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Skullery Maid

Sexuals... does your attraction feel different depending on the target?

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Skullery Maid

and where does asexuality say that one is dependant on the other?

Haha, I don't think "asexuality" says it... but a lot of asexuals do. For example:

Attraction is defined by wanting to be near, or with I was neither.

Asexuality to me would mean that the person was specifically sexually attracted and basically because "she's damn hot" OR because "she has great breasts" they would want to have sex with that person. Only they can know that, even when such comments are made.

"I want to have sex with that" line of thinking that I believe is sexual attraction.

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Skullery Maid

From an asexual perspective, the way I explain my own ability to become sexually aroused is that all the parts still work. For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it. I am never (or at least I never have to date) going to become sexually aroused by looking at someone, fantasizing about someone or watching sexual acts being committed, it simply doesn't work that way. In other words, there isn't any real direction for my arousal, its just sort of there.

As I've mentioned before, when I masturbate I have no fantasies or aids outside of a vibrator. They physical sensations of doing so are very pleasant and I enjoy them quite a bit but in some ways its hard for me to even relate them as something sexual because I don't think about sexual things while doing so and I certainly don't have any interest in engaging in activities with others.

Similarly, when I have been sexually active in the past, I have been aroused by my partner. Certain types of physical acts can cause sexual arousal because, again, all the parts work as they are supposed to. A certain type of touch in a certain area can definitely cause sexual arousal but there still isn't really a direction to that arousal. Even in those instances, my arousal isn't really directed at my partner even though my partner may have been the one responsible for that arousal.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I imagine that with a sexual, arousal and attraction feed upon one another. There is initial attraction which makes arousal easier and once arousal starts it is fueled and expanded by the fact that the individual is sexually attracted to their partner. Not so for myself (and I imagine other asexuals as well) at all. I feel no initial spark of attraction and so when arousal occurs it is only through the continuation of those physical acts that caused it that will allow it to continue. Furthermore, I think sexual attraction is an important component in the psychology of sex. One of the major problems I have with sex is that, even when sexually aroused, I get bored with it extremely quickly and in fact, that boredom, is one of the major reasons why I have a very strong preference for masturbation. I don't experience the excitement of having a partner I'm sexually attracted to with me and I don't feel that draw towards my partner at all.

Innately, sexual gratification seems like it should be a solo activity. Of course I am not saying that this should be the case for anyone else, but sex doesn't seem natural to me. When I have sex, it always seems forced because even when my body is physically aroused, my head isn't there at all. It is personally puzzling to me why I (or anyone else for that matter) would prefer partnered sex to masturbation. Through a great deal of study and asking a great many personal questions, I do of course know that I am by far in the minority to this and that most sexuals have a fairly strong preference to partnered sex, at least some of the time. But my puzzlement regarding why I would even want it is part of the reason why I am so convinced that sexual arousal and attraction can occur separately, although they often don't. If it was considered acceptable to do so, on the occasions when I become aroused (which generally takes quite a bit of effort) I'd really prefer to just go into my room alone for 10 or 15 minutes, deal with myself on my own and then come back out for some lovely cuddles. Even when strongly aroused, if it takes any longer than that I get bored and would rather do almost anything else which, again, I think is a direct symptom of not experiencing that attraction that so often comes with arousal.

100% agreed with all this.

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Data

From an asexual perspective, the way I explain my own ability to become sexually aroused is that all the parts still work. For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it. I am never (or at least I never have to date) going to become sexually aroused by looking at someone, fantasizing about someone or watching sexual acts being committed, it simply doesn't work that way. In other words, there isn't any real direction for my arousal, its just sort of there.

As I've mentioned before, when I masturbate I have no fantasies or aids outside of a vibrator. They physical sensations of doing so are very pleasant and I enjoy them quite a bit but in some ways its hard for me to even relate them as something sexual because I don't think about sexual things while doing so and I certainly don't have any interest in engaging in activities with others.

Similarly, when I have been sexually active in the past, I have been aroused by my partner. Certain types of physical acts can cause sexual arousal because, again, all the parts work as they are supposed to. A certain type of touch in a certain area can definitely cause sexual arousal but there still isn't really a direction to that arousal. Even in those instances, my arousal isn't really directed at my partner even though my partner may have been the one responsible for that arousal.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I imagine that with a sexual, arousal and attraction feed upon one another. There is initial attraction which makes arousal easier and once arousal starts it is fueled and expanded by the fact that the individual is sexually attracted to their partner. Not so for myself (and I imagine other asexuals as well) at all. I feel no initial spark of attraction and so when arousal occurs it is only through the continuation of those physical acts that caused it that will allow it to continue. Furthermore, I think sexual attraction is an important component in the psychology of sex. One of the major problems I have with sex is that, even when sexually aroused, I get bored with it extremely quickly and in fact, that boredom, is one of the major reasons why I have a very strong preference for masturbation. I don't experience the excitement of having a partner I'm sexually attracted to with me and I don't feel that draw towards my partner at all.

Innately, sexual gratification seems like it should be a solo activity. Of course I am not saying that this should be the case for anyone else, but sex doesn't seem natural to me. When I have sex, it always seems forced because even when my body is physically aroused, my head isn't there at all. It is personally puzzling to me why I (or anyone else for that matter) would prefer partnered sex to masturbation. Through a great deal of study and asking a great many personal questions, I do of course know that I am by far in the minority to this and that most sexuals have a fairly strong preference to partnered sex, at least some of the time. But my puzzlement regarding why I would even want it is part of the reason why I am so convinced that sexual arousal and attraction can occur separately, although they often don't. If it was considered acceptable to do so, on the occasions when I become aroused (which generally takes quite a bit of effort) I'd really prefer to just go into my room alone for 10 or 15 minutes, deal with myself on my own and then come back out for some lovely cuddles. Even when strongly aroused, if it takes any longer than that I get bored and would rather do almost anything else which, again, I think is a direct symptom of not experiencing that attraction that so often comes with arousal.

100% agreed with all this.

"I don't experience the excitement of having a partner I'm sexually attracted to with me and I don't feel that draw towards my partner at all."

How does that feat with limiting sexual attraction to getting physically aroused?

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zoidberger

Zoid, you keep saying this too... that asexuality is not wanting to act on sexual attraction. That's cool, but that's desire, not attraction. Not wanting to do anything about your attraction... even thinking that acting on it would be horrible, gross, disturbing, or traumatising, does not in any way erase the original attraction.

That's the thing though... I'm not talking about desire. In sexuals sexual attraction is quite coupled with desire from what I understand. We also aren't talking about physical attraction. There isn't original attraction in the first place is the thing. There's NO WANTING/NEEDING innate attraction. There could be a physical attraction, there could be libido, but there is a lack of sexual coupling with that attraction and that will often lead to not wanting to act on the desire.

I'm sorry if you can't understand it because what you experience is intertwined but it doesn't mean that people don't feel it.

edit:

There is nothing to do with emotion and sex between being asexual or sexual, I'm not sure who said that but they are wrong.

Just because someone becomes turned on (say having an erection for a guy) does not mean that they have been sexually attracted to something. Heck even sexual guys experience random erections for no reason at all. Now take that idea forward and apply it to a situation where someone might find interest in a person, body part or situation. You may be turned on physically, but not have any interest in acting on that (this does not mean that you were turned on mentally and decide against acting on it as you've pointed out would be desire, but rather that you have no mental connection with the physicality of being turned on AND sex, thus it is a disconnect).

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Lucinda

I would think the "no wanting/needing" is addressing desire.

Lucinda

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Member33070

x

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never odd or even

From an asexual perspective, the way I explain my own ability to become sexually aroused is that all the parts still work. For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it. I am never (or at least I never have to date) going to become sexually aroused by looking at someone, fantasizing about someone or watching sexual acts being committed, it simply doesn't work that way. In other words, there isn't any real direction for my arousal, its just sort of there.

As I've mentioned before, when I masturbate I have no fantasies or aids outside of a vibrator. They physical sensations of doing so are very pleasant and I enjoy them quite a bit but in some ways its hard for me to even relate them as something sexual because I don't think about sexual things while doing so and I certainly don't have any interest in engaging in activities with others.

Similarly, when I have been sexually active in the past, I have been aroused by my partner. Certain types of physical acts can cause sexual arousal because, again, all the parts work as they are supposed to. A certain type of touch in a certain area can definitely cause sexual arousal but there still isn't really a direction to that arousal. Even in those instances, my arousal isn't really directed at my partner even though my partner may have been the one responsible for that arousal.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I imagine that with a sexual, arousal and attraction feed upon one another. There is initial attraction which makes arousal easier and once arousal starts it is fueled and expanded by the fact that the individual is sexually attracted to their partner. Not so for myself (and I imagine other asexuals as well) at all. I feel no initial spark of attraction and so when arousal occurs it is only through the continuation of those physical acts that caused it that will allow it to continue. Furthermore, I think sexual attraction is an important component in the psychology of sex. One of the major problems I have with sex is that, even when sexually aroused, I get bored with it extremely quickly and in fact, that boredom, is one of the major reasons why I have a very strong preference for masturbation. I don't experience the excitement of having a partner I'm sexually attracted to with me and I don't feel that draw towards my partner at all.

Innately, sexual gratification seems like it should be a solo activity. Of course I am not saying that this should be the case for anyone else, but sex doesn't seem natural to me. When I have sex, it always seems forced because even when my body is physically aroused, my head isn't there at all. It is personally puzzling to me why I (or anyone else for that matter) would prefer partnered sex to masturbation. Through a great deal of study and asking a great many personal questions, I do of course know that I am by far in the minority to this and that most sexuals have a fairly strong preference to partnered sex, at least some of the time. But my puzzlement regarding why I would even want it is part of the reason why I am so convinced that sexual arousal and attraction can occur separately, although they often don't. If it was considered acceptable to do so, on the occasions when I become aroused (which generally takes quite a bit of effort) I'd really prefer to just go into my room alone for 10 or 15 minutes, deal with myself on my own and then come back out for some lovely cuddles. Even when strongly aroused, if it takes any longer than that I get bored and would rather do almost anything else which, again, I think is a direct symptom of not experiencing that attraction that so often comes with arousal.

100% agreed with all this.

seconded, it sounds about right, and expressed in a much better way than i could say. possibly cause you have a clue what you are talking about, whereas i look into the world of sexual expression/stuffs and go 'what?? aaaaarrrggghh! i dont understand!' :lol: maybe that will change in time ? :unsure:

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never odd or even

ummm. on this note, how then is arousal possible at all without some sort of sexual attraction if you are going to take that line?

i mean, you can get aroused. that doesnt actually mean you want sex, or are even aroused by anything in particular.

in an ace context and from an ace perspective ... i can get aroused by my ace partner, but i dont notice it, dont want to have sex, i'm not thinking of their body, i'm not thinking sexually. if anything its because we're mucking around with gender[we're both trans], BDSM and wrestling,. i really dont know where the turned on bit comes into it. i'm not sure where i'm supposed to have experienced sexual attraction. i'm not sure how to identify this concept. in fact, i've only managed to cop that i'm aroused by some of the stuff we do very recently. and even then, i'm not sure how that came about or why i am aroused... :blink:

this kinda points to there being a [null] hypothesis of there being no connection between sexual attraction and arousal...

I would partially disagree with this. I do not think sexual arousal = sexual attraction, but I do think there is usually a strong correlation between the two of them. While it is possible to be sexually aroused without sexual attraction, I think its fair to say that sexual attraction often causes sexual arousal or that one can fuel and feed upon the other.

i was not saying that they did equate. sorry, too much said without explaining. basically we are trying to pin down two experiences and draw up a correlation between the two of them. if there is no/inconclusive connection, we default to the null hypothesis that there is no connection. if we do find a connection, then we found that the hypotheses that there is no connection to be false and therefore prove what we were trying to in the first place, which is that there was a connection between the two.

ANYWAY. i think it would be best not to try and prove that there is a connection between them all, correlation yes, but not causation. make a tad more sense?

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Skullery Maid

From an asexual perspective, the way I explain my own ability to become sexually aroused is that all the parts still work. For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it. I am never (or at least I never have to date) going to become sexually aroused by looking at someone, fantasizing about someone or watching sexual acts being committed, it simply doesn't work that way. In other words, there isn't any real direction for my arousal, its just sort of there.

As I've mentioned before, when I masturbate I have no fantasies or aids outside of a vibrator. They physical sensations of doing so are very pleasant and I enjoy them quite a bit but in some ways its hard for me to even relate them as something sexual because I don't think about sexual things while doing so and I certainly don't have any interest in engaging in activities with others.

Similarly, when I have been sexually active in the past, I have been aroused by my partner. Certain types of physical acts can cause sexual arousal because, again, all the parts work as they are supposed to. A certain type of touch in a certain area can definitely cause sexual arousal but there still isn't really a direction to that arousal. Even in those instances, my arousal isn't really directed at my partner even though my partner may have been the one responsible for that arousal.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I imagine that with a sexual, arousal and attraction feed upon one another. There is initial attraction which makes arousal easier and once arousal starts it is fueled and expanded by the fact that the individual is sexually attracted to their partner. Not so for myself (and I imagine other asexuals as well) at all. I feel no initial spark of attraction and so when arousal occurs it is only through the continuation of those physical acts that caused it that will allow it to continue. Furthermore, I think sexual attraction is an important component in the psychology of sex. One of the major problems I have with sex is that, even when sexually aroused, I get bored with it extremely quickly and in fact, that boredom, is one of the major reasons why I have a very strong preference for masturbation. I don't experience the excitement of having a partner I'm sexually attracted to with me and I don't feel that draw towards my partner at all.

Innately, sexual gratification seems like it should be a solo activity. Of course I am not saying that this should be the case for anyone else, but sex doesn't seem natural to me. When I have sex, it always seems forced because even when my body is physically aroused, my head isn't there at all. It is personally puzzling to me why I (or anyone else for that matter) would prefer partnered sex to masturbation. Through a great deal of study and asking a great many personal questions, I do of course know that I am by far in the minority to this and that most sexuals have a fairly strong preference to partnered sex, at least some of the time. But my puzzlement regarding why I would even want it is part of the reason why I am so convinced that sexual arousal and attraction can occur separately, although they often don't. If it was considered acceptable to do so, on the occasions when I become aroused (which generally takes quite a bit of effort) I'd really prefer to just go into my room alone for 10 or 15 minutes, deal with myself on my own and then come back out for some lovely cuddles. Even when strongly aroused, if it takes any longer than that I get bored and would rather do almost anything else which, again, I think is a direct symptom of not experiencing that attraction that so often comes with arousal.

100% agreed with all this.

seconded, it sounds about right, and expressed in a much better way than i could say. possibly cause you have a clue what you are talking about, whereas i look into the world of sexual expression/stuffs and go 'what?? aaaaarrrggghh! i dont understand!' :lol: maybe that will change in time ? :unsure:

I know, right?! Vamp has this amazing ability to bridge the gap between different groups' conceptions and bring it into focus for everyone. I really appreciate it.

I think about it like this: It's like... the wireless connection is broken. :) Manual stimulation works but the connection to the brain seems to have been cut. Nothing received by the brain affects... downstairs... and nothing downstairs affects the brain.

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SFX
And isn't there an option # 3? Who says sexual orientations are limited to those 5? Until about 30 years ago they were limited to 2, so there's certainly nothing magical about 2, or 3, or 4, or 5. Why not just make sexual orientation match human experience, instead of trying to jam human experience into pre-existing categories?

Well, stepping outside of the current categories is always an option of course.

I do not get the differentiation between being aroused by porn and being sexually attracted.

For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it.

So, would you say that getting aroused by visual stimulation (like watching porn) means experiencing sexual attraction, while the same is not necessarily true for getting aroused by physical stimulation?

Also, do you think people who get aroused by watching porn are not asexual, or do you think that the current definition of asexuality should be re-thought?

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Aspiecat

I mean, you could say someone has great breasts from an aesthetic viewpoint without sexual attraction... Or it could be sexually a turn on...

One gay couple I know is an interesting example of this. One of them loves women's breasts, but from a purely aesthetic POV. He feels no sexual attraction to them whatsoever, as all his sexual attraction is devoted to men's bodies (and sexual desire to his partner).

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Vampyremage

I do not get the differentiation between being aroused by porn and being sexually attracted.

For myself, it takes physical stimulation in order to achieve sexual arousal. Aside from that physical stimulation, there is no external trigger for it.

So, would you say that getting aroused by visual stimulation (like watching porn) means experiencing sexual attraction, while the same is not necessarily true for getting aroused by physical stimulation?

Also, do you think people who get aroused by watching porn are not asexual, or do you think that the current definition of asexuality should be re-thought?

I think that, perhaps, the definition of what is sexual attraction needs to be rethought. I don't want to make judgements about others' orientations and say X person is asexual but Y person is not because, in the end, its up to each individual to decide whether or not they believe themselves to be of a particular orientation. I would, however, be more inclined to think that if a person is aroused by watching porn that they might not be asexual.

That isn't to say that they necessarily have any interest in sex. Sexuality is a complicated thing and there could be any number of reasons not to be interested in it that might not have anything to do with being asexual. Perhaps, even if not asexual, an individual who watches and is aroused by porn might have enough of the traits of being asexual and enough of the difficulties intrinsic in being asexual that, even if they are not, it is still beneficial to them to take that label for themselves.

I am a bit torn on what I think of non-asexuals taking that label out of convenience, however. Again, I would never call anyone out on it because, in my opinion I don't believe someone to be asexual because who am I to really judge that? But I can see the argument to be made that non-asexuals taking that label out of convenience might hurt the overall knowledge and visibility of the community. Again, I am torn on what I think in that case and for now I reserve any sort of judgement in one direction or the other.

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SFX

I think that, perhaps, the definition of what is sexual attraction needs to be rethought. I don't want to make judgements about others' orientations and say X person is asexual but Y person is not because, in the end, its up to each individual to decide whether or not they believe themselves to be of a particular orientation. I would, however, be more inclined to think that if a person is aroused by watching porn that they might not be asexual.

That isn't to say that they necessarily have any interest in sex. Sexuality is a complicated thing and there could be any number of reasons not to be interested in it that might not have anything to do with being asexual. Perhaps, even if not asexual, an individual who watches and is aroused by porn might have enough of the traits of being asexual and enough of the difficulties intrinsic in being asexual that, even if they are not, it is still beneficial to them to take that label for themselves.

Very diplomatic, nothing I can disagree with here. :) I strongly feel that sexuality is very rarely black and white, and the thought that sexuality can be somehow "measured" by physical reaction to porn just doesn't sit well with me. Putting it this way sounds reasonable though.

I am a bit torn on what I think of non-asexuals taking that label out of convenience, however. Again, I would never call anyone out on it because, in my opinion I don't believe someone to be asexual because who am I to really judge that? But I can see the argument to be made that non-asexuals taking that label out of convenience might hurt the overall knowledge and visibility of the community. Again, I am torn on what I think in that case and for now I reserve any sort of judgement in one direction or the other.

I can agree with this as well, although I don't think that non-asexuals taking the label out of convenience is all that prevalent. Maybe I'm just oblivious.

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Skullery Maid

I think it's prevalent. It's almost like AVEN is the new D&D... the place where awkward teens who can't get a date go. That's not exactly lending credibility to the cause.

It's really hard to be dealing with real issues of asexuality... like all the stuff Vamp mentioned in her post above... and then see a bunch of youngsters who are, very obviously, experiencing some forms of sexual attraction, take the asexual label and then get all gung ho about it and spread information like "asexuals can like sex" and "asexuals can love porn" and "asexuals can truly feel desire and attraction as long as they care about the person". Its infuriating. If my partner's only problem was that she didn't really feel like having sex until she was emotionally involved, we wouldn't be having a problem.

It's just... I really believe in asexuality. Very much. I very much believe that many on AVEN are asexual. And when I see asexuality being stretched to a point of ridiculousness, then I think "well who the fuck is going to take this seriously? How can I tell people my girlfriend is asexual when asexuality is being presented so stupidly?

But you know what else I have a gripe with? The constant assertion that you can change your "label" anytime, so go ahead and call yourself asexual because its no problem to change it later. Well. Ok. that's true, I suppose... but it doesn't really add weight to the argument that asexuality is an orientation. If its something that's expected to change as you get older, then asexuality isn't so much an orientation as it is an attitude. Lord knows us gays don't go walking around saying "go ahead and identify as gay now and feel free to change your mind and be straight later". No no no. Yes, in practical terms its true that some people will be confused, but its never suggested that being gay or being straight is somehow... just a stage. It seems like asexuality is presented like that to newbies and it just burns me up! If asexuality is something that's common to come and go from, maybe its not the same thing as a sexual orientation.

I think it is, but only if its defined in a way that excludes the merely questioning. For example. If everyone who ever had a moment of wondering if they were gay counted as Gay, then yes, there would be more "fluidity", in that more "gay" people would ultimately end up non-gay. But no one thinks those people were ever gay to start with. Being gay is not "I'm 14 and I have a hard time finding a girlfriend and the thought of sex kinda weirds me out"... nor do I think that describes asexuality. Those are just confused peeps. Why on earth asexuality wants to claim all the sexually confused is beyond me. In all likelihood, the VAST majority of those confused folk will end up not being asexual. If AVEN wants to create an image of asexuality that makes it seem like an orientation, then it shouldn't be throwing the label around so willy-nilly... the more people who transition out of it, the less credibility as an orientation it will have.

END RANT.

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Beachwalker

Edit this post is in reply to post 73

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

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Skullery Maid

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

If sexual attraction is the desire to masturbate and/or have sex, what's your definition of sexual desire? Surely they aren't the same thing? And how, then, do you differentiate between celibacy and asexuality? Certainly many celibates feel... lets call it sexual arousal brought on by a human trigger... but they never have a conscious desire to masturbate and have sex either.

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Data

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

If sexual attraction is the desire to masturbate and/or have sex, what's your definition of sexual desire? Surely they aren't the same thing? And how, then, do you differentiate between celibacy and asexuality? Certainly many celibates feel... lets call it sexual arousal brought on by a human trigger... but they never have a conscious desire to masturbate and have sex either.

Sure they do, but they find some other reason more important then that. Plenty of priest can't keep up, and end up having sex.

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Vampyremage

I think it's prevalent. It's almost like AVEN is the new D&D... the place where awkward teens who can't get a date go. That's not exactly lending credibility to the cause.

It's really hard to be dealing with real issues of asexuality... like all the stuff Vamp mentioned in her post above... and then see a bunch of youngsters who are, very obviously, experiencing some forms of sexual attraction, take the asexual label and then get all gung ho about it and spread information like "asexuals can like sex" and "asexuals can love porn" and "asexuals can truly feel desire and attraction as long as they care about the person". Its infuriating. If my partner's only problem was that she didn't really feel like having sex until she was emotionally involved, we wouldn't be having a problem.

It's just... I really believe in asexuality. Very much. I very much believe that many on AVEN are asexual. And when I see asexuality being stretched to a point of ridiculousness, then I think "well who the fuck is going to take this seriously? How can I tell people my girlfriend is asexual when asexuality is being presented so stupidly?

But you know what else I have a gripe with? The constant assertion that you can change your "label" anytime, so go ahead and call yourself asexual because its no problem to change it later. Well. Ok. that's true, I suppose... but it doesn't really add weight to the argument that asexuality is an orientation. If its something that's expected to change as you get older, then asexuality isn't so much an orientation as it is an attitude. Lord knows us gays don't go walking around saying "go ahead and identify as gay now and feel free to change your mind and be straight later". No no no. Yes, in practical terms its true that some people will be confused, but its never suggested that being gay or being straight is somehow... just a stage. It seems like asexuality is presented like that to newbies and it just burns me up! If asexuality is something that's common to come and go from, maybe its not the same thing as a sexual orientation.

I think it is, but only if its defined in a way that excludes the merely questioning. For example. If everyone who ever had a moment of wondering if they were gay counted as Gay, then yes, there would be more "fluidity", in that more "gay" people would ultimately end up non-gay. But no one thinks those people were ever gay to start with. Being gay is not "I'm 14 and I have a hard time finding a girlfriend and the thought of sex kinda weirds me out"... nor do I think that describes asexuality. Those are just confused peeps. Why on earth asexuality wants to claim all the sexually confused is beyond me. In all likelihood, the VAST majority of those confused folk will end up not being asexual. If AVEN wants to create an image of asexuality that makes it seem like an orientation, then it shouldn't be throwing the label around so willy-nilly... the more people who transition out of it, the less credibility as an orientation it will have.

END RANT.

Wonderfully stated and these encompass many of the same concerns that I have. All too often it seems like people, and yes these are normally but not always teenagers, who are kind of sort of less sexual than society says they "should" be are taking on the asexual label. Live in a world dominated by sex but don't really want it yourself? Asexual. Haven't had sex yet and it makes you pretty nervous to think about? Asexual. Low self esteem that leads you to finding relationships and sex something stressful? Maybe you're asexual too.

I relate to wanting a group to fit in with and not always being satisfied with what society views as right or proper. As someone who has never really fit into mainstream group or enjoyed many mainstream things, I really do relate to a lot of that. But the fact is, just because you don't fit in and just because someone might be less sexual than you think you should be, doesn't make a person asexual.

Now that this is really being discussed and out in the open, I will say that it does sometimes bother me just how accepting AVEN is of anyone who might want to take on the asexual label. This isn't a matter of asexual elitism or one person being somehow more asexual than another person. Its not about asexuals who choose to have sex with their partners for a variety of different reasons being not asexual enough. This is about the basic definition of what it means to be asexual and the problems that come with that.

Skullery brings up a great point in comparing the asexual community to the gay community. There is no thought in the gay community regarding someone being gay for a while and then changing, certainly not in the way there is on AVEN regarding asexuals changing their orientation.

In the end, yes I think it may be damaging to the community as a whole and, more specifically, asexual visibility and education to basically include everyone under the sun who is in some way not quite as sexual as most under the asexual umbrella. I think some major thought needs to be put into expanding the definition of what it means to be asexual. Its not a matter of not wanting to include people because this isn't some club where you need some special membership. This is a matter of having the label of asexual actually mean something because, quite honestly, in some ways right now it doesn't and that has the potential to hurt the whole community in the long run.

Edit: I also want to add something further as well. I think there is this myth that is prevalent on AVEN that all sexuals are the same which is completely and absolutely false. Some sexuals have a high sex drive, some have a low one. For some, sex is incredibly important in day to day life, for others its something they only need occasionally. Some enjoy casual sex and some couldn't' imagine having sex outside of a relationship. Some enjoy masturbation, some don't. Some have fetishes and some don't.

There is a giant huge variety under the label of sexual and most people fall somewhere in that label. Its not a bad thing to be a sexual with a low sex drive and little interest in actual sex. Its not a bad thing to be nervous or even somewhat repulsed at the idea of sex because you're young and inexperienced. I, for one, have no judgement at all in such situations, but that doesn't necessarily make a person asexual.

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Vampyremage

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

If sexual attraction is the desire to masturbate and/or have sex, what's your definition of sexual desire? Surely they aren't the same thing? And how, then, do you differentiate between celibacy and asexuality? Certainly many celibates feel... lets call it sexual arousal brought on by a human trigger... but they never have a conscious desire to masturbate and have sex either.

Sure they do, but they find some other reason more important then that. Plenty of priest can't keep up, and end up having sex.

Priest scandals are but one example and certainly not representative of the entire sexual spectrum.

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Beachwalker

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

If sexual attraction is the desire to masturbate and/or have sex, what's your definition of sexual desire? Surely they aren't the same thing? And how, then, do you differentiate between celibacy and asexuality? Certainly many celibates feel... lets call it sexual arousal brought on by a human trigger... but they never have a conscious desire to masturbate and have sex either.

From what I have read people who are celibate feel sexual desire but make a conscious choice not to act on it. I think attraction is made up of arousal and desire, otherwise what is the difference between attraction and reaction?

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Data
Priest scandals are but one example and certainly not representative of the entire sexual spectrum.

So you think that most people who would decide to celibate, would lost all desire to have sex? That they would stop being drawn to others sexually?

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Skullery Maid

Nah I don't think that makes sense either, I think if you were to see a sex scene in a movie or read a sex scene in a book that caused a physical reaction that doesn't have any conscious connect whatsoever with it, it's meaningless. Anyone seen that movie 'click' where the couple see their dog humping a Teddy and it motivates them to have sex, well if it doesn't cause any conscious thought to masturbate or have sex I don't see how it could be called attraction. That scene in the movie didn't cause me any arousal or 'turn on' but if it had it would only have been a physical reaction. I guess I liken it to the meaningless physical reaction breastfeeding women occasionally experience when they hear someone elses baby crying and they get 'a let down reflex' which results in their breasts leaking milk but does not make them want to go and breastfeed that baby. It's a meaningless physiologic survival of the species reaction, like physiologic arousal that does not influence the consciousness. Your aware of it but it has no influence on anything.

If sexual attraction is the desire to masturbate and/or have sex, what's your definition of sexual desire? Surely they aren't the same thing? And how, then, do you differentiate between celibacy and asexuality? Certainly many celibates feel... lets call it sexual arousal brought on by a human trigger... but they never have a conscious desire to masturbate and have sex either.

From what I have read people who are celibate feel sexual desire but make a conscious choice not to act on it. I think attraction is made up of arousal and desire, otherwise what is the difference between attraction and reaction?

Nothing, if the reaction is based on a trigger, like seeing a person or sexual scene.

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Vampyremage

Not necessarily but I do think there would be a wide variety of results. For example, there might be a fairly significant difference in a low libido sexual deciding to be delegate vs. a high libido sexual. Willingness and enjoyment of masturbation might also play a role as, from what I understand, priests are also not supposed to masturbate.

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Skullery Maid

Not necessarily but I do think there would be a wide variety of results. For example, there might be a fairly significant difference in a low libido sexual deciding to be celibate vs. a high libido sexual. Willingness and enjoyment of masturbation might also play a role as, from what I understand, priests are also not supposed to masturbate.

Plus, priests have celibacy thrust upon them, whereas other people decide on celibacy because they genuinely don't like or don't want to be involved in sexual stuff.

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Narval

Not only do I find every word of what both of you are saying horrendously offense and just downright mean, I think that it's flat wrong. The idea that dejected teenagers who "can't get a date" are the ones who are coming here and trying to justify their sexual actions in an attempt to use asexuality as an "excuse" is a bigoted and harsh way to shove aside what very likely amounts to very real confusion about their place in society. I'm not saying that you are wrong in saying that the majority of "I watch porn, can I still be ace" posters are not asexual because I think, in my case, that you may very, very well be right. What I do think is wrong, however, is to think that you somehow understand the psyche of these posters enough to dismiss it as mere teen angst.

I definitely agree that AVEN should take a less "Weeee, everybody can be ace tooo!! Yes! You and you and you too!" line on this issue and I feel that discussions like this are important but seriously? What makes you qualified to psycho-analyze the motives of anyone coming to you for help more so than "No, I don't think that that sounds like asexuality to me." I'm sorry that you find posters who are obviously tremendously confused about their personal identities to be an affront on your special little club and I agree that many of these cases are not asexuality but seriously? Chill the fuck out with the judgement.

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Skullery Maid

Not only do I find every word of what both of you are saying horrendously offense and just downright mean, I think that it's flat wrong. The idea that dejected teenagers who "can't get a date" are the ones who are coming here and trying to justify their sexual actions in an attempt to use asexuality as an "excuse" is a bigoted and harsh way to shove aside what very likely amounts to very real confusion about their place in society. I'm not saying that you are wrong in saying that the majority of "I watch porn, can I still be ace" posters are not asexual because I think, in my case, that you may very, very well be right. What I do think is wrong, however, is to think that you somehow understand the psyche of these posters enough to dismiss it as mere teen angst.

I definitely agree that AVEN should take a less "Weeee, everybody can be ace tooo!! Yes! You and you and you too!" line on this issue and I feel that discussions like this are important but seriously? What makes you qualified to psycho-analyze the motives of anyone coming to you for help more so than "No, I don't think that that sounds like asexuality to me." I'm sorry that you find posters who are obviously tremendously confused about their personal identities as an affront on your special little club and I agree that many of these cases are not asexuality but seriously? Chill the fuck out with the judgement.

No one is saying that it isn't real confusion. Real confusion does not equal real asexuality.

Ah, so you want judgment without the judgment? Impossible. I think you're a hypocrite. It's fine to discuss it... important even... and it should happen, but no single person should be the one to do it because that's rude??

It's like the law that says its ok to have weed, and its ok to smoke weed, but its not OK to obtain it. You can't say that these discussions should occur and then, in the same breath say, but no one has a right to instigate these discussions.

Your PC-ness has been preserved for now, Narval. You successfully both agreed with us and chided us in the same post. Congrats on taking such a difficult stand.

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Beachwalker

So what would be the difference between visual stimulation causing arousal versus manual stimulation of sexual organs causing arousal?

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Vampyremage

I want to make clear that I am not in any way trying to invalidate the confusion some people are going through. I believe it is, for the most part, very real. But just because the confusion is real doesn't necessarily mean they are asexual. Again, I am not going to call anyone out because they 'are not asexual enough' but you can't streamline the definition without excluding some that previosly fell under the broader definition.

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Narval

Your PC-ness has been preserved for now, Narval. You successfully both agreed with us and chided us in the same post. Congrats on taking such a difficult stand.

Oh come on. I agreed with the idea that standard AVEN interpretation of asexuality may be too broad and in need of "streamlining."

I was clear in my disagreement with the way in which you (And not so much Vampyremage, I was wrong to say "both of you") are going about the streamlining. It's entirely possible to restrict the definition of asexuality to be more reasonable in exclusivity without demonizing those you wish to exclude.

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Vampyremage

So what would be the difference between visual stimulation causing arousal versus manual stimulation of sexual organs causing arousal?

For me, there's a mental difference. Physical stimulation can be just that: purely physical. To put things bluntly and possibly TMIly, if you're female bodied, you have a clitoris and if you touch that clitoris you will get physical pleasure from it. Similarly, a male bodied individual has a penis and if that penis is touched, there will be physical sensations that will generally register as pleasure. The human body is physiologically designed to receive pleasure when certain parts of the body are touched in certain ways.

Visual stimulation is all about where you're head is at. Assuming there is no accompanying physical stimulation, the pleasure gained or not gained is entirely psychological. The body is not being stimulated and thus the physiological pleasure response isn't being elicited. In that case, there has to be something mental going on inside that individual's head, something that is arousing them. That something would translate as sexual attraction and sometimes, though not always, accompanying sexual desire.

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