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What is "asexual elitism" and why does AVEN discourage it?

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Pandoren

rofl that video! The advice is kinda sound though, although not with regards to homosexuality exclusively. Beware if ANYONE gets too friendly, dangerous people are around, and you have to be wary getting in cars with people.

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sindi

It would be interesting (and hopefully enlightening :) ) to hear someone, who likes sex (not only to please their partner but in other ways too) but feels no attraction, to describe how it is to feel that way, though. But I understand that it could be just as impossible as to get me understand how it is to be sexual, and I've given up the hope to ever fully understand it :lol:

It's been attempted: http://apositive.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=15

And thanks GBRD, for putting it so well :cake:

Interesting, thanks for the link! :blink: I'll need to read it through with thought really...

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you*hear*but*do*you*listen

Frakkin' awesome original post. I'm glad this thread got pinned.

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ingenius

I think this comes from the backlash against Christian morality, or Platonic philosophy, which places asexual lifestyle in a position of moral superiority, but doesn't note a difference between celibacy and actual lack of desire, asexuality. What about sexual superiority? Aren't they always trying to shove their lifestyle down your throat? Are they insecure about it and need to sell you their lifestyle or what? Because no one would know I was asexual if they weren't always inquisitors.

Do I think I'm morally superior? Actually, yes, but that's just personal elitism. I think moral superiority comes naturally to me. I don't try to make other people asexual, but I do point out my opinion of their sexuality. The fact of the matter is, no one knows I'm asexual, generally speaking. People even speculated that I was a prostitute, and even if I was, I'd still be asexual, but I wasn't. Most people would think prostitution and asexuality are incongruent. That's how much no one knows I'm asexual.

Sexual elitism, on the other hand....

I have this whole theory set up wherein once there were not two genders, and everything on planet Earth thrived happily because they all reproduced asexually. Sex messed everything up. So asexuals may be more like the human ancestor mentally.

We might discourage elitism because "prude" is often the disqualifier of choice for people who are honest about their asexuality.

And sexual elitism should really be the topic here. Sometimes it's not just insecurity. Sometimes it appears as if individuals act as agents on behalf of a domination culture, with a vested interest in maintaining that domination culture through their sexual behavior. women should be sexually available and men should be sexual dominators. And let's not forget about moral elitism that preaches that people who don't marry and have children are immoral or selfish decadents.

For all of the reasons above, sexuals don't usually leave asexuals alone, or grant them personal agency that they grant themselves.

In the end, we probably discourage asexual elitism because we want sexuals to understand asexuality the way they understand sexuality, hetero and homosexuality. We don't think it's possible to turn sexuals asexual through elitism.

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Sciatrix

I have this whole theory set up wherein once there were not two genders, and everything on planet Earth thrived happily because they all reproduced asexually. Sex messed everything up. So asexuals may be more like the human ancestor mentally.

Your theory is made of lack of understanding of evolutionary history, human history, and also a fair amount of neurobiology. See, there did used to be a time before sexual reproduction, evolutionarily. It ended well before the evolution of vertebrates. Asexual humans aren't mentally more like the human ancestor prior to the evolution of sex, because the closest ancestor back to that time didn't even necessarily have a specialized nervous system, let alone a sentient brain (which, for the record, is on about the same level as a fish--humanity is on the level of sapience).

To address the rest of your post, we discourage elitism in general here because it fosters dissociation, not alliance. But the topic of sexual elitism generally doesn't come up except occasionally in the person of trolls, given that most people here are arguing from the position of experiencing asexuality, and in those cases disagreement is registered just as strongly. It doesn't have to do necessarily with our attempts to get asexuality accepted as an orientation in its own right but rather on making this a space which is fostering of potential allies (at least to a degree) instead of one which is centered around encouraging more dissension between asexual and sexual people.

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Sally

I don't try to make other people asexual, but I do point out my opinion of their sexuality.

And do they ask you, or are you just doing that as some sort of free service to them?

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PiF

In the end, we probably discourage asexual elitism because we want sexuals to understand asexuality the way they understand sexuality, hetero and homosexuality. We don't think it's possible to turn sexuals asexual through elitism.

is that the royal we?

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Sciatrix

In the end, we probably discourage asexual elitism because we want sexuals to understand asexuality the way they understand sexuality, hetero and homosexuality. We don't think it's possible to turn sexuals asexual through elitism.

is that the royal we?

Unless ingenius became King of AVEN and I failed to notice, no. (Royal we is only used by rulers speaking on behalf of their countries, in the position of supreme ruler.)

It's a rhetorical we.

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PiF

Do I think I'm morally superior? Actually, yes,

Unless ingenius became King of AVEN and I failed to notice,

we live in interesting times

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isjusterin
I have this whole theory set up wherein once there were not two genders, and everything on planet Earth thrived happily because they all reproduced asexually. Sex messed everything up. So asexuals may be more like the human ancestor mentally.
Your theory is made of lack of understanding of evolutionary history, human history, and also a fair amount of neurobiology. See, there did used to be a time before sexual reproduction, evolutionarily. It ended well before the evolution of vertebrates. Asexual humans aren't more like the human ancestor mentally because the human ancestor prior to the evolution of sex, because the closest ancestor back to that time didn't even necessarily have a specialized nervous system, let alone a sentient brain (which, for the record, is on about the same level as a fish--humanity is on the level of sapience). To address the rest of your post, we discourage elitism in general here because it fosters dissociation, not alliance. But the topic of sexual elitism generally doesn't come up except occasionally in the person of trolls, given that most people here are arguing from the position of experiencing asexuality, and in those cases disagreement is registered just as strongly. It doesn't have to do necessarily with our attempts to get asexuality accepted as an orientation in its own right but rather on making this a space which is fostering of potential allies (at least to a degree) instead of one which is centered around encouraging more dissension between asexual and sexual people.

Quoting to back you up. If anyone wants to make ignorant statements about evolutionary theory, they'll have to go through me first! *eyeroll*

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Sally

In the end, we probably discourage asexual elitism because we want sexuals to understand asexuality the way they understand sexuality, hetero and homosexuality. We don't think it's possible to turn sexuals asexual through elitism.

is that the royal we?

Unless ingenius became King of AVEN and I failed to notice, no. (Royal we is only used by rulers speaking on behalf of their countries, in the position of supreme ruler.)

It's a rhetorical we.

It's an elitist we.

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Dubravka

I have this whole theory set up wherein once there were not two genders, and everything on planet Earth thrived happily because they all reproduced asexually. Sex messed everything up. So asexuals may be more like the human ancestor mentally.

Nonsense evolutionary theory does not amuse Us.

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bristrek

Idiocy in regards to basic science makes us want to bang our head against our laptop. We are not amused by it in the least and find it distasteful.

We recommend that you seek out some biology books on basic evolution and read up because such comments are entirely maid of fail.

Just wish to add our distaste to the others remarking on it, doubt that we need to put in the quote again.

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sips

I have this whole theory set up wherein once there were not two genders, and everything on planet Earth thrived happily because they all reproduced asexually. Sex messed everything up. So asexuals may be more like the human ancestor mentally.

Your theory is made of lack of understanding of evolutionary history, human history, and also a fair amount of neurobiology. See, there did used to be a time before sexual reproduction, evolutionarily. It ended well before the evolution of vertebrates. Asexual humans aren't mentally more like the human ancestor prior to the evolution of sex, because the closest ancestor back to that time didn't even necessarily have a specialized nervous system, let alone a sentient brain (which, for the record, is on about the same level as a fish--humanity is on the level of sapience).

yes, the only non-sexual reproduction possible happens today and is made be one-celled organisms. If you want to be any more than that sexual reproduction is tho only way.

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Ben V

Ugh, ingenius' post is exactly the sort of thing that has bothered me a bit in my short time at AVEN. I can understand people feeling a bit hurt by the expectation amongst sexual people that everyone be sexual, but the answer is not to respond in exactly the same way by having a go at sexual people for something that they also can't help.

The post also bothered me because he has managed to associate himself with a great painting in my mind, grr

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PiF

I wouldn't let it worry you too much ben

opinions are like arseoles....every body has one

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test account

Old post.

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Angy

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

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Pcktmouse

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

Sometimes I do feel 'elite' because I don't feel the need to have sex, especially when all the other girls around me are getting pregnant or acting stupid just to get sex; but there are many ways in which we are inhibited by low sex drive also.

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test account

Old post.

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WhenSummersGone

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

I can totally relate to this. That I don't need to worry about this in my life and it makes me feel better about myself

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ghosts

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

No, I don't! I don't think that's a good attitude to have. I wouldn't want to be made to feel inferior just because I don't need to have sex, so why should I turn around act all superior?

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michaeld

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

No, I don't! I don't think that's a good attitude to have. I wouldn't want to be made to feel inferior just because I don't need to have sex, so why should I turn around act all superior?

Seconded.

On the other hand, sometimes people have feelings of superiority even though they know they shouldn't. Feelings can be difficult to control. The main thing is to know, on an intellectual level if nothing else, that neither sexuality nor asexuality is superior to the other one; then you can't really be blamed for your feelings.

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PiF

it just becomes another way to make you feel better whilst making others feel shit

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Charlieee

What you're saying makes sense; the definition is by ATTRACTION, not BEHAVIOR.

But I always thought of asexual elitism as thinking you're superior to sexuals - which I must admit, I do sometimes. Because we're "above" the need to have sex. What do y'all think of that? Does anybody else feel this way?

No, I don't! I don't think that's a good attitude to have. I wouldn't want to be made to feel inferior just because I don't need to have sex, so why should I turn around act all superior?

Seconded.

On the other hand, sometimes people have feelings of superiority even though they know they shouldn't. Feelings can be difficult to control. The main thing is to know, on an intellectual level if nothing else, that neither sexuality nor asexuality is superior to the other one; then you can't really be blamed for your feelings.

Thirded. I actually see this kind of elitism so much more than attraction vs behavior elitism, and it makes me unhappy. And... doesn't make sense.

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Rappy28

Coming from an aromantic asexual with a libido, great thread. :cake: I'm asexual, but my goodness am I ever terrible at it ! :lol:

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vogue

An asexual elitist is simply somebody who thinks that asexuality is defined by sexual behavior rather that by sexual attraction.

That was quick and painless, right? :D You can stop reading now, if you want to, because this is an old subject, which, for some reason, Just. Won't. Die.

In the 6 1/2 years I have been here at AVEN, I have lost count of how many times I have seen it.

The same old thing keeps keeps coming up over and over again:

You can't possibly be a "pure" asexual because *gasp* you do X, Y, or *double gasp* even Z!

It's worth noting that the people who make these statements are, without exception, NOT speaking from a position which represents AVEN. This is not to say that they aren't sincere in their beliefs, or perhaps even very well-intentioned in stating them, only to say that they don't fully understand what AVEN's definition of asexuality IS.

The definition of asexuality as it pertains to humans has nothing at all to do with sexual behavior. Full stop. That's it.

In theory, a person could even earn their living as a prostitute and still be a perfectly valid asexual.

Asexuality is defined as not experiencing sexual attraction to either (or any) gender. That's all. It has nothing at all to do with libido or with behavior.

Libido could be defined as a type of itch. Some people itch more than others, but the amount doesn't matter. What matters, when determining sexual orientation, is whether the person would prefer for somebody else to help them scratch it when/if it happens. If they would prefer help, and if they prefer it from someone of their own sex, we call them homosexual. If they get the itch, and prefer help from someone of the opposite sex to help them scratch it, we call them heterosexual. If they get the itch and would prefer no help from anybody in scratching it, we call them asexual. (To put it very bluntly, whether or not a person masturbates has no bearing on their sexual orientation.)

A person who has sex with someone to whom they are not sexually attracted does NOT have to change their orientation in order to do so.

In other words, a gay person who has straight sex under extenuating circumstances is still gay, and a straight person who has gay sex under extenuating circumstances is still straight.

An asexual who has sex under extenuating circumstances is still asexual.

An extenuating circumstance can be almost anything. Seriously! It doesn't have to be a death threat! It might be nothing more than the path of least resistance which will avoid an argument or, even worse, the loss of a relationship.

None of us can get inside another person's head and know, with absolute certainty, WHY they do what they do, so we have to take them at their word. That's why the policy at AVEN is to let each person decide, for themself whether or not they are asexual.

*climbs down from soap box*

Ya'll go ahead and chime in if you want to!

-GB

Thanks so much for clarifying the difference between 'asexualism' and 'libido'... that really clarified a LOT for me. I think, after reading this, that I may just be a 'sexual' person (NOT asexual)... but with a very low libido. I still desire sex when it 'itches' but it so rarely itches, I almost wonder if I'm not sexual lol.... but the amount it itches or number of times it itches, doesn't determine your orientation or sexuality. It may point to other problems (i.e. if one was sexually abused in their youth or experienced problems... that may also affect your libido and desire for sex.)

I don't quite understand why a person who believes this view you've stated would be an 'elitist', they may just be confused between behaviour vs. orientation...

p.s. just saw Rappy's post... how can an asexual person have a libido? I thought they wouldn't, because they have no desire for sex... ?

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Sally

p.s. just saw Rappy's post... how can an asexual person have a libido? I thought they wouldn't, because they have no desire for sex... ?

What? You just read GRBRD's post in which she says, "Asexuality is defined as not experiencing sexual attraction to either (or any) gender. That's all. It has nothing at all to do with libido or with behavior" and you copied it in your post. So I'm not sure why you're asking that question.

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Myree

Hooray i get it I feel like i can belong. *clap clap.... Clap..* this is boring *brings out dusty old pom poms* CHEER CHEER for points well made. =D and cake. :cake:

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w-w-e

This is actually one of the posts in here - additional to all the facts pages and FAQs - that cleared everything up and put my AHA experience on the map once and for all. Thank you :-) I feel so much better after finding AVEN, the leveled definitions and all you wonderful people.

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