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

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Pandoren

Actually, AVEN does discourage us from taking a superior attitude, it just doesn't do so in this particular thread. Of course we have different views on sex and sexuality, but on the boards we prefer people to respect each other, especially since not everyone on this site is asexual (partners, friends, family, allies, curious). A person can to an extent talk about how they feel, but if they go as far as to insult non-asexuals, I believe that is against the Terms of Service and is a warnable offence.

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CreepyCrawler

Hmm....Well by this post I "qualify" as asexual. Damn. I was just beginning to accept myself as a celibate sexual.

Oh well. I think I'm going to try to not be so dependent on labels. It's been causing trouble in my life lately as I've been trying to figure out what I am, and other people are getting really confused by my constant switching of labels. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a label.

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Edited

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Sherlock

I had been an "elitist" for years simply because I thought if I pleasured myself, I must be sexual. Because of the way people talk about sex, I presumed everyone wanted or enjoyed sex. When I was a teen, I voiced my disgust of sexual relations to an older friend, and was pretty much told I was wrong; everyone was sexual.

Everyone.

Of course, it's like telling an atheist that everyone has spirituality/religion, isn't it? In the religion ticky box on your hospital forms, there's a spot for "atheist." So does that mean atheism is a religion?

You know, some people actually argue that it is. Atheists, obviously, argue that it is not.

So on my ticky box that asks my sexual orientation, well, I obviously have to leave blank. Because I now realise I have none.

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Pandoren

Actually, AVEN does discourage us from taking a superior attitude, it just doesn't do so in this particular thread. Of course we have different views on sex and sexuality, but on the boards we prefer people to respect each other, especially since not everyone on this site is asexual (partners, friends, family, allies, curious). A person can to an extent talk about how they feel, but if they go as far as to insult non-asexuals, I believe that is against the Terms of Service and is a warnable offence.

THanks for clearing that up. I was trying to confess that before finding you guys and realizing what an "acer" is I took a holier than thou attitude because I thought I had some kind of wisdom or self control or spirituality others lack, but now realize mine is just another way of being oriented, just like others also have their orientations, so as of finding this group two days ago (and going, wait, you mean I'm just differently oriented, not specially gifted to understand what's REALLY important in the world) I'm learning not to give in to a superior attitude to others who put a high priority on certain things I really don't get. (Which by the way, is a huge shift in thinking for me.) Maybe I'm the only one who went through that kind of discovery, but I think I'm learning not to assume I'm the only one of anything...

Reading my previous post though, it does sound awful close to seeming like I was advocating that kind of superior attitude. Probably because I'm still in the process of deliberately losing that attitude. I'm going to go back and edit my previous for that reason. I do not want to seem like I think the way I DID view things is good! Even though I'm not sure I've been able to totally change my way of thinking over night, I'm certainly consciously working on it and I have discovered a lot of compassion and understanding for people unlike me that I should have had before if I really was all that spiritual and open-minded and pursuing a better world and superior priorities as I thought I was. Thanks again, and for clarifying that this site does NOT condone acting superior to non-acer people.

Lol don't worry! This was me a year and a half ago :P pretty much to the word :P

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Edited

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Blitzentan

My son once put 'Not yet but I'm working on it' :D

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metonym

I know what OP is saying, and I think that this "asexual elitism" is stupid, because as you said behavior does not describe the label AND I think everyone knows themselves best and should be allowed to identify his/her own label(whether that be asexual, demisexual, graysexual, straight, gay, etc.) It is arrogant to do otherwise. But AVEN does discourage it, check out the FAQ. This is just me, but I think asexual can have variation and gradation(ala the Kinsey scale). Just because an asexual is also romantic or affection or has tried sex or has sex as part of a relationship, this does not make him/her less than "pure" asexuals. Everyone can have their own life.

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rosa_vescida

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Namnam-Nation

Thank you. I just registered to thank you for this informational post.

Personally, I was never one for using labels; therefore, I found it difficult to explain myself to others. It is only in recent months I came upon the term asexual (and other terms ie polyamory, pansexual, asexual, etc). As I read information about such terms; most, if not all, I already have a strong connections to. At the very least, I will be able to toss out a few terms at a few people when confronted but I prefer to stay anonymous. I find it insignificant for others to know unless otherwise they want to be in a relationship with me; if they do not, why would my 'orientation' matter?

Anyway, thanks again!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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Sally

In the religion ticky box on your hospital forms, there's a spot for "atheist." So does that mean atheism is a religion?

I know this isn't relevant to this thread, but the hospitals give you that box so that you won't be bothered by ministers/priests coming in to pray with you. That's all it means.

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cancel account

Great post gbrd. The "itch" metaphor is excellent and makes a lot of sense. Another way to say it(probably not as good as your metaphor) is: the desire or need for sex is not a choice but actually having sex is a choice. Like many posters have said. One can choose to have sex for a number of reasons, they just don't want or need to and that is asexulity...I think. I have in the past had sex, to make my spouse happy, out of guilt but never once have I desired to nor have I ever initiated it. I believe that is what makes me asexual.

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GirlDreamer

Great post gbrd. The "itch" metaphor is excellent and makes a lot of sense. Another way to say it(probably not as good as your metaphor) is: the desire or need for sex is not a choice but actually having sex is a choice. Like many posters have said. One can choose to have sex for a number of reasons, they just don't want or need to and that is asexulity...I think. I have in the past had sex, to make my spouse happy, out of guilt but never once have I desired to nor have I ever initiated it. I believe that is what makes me asexual.

Nicely put :) I totally agree with you!

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Namnam-Nation

Great post gbrd. The "itch" metaphor is excellent and makes a lot of sense. Another way to say it(probably not as good as your metaphor) is: the desire or need for sex is not a choice but actually having sex is a choice. Like many posters have said. One can choose to have sex for a number of reasons, they just don't want or need to and that is asexulity...I think. I have in the past had sex, to make my spouse happy, out of guilt but never once have I desired to nor have I ever initiated it. I believe that is what makes me asexual.

I totally agree. I find it takes much discipline to control one's sexual hormones; to be able to deny one's own desire for sex (and refuse sex when given the chance).

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Pamcakes

I don't believe you can control your hormones without chemical assistance.

But to refuse any activity you wish to partake in is difficult. I think the point is that Ace people generally don't particularly want to partake in sex, at least not to the level that Sexual people do. Even an Ace with a high libido won't desire sex as strongly with any particular person as their Sexual counterpart might.

But, yes, we are humans, and we always have a choice. That's why the "I'm sorry I cheated, honey; it just happened!" excuse is so completely weightless; because nothing "just happens", especially not consensual sex, not even when one is drunk (note I emphasise consensual; note also that non-consensual sex under any circumstances is not cheating, it's being attacked) - at some point, that person thought of their partner (or worse, didn't!), thought of the boundaries of their relationship, thought of everything they had together...and decided it was all less important than the immediate gratification of their attraction to this other person.

P.

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WhenSummersGone

Even an Ace with a high libido won't desire sex as strongly with any particular person as their Sexual counterpart might

I can agree with this. My libido is very high and I've never had the desire to take care of it by having sex. It just never crossed my mind

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GirlDreamer

Even an Ace with a high libido won't desire sex as strongly with any particular person as their Sexual counterpart might

I can agree with this. My libido is very high and I've never had the desire to take care of it by having sex. It just never crossed my mind

I can agree with that too, even though my libido is as good as non existing these days, When I was a teen my libido was very high (go figure :rolleyes: ), but even then I never wanted to have sex with another person. I didn't even cross my mind that that was an option...

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WhenSummersGone

Even an Ace with a high libido won't desire sex as strongly with any particular person as their Sexual counterpart might

I can agree with this. My libido is very high and I've never had the desire to take care of it by having sex. It just never crossed my mind

I can agree with that too, even though my libido is as good as non existing these days, When I was a teen my libido was very high (go figure :rolleyes: ), but even then I never wanted to have sex with another person. I didn't even cross my mind that that was an option...

You're very lucky that your libido pretty much doesn't exist. I would rather have no libido than experience sexual attraction, any day!

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Slinky Kat

Gosh I want to print this out and show it to everyone who says "you're not asexual because you've done...(insert behavior here)". Thanks for writing this!! :D

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GirlDreamer

Gosh I want to print this out and show it to everyone who says "you're not asexual because you've done...(insert behavior here)". Thanks for writing this!! :D

If that was true, there hardly would've been any asexual people at all :lol:

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LilMiss

I had a read through the main post, and a quick look at the replies, but didn't go through them all I'm afraid, and I have a question...

when describing the 'itch' and who's going to scratch it, whether it be someone else or yourself... What if you just don't get the itch? I'm 22 now, and have been in a couple of long term relationships and I have been sexual with the opposite sex, but it's never been to scratch my itch at all... It's always to help them out I guess.

Still asexual? Or is this a lack of libido?

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Stormy Wether

I had a read through the main post, and a quick look at the replies, but didn't go through them all I'm afraid, and I have a question...

when describing the 'itch' and who's going to scratch it, whether it be someone else or yourself... What if you just don't get the itch? I'm 22 now, and have been in a couple of long term relationships and I have been sexual with the opposite sex, but it's never been to scratch my itch at all... It's always to help them out I guess.

Still asexual? Or is this a lack of libido?

Some asexuals don't get any itch at all.

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GirlDreamer

Strictly speaking, being asexual is just about not felling the sexual attraction to other people, so as long as that's missing then yes, you'd still be asexual. As woolyjumpers said, some aces don't have the itch at all.

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Jin Kisaragi

We're a rather contradictory folk, but considering the experience we go through it's no surprise.

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Ornello

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

By what authority do you stipulate this definition? One could argue that the only thing that matters is behavior. (I'm not arguing that, because I have no stake in it, just making a point.)

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brontide

Ornello,

Yes, you could argue that the only thing that 'matters' is behaviour.

But what if a person's behaviour is in conflict with the way that they feel or the way they desire to behave? What if somebody is acting? Or doing something under pressure/duress? What if their behaviour makes them unhappy but they feel they need to do it anyway?

As has already been said in this thread and elsewhere, there are many reasons why someone might engage in a certain behaviour even though they don't feel naturally inclined to do it. Perceived pressure from society can be one reason.

Within the asexual community there is a range of sexual behaviour and a range of reasons for that behaviour, which is why I don't think the term 'asexual' is meant to say anything at all about behaviour. It's about orientation, who we're attracted to.

As for where that definition comes from, I see it as being in the same vein as 'heterosexuality' and 'homosexuality', both of which describe sexual orientations, but with the Greek prefix 'a' which can stand for 'not' or 'without' (e.g. amoral). So, actually, the word 'choice' makes sense to me, regardless of who chose it or who defined it.

But I don't think it really matters, since I'm afraid the reality is that words can and do take on new meanings, and neologisms can be created to describe things which haven't yet been given a name. I don't experience sexual attraction and I have found a community of people who have this in common with me if nothing else, and if we've got a term to describe that one thing which unites us, that's fine with me.

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Ornello

Ornello,

Yes, you could argue that the only thing that 'matters' is behaviour.

But what if a person's behaviour is in conflict with the way that they feel or the way they desire to behave? What if somebody is acting? Or doing something under pressure/duress? What if their behaviour makes them unhappy but they feel they need to do it anyway?

As has already been said in this thread and elsewhere, there are many reasons why someone might engage in a certain behaviour even though they don't feel naturally inclined to do it. Perceived pressure from society can be one reason.

Within the asexual community there is a range of sexual behaviour and a range of reasons for that behaviour, which is why I don't think the term 'asexual' is meant to say anything at all about behaviour. It's about orientation, who we're attracted to.

As for where that definition comes from, I see it as being in the same vein as 'heterosexuality' and 'homosexuality', both of which describe sexual orientations, but with the Greek prefix 'a' which can stand for 'not' or 'without' (e.g. amoral). So, actually, the word 'choice' makes sense to me, regardless of who chose it or who defined it.

But I don't think it really matters, since I'm afraid the reality is that words can and do take on new meanings, and neologisms can be created to describe things which haven't yet been given a name. I don't experience sexual attraction and I have found a community of people who have this in common with me if nothing else, and if we've got a term to describe that one thing which unites us, that's fine with me.

I understand what you're trying to do. I see no scientific validity to it, however. If you say "it makes us feel better to do this" then fine (I can see the value in making you feel better), but don't try to pass it off as scientific, because it isn't. No-one is 'purely' heterosexual or homosexual anyway.

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Sally

You really ARE trying to up your post count, aren't you, Ornello. Arguing the same stuff on two threads at once, neither of which have anything to do with what you're saying.

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Ornello

You really ARE trying to up your post count, aren't you, Ornello. Arguing the same stuff on two threads at once, neither of which have anything to do with what you're saying.

What are you talking about, post count? Who is counting? Why?

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