Asexuality

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Choboman
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Choboman » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:52 pm UTC

Although I would not personally want to be asexual, I do wish I could cut my libido in half. It's always getting in the way and making me do stupid things, and it becomes a sticking point when in a committed relationship with someone whose libido is at a vastly different level.

I'm hoping someone can help me understand the topic better. I've read several people discuss the difficulty in having a relationship while being asexual. In my mind, that sounds like a friendship. Someone you could count on, who is there for you when the going gets tough, etc. I think most people have some friends - maybe even deeply committed, lifelong friends - with whom they don't have sex and would never expect to have any sexual contact. What else would one be looking for in this context?

Роберт
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Роберт » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:28 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:Although I would not personally want to be asexual, I do wish I could cut my libido in half. It's always getting in the way and making me do stupid things, and it becomes a sticking point when in a committed relationship with someone whose libido is at a vastly different level.

I'm hoping someone can help me understand the topic better. I've read several people discuss the difficulty in having a relationship while being asexual. In my mind, that sounds like a friendship. Someone you could count on, who is there for you when the going gets tough, etc. I think most people have some friends - maybe even deeply committed, lifelong friends - with whom they don't have sex and would never expect to have any sexual contact. What else would one be looking for in this context?

For starters, asexual != aromantic.
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poxic
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:32 am UTC

The AVEN website has a reasonably good bit of information (see the various options under "About Asexuality" at the top of the page for some summary info). Most AVENites think of relationships in two vectors, as Роберт hinted: one is on the sexuality line, and the other is on a "romance" line.

Some asexuals want romantic relationships, sometimes including kissing/cuddling/sharing a bed. We call them "romantic" asexuals (yes, there are heteroromantic, homoromantic, and bi-/panromantic asexies). They want the emotional aspects of having a mate.

Some do not want any of that and are content with good friendships. They often self-identify as aromantic (meaning "not romantic"). I remember this making more sense to me when it occurred to me that asexuals are not the only ones who might be (or identify as) aromantic -- think of the trope of a person who is very interested in sex but completely averse to "complications" (e.g. relationships).
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Re: Asexuality

Postby ++$_ » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:02 am UTC

Choboman wrote:I've read several people discuss the difficulty in having a relationship while being asexual. In my mind, that sounds like a friendship. Someone you could count on, who is there for you when the going gets tough, etc. I think most people have some friends - maybe even deeply committed, lifelong friends - with whom they don't have sex and would never expect to have any sexual contact. What else would one be looking for in this context?
There's a big difference between a friendship and an intimate relationship.

Intimacy is about a lot more than sex -- in fact, I think if you ask most people who have been married for a while, they will tell you that their relationship is very different from a friendship even if you subtract sex from it.

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Re: Asexuality

Postby Choboman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

I would agree with that in general. In my marriage there's 1,000 times more cuddling, hand-holding, kissing, etc than there is 'naked-bow-chika-wow-wow'... I would even say that in many ways cuddling can feel more intimate and strengthens our bonds more than intercourse.

But I thought I read earlier in the thread that many of the people this thread didn't want cuddling/kissing/whatever? Certainly I understand that not all people who would identify as asexual, are asexual in quite the same way or to the same degree, but what is involved beyond friendship when you don't want the things mentioned above? (Don't mean to come across as dismissive or argumentative - just not sure I understand.)

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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:41 am UTC

People who do not want cuddling/kissing are aromantic -- not romantic, not wanting cuddling/kissing/other expressions of romantic feelings for a mate.

People who do want those things are romantic -- they want to cuddle/kiss/other things that are related to romantic feelings toward a mate.

Whether one is romantic or aromantic is not really related to whether they are sexual or asexual. People who don't experience sexual attraction (asexuals) can and often do experience romantic attraction (romantics). Some asexuals do not experience romantic attraction, so they are aromantic.

Equally, people who do experience sexual attraction (sexuals) often also experience romantic attraction, but sometimes they don't. Romantic attraction and sexual attraction don't always go together.

Me personally, I am asexual and sort-of-romantic (some call this "demiromantic") -- I experience romantic attraction to people and would like an intimate emotional relationship with someone, but I don't care much for kissing. Cuddling is good, though.
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setzer777
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Re: Asexuality

Postby setzer777 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

This might sound odd, but I wonder if a lot of the bigotry against asexuals actually arises from sex-negativity? Like for some people sex occupies this weird place of simultaneous shame and desire, and seeing that some people get on fine without it makes them feel worse for wanting it so much. In their fucked up reasoning asexuals are accusing them just by existing.

I feel like if everyone had a healthier attitude towards sex, not wanting it would be little different than not liking chocolate or not liking football.
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lutzj
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Re: Asexuality

Postby lutzj » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:I feel like if everyone had a healthier attitude towards sex, not wanting it would be little different than not liking chocolate or not liking football.


Eh, being against chocolate or football can also earn you some derision in many circles. Now, being pressured into watching football probably isn't as harmful as being pressured into sex, but there can still be that feeling of exclusion, for lots of stupid reasons.
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poxic
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Re: Asexuality

Postby poxic » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:I feel like if everyone had a healthier attitude towards sex, not wanting it would be little different than not liking chocolate or not liking football.

Which still starts all kinds of arguments. "Whaddaya mean, you don't like chocolate? Are you a freak or something?" :wink:

(Note: I have a friend -- currently lost at MIT somewhere -- who doesn't like chocolate. That was hard to wrap my head around. I learned to serve warm fruit pies with ice cream if I wanted a dessert that he would enjoy sharing.)


About the mixed shame-and-desire hypothesis, you might have a point there. I've often had similar thoughts. Coolstorysis time: there's this house near where I live whose occupants absolutely love trash-art chic. Their entire yard is filled with home-made art built of broken and rusty things. Every Christmas they go mental with cheesy musical lights and motorised inflatable Santas. It's hilarious.

It's also a bit controversial. I saw one older fellow stand at the corner and cuss at the house for several minutes, harrumphing about how such things should not be allowed and so forth. My thoughts went something like "wow, you must have really hated buckling to the social pressure to mow and manicure your lawn for forty years".


On second thought, that story isn't terribly related to the topic. Oh well.
The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself.
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Gear
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Re: Asexuality

Postby Gear » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

poxic wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I feel like if everyone had a healthier attitude towards sex, not wanting it would be little different than not liking chocolate or not liking football.

Which still starts all kinds of arguments. "Whaddaya mean, you don't like chocolate? Are you a freak or something?" :wink:

(Note: I have a friend -- currently lost at MIT somewhere -- who doesn't like chocolate. That was hard to wrap my head around. I learned to serve warm fruit pies with ice cream if I wanted a dessert that he would enjoy sharing.)


I think that humans have a really fascinating inability to understand that other beings (including non-humans, attributing human traits to pets etc.) are different than them. One of the most common arguments for acceptance of [minority group] is that [minority group] really is just like you, they may love people of the same gender/have a different skin color/whatever, but they still like strawberries/enjoy football/love people/think Chris Brown is a douche/whatever just like you. With things like sex, some people find it even more difficult because of how our society values sexual relationships. /$.02
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firechicago
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Re: Asexuality

Postby firechicago » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

Gear wrote:I think that humans have a really fascinating inability to understand that other beings (including non-humans, attributing human traits to pets etc.) are different than them. One of the most common arguments for acceptance of [minority group] is that [minority group] really is just like you, they may love people of the same gender/have a different skin color/whatever, but they still like strawberries/enjoy football/love people/think Chris Brown is a douche/whatever just like you. With things like sex, some people find it even more difficult because of how our society values sexual relationships. /$.02


Reminds me of once hearing someone say something to the effect of "I'm really glad I don't like brussel sprouts. Because if I liked them then I'd eat them all the time, and brussel sprouts taste disgusting."


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