Asexuality

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Re: Asexuality

Postby big boss » Thu May 27, 2010 12:14 am UTC

Kendo_Bunny wrote:
4) People assuming that asexuality is something that must be fixed, as if there was something wrong with it.


I'm going to preface my next statement so I don't come across as a bigot: I have no issues with the sexual orientation people choose or the way they live their life (well so long as the don't murder other people and are generally nice people etc)

Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex. So doesn;t the fact that some people lack a sex drive means that there is something abnormal biologically (not necessarily that anything is "wrong" with them) and could be evidence of other issues such as hormonal imbalances that could have other negative consequences.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Thu May 27, 2010 12:28 am UTC

It is possible that there are hormone problems, but it's also abnormal biologically that some sexually reproducing organisms have a sexual preference for same sex partners. I don't think asexuality is much more biologically abnormal than that.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby big boss » Thu May 27, 2010 1:02 am UTC

I didn't think of that, but i guess then that both are biologically abnormal. I did remember reading on the forums somewhere about homosexual tendencies of some animals.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Thu May 27, 2010 1:11 am UTC

Yes, some animals have homosexual tendencies, and some animals choose not to mate ever. Both may be slight aberrations of biological imperative, but not so far outside the norm as to tip the balance of nature.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby phillipsjk » Thu May 27, 2010 4:24 am UTC

big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex. So doesn;t the fact that some people lack a sex drive means that there is something abnormal biologically (not necessarily that anything is "wrong" with them) and could be evidence of other issues such as hormonal imbalances that could have other negative consequences.


It is also possible that the species has enough variation that not everybody needs to reproduce. It is also possible that asexual people are more productive and actually help the reproductive members survive. I think similarly, homosexual people may be more likely play a similar role as spiritual/community leaders (they don't have kids to worry about).

The genes can get passed down because people related to homo or asexual people are more likely to survive and reproduce.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Gelsamel » Thu May 27, 2010 5:27 am UTC

I remember reading somewhere that the prevelance of homosexual (and asexual) people actually increases the overall rate of reproduction. So while the prevalence of asexuality (1% was it?) might mean it's "abnormal" (for certain definitions of abnormal) it certainly would be normal in the context of evolution. Anyway, while human life might be designed via selective pressures to sexually propagate that doesn't mean it's "supposed" to, I doubt things evolve with some specific intent like reproducing in mind. Feet were evolved because there was a selection pressure to walk and balance upright but despite not being designed for footjobs doesn't mean we're "not supposed" to.


Oh, and I guess I'm kind of asexual. I hate lumping myself in with groups, especially ones with members who might go through a lot of tribulations or oppression, because it feels like I'd trivialising the group. I've never been depressed, I've never had identity issues, stoic as a wall with absolutely no neurosis, completely and utterly grounded... you get the idea.

Anyway, I've never been hung up on what I'd call myself in terms of anything (let alone sexuality) but if some random person really needed a description I'd probably call myself straight. Within the last few years (I think, it's not like I've been counting) though, I've thought about how I feel about sexuality and romance a lot more. Now, if someone really wanted to know exactly how I felt I'd need a few paragraphs to quality about how insufficient "straight" is to describe sexuality (since there are multiple deciding factors to whether you are interested in someone that relate to sex/gender).

If we choose XY/XX/etc. as the deciding factor then I'd say something along the lines of "Those are not a property with which you could base any logical decision" because what sex chromosomes you have, especially in the age of modern medicine, are essentially unrelated to anything you'll possibly experience with the person (phenotype). So I wouldn't say I'm bisexual with respect to chromosomes but more... "non-cognitivist" in that I think it's essentially meaningless to make decisions on this basis.

If we choose genitals as the deciding factor then I'd say I'm bi. It just happens that I'm fine with this particular part of the phenotype being typically female or male, either way. However if we were to choose appearance, I would say I am mostly straight, in that I am only attracted to typically feminine traits. If gender identity were the deciding factor then my reply is the same for if the deciding factor is XY/XX/etc.

But... if we were to look at this from my view of the role of sex itself, or perhaps from a behavoirist point of view I would probably be asexual in the sense that, while having sexual drive, being physically attracted to people, looking at porn, and masturbating, I don't think sex is all that important. I'm 21, turning 22 in July and I'm a virgin, and I honestly think it would be fine if I stayed like this for the rest of my life. If I fell in love with someone who didn't want to have sex then I would be fine with living out my life with them. I don't think I could do without intimacy with the person I love though and if my hypothetical SO wanted sex I would not turn them down. I just think that it is, for me, unnecessary.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu May 27, 2010 11:08 am UTC

big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex.

So we believe in intelligent design now?
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Glass Fractal » Thu May 27, 2010 9:00 pm UTC

big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex. So doesn;t the fact that some people lack a sex drive means that there is something abnormal biologically (not necessarily that anything is "wrong" with them) and could be evidence of other issues such as hormonal imbalances that could have other negative consequences.


But asexual people can and do have kids. In fact in terms of survival an asexual organisms may end up engaging in less risky behavior.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat May 29, 2010 3:47 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex.

So we believe in intelligent design now?

They never said the design was intelligent.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Gelsamel » Sat May 29, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex.

So we believe in intelligent design now?

They never said the design was intelligent.


Design doesn't imply that so much as "Supposed To" does as my quasi-rant above explains.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Sat May 29, 2010 3:56 am UTC

big boss wrote:I'm going to preface my next statement so I don't come across as a bigot:

Here's a hint: if you feel the need to preface a statement that way, it's pretty much guaranteed that whatever follows is indeed bigoted. ("Not saying there's anything wrong, but obviously there's something wrong. Isn't it like obviously wrong?" Yeah, thanks a lot.)
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Josephine » Sat May 29, 2010 4:28 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex.

So we believe in intelligent design now?

I'm fairly sure that was meant in the same way physicists use 'god'. A personification of a natural process. And as those natural processes are pretty much out of our control, the personification comes across as religious.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby orinjuse » Sun May 30, 2010 6:09 pm UTC

poxic wrote:If asexuality were very common, we'd have a lot of words available to explain exactly what flavour of "A" a person is.


I'm not so sure about that. I mean, there's only one 'flavour' of heterosexuality according to the English language. You're either straight or you're something else. That's not really a bad thing.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun May 30, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

nbonaparte wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
big boss wrote:Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex.

So we believe in intelligent design now?

I'm fairly sure that was meant in the same way physicists use 'god'. A personification of a natural process. And as those natural processes are pretty much out of our control, the personification comes across as religious.

Personification is not a "purely biological term."
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:02 am UTC

poxic wrote:If asexuality were very common, we'd have a lot of words available to explain exactly what flavour of "A" a person is.



I don't think anyone is arguing that it's very common. General consensus appears to be a 1% or less of the human race identifies as asexual, though there appear to be certain groups that attract a higher number of asexuals. Perhaps this is because people who aren't interested in sex have more time to devote to other subjects that interest them, like math or science or literature or Star Trek.

The asexual community describes various stripes of asexual, since by it's nature it's more varied than 'I like to have sex with people of the opposite sex' or 'I like to have sex with people of the same sex'. Some of the ones that I've encountered personally:

1) Is not interested in sex at all, experiences arousal as a purely biological function or does not experience it, may masturbate to relieve tension or may never masturbate, and does not ever experience a desire to have sex with other people.
2) Finds sex disgusting and the idea of having sex with another person completely distasteful. May experience arousal or may not, may masturbate or may not, but will always find the idea of partnered sex disgusting.
3) Is capable of interest in sex, but usually not enough to act on it, kind of like most people's interest in some other mildly entertaining form of pastime. Can take or leave sex or masturbation without feeling strongly one way or another and does not actively seek out sex.
4) Is uninterested in sex, but will have sex with a partner they love and may enjoy it. They view sex purely on bonding terms with a person they love, and if the sex ended, would not particularly care if they could still be with that person they love. May experience some sexual desire for the person they love, but not for anyone else. (This is generally considered a more fuzzy area, but I don't think some sexual desire coming after love completely discounts a person - it's the stripe I am, and it doesn't quite feel right to define myself as straight because I've had some degree of sexual desire for a single man I'm very much in love with, especially as that desire is all bound up with a desire to bond with him and the fact that he is sexual. I've never had what I suppose is sexual desire for another person in my life.)

Then there are the asexual romantics, who may experience nonsexual attraction to either or both or all genders, and asexual aromantics who are uninterested in relationships with anyone, except the asexual aromantics who like to have a long-term nonsexual, nonromantic partner with partners of either or both or all genders. Or for asexuals who merely have a very low sex drive, they may be sexually attracted primarily to males or females or both or not care at all, just like with most people, but they will very rarely act on it.

So... yeah. Asexuality is very likely as confusing from the outside as the much more common sexual desire is from the inside. Like I've always wondered how most people go through life, but most of the sexuals I know can't really give me a very good description of what it feels like to be one. Like, do sexual people see a person of their usual 'type' and think about having sex with that person, or think after talking with a person that they might enjoy sex with them?
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Re: Asexuality

Postby DCB » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:33 am UTC

big boss wrote:
Kendo_Bunny wrote:
4) People assuming that asexuality is something that must be fixed, as if there was something wrong with it.


I'm going to preface my next statement so I don't come across as a bigot: I have no issues with the sexual orientation people choose or the way they live their life (well so long as the don't murder other people and are generally nice people etc)

Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex. So doesn;t the fact that some people lack a sex drive means that there is something abnormal biologically (not necessarily that anything is "wrong" with them) and could be evidence of other issues such as hormonal imbalances that could have other negative consequences.


Sexual reproduction is actually only beneficial if the environment goes to shit. Asexual reproduction: 1 baby per individual per amount of time, Sexual reproduction: 1 baby per 2 individuals per amount of time (let's assume the gestation periods are equal. The sexual organism will mutate faster and be able to adjust to it's environment as a species, but the asexual organism will outreproduce the sexual one in a static environment.

I've never met anyone (other than people who have had bad experiences or had no experiences) who has been uninterested in sex. However, assuming you can be genetically uninterested in sex, that would mean that throughout all of vertebrate evolution, humans (and presumably all other sexual organisms) have kept in their genomes some of the genes that would allow them to, over a period of millions of years, re-volve into asexually reproducing organisms.

For example, there are those lizards that for all intents and purposes DO reproduce asexually, even though they still have weird kinky lesbian sex (WOOO!!!). I feel like anyone who was genetically disposed to behaving asexually, would be most likely to produce offspring who are capable of asexual reproduction. Those people wouldn't reproduce often though so the mutations haven't been able to accumulate, perhaps after next mass extinction only the "asexual" people will be around to repopulate the globe and some of the offspring will be asexual.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:42 am UTC

>.<

Please go read up on it.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:49 pm UTC

DCB wrote:I've never met anyone (other than people who have had bad experiences or had no experiences) who has been uninterested in sex. However, assuming you can be genetically uninterested in sex, that would mean that throughout all of vertebrate evolution, humans (and presumably all other sexual organisms) have kept in their genomes some of the genes that would allow them to, over a period of millions of years, re-volve into asexually reproducing organisms.


Hi, nice to meet you. I have a wonderful sex life, with absolutely no bad experiences (beyond a few funny ones). I'm generally uninterested in sex, beyond it being a motivating force for the rest of the human race. I'm interested in it as a writer, but it still baffles me that people will do anything to get it. And spoilered for oversharing, but it underscores my point:
Spoiler:
I have never not had multiple orgasms with my partner. Many multiples. Like, 50 in a single session multiple. It's very nice, but I still don't get the obsession with having them and being with people who can give them. It's just another pleasant sensation - it feels better physically than most things, but I also get a very pleasant sensation when reading a good book, looking at beautiful artwork, or playing chess with my partner.


Also, if no one can be asexual, because of reproduction, why are there homosexuals? Why are there bisexuals? Why are there people who have child or pregnancy phobias or just outright despise children? The human mind is a tricky thing, and human sexuality is definitely very weird.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Glass Fractal » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

DCB wrote:
big boss wrote:
Kendo_Bunny wrote:
4) People assuming that asexuality is something that must be fixed, as if there was something wrong with it.


I'm going to preface my next statement so I don't come across as a bigot: I have no issues with the sexual orientation people choose or the way they live their life (well so long as the don't murder other people and are generally nice people etc)

Speaking purely in biological terms, life is supposed to, is designed to, propagate itself and create more copies of itself and out-survive other lifeforms, its pretty hard for sexually reproducing organisms to propagate without sex. So doesn;t the fact that some people lack a sex drive means that there is something abnormal biologically (not necessarily that anything is "wrong" with them) and could be evidence of other issues such as hormonal imbalances that could have other negative consequences.


Sexual reproduction is actually only beneficial if the environment goes to shit. Asexual reproduction: 1 baby per individual per amount of time, Sexual reproduction: 1 baby per 2 individuals per amount of time (let's assume the gestation periods are equal. The sexual organism will mutate faster and be able to adjust to it's environment as a species, but the asexual organism will outreproduce the sexual one in a static environment.

I've never met anyone (other than people who have had bad experiences or had no experiences) who has been uninterested in sex. However, assuming you can be genetically uninterested in sex, that would mean that throughout all of vertebrate evolution, humans (and presumably all other sexual organisms) have kept in their genomes some of the genes that would allow them to, over a period of millions of years, re-volve into asexually reproducing organisms.

For example, there are those lizards that for all intents and purposes DO reproduce asexually, even though they still have weird kinky lesbian sex (WOOO!!!). I feel like anyone who was genetically disposed to behaving asexually, would be most likely to produce offspring who are capable of asexual reproduction. Those people wouldn't reproduce often though so the mutations haven't been able to accumulate, perhaps after next mass extinction only the "asexual" people will be around to repopulate the globe and some of the offspring will be asexual.


You've completely confused the biological concept of asexuality and the sexual identity of asexuality.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Esperite » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:41 am UTC

I've been kind of teetering around the border of asexuality, and recently I've got a little more insight. Recently I read (on tvtropes oddly enough) about asexuality and it just seemed to jump out at me when it explained that asexuality just means no real sexual attraction, but the individual can enjoy sex. It just doesn't have the same meaning. And that just hits me, because that's where I feel. I've never really looked at someone and said "he/she looks attractive." I've never really cared about anything like that, and I almost identified as asexual since I always knew I (theoretically) like sex, I just don't care about it.
So now, I'm comfortable saying that I am asexual. I'm bi, but I'm also asexual.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby thc » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:25 am UTC

No.

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Re: Asexuality

Postby TheKnifeWon » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

I've identified as asexual for a couple years now, and I think the insinuation that someone who's never been sexually active "can't know" (which I've heard pretty much every time I talk about it) is pretty shitty. Is the suggestion that asexually-identifying people should be correctively raped (because that's what having sex when you don't want to have sex is)?

Anyway, I agree with there being different forms of asexuality. I imagine I'm a romantic asexual. Basically, I'm attracted to people, and it does have some basis on whether I find them good-looking or not. But I don't associate that desire at all with wanting to have sex with them. More, I want to hug a bit and make them dinner. I'm not disgusted by sex, have no moral opposition to sex, but the desire is completely absent.

Spoiler:
I've never gotten anything out of masturbation. In high school or whatever when we'd start discussing sexuality, getting met with "you're lying, EVERYONE masturbates" when I said I didn't did pressure me into trying it, but the interest wasn't there. I kind of touched myself and either found the sensation about as special as touching my knee, or found the sensation annoying rather than pleasant.


In light of the above, I'm pretty secure in my identity. Even virgins (especially, sometimes) masturbate, after all. There's a difference between a virgin and someone who identifies as asexual.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:32 am UTC

Resurrected to point out an interesting article about asexuality over at The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... nt/254880/

I've met David Jay a couple of times. Nice guy, a bit nerdy, basically just like the rest of the folks I've met through AVEN. (I blame the fact that it's an online group for most of the nerd quotient.)
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Re: Asexuality

Postby ++$_ » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:53 am UTC

Oh. My. God.

The comments in that Dan Savage article (linked in the Atlantic) are horrible. (I realize this is like 3 levels removed but they were referenced in the article.) And presumably those are mostly people who identify or empathize with a marginalized minority and should know better.

I am literally sitting here with my jaw hanging open as I read them.

Pre-Post Edit: Okay, I got to the end. It got a little better as some people who knew what the fuck they were talking about arrived.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:04 am UTC

Yeah, I didn't bother linking to the forum where I found the article. Too much douchebaggery in the comments. The article took a few stabs at explaining the sorts of *ahem* disbelief people react with: "the assumption that, if you're not [into sex], there is something medically or psychologically wrong with you".

"Jay doesn't believe that it is the lack of sex that confuses people, but the perceived absence of all the things we associate with it: intimacy, passion, connection with other people." That sounds fairly close to the vitriol I've read in assorted comment spaces. The perceptions that asexuals are screwed up, repressed, dead inside, in denial, "in need of a deep dicking", and so forth, are very common. It gets tiring to hear.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby ++$_ » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:10 am UTC

Do they not realize that so many the things they say were (and still are) said word-for-word about gay people? Like, I don't even have to change any of the words.

"You just haven't met the right girl/guy yet."
"You must have had a bad experience."
"It's just a phase. You'll grow out of it."
"You need to seek medical attention."
"Have you checked your testosterone levels?"
"If you want to live that lifestyle it's your choice, but don't beat the rest of us over the head with it."
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:13 am UTC

They are the sort of reactions you get from people who don't like having their worldview challenged. That, unfortunately, is most people. :roll:
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:15 am UTC

Even if someone was devoid of intimacy, passion, and connections with other people, as long as it didn't cause them any personal problems and they were genuinely happy with their lives and themselves... I don't see why that is 'wrong' or something they should change.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Arisu » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:26 pm UTC

Ahh, my asexuality is due to: child molestation/improper upbringing/guilt/shame/hormonal imbalance/physical deformity,
those were in the first 50 comments at the Dan Savage article.
God, I'm feeling angry.


Dan Savage wrote:Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual's needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place

He was the guy who didn't accept bisexuality, wasn't he? Perhaps he'll change for the better here too.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Ulc » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:34 pm UTC

Arisu wrote:
Dan Savage wrote:Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual's needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place

He was the guy who didn't accept bisexuality, wasn't he? Perhaps he'll change for the better here too.


For all that Dan Savage can be a douchebag at times, I think you're being a little unfair by cutting the quote off there.

Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual's needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place, if you ask me. At the very least asexuality must be disclosed.


That last disclaimer? It matters. Because I absolutely agree with the sentiment that it's not okay for a asexual to date a sexual without disclosing their lack of sex drive fairly early in the dating process.

Edit: To explain a bit better. I'm reasonably sure that all asexuals are aware that to sexuals, sex is a rather Big Deal^tm, and is therefor extremely likely to fall under the category of "dealbreakers", and it's never okay to hide those a long time into a relationship.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:That last disclaimer? It matters.

No, it doesn't. "At the very least" doesn't mean "Wait, no, that's an overstatement, so try this instead"; it means "That's still totally true, but in case you disagree with me, I believe this next thing even MORE."
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Arisu » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:For all that Dan Savage can be a douchebag at times, I think you're being a little unfair by cutting the quote off there.

Perhaps I was unfair, I was very angry though. Which is no excuse I will admit.
However, the "at the very least" part rubs me the wrong way still.
What more does he expect anyway? That I compromise my non-desire?
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

It looks like he expects you to refuse to date sexuals at all, rather than asking them whether they're willing to date an asexual and accepting their answer. :|
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Re: Asexuality

Postby firechicago » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:57 pm UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:It looks like he expects you to refuse to date sexuals at all, rather than asking them whether they're willing to date an asexual and accepting their answer. :|


Except if you look at the entire rest of his post, it's all talking about the second thing, not the first. (Yes, I agree that the one sentence you excerpted was way over the top, but in context I think it's pretty clear that it's one piece of hyperbole in a post that otherwise I agree with.)

This especially has to be read in the context of his column which is full of people writing in to say "My partner/SO/spouse has decided that they don't want to have sex with me, and now I'm being told by society that I'm the one to blame for the failure of the relationship because of my sexual desires." Dan Savage has no issue with anyone who is in a happy, honest relationship. But he hears every day from unhappy people who feel trapped in relationships with people who are (because of orientation, or just by accidents of circumstance, psychology and biology) asexual. (Which doesn't say anything about whether all or most asexuals are honest in their relationships, of course. Because it's only in the cases where it turns out badly that people end up writing to advice columnists.) That's the context that his remarks need to be placed in.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

When a person writes a highly bigoted comment, the fact that it's surrounded by non-bigoted comments doesn't excuse them. It's also ridiculous to call that line "hyperbole", unless you think "you should never do this" is a more extreme version of "you should communicate clearly".

I'm not even letting my thoughts be colored by the fact that Dan Savage is generally a disgusting, bigoted piece of shit - this article can stand on its own as a work of intolerance.

And for the record, Arisu was the one who excerpted that line, not me.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Puppyclaws » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:55 pm UTC

firechicago wrote:This especially has to be read in the context of his column which is full of people writing in to say "My partner/SO/spouse has decided that they don't want to have sex with me, and now I'm being told by society that I'm the one to blame for the failure of the relationship because of my sexual desires." Dan Savage has no issue with anyone who is in a happy, honest relationship. But he hears every day from unhappy people who feel trapped in relationships with people who are (because of orientation, or just by accidents of circumstance, psychology and biology) asexual. (Which doesn't say anything about whether all or most asexuals are honest in their relationships, of course. Because it's only in the cases where it turns out badly that people end up writing to advice columnists.) That's the context that his remarks need to be placed in.


Basically, this right here. Relationships are a big mess. Once you are in one, it can be difficult to extract yourself. Dan Savage's column features pretty much one letter like this a week, sometimes more, and those are just the ones that he prints. People decide (or have events that decide for them) that they are no longer into the sex that they were when they started the relationship for whatever reason, but they still want the relationship, and the result is a unilateral decision that ultimately makes both parties unhappy. There's no dishonesty involved, this is just what happens. So I imagine that Dan is expressing a concern that an asexual person getting into a relationship with a sexual person is basically just two people setting themselves up for disaster (unless they are both cool with the sexual person seeking sex outside the relationship exclusively). It's a concern based on his years of experience hearing the same problem come up all the time.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Whie » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:31 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:
Dan Savage wrote:Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual's needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place, if you ask me. At the very least asexuality must be disclosed.


That last disclaimer? It matters. Because I absolutely agree with the sentiment that it's not okay for a asexual to date a sexual without disclosing their lack of sex drive fairly early in the dating process.

Edit: To explain a bit better. I'm reasonably sure that all asexuals are aware that to sexuals, sex is a rather Big Deal^tm, and is therefor extremely likely to fall under the category of "dealbreakers", and it's never okay to hide those a long time into a relationship.

If sex was such a big deal to a sexual person, why wouldn't they ask about it at the beginning of a relationship? Why would they assume that everyone wants to have sex the same way they do unless stated otherwise?

This isn't something exclusive to relationships with an asexual, it is also relevant to any relationship that a sexual person expects to be a sexual relationship. How little sex can someone want to have before they have to disclose it? Why isn't it the person who wants to have a lot of sex that needs to disclose that about themselves? Why are we talking about disclosing instead of discussing?

Dan Savage is assuming a norm that defines what a normal relationship is like. Maybe that's great if you fit the norm. It's not so great if you don't fit the norm.

True story: I'm not asexual. I don't particularly want to have "sex." I have a fetish for pies in the face. On which date is my partner supposed to disclose that they don't like getting a pie in the face the same way I do?

No one expects them to disclose that. They expect me to do the disclosing. Because I'm not the one who is in the majority. Because I'm not the one who gets to assume that everyone else is just like them. Because I'm not the normal one.

When a person who wants to have sex doesn't talk about wanting to have sex, you think that's normal. When a person who doesn't want to have sex doesn't talk about not wanting to have sex, you call that "hiding" something.

That's the context that Dan Savage's remarks need to be placed in.

If "not wanting to have sex" was considered just as normal as "wanting to have sex", we wouldn't call it "hiding."

If asexuality was considered just as normal as other sexualities, we wouldn't assume that every intimate relationship was sexual by default. And those times we do make assumptions, we wouldn't blame other people for our own assumptions.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby krogoth » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:43 am UTC

Whie wrote:If sex was such a big deal to a sexual person, why wouldn't they ask about it at the beginning of a relationship? Why would they assume that everyone wants to have sex the same way they do unless stated otherwise?


Because it's easier for the 1% to advise when something deviates from what's common?
I could and won't mind asking some sort of generic question like "do you have any special needs or exceptions I need to know about?"
But this would be awkward 99% of the time it's not needed and could even be considered rude.

If I invite someone over for dinner, and they don't tell me they are a vegan or allergic to nuts that's my fault?

Whie wrote:I have a fetish for pies in the face. On which date is my partner supposed to disclose that they don't like getting a pie in the face the same way I do?

Great, now I need to ask every partner if getting pied turns them on(sarc). Why not just tell them when you know, it seems like you might have sex? It seems related and rather topical.


I'm not the most sex crazed and I don't mind saying "I'll probably only want sex 3-4(proper session not quickies) times a week max(last GF wanted every night)"
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Annihilist » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

I don't know how much I am doing this justice, but I wish I was asexual. Life and relationships would just be so much simpler, and I can focus a lot more on more important things than sex. It would be easier to direct my attention towards more important things. And I could appreciate friendships a lot more without the pressure and tension of sexual desire, as well as not having to feel as though people are suspicious about my sexual fantasies about them, for example.

Sexuality is annoying sometimes. But sex is still amazing in it's own right. But if I was asexual, I wouldn't think that.

Dilemma.
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:36 am UTC

It's not that simple, often. I'd love to date and find a mate, but I don't even bother anymore. Only 1% of the population (roughly) is asexual, and most of those have dropped out of the dating game for the same reasons as me (e.g., not interested in hearing 99 variations of "are you a freak? I'm outta here").

I do go to the local AVEN meets, but the few men who show up are half my age >.< and not really relationship-compatible. There are a couple of online asexual dating services that I've checked out. Two people showed up in my area, neither of them male.

True, I don't suffer from "need sex can't get it oh god life sucks", but there is a fair amount of "want a close relationship oh well chocolate is nice". :|
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