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zoidberger

“Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.”

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Sally

If you look at Aces, you could say that they are in the company of angels and God. Their love seems to not be subject to the physical/emotional (sexual) drives of the body. In a way, you can say that Ace love is "purer" because it is closer to the love that angels and God have.

"Purer"? Little bit elitist there?

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Olivier

Meh. I just read it as "Love makes sex feel way better. Sex makes love feel way better. So if you've only got one of the two, then what your missing makes the experience so hollow as to be ridiculous to value." and I think that's a fair summation for a lot of people, myself included. Not universal, of course, but that sentiment is common enough, and strongly felt enough, that the number of likes doesn't surprise me in the least.

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Alexje

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

But well that's my opinion, sexuals will surely be riddled by my ideas and views... Although hopefully not all of them.

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Skullery Maid

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

But well that's my opinion, sexuals will surely be riddled by my ideas and views... Although hopefully not all of them.

Alexje, this issue comes up all the time so no worries about offending anyone... it seems a pretty common opinion amongst asexuals.

Here's the thing. It's a mistake to conflate "sufficient reason to break up" with "the only reason the relationship existed". Lots of things will break up a relationship, like physical distance, differing religious/political views, wanting or not wanting kids, differing social preferences, money, and sex. Just because a relationship ends because of a problem doesn't mean there wasn't genuine love.

Look at it another way. Say there are two plates of food sitting in front of you. On both plates is your favorite meal. One of the plates also has your favorite dessert. Which plate are you going to choose? If you choose the one with your favorite entree and favorite dessert, does that mean you don't like what's on plate one? No. It just means that plate two has everything plate one has, PLUS this awesome extra thing you love.

I don't love people less because I have sex. I love people AND I have sex. It's not a zero sum game.

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Naosuu

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

From my understanding of a sexual perspective, having sex with one's partner has very little to do with the physical act. Sure, it feels great, but for most (made apparent by the quote in the OP) it's even better when one is using it as a very intimate way to communicate one's romantic/sexual love for their partner. If you're a really cuddly person, I think it's comparable if you had a partner that didn't like being touched/had a touch phobia/aversion to touch. One could work around it, but I would personally feel like I'm being unable to communicate the affection I feel for that person, platonic or otherwise. I'm sure for someone who places the same values on sex, this feeling is very similar.

I agree that in some cases, especially in the budding of a relationship, that if one breaks it off because the other hasn't put out, that's shallow and says a lot about that person. But I think that, if both partners have tried to work on it, it's not an unacceptable reason to break up. There are plenty of reasons why people break up in spite of the love they feel for each other, as SM has already said. It's a really unromantic fact, but sometimes love doesn't conquer all; acceptable compromise does, and sometimes there is none between people who love each other.

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Olivier

From my understanding of a sexual perspective, having sex with one's partner has very little to do with the physical act. Sure, it feels great, but for most (made apparent by the quote in the OP) it's even better when one is using it as a very intimate way to communicate one's romantic/sexual love for their partner. If you're a really cuddly person, I think it's comparable if you had a partner that didn't like being touched/had a touch phobia/aversion to touch. One could work around it, but I would personally feel like I'm being unable to communicate the affection I feel for that person, platonic or otherwise. I'm sure for someone who places the same values on sex, this feeling is very similar.

I agree that in some cases, especially in the budding of a relationship, that if one breaks it off because the other hasn't put out, that's shallow and says a lot about that person. But I think that, if both partners have tried to work on it, it's not an unacceptable reason to break up. There are plenty of reasons why people break up in spite of the love they feel for each other, as SM has already said. It's a really unromantic fact, but sometimes love doesn't conquer all; acceptable compromise does, and sometimes there is none between people who love each other.

Naosuu, that's pretty much exactly my take on this.

Skullery, just testing your analogy: "Never getting dessert with your dinner is as hollow and ridiculous as never getting dinner with your dessert." Not true for all, but surely a sentiment many could relate to.

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zoidberger

If I take it the way Olivier posed it, I can definitely understand why people could relate. Skullerymaid/Olivier also have a good point with the plate of food + desert metaphor.

I think for me the negatives in the quote tends to lose some of that meaning for me, but I can still see what you're saying there.

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Skullery Maid

I agree that "hollow" and "ridiculous" were very poor word choices.

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Alexje

Well it's a bit more understandable for me now.. ;)

Especially this helped me to understand it a little more:

"If you're a really cuddly person, I think it's comparable if you had a partner that didn't like being touched/had a touch phobia/aversion to touch."

But I still fail to understand how just dinner is considered to be ridiculous or hollow, I find it rather offensive.

I guess I'll never completely understand it... But at least I have a little more understanding on the subject, thanks ^_^

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Percivel

If you look at Aces, you could say that they are in the company of angels and God. Their love seems to not be subject to the physical/emotional (sexual) drives of the body. In a way, you can say that Ace love is "purer" because it is closer to the love that angels and God have.

"Purer"? Little bit elitist there?

Not my intention, Sally. It was just a feeble attempt to throw an uplifting thought out there in regard to Ace love.

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Olivier

If you look at Aces, you could say that they are in the company of angels and God. Their love seems to not be subject to the physical/emotional (sexual) drives of the body. In a way, you can say that Ace love is "purer" because it is closer to the love that angels and God have.

"Purer"? Little bit elitist there?

Not my intention, Sally. It was just a feeble attempt to throw an uplifting thought out there in regard to Ace love.

Hang around long enough, and you're sure to see why "pure" is such a loaded word around here. I'd avoid it like the plague if I were you ;)

The best response I've ever seen to the idea that asexual love is somehow purer?

http://apositive.org/viewtopic.php?p=2370

Is anybody still in touch with spinneret?

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Spica Shining

Thompson was writing for a 99% sexual audience, and probably assumed he was writing for a 100% sexual audience. He also probably liked the symmetry; from a purely literary standpoint this is indeed a better- and more interestingly constructed sentence than just saying 'Sex without love is hollow and ridiculous'.

These things being taken into consideration, I actually don't find Thompson's comment objectionable, but that probably puts me in a distinct minority.

We also need to remember that this is the same person who explained his career by saying 'when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro' and whose first important work was titled The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.

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eee

Love without sex is like a fish without a bicycle.

Yeah, I'm in a strange mood.

Like!

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Awkward Turtle

I would argue that everyone experiences sex and love differently, and that Thompson is perfectly entitled, as a sexual person, to write based on his experience and feeling. Just as no two people would experience grief in the same way, that is no reason to be outraged at a person's experience of mourning because it does not encompass your own. I accept that this statement, in failing to represent the asexual experience, has hurt a number of people, but the response does not seem productive.

What this thread sounds like to me, in the majority of posts, is the unwillingness to concede that many if not most people are sexual and that their experience does not deny our own. It is just different. They may not understand what it is to be asexual, just as many of the posters in this thread do not understand the central need of sex in the life of a sexual person. But I do not see outrage as an appropriate response.

As a demisexual, I can see the validity of both sets of experience. And if you substitute something like "affection" for "sex", then maybe the statement would resonate for more AVENites; though, then maybe we'd be getting backlash from the aromantics because their experience of not falling in love is not represented.

Human experience is so infinitely broad that it is ludicrous to expect any statement to reflect the lives of every person. If we can accept that everyone is different, we can work towards more mutual understanding.

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scorpion

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

But well that's my opinion, sexuals will surely be riddled by my ideas and views... Although hopefully not all of them.

THIS is an awesome response...coming from another INFP. I totally agree with this view.

Scorpion

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mariachi

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

But well that's my opinion, sexuals will surely be riddled by my ideas and views... Although hopefully not all of them.

THIS is an awesome response...coming from another INFP. I totally agree with this view.

Scorpion

This is interesting.

As a sexual - I can only imagine what romantic love without sexual desire is like. I love plenty of people to varying degrees. My family, my friends and my wife - and the thing that differentiates my love for my wife from the others is predominantly sexual desire (in combination with personal/romantic love). Whether or not I am disabled and able to act on that desire is fairly irrelevant.

I can probably stretch my imagination a little further and consider romantic love to be a differentiating factor - but I wouldn't imagine that would be monogomous - which leaves me thinking it's nearer to friendship or familial love than a sexual relationship.

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orangeuglad

The quote is definitely not a universal thing. There are some people who can have sex without love and not feel "hollow" and some can have love without sex. For many people, however, I think this quote feels true to them.

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Capslock Cadet

If you look at Aces, you could say that they are in the company of angels and God. Their love seems to not be subject to the physical/emotional (sexual) drives of the body. In a way, you can say that Ace love is "purer" because it is closer to the love that angels and God have.

"Purer"? Little bit elitist there?

Not my intention, Sally. It was just a feeble attempt to throw an uplifting thought out there in regard to Ace love.

Hang around long enough, and you're sure to see why "pure" is such a loaded word around here. I'd avoid it like the plague if I were you ;)

The best response I've ever seen to the idea that asexual love is somehow purer?

http://apositive.org/viewtopic.php?p=2370

Is anybody still in touch with spinneret?

That post is brilliant and so very relateable. Thank you for posting it :cake:

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Mr. Shuttershy

I would argue that everyone experiences sex and love differently, and that Thompson is perfectly entitled, as a sexual person, to write based on his experience and feeling. Just as no two people would experience grief in the same way, that is no reason to be outraged at a person's experience of mourning because it does not encompass your own. I accept that this statement, in failing to represent the asexual experience, has hurt a number of people, but the response does not seem productive.

What this thread sounds like to me, in the majority of posts, is the unwillingness to concede that many if not most people are sexual and that their experience does not deny our own. It is just different. They may not understand what it is to be asexual, just as many of the posters in this thread do not understand the central need of sex in the life of a sexual person. But I do not see outrage as an appropriate response.

As a demisexual, I can see the validity of both sets of experience. And if you substitute something like "affection" for "sex", then maybe the statement would resonate for more AVENites; though, then maybe we'd be getting backlash from the aromantics because their experience of not falling in love is not represented.

Human experience is so infinitely broad that it is ludicrous to expect any statement to reflect the lives of every person. If we can accept that everyone is different, we can work towards more mutual understanding.

Even within asexuality, people experience, or don't, romaticism differet.

Agreed that no quote could ever sum everyone up.

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Mr. Shuttershy

I always get puzzled by sexuals... I just don't understand how sex is important in a successful relationship... I mean if one doesn't have sex, how on earth does that imply that there is no real love going on? To me it seems that people who can't love their partner without sex involved, just don't understand what love really means. If the disability to fulfill one's physical urges with one's partner is a reason to break up, I highly doubt whether they really loved their personality and character, in an everlasting, enchanting, magical and almost immortal way... If one really loves someone, I don't think this would be a relevant problem to their relationship, At least I hope so... Otherwise it's a sad and lonely world... ;(

But well that's my opinion, sexuals will surely be riddled by my ideas and views... Although hopefully not all of them.

THIS is an awesome response...coming from another INFP. I totally agree with this view.

Scorpion

This is interesting.

As a sexual - I can only imagine what romantic love without sexual desire is like. I love plenty of people to varying degrees. My family, my friends and my wife - and the thing that differentiates my love for my wife from the others is predominantly sexual desire (in combination with personal/romantic love). Whether or not I am disabled and able to act on that desire is fairly irrelevant.

I can probably stretch my imagination a little further and consider romantic love to be a differentiating factor - but I wouldn't imagine that would be monogomous - which leaves me thinking it's nearer to friendship or familial love than a sexual relationship.

There have been many threads attempting to define romance for an ace. Its just a YMMV thing, because the line between platonic and romantic is thin. It just depends on the person.

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Avistew

I think the quote is true, but only because I believe neither is ridiculous or hollow (therefore they are ridiculous and hollow in the same proportion, 0%). I think the quote is meant for people to understand that sex without love is NOT hollow and ridiculous. People do not believe that love without sex is hollow and ridiculous. Think about love for a child, or unrequited love, these things are put on a pedestal. I think the quote is not saying they're both hollow and ridiculous, I think it is saying that neither of them is.

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Skullery Maid

I think the quote is not saying they're both hollow and ridiculous, I think it is saying that neither of them is.

Interesting! I didn't even think of that, but now that you pointed it out it makes complete sense.

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zoidberger

I think the quote is true, but only because I believe neither is ridiculous or hollow (therefore they are ridiculous and hollow in the same proportion, 0%). I think the quote is meant for people to understand that sex without love is NOT hollow and ridiculous. People do not believe that love without sex is hollow and ridiculous. Think about love for a child, or unrequited love, these things are put on a pedestal. I think the quote is not saying they're both hollow and ridiculous, I think it is saying that neither of them is.

That's awesome. I wonder if that's the way it was thought of. Regardless, I'm going to interpret it that way! :P

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imasexyandiknowit

Well, to each his own

Personally, I don't need sex to love someone

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confu2213d

I think the quote is true, but only because I believe neither is ridiculous or hollow (therefore they are ridiculous and hollow in the same proportion, 0%). I think the quote is meant for people to understand that sex without love is NOT hollow and ridiculous. People do not believe that love without sex is hollow and ridiculous. Think about love for a child, or unrequited love, these things are put on a pedestal. I think the quote is not saying they're both hollow and ridiculous, I think it is saying that neither of them is.

I'm going to stick with this interpretation too, because jeeeez it's a bit creepy to think that other non-romantic/sexual types of love are also hollow and ridiculous unless there's sex. -shudders-

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n44ww

For me, love without sex = family members (non-spouse), sex without love = prostitution, and love with sex = marriage.

Sex without love makes me feel empty and cheated, especially with my wife. I feel cheapened by it and it denegrates the whole concept of marriage for me. And the reverse, love without sex, also makes me feel empty and cheated. When I act lovingly toward my wife, doing the things I know she likes, I think it is only natural for her to demonstrate her love for me by doing things she knows that I like. You don't keep score, but with a healthy give-and take, things somehow seem balanced. Without this, the relationship seems one-sided. Not a good thing.

In the love without sex category, family comes to mind. I have no desire to have sex with my family, but I do love them. It is definately not the same kind or level of love that I have (or hoped to have) with my wife.

In the sex without love category, masterbating and prostitution come to mind. Both may take care of the physical craving, but without someone else involved, it is shallow and not terribly satisfying.

However, when two people are in love and sex is a part of the equation, where it is a manifestation of the love you have for each other, I really can't express the overwhelming peace, closeness, satisfaction, love, etc. that arises from such closeness.

The quotation above makes sense to me, but I would have expressed it differently. I would have said that sex without love is as unfullfilling and unsatisfying as love without sex.

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Samael

For me, love without sex = family members (non-spouse), sex without love = prostitution, and love with sex = marriage.

If it ever came to marriage for me, it'd have to be a sexless marriage for sure. Since I don't experience romantic attraction either, I wouldn't be interested in the pretense of romantic actions. In my eyes, for a marriage to be succesful for me, it would have to be platonic in nature. The motivation for marriage would have to, for example, financial in nature as well.

This shows that we are different. I would have no use for a "conventional" marriage, but I know most people would have it no other way :)

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Nerd On Duty

In a relationship where both partners are sexual this may be true (though thi,s strongly depends on the people).

In a relationship with at least one asexual partner, however, I think it is really wrong to say such a thing.

Just because I'm ace I'm not incapable of love, I just love in a different way (Freud would disagree with me there).

In the end: to each their own.

I really like Avistew's point of view/interpretation, though.

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Lady Girl

This thread hasn't been active for a long time and is now being locked. If anyone would like to discuss this topic further, feel free to start a new thread.

Lady Ghoul, Moderator

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