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The Asexual Thread

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On 28/10/2016 at 5:08 AM, Miles said:

-Personally, I think that asexuality and aromanticism are modifiers unless you're 100% aroace. Gray-ace says nothing about who I'm attracted to. Sapphic does. That's why it's my orientation.

-Amatonormativity doesn't exist and neither does allonormativity, so there is no difference :) I'm not rewarded for feeling attraction when the attraction I do feel is toward other women. I will never be rewarded for having sex (if I decide to) when:

  • I face stereotypes about mentally ill women, especially hypersexual women, being wild in bed
  • As an autistic woman, there's a 1 in 2 chance I will be raped in my lifetime (as opposed to 1 in 6 for the general population of women)
  • If I'm having sex with a woman, I face homophobia and sapphobia
  • I face sexual fetishization as a nonbinary person
  • I face misogynistic slut shaming and body shaming
  • As a hypersexual person, I face ableism because of my mind's fixation on sex

 

 

Anyway, I'm kind of repulsed by sex and kind of just don't care, even though I get turned on by damn near everything, have sexual fantasies, feel some sexual attraction, and get intrusive sexual thoughts.

 

And romantically, I like women.

I respect your opinion; however, I think these things differ from person to person.

 

Firstly, the whole modifier thing isn't a rule that can be applied to people, it is a personal preference (there's probably a better word for that). For example, you use greyace as a modifier for your sapphic identity. Other people however don't view their aro/acespec identities as modifiers and may think of them as equally or sometimes more important than their orientation (gay, bi etc), especially considering how rare and insignificant those attractions can be for some people.

 

So while you may view grey ace as a modifier, not every grey ace is going to experience it in the same way. And while I am 100% aroace I don't view my orientation as null and void. I see it as a complex experience that shapes my relationships with others. Even though I use two words to describe this experience (due to the split attraction model) I view all of my attractions and lack of attractions as a complex and and singular experience. And while I'm not oppressed for my sexuality I personally believe that my life would be extremely different if I were straight.

 

I also want to touch on amatonormativity. Again, this is just my opinion but I personally don't see it as a reflection of oppression or privelage but simply a societal structure that places romantic relationships higher than friends and often family. I in no way believe that this gives LGB+ people any sort of privelage, and I personally think that the whole concept of amatonormativity works in stride with homophobia to shape straight privelage.

 

Note that I called it a concept because while there's no proof of it being a system in place in western society it's still an interesting topic of conversation in the arospec community.

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On 10/29/2016 at 3:27 AM, aussiekirkland said:

I also want to touch on amatonormativity. Again, this is just my opinion but I personally don't see it as a reflection of oppression or privelage but simply a societal structure that places romantic relationships higher than friends and often family. I in no way believe that this gives LGB+ people any sort of privelage, and I personally think that the whole concept of amatonormativity works in stride with homophobia to shape straight privelage.

 

Note that I called it a concept because while there's no proof of it being a system in place in western society it's still an interesting topic of conversation in the arospec community.

 

I really like the way you described amatonormativity. I've been trying to articulate it and you pretty much hit the nail right on the head.

I think it's interesting to note that there is a sort of misunderstanding between the arospec community and people not in the arospec community in which many people are under the impression that aros are intending to suggest that amatonormativity is a form of oppression rather than a social construct that we find harmful and isolating.

 

I don't know if the following is relevant or if I'm lowkey derailing this thread so I'll put it in a spoiler:

Spoiler

Mostly I think for the vast majority of aros and aces, we aren't actively oppressed for it, but there is a certain level of invisibility, discrimination, sometimes dehumanization (e.g. "aromantics are heartless robots," "asexuals are plants") or infantilization (treating aces like small children who are pure and innocent), and most often just blatant invalidation/disrespect/refusal to accept our existence. I think amatonormativity can kind of fall into more than one of those categories depending on the situation. It's not necessarily a form of oppression, but a harmful prevailing social belief that non-romantic relationships are inherently lesser that romantic ones.

 

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I agree with the whole thing in the asexual community with being romantic. As much as I love the support I get in ace spaces for not wanting sex or often being annoyed with the over sexualization in the mainstream media, there is still a lot of discussion and centering around having sexless romantic relationships or being in a romantic relationship with a sexual person. I honestly wish there was more talk on being aromantic as well. While I am aroace, the aromantic part effects my life much more because no matter where I go outside of aro spaces, general lgbt+ or asexual, there is still so much talk on romantic relationships, so its nice to have aro spaces. While sex was hardly brought up in the conservative and christian enviroment growing up, freinds would often talk about being in or wanting romantic relationships. This made me feel really messed up for a very long time and is why spaces for aromantic matter so much to me and give me somewhere where my non-romantic and platonic feelings are held high and are considered to mean something. Its nice to be able to talk about squishes and QPRs like a normal thing.

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7 hours ago, fairytalefanfor1 said:

I agree with the whole thing in the asexual community with being romantic. As much as I love the support I get in ace spaces for not wanting sex or often being annoyed with the over sexualization in the mainstream media, there is still a lot of discussion and centering around having sexless romantic relationships or being in a romantic relationship with a sexual person.

Which is really only to be expected considering the majority of aces are alloromantics who wish to challenge the assumption that they are also aro.
I'm guessing that "sexual person" in these cases tends to refer to allo allos too. Though romance free relationships with alloromantic people might be an interesting topic.

 

7 hours ago, fairytalefanfor1 said:

While I am aroace, the aromantic part effects my life much more because no matter where I go outside of aro spaces, general lgbt+ or asexual, there is still so much talk on romantic relationships, so its nice to have aro spaces.

It can often go beyond "talk".

Such as  social events where attending in couples is expected. Different laws for the coupled and uncoupled. The idea that wanting romance (and/or marriage) implies some sort of maturity.
Romance (and amantonormativity) is very closely entwined with society in many contemporary cultures.

 

7 hours ago, fairytalefanfor1 said:

While sex was hardly brought up in the conservative and christian enviroment growing up, freinds would often talk about being in or wanting romantic relationships.

Even elsewhere sex often isn't brought up that much.

More common appears to be to assume that varioriented people don't exist, thus everyone has the same romantic and sexual orientation. Even to use "sexual orientation" whilst meaning "romantic orientation".

 

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The best thing happened today. I made a tumblr post about asexuality and media representation a few days ago which got heaps of notes last night and one of them was some rando saying only plants are asexual. I think I handled it pretty well http://aussiekirkland.tumblr.com/post/152930153534/aussiekirkland-lord-skeletor-heres-a-photo-of

 

I was contemplating how to respond when I remembered my wearable art project 2 years ago was literal plants and I found this selfie buried in my deviantart scraps.

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On 7/8/2016 at 4:14 PM, morallygayro said:,     ,       ,            ,           

3. Why did they mention their asexuality in the first place? Why is that necessary information?

 

Why do you people (by which I mean people who insist acephobia doesn't exist) seem to think "don't call yourself asexual" is a solution? If someone would treat you worse if you say you're attracted to the same sex, you can just not tell them either. But the fact that you have to worry about who it's safe to tell about an aspect of your identity is a sign that you are being discriminated against. I don't ever have to wonder if someone will treat me worse if I tell them that I like to eat chocolate or that I crochet. Even saying something like that I don't like Twilight, it might make someone a bit upset if they're a huge fan, but they won't suddenly start verbally abusing me or violating my boundaries in reaction. But I have had people who have done those things because I told them I am asexual, and people who I am afraid to tell because they might treat me worse. That's discrimination. Just because you can successfully hide an identity doesn't mean that it's not a stigmatized identity. That doesn't even make any sense.

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I'm glad this thread exists because I often feel like I don't completely belong in aven as I feel my aromanticism makes a bigger impact in my life than my asexuality. It really annoys me how most asexuals are trying to seperate asexuality and aromanticism completely and I have to come out as aroace more rather than just ace.

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1 hour ago, Treehugger said:

It really annoys me how most asexuals are trying to seperate asexuality and aromanticism completely and I have to come out as aroace more rather than just ace.

I kind of went back and forth on this for a while. I think it is vital to separate asexuality and aromanticism, but a lot of the reasoning for it in the asexual community (by allo aces) is what I take issue with. It's usually something along the lines of "stop lumping asexuals with aromantics! not all of us are aro most of us can still love just like everyone else!) in that really dehumanizing way that kind of throws aros under the bus in order to make the community more palatable for the mainstream. Lumping aros with aces tends to hurt aros more than allo aces in my opinion, since aros (especially allo aros!) are shoved under the umbrella of asexuality and often erased because of it.

 

My asexuality is a big part of my life but doesn't make nearly as much of a daily impact on me as my aromanticism and I think the more I started to realize that the more I started to realize how important it is to have an aromantic community distinct from the asexual community, even though there will always be overlap.

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On 05/11/2017 at 6:16 PM, techno-trashcan said:

I kind of went back and forth on this for a while. I think it is vital to separate asexuality and aromanticism, but a lot of the reasoning for it in the asexual community (by allo aces) is what I take issue with. It's usually something along the lines of "stop lumping asexuals with aromantics! not all of us are aro most of us can still love just like everyone else!) in that really dehumanizing way that kind of throws aros under the bus in order to make the community more palatable for the mainstream.

I think it's case that the distinction matters far more to people who are varioriented (which is allo aces, aro allos and a minority of allo allos). Than it does to people who are perioriented (which is aro aces and the majority of allo allos).

IME the "asexual community", at least as represented by AVEN, is primarily allo ace.

 

On 05/11/2017 at 6:16 PM, techno-trashcan said:

My asexuality is a big part of my life but doesn't make nearly as much of a daily impact on me as my aromanticism and I think the more I started to realize that the more I started to realize how important it is to have an aromantic community distinct from the asexual community, even though there will always be overlap.

I suspect that might be because romance and romantic relationships are much more "public" in terms of social attitudes.

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On 11/6/2017 at 6:50 AM, Mark said:

I suspect that might be because romance and romantic relationships are much more "public" in terms of social attitudes.

Absolutely! And in addition to that, a lot more people understand what asexual means than what aromantic means, and romance is seen as such a human universal by so many allos that being aromantic is way more alienating and I feel like I have to hide it way more

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I'm not sure if it's just me, but I feel that asexuality is much easier for the general audience to understand compared to aromanticism.

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regarding amatanormativity, I dislike any claim that oppression is a conscious and purposeful thing. perhaps in precise behavior a person might speak against something which they find unhealthy, but in doing so they only reveal that teh culture itself distrusts such the thing - it is not that, in full knowing, some beast called "culture" says, "no, no, that is not a good thing" but instead that it is an alien concept and therefore distrusted, and in being distrusted, is of course rejected.

 

a person who is a stranger hearing of strange ideas will dislike you, and this is not oppression, but instead, strangers distrusting strangers. you could be a fool or a troll and they wouldn't know of it - you could be a threat or a friend and they couldn't tell the difference.

 

ignorance only is oppression when an actor who knows you well keeps you prisoner, where you expect benefactor, especially if you rely on them in some way. but the line isn't easy to spot, the difference between a person who is not able to hear your message, and a person who suppresses it knowingly.

 

I do not say that the culture being foreign to your message isn't a headache and a half to work against, and it certainly is and can be quite painful to live in a culture ignorant to your identity. but to claim it is evil for its lack of awareness - that I challenge.

 

 

 

---

regarding communities,

 

As I am greysexual and demiromantic, it is weird in both communities for me. at times I really relate, at others I really don't. heh.

 

for me personally, identifying that my romantic attraction is its own thing and my sexual attraction too its own thing, was quite imperative. but, now in knowing of it, it is just attraction either way in the end - whether I choose to enter a relationship this way or that way is a decision, not attraction. I intend to be with a person I'm attracted to; end regardless of whether it is romantically, sexualy, both, or neither, the relationship is determined by both of us in cooperation of it, and while influenced by our attractions, well, we'll likely celebrate birthdays and meet family for holidays and reside together and share hobbies and go on vacation together and etc. and that has nothing to do with either.

 

in a way the thing which is the hardest to battle is this belief of falling in love! lol. For myself - I don't do such a thing, no, I grow trust in them, and build habits of active togetherness. but that "in love" experience that is romance - well it ain't so bad if I get it, I'll deal, but I'd in fact rather not get it. doesn't add anything special to togehterness, not for me. What I want is basically a roomate :P

 

 

*now fully rambling, if she wasn't already before now lmao*

 

well, I actually do want a roomate, and a friend. not some random roomy you get 'cause you need to share rent, a roommate you live with because you enjoy their company. I wouldn't mind rooming with a couple either, or in a sense wouldn't mind living with and as a part of a multiples relationship, what're they called again? but like. idk. I'd also like to live alone. right now, my goal is to sometime get employed, and save up and then move out. I don't want to live with my parents. I wouldn't want to live with any of my family either - tho I enjoy their company, I dunno. I dunno.

 

I wish I had better opportunities to get out and to be honest, I really enjoyed living on my own. while if you ask me, "what do you want in a relationship" I'll say, "well first a friend. and if you mean in a partnership, then, well, I don't know. something built off of platonic fondness and partnership first and foremost, that's what's most important" but if you ask me, "do you want one" I will say, "nah, maybe if I run into it that'd be ok, but I ain't gonna search for it that's for sure"

 

 

 

 

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On 12/11/2017 at 2:42 AM, Ace of Amethysts said:

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I feel that asexuality is much easier for the general audience to understand compared to aromanticism.

Another factor is romantic relationships without sex are a socially acceptable known quantity.
Which do not require questioning the platonic friendship/romantic relationship binary.

I think what causes problems is that many aros want to romantic coded things outside of romantic relationships often with friends. Which does require challenging concepts like "I don't kiss/have sex with/hold hands with/date/snuggle/share certain thoughts/etc with friends. I'll only do those with my (potential) partner/fiance/spouse."

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On 11/12/2017 at 3:42 AM, Ace of Amethysts said:

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I feel that asexuality is much easier for the general audience to understand compared to aromanticism.

The full meaning of asexuality isn't so easy to understand for the general audience, though. They often assume it's an endocrinological problem, come up with objections like “Wait… you masturbate? How can you be asexual then?”, think being asexual is the natural state for the “human female” or just totally refuse to believe that some guy could possibly be asexual. So, “asexuality” might be more easily accepted as a concept, but the drawback is that more extreme misconceptions occur.

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12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

The full meaning of asexuality isn't so easy to understand for the general audience, though.

I'm thinking that "accept" might describe things better than "understand".
Even though there might be several misunderstandings about asexuality allo aces may not stand out much from allo allos.

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Hi guys, it's been a very long time since I've been at all involved with the asexual community. My life got real busy and I couldn't stand the discourse anymore. 

I have also come to a point where I realize most people won't ever understand me, let alone my sexuality. That is okay, not everyone is meant to know you. I still feel confident calling myself asexual. I normally just tell people that I'm queer though, it's easier for the noobs in my life. 

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On 11/12/2017 at 5:27 PM, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

a person who is a stranger hearing of strange ideas will dislike you, and this is not oppression, but instead, strangers distrusting strangers. you could be a fool or a troll and they wouldn't know of it - you could be a threat or a friend and they couldn't tell the difference.

 

ignorance only is oppression when an actor who knows you well keeps you prisoner, where you expect benefactor, especially if you rely on them in some way. but the line isn't easy to spot, the difference between a person who is not able to hear your message, and a person who suppresses it knowingly.

 

I do not say that the culture being foreign to your message isn't a headache and a half to work against, and it certainly is and can be quite painful to live in a culture ignorant to your identity. but to claim it is evil for its lack of awareness - that I challenge.

The problem is that the identities we're talking about are based on subjective experience; it's like grapheme-colour synaesthesia. And there's simply no direct way to prove that such a type of conscious experience really occurs, it can sadly only be made plausible indirectly, which exacerbates this problem.

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