Some help I hope on what is an asexual

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
PiF
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Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby PiF » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:56 am

Recent discussions have led me to believe that forums confuse..sometimes dangerously..what an asexual is and isn't. I'm aware the touchpaper I am about to light but offer this as my personal view and am aware some others will have different opinions.

My views are quite reasonably well known but the "asexual" community seems to have a healthy turnover of "yes I am..wait a minute six months later no i am nots"

So why offer it then? for me it seems the amount of confusion makes it incredibly difficult for those to "come out" god I hate that term...and then give references for parents,partners,loved ones and friends to try and understand what an asexual is.

So..an asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction....imagine being built in a car factory and the manufacturing list is being done robotically..sexual attraction is the bit that isn't fitted to a number of cars...so we don't feel it..ever...as soon as you do feel it you are not asexual..sorry if that sounds harsh but positive clarity is what I'm trying to help others understand what we are

That cleared up I'd like to mention some other groups that commonly get roped into the asexual term but they are not asexual

semi/demi grey..if you feel sexual attraction..you are not asexual...if however you feel often aligned with asexuality I would suggest you are more likely to be grey/demi/semi SEXUAL

Aromantics...you are not asexual..your aromanticism means basically you have no wish to be romantically involved..just a huge big wall up on romance with others...that is different from asexuality

low libido/sex drive...this is often a medical condition but can also be involved with mental health issues..a tricky one to be sure but unlikely to be asexual because of this reasons

Transexuals...I have to be carefull here as they are more term sensitive than grammar nazis....my opinion is that the confusion and trauma many transexuals find whilst trying to find the right skin often see's relationships the bottom of the list. Some will find that perfect skin and go onto have very happy relationships..good for them I say but would suggest most will not be asexual

Mental health/depression..a fine line again most of those with depression, mental health issues will not be seeking closeness to others so are unlikely to be asexual

with all of those above the fine line is...you are not asexual because ....but you could be an asexual with.. if you get my drift

I hope we can have have a reasonable debate as to be honest the amount claiming incorrectly to be asexual when they are not are very much doing harm to the asexual cause by wrongly projecting what one is....as I said these are my views and I appreciate others may think differently

over to you

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:15 pm

Opening a can of worms here: Please define "Sexual Attraction."

Yes, I am serious. That word gets used as part of the definition, but it is never really clearly defined (Well, not by AVEN anyway). Dictionary.com is pretty specific: "attractiveness on the basis of sexual desire."

But, AVEN seems to say that it's different than that explanation, since you can have desire for sex but still be Asexual. So, what IS the definition of "Sexual Attraction"?
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Harmony » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:19 pm

My question would be: Why do you care if someone incorrectly identifies as asexual? How does it affect your life? Or better yet, instead of identifying as anything, why not own it and state what you really mean? For example: "I don't fancy a shag." or "I'm not interested in shagging relationships." ?

As far as I am concerned, if anyone doesn't fancy a shag as a common relationship or personal preference for themselves, then that is perfectly alright. To throw some people under the bus as having low drive, or mental health issues, or body issues, etc. and thus not fancying a shag BUT saying the rest of us are above reproach because of a new sexual orientation we have created is contradictory at best. It's like pointing fingers at one group so as to deflect attention off yourself.

As far as visibility in an effort to gain understanding and acceptance from the greater world, consider this: Everyone needs permission to have sex with another person. No one needs permission not to. You don't have to ask people to understand and accept this, they already do. However, I am sure it is quite daunting for a sexually needy and dependent person who doesn't like to compete in the first place and figures their chances are slim over all, to realize that there are people who will say "no" within the blink of an eye. The confident man or woman who knows they will find a worthy sex partner in time doesn't fret over the fact that other people don't fancy a shag ... they will simply find someone who does. So the ones who will be the least understanding and accepting are those who are under the same social pressure to get laid ... and they desperately need someone else to help them live up to this external ideal.

Instead of addressing this sexual social pressure cooker that seems to help no one and standing up and saying "your rules don't apply to me and I will break them because not everyone is required to walk in lock-step to the same social script" (which was the dialogue when I first became aware of AVEN), it has now morphed into "now you realize you are not like everyone else, so perhaps consider compromising your desires to make other people happy". Can you imagine saying that to a gay man? And yet asexuality is deemed by the "community" to be a sexual orientation? You have got to be kidding!!!

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Ciri » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:28 am

Demi, grey, semi ect
I agree with your stance on this. "Do you experience sexual attraction?" "Sometimes." is exactly like saying "Do you have HIV?" "Sometimes." Yes, I just compared sexual attraction to a disease. In my head it makes sense.

Aromantics
If aromantics can't be asexual, then how can asexuals be heteromantic? There is a separation between romantic and sexual orientation. But I feel romantic orientation is more of a supplement to sexual orientation. If this was up for debate, it would be more appropriate to argue against the existance of hetero/gay/bi romantic if they are also asexual. Since the line between romantic and sexual can be blurred. Hetero/gay/bi sexuals are easier to understand with aromantic orientation.

Low Libido/Sex Drive
I sort of agree with you here. I don't believe a low libido automatically makes one asexual as well as the opposite. Anybody can have one of those.

Transexuals
I believe some could be asexual but not the amount who claim to be. I would go as far as to see trans shouldn't be part of the LGTB since it relates directly to gender identity rather than sexual orientation.

Mental Health
Lots of people experience MI later in life, for example Bipolar typically begins in the mid 20s, most people have their orientation sorted by then. I agree that it becomes more complicated if you have an MI or a developmental disorder. Certain symptoms and medication side effects could potentially mimic the signs of asexuality. However, once you are over your illness, you should begin to feel sexual attraction again. There is where I don't believe in sexuality being fluid. If sexuality is fluid, where does the time frame begin? If a straight guy is sexually attracted to a girl in the straight then two hours later thinks nah she wasn't attractive really when he sees her again and in that moment doesn't find anybody sexually attractive because he isn't in the mood, then you can't claim that he has gone from heterosexual to asexual.

That, my friends, is what we call a bit of a tangent.

Regarding developmental disorders, I can see where it becomes iffy. Sensory issues could make somebody think that they are asexual because they don't like touch or some don't have the drive to interact with others on a deeper social level. One should be cautious and think longer and harder than usual whether their lack of sexual attraction is due to a factor involving their disorder before claiming their identity.

Personal Anecdote - Lol I was asexual long before I developed mental health issues. The Depression didn't cause a lower in libido, it was the medication. And even before that, I was not sexually attracted to anybody. And between episodes, I am still not sexually attracted to anybody. I can see why aspergers syndrome may play a role in this but socially I'm pretty integrated. I could possibly see the point that I may be immature in that area. Apparently, I am a little bit different in my thinking. You asked me how the world of Ciri is in my own crazy little bubble ~ reality is too dark and emotionally distressing so I created my own reality. Sometimes I wonder if my mind has deliberately erased any attraction I may have felt in the past to suit my bubble. As I know, from what I can remember, I have never been attracted to anybody sexually or otherwise. Until I either remember or feel attracted to somebody, I will be using the asexual label and gladly accept that I was wrong.

There was another point that pif missed that I currently can't remember. Give it time :p

Oh yeh!

Sex Repulsion
Not an indication of asexuality. Anybody can be sex repulsed. I am pretty sure that can be cured anyway. A lot of the younger crowd seem to think that they are asexual purely because they think boobs are gross. Have you seen the threads on aven where they use it as an excuse to be bad at Biology and refuse life saving smear tests. Stupidity.
Last edited by Ciri on Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby KAGU143 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:11 am

On the one hand, this topic has the potential to become very heated and I hope it doesn't deteriorate into a flame war. On the other hand, it genuinely IS a worthwhile subject and PiF brings up some valid points.
I *think* that what he is trying to clarify is what I would call the "core" definition of asexuality.
That would be very simple: "No, I'm not attracted to you in 'that' way, and no; I don't want to have sex with you. Ever." .. Full stop.

Asexuals are like 100% straight people who find themselves living in a world which is entirely populated by people of their own sex. They can still have close relationships with their fellow beings, even love some of them very deeply, but sexual desire for those people will never figure into it, and the whole idea of having sex with someone will always feel awkward, uncomfortable and wrong.

The other, more recently added on subcategories of asexuality are not invalid in any way, but they don't quite fit the core definition.

There is a LOT to say on this topic and I could drop some very big bombs here if I wanted to. (The devil tempts me sometimes and REALLY wants me to be his advocate - ]}:) -LOL!)
I don't have the hours available right now to go deeply into this, because I'm a very slow poster, but just for shits and grins, think about this:

WHAT IF what we call asexuality really IS, technically, nothing more than a symptom of another underlying, usually un-diagnosed pathology?

(Now, before you all start sending me letter bombs, I'm not saying that this is the case - just pointing out that there is a lot of evidence which could be used to MAKE it the case if someone were inclined to do so.)

Discuss, and with any luck I will be back later to add my half-cents' worth.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Ciri » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:16 am

Nancy wrote:There is a LOT to say on this topic and I could drop some very big bombs here if I wanted to. (The devil tempts me sometimes and REALLY wants me to be his advocate - -LOL!)


DO IT.

WRITE YOUR OPINIONS.

THE FALLOUT IS FUN ]}:)
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Ciri » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:19 am

Worth mentioning.

I agree with this. Full credit to Doppel.

Doppel, AVEN wrote:Because people always get confused when it comes to asexuality. Here is a "what asexuality isn't" post.

Hello,

We have, on AVEN, FAQ and info threads saying what asexuality is, which is awesome. First and foremost Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction.

I thought I would make a thread to clear up some of the most common misconceptions in regards to what asexuality is NOT.
Asexuality is not any of the following :
- A hatred of sex
- Sexual repulsion
- The inability to become aroused or to feel sexual pleasure
- A feeling of discomfort during acts of intimacy or sex
- Feeling nervous or fearing sex
- Lack of libido
- Chastity, Celibacy or Abstinence
- Disinterest in sex

I will note however these things can and do run in parallel for some asexuals; however they are not determining factors if someone is asexual or not: this means that you CAN be asexual and hate sex and/or feel discomfort during intimacy. You CAN be asexual and celibate or abstinent. But being celibate/abstinent, sex-repulsed or nervous during intimacy does NOT mean, on its own, being asexual.

See what I mean? You can be celibate without being asexual. In fact, you can be asexual and NOT be celibate: many asexual people, especially if in a relationship, have sex. Some even like it, for many different reasons. This, in fact, is an important point: asexuality has nothing to do with behavior.

Many people think that "not having sex" or "not being interested in sex" is the key of asexuality. While it's true that many asexual people don't have sex, and while it's very likely that most asexual people have no interest in sex, there are also sexual people who have little to no interest in sex because they prefer other aspects of relationships, even though they feel sexual attraction. You can see this in some mixed asexual-sexual relationships where the non-asexual partner decides to give up sex in order to stay with their loved one, or in many cases of celibacy/abstinence.

So, while "being not interested in sex" is easily a consequence of asexuality, it's not the cause nor the key of it, because there's also sexual people who aren't that interested in sex, even though they may not be the majority.

Many people think asexuality means not having a libido: this has been proven incorrect. Many asexual people have a libido, they just don't feel the need to share their sexuality with other people.

So, to sum things up:
- If you do not experience sexual attraction to anyone, and you also experience any of the listed factors: you still fit in the "asexual" label
- if you do not experience sexual attraction and you do not experience any of the listed factors: you still fit in the "asexual" label
- If you experience sexual attraction, but you experience any of the listed factors: you technically do not fit in the "asexual" label.

I hope this will help clearing up some confusion and help people find their own sexual orientation in an easier way, adding a different perspective from which to look at asexuality.


http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/85544-what-asexuality-is-not
Last edited by Ciri on Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:40 am

[b]@PiF:[b] Your idea of "grey/demi/semi..." is for a "sexual", is a fine premise. I agree and thank you for sharing.

Being an aromantic asexual myself, I would like to add my feelings on the topic of romanticism. I cannot 'buy into' the idea of cuddling, kissing, even with no tongue involvement, little prods in certain areas on occasion, etal is all right for an asexual. Those acts are the first steps on the slippery (ugh) slope to the bed-sheets. Therefore, I sincerely believe that these behaviors are definitely not appropriate for an asexual. Romance should be deemed a part of sexual activity also, and have no place in the life of an asexual.

Steam all blown off! :halo:

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby flergalwit » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:41 pm

KAGU143 wrote:I don't have the hours available right now to go deeply into this, because I'm a very slow poster, but just for shits and grins, think about this:

WHAT IF what we call asexuality really IS, technically, nothing more than a symptom of another underlying, usually un-diagnosed pathology?

This is the point Bogaert makes in (A)sexual: asexuality is a perfectly valid category, phenomenologically speaking, regardless of underlying causes (if any).

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:38 pm

I struggle with commenting in this thread, because of the lack of understanding what "sexual attraction" means. But, I'm going to try to explain my understanding, just because of reading this:
runester wrote:Therefore, I sincerely believe that these behaviors are definitely not appropriate for an asexual. Romance should be deemed a part of sexual activity also, and have no place in the life of an asexual.


I'm an aro-ace myself (Or as I like to say, I lack any orientation.), but I would challenge your concept quoted above. Because, the way you're talking about the activities, sounds closer to celibacy. (Especially the "Have no part in the life of an Ace" bit.)

What complicates things is everyone always sees the external actions as confirmations for interior understandings. Well, the problem with that is that sexual orientations deal with how you are "wired" what you've "ALWAYS been." And regardless of one's external actions, interiorly they are wired in a specific way and that will NEVER change.

So, taking things from the interior stand point, if your mental process is: "I don't think about sex even when I'm having sex." You're probably somewhere on the asexual spectrum. ANYTHING else, you're probably somewhere on the Sexual spectrum.

If you've had sex and your reaction is "OMG I can't wait to have another orgasm. Or, that wasn't great, but I gotta try it again" you're probably somewhere on the sexual spectrum, if you reaction was "What's the big deal, if I never had it again, I wouldn't miss it." you're probably somewhere on the asexual spectrum.

And that's why I have a HUGE problem with the "not sexually attracted to anyone" definition. It fails to really address the difference between an interior motivation and an exterior reaction.

For instance, a man may see a "hot person" and get an erection. That doesn't mean he's no longer an asexual, because some of these things have to do with basic biology. In the same way another man may see a "hot person" and NOT get an erection, doesn't mean they ARE asexual.

I guess I'm saying: has to do with the mental processes. What are the interior thoughts when you see a "Hot person"?

If you're thinking "Damn, I'd like to see what they look like without clothes/in bed/splayed beneath me/etc." you're probably Sexual.

If you think, "Dang, look at the shape of that body/ look at the angles or the rounded edges/ look at the contrast of skin against the clothes they're wearing/I wonder where they work out/I wonder IF they work out/ etc", but never get to the "I wonder what they look like in bed/splayed under me/etc" you're probably Asexual.

*Plink, Plink*
I hope these convoluted thoughts make sense to someone...
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:02 pm

Hello "jmb"!
I will only respond to the part of your post where you quote me, and give your opinion. You're saying that I am referring to people as celibate, not asexual or 'not attracted' to another. This is the pigeon-holing behavior that I thought I was escaping, by conversing in a place other than AVEN.

Perhaps, the remainder of your post has to do with aesthetics vs. sexual attraction. You're right, it is a bit convoluted, but that doesn't mean I wish to disregard your thoughts. You are an intelligent person, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss various topics with you. Thanks! :halo:

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:08 pm

"Runester"

You said the following:
runester wrote: that doesn't mean I wish to disregard your thoughts. You are an intelligent person, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss various topics with you. Thanks! :halo:


If you're actually interested in discussion, then tell me why you think I misinterpreted you, rather than just saying "That's pigeon-holing."

You were very clear that certain activities have no place in the life of an Asexual. I stated that I believe those activities CAN exist in the life of an asexual and gave examples as to why. (This is how discussions work, last time I checked.)

Also, by not reading my post, you have already "disregarded what I said."
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:38 pm

Hi, "jmb"!
One thing briefly, I did read your complete post, just did not respond to it in its entirety. At AVEN, when the larger discussion of 'what is attraction' was at its onset, the word celibacy was used to give an example of where the usage of a choice was being attached to certain feelings, instead of genuine asexual reactions. That is where my idea of pigeon-holing or the need to have everything in a proper order and space to indicate its true meaning came from. More often than not, it became confusing and a play on words that should not have been done to the premise AVEN had on the characteristics of what sexual attraction was and was not; when the underlying focus was supposedly to relay accurate knowledge on "The Front Page".

Wow, talk about convoluted, or even run-on. So sorry, but I hope you can glean what I am trying to put forth. :/

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:44 pm

If I understand how you define "pigeon-holing," (Everything has a proper place and that place indicates it's true meaning), then you were the one "pigeon-holing" by saying "X behaviours, are not appropriate for an Asexual."

I was saying you cannot judge a person's orientation by actions alone.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:59 pm

Hi, "jmb"!
I was referring to the celibacy comment, when I spoke of pigeon-holing. :halo:

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby PiF » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:30 am

Apologies for the delay but some worthwhile points and I will go through them as I see them

Please define "Sexual Attraction."....This is often thrown up in confusion when desire is mentioned. For me sexual attraction could not be clearer..it is being sexually attracted..to anything...desire for me indicates want and so falls more into the category of celibacy than asexuality

My question would be: Why do you care if someone incorrectly identifies as asexual? How does it affect your life? Or better yet, instead of identifying as anything....well...if we are seeking truly to inform others that we are genuine...it helps if we actually are. By all means call yourself ghandis flip flop if you wish but to promote what asexuality isn't whilst claiming you are is very damaging and leads to much ridicule and doubt of asexuality itself

If aromantics can't be asexual, then how can asexuals be heteromantic?..easy..if we are to believe that aromanticism is an inbred into ones soul and being like asexuality...then the aromanticism will see no tick in the make up box...this would see also along the lines of depression where an underlying wish/need/drive to not be with partner...that is not what asexuality is.

Nancy...drop the bomb lol..the good thing about apositive is that we can have rational debates

Doppels clarification in aven was after me raising the same topic in avalanche and makes some good points

This is the point Bogaert makes in (A)sexual: asexuality is a perfectly valid category, phenomenologically speaking, regardless of underlying causes (if any)....I know for some Bogaert for some is the new Kinsey and likes very much the desire theory...I've mentioned why I disagree

I had forgotten the sexually repulsed too and how many of those confuse asexuality with sexual repulsion

The point of the thread was to try and show how important it is if we are to convince others we are genuine and exist...it would be an easy say to shout..hey who cares what others think....this itself is a cop out..why? a teen tries telling their parents they are asexual and try to show say information on what one is..based on the current..and you have to refer to aven as the largest..based on aven...you would have to say asexuality does not exist as it has become so diluted to be so inclusive it largely fails at it's original mandate..the visibility and information of asexuality

This isn't ..a us and them muggles conversation but more sometimes if we are to achieve true accurate information and visibility then sometimes it is not a bad thing to occasionally re-enforce what is and isn't...it's also a very helpful path for those looking through.

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:59 am

Hello, PiF!
"diluted" is the key word. That it is; from a post that is 'spot-on'! :halo:

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby flergalwit » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:11 am

Harmony wrote:My question would be: Why do you care if someone incorrectly identifies as asexual? How does it affect your life? Or better yet, instead of identifying as anything, why not own it and state what you really mean? For example: "I don't fancy a shag." or "I'm not interested in shagging relationships." ?

The motivation for caring would be to preserve the integrity of the definition. I don't have any desire to "call out" people who wrongly identify - certainly not as individuals - but on the other hand I do want asexuality to be a concept that actually makes sense, rather than an incoherent mish-mash of infinitely flexible identities. There's a balance between a) wanting to be inclusive and to help as many people as possible and b) making sure our line is reasonably consistent and coherent.

PiF wrote:I know for some Bogaert for some is the new Kinsey and likes very much the desire theory...I've mentioned why I disagree

Bogaert is one of the few researchers out there who is studying asexuality as an objective phenomenon, as opposed to the socially constructed approach people from the gender studies camp prefer. (I oppose the latter, and I'm guessing you would too.) I haven't heard anything from him about "desire theory" though it's possible I missed something.

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:33 am

PiF wrote:Please define "Sexual Attraction."....This is often thrown up in confusion when desire is mentioned. For me sexual attraction could not be clearer..it is being sexually attracted..to anything...desire for me indicates want and so falls more into the category of celibacy than asexuality


You're defining the word by using the word. That isn't helpful. You say "Sexual Attraction isn't desire." Okay, I think a lot of people would find that problematic, since that's the "dictionary definition," but I can accept that you say desire has nothing to do with it.

You also say "Sexual attraction is being sexually attracted to anything." But what IS sexual attraction? What does it mean to be "Sexually attracted to anything"?

"Sexual Attraction" is the root of the definition of Asexuality, but there's no clear definition for it. If we cannot define it, then how can we expect anyone else to understand/believe us when we talk about it?
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby StrangeCreature » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:48 pm

Actually, Ciri, bipolar typically occurs anywhere from teens to young adulthood...so you are somewhat correct. I was diagnosed as early-onset bipolar (due to symptoms beginning before I was 13), which also exists.

Although things technically have been sorted out, I want to be clear about something:

Asexuality is an orientation, whereas depression is a psychological disorder. Saying that if have depression you cannot be asexual, is like saying that if you have bipolar, you cannot be bisexual because that's just a result of mania. Although on occasion depression can lower sex drive, there ARE asexuals who do not have depression, so therefore, it is NOT impossible to be both asexual AND have depression.

Obviously it likely wasn't necessary for me to comment, but I felt obligated to, since I suffer from mental illness.

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby PiF » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:34 am

jmb wrote: You're defining the word by using the word. That isn't helpful. ?


I don't know how else to say it jmb...what your saying is that because it confuses you then it's a problem...look, if I go into a shop and ask for 9 eggs I get 9 eggs....if your the shop keeper you will ask what do you mean by 9?...it's still 9 eggs how ever you say it

jmb wrote: You say "Sexual Attraction isn't desire." Okay, I think a lot of people would find that problematic, since that's the "dictionary definition," but I can accept that you say desire has nothing to do with it.

You also say "Sexual attraction is being sexually attracted to anything." But what IS sexual attraction? What does it mean to be "Sexually attracted to anything"?

"Sexual Attraction" is the root of the definition of Asexuality, but there's no clear definition for it. If we cannot define it, then how can we expect anyone else to understand/believe us when we talk about it?


I think like love ..you can rarely put a 100% definition on it but most will know what it is...I feel that your in the group that no matter what the subject, you want every tick and cross dotted no matter what the subject so I am ..like most I suspect...will never be able to give you the answer your looking for

NoctisArbor wrote:Asexuality is an orientation.


I used to think this quite vermently.. as the years have passed I personally do not think it is anymore..using kinsey then orientation is what you are attracted to..straight is straight, bi is bi and queer is queer so over the years I have felt less and less asexuality is an orientation...my personal orientation is straight...my asexuality is just..my asexuality

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby KAGU143 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:04 am

I think that trying to define sexual attraction to an asexual is very much like trying to define vision to a blind person.
People who experience it know what it is, but those who don't find that it's a very hard concept to grasp.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby StrangeCreature » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:12 am

KAGU143 wrote:I think that trying to define sexual attraction to an asexual is very much like trying to define vision to a blind person.
People who experience it know what it is, but those who don't find that it's a very hard concept to grasp.



I agree with this, since I never really understood sexuals. However, I was using the word, "orientation" to differentiate between mental illness and asexuality.

PiF wrote:
NoctisArbor wrote:Asexuality is an orientation.


I used to think this quite vermently.. as the years have passed I personally do not think it is anymore..using kinsey then orientation is what you are attracted to..straight is straight, bi is bi and queer is queer so over the years I have felt less and less asexuality is an orientation...my personal orientation is straight...my asexuality is just..my asexuality



You make a good point. I guess you could say that my orientation would be homosexual if I had one, based on aesthetic attraction, but that's extremely difficult to say. Girls are pretty. :P

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:47 am

PiF wrote:I don't know how else to say it jmb...what your saying is that because it confuses you then it's a problem...look, if I go into a shop and ask for 9 eggs I get 9 eggs....if your the shop keeper you will ask what do you mean by 9?...it's still 9 eggs how ever you say it


That's a bad comparison. And it's not that I need all my T's crossed... etc. It's a legit question that you're not even trying to answer. I don't know what sexual attraction is - we use it as our definition, but if I don't know what it means, how can I know if I am Asexual? How 'we' define ourselves MATTERS. That's what I thought your whole point in posting this thread was. So, if I'm to accept "An asexual does not experience sexual attraction" as the definition of Asexual, and if I choose to identify as Asexual, then I want to know know, understand and accept such a definition. I can't do that if I don't understand the definition.

Here's a better example of what I'm looking for: Say I ask you "What's the definition of biology?" and you reply, "Well it's the study of biology." That doesn't tell me anything. I don't know what 'biology' means, so you've still left me in the dark. However, if you answer, "It's the study of living organisms and how they function." Now, I can begin to understand what Biology is. I can research what "living organisms" are, I can look up how they function and then I can say "Hey this is cool, I like biology." (Or the opposite.)

THAT is the kind of answer I am looking for when I ask "What does 'Sexual Attraction' mean?"

KAGU143 wrote:I think that trying to define sexual attraction to an asexual is very much like trying to define vision to a blind person.
People who experience it know what it is, but those who don't find that it's a very hard concept to grasp.


But that doesn't mean that an effort shouldn't be made. There's a great scene in the film MASK where the boy describes colours to the blind girl. To describe Red, he gives her something hot to hold. To describe Blue, something cold. To describe green, he gives her something that was 'room temperature.' She will never see those colours and in her head may be imagining something entirely different than the colours we see, but she can now relate those words to something she has experienced.

Fine. I don't know what "Sexual Attraction" is - especially if it's NOT sexual desire (I know what sex is, I know what desire is, so even if I don't experience sexual desire, I can make an inference). So, describe it to me. Use metaphors, I don't care, but give me ANYTHING other than "Sexual Attraction is Sexual Attraction."
"He won't be your assistant" - Greg Lestrade
"But I need an audience" - What Sherlock Holmes meant to say.

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby KAGU143 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:41 pm

As I understand it, sexual attraction consists of being drawn to another person, at least in part, because the thought of having sex with them is appealing and pleasant to imagine. It is usually not the only form of attraction which is taking place since sexuals as well as asexuals tend to seek partners with shared interests and compatible personalities.
It might be for a new acquaintance or an old partner - it doesn't matter - it's just the feeling that .... yep. I would enjoy getting closer so I can share some physical pleasure with that person, and some below-the-belt pleasure would be even better.
This is a greatly condensed definition since it doesn't delve into the origins of sexual attraction, but that's not quite the same topic and, as usual, I'm short of time.

I think that part of the confusion might be due to the fact that sexual attraction is almost always happening in combination with other forms of attraction.

I can't say for sure because I'm asexual too, but I've been trying to figure this mess out since the 70s and that's the best answer I've been able to come up with.

Sexual attraction is not like a simple on/off switch. There are degrees of sexual attraction that start with little more than a desire to cuddle. I think that would be the very earliest stage, and if their attraction never progressed beyond that stage then it would be like that person's sexuality stopped developing sometime in their childhood.
I think this is something that can and does happen and, as far as I know, it would be one form of perfectly valid asexuality. Some people think of it as a pathology (*cough* arrested development *cough*) but I don't see why as long as the person's other emotional aspects mature normally.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby PiF » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:51 am

In it's most bluntest term then something like..I'd love to f*ck that.....an attraction that is based on a sexual motivation is the best way I can think of

a

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby jmb » Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:30 am

Thanks, Nancy! (and stop talking about how old you are - in these cases, age is a valuable thing!)

That answer helps me to understand how people can say Sexual Attraction and Sexual Desire are different. That's where I was getting caught up. I couldn't reconcile that Attraction =/= Desire without understanding the differences.

I still don't get it - not really, but, I don't expect to ever really get it. I very rarely see myself past holding hands (not even hugging, but that's a different story) with anyone, until they "make the first move." I just don't realise there should be anything *more* until I'm reminded there's something more to be had. (God, I hope that makes sense!) And even then, my thought process tends to be "We're not trying to get pregnant, why would you want to?" (But, finally - after years - I understand the 'why would you want to' bit is because I don't connect to people sexually. I can accept that others do, so that question has less power than it used to.)

PiF; You answer still sounds more like Sexual Desire to me, which you said plainly isn't the same as Sexual Attraction. Nancy's answer was more helpful in understanding the differences between the two.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby runester » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:52 am

Hello, PiF!
"an attraction that is based on a sexual motivation..." - That is a fine definition of 'sexual attraction'.

My question is why are we attempting to re-write AVEN's words? "Sexual Attraction: Desire to have sexual contact with someone else, to share our sexuality with them." This is an equally fine definition, as I see it. :halo:

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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Ciri » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:56 am

Because that is a very poor definition and excludes sex positives from being asexual. Also, I was under the impression that they did not have a definition for sexual attraction.

I always considered sexual attraction to mean: The motivation to seek a partnered sexual experience with a certain individual or group of individuals. with partnered being the important word.

As a sex positive, I use this definition because while I enjoy sex, I don't naturally go out and find it. If it comes my way, I'll take it.
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Re: Some help I hope on what is an asexual

Postby Harmony » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:28 pm

I say the basis or motivation is a desire for partnered sex. If I have no interest or desire for partnered sex, then I am not motivated to get into a sexual dalliance. If I did desire partnered sex, then sexual attraction (as well as other considerations) would be the mechanism to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, for me, sexual attraction is reserved for those who do desire partnered sex. It makes no sense to define myself according to something that is of no use to me personally. It's not that I lack anything, it's more like I don't need it. Additionally, it is not so foreign to me that I can't understand why someone else may be sexually attracted to a particular individual.

To fancy something is to desire it. To avoid talking about desire and want for fear of sounding like celibacy is not understanding the definition of celibacy (unless your dictionary uses a different definition). A celibate doesn't have sex even though they may desire it. I don't have sex because I don't desire it in the first place.

I'm a cake celibate. I may desire and want a piece of cake, but I don't desire to continue a diet of empty sugary calories ... so I don't eat cake. That would be something different than someone who is acake, because they never desired cake in the first place regardless of its nutritional value.

I am sorry that people have been ridiculed and not taken seriously. I never had that problem because I equate it to anything else someone may have an interest and desire for. I have an interest in scuba diving. I have a desire to manifest that interest by actually planning a dive trip. Others may not desire to explore the world underwater for fear of sharks, not being able to swim, or preferring to spend their free time hiking, for example. That's not a problem for me because I will find some knowledgeable people who do want to get together and go diving. To say that sex is oh so different than a group dive is putting sex on a pedestal. I'll let others do that and they can figure out how well it works for them.