Updating of the AVENwiki

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Jicragg
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Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Jicragg » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:48 am

I know the AVENwiki is part of AVEN and all but it's a very good resource and the new group of PT are knuckling down and cleaning up much of it.

Anyway, there's this page on Apositive: http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.ph ... =Apositive

Which as you may note is rather empty. Perhaps, is it possible for the owner(s) of Apositive to perhaps write a little something? *twiddles thumbs*

There's only two pages under the Asexual Organisations heading so far, this is the other one: http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.ph ... Asexuality
I'm not saying you have to write so much... I don't know why I said 'you'. Perhaps we could make this a group effort. I don't know much about Apositive, especially the history aspect, but it deserves a good wiki page.

Where to start?

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KAGU143
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby KAGU143 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:22 am

I will look into it when I get a chance, and see if I can think of anything to add.
Thanks for the heads-up, Jicragg!
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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:57 pm

Hello, I’m one of the people working on improving AVENwiki (to be clear though, not a member of the PT).

It would be very helpful if I could find out/comfirm when Apositive was founded, who started it, and why it was founded.

Suggestions for any other basic facts or significant events on Apositive would be really appreciated, as I also want to write it into an expanded history of asexual communities for the wiki...

Thanks!

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Dargon
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Dargon » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:27 pm

Hello hexaquark,

Here's the things as I recall them. They may or may not be accurate, as memory is falliable and truth be told Greybird is probably a better resource than I, seeing as she's been here at Apositive longer than I (by about a month). Pretzelboy and Marshall have also been here a nudge longer and are still somewhat active.

Apositive was founded by Karl (previously known as Liver on AVEN) in (based on his joined date) early Januray 2008 (his joined date is Jan 5, 2008, so I assume that was the foundation). I came along later than month, but was not there for the actual founding, so I've been here since close to the beginning, but not the beginning itself.

Apositive was founded during a not-so-swell time at AVEN. The antisexual voice had become quite loud, perhaps even dominant over there (this coincided quite nicely with the death of the Nonlibidoist Society forum, which was largely antisexual; I hypothesize that a number of the antisexual members emigrated from there). While I cannot say for certain, Apositive seems to have been founded as a response to that.

If memory serves, Apositive was originally founded as a sex-positive asexual forum. Along with general asexual discussion, discussion of sex and sexuality were also encouraged (hence the sexuality board). People could easily explore and discuss many facets of (a)sexuality, and with far more ease and less resistance than at the AVEN of the time.

AVEN has since recovered from that rather dark point in history, and things here have slowed as well, perhaps partially because the demand for such a forum can once again be met at AVEN. None the less, a good number of us are still rather fond of it here.

In terms of other important Apositive events, in October 2009, ownership of the site was transfered from Karl to KAW and KAGU143 (aka Greybird). Ownership remains in their capable hands today.

That seems to cover what you are asking, please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby michaels » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:06 am

I would add that Apositive seems to be a good refuge from two phenomena that are too common on AVEN: (1) snotnoses who call themselves asexual because it`s in fashion; (2) various activists in the gay, transgendered and feminist communities who have hijacked AVEN and turned it into a vehicle for promoting their particular ideology rather than for discussing asexual issues. AFAIK the people here are not friendly to the notion of asexuality becoming a vermiform appendix to the LBGT community. It`s the main reason I`m here instead of there.

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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:12 am

Thanks for such an in-depth answer Dargon, that is exactly the kind of information I am looking for. I've been reading old AVEN threads but it is hard to get a feel for the overall mood of a forum at a given time through keyword searches. This thread was...interesting.

Karl/Liver was later Live R Perfect on AVEN right?

I've been trying to track down more exact dates on when the Nonlibidoist forum was closed or when the website shut down, but haven't been too successful. Spoiler for boringness that no one probably cares about but me:
Spoiler
I have the website as being likely defunct by April 2007, and the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine supports this somewhat. The forum may or may not have been gone as early as December 2004, but that is even more ambiguous. The internet archive seems to show it wasn’t very popular. Maybe it was just hard to find amongst all the unicorns.

I wonder if there is anyone who posted there that is still around... I don’t want to paint anyone in the wrong light, as I’m trying for a neutral POV, but when someone says something like this, well.
Miss Geri wrote:...a group on the internet that weren't asexual but solosexual - that is, having a sex drive but not connecting it to a person but in personal enjoyment: masturbation - started calling themselves asexual and spreading their message to the media. They soon started tainting the image of the true asexual, confusing people while doing so... So it was decided that a new name should be found. Besides which, we have never truly liked the term 'asexual' to start with, as it includes the word 'sex', and the word has been used to death for many different things.

Still trying for neutral tone though! After all, definitions had not been pinned down at this time.

On the Asexual Sites article, the description of Apositive has been this since June 2008 (emphasis mine),

Apositive.org was founded in order to provide a more sex-positive alternative to the atmosphere of AVEN and to promote advanced and complex discussion of asexuality.

which used to strike me as odd, because it seemed like AVEN was originally founded with the idea of being sex-positive (though David Jay used the term 'sex neutral') and AVEN never seemed very sex-negative to me. After investigating more posts about asexual history, it made a little more sense. It seems like (and this is speaking as someone who wasn't here for it so I could be very wrong) asexual elitism in the community comes in waves, but sex-positivity has won out, time and time again.

Haha it is funny talking about this in this way; it has only been a decade since the first asexual communities formed.

michaels wrote:various activists in the gay, transgendered and feminist communities who have hijacked AVEN and turned it into a vehicle for promoting their particular ideology rather than for discussing asexual issues. AFAIK the people here are not friendly to the notion of asexuality becoming a vermiform appendix to the LBGT community.

Is this the prevailing attitude at Apositive about AVEN?

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Siggy
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Siggy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:08 pm

hexaquark wrote:
michaels wrote:various activists in the gay, transgendered and feminist communities who have hijacked AVEN and turned it into a vehicle for promoting their particular ideology rather than for discussing asexual issues. AFAIK the people here are not friendly to the notion of asexuality becoming a vermiform appendix to the LBGT community.

Is this the prevailing attitude at Apositive about AVEN?

If this is true now, it has not been true historically. If you look at the members with the most posts, they include people like Ily, me, pretzelboy (aka mandrewliter), and Olivier, all of whom I'm pretty sure would oppose these views.

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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:37 pm

Siggy wrote:
hexaquark wrote:
michaels wrote:various activists in the gay, transgendered and feminist communities who have hijacked AVEN and turned it into a vehicle for promoting their particular ideology rather than for discussing asexual issues. AFAIK the people here are not friendly to the notion of asexuality becoming a vermiform appendix to the LBGT community.

Is this the prevailing attitude at Apositive about AVEN?

If this is true now, it has not been true historically. If you look at the members with the most posts, they include people like Ily, me, pretzelboy (aka mandrewliter), and Olivier, all of whom I'm pretty sure would oppose these views.

I know, I’m just being an idiot. Also airing out the blanket statements.

Besides, the appendix is a useful organ in that it is believed to house the commensal microbiota of the gut, aiding in recolonization after the intestine has been purged by gastrointestinal infections such as cholera. The appendix even has specific lymphoid tissue so the immune system can maintain this bacterial population. This makes the appendix, not unlike asexuals, pretty interesting. Also misunderstood…

Moral of the story: never let anyone tell you that you are vestigial.

Wait, where was I going with this?

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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby The Gray Lady » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:49 pm

If this is true now, it has not been true historically. If you look at the members with the most posts, they include people like Ily, me, pretzelboy (aka mandrewliter), and Olivier, all of whom I'm pretty sure would oppose these views.


I was here since shortly after Apositive's founding, though I won't list my old username due to privacy concerns. What Siggy says is totally right. Also, I find the assertion that "the people here are not friendly to the notion of asexuality becoming a vermiform appendix to the LBGT community" even now HIGHLY questionable. I don't think Apositive has ever had anything to do with that at all, and as far as I know this view is unique to Michael Smoker. I personally find it bigoted and paranoid to think that way... and ultimately counterproductive.

Also... um, does it strike anyone else that "snotnoses who call themselves asexual because it`s in fashion" actually sounds quite reminiscent of the "only ___ are true asexuals" type attitudes that sparked Apositive's founding in the first place? I really wonder why that user is here, I totally thought he was just a troll at first. He seems quite out of place.

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KAGU143
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby KAGU143 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:38 pm

I think that Dargon has hit it pretty close, at least it rings true with what I can remember.
Apositive was originally formed to provide a refuge for people who felt that their views were unwelcome at AVEN and also to provide a repository for all of the genuine scientific knowledge or research studies about asexuality that we were able to locate. (Unfortunately, we have not been able to keep up with that second part as well as we had intended.)

At first it was mostly geared toward sex-positive asexuals and toward those who, while asexual, were nonetheless looking for truly constructive, helpful ideas about how to live and function in a society where sex is an expected part of virtually every serious relationship. We also welcome sexuals who want to understand more about asexuals or those who are sympathetic with the asexual experience. The basic idea is to figure out how to DEAL with the ramifications of asexuality rather than to complain about it.

In other words, at Apositive we consider it a good thing if/when asexuals are willing to compromise and have some type of sex for the sake of a relationship. We don't see it as any sort of betrayal of "the cause" or lack of personal conviction on the asexual's part or anything of the sort. This is not to say that those who choose NOT to have sex are unwelcome here - far from it! - just that we have always had very little tolerance for anti-sexual viewpoints.
Because of this focus, Apositive has tended to attract a slightly older, more mature membership than AVEN and we don't need to use a three warning system of moderation. The hope is that our members will be able to discuss things in a civil manner, so if things get heated I prefer to give the members a chance to work things out on their own.
If they can't, I won't hesitate to edit or remove posts that I consider to be troublesome. (I will then PM the member with an explanation about what happened and why.)
In this regard, Apositive is quite a bit different than AVEN.
Apositive does not claim to be a "safe" place which will always be free from controversy.

In addition, we wanted to try to steer away from the direction in which AVEN was headed at the time Apositive was founded, because Just For Fun was rapidly taking over the biggest part of AVEN's bandwidth and the membership was beginning to show signs of dividing into groups which barely knew each other - one group primarily focused on asexual visibility and education, one group primarily focused on playing around and goofing off, another group focused on politics, and so forth.


To address Michael's comments:
As far as the LBGTA communities go, I personally have no qualms about being associated with them, although I think that we are a long way from being seen as nothing more than a vestigial appendage to the LGBTABCQXYZ groups. Despite our obvious differences, there are some issues which affect all of us, and it also seems that the percentage of people who identify as asexual is quite a bit higher in the trans-yada group than it is in the population at large. Maybe as much as five times higher, in fact. (I am adopting the word "transyadas" as a general desciptive term for all sorts of transexuals and transgendered people as well as anybody else who doesn't fit into the traditional gender binary.)

The prevalence of what I considered to be somewhat over-zealous feminist viewpoints at AVEN was always a sore point with me, but I am realistic enough to understand where a great deal of it originated. I don't completely fault the women who have arrived at their views due to long-standing harrassment and abuse at the hands of men. I know that it happens because I have experienced it myself. I just wish that they could see that it can and does happen just as much in reverse.
In the battle of the sexes, I believe that neither side can be right as long as they deny the validity of the other side's view.
As much as possible, I hope to encourage a more balanced perspective at Apositive.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

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Dargon
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Dargon » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:22 pm

I wrote a reply, but then the board ate it. Let's try again.

Sadly, the thread you have linked, hexquark, is not loading for me. Perhaps there is a clog in the interwebitubes at the moment.

That being said, with regards to tracking down the demise of the non-libidoist forum, using archive.org won't be of much use. The board was private; admittance was given by Miss Geri herself, and only after sucessfully completing a quiz to make sure you fit her definition of asexual; a definition which rather nicely fit the antisexual bill. Sexuals and sex-positive asexuals were not welcome. A little side effect of the private nature of the board means archive.org's bots would not have been capable of accessing, and thus archiving the forum.

That being said, I can say with conficence that the board was alive and well in December 2004, and I believe probably into 2007. I will get to my reasoning there shortly.

Also, for the record, I never posted there, but from what I heard from those who had (these are second-hand accounts, mind you), it was not a happy place.

As for it seeming odd for AVEN to have been so antisexual and elitist, I would say your assessment of the history is pretty accurate, save a twoish year span from some point in 2007 until at least some point in 2008.

I was an active member of AVEN from late 2004 to late 2007, so I saw quite a few of these little waves of elitism, antisexuality, misandry, misogyny, and all sorts of little biases and squabbles. Usually the died down in a matter of weeks. With regards to the antisexual and elitist bits, I do think a lot of what held those at bay for awhile was the non-libidoist forum. Often when someone would come over making the antisexual noise, someone would point them in that direction and off they'd go. The reason I believe the non-libidoist forum died in 2007 is because I recall going to fetch the url for a rather antisexual newbie, only to discover the forum had shut down.

Shortly thereafter, AVEN became rather overrun with the antisexual and asexual elitist attitude. Distinctions on what made a "true" or "pure" asexual were a common point of discussion, as was general discussion on why asexual love was superior to sexual love. Any attempt to discuss sexuality or any sex-positive talk was generally drowned out with childish cries of " eww, eww, why are you talking about that here!" I stayed awhile to fight the good fight, but eventually ended up cutting my losses in December 2007 and leaving AVEN. From what I heard from those who stayed there, it seems this attitude stuck around at least a good ways into 2008.

I am glad to say AVEN has since recovered from this attitude. In fact, I did temproarily rejoin AVEN earlier this year. I left again, this time because the site has grown far too large and moves far too quickly for me to be an active part of the community. Not a bad problem to have though.


With regards to what Greybird said about the division, I first started noticing that around the same time the antisexual thing started at AVEN. Quite a few of the older members retreated into JFF and Off-A, pretty much abandoning the no-longer-welcoming asexuality based parts of the forum. And while they have their place, further boards such as the "sexual partners" board or the newer "gender issues" board further segregate the forum. A good number of the forum does not venture into "sexual partners," and many cisgendered people avoid the gender issues forum. I can see this as being somewhat useful for such a large forum, but at the same time it does cause little self-segregating cliques to form.

Anyhow, if you have any other questions or curiosities, let me know and I'll answer as best I can.

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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby michaels » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:06 am

Either I was wrong about the general tone of Apositive, or some second-wave feminist operative stepped in to silence me with insults--and to make a veiled suggestion that I leave.

Thing is, the admin and I have discussed this issue before, and, as her own post indicates, she strives for a balanced viewpoint on gender issues--something totally absent from AVEN, which is dominated by hardline feminist sophistries and where many of the regular posters demand that you toe the line to their self-serving ideology.

Maybe I'm a minority of one in not liking AVEN because it's been hijacked by the very people who were supposed to help it. Suffice to say that, on Apositive, you won't see woolyjumpers suggesting that shaming should be used as a tool of activism. Such incestuous activist considerations are not something I've seen very much here, except from those who get sent over from AVEN to drive out the "undesirables" such as me.

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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:59 pm

Thank you KAGU143, that gives some insight into the community structure here. This may be a stupid question, but did the information in the knowledge base vanish? I’m seeing zero posts across the board there, but it sounds like it did contain things at one point.

Dargon wrote: Sadly, the thread you have linked, hexquark, is not loading for me. Perhaps there is a clog in the interwebitubes at the moment.


Maybe AVEN was down? The links work right now for me…

That explains a lot, it seems that the Nonlibidoist forum died at about the same time as the site then. I don’t know how much I can rely on the internet archive for anything time-related really, because in the last year of the Official Nonlibidoist website it only shows a directory. It just interesting to see these things for myself.

I found an absurd way of non-specifically browsing the 2007 AVEN forum involving a combination of the wayback machine and AVEN’s present search (I can view indexes but not threads in the wayback machine).

michaels wrote:Either I was wrong about the general tone of Apositive, or some second-wave feminist operative stepped in to silence me with insults--and to make a veiled suggestion that I leave.

Thing is, the admin and I have discussed this issue before, and, as her own post indicates, she strives for a balanced viewpoint on gender issues--something totally absent from AVEN, which is dominated by hardline feminist sophistries and where many of the regular posters demand that you toe the line to their self-serving ideology.

Maybe I'm a minority of one in not liking AVEN because it's been hijacked by the very people who were supposed to help it. Suffice to say that, on Apositive, you won't see woolyjumpers suggesting that shaming should be used as a tool of activism. Such incestuous activist considerations are not something I've seen very much here, except from those who get sent over from AVEN to drive out the "undesirables" such as me.

OK.

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Dargon
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Dargon » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:24 pm

The link seems to be working today. AVEN must have been having a bit of a hiccup yesterday.

I recall that thread. I was linked to it shortly after I left AVEN, and it's how I got here. Speaking of, I miss boa, he was awesome. The opinions voiced by z80 is largely reflective of the AVEN of the time. Any discussion of sexuality would be bombarded with posts of that nature. That whole thread is a (rather gentle) microcosm of the environment of the time.

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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby pretzelboy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:47 pm

The best dates I have for the end of the Official Nonlibidoism thingy is based on the wayback machine. I've also done some searches before to see it talked about on AVEN. Other than that, I don't know too much about it. My impression is that it never had much of an influence in the asexual community, but that it has long been used as something of a convenient foil to legitimate AVEN's (more open) approach.

A while ago, I had thought about writing a wiki article about Apositive (and asked a few people if they would be interested in writing one). The official version is that Apositive was founded to be a sex-positive asexual forum (or at least sex double negative), to talk about things beyond Asexuality 101 (i.e. for a more mature audience). The unofficial version is a feeling that AVEN had been overrun by whiny immature people who were all like, "Ewww, sex is gross!" I'm not entirely sure how the idea of having a knowledge base came about, but it seems to have been wiped out after the board got new software during its major revamp a year after it was founded.

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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:32 pm

pretzelboy wrote:The best dates I have for the end of the Official Nonlibidoism thingy is based on the wayback machine. I've also done some searches before to see it talked about on AVEN. Other than that, I don't know too much about it. My impression is that it never had much of an influence in the asexual community, but that it has long been used as something of a convenient foil to legitimate AVEN's (more open) approach.

It’s kind of sad the way Miss Geri was discussed on some threads on AVEN, she was made into something of a joke... she did have some astoundingly terrible graphics on her site mind you. But I think it was somewhat influential in the earlier years (or at less had potential to be) as she was talking with the press. For example, Haven for the Human Amoeba emails have a couple news articles quoted which sort of present DJ/AVEN and Geri/OAS as foils too (in 2005 and 2006).

I’m sad to hear that about the knowledge base, it would have been so useful, though I suppose your site has the research side of things covered...


OK here’s what I’ve thrown together so far, anything to add?
Apositive is a website created by Karl (aka Live R Perfect on AVEN) in early January 2008. It was founded to encourage sex-positive discussion related to asexuality and sexuality beyond the basic education provided by AVEN.

History
In 2007, the Official Nonlibidoist Society website closed down and the AVEN forums experienced an influx of antisexual and elitist viewpoints. At this time, Apositive was started as a community for sex-positive discourse with a very low tolerance for antisexual comments. Originally, Apositive included a forum for asexuals and sexual allies, as well as a knowledge base of studies related to asexuality and focused on discussing asexuality as part of a sexual society.

Lehcar was given administrator permissions for a period after October 2008. In October 2009, Karl transferred ownership of Apositive to Nancy and Kæth (KAGU143 and KAW143). Presently, the knowledge base is no longer active, but the forum has over 400 members.

Community Guidelines
Debate and controversial discussions are encouraged on Apositive, provided that posters act in a respectful and mature fashion.

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KAGU143
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby KAGU143 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:05 pm

That looks pretty good, hexaquark, although I don't think we ever tried to have separate forums for our sexual members and allies. It's always been open to everybody and all of our members have been free to post wherever they want to.

Something I didn't think of before, and which might be mildly interesting, was the original reasoning behind naming this site "Apositive."
A great deal of discussion went into it, and the name was finally chosen as a way to emphasize that we wanted to be supportive and positive about asexuality as well as about other kinds of sexuality.
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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:30 pm

Oops I didn't mean for it to sound like the sexuals and asexuals were segregated... I'll have to phrase that sentence differently (maybe I'll just cut the "for asexuals and sexual allies"). Did you want to add anything to the note about guidelines? I feel kind of uncomfortable saying anything specific there.

Feel free to pick it apart, I'm just trying to get the ball rolling after all.

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Dargon
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Dargon » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:21 am

I rather like how the article is looking. Greybird already hit my major concern. I think I get what you were going for, and it may be noteworthy that in addition to the "asexiality" board, we also have a "sexuality" board (something which AVEN does not have (they have "for sexual partners, friends, and allies," but that seems more a support board and Q&A for sexuals, not a place for open discussion of all aspects of sexuality)).

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hexaquark
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby hexaquark » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:37 pm

I found a new source! The German AVENwiki has a page written in April 2007 that says the Nonlibidoist page was gone at the end of 2006, so that is probably why the wayback machine just shows a directory for 2007 (I think, Dargon, you said it may have been 2007 or the end of 2006 in another thread on Apositive).

This is exciting, I promise.

I’m going to post this revision on the wiki because it can easily be edited there.

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Dargon
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Re: Updating of the AVENwiki

Postby Dargon » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:16 am

disjointed wrote:My main concern is giving a definitive to what an asexual is when there isn't one


The same could be said of gays, straights, and bisexuals, or hell, most anything. Most things in life lie on spectra. We label a few points in the spectra, and tend to associate with whatever point we seem closest to.

While lots of people see these things as digital rather than analog, I can think of no better way to go with it.