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http://www.mtv.com/#/news/articles/1556336...404/story.jhtml

dude! this just aired a few minutes ago. i had no idea anything like this was in the works, so you can only imagine my surprise. discuss.




2014 Mod Edit: The above link doesn't work anymore, but the article can be read here. Also a video in the spoiler!




Apr 5 2007
Asexual Healing: Young People Forming Sex-Free Community
Growing group of 'asexy' people finding information — and each other — online.
By Alex Mar

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Adam Henry

Adam Henry is a tall and fit former skater boy who likes to hit the San Francisco club scene. Over his years of partying, he's been in relationships with women and men. But now that he's 29, Henry says he knows one thing for certain: "I don't like sex."

Henry is asexual — a term used to describe a person who has no desire for sex. According to a study published in The Journal of Sex Research in 2004, it's not as rare as you might think: One in every 100 respondents said they had never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all.

Unlike those who choose to abstain by choice — because of, say, religious reasons — the "asexy" claim they have no say in the matter. They're simply not hardwired to want sex. "I can walk down the street and say, 'Oh yeah, she's really pretty,' or, 'Oh yeah, he's really cute.' But that doesn't mean, 'Oh yeah, I've got to go get some of that,' " Henry said, laughing. "It's totally not on that level."

The heart of the asexual community is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network at Asexuality.org. AVEN was founded by David Jay, now 24 and working for a nonprofit in San Francisco. When he was as young as 14, Jay said he "didn't know why everyone else was making such a big deal about kissing people and having sex with people."

By the time he was a senior in high school, Jay decided to label himself "asexual" — even though, at the time, a Google search for that word only produced scientific studies about amoeba reproduction (" 'Human amoeba' became a slang term for talking about asexual people," Jay said).

"It's not a choice," Jay said. "This is the way I was born. It's not a problem. There's no reason this should limit my life."

In 2001, while in college, Jay decided to reach out and create an online HQ for people like him. Since forming AVEN, Jay — still a virgin and intensely dedicated to the community — has seen the membership grow to include more than 10,000 members in the United States alone. (There are also 12 foreign-language sites, the most active of which is based in Germany.) Users have notably "asexy" handles like littlefuzzy, Goonie and FelineFanatic and often sport overtly youthful icons like snowmen, Shamu, Curious George and Emma Watson from the "Harry Potter" movies. AVEN sells merch ranging from a teddy bear T-shirt that reads "The Only One I Sleep With" to Jay's favorite item, the "No Sex Please" thong.

With sex out of the picture, dating obviously becomes a challenge. Some asexuals are happy having a strong network of friends — Henry lives with a married gay couple and a straight woman who he says are "just like family" — while some seek out "romantic" relationships. But what does an asexual romantic relationship look like?

"You can take the sex out of relationships and they can have just as much power," Jay insisted. "Because sex isn't just about sex. Sex is about power. It's about people feeling validated. It's about having fun. ... And those are all things that I still do and I still want in my life. ... To me, intimacy is something that happens in almost all my relationships."

Jay is convinced that a relationship based on trust, common hobbies "or the fact that you both like to cook" can bring two people "really, really close without sex ever being a serious issue."

And there might still be some physical contact. Many asexuals have "cuddle buddies," or friends they may hug and kiss or share a bed with. An asexual who has several cuddle buddies is called a "snuggle slut" — which is how Jay labels himself. "I'm a total asexual slut," he said. "Really the distinction between friends and 'more than friends' is an arbitrary social one. ... Rather than figure out which one person I'm going to call my 'partner,' I've been making charts just to keep track of who are all the people that matter in my life and why they matter."

But in dating, how does an asexual come out of the closet? While Henry has no problem revealing his no-sex rule "on the second or third date," some AVEN-ites are truly intimidated about sharing their sexual identity. "One guy I told refused to believe me and could not accept it and accused me of talking a load of bullsh--," Shortass Lady posted. More painfully, Nick007 revealed, "Sometimes I think it would be easier to explain to people if I had lost my penis in some kind of accident instead of telling them that I'm asexual."

"Everybody knows inside of himself or herself, 'There's a core of someone who I am, and I deserve respect for that,' " said Anne Stockwell, editor of gay magazine The Advocate. "I think that is an extension of our civil rights. ... If there's one thing gay people have heard it's, 'Well, you just haven't met the right guy yet,' or, 'You haven't met the right girl yet.' "

There are marked differences between the gay-rights movement and asexuality, of course. While the very term "asexual" is only a few years old and still controversial, the gay community has been fighting for its rights for decades, facing professional discrimination and physical violence along the way. But much of the language AVEN uses to describe the movement for asexual "visibility" comes straight out of the gay-rights playbook.

Jay himself says he "learned to be an activist" working with the gay community as a teen. "We don't have people who are physically attacking us the way that gay people have for a long time, thankfully," he says. "We just have people that are telling us that asexuality doesn't exist."

A low sex drive can also have medical causes — including low testosterone in men — and can even be linked to a history of sexual abuse. "For someone in their 20s who thinks they might be asexual, it's really important for them to ask themselves a lot of tough questions," said Los Angeles sex therapist Alex Katehakis. "Like, 'Why do I want to be asexual?' And conversely, 'What scares me about being sexual?' "

AVEN counsels members to "definitely see a doctor" — especially if someone's experienced a sudden lack of lust.

But the point of AVEN, Jay maintains, is to offer people a different way of defining themselves, free from society's focus on our sex lives. "We don't make you sign a pledge that says you'll identify as asexual for your entire life," Jay said. " 'Asexuality' is a word that you use to describe yourself. If it fits today, then use it. If it doesn't fit next week, then stop using it."

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Zerick

Holy crap!! That was awesome!

David I love your masks on the wall....Right now I have only three masks to watch me as I sleep. Down from about 15....

Adam....smoking in front of Moby Dick's.....that made me laugh so hard. If you only knew.

As far as the MTV////Trauma...maybe but not sexually.....Anxiety....NO.....Low testosterone.....I don't think so....

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Divine Asexuality

I had just walked into my room(which I share with my younger brother), and he was flipping channels. He came across this 'MTV' commercial and it had just said that trauma part and then it basically ended. Needless to say, I was very irritated and I actually cursed the channel. This is rare for me because I generally only use vulgar language in my head or when I am alone. I went downstairs, got myself a soda, and laid in bed to try and force my anger deeper into my conscience. I guess it is better that they included some things, but the trauma/low testosterone thing was very irritating. Sorry for the tirade.

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Ithilorn

That was amazing! Not to mention totally unexpected.

I can see why they made sure to mention about what some professionals say can lead to a lack of interest in sex, except for the sex therapist. Load of crap, there. I can't help but wonder if she's ever actually spoken to someone who is asexual.

I, for one, don't think I'm very young developmentally, and I actually took the sex ed in school better than most of my peers did, which throws shame out the window.

Enough of that, though. Overall, it was a great report, both in video and in print. Not to mention a semi-ad for AVEN.

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Brodertun

Who are shamu and curious George?

I fondled my first boy at 10 years old - never got caught, never was ashamed of doing so., We repeated that many times for the next 2 years.

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Octarine
Who are shamu and curious George?

Shamu is an orca. And you don't know who Curious George is?! *mind boggles*

curious%20george.jpg

That was a rather refreshing article. They made us seem legit and normal. And, yes, they did have the sex therapist and stuff, but they also said that we advised people to go to the doctor with sudden losses of sex drive and stuff like that. Wasn't Dr. Joy's main complaint that we were calling possible medical/psychological issues a personality quirk? Anyways, it's much better than anything I could have expected from MTV.

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M51

Woohoo! That is awesome!!

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!

I couldn't watch the clip but i read the article

huzzah!!!!! :vis:

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Coleslaw

Stupid "Only for viewers in the United States" memo... I wanna watch! The article makes it sound really good!

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Nalle Neversure
Stupid "Only for viewers in the United States" memo... I wanna watch! The article makes it sound really good!

I just watched it! :? :?

Have I managed to fool MTV too?? ;)

It was good, one of the bests I've seen!!!!!! :D :D

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Coleslaw

Really? I get a "Copyrights restrict us from playing this video outside the US" notice...

I'll be back home in a few weeks, so I'm not gonna worry too much...

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ily

Yay! I was looking forward to seeing this! My orange frisbee got its 15 minutes of fame :wink: Yeah, that therapist or whoever was whack (lady, I've been through a lot here :roll: ) but Adam and David, I think you guys proved your point. :D

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Flour Confessor

I used to be Curious George. Ack! Somehow I feel kinda creeped out that an MTV spy was in here looking at my old avatar and made a note of it, haha.

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EGAD!

Watched the video yeah overall pretty good, but take issue with the red blaring words and monologue suggesting we have been traumatized or have low testosterone.

The only other thing I take issue with is the suggestion by the sex therapist that we are somehow not mentally developed enough...

I suppose this rhetoric comes from the psychological tradition that to be in relationship and have sexual relations requires a certain level of maturity/self-esteem. I'm sure all of us can think of someone who isn't stable enough to be in a relationship, but people do it anyway.

Being in a relationship/having sex does not equal more mature/more developed. And personally if someone can say they do not want to be in a relationship or don't want to have sex because it is not what they want/or know they can't deal with it I would say they are pretty mature to know themselves well enough to say no.

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live wire

"Snuggle slut"? :mellow:

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Hayley
"Snuggle slut"? :mellow:

Oh, come one, we all know at least one. ;)

I quite liked the video too. It pretty much covered all the bases it could in such a short space of time. :)

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AntiBubble
"Snuggle slut"? :mellow:

Oh, come one, we all know at least one. ;)

Oh he does. He's in a relationship with one! :P

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skenasis

The whole trauma/anxiety/developmental problems is the only bone of contention I have with the vid, though the story is great. It's really, really good to see an article on such a mainstream level.

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endplusone

Yeah they really didn't provide much of an argument against the big condescending words scrawling across the screen. But yes, I liked that it was something mainstream and specifically for people who are younger. It's to my understanding that many younger people watch MTV, and if they don't watch CNN or other shows in which asexuality has been discussed then I imagine it gave some younger people relief to see that there are other people who are like them.

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Teras Mania

Bummer, I think the website took it down. :(

When I click the link it just brings me to the MTV homepage. Ah, well.

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endplusone

^ I posted a YouTube link a couple of posts up.

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Teras Mania
^ I posted a YouTube link a couple of posts up.

Whoops, I missed that. Thanks for posting!

Yeah though, the sex therapist seemed a bit...obnoxious about it. But I suppose when you have a degree in something and you've spent years of your life studying it, something "out of the norm" like asexuality casts doubts on everything you've been taught. The giant caps words at the end were a little annoying. It was like asexuals were being branded with "ANXIETY! TRAAAAAUMA! OH NOES!!!!"

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Rising Moon Droplet



I think it's pretty well done, but sexlessparent's comments are making me broil a bit.

Oh, hehe. I totally didn't see this thread. I is oblivious. Sorry guys!


[edited by Mod EGD to merge RMD's thread with this thread]

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live wire

Caution: Prolonged exposure to Youtube comments can result in high blood pressure and loss of 22 I.Q. points.

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Ninny

That was great! Well, except for the stupid doctor lady, I want to give her a slap! Shame? I don't think so! :/ Ahh well.

We sure are getting around abit in the media - one day we'll take over the world! Muhaha! :lol:

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