When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

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PiF
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When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby PiF » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:59 am

As per usual and I suspect like so many asexuals (I use the term loosely) they have in comparison to life, a short attention span.

So I wonder given Aven is the largest but worst possible example of Asexuality, Is the lack of choice more of a truer reflection of asexuals in that they are far less than the 1% some would have you believe that we are and as such, away from the teenage larger audience/claimed actual of temporary asexuals, most real asexuals tend to get bored away from the kiddy playgrounds of internet asexual forums?

Or are the quality of the Asexual forums so poor that many just stay away..or...are many of the real asexuals who tend to be long term just found a way of putting the asexual part into perspective and do not feel the need to be offended by the offending and need to voice on the internet whilst claiming freedom of speech but actually trying to deny it for others?

Over the last at least 7 years I seen mostly the amount on here one year and not the next "alledged asexuals" come and go with very few actually being long term. That being the case it leads to the inevitable same questions on a cyclical boring loop that in many ways takes the forum so far off original intention that those who genuinely sought it's purpose become dissapointed.

I will use Aven as a good example of not how to do it(although I do regognise the asexual partners and allies as an incredibly good part). Most of us will have or know gay friends. Recently it was highlighted by a very active gay friend who in his younger gay days rarely knew the man he woke up next too the next morning. Over the weekend we did go to one of his own past haunts but I declined because I knew the club and how much it had changed from his heady days but did say I would have a beer in the pub down the road and meet him there.

Within the hour he did return and with a sad face, Although I thought I may know why I asked anyway, what brings you so glum chum? He replied, I have never ever been in a gay club with so many straight people in it!! where have all the gay clubs for gays gone? ( of course they are there but for mainly gay men and women to relax in their own ethos they are becoming harder to find. There in brings my comparison to Aven, the site has far more sexual (yes I am including the greydemisemipan clique) than there are actual sexuals

So it got me thinking, if as I believe were are closer to 0.1% in real asexual terms then we are now as good as it gets in forum terms?

I take then a comparison between Apositive and Aven. Aven has higher traffic levels and a larger membership but has so many faux asexuals that I feel, does not represent asexuality beyond the front page at all and as such many actual asexuals stay away. Apositive however whilst smaller in numbers and traffic is more probably a truer reflection of actual asexuals and therefore shows our smaller genuine numbers.

A-sylum seems to have gone some time ago and Avalanche is largely a anti site for most things and they all fill/filled a need. So perhaps given the small factual topic matter should we expect more and if so how do we do that but maintain it in such a way that the asexual forum welcomes all but never forgets it is an asexual forum first instead of selling its asexual membership out in favour of posts and false membership numbers?

I'd welcome your opinions?

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jmb
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby jmb » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:23 pm

This is a very interesting question. But it's lacking some major components. (Parts that I try to be cautious of with all Asexual sites.) It presupposes that all asexuals are online and that all asexuals WANT to be a part of online communities/forums. And you neglected to mention the 'beloved' Tumblr, which has it's own brand of Asexual Community.

There was a blog post about this recently from The Asexual Agenda I suggest reading it, if you haven't already. This Blog pretty much points to why I hate internet communities in general. I'm giving Apositive a try. I might dislike it as well. That said, I found the comments to the blog entry MUCH MORE interesting than the entry itself, and some of the comments point to issues you raise..

I would caution on the use of "Actual Asexual" only because that is a rather charged phrase on the internet. I know that you're talking about people who have a life-long Asexual identification, but using charged phrases can make it difficult for people receive your message.

For myself, I'm Aro-Ace, if figures are to be believed, only @15% of the entire Ace community fall into this category. (If Ace's are 1% of the population, then out of 1000 people only 1.5 will identify as I do.) I admit that I have a skewed perception because of my identification, but people on AVEN have called that "elitist" - um, no, I'd REJOICE if I found more like me. It's not elitist, it's being a minority of a minority.

That said, you can't believe numbers on AVEN at all. That I have found, there's no way to purge/delete accounts when you leave. Which means as people ebb and flow through that community, if they forget their old username, they create a new account. So any numbers they report are total hogwash.

Umm, that's all I can think of at this point. I've read some of your other dialogues, PiF I look forward to joining the conversation.
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby flergalwit » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:34 am

I don't get why it's such a big deal if we have a lot of greys on AVEN. They show that sexuality is complicated and not just an on-off switch.

Asexual asexuals (i.e. non-grey) get the vast majority of our media coverage too...

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby jmb » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:12 am

@flergalwit

But I think that's the point PiF is trying to make. (feel free to correct me, PiF but that's what I got out of your post) AVEN (and any asexuality site) should be a site specific to to the asexual orientation and information offered should be more focused, not on "sexuality in general."

There are plenty of other sites/research that talk about the fluidity of sexuality and of course those tenants do apply to asexuality as well, but a site about asexuality that touts itself as the "goto place" should offer more clear facts and definitions. If they feel something is unclear that applies to sexuality in general, provide outside links. Confusing the information offered on one site by trying to be the soapbox for other issues that other sites do better doesn't help anyone learn anything.

Basically, I'd rather see AVEN as a clearinghouse of information rather than a bunch of opinions spouted as facts.

Also, it's not a big deal if there are a lot of greys on any given Ace site since they are a majority within the community. The problems arise when, because they are the majority, they push aside the minorities within the community or decide that the community should push their specific agendas just because they're the majority.
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby flergalwit » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:54 am

jmb wrote:Basically, I'd rather see AVEN as a clearinghouse of information rather than a bunch of opinions spouted as facts.

Also, it's not a big deal if there are a lot of greys on any given Ace site since they are a majority within the community. The problems arise when, because they are the majority, they push aside the minorities within the community or decide that the community should push their specific agendas just because they're the majority.

Yes that would be a problem, but it's not what's happening. The asexual asexuals on AVEN (I am one of them) are not being pushed aside.

If you want to see a consistent party line, the forums on AVEN are indeed not the place to look. That is because the forums comprise a wide range of diverse individuals, and we do not moderate based on towing the party line (with a few notable exceptions, e.g. if someone keeps on saying all asexuals are just repressed then eventually they'll probably be sanctioned). There are individuals on AVEN with whom I disagree on almost everything, but I don't want to see them banned for that reason. The forums are there primarily to build up a community of people who identify on the asexual spectrum, and their partners and allies, and to help people explore themselves - not to write a logically consistent scientific thesis about asexuality.

The vis-ed work done by AVENites is another matter, but as gray asexuals are grossly UNDERrepresented here - indeed I've lost count of how many asexual articles I've seen or even been personally involved with and yet I can count the number that mention greys on one hand - I don't see the "problem".

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby PiF » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:19 am

Let me explain it better michael, who would you trust to give an explanation of what a vegatarian is, A veggie or a pescatarian. and how do you feel about pescatarians claiming they are vegatarians and saying that means they are vegatarian?

Imagine also if you had a forum for veggies and suddenly 3/4's of it were not vegies at all ?

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby flergalwit » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:04 am

I'd trust anyone who knows what they're talking about to give a definition, whether they are vegetarian, pescatarian or anything else. Hell, even I am perfectly capable of giving a definition and I am neither vegetarian nor pescatarian.

PiF wrote:and how do you feel about pescatarians claiming they are vegatarians and saying that means they are vegatarian?

You still haven't provided a single example of someone who identifies as both gray-A and asexual at the same time, still less anyone who says that all gray-As are asexual. Until you do this, your point is moot, as the USAians would say.

PiF wrote:Imagine also if you had a forum for veggies and suddenly 3/4's of it were not vegies at all ?

I'd think: hooray for allies! :)

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby jmb » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:44 pm

flergalwit wrote:I'd trust anyone who knows what they're talking about to give a definition, whether they are vegetarian, pescatarian or anything else. Hell, even I am perfectly capable of giving a definition and I am neither vegetarian nor pescatarian.


Sure, you could give a textbook definition. You're right, anyone can do that. But specific nuances? Talk about the daily ins and outs of what it means to live that lifestyle? Only people who actually live that way can speak with any authority. I can read all the books about the various vegetarian/vegan/etc communities I want, but that's not the same as living that lifestyle. Just because I've done research and have the book knowledge, doesn't mean that I should speak with any authority for the people who actually live that way.


flergalwit wrote:You still haven't provided a single example of someone who identifies as both gray-A and asexual at the same time, still less anyone who says that all gray-As are asexual. Until you do this, your point is moot, as the USAians would say.


I thought the point of the article was to suggest that having gray-As confuses the issues that Asexual-Asexuals (wow, point proven right there about confusion) face/experience. And when they dominate a website, then a question is raised about that website really being true to what it claims to be.


flergalwit wrote:I'd think: hooray for allies! :)


Sure, if they want to be allies. My experience up to now has been "We need to be represented to and you should represent us."

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby PiF » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:29 am

By the very term grey a michael that is claiming to be grey asexuals..where i believe we have both agreed before that grey/semi/demi are in fact grey sexuals and NOT asexual

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby KAGU143 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:10 am

I would have to agree that "Grey-sexual" would be a much better term that "Grey-A."

My opinion, which is probably NOT politically correct, is that the entire Grey-sexual phenomena is a media-fueled construct. The media has promoted the idea that all normal people want to have sex as often as possible, and that anybody who doesn't is somehow defective.
A person who doesn't care to have sex until they truly love their partner is considered to be abnormal today, but that would NOT have been the case as recently as a few decades ago. It was then considered to be normal - even desirable - and nobody gave it a second thought. The media has portrayed a normal and common human variation as a pathology.
Since these people are now made to feel broken, it's only natural for them to seek to find others who share their feelings and can validate their life experiences. Thanks to all of the publicity, AVEN is pretty well known, and it would seem like the logical choice. Who can blame them? I would have done the same thing in their situation.
That old adage, "You just haven't met the right person yet." is a VALID viewpoint, folks. It's not just empty words; it's true more often than it's wrong.

AVEN cannot bear to face this simple fact and teens cannot STAND to have their growing self-knowledge questioned, but the truth of it is evident all over the place: the semi, demi, grey, and former asexuals are all living examples of it. Collectively, those groups will always outnumber asexuals, simply because they are closer to the center of the bell curve.

What I mean by this is that asexuals are at one extreme end and hyper-sexuals are at the other end when it comes to wanting sex. (With other people.)
The vast majority of humanity will be someplace in between.
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby flergalwit » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:06 pm

PiF wrote:By the very term grey a michael that is claiming to be grey asexuals..where i believe we have both agreed before that grey/semi/demi are in fact grey sexuals and NOT asexual

The term grey-A or even grey-asexual does not imply asexual. Just like a "near success" isn't actually a success at all. Just like a "quantum group" doesn't have to be a group at all. Just like "partial blindness" doesn't mean you are completely blind.

Again, I challenge you to a) quote someone who says that all gray-As are asexual or if that's too hard b) find someone who identifies as grey-A and asexual simultaneously.

KAGU143 wrote:My opinion, which is probably NOT politically correct, is that the entire Grey-sexual phenomena is a media-fueled construct. [...]
That old adage, "You just haven't met the right person yet." is a VALID viewpoint, folks. It's not just empty words; it's true more often than it's wrong.

AVEN cannot bear to face this simple fact and teens cannot STAND to have their growing self-knowledge questioned, but the truth of it is evident all over the place: the semi, demi, grey, and former asexuals are all living examples of it.

If AVEN couldn't bear to face this simple fact, we would be excluding grey-As and pretending they didn't exist. Which is the exact opposite of what we're doing.

KAGU143 wrote:Collectively, those groups will always outnumber asexuals, simply because they are closer to the center of the bell curve.

Exactly. And it makes sense to me to cater towards people closer to the centre of the bell curve, not just for people at the extreme end. We can help more people that way, while making it clear that sexuality is a spectrum, not just an on-off switch.

As for the term, grey-sexual might fit some people near the centre of the distribution, but it seems to me grey-asexual is a better term for people closer to the A end. Which is primarily what we're referring to, I think.

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby jmb » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:44 pm

flergalwit wrote:
PiF wrote:By the very term grey a michael that is claiming to be grey asexuals..where i believe we have both agreed before that grey/semi/demi are in fact grey sexuals and NOT asexual

The term grey-A or even grey-asexual does not imply asexual. Just like a "near success" isn't actually a success at all. Just like a "quantum group" doesn't have to be a group at all. Just like "partial blindness" doesn't mean you are completely blind.


Having the word "asexual" in their title tends to suggest that "asexual" is part of their identity. Your comparisons are flimsy and inaccurate. The rest of the population wouldn't say "grey-asexual" as comparable to a "near success" but would compare it to "blue-green." Approaching it from the standpoint of grammar, having a hyphen between "grey" and "asexual" means the two are linked like in "blue-green." It carries a very different connotation than if there was no hyphen there. If you didn't hyphenate grey asexual, then it doesn't make a lot of sense does it? So, it would be better to say "Grey-sexual" or "grey sexual," which is more accurate and makes more sense whether there's a hyphen present or not.


flergalwit wrote:If AVEN couldn't bear to face this simple fact, we would be excluding grey-As and pretending they didn't exist. Which is the exact opposite of what we're doing.


And that's the point. And the problem with AVEN. If AVEN is supposed to be about Asexual Visibility, why all the work and effort on the grey/semi/demi/etc? - especially since you keep saying that they're "Not Asexual". This is why people from the outside feel like they're getting mixed-signals and there's a lot of confusion from the outside about asexuality.

flergalwit wrote:
KAGU143 wrote:Collectively, those groups will always outnumber asexuals, simply because they are closer to the center of the bell curve.

Exactly. And it makes sense to me to cater towards people closer to the centre of the bell curve, not just for people at the extreme end. We can help more people that way, while making it clear that sexuality is a spectrum, not just an on-off switch.


It actually has the opposite affect, where education is concerned. I got more hassle about my orientation from my family after I pointed them to AVEN to educate themselves than I did when I was systematically explaining it. They came away with "But see, it IS just a phase!" So, fine, be "middle of the road" and therefore so unclear/watery that you end up educating no one.
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby PiF » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:34 am

flergalwit wrote:Again, I challenge you to a) quote someone who says that all gray-As are asexual or if that's too hard b) find someone who identifies as grey-A and asexual simultaneously.


For a man of your intelligence michael I'm surprised you cannot see what you write

what is a grey a? grey asexual yes? would you agree with that? if so then all by definition ARE calling themselves grey asexual feel they are asexual...otherwise surely they would call themselves grey sexual cest non?

So yes again I put it to you that either they are lying or the term is not correct to asexuals

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby Michael » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:50 pm

Firstly, I agree almost entirely with the OP, but also believe some good might come from this situation. If we go with the idea that genuine asexuals are a small minority among others merely confused or claiming to be asexual (we should be careful, given that includes a potentially large number of teens who genuinely feel isolated/alienated by society), that small minority of us will have a much harder job of making people aware of our existence. We need AVEN, and possibly the Tumblr crowd for that, but they have this hazy definition of asexuality that could be applied to just about anyone - something that just doesn't stick in the real world of skeptics and real-time conversation.

What I believe will eventually happen is the term 'asexuality' will enter the mainstream, but the general population will apply whatever definition is most easily propagated through society. I mean people in general will become aware of asexuality, but hardly anyone outside the asexual 'community' is going to bother memorising and repeating AVEN's interpretation of it verbatim in a conversation.

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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby Ciri » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:44 pm

Hi PiF, we are already acquainted. While I understand your stance on this, you should know by now that your opinion holds more standing when you don't resort to petty insults.

One of the biggest issues with AVEN is that the definition of asexuality isn't as clear cut as it should be. I understand it to mean "the absence of sexual attraction". However, how can one define a term if they have never experienced the core element? How can one say they have never experienced attraction if they don't know what it is? It's a circular argument. Die hard asexual activists will say "We've wont accept a sexuals definition for asexuality since it doesn't effect them." That is why non-asexuals are crucial to AVEN, PiF. Being the forerunner of the asexual movement and "The Asexual Place to Be" where alse would they go for information? What is the top page on google when you type in asexuality? It's a wiki page. Now wiki is usually at least partially rubbish, so any serious researcher would look for information in the source bit. Now often it's necessary to talk to people who understand if you don't yourself, how could a sexual possibly understand? The easiest place to find asexuals to talk it over with in a serious manner is AVEN.

But an issue arises with that when non-asexuals begin answering questions like they understand everything an asexual is feeling. When self-identified demi's/grey's begin answering those questions, the internet wanderer may getthe wrong or incomplete info.

Coming back to the definition problem, you get sex repulsed aromantic asexuals claiming you can't be asexual because you enjoy sex. Firstly, I was under the impression that identity policing (something I'll get onto in a bit) was against AVENs rules. Secondly, this false information has come from somewhere AND is getting passed onto others. So the education part of the AVEN acronym isn't effective. It wouldn't surprise me if the 15 year old, sex repulsed aro's self diagnosed as autistic and every single personality disorder in the DSM-V had overrun AVEN in the future because the other asexuals had become embarassed by their actions. And the media/academics will continue getting their info from the place they always had because they don't know any better. Who will step up and defend us when this happens? David Jay doesn't care about AVEN until it becomes a problem, he doesn't know the community he raised anymore. I'm not even sure he would notice if this happens. The only way is for others to become publicized and for hope they catch the attention of the allies we need.

Identity policing: this is important. We need to be able to do this otherwise we get such threads as "I'm sexually attracted to my boyfriend but I'm asexual", pointing them to the definition doesn't help. What are we supposed to do? AVEN seems too focused on not causing a riot than being committed to the subject it is representing to the world. Some people come onto AVEN and realise a bit later that they aren't asexual. That's fine, everybody is on a path of discovery - such is life. It would be wrong to suggest that these people are harming the community, the ones who are causing harm are the long term activist members who wont acknowledge that they are not asexual.

Grey/Demi sexuals should not be as closely associated to asexuality as they are. I wont be calling them asexuals because as they experience sexual attraction (regardless of how often), they are sexual to me. During surveys ect, I hope they don't claim to be asexual as that skews results and can give false conclusions. That would be my only reason for suggestingthey harm the asexual community. Besides, if greydemisexisect were unable to take part on a forum, you could guarantee at least one scream of oppression. As allies, they are important. It would be unwise to throw them out.

Tumblr caters to a certain sector of the asexual community, I think it would be inappropriate to make my comments on it.

I realised I was asexual whilst doing an assignment on the causes of sexuality in my first year at Uni, we were actually told to discuss sexuality AND asexuality. I used the visibility forum during that assignment for sources. It was useful (didn't read the comments as personal opinion rather than fact yadayada). This was going somewhere, but I can't remember where. Oh well.

Tl,Dr HEY, ASEXUALS, IF YOU DON'T LIKE A FORUM GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. Or try changing it. I doubt that would bring much success though.

PS. Longest first post I have ever made. No I'm not proof-reading.
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Re: When is an Asexual website not an asexual website ?

Postby PiF » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:18 pm

In regards to insults ciri, myself and Michael have become when bantering, like an old pair of slippers... We use the same more or less conversation on most points so at least I feel it is friendly banter than insults

The trouble with most asexual forums is some confuse false membership numbers with them being more authoritive

I remember a few years ago aven on a daily basis was more like a trans forum than a asexual one. A group left and formed transyada and that seems to have gone well. We shouldn't by any means remove incorrect asexuals but... My feeling no is that on aven at least that the grey forum part be removed and that part be a pinned thread only in the sexual and allies part placing them in the correct relevance to an asexual forum

Undoubtedly some daft twat will claim erasure, ethnic cleansing ..... Bore off ...when in truth it's just simply being honest

I did a flow chart one before and will try to find it again