Asexuality is not an orientation

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
PiF
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Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:39 am

I've put this in a few threads now and have yet to have an answer or at least one that is coherent

I am straight..that is my orientation, I have friends that are gay and bi..that is their orientation

so if you are straight, gay, bi AND asexual....that would mean you have two orientations...this is not possible...is it?

on that point asexuality cannot be an orientation...so what would it be?

for me it's just part of who I am and apart from the asexual description, it needs no label attached to it at all

anyone help out here?

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:37 pm

There are (at least) two different orientations: romantic orientation and sexual orientation. When someone says they are straight asexual what they usually mean is that their romantic orientation is straight; asexuality is their sexual orientation.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:55 pm

I would have to politely disagree Micheal

orientation is who you are gender attracted too....some within asexuality have tried to make that into the two categories you mention to be inclusive rather than accurate...it's sad that this sillyness is attributable to the asexual community ...but sillyness it is

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:04 pm

What is not accurate about distinguishing between two different orientations? One concerns romantic attraction and the other sexual attraction.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:36 pm

your suggestion implies that we all have two orientations...something that probably outside of the asexual and lgbt community would be very much not agreed with

like the terms cissgender, allosexual, cupiosexual, lithoromantic etc...these have nothing to do with asexuality..but...because people want to belong rather than are correct to belong...they make up the sillyness the asexual community is becoming famous for

sexual comes into aven...hello i am sexual and i have questions..someone replies..no your not sexual, your allosexual....wtf really?...o yes sir, we the asexual community have decided.....and that has happened in regards to orientation also...some in the asexual community have tried to make more than the three just to belong even though it's not accurate

we have three orientations, it's who we gravitate towards..straight, gay and bi...because we as asexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone we still gravitate towards another group..that does not make it a fourth orientation, an invisible orientation or even an orientation at all.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:53 pm

I asked what is inaccurate about separating romantic and sexual orientation. Your post does not answer that question.
  • Saying it's not agreed on outside the asexual/LGBT community doesn't make it inaccurate.
  • Listing a load of terms and psychologizing about why they were created doesn't make anything inaccurate.
  • "Allosexual" is a red herring - it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. The separation between romantic and sexual orientations now goes back at least the best part of a decade, whereas allosexual only started being used this way by some people on tumblr in 2012.
  • Repeating "it's not accurate" doesn't make it so.
  • Repeating your conclusion doesn't demonstrate anything.
Anything else?

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:01 pm

It answers the question perfectly Michael ...you not liking the answer does not mean it has not been answered or that it is innacurrate

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:11 pm

Ah yes where is that invisible ink you were talking about in a different thread? It would be useful here. (Or rather, being able to read it would be...)

Or you could just come clean and admit you haven't given any reason to class separating romantic and sexual orientations as being "inaccurate".

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:16 pm

as much as your statement ...Saying it's not agreed on outside the asexual/LGBT community doesn't make it inaccurate

would seem the ink does not travel too far from the pot?

you haven't given any reason why the three orientations were ever changed and by who?...I'm going to suggest the list of candidates will be known to us both :D

flergalwit wrote:The separation between romantic and sexual orientations now goes back at least the best part of a decade,


remind me again...how long has aven been running? :D

so for over 2 thousand years it has been three orientations..then aven comes along and it's suddenly 4 and even then it has levels..rather convenient is it not.....rather proves my point does it not :P

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby jmb » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:48 pm

PIF:

Just because a TERM for a given orientation hasn't been in use for long, doesn't mean the orientation hasn't ever existed before the term was used. In the same way that "homosexual" can't be found in the Hebrew Scriptures (If we're going for length of time used). In HS they simply say "Man laying/having relations with/knowing another man"... A lot of translations today will insert the word homosexual - but there wasn't a word for it back then. It's just something that has grown with time.

If you want me to go back to saying "I don't have an orientation." I'm more than happy to do that. But then, psychology and sociology books say that "everyone has one"... so that leaves me as an anomaly. Not that I'm bothered by that, but my entire world view is coloured by my lack of orientation - to the point that I literally see things/innuendoes and such differently from everyone else.

When I first came across "Asexual" it was more short-hand for me to say that rather than "I don't have an orientation." Of course, 15-ish years later? Given how some segments of the Asexual Community behave, I'm okay going back to "I don't have an orientation" simply so that I don't get lumped into those segments.
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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:10 am

Hiya jmb

Absolutely you can call yourself what ever you want but as a movement it helps if we are accurate.

If we use Michaels explanation then we have gone from 3 orientations to 8...straight...gay...bi...and asexual but all have two variances within those also...romantic orientation and sexual orientation...giving us 8...the fact this has happened shows, I feel reflects on our community as the sillyness of youth given most internet asexuals on aven are 16-24..reminded me of that song... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESy-Z8vqMrE

I know the lgbt are quite famous for making up new versions of accepted words but even they must be somewhat agog at the level of sillyness the asexual community gets upto

Can I ask jmb, you say no orientation, are you saying you do not orientate towards a another sex..i.e. male, female, both? or are you saying that you do not orientate towards any which would be the only way not to have an orientation?...I know your aware but for people new to asexuality...there is a difference in not having sexual attraction and not having an orientation

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby jmb » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:40 am

Like I said, according to YOUR definition, I don't have an orientation. Especially since you're saying that asexual doesn't exist as an orientation. Frankly, that was the closest thing I've found to describing myself and my experiences.... at least 10-15 years ago it was.

I've never been attracted sexually or otherwise to anyone/anything else. It's not without TRYING - but sex/romantic relationships/etc do about as much for me as Hoovering, so I fail to see the point in any of it. I have better things to do than to invest my time and energy into something that literally has no point in my universe.

Is there a lot of silliness going on in the asexual community across the board? Yes. Do I get just as much hate from the asexual community as I do from everyone else? Sometimes - depends on the segment of the community.
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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:13 am

It'snot just my definition, it's the defintions that have been around for a few centuries but that only applies to asexuality

Forgive me if I am assuming wrongly jmb, but it sounds like your a aromantic asexual which might clarify the position on orientating towards others sexually/romantically and friendship wise

I'm surprised on the hate comment?..can I politely ask how you see that occuring?

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby jmb » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:45 pm

Well, by that count, asexuality has been known of for a long time too. Even in my psychology book from the early 90s talks about it. Sure, it doesn't use the term asexuality explicitly, but it does talk about people who feel no attraction to anyone - and it even did it without it being some disorder.

Since you say everyone only has one orientation, and we can only be straight, gay, or bi, then, "I don't have an orientation," is the closest I can get. Unless, you're prepared to agree with flergalwit that there are at least two orientations. Make up your mind, PIF. Going back and forth like this is confusing.

If you're surprised by the hate comment, then really, it's better to remain uninformed.
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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:26 pm

Flerg makes the point that there are two orientations within the 4 orientations as I said, that makes 8..It's not a statement I agree with to be honest.

My mind is made up and is quite clear...I am surprised by the hate comment that's why I asked about it

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby jmb » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:04 pm

It's this kind of discrepancy that makes it difficult to follow some of your posts.

If you don't agree with it, then why use the "more than 1 type of orientation" terminology when talking to me/trying to label me? In other words, if there are only 3 orientations (and not 8 or merely 4) then why did you ask if I was aromantic asexual?

I'm willing to dialogue with you about different things, but not if you're going to be flippant in your terms. You say there are only 3 orientations, fine, then dialogue according to your conviction. If not, it sounds like you're more interested in creating drama for drama's sake and not actual discourse.
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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:48 pm

jmb wrote:It's this kind of discrepancy that makes it difficult to follow some of your posts.


I'm not sure where the discrepency is? I have an opinion and have expressed it...Michael has an opinion and expressed it and you have somewhat expressed something and I'm still interested in hearing your view..that is why when you said you have experienced hate from the community I was surprised and asked more about it...to date despite asking twice..you've not offered a single example..I'm still interested though

jmb wrote:If you don't agree with it, then why use the "more than 1 type of orientation" terminology when talking to me/trying to label me? In other words, if there are only 3 orientations (and not 8 or merely 4) then why did you ask if I was aromantic asexual?


Because I feel that there has always been the 3 recognised orientations, ..I asked with interest following on from your comments about not being attracted to anyone which in itself would not be an orientation but I was still interested in your point of view. There was no flippancy or applying labels to others but simply expressing my view, as did michael, as did yourself..it would seem I have hit a nerve with you and that might be where the drama is comming from?

Jmb..if you believe others opinions are entirely about you and negative then that is your perception... when people have different views to you then I can understand your tone and approach...if however your open minded to understand yes we might all have different views but can still discuss them, then I would love to hear your opinions and even though we may disagree, I would still value your opinion

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:05 am

PiF wrote:so for over 2 thousand years it has been three orientations..then aven comes along and it's suddenly 4 and even then it has levels..rather convenient is it not.....rather proves my point does it not :P

Oh come on - you don't really think the concept of sexual orientations has been around for thousands of years? Until recently the discussion was in terms of behaviour and perhaps preferences, not orientations. Even bisexuality wasn't properly included as an orientation until relatively recently.

Asexuality wasn't widely recognised until the last 1-2 decades. So of course it wasn't included as an orientation - one cannot include something that one does not know about. That doesn't make it not-an-orientation.

For... well hundreds of years (probably not thousands) the term asexuality has meant the non-sexual reproduction of organisms (such as amoebae) by mitosis. If changing the meaning of long established words is so awful then why do you use asexual at all? (And for that matter it seems too obvious to mention "same-sex marriage" changing the millennia old definition of marriage, which last I heard you were in favour of...)

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:03 am

Oh come on - you don't really think the concept of sexual orientations has been around for thousands of years?

Well yes, even jmb mentions man laying with man in hebrew scriptures so clearly at least two orientations were declared

Oreintation is who you orientate towards....asexuals still do, using the existing 3 orientations, the same as sexuals. The only contradiction I've seen there is possibly those who are aromantic or those with mental health issues.

Asexuality is correct to what we are and is why I use it and yes I am pro same sex coupling, even when termed as marriage although on that last point...Marriage is and has always been a religious ceremony and nothing more. You can gain the same benefits in a civil ceremony in the u.k. so it's some puzzlement why some in the lgbt firmly fix their "I am the victim" sights on religion (particulary christianity) but then insist they want a religious ceremony.

I am asexual and straight...who I orientate towards is the opposite sex...and that doesn't matter if they are asexual or sexual. So I feel comfortable to stand my ground on asexuality not being an orientation.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:00 am

Man lying with man is a reference to behaviour not orientation. The closest you'll find to describing a homosexual orientation in the bible is the reference to those with "vile affections" (Romans 1:26), which some argue is a reference to homosexuality though that's somewhat disputed.

But if you do count that then maybe you should count Paul's famous quote in 1 Cor 9:5 as a reference to asexuality.

As far as I know you won't find any accounts going back millenia saying "there are 3 orientations: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual". If you know of any, please post them as I'd be interested to see that.

At any rate, as you seem to be in favour of using the words asexuality and marriage in ways that were not around even decades ago (let alone millennia ago), that clearly can't be a good reason not to recognise a new sexual orientation.

Marriage has not always been a religious ceremony. My parents were married in the 70s in a secular wedding- long long before same sex marriage came along.

In my usage, sexual orientation is the set of genders whom you are sexually attracted to. The empty set is a set. 2 genders, 2 possibilities (sexually attracted, not sexually attracted) makes 2^2 = 4 sexual orientations.

Power set({M,F}) = {empty, {M}, {F}, {M,F}}.

All very simple and very accurate. (Of course it assumes the gender binary - {M,F} - and that attraction is a binary state - yes or no - but you have to start somewhere.)
Last edited by flergalwit on Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:18 am

Michael as always you still seem to be suffering from Avenitus

The ability to create subsets of subsets of subsets whilst insisting all those newly created must be genuine and we should all now start using them.

You use the rainbow of orientations of lala land if you wish, but I'll stick with the majority of humanity and stick with the three if that's okay with you :lol: :P

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:20 am

You can use whatever language you like. I don't care. You asked why asexuality is considered a sexual orientation and I've explained why, quite coherently. What use you make of that information is up to you.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby KAGU143 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:35 am

I just want to remind everybody that PiF, while he is a much-valued member of our board, is not any sort of absolute authority on asexuality.
His opinions are his own. Sometimes they are easily backed up by outside information, other times ... not so much.

The subtle difference between romantic attraction and sexual attraction has been known about and understood for ages. The only reason it hasn't been given more attention is because the cases where the two don't match are rather rare. That is NOT to say that they are unknown, however.

Long before asexuality became the sexual curiosity of the day, there were plenty of cases where people would prefer to have their most emotionally intimate (ie: loving) friendships with one gender while preferring to have their sexual relationships with another. Whether or not there were specific terms for it, the reality of the situation has always been well known.
It's perfectly common for men to be more comfortable sharing their innermost feelings with their closest male friends, for example, while they would never dream of having sex with them. The same can be said for women and their "girlfriends."
Just because these preferences have never been linguistically defined as romantic attraction doesn't change the fact that they ARE exactly that, at least according to the way the term is being used in some parts of the asexual community.

I will admit that I have NEVER liked the term, "romantic" attraction. I much prefer to call it emotional attraction.

I have what I believe to be a very valid reason for this distinction, and it's this: I believe that the term "romantic attraction" should be reserved for the hormone-driven affectionate bond which typically occurs between humans during the first two years of a relationship. This is the stage which is normally thought of (by sexuals, ie: by the majority of humankind) as true love. Being hormone-driven, it is finite in its duration.

I don't consider myself to be the ultimate authority on asexuality, and I've never been able to make others see or understand my position, but then I've never known any other asexuals who share my particular background in studying animal behavior.

The difference between sexual attraction and romantic/emotional/whatever attraction is well known and always has been. The only question is which term which will end up being used to describe them.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:24 am

KAGU143 wrote:I will admit that I have NEVER liked the term, "romantic" attraction. I much prefer to call it emotional attraction.

I have sympathy with this point of view, though perhaps not for exactly the same reasons. As it happens there was actually an term within the LGBT community - affectional orientation - that predates the asexual movement. I've often thought that might have been a better idea than romantic attraction. Or perhaps there is a subtle distinction between affectional and romantic attraction. Sometimes they are used synonymously.

I've never felt strongly enough about it to argue against romantic orientation; it's close enough and romantic is winning by quite some way atm.

PiF wrote:If we use Michaels explanation then we have gone from 3 orientations to 8

Actually Piffy there are 4x4 = 16 combinations possible out of the romantic and sexual orientations I mentioned earlier. Here they are:

1. aromantic asexual - someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone and is also not sexually attracted to anyone.
2. aromantic homosexual - someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone but who is sexually attracted to the same gender.
3. aromantic heterosexual - someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone but who is sexually attracted to the opposite gender.
4. aromantic bisexual - someone who is not romantically attracted to anyone but who is sexually attracted to both genders.
5. homoromantic asexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender but who is not sexually attracted to anyone.
6. homoromantic homosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender and is also sexually attracted to the same gender.
7. homoromantic heterosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender but who is sexually attracted to the opposite gender.
8. homoromantic bisexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the same gender but who is sexually attracted to both genders.
9. heteroromantic asexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender but who is not sexually attracted to anyone.
10. heteroromantic homosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender but who is sexually attracted to the same gender.
11. heteroromantic heterosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender and is also sexually attracted to the opposite gender.
12. heteroromantic bisexual - someone who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender but who is sexually attracted to both genders.
13. biromantic asexual - someone who is romantically attracted to both genders but who is not sexually attracted to anyone.
14. biromantic homosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to both genders but who is sexually attracted to the same gender.
15. biromantic heterosexual - someone who is romantically attracted to both genders but who is sexually attracted to the opposite gender.
16. biromantic bisexual - someone who is romantically attracted to both genders and is also sexually attracted to both genders.

You can generate this list yourself with a simple Python script I knocked together in a few minutes:

sexual_orientations = ["asexual","homosexual","heterosexual","bisexual"]
romantic_orientations = [x.replace("sexual","romantic") for x in sexual_orientations]
sexual_descriptions = ["not sexually attracted to anyone","sexually attracted to the same gender","sexually attracted to the opposite gender","sexually attracted to both genders"]
romantic_descriptions = [x.replace("sexually","romantically") for x in sexual_descriptions]

for i in range(4):
[tab] for j in range(4):
[tab] [tab] print(4*i+j+1,end="")
[tab] [tab] print(". " + romantic_orientations[i]+" "+sexual_orientations[j],end="")
[tab] [tab] print(" - someone who is " + romantic_descriptions[i],end="")
[tab] [tab] if(i==j):
[tab] [tab] [tab] print(" and is also ",end="")
[tab] [tab] else:
[tab] [tab] [tab] print(" but who is ",end="")
[tab] [tab] print(sexual_descriptions[j]+".")

(I use Python 3 - if you prefer Python 2 you need to add the line "from __future__ import print_function" at the very start. You'll also need to replace each "[tab] " with a tab or better with a triple space.)

Now I know what you're gonna say - I've missed out grays and non-binary gender identities. Mea culpa. When you start taking into account that sexual and romantic orientation is not black and white, and that there are more than 2 genders, things do get a LOT more complicated. But the above 16 possibilities are a good start.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:57 am

Now I know what you're gonna say - I've missed out grays and non-binary gender identities. actually if you read the other place today then you've also missed out "The Fight To Validate Antisexualism As A Valid Orientation" so adding that and with the variation x2 then it goes upto ...using your rational ...18 orientations

Look..having a load of nut jobs wanting to discredit asexuality at every turn is just about bearable within our own bubble

But I would suggest the reactions you may garnish outside of that bubble by telling people the three orientations are actually 18..will see a wtf, you lot are mental with your labels, you can't be real..reply

your not trying to convert the converted remember with asexual visibility..your trying to inform the non informed and sillyness like 18 orientations is another own goal

and star talking about pythons...and they will think you own a reptile store....and some wonder why people doubt asexuality

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:02 pm

16 x 2 isn't 18 piffy.... But anti-sexuality is not an orientation - it's an attitude.

Python is named after the inimitable Monty Python - the inventor of the language was a big fan - not after the snake, though many Python books have snakes on the covers. If you do a google search on the word "python" the first two hits are for the programming language.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:09 pm

16 combinations possible out of the romantic and sexual orientations I mentioned earlier. Here they are:

Then the other two were the two types within each group and the new claimed antisexuality

Now I agree with you Michael it is not... but you can't have it both ways..you either open the doors to the sillyness and in that case who are you to say antisexuality is not an orientation or you stick to the widely accepted plain and simple 3..straight, gay and bi

Where as I think anything more than the 3 is pure asexual/lgbt trying to cater for every snowflake so disagree with your numbers and groups...you say I am wrong with 3 and you say the antisexuality is 3

the only difference is..I stick with the 3 agreed by pretty much outside of the bubble...but you want to add as many as you want as long as they are your ones and discount others...that other person will view me and you as the same for discounting antisexuality as an orientation.

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:16 pm

PiF wrote:Now I agree with you Michael it is not... but you can't have it both ways..you either open the doors to the sillyness and in that case who are you to say antisexuality is not an orientation or you stick to the widely accepted plain and simple 3..straight, gay and bi

It's not that simple. Both romantic and sexual orientations concern attractions of different types. They are not about one's opinion or attitude. They are about one's attraction. Anti-sexuality is about one's opinion on sex.

There very probably are more than 2 different orientations, besides sexual and romantic. I'm quite proudly open to many other types of silliness as you put it; I haven't even begun yet! But anti-sexuality isn't one of them. It's an attribute of course but not an orientation.

Oh yeah and I'm still waiting for that millennia old reference saying there are exactly 3 orientations: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual. I'd even settle for century-old. *drums fingers*

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby PiF » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:42 pm

but that was my point michael... you say my 3 are not correct because there are more...you are also saying antisexuality is not despite that antisexual saying it is

in essence your saying i'm wrong by holding to the mass accepted 3...your then saying the antisexual is wrong because you do not agree with that either so the world according to michael

Like I said I agree with you that antisexuality is not an orientation but to that person your as much a nay sayer as I am..the only difference is your saying your open minded but not as much as you think if the antisexual is to be seen as a valid view

And this is the problem with the constant open door identification ..at some point you will stop being an enabler to all and become an oppressor to some that you deny their identity

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Re: Asexuality is not an orientation

Postby flergalwit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:53 pm

I've never said that anything that anyone claims is an orientation is an orientation. I've said that orientations concern different types of attraction. Sexual orientation concerns attraction. Romantic orientation concerns attraction. Anti-sexuality does not concern attraction - it's an attitude. Simple.