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kbrd143

A Link to the Past

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kbrd143

As many of you know (but some of you may not), there is a definite link between the users whose names are KBRD143 and GBRD143. I would be Keith, or KBRD; Nancy would be GBRD, formerly known as Greybird. We are attached. Partners, if you will. In a relationship, whatever that really means. In any case, we are committed to one another -- and like any two people in a committed relationship, we sometimes face a crisis.

Now, I am not going to go into any kind of truly salacious detail, here; but, recently, events in our lives have had us discussing the definitions and parameters of asexuality, and precisely how far one can push -- or should push -- the boundaries of sex and sexuality and still consider oneself asexual. (And, I should quickly point out by way of preamble, lest Nancy die of embarrassment, that these questions were coming as a result of actions I had taken and thoughts I had been having, as opposed to something that she had done or said. . . .)

I have been saying since the days when I first began doing interviews on the subject of asexuality that far too much emphasis is placed on what asexuals don't do. The end-all, be-all definition of asexual seems to be, in common parlance, "Someone who doesn't do it." I have always found this belief to be extremely problematic, if for no other reason than it is demonstrably untrue: some asexuals are perfectly capable of having sex and, when the situation calls for it, can. (More on this thought, later.) I have, instead suggested to reporters and various other interviewers, that the emphasis should be placed instead on what we are doing: forging our own lives, by our own rules and standards, insisting on our own identities and our own relationships. We are embracing our asexuality as an actual sexuality, accepting it as our sexual identity and our way of interacting with others sexually. Asexuality is the term which best describes our sexual beings. In other words, it isn't that asexuals have no sex or sexuality; rather, our sexuality is asexual.

This is a rather proactive statement, rich in activity, and it goes a long way to explaining the concept that I touched upon briefly above, that asexuals can, and do, have sex. The reasons can be as multifarious as there are individuals and really require no categorizing. Some people who otherwise think of themselves as asexual nevertheless engage in sexual activity. As the recent Kinsey report on the subject of asexuality said, asexuals can engage in consensual activity which isn't desired, but may, nevertheless, be necessary due to extenuating circumstances such as the expectations of a partner, the desire to have biological children, or even the sincere wish to please someone else. Asexuality is, therefore, not about what one actually does; rather, it is about what one wants to do and would do absent of outside influences.

Which, if you think about it, is precisely what any other sexuality is all about. Heterosexuals desire sexual contact with members of the opposite sex; however, they are capable, in many situations, of having sexual contact with a member of their own sex, and many of them have. The same could be said of homosexuals: the capacity is there to act in a manner which is inconsistent with the individual's honest desire. In this respect, asexuality is no different from any other kind of sexual identity.

Something which has been disturbing me of late, however, and something that I have been unable, previously, to easily explain, is my perception that this understanding has been largely lost on AVEN. To my mind, AVEN has become, in the last year or so, less of a pro-sexuality website, and more of an anti-sexuality website.

More and more and more, I see posts which describe the general ickyness of sex and how wonderful it is to be free from such sexual thoughts -- and I read this, fair or unfair, as a kind of elitism: "Thank god we are not like them!" And, for me, asexuality has never been about being different from anyone. I have always understood asexuality in very egalitarian terms: finally, I understand how I am like them! I get that what they go through, I also go through. The only difference is the focus: they focus on a particular kind of activity, I focus on another. It has always been of little matter to me that theirs is a focus for participating in a particular activity and mine is a focus on not participating in similar activities. The point is that, there is still a sexual focus.

Which brings us, more or less, to the crisis which Nancy and I recently faced and with which, to some extent, we are still dealing. Once again, I see no real point in getting too specific; however, something which I had done -- and, no, it wasn't having sex -- led both of us to wonder, quite seriously, if I was even asexual.

Now, in an asexual relationship, such a question is perfectly devastating. Should it be decided that, no, I could not consider myself asexual, then that would be that. The relationship would be over. Nevertheless, I kept expressing my belief that I was, had been and remained asexual -- but that I was experiencing a strange flux in hormones, stress and physical sensation which was making my mind travel to seldom visited locales. And then I remembered something.

Once upon a time, AVEN had a system which attempted to categorize the types of asexuality. To quote from the wiki:

At one time, AVEN sought to sort asexuals into four categories, based on these criteria. However, AVEN now considers them to be too limiting in scope:

Type A asexuals, who experience sex drive, but no attraction;

Type B asexuals, who experience romantic or other forms of attraction but do not have sex drives;

Type C asexuals, who experience sex drive and romantic or other forms of attraction, but do not see them as linked;

Type D asexuals, who experience neither.

This classification system was retired, because not all asexuals felt comfortable putting themselves in one of the four categories. However, some asexuals still find it useful to reference the concepts of type A, B, C, or D at times.

Suddenly, it became clear to me: I was one "type" of asexual, while Nancy was another. Thinking of the situation in terms of, "Hey, I am a Type-C asexual, while you are a Type-B" allowed things to suddenly coalesce. It was one of those "Big-Oh!" type moments which allowed each of us to suddenly see where the other was coming from and I began to think that the old, abandoned "Type" system had one advantage which perhaps we failed to truly consider at the time when we abandoned it: the types system emphasized acknowledged that a full spectrum of people shared the asexual identity. Sure, it had the disadvantage that some, if not many, felt somewhat put off that they had to pick one of four pre-defined categories into which they had to stick themselves; nevertheless, I suddenly find myself wondering if, by abandoning the system completely, we didn't create a new and different kind of undesirable situation: a situation in which people come to AVEN to avoid their sexuality rather than embrace it.

The above might seem somewhat off-putting, especially considering my position as a mod, an admin, a member of the Project Team and a member of the somewhat unofficial Media Team. I don't mean for it to be. First and foremost, I am a member of this site. All of the titles, responsibilities, shiny buttons and hidden forums flow from one fact: I am, first, a member of the site. And it is as such that I am writing. For me, AVEN has become a place at which I work, but rarely participate, and I think that I can finally convey why: in an attempt to be less limiting, AVEN, in my understanding, became more limiting. Instead of reminding people of -- and placing right up front -- the notion that asexuality could mean different things to different kinds of people, we inadvertently reduced ourselves to a single definition -- the general definition that asexuals are people who don't do it and who, furthermore, never want to.

But the reality of the situation is so much richer, so much more diverse! Just as no random group of heterosexuals experience their desires in exactly the same way, or, similarly, no selection of homosexuals all want to participate in precisely the same activities -- so, too, are asexuals. Each of us experiences asexuality just a little bit differently, and although this is acknowledged time and again in thread after thread, I have, just the same, felt somewhat distanced from the site since I perceive the general opinion to be somewhat more limited than what I personally experience.

The link at AVEN continues to be stated right on the front page: the link is an absence of sexual attraction. Not sexual experience or even sexual desire. The attraction to another, specific person for the purpose of sexual fulfillment is the key.

For my own part, I still seek sexual fulfillment, I just don't see how anyone else could help with that. And, reading through the posts on the site -- as I do daily -- I can see that everyone else here is seeking sexual fulfillment, too, in their own way: whether through a sense of community with others who feel as they do or for some other reason. This site is about sexual gratification. But, for us, it is a gratification that comes from within. Others need not even apply to help with it, for it is a kind of gratification that comes without stimulation. It is a peace which comes from knowing that we are not alone. And that is stimulating enough, thank you very much.

I don't suppose that, throughout this overlong little diatribe, that I am saying something very different from anything else that I have seen expressed around here. It is just that I choose to see and explain asexuality in terms of sexual activity as opposed to avoidance. Which might be seen as distasteful, by many. It is, nevertheless, the way in which asexuality is experienced by at least this one, particular man. I am not someone who doesn't do "it". "It" is still a very visceral force in my life. I, however, by virtue (if you will) of my asexuality, deal with that force in a very different way than would a sexual person. A sexual person would need someone else to complete the experience. I need only myself, and the belief that there are others who, like me, can also deal with "it" entirely by themselves.

My asexual experience is different from others, I know. It is different from my partner's, for one. But it is, just the same, asexual and is, as such, as valid as any other. It just so happens that mine is better understood in terms of a abandoned system. It is, however, no less real for having been abandoned -- just as none of the experiences as expressed on other areas of the site are any more real for being understood in terms which haven't been abandoned.

Definitions ebb and flow with fashion. At the end of the day, we are still left with asexuality. And it might be beneficial to our newer members to occasionally acknowledge that fashion once went in a slightly different direction and might, in the future, go in an entirely different direction still. There is no cookie cutter for asexuality. No one is going to come to this site and identify with 100% of what they find expressed here. But if they can identify with one, core assumption, then that is enough. We welcome all.

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jr1

Tremendous post. This is the deepest piece I've read in a long time

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osito

Keith--KBRD--I thank you for that wonderful post.not-tagged-smiley-12055.gif

I haven't been at AVEN long enough to have noted the shift to which you refer. There are thousands of posts from earlier days I have not read. I had seen the now-abandoned classification, and found it useful. Equally useful to me, but more complex, was an article on 'gray sexuality' in AVENues a couple of months ago by Hallucigenia.

Something I have been trying to elicit from sexuals (with a bit of progress) is a denouement of the turnoff. I haven't put it quite that way, but of course there are many potential situations in which sex could be available to a sexual, but for any of a variety of reasons, they say no. This adds yet another layer to the multifarious and ubiquitous grayness.

So if sexuals can say no in a wide variety of circumstances, why can't asexuals say yes? These apparent inconsistencies, if closely examined, would likely prove the rule.

I speak as an asexual (about which I have zero doubt) who has had sex maybe fifty times over several decades (none for the last two, and don't miss it at all). Each liaison is a story; some are funny, some sad, some are devoid of feeling, some are full of self-doubt and pain. Some were even kinda fun, almost: in the moment, things were OK, but there was no desire to do it again with that person. Overall, what I felt about sex was a continuum from aversion to "leave well enough alone".

I am not one to complain about the ickiness. There are icky things about sex that even sexuals will admit to, but there are extenuating circumstances--that even some asexuals will admit to--which override the ickiness--closeness, trust, intimacy, and even physical pleasure.

I will own up to it: I have had brushes with all of these positives in some (the minority) of my sexual experiences. But I am still overwhelmingly asexual.

To jump around a bit: I tend to be generous and empathetic in reading the antisexual posts here. I won't rant about it, but we As have taken some really cheap-shit sexual flak again and again ad nauseam; we've been hounded into self-doubt by our peers and had a big chunk of mainstream socialization foreclosed. I remember it well. A lot of the members here are young and still suffering the slings and arrows of normative ignorance, and they are understandably frustrated and angry. It will pass; it's a phase. I honestly believe that. For the people lucky enough to find AVEN, it will be vented and ranted about and pass that much faster. I've done a bit of ranting myself.

I would also call myself a Type C asexual. No doubt about it. I have a sex drive. It is never focused on other people. I am autosexual and think I do a bang-up job of it, better than anyone else ever has or could do. It is totally unconnected to other modes of attraction, including romantic attraction. I have fallen in love. It has been pretty much a disaster, but oh so educational: corny as Kansas in August, all those transcendent metaphors. But did I want sex with that person??? Feh. Hell, no.not-tagged-smiley-13271.gif

Speaking candidly, I am puzzled about the nature of the crisis in your relationship with GBRD, but I won't ask. Instead, I would like to offer a thought that popped into my head when I read that first paragraph. There's a very basic trust issue tangled up with sexuality--and with asexuality. Throughout my life I have had a classic recoil reaction to the expectations and desires of people who wanted to have sex with me. It's not quite as simple as "don't ask and I might, but if you ask, the answer is no". There's a wee little component of "if I know you don't want to, I might be a bit more interested than I otherwise would be". I admit this. Were I to encounter an otherwise attractive asexual (which never happened during those decades of experimentation), I would likely be more willing to trust them precisely because they weren't into sex, and to put the cherry on top of the conundrum, I might even be inclined to (respectfully to the max) ...try to hit on them. :oops: There. I said it, with apologies up the wazoo.

Gonna stop here.

osito

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jungler
Something which has been disturbing me of late, however, and something that I have been unable, previously, to easily explain, is my perception that this understanding has been largely lost on AVEN. To my mind, AVEN has become, in the last year or so, less of a pro-sexuality website, and more of an anti-sexuality website.

More and more and more, I see posts which describe the general ickyness of sex and how wonderful it is to be free from such sexual thoughts

Agree.

I hope AVEN will remain as sexuality variations research and supporting group.

Thanks for the great post. :cake:

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spinneret

I'm completely with you, K-Bird. The problem with the type system, as with most labels, was that people tried to box themselves into them, or otherwise stressed out when they couldn't pick one box to fit into—that, and some felt the need to rank these types as "classes" of asexuality, eg the unicornists. It was useful, though, because it did illustrate how there were many ways people . And AVEN is not about trying to define ourselves as a supercool new deviant countercultural category set apart from the sexual norm, which is something I worry about a bit with some of the new folk--many of whom don't stick around, probably when they realize that.

I feel that what cohesively binds asexual people is that we identify outside of understood sexuality. Whether I don't want sex in any form, or I don't mind sex but don't feel attracted to people in a way that makes me seek it out, I'm outside the norms. On the contrary, it's about finding other people inhabiting those same spaces outside of the norms, and finding how we can together relate better to those within the norms. And you're absolutely right, that orientation doesn't restrict our behavior, or even our enjoyment of certain behaviors.

Once (last summer?) we had a bunch of discussions about the rapid growth of the site, due in large part to our wildly successful media appearances (go media team!). We all know that a lot of new folks come in feeling broken, hurt, and generally bitter. They usually chill out a bit after they get used to the idea that they're not totally alone. The problem is, when there's a large influx of people, there are fewer calm oldsters to temper that rush of frustration and angst. My fear is that with a shortage of calm positive old-timers, angry, hurt and bitter new members start counseling even newer members which perpetuates the hurt and anger and bitterness. It gets people stuck, and it's going to give the wrong impression of the site.

I've been spending less and less time here, because so much of what I run into is antisexual polemic and juvenile bashing, a lot of which incidentally bashes asexuals with sex drives and those involved in sexual behavior, not to mention the sexual people we know and love. Not all asexuals are completely averse to sex, and there's a way to be averse to sex without being childish and judgemental about it. I see a lot of Us-vs-Them sentiment, when I feel that in the name of Education and Visibility we should be trying to ally ourselves with people across the sexual spectrum.

I've got to take this moment to give a shout out to my favorite sexual people on board, who stick it out and maintain that critically important dialogue. We need them, people. In more ways than one.

Thanks for stepping up and saying something, Keith. I think it's really important for AVEN and AVENites that we stay positive, and that we be lumpers, not splitters. You articulated that very well, and I hope it sparks more good discussion.

one last note--I'm with you, osito, on the thing about being more open tothe idea of sexual experimentation with another asexual. It just seems like it'd be a more even playing field.

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Olivier

Keith

I'm new here, a sexual with an asexual partner, and I've got to say that although I've seen some of the juvenile antisexual ranting you refer to, I must say that it's been far outweighed by helpful, insightful, considered conversation. The very short time (a week or so) I've been a member has been more useful to me than years of trying to unravel some of the issues in my relationship by myself.

As I see it, most of the "gosh sex is icky" comes from the very young and inexperienced. I was young once *sighs* and imagine I had just as little perspective a some of the posters here, so I can't in good conscience criticise them. For the most part, even posters of this type are extremely civil to those who disagree with them.

I have no idea what AVEN was like in times past, but my first impressions were of an active, strong, tolerant, supportive, and diverse yet inclusive community - the sort of community many other sites would envy greatly.

That said, I agree with your post wholeheartedly. What you said is worth saying, and perhaps the best way to deal with the issues you see is to spend some more time back on the boards, dispensing wisdom where wisdom is required :)

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Nalle Neversure

Great post Keith! :cake: :cake:

I'll read it again, when I have more time. :D

Something which has been disturbing me of late, however, and something that I have been unable, previously, to easily explain, is my perception that this understanding has been largely lost on AVEN. To my mind, AVEN has become, in the last year or so, less of a pro-sexuality website, and more of an anti-sexuality website.

It wasn't just my imagination, then. Others have noticed it too.

I have had a vague feeling that AVEN was different when I joined (almost 2 years ago :shock: 8))...

It's the anti-sexuality thing that's made me feel a bit uncomfortable here. I post more that I used to do (Thank you, my love.) but mostly in JFF, 'cause it's the place I feel most comfortable.

I used to answer to asexuality-related posts, but nowadays I usually find nothing to say. :? Even though now I know much better what I am... And that ain't anti-sexual.

And I am not blaming the anti-sexuals or people who have made antisexualish posts, everyone has right to their feelings. And many people here have good reasons to be against sex. It's the overall change in atmosphere that's bothering me.

Spinneret, I like your post. I need to reread it too.

And a few weeks back Amcan made a thread (click me) that made me go :shock: :shock: .

The subject of the thread is "Anyone else here actually don't mind sex?"

"Do we need a thread like this in AVEN?" Was my first thought.

And second one: "Well... I think we do."

:( :?

-Laura

I just spent half an hour with this reply... Ooops. I was supposed to go to school. :lol:

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Haunter
And a few weeks back Amcan made a thread (click me) that made me go :shock: :shock: .

The subject of the thread is "Anyone else here actually don't mind sex?"

"Do we need a thread like this in AVEN?" Was my first thought.

Oh my God! I've never seen that thread. That was totally my first thought too.

By the way, if there are so many antisexuality threads, why isn't an antisexuality subforum created for all the antisexualish asexuals around?

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Puzzle_chick

*applauds* Excellent post, most excellent. I've only been here about half a year, and for the most part I don't see too many overly anti-sexual replies or posts (and generally when someone does start any kind of shyt, I've seen the mods swoop in and make sure things stay reasonable pretty quickly, so major props to them.) and those that are are usually someone expressing their opinion and not attacking others. We are here, after all, to express opinions. But having not been here for as long as some I could see how there could definitely be changes I never noticed.

I agree we should try not to get into some sort of asexual-elitism. One thing I always liked about this board is you could identify as anything, be a supporter of pretty much anything, and you'd be welcomed. This is the first place I felt comfortable saying openly, "this is how I feel about myself and my sexuality..." and people are accepting. Our sexual members and everybody of every shade really are just as welcome and I enjoy their input. I hope we continue to keep it that way.

I think everyone else has already said everything else I could say in their awesome replies, so I'll leave that to them. ^^

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newgirl

What can i say but not all asexual or in my case asexual virgins are alike in thinking and the conversation on the board is going to reflex the diversity asexual wanting no sex period to gray asexual wanting some type of limited sex. I myself love the different views shown on this board because society needs to know not all asexual think and act alike.We want to live a healthy, positive life being who we are because most sexual people don't understand asexuality.

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SadNoirPlot

Great post, and kudos for the video game reference :D .

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FISH'

Greatest post I've ever read, I think.

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emmarainbow

^Quite possibly - very good. :D

It sums up a lot of what I think as well; I've got to the point where I know I am, technically, asexual, but I have all the other bits of sexuality, and I worry about not fitting here... I want a relationship, have a drive, and (shockhorror) may actually act out those together if I had an SO who was very special and lovely and so forth. But I've still never experienced sexual attraction.

Thanks for saying that my lovely. :D

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CrazyCatLover
By the way, if there are so many antisexuality threads, why isn't an antisexuality subforum created for all the antisexualish asexuals around?

Just wanted to say that I think that sounds like a very good idea.

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2tabbymom

Thank you, KBRD, for your wonderful post.

I'm one of those who mostly just reads the fora and occasionally throws in my two cents. I feel this post is worth about 10 cents.

I totally understand what Spinneret means by lumpers and splitters (me), but I found this classification very interesting. I think it helps me understand being aromantic a little better, since we can be type A (me) or D. This really clarified a lot of things going through my mind lately, since I had wondered if my sexuality had changed through the years or always been asexual. Your post makes me realize that there was no change, I'm still the same person, just with a new definition to help explain things.

I had also been wondering lately why there were so many antisexual posts.

Today is my official 11-month anniversary and I want to say thanks for all of the good work that you and the other mods/admins do to keep this site running in such good order.

Edited once for clarification

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Amcan

Thank you from this asexual who was a type A under the old system and came in just as it was going out.

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Sideos

TL;DR

Summery.

Asexuals are a deiverse lot and are possibly the most whiny, elitest, complicated people in all of sexuality-dom.

Go us.

Personally I support the idea of having some labels, because at least then we have something to base our feelings on and connect to others who feel that way.

Personal feelings, like fetishes and such, are on a more individual level and shouldn't be counted with the major basic asexual types.

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mindlife
Something which has been disturbing me of late, however, and something that I have been unable, previously, to easily explain, is my perception that this understanding has been largely lost on AVEN. To my mind, AVEN has become, in the last year or so, less of a pro-sexuality website, and more of an anti-sexuality website.

I agree, Keith. And this writing as a member from earlier times. Asexuality is not antisexuality. There are antisexuality websites and resources, perhaps even communities.

For me, asexuality is not about what I don't want.

It's about the extraordinary feeling I get whenever I meet someone or enter the space of their personality and thinking.

I don't have to talk about my relationship to sex or sexual activity because I have none. Yet to have none is not to be empty.

I've found that I need human interaction and relationship. But the nature of my needs is not sexual. Yet I am not repulsed by sexual behavior, I just find that I don't want to do it.

Still, there is the presence of another person, the conversation, the intimacy.

If I define my life by what I don't desire, then I'm really not living.

Asexuality is not a negative property. It's just the place where I live and a way of life.

I don't think about my own asexuality because it is simply what I am.

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Face

I remember the discussions of why the categories were rejected just as I joined over a year ago. The other thing I remember was only slowly realising just how diverse the asexual community here is and how that can lead to misunderstandings that come from different perceptions of what asexuality means.

These perceptions, in turn, come from each individuals experience and with more younger members joining I can see how the predominant views have changed and taken over as new members with strong views have come and sometimes gone.

You were right to bring this up and maybe we do need something immediately visible that makes newbies realise that asexuality is a broad term and inclusive. One way I can see to do that is to create sub forums. But then we want them flexible if we're gonna start creating categories. Not easy. It comes down to how much we want to control the direction of the site.

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cijay
Something which has been disturbing me of late, however, and something that I have been unable, previously, to easily explain, is my perception that this understanding has been largely lost on AVEN. To my mind, AVEN has become, in the last year or so, less of a pro-sexuality website, and more of an anti-sexuality website.

More and more and more, I see posts which describe the general ickyness of sex and how wonderful it is to be free from such sexual thoughts -- and I read this, fair or unfair, as a kind of elitism: "Thank god we are not like them!" And, for me, asexuality has never been about being different from anyone. I have always understood asexuality in very egalitarian terms: finally, I understand how I am like them! I get that what they go through, I also go through. The only difference is the focus: they focus on a particular kind of activity, I focus on another. It has always been of little matter to me that theirs is a focus for participating in a particular activity and mine is a focus on not participating in similar activities. The point is that, there is still a sexual focus.

I don't know about it as far as the website becoming less pro-sex and more anti-sexual but certainly many posts have become that way. I'm always leery of giving sexual people the impression that we think that what they're doing is 'wrong'. As I only speak for myself, I don't think that what they're doing is "icky" or "wrong" because, actually, I don't think of what they're doing.

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Dargon

Yet another oldie chiming in (been here only four months less than you, Keith, it'll be three years this month). I started addressing many of the things others had pointed out individually, but the post was turning into a novel.

I remember the old system well. I was one who said "kind of between... (If anything, I am closest to A). I remember the discussions of it being a continum, the other aspects, etc. I think these discussions on models really fostered an environment where discussion of the diversity within the group was encouraged. The was I see it, it was largely abandoned because sexuality is too complex to be represented in a single chart. I'd go into this further, but this is not the time nor place.

But, lookng back, when those charts went away, the anti-label people started to become more vocal, vocal to the point where any model that came up was greeted with a few "interesing model, here's some thoughs" and an onslaught of "no models, models are like labels and labels are bad and you shouldn't use the, so there." After reading your post, Keith, I can't help but wonder if that actually discouraged talk about diversity within the community.

Concerning the antisexuals, I too have noticed the increase of them. Back when I first joined, anti-sexuality was not around here, and when it did crop up, it was frowned upon. Then again, this was also when we were still somewhat at war with the now-dead "non-libidoist society" (formerly the "official asexual society"). I also cannot help but wonder if the collapse of their site is a factor in the increase of antisexuals here, since back then they'd be pointed that way and they'd go off there and make bitter and angry posts about AVEN and how we weren't true asexuals and have their own little happy bitterness fest.

But, as I was saying before I tangeted about the Unicornists (and I'm stealing that word, spinneret), the increase in antisexuals here is quite noticable. Spinneret, you do make a good point about the bitter and angry new members. While I came in rather happily, I do recall countless people coming in quite bitter at the sexuals. Some of them left when they discovered most of us have no problem with the sexuals, some of them calmed down (and quite honestly, some of the people who's posts I make a point to read came here as bitter, angry, and even downright vicious), yet some remained bitter and just hid it.

I am sure there are many factors behind this increase (Keith's point on the old system, spinneret's thought on the influx of bitter newbies, the demise of the non-libidoist forum, perhaps many other things), but it does bother me. I have seen no antisexual messages that weren't degrading to sexuals (and by extension, asexuals who have had sex for whatever reason, or asexuals who have sex drives). Acceptance of such degrading opinions breeds room for other hatred. I ahve also noticed recently there are little waves of misandry/misogony that surface. And when it happens, generally it goes one of two ways. Either people say "hey, what you said is wrong" and the person replies "sorry, I know, I was angry when I posted," or the person replies insisting they are right, which either gets locked or continues until one side gives up. And with how often this has happened of late, both with antisexuality and misandry/misogony, some of us have grown tired of our words falling upon deaf ears and have given up.

The aforementioned hatred has, on many ocassions, caused me to leave AVEN for a few days, sometimes a week or so, just to get away from it and mellow out. It has at times cause me to consider leaving outright, but doing so would give the hateful more room to be heard, and all and all would be less benificial for AVEN.

There is no easy solution to this. Models tend to be flawed for being "too restrictive" (again, not going into that here), but the lack of something showing diversity means it will only be discussed when a particular member has an issue regarding a specific aspect of their own (a)sexualtiy. Face mentions subforums. Sorry, Face, but I am outright against this idea. It would serve to self-segrigate the community, causing to split rather then celebrate it's diversity. Honestly, I widh I could suggest the fix-all solution, but I got nothing.

Anyhow, I started this so as to avoid writing a novel of a post, and look what I've done...

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spinneret
By the way, if there are so many antisexuality threads, why isn't an antisexuality subforum created for all the antisexualish asexuals around?

We used to be able to offer go to the unicorn place where the "nonlibidoists" congregated, but their site appears to have died. I feel antisexual stuff doesn't belong in a community designed for

1) positive support for asexual people

2) education and visibility in the mainstream

The idea is to help support new people (often young ones, as has been said) through that initial reactionary period, not to let them get mired in it.

Also remember that media and researchers are looking at the forums, too. Creating an "antisexual" subforum, whatever our reason for doing so, could be read as an endorsement of antisexual sentiment or even incorporation of antisexuality in an asexual identity. We don't want that.

The analogy that leaps to mind is a lesbian forum having a "manhating" subforum. Or a humanist site having an "antitheism" subforum. That really would not be cool or productive, and would diminish their message.

My .02 on that.

[lots of good stuff]

yes.

And with how often this has happened of late, both with antisexuality and misandry/misogony, some of us have grown tired of our words falling upon deaf ears and have given up.

Damn straight! The misandry and misogyny is really upsetting as well, thank you for mentioning it.

Between all these things, I'm practically back to lurker mode because when I start posting I just feel like a broken record. I can never tell if it's doing any good.

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cdraines1959

i forgot the question.

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141822

REALLY great post KBRD143.

I've seen the shift towards anti-sexuality and as an asexual with a sex drive, I feel partially excluded, which defeats the purpose of having a community where we are all supposed to support each other. The worst was when another member said I couldn't be asexual because I have a sex drive. This wasn't the end of the world, as I've been with aven for a signigicant time, and I know only I can define and know who I am, however, I'd hate to have this happen to a individual new to the community who is trying to find out about themselves.

I also agree with the increase with the 'men hating', and it's also getting on my nerves. How can we expect others to respect us if we don't respect them? I'll stop there before I go off on a crazy rant, but once again, I'm glad to not only see this post, but that other people have noticed the same thing.

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Ten

Thank you for saying all of that.

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complications

that's a really profound post. I'm only new so it's interesting to learn about the changes that happened before I got here.

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roddy9uk
And with how often this has happened of late, both with antisexuality and misandry/misogony, some of us have grown tired of our words falling upon deaf ears and have given up.

Damn straight! The misandry and misogyny is really upsetting as well, thank you for mentioning it.

.

It simply detracts from any valid points that might otherwise be posted. Yes it IS upsetting.

roddy

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KAGU143

I, too, remember when AVEN was a smaller, friendlier place. Bannings were almost unheard of and the rules of conduct were a lot looser. I miss those days, but I think Spins has identified the reason for the change.

We are much larger now, and there is a constant stream of newbies arriving daily. It has always been true that newbies have a tendency to be more prone to anti-sexuality, misandry and misogyny than established members, simply because they are reacting to the novelty of FINALLY being able to speak openly about their hurts without being condemned as weird or broken. The majority will eventually become more tolerant and balanced as they heal emotionally. With the constant influx of newbies, we don't have as high of a percentage of better established, calmer heads as we used to, and we don't have that sense of being a small, close-knit, self-moderating society anymore.

I don't want us to go back to being small, but it would be wonderful if we could come up with a way to regain some of that civility by means other than rules which are backed up by warnings and bannings.

Anyway ...

I came in when the 4 type system was still in effect, and I never really had a problem with it.

One of the things that I did, after the 4 types were declared obsolete, was to suggest a slight modification of AVEN's logo in order to show the gradation between no desire and no attraction (or type "D's"), represented by the bottom tip (which should really be black :wink:) and the other 3 original types which would be found in the grey area.

Credit where credit is due: Dargon perfected the original graphics.

I intended this to be a way of acknowledging the diversity of the asexuals in our community. Nowadays I think the logo is mostly ignored, so most of our members may not realize what it symbolizes, but it has never been AVEN's intention to have some sort of narrow, exclusive definition of asexuality.

Now ... a comment on Keith's post ...

As many of you know (but some of you may not), there is a definite link between the users whose names are KBRD143 and GBRD143. I would be Keith, or KBRD; Nancy would be GBRD, formerly known as Greybird. We are attached. Partners, if you will. In a relationship, whatever that really means. In any case, we are committed to one another -- and like any two people in a committed relationship, we sometimes face a crisis.

Now, I am not going to go into any kind of truly salacious detail, here; but, recently, events in our lives have had us discussing the definitions and parameters of asexuality, and precisely how far one can push -- or should push -- the boundaries of sex and sexuality and still consider oneself asexual. (And, I should quickly point out by way of preamble, lest Nancy die of embarrassment, that these questions were coming as a result of actions I had taken and thoughts I had been having, as opposed to something that she had done or said. . . .)

I never thought we had a crisis, hon, and it would take a LOT more than discussion of what you did to make ME embarrassed! (I can't speak for our other members, though, some of whom, I suspect, would be :shock:)

*hugs for the KBRD ... who has now been called "hon" on a public forum, poor guy!* :lol:

NOW who's embarrassed?? *evil grin*

-GB

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EIito
Great post Keith!

It wasn't just my imagination, then. Others have noticed it too.

It's the anti-sexuality thing that's made me feel a bit uncomfortable here. I post more that I used to do (Thank you, my love.) but mostly in JFF, 'cause it's the place I feel most comfortable.

I used to answer to asexuality-related posts, but nowadays I usually find nothing to say. :? Even though now I know much better what I am... And that ain't anti-sexual.

This, precisely. I've even noticed the difference in atmosphere between when I was lurking and when I finally joined. I also seem to post mostly in jff recently, mostly because of the third paragraph I quoted. A lot of the threads don't seem either not to apply to me or I just don't have anything to say. And that's unfortunate because I think I joined around the time (correct me if I'm wrong) that a lot of the anti-sexuality stuff was becoming more commonplace (choose_abstinance annoyed the crap out of me and I almost didn't join) and I, myself, never went through that.

I like the four-part model. I don't think people need to feel restricted by it. They're just general categories that are free-flowing and there's no reason people can't say that they are generally a category-whatever that leans toward category-something-else. It's a helpful tool that isn't intended to bind people into categories, so much as let them know they exist.

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Cacille

I had to come back, as i often read here but not post anymore -to say I AGREE Keith.

Your post was fantastic, and a breath of fresh air next to all of the "Sex? Ewww" stuff that I too had thought - in my teenage years. Still seeing it around just seemed to be so childish, even though really, I'm not one to talk considering that's how I saw it when I was a teenager, and a good portion of talkative members on this board ARE teenagers! So it makes natural sense as to why that reaction to sex is still here, cause I outgrew it but others are younger than me and haven't yet.

Thanks for reminding me of that. And the old classification system (Not that old of a system when I joined these boards- only maybe six months after it was retired)!

I think that in order to establish those calm-headed thoughts again, is to:

1. Get the oldies back in a bit more, have them read this post in order to have a clearer idea on just what happened that made some of us (like myself) turn away from Aven a bit more.

2. ask the oldies to post a bit more in relation to newer members, perhaps give some direction to newbies, open up some ideas to them so they can both clarify themselves, but become level-headed ones themselves. Perhaps Aven needs more than just moderators, it also needs elders. I remember coming in and having the support of "elders" (DJ, Hallucigenia, Greybird, etc) which helped me understand who I was a lot more.

To this day, two things in my life are certain. I am Asexual. I am a Spiritualist.

Those people above, and other elders, plus readings, documents, and posts, helped me find that huge part of myself, and I am eternally grateful. Perhaps I should return the favor more for others coming in.

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