Reviving Apositive

A place for discussing real-life community building and media engagements.
flergalwit
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby flergalwit » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:52 am

I'm meeting DJ on Sunday in SF. We're doing the first UK screenings of the film next Wednesday in Warwick and Kent. :)

michaels
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:50 am

May I ask a question without being flamed? Why does the mere mention of David Jay's name cause people to gush like 12-year-olds at a Justin Bieber concert, including people who don't normally behave that way? I don't know anything about the man except that he sold asexuality down the river to a bunch of activists who now exploit it to gain power. Anyone care to enlighten me what's so wonderful about him?

flergalwit
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby flergalwit » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:02 pm

Where is the gushing?

I have a lot of time for DJ. His understanding of group dynamics (and the application of said understanding) is outstanding. Asexuality the movement would not be anything like as prominent and widespread without his influence - which does not mean it wouldn't exist at all without him (it very likely would, but it wouldn't be as big).

I don't agree with DJ on everything. But he is primarily an activist - interested in effecting cultural change - and I am not one (although I do sometimes fill in for this role, as there are not enough UK people already doing it). But activists are needed, even if sometimes the techniques they use make me squirm (a general point, not directed at DJ particularly). It's expected that we won't see eye to eye on everything. But DJ is exceptionally good at what he does, and I think we've all benefited from it, so I can't have any complaints about the man.

Further, although I really didn't want to discuss this here, how exactly is anyone gaining power out of the asexuality movement?

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Olivier
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:09 pm

KAGU143 wrote:I would like to point out that Michael's opinions do not, in any way, reflect my opinions or those of Apositive as a whole. However, Apositive is not censored like AVEN is, and unpopular, minority views can be expressed here without automatically invoking the wrath of the admod team. Instead, I would (ideally) like to see them become the seeds for continued discussion.

Calmly addressing a hot subject and offering contrary views which are supported by tangible evidence is to be highly commended. Sometimes people will even reconsider their stance on a topic if they learn more about it, sometimes they won't, but an exchange of views is seldom harmful.

But - personally attacking a person's beliefs and calling those beliefs paranoid bullshit is not going to start any kind of meanigful discussion.

I get that, really I do, but this is a thread about reviving Apositive's fortunes, and I thought (given that I spend next to no time here any more) I'd be blunt about why not - I have in the past tried a more constructive approach. The thing is, I'm sure it is possible to talk people around - but what people have said they want from Apositive is a forum where that's not necessary. I'm not talking about an echo chamber, but the 201 concept - where basic stuff like "attraction is different from arousal" isn't questioned because that's 101 stuff that's boring to have to go over and over and over, using the calm examples that have been used over and over and over.

And while calling out paranoid bullshit is not conducive to meaningful discussion, neither is paranoid bullshit. Michael's been challenged often enough from what I've read to back up his claims that there's some AVEN-based cabal of self-serving asexual activists, but rather than defend the claim, he just keeps repeating it. Discussion doesn't come in many less-appealing flavours than that.

KAGU143 wrote:Olivier, I have missed your input here. It's been a long time, dude!
But seriously, the only reason that Michael's opinions seem to be the prevalent ideas around here is because nobody else is bothering to offer anything else. I have discussed things with Michael before, and I have found that he, like the vast majority of people in the world, is perfectly capable of reasoned, rational responses when a subject is presented in an objective fashion. Also, like all people, he is entitled to his own personal opinions.

Indeed, but that may just be putting the cart before the horse a little. There's probably a bit of causation both ways, there is in my case, anyway.

KAGU143 wrote:Here is one of my opinions:
The best way to engage in meaningful communication with a person whose views are utterly incomprehensible to you is to first find out how they arrived at those views. And then LISTEN to them without invalidating them. You don't have to agree, but it is important to realize that all people have reasons for their opinions, and that those opinions make sense within the context of that person's life experiences.
All of us are affected by our life experiences, and, since there are no two sets of like experiences that are the same, we all end up drawing different conclusions.
As human beings, we don't all have an equal ability to assimilate new information - especially when it contradicts our current assumptions - but I think it is exteremely rare to find a person with no ability whatsoever.

That approach is very commendable, but with some people it's also too much like hard work. I'd rather walk away back to my rather pleasant life than get to the bottom of why michael thinks as he does. Answering that question is simply not important to me, nor does it seem a fruitful use of my limited time. Sometimes when the crazy drunk next to you at the bar wants to tell you how eating avocadoes lets the government control your brain, the best thing is to look at your watch and say "Is that the time?", rather than work out why he picked avocadoes, and not strawberries.

KAGU143 wrote:Back to the topic of reviving Apositive:
I can't stay online as much as I would like to today. (Real life keeps interfering, darn it!)
BUT - there are some interesting topics for discussion soon to be breached.

The teaser:
Kæth and I met with David Jay last night, in Seattle, and saw a screening of his new movie, "(A) Sexual"

Oooooh boy! There will be a lot of ground to cover.

Interesting. I'll stick around to see what people here think.

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Olivier
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:46 pm

michaels wrote:Nice to see yet another AVEN activist parachuting in to divebomb me. Now, can we please get back to the topic on hand?

Michael, I'm not an AVEN activist. You may care to look at my join date on Apositive - disaffection with AVEN led me to be one of the first people here on this board. I'm not very active on AVEN, either, for what it's worth, and couldn't even tell you who's running the place at the moment.

I certainly didn't come here to divebomb you, either. I came here to see whether I was missing "the great Apositive renaissance". I had enough time on my hands to write why I wasn't much taken with what I found instead. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you are one of my least favourite posters because of your stubborn unreason, and "asexuals who want sex for reasons other than attraction aren't really asexuals" is one of my least favourite opinions, as it claims as false one of the most important and useful truths in my life. You may feel like I'm singling you out, but I've started topics here attacking that idea long before you joined. Speaking of least favourite ideas "objective tests for sexual orientation should trump self-identification" and "there's a political conspiracy" are right up there too, and I would have attacked anyone who managed that trifecta in a single thread. I wasn't surprised that you managed it, but it was the content, not the speaker, that earned my ire.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:22 pm

I really don't want to get into a lot of hesaidshesaid with someone who is hostile to me beyond the point of reason, but Olivier misrepresents me on two points. First, I am not saying that there's a cabal of _asexual_ activists. There is a cabal of gay, les, bi, trans and feminist activists who exploit AVEN to gain power for themselves personally and for their movements, with total disconnect to asexuality, and in fact to the damage of asexuality. Second, I never said "asexuals who want sex for reasons other than attraction aren't really asexuals." I don't even think that. Only Olivier's preconceived hostility led him to read that into my posts.

As for fleg praising David Jay for what he's done for "asexuality as a movement," I am one of the vast majority who do not NEED a movement, especially not one where other movements are Trojan-horsed into the asexual community and then exploit asexuals in order to advance their own agenda. Movementism is frankly a 1960s phenomenon, based ultimately on pioneering work by Jozef Goebbels, and the fact that everyone from the Tea Party to the Catholics to the trade unions got infected with movementism, some starting in the 1990s, is a matter of much sorrow to people who just want to live and let live. But to get back to the point: asexuals do not get assaulted in the street the way gays do, we do not get fired from jobs for being asexual the way lesbians do, we are not in danger of instant death in jail the way pre-op transgendered people are; and, in short, the usual reasons for needing social activism simply do not exist for asexuals. It is important not to confuse the need for AWARENESS of asexuality with the need for ACTIVISM, which in the case of asexuality simply does not exist. Since self-identifying as asexual I have gotten acceptance from many people and tolerance from absolutely EVERYONE with regard to the fact that I am asexual. Hordes of other newcomers on AVEN itself report the same thing.

As for the distinction between sexual desire and sexual attraction being a "basic" distinction that is "boring" to discuss, it is not something that has been rigorously proven to exist, and believing in its existence depends entirely on subjective impressions. There is also a political motivation for making that distinction, as it enables the asexuality-exploiting non-asexual activist crowd to steer the concept of asexuality in directions that bring them personal and collective power, at a cost to asexuals. Since such "basic" concepts can't safely be discussed on AVEN, what better place to discuss them than here?

People have asked for examples of how activism has distorted the conception of asexuality to the detriment of asexuals. Here's one example: the concept of LGBTQ. Under this concept asexuals are "queer." But pray tell, what is "queer" about MOST asexuals--not the regulars on AVEN, but the newcomers who post one or two messages and then disappear forever? The vast majority are fairly ordinary, straightforward people who happen to be asexual. I've even seen posts to that effect (although, not having an account on AVEN, i can't dig them up). And here's the kicker. I don't consider myself queer. Does that mean there is no room for me in the asexual community? There certainly is no room for me on AVEN.

I think the parachute club of commandos from AVEN needs to stop resenting tthe fact hat I have a place to go. I am not out to steal power from you. All I am here is an ordinary member who expresses unorthodox opinions. YOU are the ones who are paranoid because you think that everyone who doesn't toe the AVEN line is automatically a political rival. I AM NOT. So lay off.

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Olivier
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:16 pm

michaels wrote:I really don't want to get into a lot of hesaidshesaid with someone who is hostile to me beyond the point of reason, but Olivier misrepresents me on two points. First, I am not saying that there's a cabal of _asexual_ activists. There is a cabal of gay, les, bi, trans and feminist activists who exploit AVEN to gain power for themselves personally and for their movements, with total disconnect to asexuality, and in fact to the damage of asexuality.

And you identified me as one of those people, which is absurd as I'm not gay, les, bi, or trans; I'm a feminist but not really involved in a "movement" sense, and I'm not even particularly active on AVEN - I think I've managed about 5 posts in the last month, maybe less. But from what time I do spend reading AVEN, your idea of a cabal of non-asexual activists using AVEN for their own power-seeking ends is simply absurd.

michaels wrote:Second, I never said "asexuals who want sex for reasons other than attraction aren't really asexuals." I don't even think that. Only Olivier's preconceived hostility led him to read that into my posts.

Let me quote you, michael:
michaels wrote:Maybe the distinction between sexual arousal and sexual attraction is one of the dogmas that needs to be questioned. It was formulated for political reasons, in order to broaden the base of potential AVEN members as much as possible by including those who do have physical responses. But the whole thing has gotten completely out of hand, with "asexual" now including those who do want sex and do engage in it as long as they choose to "self-identify" as asexuals. Some objective criteria for defining asexuality are desperately needed if it isn't to remain the playground of power-seekers.

You described self-identified asexuals who engage in sex for reasons other than attraction as something that's "out of hand". You stated that including asexuals capable of physical sexual response as "political, ... in order to broaden the base of potential AVEN members" presumably by including as potential members that aren't True Asexuals (tm).

michaels wrote:As for the distinction between sexual desire and sexual attraction being a "basic" distinction that is "boring" to discuss, it is not something that has been rigorously proven to exist, and believing in its existence depends entirely on subjective impressions. There is also a political motivation for making that distinction, as it enables the asexuality-exploiting non-asexual activist crowd to steer the concept of asexuality in directions that bring them personal and collective power, at a cost to asexuals. Since such "basic" concepts can't safely be discussed on AVEN, what better place to discuss them than here?

Firstly, you seem to be using "arousal" and "desire" interchangeably, which isn't helpful as they too are recognised as different things. Leaving that aside, I'm not sure why you have this fetish for objective testing. What on earth is wrong with listening to people's subjective experience regarding who they find sexually attractive, and whether that's the same as sexual desire? Why do you feel the need to invalidate people's self-understanding? Every sexual I know understands that arousal is different from desire is different from attraction, just as salivating, being hungry, and liking cake are different concepts, and toe-tapping, wanting to dance now, and liking to dance are different concepts. If you went on a foodie site, and started to tell them that there was no rigorous distinction between "liking particular foods" and "being hungry" then they'd get pretty tired of it pretty soon, too, I'd imagine.

michaels wrote:I think the parachute club of commandos from AVEN needs to stop resenting tthe fact hat I have a place to go. I am not out to steal power from you. All I am here is an ordinary member who expresses unorthodox opinions. YOU are the ones who are paranoid because you think that everyone who doesn't toe the AVEN line is automatically a political rival. I AM NOT. So lay off.

I don't resent the fact that you have a place to go, michael. I'm just a little disappointed that the place you've chosen to go is a place I enjoyed more before you turned up. And I couldn't care less whether you stay, either, I was just explaining (in a topic regarding why Apositive is so quiet) why I personally don't stick around on the odd occasion when I stick my head in to see if there's something worthwhile going on. I'm not after power, I'm after good company, and there are plenty of places I can get it, and when Apositive disappoints, that's exactly what I do.

Goodness, is that the time? ;)

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:11 am

Wherever I went, as long as it had some connection to asexuality, you'd hound me there too. Anyway, the strategy that you and your cronies are using is obvious: make enough posts under enough different accounts to persuade Nancy that I'm bad for Apositive and should be turfed. Then you can turn Apositive into a PC clone of AVEN.

Meanwhile, i have a lot of things going on in my life other than asexuality. My mother has been in the hospital for six weeks, coming close to death and undergoing three surgeries. I am racking my brains trying to find ways to raise much-needed money. And this morning I accidentally bashed my head on the edge of my desk and cut my crown open. The non-issue that asexuality is for me is much, much less significant to me than those things and a number of others. So the next time your cru sends a representative to make a sly, underhanded attempt to persuade Nancy to ban me "for the good of Apositive," I'm just going to let Nancy make up her own mind and not even bother getting involved in the discussion. It's not that you need Apositive more than I do because you have AVEN and I have many outlets for communication other than Apositive, so our needs for this place are equally low. It's that you're more GREEDY to have Apositive all to yourselves. On Wall Street greed always wins out, so I'm going to quietly see whether it wins out here.

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KAGU143
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby KAGU143 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:12 pm

OY ... I don't ban people on demand, but I have been known to request that people PLEASE be civil to each other, and I am doing that now.
We don't all have to agree but I DO want us to get along together, like grownups.

Michael, believe it or not, AVEN has changed somewhat since you left it. They are still not very tolerant of people who won't toe the party line, but I believe that the proportion of good information to random BS has shifted slightly toward education - provided that you consider the entire site as a whole. (I ignore Just for Fun and etc on general principles.)

The irony of your statement, or at least part of it, is that there are no signs at all that the various parts of the queer movement are trying to use asexuality to further their agendas.
If anything, the truth is the exact opposite. David Jay is trying to take advantage of the work that the various LGTB-ABC-XYZ groups have already done, and to ride on their coat-tails, as it were. From a political standpoint it makes perfect sense. From the standpoint of the mainstream parts of humanity who are not familiar with the terminology used by the queer movements, it can be baffling.

This is a very good topic all by itself, so I am going to post the rest of my thoughts in a different thread.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

flergalwit
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby flergalwit » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:36 pm

On another point, I think inclusionism and objectivism are both valid approaches to asexuality, each with their own merits. I think you both - Michael and Olivier - misunderstand or at least over-simplify the objectives of the approach you disfavour.

Regarding inclusionsism, Michael, you mention a possible objective of AVEN's "self-identification rules" approach.

(1) To widen the member-base and(?) exploit this for power.

The first half at least may indeed be part of the reason. (As I mentioned, I don't understand the second half.) But there are another two reasons for this approach, which I think are probably much more important.

(2) People were sick of the infighting. Look at other minority-sexuality groups, or religious groups, or political groups. The last thing asexual discourse needs is to be dominated by "you're not REALLY an asexual" flame-wars. Especially since said battles are largely irrelevant to anything of any importance.

(3) People need a sanctuary from a disbelieving world. The buzzword is "safe space". But it's more than a buzzword. People get disbelieved and ridiculed about their asexuality all the time in the outside world. They need somewhere where they will be believed without question.

So the safe space approach is to prioritize this, and if some people who really shouldn't be calling themselves asexual get to do so without opposition, that's a small price to pay.

Michael, I don't get your negativity. You might not need a safe space but many people do. Why not just say: safe spaces are something that hold no interest for me?

Olivier, I think in framing the objective approach as being a means to "tell people that they are wrong about what they feel their own lived sexual experience", you have the wrong end of the stick. I have no interest in telling anyone they are wrong about their asexuality. I have no interest in making asexuality "purer".

In fact, from a community point of view, taking self-identity as primary is a great idea.

My concern is that I want to understand asexuality. I want asexuality to make sense. I want coherence and intellectual consistency. These objectives are often at odds with the rules of safe spaces.

I myself have struggled with this. I have many unresolved questions about asexuality that I simply cannot discuss on AVEN or in the LGBT groups I'm involved with, because to do so would make people feel unsafe. And yep even regarding things that are considered Asexual 101. While I agree with you that arousal and sexual attraction are surely different (at least if the latter means anything sensible at all) there is much in Asexual 101 that simply has not been demonstrated, no matter how many 101 FAQs it's included in. Much of it simply hasn't been challenged critically in AVEN and other places because doing so would violate the self-id rule.

You've probably seen the debates on AVEN about greyness and fluidity. People have serious questions about greys and demisexuals and how they fit into asexuality. Some people disbelieve in fluidity. I think they all have points that are worth addressing. But arguably they shouldn't be having this discussion on AVEN. AVEN deliberately privileges particular answers to all these questions, based on the dictat that someone's self-identity cannot be questioned. And that's fine in itself. But we can't shove all these difficult questions under the rug forever, by fiat.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby fridayoak » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:40 pm

Whilst I'm not a big fan of AVEN (for many reasons) and I do see where you are coming from on certain issues michaels I think you are going to put a lot of people off by your style of posting.

Personally I became a sort of Aromantic I guess for a while from about Christmas til recently (had one weird one night stand in that time, which Olivier may remember- not like that!- but I posted about it on AVEN and he replied, but nothing else and decided not to date). Anyway the point is when I'm not involved with the romantic world I don't feel any much need to discuss a/sexual stuff as it doesn't have any bearing on my life. As I said I have started dating again recently (non asexual girls) so I suddenly started to think about this all again and then I thought "oh remember A-positive" (and AVEN of course, but I probably :roll: won't post on there) and now I'm on this thread.

Whilst I'm a bit in love with you Olivier, I don't really agree with what you say about the attraction/desire definitions being really clear cut and without the need for debate because personally it is something I struggled with (maybe I'm a bit simple- I've been called worse) as all I came away from was a feeling that it didn't explain it enough (what I called my asexuality) so it just left me a bit frustrated trying to get my head around it all, and in the end it sort of led me full circle in terms of self-identifying as now I've just gone back to thinking of my self as a straight guy who's not interested in sex.

Oh and where's PiF? :lol: I'm guessing this town wasn't big enough for the both of them ;)

Also I said this in the past and I guess it's ringing true now: it did amaze me that A-positive didn't seem to do any self-publicity, so it's not surprising numbers are low really.
Last edited by fridayoak on Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Olivier
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:48 pm

@michaels: you're free to believe I'm part of a conspiracy, and I was sent to Apositive to get you, and I'd follow you and track you down wherever you go. Seriously, go right ahead and believe it, it's no skin off my nose, and it's not like anything I say would stop you. :roll:

flergalwit wrote:Olivier, I think in framing the objective approach as being a means to "tell people that they are wrong about what they feel their own lived sexual experience", you have the wrong end of the stick. I have no interest in telling anyone they are wrong about their asexuality. I have no interest in making asexuality "purer".

In fact, from a community point of view, taking self-identity as primary is a great idea.

Either an objective test is going to corroborate somebody's self-identification (a well-constructed test should surely do this almost 100% of the time, or else we'd conclude the test was faulty - even this is a giveaway that the subjective is king for self-knowledge) or it's going to disagree with a person's self-identification. If I claimed to have an objective test that found michaels to be homosexual, I'd imagine he'd believe the test was wrong, because he knows his own orientation. Like so many prescriptivists, objectivity always seems to be something that can be imposed on others, but would be straight out the window if anyone dared suggest it be given more credibility than his subjective experience, and fair enough, too.

I agree self-identification is not perfect - I'm sure there are plenty of libidoless sexuals who self-identify as asexual, for example - but I do believe it's optimal. I agree with the rest of your post that the best self-identification is well-informed self-identification in a well-defined system, and there's no harm in persuing that, rather than objectivism per se.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:50 am

I might have come across as some kind of worshipper of science and medicine, but actually the exact opposite is true. In many cases I've found that a scientific/medical education makes people who are experts in one narrow area believe that they are experts on everything while actually impoverishing their understanding of the world. So, no, I don't want to turn asexuality over to people who disdain art and literature while unwittingly believing themselves to be experts on both. I would not be in favor of a test that told people whether they are or are not asexual.

The issue I'm raising is more subtle. Right now, the official Book on Asexuality, as represented by AVEN, is based largely on what one other poster referred to as the demands of inclusiveness. So it's not a genuine analysis of what it means to be asexual that goes on, but rather an analysis of what it means to invite absolutely everyone into the asexual fold, and then the basic principles of asexuality are derived from that. I think asexuality should be defined and understood based on what it itself is, not on the basis of political motivations. The AVEN approach smacks of expediency rather than genuine inquiry.

The result is that, right now, everything is indeterminate, and people are talking out of their butts--including me. On the basis of my experience I say that being asexual makes little difference in my everyday life, and on the basis of _their_ experience and a convenience sample of anecdotal reports, another poster can respond that asexuals get discriminated against and ridiculed on a regular basis. Neither of us can prove the larger point about asexuals in general because neither of us has rigorous evidence. Similarly, the people who assert that there is a categorical difference between sexual desire and sexual attraction are doing so based on their own experience and perhaps a convenience sample of anecdotes from other people. There is no rigorous basis of any kind for making that claim. In fact, that claim arose from a political motivation, the need to be inclusive, so it wasn't even arrived at in an attempt to understand asexuality, but rather in an attempt to promote it without first understanding it.

In a major way there is NO Asexuality 101 because the prevailing definition of asexuality is skewed by political motivations. This is my major basis for thinking that some of its precepts should be challenged, and that there needs to be some rigorous study done on asexuality.

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Olivier
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:12 pm

michaels, I don't think AVEN is "inviting absolutely everyone into the asexual fold". They have a front-and-centre definition of asexuality being the lack of sexual attraction, which categorically excludes over 95% of the human population. There's also an understanding of sexuality as a spectrum, with the result that it is recognised that people who largely, but not entirely, lack sexual attraction will have some areas of common experience with asexuals. Far from bunching them all in, there's a overwhelming tendency to give such groups their own labels such as demisexual or Grey-A and treat them as separate, but with interesting commonalities, commonalities that make them welcome to share ownership of a community space with asexuals.

As far as separating sexual desire and sexual attraction, it's true that I'm using my own experience and a convenience sample of anecdotal evidence. As it happens, my convenience sample of anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that amongst people who experience them, 100% of people experience them as different. The problem seems to be more one of loose definition of terminology, with some people using desire to mean attraction, and vice versa. That doesn't mean they're the same, it just means that people use the language in different ways. *shrug*

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby cuttlefish » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:14 am

Hi,

I'm very new around here and to the idea of asexuality in general, but I can tell you what has drawn me to this forum over others. You have an amazing backlog of extremely interesting conversations that have been archived here. I've been lurking for the past couple of weeks just reading and wishing I had been around for the conversations when they first started. I haven't really found such high level discussion about what it means to be asexual any other place yet.

I think maybe adding an easy to find list of the "Top 10/20" most interesting/controversial conversations to the portal page would cause people to look into this forum more. It doesn't seem like people here have a problem with new comments on threads years old, so making it clear to new people that comments are welcome would revive the conversations and allow people to throw their own opinions into the mix. If you can tolerate rehashing old conversations for a bit, the new users drawn in by this will hopefully eventually feel comfortable enough to start novel topics. It seems a lot of the people currently on this board have known each other for pretty long. It can be kind of intimidating to feel like you're butting in to a conversation. (Or that might just be my awkwardness.) Also, I do agree that AVEN feels more like a safe space to feel out whether or not you're asexual when you're tentatively learning about what that means. I'd like a space where more in depth conversations can be had without worrying that disagreements on exactly what it means to be asexual will drive people away before they can fully explore themselves.

As for the secondary conversation going on about inclusiveness, I don't understand why there is a need for asexuals to be a monolithic group. I've been recently toying with the idea that this stems from the fact that asexuality is currently being considered a sexual orientation instead of considering it as wholly separate and filled with contrasting categories of "asexual orientations" with degrees within just like there are different sexual orientations. There is an interesting figure over at AVEN that gave me the idea: http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php? ... ge__st__90 The figure is in post #117. I think the commonality is that asexuals do not have these responses (if any) directed at other people. Of course, I don't have any proof of this, but just the fact that people feel the need to identify as asexual means there is some internal difference to what is being experienced even if we don't know the mechanism/specifics behind it currently. I haven't really been following any sexuality studies, but are there any really quantitative tests that people take to verify their heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality? The studies regarding orientation I've heard about have always been self reporting studies. Why is there a need for people to prove their asexuality quantitatively?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby flergalwit » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:29 pm

cuttlefish: welcome!

michaels: I am sorry to hear about your mother. I hope things work out as well as they can, given the circumstances.

Olivier/cuttlefish - I'm not talking about objective third party tests for asexuality. Clearly such a thing is nowhere on the horizon at present for any sexual orientations, let alone asexuality. I'm talking more about objective standards and objective analysis. (Even if the standards are objective, it may be that only the person can, at least at present, establish whether they likely meet those standards - by introspection.)

I generally feel that standard "101" asexuality has not really been analysed critically enough by people in the know (of course there's plenty of mostly-clueless criticism from outside the community - I'm not talking about that), and that the reason for this is the prohibition on discussing anything that may make other people feel unsafe, or that may be "erasing" or contradict self-identifications. The latter are all valid concerns in the community context, but ultimately we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we declare the discussions off-limit by fiat and go round promoting the party line as established fact.

cuttle - asexuals are very definitely not a monolithic group, and I don't know where you got the impression that anyone is saying that.

And one final point (an addendum): I've spoken about AVEN as being a safe space, but really "quasi-safe" would be more accurate. Actually it is a good deal less safe than much of the rest of the community would like. As an example I offer:
http://chroanagram.zxq.net/blog/?p=1307

And then this:
http://nethdugan.tumblr.com/post/581641 ... n-asexuals

And in the wake of the gray-A debates on AVEN, and the lack of any serious admod crack-down on it:
http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrfxr ... o1_500.png
http://pinkpenguin22.tumblr.com/post/10 ... ck-of-this

Going back a year or so...
http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php? ... o-the-tos/
... another complaint about the lack of safety and protection. More recently in July:

"Absolutely!!! Those fluid people are just so completely unstable and totally need more self-development, amiright? Oh, and on that subject, have you heard about those bizzare people who call themselves "asexuals"? They claim they're not sexually attracted to anyone! LOLZ! I mean, wait for puberty, guys! Or they were probably raped as a kid or are really immature or something. Sad people.

... what? You want me to listen to what people say about their sexuality and accept them without, like, immediately judging them as broken or defective? LOLZ! That's crazy talk!

... you know what, I just... WHAT THE f*ck, AVEN, REALLY? I don't even have words for this shit any more."

Both of said posters appear to have left AVEN in disgust over its lack of safety and protection. And yet to others, AVEN is already hyper-PC, hyper-protecting of minorities and of the party line, to the exclusion of anyone who poses any challenge to the orthodoxy.

In other words, as is so often the case, AVEN is caught in the middle. It can't please everyone, and should not even attempt to.

There's a saying that if you're pissing off both sides you're probably doing something right. Either that or you've found an unhappy medium that helps no-one...

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cuttlefish
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby cuttlefish » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:46 am

Hi flergalwit, thanks for the welcome!

flergalwit wrote:Olivier/cuttlefish - I'm not talking about objective third party tests for asexuality. Clearly such a thing is nowhere on the horizon at present for any sexual orientations, let alone asexuality. I'm talking more about objective standards and objective analysis. (Even if the standards are objective, it may be that only the person can, at least at present, establish whether they likely meet those standards - by introspection.)


Ah, thanks for the clarification. I misunderstood your motivations for the testing. I must admit, I read this entire thread over several different days and the last couple of pages of back and forth made me misremember the opinions of people earlier in the thread. I agree that the discussion can only benefit from asexuality and sexuality in general being studied clinically.

flergalwit wrote:cuttle - asexuals are very definitely not a monolithic group, and I don't know where you got the impression that anyone is saying that.


I got the impression that this was an attitude here, but it really probably came from a combination of the discussion between micheal and Olivier and also the fact that I was reading the old tumblr strife that happened earlier this year in between checking out this thread. It colored my memories of what was actually being said here. My mistake!

flergalwit wrote:And one final point (an addendum): I've spoken about AVEN as being a safe space, but really "quasi-safe" would be more accurate. Actually it is a good deal less safe than much of the rest of the community would like. As an example I offer:
http://chroanagram.zxq.net/blog/?p=1307


Thanks for these links. I should have prefaced my opinion about AVEN being from someone who has only been there less than a month. I don't know if there have been a lot of changes there recently or if they're just in a downswing in terms of these types of intolerance or if I just haven't delved deeply enough yet. Either way, my point was that it gives me the feeling that it's a place for people to just test out the idea to themselves and chat with others who feel the same way instead of a place for critical discussion. Your first link has an edit that includes a link to the stickied post about asexual elitisim that lead me to this opinion. I don't know if that's just talk or what, but in the posts I read recently, people seemed unwilling to label others.

**EDIT: Now that you've brought it to my attention, I'm seeing it more and more everywhere, so I can totally understand your point on it only being a quasi-safe space.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:10 pm

I think cuttlefish's idea of redoing the banner page is a good one. Nancy, if you can scare up the time, or frighten a deputy into committing the time (lol), it would be a good idea to bring the banner page up to date.

As for what is commonly called "necro-posting," in which someone makes a brand new post in a thread in which the newest previous post was at least a month ago, it is frowned upon in 99% of the fora I've been on, mostly because the people who were involved in the original discussion are rarely still around to continue it. If there's going to be a fresh discussion on a subject already covered in an old thread, it should be started in its own, new thread. Which doesn't mean that there is anything stopping people from posting LINKS to old threads. :)

From here on in I'll take the position that I haven't been a member of AVEN for nearly a full calendar year and don't know the site any more. Hence, I'm not going to make any more disparaging remarks about AVEN. But I do want to explain, even if it is off-topic, why and how I left AVEN. In live chat I had been hounded by a member called Kivafan about the fact that I don't have a job. Kivafan is one of those people I call "employment Nazis"--he believes that everyone who doesn't have a job is automatically subhuman and deserves to be denigrated. Once, in chat, he slyly and underhandedly tricked me into calling him a Nazi openly. Despite the fact that he had frequently expressed rank bigotry towards the unemployed, it was I who got an email from an AVEN moderator saying that, because of "numerous complaints," my chat privileges were being suspended. So I emailed Nancy and asked her to change my AVEN username to something innocuous and close my AVEN account. This was not done, as one person claimed, "in a fit of anger" but simply because I don't want to be a part of a website where a bigot like Kivafan is a core part of the community. Or where I can state in a forum post that I don't experience feelings the way other people do and have someone start accusing me of being a mass-murderer, which is something else that happened. My attitude toward AVEN as I have expressed it many times here arose later, after I'd had a chance to reflect on my experience there and draw certain conclusions in the cold light of reflection. So hopefully that closes the book on that.

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Dargon
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Dargon » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:19 pm

I apologies, I was busy for awhile and I haven't had time to catch up on this thread. That being said, with regards to the thread-necromancy, around here the board is small enough that it is generally not frowned upon like most other forums. That being said, starting a new thread with a link to the old works just as well.

Furthermore, I think a bit of reviving old topics might be good. We covered a lot of interesting stuff back in the early days of Apositive, and revisiting it couldn't hurt.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Olivier » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:58 pm

Hi cuttlefish, and welcome. I posted a lengthy reply to your post yesterday, but it seems to have got lost :( I don't really have time to rewrite it, but basically it boiled down to:
  • I like your idea for a top 10 threads list, or indeed just encouragement that necroing old threads (by old members or new) is fine, given the low traffic of the board.
  • I think this board is incredibly welcoming, so feel free to jump on in. Haven't met an intimidating person here yet.
  • I also think this board, historically, has been far more tolerant of people unsure of their possible asexuality. AVEN's got better, but I don't think Apositive's got worse.
  • I don't think anyone in asexual spaces treats the asexuality community as monolithic; in fact I think there's a tendency for asexuals to treat other orientations as somewhat monolithic.
  • I agree that there's a double standard in trying to make asexuals (and only asexuals) jump through hoops before they can claim to know their orientation.
Meh, I said it better the first time. :meh:

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby PiF » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:50 am

fridayoak wrote: Oh and where's PiF? :lol: I'm guessing this town wasn't big enough for the both of them ;).


hiya :thumb:

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby fridayoak » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:22 pm

haha should've called this thread "Reviving PiF"! :)

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby PiF » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:04 pm

so ..some of the young whippa snappers..yes i'm looking at you huggs..what is involved in a free chat if there is such a thing and..are we ready for a chat part of apositive given that whilst the positives are more traffic and visibility..the trade off is less long term asexuals and the enivitable shades of asexuality that will confuse many of what an asexual is

whats peoples feeling on that?

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Dargon
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby Dargon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:16 pm

My bigger problem with chat is that the real time, mass user nature of it makes it less conducive to constructive conversation. The forum environment allows for longer, more thought out responses, and allows a person to carry multiple, well organized veins of discussion. Chat rooms just move too fast to allow for this, and if you aren't online, tough cookies.

In the end, it may bring more traffic, but I do not see it as being a constructive asset.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby PiF » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:17 am

i think in some ways we then have to re-asses apositives visibility and where we go with it

undoubtedly chat will bring generally an increase in traffic of which the largest groups will be 6 month asexuals and those who are enquiring supporting..not all of those are anime emo drama queens and some are quite cool..but yes it almost undoubtedly would also increase the forums traffic on the boards and some of that will be inane garbage

so the trade off seems to be..raising apositives traffic and visibility will see some dumbing down no doubt but will it see it as bad as aven?..i feel probably not

certianly you longer apositive members and the site owners I hope will now re-ignite this topic and see what the general feeling is and if, if anythign at all..is needed/wanted to increase visibility?

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FalconEagle
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby FalconEagle » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:51 pm

As far as I know, AJAX chatrooms are free to install (I think, could be wrong).

michaels
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:17 am

How much does it cost to get a preferential Google listing (you know, the kind where the listing appears at the top of a search results page)?

I'd be willing to make my own modest contribution toward the cost of such a thing, depending on how much money needs to be raised. That way, more people seaching terms such as "asexual" would be aware of Apositive.

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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby PiF » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:38 am

As mentioned before though Michael and as you have pointed out yourself many times..there is a cost to higher traffic and more than just monetary..that some are not willing to pay..i.e. loads more dumbing down posts.forums, sub forums of sub forums of sub forums etc

it still asks the question not only what we can do to raise and revive apositive..but what are we prepared to accept as trade offs for that higher vis?

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FalconEagle
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby FalconEagle » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:28 pm

Seems that this topic has died. *bumps*

Anyooooooone?

michaels
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Re: Reviving Apositive

Postby michaels » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:16 pm

There was a burst of activity just recently, altho I missed most of it. Then alluvasudden the site died again. Nancy has implemented some of the suggestions, such as updating the banner page. Not sure if more can be done than has already been done.