty--and especially have it returned in kind. They do not, however, want the men to treat them sexually. With gay men, obviously, there is no danger of sexual advance--or even flirtatious dirty talk being taken sexually.

I never thought about the following until I read this thread--and in particular M51's post about rolling around with a guy and kissing his nose without any sexual overtones: I wonder if there is a disproportionate number of asexual women among "fag hags" and "fruit flies." Anyone? :?:

2. Yes, to a sexual there is a lot that is interpreted sexually. It is confusing even to some sexuals. But that does not mean that every sexual interprets the same things sexually. Case in point: During the summer, when I normally wear sandals outside work, I knew I was going to be introduced to a friend of a friend, a person with a major foot fetish. That evening, I wore sneakers and long socks.

You might ask... Who on earth would find the amount of flesh exposed by a sandal sexual? Let me repeat: "..a person with a major foot fetish." There is nothing wrong with a foot fetish, and if I had known him well I might have indulged him out of curiosity. But, meeting him for the first time, I did not want to give him the wrong impression. I knew that sandals worn by another gay male who knew about his foot fetish would be seen as suggestive. And if I had plopped my bare feet on the table in front of him... Well, that would have been an invitation. To most sexuals, however, it would have meant nothing of the sort.

3. Many people with HOCD overinterpet sexuality where little or none exists, and some of what I have read here (written with no fear) is what sexual people with HOCD write to me about in fear. I often have to sort it out.

4. I am a very physical person, but I know that I have to be careful around straight guys even if they know I am gay. My closest straight male friend knows me well, and I can put my arm around him in friendship without his thinking I am turned on or hitting on him. Unfortunately, other straight men might think otherwise, and I am sure my caution makes me come off as aloof and cold.

In particular, straight male rough and tumble play is off limits to me. Straight guys slap each other's butts during sports, for example, but it is non-sexual and meaningless. Younger ones in particular are forever wrestling, mock fighting, and even engaging in dry humping (fully clothed) as a joke or even an expression of homophobia, and no one would think them gay. I have even seen college-age straight guys pounce on and tickle torture another guy for the fun of it. Again, totally non-sexual. If I, the gay guy, were to participate in any of these things, I am sure the mood would change and the guys would get very uncomfortable even though it would all be non-sexual for me, too.

Finally, a recent photo of me close to some very beautiful young woman has spurred a bit of jealousy in the eyes of some straight guys. I have been told: "Nice!" and "You dog!" and "Look at Mark and the ladies!" Yet, these fellows know that I am gay, and that the women in the photo are my students. The context: Seven of my university students, all women, took me out to dinner after the semester ended to thank me for the large amount of extra help I had given them during the semester. One of them had the waiter take a picture with her digital camera and later e-mailed it to everyone.

I must admit that sometimes, when I see a male friend in a photo with his arm around another male, both attractive and both heterosexual, I think similar things--I just don't voice them since I know for certain there is nothing gay there. It is a reflection of my fantasies just as what straight guys see in the 'Mark and harem' photo is a reflection of theirs. It is part of being human. :)

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Revenge of Rain
Gee, Wally, thanks for snapping me out of my commercial-induced haze. I've been such a fool.

I know it isn't logical to reply seriously to sarcasm, but... something.

It's not a thing of commercialism or industrial society or necessarily an outcome of anything to do with modernity and social expansion and globalisation. It just seems to me that many cultures (well at the very least the 'big one', or us) seem to advocate a kind of spiritual fetishisation of sex and an idealisation of sex addiction as something more than what it is--weak (well compared to nicotene and such) chemical dependency. Even when not dependent, sexuality is a very precipitous thing, or so it seems from my experience and observation, but people don't often look at it this directly--they instead tend to abstract and symbolise.

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Chiaroscuro

Hi Wally,

Setting sarcasm aside for a moment, saying that sexuals are what they are because they're brainwashed is as wrong-headed as saying asexuals are what they are because they're broken.

-Chiaroscuro

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Mark from the OCD board

I can see both views (the ones expressed by Chiaroscuro and Wally Hudson). I will explain both points of view from the perspective of a sexually-active gay sexual who used to have celibacy forced on him by an extremist church under threat of hellfire and who now does volunteer work with mental health issues revolving around sexuality in heterosexuals...

No two sexual people are alike, and no two sexual people have the exact same likes and dislikes. In addition, some have far stronger sexual urges than others. I, personally, really do see sex in everything, and I often have to remind myself that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Sexual denial is harmful to many sexuals; I know that denying myself sexual expression used to give me worse OCD symptoms and worse depression, for example. My two closest friends, one a heterosexual male and the other a fellow gay male--neither of whom has OCD or any mental health issue--also require frequent expression of their sexual needs and have a wife/a husband who feel the same way. In our case, sex is a biological need. Its expression leads to mental health.

On the other hand, our society makes big bucks on sex (and especially on those not 'getting any'), putting it everywhere and saturating society with it. In my residential neighborhood, for example, there was for the longest time (until just a few weeks ago) a larger-than-life billboard with a larger-than-life blonde sporting her larger-than-life breasts and revealing her larger-than-life cleavage. In addition, her larger-than-life butt stuck up in the air as she lay on the hood of a car. I cannot even tell you what type of car it was, and there was nothing in the ad about why that car was better than others--but I guarantee that a lot of guys bought it. Sex sells.

It is unfortunate that a number of people get sexually addicted or become so desensitized through frequent exposure to porn that a real sexual relationship becomes more unlikely. Many develop unrealistic ideas about sexual partners or fears about personal inadequacy. In this case, sexuality leads to mental illness.

I once read that something like 60% of the Internet was porn-related. (I cannot remember if that was the figure for e-mail, business transactions, or sites in general.) I do not know if the figure is accurate, but I would not be surprised. Porn is everywhere. I have a problem with it because of the way models and sex workers can be exploited. Right here in New York City--not just in the Bible Belt--there are gay kids tossed in the streets by extremist Christian parents, and many become sex workers in order to eat. In New York, this is especially a problem in communities of color. Other people enter the industry to support drug habits, the way they cope with despair. Need I even mention the danger of becoming HIV+? Some are so desperate for food or the next drug fix that they will have unsafe sex for cash.

Such people are human beings, not objects, and it kills me to see them so dehumanized. Where are all the social services for them? Gays, drug users, people of color, HIV+ people, and sex workers are low on the priority list, unfortunately. (Maybe that is why I love Rent so much, as it shows all people as people with dignity.)

I do not want to stereotype the sex industry here, as I know two people who worked in it and actually did well when they were younger. (This is not a recommendation!) One is now a gay male in his 60s while the other is a heterosexual woman in her 40s. The woman actually paid for graduate school and became a social worker (!) by being a high-priced escort who chose her clientele. I do not say every aspect of porn is bad, and I apologize if that rankles the sensibilities of some here. I do, however, stand against the abuse and addiction fostered by some aspects of the porn industry, and I think that, for their own protection (and protection against disease), sex workers should be unionized the way they are in more progressive countries like the Netherlands.

As usual, I am off the topic, so let me return.

Sexuality can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the individual and the specific circumstances. However, I do echo Chiaroscuro in saying that being sexual or asexual in itself is not the result of being broken. I believe that all people should be encouraged to live according to their needs as long as all actions are between consenting adults and no one is exploited or harmed physically or mentally--or forced to be sexual if it is their choice not to be for whatever reason.

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Indigo
I do agree though that this site has a much better tone' date=' but I think a lot of that is due to the setup and moderation, rather than some sweeping difference between sexuals and asexuals.[/quote']

I believe that problems arise in these relationships because of how both parties choose to deal with their differences, not because of the sexual differences themselves. You shouldn't feel embarrassed on behalf of "your kind" - your open-mindedness and kindness as a person is a much more telling (and important) distinction.

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thylacine

"I believe that all people should be encouraged to live according to their needs as long as all actions are between consenting adults and no one is exploited or harmed physically or mentally--or forced to be sexual if it is their choice not to be for whatever reason." This is a good rule to live by.

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Revenge of Rain
Hi Wally,

Setting sarcasm aside for a moment, saying that sexuals are what they are because they're brainwashed is as wrong-headed as saying asexuals are what they are because they're broken.

-Chiaroscuro

Not brainwashed, but taught. Not taught to be sexual but taught what to think about it. There's a mythology built up around sexuality. You can find similar mythologies everywhere, from cycling to tea drinking to meditation. I think they're all pretty similar. I ascribe to some (tea drinking) but I realise what it is, just like I realise that my emotions are the result of natural selection on my genes, often indirectly affected by the meme of my ancestors.

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Chiaroscuro
Not taught to be sexual but taught what to think about it. There's a mythology built up around sexuality. You can find similar mythologies everywhere, from cycling to tea drinking to meditation.

I agree with this. We're taught, for example, that anything other than sex between a man and a woman is immoral. We're taught that sex outside of wedlock is immoral. We're taught that sex-education in the schools is immoral. And, as Mark points out, there's the sex industry, which has existed in every culture right alongside the "teaching". Both of those impulses (to suppress "wrong" sexual behavior, and to capitalize on people who feel ashamed of their "wrongness"), are social and economic responses to a fundamental human drive. They're responses. They aren't the fundamental human drive itself.

Your original assertion was that sexual people, seeing sex everywhere, is a lame cultural thing. My point is that sexual people see sex everywhere, period. The lame cultural thing is how unscrupulous business people take advantage of that truth, and how moralists, in their desperate need to judge others, demonize it.

-Chiaroscuro

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Revenge of Rain
I agree with this. We're taught, for example, that anything other than sex between a man and a woman is immoral. We're taught that sex outside of wedlock is immoral. We're taught that sex-education in the schools is immoral. And, as Mark points out, there's the sex industry, which has existed in every culture right alongside the "teaching". Both of those impulses (to suppress "wrong" sexual behavior, and to capitalize on people who feel ashamed of their "wrongness"), are social and economic responses to a fundamental human drive. They're responses. They aren't the fundamental human drive itself.

Your original assertion was that sexual people, seeing sex everywhere, is a lame cultural thing. My point is that sexual people see sex everywhere, period. The lame cultural thing is how unscrupulous business people take advantage of that truth, and how moralists, in their desperate need to judge others, demonize it.

-Chiaroscuro

Then what is the explanation for people like me who don't see sex in everything while still being normaly sexual? I know personaly several others who are likewise baffled when they see so many things interpreted under sex symbology, and I'm pretty sure they're mostly sexual. They tend to be the more to themselves type with perhaps not as much social exposure, which only supports the idea that it isn't inherent.

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Mark from the OCD board
Then what is the explanation for people like me who don't see sex in everything while still being normaly sexual? I know personaly several others who are likewise baffled when they see so many things interpreted under sex symbology, and I'm pretty sure they're mostly sexual. They tend to be the more to themselves type with perhaps not as much social exposure, which only supports the idea that it isn't inherent.

Sorry to keep quoting the Vulcan IDIC, but "infinite diversity in infinite combinations." Not all sexuals have the same degree of sex drive, and not all sexuals respond the same way to every possible sexual stimulation. If a group of opera fans has a discussion, they will display different opinions about different works, composers, and periods. One subset of fans may see the influence of a particular composer in all later composers and may question why no one else sees it. If they are opera fans, they muse, they should all see it the same way. Unfortunately, that's a reflection of black and white thinking, not of life. Must all opera fans hold homogenous opinions and see their art the same way?

It's absolutely fine, good, and normal for sexual people to hold the opinions that you and your friends do. I have no criticism for the way you view sexuality whatsoever; my only problem is when you force that view on everyone.

It's also normal for people to see sexuality everywhere if that is how they are wired. There is no doubt that environment and the need of others to make a cheap buck play a role as well, but wiring is wiring. I am definitely wired this way.

And, of course, it is also normal for people to be asexual, some romantically interested in others or even slightly interested in sexuality (at least in fantasy and sometimes in visual stimulation) while others are aromantic.

How many people do we all know who claim that asexuality is abnormal? Some Christian extremists go as far as citing sexuality as God's gift to "everyone," claiming that as proof that asexuality cannot exist. Such people look at their own sexuality and mentally force it on others, then use their religion to back up their ideas.

When I was a Fundie, I was told that homosexuality did not exist. The devil put those thoughts in my head and Jesus got rid of them. I was also told I would go to hell for loving a man, an odd notion coming from "the religion of love." (The same sort claim that the earth was created in six literal days and deny scientific evidence for evolution. If we were living hundreds of years ago, they'd also pull out their Bibles to claim that the sun revolves around the earth.)

Note: I am not attacking all Christians here--just the extremists.

The problem arises when one person or a group of like-minded people impose their biological wiring on someone else. I am afraid that that is what you are doing when you call sexuals with very strong sex drives "broken" and try to exalt your group as the model for normalcy. You are normal; but so are we.

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square peg
Then what is the explanation for people like me who don't see sex in everything while still being normaly sexual? I know personaly several others who are likewise baffled when they see so many things interpreted under sex symbology, and I'm pretty sure they're mostly sexual. They tend to be the more to themselves type with perhaps not as much social exposure, which only supports the idea that it isn't inherent.

This is interesting. Yes it could be to do with personality type - I'm wondering specifically about the way we interpret information. May I ask if you've ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test (MBTI)? What did you get? And Chiaroscuro and Mark?

I agree that it isn't inherent in everyone to see sex everywhere. Though I see no reason to doubt that it could be inherent in some.

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Mark from the OCD board
May I ask if you've ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test (MBTI)? What did you get? And Chiaroscuro and Mark?

Hi, square peg.

I had never taken one before, but I have just done it on line per your request. Here are the results. I know what all the words mean, but I am not sure how to interpret them since I do not have anything to compare the numbers to.

-----------------------

Your Type is

ISFJ

Introverted: 56

Sensing: 25

Feeling: 25

Judging: 33

ISFJ type description by D.Keirsey

ISFJ type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:

moderately expressed introvert

moderately expressed sensing personality

moderately expressed feeling personality

moderately expressed judging personality

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BunnyK.
This is interesting. Yes it could be to do with personality type - I'm wondering specifically about the way we interpret information. May I ask if you've ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test (MBTI)? What did you get? And Chiaroscuro and Mark?

I agree that it isn't inherent in everyone to see sex everywhere. Though I see no reason to doubt that it could be inherent in some.

Ooh, I want to play! :lol:

I don't think I would say I see sex everywhere, but it sure doesn't take much to get my mind running that way.

And on the test I just took: ENFP (11, 12, 38, 11)

You are:

* slightly expressed extravert

* slightly expressed intuitive personality

* moderately expressed feeling personality

* slightly expressed perceiving personality

However, I get different results depending on the test and the day I take it too - which is pretty typical of me, right brain/left brain and learning type tests all vary for me too. I don't really know why.

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Revenge of Rain

I have done that. I forget the result but I remember finding the questions, like those of all the other tests I've taken, too simplistic and therefore meaningless. They all seem based upon the idea that certain groups of traits go together (for what reason?) but the ideas seldom hold together, at least in my case.

I can accept the idea that some people's thought patterns don them the tendancy to symbolically sexualise. The only thing that would seem to contradict that is the (certainly unempirical) observation of mine that many people (often those from more traditional families I would say, regardless of the common view of the horrors of repression of the inherent overreaching sexuality of most people) can be placed along something of a spectrum for this subject according to their social interaction tendancies, especially perhaps if familial interaction and togetherness is included in the observation.

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Chiaroscuro

56 1 12 33

moderately expressed introvert

slightly expressed sensing personality

slightly expressed feeling personality

moderately expressed perceiving personality

Here's mine! Woo Hoo! I know who I am now!

I seem to express myself with slight moderation.

-Chiaroscuro

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Revenge of Rain

Thinking a bit about my last post, perhaps the observation of the undersocialised could more clearly be expressed in saying that there are at least two observable effects of being raised in a 'traditional' manner; one being the outcome of persons such as myself, and the other being that of a very emphasised sexuality in response to what indeed would be a repression of an already existing tendancy to sexualise in some persons.

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maufry
Em wrote:
But one day he said, "for an asexual you sure do a lot of sexual things" I asked him what he meant and he explained that my piercings were sexual to him. The way I snuggled up to him seemed, to him, to be catlike and sexual. The way I touched him, to him, felt sexual. And I realized that every thing I do with a sexual partner will be seen through a sexual lens.

That's really true. There are many things in life that have nothing to do with THE ACT that are imbued with sexuality. That's what your friend was noticing. For me, there is a sexual element to most art. When I appreciate a beautiful woman or man, there's a sexual element to my pleasure. That doesn't mean that desire is the primary reaction, or even a conscious reaction. Sometimes it's not even desire, just a call to that part of yourself. A lot of music has that sort of sexual undertone.

:shock: I am completely baffled by this. I mean, there are many things I enjoy, some of which I enjoy a great deal. But sex is just ONE aspect of life. Just one thing to do! I don't see all of life through the lens of anything! Not even love, and I'm romantic. I just don't get it. There are so many wonderful things to enjoy in life, why do so many sexuals waste so much time and effort desiring and pursuing and fantasizing about only ONE aspect of it? No one thing is worth all that! Doesn't it get exhausting??

I do agree in part with what Wally (I think) indicated about sex being sort of an addiction for sexuals. Not that I think it necessarily is, of course, the way alcohol isn't necessarily an addicition for all people who drink. But alcohol produces a chemical effect in the brain which a lot of people find pleasurable - hence, they enjoy drinking alcohol. Sex is the same way. I don't think sexuals would be nearly so hooked on it and think about it ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME if it didn't release all those endorphins and stuff, just as I probably wouldn't enjoy chocolate so much if eating it didn't release endorphins. I'd still enjoy the taste, of course, but I don't think I'd ever crave it and "need" it if it didn't have a hormonal effect on my body. I mean, sexuals spend SOOO much time thinking about and wanting and fantasizing about sex. Putting that much time and effort and desire into obtaining a chemical reaction in the brain....

Interestingly enough, I looked up "addiction" in one of the medical dictionaries here at work. It is defined as "compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance." Sounds about right to me...

On a side note, reading this thread makes me want to wear only lumpy potato sacks, grow back my unibrow and never so much as look at or speak to anyone ever again. Sadly, I'm sure even that could be seen as sexy by some....

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BunnyK.
I am completely baffled by this. I mean, there are many things I enjoy, some of which I enjoy a great deal. But sex is just ONE aspect of life. Just one thing to do! I don't see all of life through the lens of anything! Not even love, and I'm romantic. I just don't get it. There are so many wonderful things to enjoy in life, why do so many sexuals waste so much time and effort desiring and pursuing and fantasizing about only ONE aspect of it? No one thing is worth all that! Doesn't it get exhausting??

To put it bluntly, no. And I don't think anyone is saying that they see ALL of life through the lens of sex, just certain things like physical contact or nice artwork of humans. I don't look at my keyboard and think of sex. I don't look at my car and think of sex. I just don't. I doubt Chiaro or Mark do either, though maybe they see more things that way than I do - I have no way of knowing.

And we DON'T waste that much time on sex! I spend less time thinking about sex than the average person spends watching TV. I spend less time thinking about sex than I do playing World of Warcraft. I spend less mental energy on it than I do on thinking about the bills I have to pay. I spend even less time having it than I do on thinking about it! Sure, it's there, it's every day, and if I had my way it would be more, but it would STILL not be that much of my time! Jeez!

I do agree in part with what Wally (I think) indicated about sex being sort of an addiction for sexuals. Not that I think it necessarily is, of course, the way alcohol isn't necessarily an addicition for all people who drink. But alcohol produces a chemical effect in the brain which a lot of people find pleasurable - hence, they enjoy drinking alcohol. Sex is the same way. I don't think sexuals would be nearly so hooked on it and think about it ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME if it didn't release all those endorphins and stuff, just as I probably wouldn't enjoy chocolate so much if eating it didn't release endorphins. I'd still enjoy the taste, of course, but I don't think I'd ever crave it and "need" it if it didn't have a hormonal effect on my body. I mean, sexuals spend SOOO much time thinking about and wanting and fantasizing about sex. Putting that much time and effort and desire into obtaining a chemical reaction in the brain....

Ok, I think the key word in Wally's post was "weak". It's a weak chemical dependency. I don't remember the exact numbers, but if you compare the amount of endorphins released in sex to the amount released by, say, methamphetamine - meth releases WAY more. I'm thinking that sex probably releases the same or slightly more than a good workout, and no one accuses people who work out (or play sports, for that matter) of being "addicted", or wasting "SOOO much time and effort" on obtaining a chemical reaction from the brain. In fact, people praise it and call working out a good way to release stress. See what I mean? And again, it's not that much time nor effort. In fact, if I had a healthy workout habit, I'd be spending equivalent or less time thinking about/having sex.

I'm sorry this post is snippy, it just gets old hearing about how I'm "addicted", "wasting time", "not pursuing things that really matter because I spend SOOO much time on sex", blah blah blah. Sexuality is neither that big of a time waster, nor something that I feel I should be looked down on because I enjoy it.

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BunnyK.
It's not a thing of commercialism or industrial society or necessarily an outcome of anything to do with modernity and social expansion and globalisation. It just seems to me that many cultures (well at the very least the 'big one', or us) seem to advocate a kind of spiritual fetishisation of sex and an idealisation of sex addiction as something more than what it is--weak (well compared to nicotene and such) chemical dependency. Even when not dependent, sexuality is a very precipitous thing, or so it seems from my experience and observation, but people don't often look at it this directly--they instead tend to abstract and symbolise.

Actually, if I remember correctly (and I'll admit I learned this partly from the discovery channel), our culture spends significantly LESS time talking about sex as spiritual than some other cultures, notably ancient India. Other ancient Asian cultures also believed that sex had a spiritual component.

I think if most cultures have built a mythology around sex, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that sex is important to most humans, than to say that many cultures *independently* built a mythology to make it more important than it is?

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Chiaroscuro
Interestingly enough, I looked up "addiction" in one of the medical dictionaries here at work. It is defined as "compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance." Sounds about right to me... .

I share Bunny's exhaustion with having to respond to these sorts of posts. I understand the confusion, because it's there on our side of the line as well, but maybe there needs to be a "this is why sex is important to sexual people" FAQ somewhere so we can move on.

Like Bunny said, sex isn't something you pluck out of your life and say "today, I will not be a sexual person. Tomorrow, back to my addiction." Sex is like compassion, or mercy, or anger, or fear... it's part of you. It can be expressed in beautiful ways and in ugly ways. So when I say I sense sexuality in all art (art being created by humans as an expression of their humanity), it's like saying I see anger in a lot of artwork. Of course it's there, because it's created by people for whom sexuality is a fundamental drive. So the addiction analogy is wrong, because sexuality isn't something that's being added to the human condition from outside. It's wired into us. It can be bent, twisted, messed up... of course, just like any other basic human attribute. But it rises from inside us, and how we express it is part of what makes us individuals.

On a side note, reading this thread makes me want to wear only lumpy potato sacks, grow back my unibrow and never so much as look at or speak to anyone ever again. Sadly, I'm sure even that could be seen as sexy by some....

That made me laugh...

:D

-Chiaroscuro

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OperaGhost
On a side note, reading this thread makes me want to wear only lumpy potato sacks, grow back my unibrow and never so much as look at or speak to anyone ever again. Sadly, I'm sure even that could be seen as sexy by some....

That's how I feel all the time. I'm terrified of anyone being attracted to me, and it's my responsibility to prevent anyone from possibly feeling attraction for me. I have to make myself as ugly as possible (without harming myself) to be safe. I can't let anyone be attracted to me, or else it would mean that I have obviously failed to be modest enough.

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Mark from the OCD board

OperaGhost and maufry: You don't need to fear looking attractive. There is a difference between thoughts and actions, and most sexuals have a lot more control than you think. As for the others... Some people are pigs, whether sexual or asexual.

Besides, the truth of the matter is that better-looking people have an advantage in life, even in business. This is not always sexual. Even the sex or sexes outside one's sexual orientation seem more reliable and trustworthy when well-groomed, mannerly, and bathed.

Sometimes the way one is supposed to appear is rather idiosyncratic. Many men in pharmaceuticals, for example, do not grow beards and moustaches since the general public has a stereotype of shifty moustached salespeople... Further, American men in corporate business never wear brown suits... Dumb but true.

If you have an advantage, press it. Others press theirs.

----------------------------------------------

Chiaroscuro and BunnyK. summed it up perfectly. Just as asexuals rightly deserve to be taken as they are and treated with love and human dignity, so do sexuals. It is wrong to expect asexuals to live like sexuals or to mock their wiring, but it is equally wrong to expect sexuals to live like asexuals (unless they choose celibacy) or to mock their wiring.

It is true that a keyboard and a car do not affect me sexually, but so much else does--and that is who I am. As I read my Star Trek novel, for example, I wonder about exotic sexual practices with the various species in it--Vulcan sex, Andorian sex, Bajoran sex... And I fantasize... I may drift off a bit mid-paragraph, but I always return to the book. Then, watching my reruns of Andromeda on DVD, I smirk at many of the sexual innuedos which I know are there since I am a fan who has read a lot of cast and writer interviews. I often watch these reruns while riding my exercise bike, and there have been times I have fantasized about sex atop the bike while pedaling.

When I teach in my university, I make a point of not paying any special attention to the gay student who dresses so well, smells so nice, and is actually rather flirtatious. As I ride home on the bus, I see a guy my age with a really nice smile, and fantasy mode begins again.

That's who I am--and it is not something I am ashamed of or feel I have to be ashamed of. All of this is kept within the realm of fantasy. I am actually embarrassed to say how long it has been since I have had sex (not by choice), as I don't do one night stands or strangers. Suffice it to say that I have some of the asexuals here beat.

All of my students--male, female, or trans//gay, straight, bi, or asexual//ugly, average, or beautiful--get the same above and beyond treatment from me. (Having been up half the night writing long comments on papers and making sure that at least 50% of what I wrote on each paper was positive, I can assure you that my gay smart dresser did not get anything more or less than anyone else.)

And what did some students write about? Sex!

Now, as a last thought...

If sexuality is so unimportant in the real world, why have my people (gays) been gay bashed, burned to death as witches, killed in Hitler's camps, accused of being the anti-Christ, said to be the reason God has punished humanity with countless disasters (including Hurricane Katrina) through the ages, disowned by parents, thrown out of churches, forced to undergo electric shock therapy and other psychiatric tortures to become straight, sent on pain of hellfire to ex-gay camps, and so forth?

Why do my people fight so hard for equality and gay rights? If our sexuality is not important, why can't we just be straight or celibate? That's like asking why asexuals can't just be sexual.

I fight for the right to be who I am--as do asexuals.

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Revenge of Rain
grow back my unibrow

I did it years ago and have never looked back. Just saying.

Actually, if I remember correctly (and I'll admit I learned this partly from the discovery channel), our culture spends significantly LESS time talking about sex as spiritual than some other cultures, notably ancient India. Other ancient Asian cultures also believed that sex had a spiritual component.

In the large civilised cultural traditions such as China, India, and the Islamic 'world' there tend to be strains of something like this--just call it eroticism I guess. There certainly is in our civilisation as well--a much stronger one in fact--just look at the abundance of pornography and compare that to a book or some 'sexual' temple designs here and there. What I'm not sure is if this is something unique to larger civilisations or possibly to another defining aspect of such cultures. I can only speculate without much anthropologic knowladge, however.

The Discovery Channel is great by the way.

I think if most cultures have built a mythology around sex, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that sex is important to most humans, than to say that many cultures *independently* built a mythology to make it more important than it is?

I think it might be more of something serving the society in this case and not necessarily the individual (that is to say the meme). Just as with religion, it could be something of a cultural progression and preservation tool for certain values, in this case what to think of and how to approach sex in order to best protect the interest of the continued existence of your social group.

Like Bunny said, sex isn't something you pluck out of your life and say "today, I will not be a sexual person. Tomorrow, back to my addiction." Sex is like compassion, or mercy, or anger, or fear... it's part of you. It can be expressed in beautiful ways and in ugly ways. So when I say I sense sexuality in all art (art being created by humans as an expression of their humanity), it's like saying I see anger in a lot of artwork. Of course it's there, because it's created by people for whom sexuality is a fundamental drive. So the addiction analogy is wrong, because sexuality isn't something that's being added to the human condition from outside. It's wired into us. It can be bent, twisted, messed up... of course, just like any other basic human attribute. But it rises from inside us, and how we express it is part of what makes us individuals.

But is sex or sexuality really an emotion in the same way that anger/rage is? This seems to me more like if I were to for example take one of my addictions (caffeine or running when I'm on it) and go on to feel certain artwork as very 'caffeinated' or with a sensation of running. Again I'm sexual, insanely so at times, yet even then I wouldn't suddenly have a new set of emotions or anything like that. I could look at a 'sexual' picture and go 'oh yes I would like to have sex with that person had they existed', or 'I'm really horny right now and I can certainly understand just how what is depicted in this work of art displays a connection to sexual desire', but there isn't anything overreaching and 'mystical' about it, which is how I'm understanding what you're saying. I love language and linguistics too but it doesn't come from my core of being or anything like that, even when I spend all day thinking about related topics in a rather insane matter. It's something you can observe as being an intense interest probably stemming from the utility of cultivating such interests (in either things or people) going along with the idea that our super duper cerebral cortex uhh... helps us.

Chiaroscuro and BunnyK. summed it up perfectly. Just as asexuals rightly deserve to be taken as they are and treated with love and human dignity, so do sexuals. It is wrong to expect asexuals to live like sexuals or to mock their wiring, but it is equally wrong to expect sexuals to live like asexuals (unless they choose celibacy) or to mock their wiring.

Okay but what is wiring? How is this tendancy to consciously (maybe not willingly or 'self' instigated but certainly observable and knowingly and consciously desirable, as BunnyK seems to say, and as I would say of myself too) use symbolic thought as an extension of one's sex drive something that is innate or inherent or 'reptillian' (yay medulla!)?

Having been up half the night writing long comments on papers and making sure that at least 50% of what I wrote on each paper was positive

By the way, as a student, that definately is a big help. I tend to end up grudging classes where all there is is criticism, as silly and unrealistic as that may be. All the european students in my language classes seem to like it much better as well. Just an aside.

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square peg

Thanks for showing me those results all of you. I am wondering if 'seeing sex everywhere' in sexuals correlates with the Sensing or iNtuitive preferences. With a little more thought though, I suspect that those preferences might just affect what kind of thing the sexual interprets sexually, e.g. some sensors I know (not hypersexual ones, either) immediately notice when objects are remotely penis shaped and snigger, whereas an iNtuitor might more immediately notice a possible reference to a sex act in an obscure poem or turn of phrase. This is just what occurred to me reading the above exchange. The test you took was my introduction to MBTI too, and I scored almost 90% iNtuitive, which I now realise may explain my love of creating theories that don't go anywhere. :wink: Still, the informal sample of three people here might tell me something, lol.

I hate to admit to you though, that such a test as that humanmetrics one is far from an absolute authority. Lots of the questions are interpreted very differently by different people, and not always in the ways its writers intended. I've seen people take that one and after further research identify themselves as an almost completely different type. The scale is from 0 meaning no preference (equal I and E score, for example), to 100 meaning every answer in that category indicating the same preference. Any score around 50% is a fairly solid indication, IMO. The questions assessing the two middle preferences tend to be the most ambiguous, at least in these tests, with some people reading the word 'feeling' as 'emotion' and others as 'hunch', for example. Obviously, lack of honesty in answering makes the scores less meaningful, as can mental illnesses/emotional disturbances.

If you're really interested in knowing your type by the way, I've seen several lines of advice. Many people (myself included) think it best to take a relatively unambiguous, multi-choice test like this one, before you have a working understanding of the preferences being assessed. Others think you should read the descriptions of each type and see which fits you best, bearing in mind that the descriptions are of the extremes of each type. Alternatively, first see if the basic Temperament you've been assigned (link- SJ: Guardian) seems accurate. Compare the SP (Artisan), NF (Idealist) and NT (Rational). If at least SJ is right, check out the descriptions of each SJ type. I probably should have included links when I mentioned this, but from other threads I've had the impression that virtually everyone here knows their MB type. Thought it was an Internet-geek thing. 8) :wink:

I have done that. I forget the result but I remember finding the questions, like those of all the other tests I've taken, too simplistic and therefore meaningless. They all seem based upon the idea that certain groups of traits go together (for what reason?) but the ideas seldom hold together, at least in my case.

Personally I agree with the theorists that individual responses are evidence and part of wider traits. Some of them got a little carried away with the idea, certainly, and I'm cynical of 'function' theories but the basic four preferences I observe in people around me all the time, just didn't have words for before I discovered typology. Understanding the preferences and that they all have strengths and weaknesses has helped me to be more tolerant of people's differences that I couldn't always see past, and let me recognise many of my own personal vices as the symptoms of a common problem to be targeted. Businesses and organisations sometimes divide their workforce into groups of people with the same preference, and give them tasks to demonstrate the differences between their approaches to information and challenges. They report that the differences between the preferences I'm interested in here, Sensing and iNtuitive, are especially pronounced. There are tasks that each group consistently wins at and consistently loses at. Statistically, certain jobs appear to attract certain types significantly. A browse of Internet message boards will show that there is a marked gap between the numbers of certain types starting and joining MBTI-centred discussion. The overwhelming majority of those doing so are Introverts, despite Extraverts being the more common in the general population. Sensors (also the slight majority) are vastly under-represented in those discussing MBTI. What is possibly the rarest type in the general population with just 1%, INTP, is the type with one of the largest and most active message boards. It's huge by any e-community’s standards. Seems very unlikely that these are coincidences. There are other explanations I've considered, but the most likely to me seems to be that people identified as particular types do genuinely share something in common other than the specific questions they've answered in tests.

I can accept the idea that some people's thought patterns don them the tendency to symbolically sexualise. The only thing that would seem to contradict that is the (certainly unempirical) observation of mine that many people (often those from more traditional families I would say, regardless of the common view of the horrors of repression of the inherent overreaching sexuality of most people) can be placed along something of a spectrum for this subject according to their social interaction tendencies, especially perhaps if familial interaction and togetherness is included in the observation.

Do you mean that people from traditional families seem to symbolically sexualise more the more outgoing they are?

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OperaGhost
OperaGhost and maufry: You don't need to fear looking attractive. There is a difference between thoughts and actions, and most sexuals have a lot more control than you think. As for the others... Some people are pigs, whether sexual or asexual.

Besides, the truth of the matter is that better-looking people have an advantage in life, even in business. This is not always sexual. Even the sex or sexes outside one's sexual orientation seem more reliable and trustworthy when well-groomed, mannerly, and bathed.

Sometimes the way one is supposed to appear is rather idiosyncratic. Many men in pharmaceuticals, for example, do not grow beards and moustaches since the general public has a stereotype of shifty moustached salespeople... Further, American men in corporate business never wear brown suits... Dumb but true.

If you have an advantage, press it. Others press theirs.

I just am afraid of it. I can reason it away. I feel that if anyone is attracted to me something bad will happen and it will be my fault for not trying hard enough to be unattractive.

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