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aro_elise
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i took a survey for the asexual community.  it was made clear that people not on the ace spectrum were welcome to participate, and i indicated that i wasn't on it.  this is what i said in the final open-ended question ("is there anything else you'd like to share?") and i'm sharing it here in case anyone's interested in reading my thoughts and/or sharing theirs.

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i think my attitude towards sex is at least partly due to my aromanticism--i just don't see the big deal.  if we use 'sex' to mean 'intercourse' (not that i've had much experience otherwise) i'm virgin at 19 and i don't care one way or the other.  i've had people ask whether i was gay (no), religious (yes but that has nothing to do with it), or waiting until marriage (even if i wanted to get married, that would be a no).  i have been mistaken for asexual, but only after saying that i'm aromantic.  on the other hand, some people seem to think that my sexuality must in some way make up for my romantic orientation (i.e. i must be sexually attracted to and/or have sex with lots of people), but as i say, it seems to be LESS...prominent? than most people's.  it's more like a hobby, just a relatively minor part of my life.  someone described their sexual orientation as 'hetero but so aro it doesn't even matter' and i definitely relate to that.  also, i'm polyamorous, which to me means that i can be attracted (sexually and/or platonically, of course) to more than one guy at once and can imagine enjoying relationships with more than one at once.  but just as i don't actively seek out any mono relationship--even if the opportunity came up i'd be wary of the romantic implications, to say the least--i don't seek out multiple or poly ones.  i'm happy being single, but if the perfect opportunity came up--it would probably involve an attractive aro guy with whom i could share time, interests, and emotional support and have fun experiences, good conversation, and sensual/sexual activity--i would be favourable.  this may sound like a typical (romantic and sexual) relationship (though i'm no expert) but i think that both of us being aware and glad that there was no romantic attraction or intent would make all the difference.  we could go out without it being a date, give each other our respective favourite things, whether material or otherwise, simply because we care about each other, feel free to be totally honest with each other about anything but not feel obligated to talk about anything in particular, not feel obligated to anything.  because i know what it's like to be uncomfortable and unhappy in a relationship, even if it's with as kind, smart, funny, generous, and considerate a person as my ex.  i'm very happy we're still friends.  my friends are so dear and important to me.  me, the dysthymic introvert.  that's how i know my aromanticism isn't just a side effect of my personality or mental illness, not that that--or anything--would invalidate it.

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5 hours ago, aro_elise said:

some people seem to think that my sexuality must in some way make up for my romantic orientation (i.e. i must be sexually attracted to and/or have sex with lots of people), but as i say, it seems to be LESS...prominent? than most people's

It's a really odd belief this O.o. As @DeltaV pointed out elsewhere, why would the absence of romantic attraction be expected to say anything about the strength of the sexual attraction that you feel? (and I actually think that romantic attraction could have a multiplier/feedback effect on sexual attraction, potentially making the latter stronger than it would otherwise be)

 

5 hours ago, aro_elise said:

but just as i don't actively seek out any mono relationship--even if the opportunity came up i'd be wary of the romantic implications, to say the least--i don't seek out multiple or poly ones.  i'm happy being single, but if the perfect opportunity came up--it would probably involve an attractive aro guy with whom i could share time, interests, and emotional support and have fun experiences, good conversation, and sensual/sexual activity--i would be favourable

 

That's basically the attitude I've taken. Except that in my case, I don't think that I've put enough effort into opening myself up to others and putting myself into contexts where that "perfect opportunity" had some semi-reasonable odds of happening (well, that and not knowing about aromanticism 10+ years ago - that woulda helpled a whole lot, so I'm quite jelous of you there!) I need to work on that emotional openness. Plus self-acceptance re. the potentially 'egodystonic' aspects of aromantic sexual relationships - that it's okay to have sex without (romantic) love. I think I also spent a long time prioritising 'mind needs' over 'body needs', probably (I'll get around to girls later, once I'm done with learning cool stuff, lol). Which is okay, but I'm not getting any younger (I'm 32 now) and, as somebody who definitely feels sexual attraction, I'd kinda like to see what all the fuss is about regarding sex xD

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8 hours ago, aro_elise said:

i have been mistaken for asexual, but only after saying that i'm aromantic.  on the other hand, some people seem to think that my sexuality must in some way make up for my romantic orientation

Oh yes… :eyebrow:

 

In formulas:

 

First clueless mode of reasoning:

romo-drive ≈ sex-drive

romo-drivearo = 0

⇒ sex-drivearo ≈ 0

 

Second clueless mode of reasoning:

romo-drive + sex-drive ≈ constant

romo-drivearo = 0

⇒ sex-drivearo ≫ sex-drivenormal

 

It's just baffling how common this sort of thinking is!

8 hours ago, aro_elise said:

 but as i say, it seems to be LESS...prominent? than most people's.  it's more like a hobby, just a relatively minor part of my life.

I'd also regard it as a hobby, though obviously one which takes quite some responsibility.

 

I've also been celibate for an embarrassingly long time… but it's not like I was feeling a big black hole because of that. But right now I would be classified as “sex-obsessed”… somebody having casual sex and not wanting anything else surely must be! :|

 

In earlier times it wouldn't have been such a bad deal for me to become a monk (sure, it would have to be one of the wealthier orders xD). Yes, I would have had to give up one (admittedly very enjoyable) hobby. But at least I wouldn't feel so damn “left out” and it also was a very respected no-romo-lifestyle.

 

If only the Order of the Emerald Arrow would exist *sigh*. Aros supporting each other, making us feel less lonely. Open for all religions and worldviews and doesn't even enforce celibacy (please be discreet, though)! Only strict requirement: no romo. :aropride:

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4 hours ago, DeltaV said:

In earlier times it wouldn't have been such a bad deal for me to become a monk (sure, it would have to be one of the wealthier orders xD). Yes, I would have had to give up one (admittedly very enjoyable) hobby. But at least I wouldn't feel so damn “left out” and it also was a very respected no-romo-lifestyle.

Still possible to become a monk today :D. Since getting more interested in Buddhism, it's something I've vaguely considered (on a temporary/trial basis, at least)

 

Pros: like you say, belonging to a stable community of friends who won't abandon you for romance - or be scattered to the winds moving around for new jobs. You can dedicate time to sorting out your shit. You won't be making things any worse (probably).

 

Cons: I don't see any reason to believe in some specific metaphysical doctrines like reincarnation (but this might not be such an issue under some of the more "shut up and meditate" oriented schools?) Agree that enforced celibacy seems a bit arbitrary (maybe the "dangers" of sensory pleasures are a bit exaggerated?) Is dedicating lives to a monastic order morally defensible, in the short term, in a world with climate change and nuclear weapons? (shouldn't we be sorting these things out first?)

 

4 hours ago, DeltaV said:

If only the Order of the Emerald Arrow would exist *sigh*.

Yeah, honestly, this sounds better. How's that holy book of yours coming along? If Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard can do it...  xD

 

@aro_elise Um, sorry for hijacking your thread with a bunch of off-topic ramblings. It's the only thing I seem to know how to do 9_9

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A link to the survey would be nice to give some context to your random thoughts. 

 

 

17 hours ago, aro_elise said:

this may sound like a typical (romantic and sexual) relationship (though i'm no expert) but i think that both of us being aware and glad that there was no romantic attraction or intent would make all the difference.

Definitely makes all the difference! Especially if it means that the no romo is mutually acknowledged and you both have an understanding about what is repulsive or makes either of the people uncomfortable. The last thing you want is someone trying to sneak some romo into a relationship (I would be much more offended by that than say, If I found out the other person was having sex with someone I mucho dislike)

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On 11/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, NullVector said:

Cons: I don't see any reason to believe in some specific metaphysical doctrines like reincarnation (but this might not be such an issue under some of the more "shut up and meditate" oriented schools?)

I guess, becoming a Taoist monk would be easier in this regard… but do they even exist? :D You hear so rarely about them…

On 11/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, NullVector said:

 Agree that enforced celibacy seems a bit arbitrary (maybe the "dangers" of sensory pleasures are a bit exaggerated?)

And the Catholic ones aren't so averse to non-sexual sensory pleasures:

Spoiler

358318b48c714ae6ebde036a5fa69181.jpg

There doesn't seem to be a good reason why sexual pleasure should be intrinsically more “problematic” than any other type. Agree? But of course, in the good old days, you couldn't run a cloister if regularly women with illegitimate children turn up, saying: “Look, daddy is a monk there!”

 

Some Theravada prescriptions for monks are just absurd, though. Not even being allowed to touch (like shake hands) a woman? I still can't decide if that's sexist1 against men, women or both.


But then with Tibetan Buddhism, you always hear about scandalous stuff (ok, if it's consensual, it would be only hypocritical), like Karmamudrā:

 

There are different stances on whether current monks can engage in the practice. The Buddhist scholar Tripitakamala felt the overall goal of Buddhahood overrides concerns for monastic vows.

 

“Celibacy” surely has acquired a new meaning now. :D  It seems religions only know two options: demonize sex or exalt it to an absurd degree. :S

 

1 yeah, I don't agree with the tumblr consensus regarding the word “sexist”

On 11/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, NullVector said:

Is dedicating lives to a monastic order morally defensible, in the short term, in a world with climate change and nuclear weapons? (shouldn't we be sorting these things out first?

Most people would just say “what can I, as a single individual, do about it anyway?”. You argue like Sartre:

 

When we say that man chooses himself, we do mean that every one of us must choose himself; but by that we also mean that in choosing for himself he chooses for all men. For in effect, of all the actions a man may take in order to create himself as he wills to be, there is not one which is not creative, at the same time, of an image of man such as he believes he ought to be. To choose between this or that is at the same time to affirm the value of that which is chosen; for we are unable ever to choose the worse. – (“Existentialism is a Humanism”)

On 11/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, NullVector said:

Yeah, honestly, this sounds better. How's that holy book of yours coming along? If Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard can do it...  xD

It's not written by me! And the progress of the work depends how often Aros appears and hands me new copper plates, green in color from all the verdigris.

On 11/5/2017 at 10:15 PM, NullVector said:

@aro_elise Um, sorry for hijacking your thread with a bunch of off-topic ramblings. It's the only thing I seem to know how to do 9_9

@aro_elise yeah… sorry… and I couldn't resist replying with even worse off-topic silliness. :$

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I have a feeling this topic will never return on topic with all these interesting comments to make to interesting comments, but the title it 'Random Thoughts' which really is what this is turning into. 

12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

But of course, in the good old days, you couldn't run a cloister if regularly women with illegitimate children turn up, saying: “Look, daddy is a monk there!”

but of course in the good old good days there were Orders of double houses. Before celibacy was enforced they were monasteries where married monks and nuns could live together to raise their children, and even when celibacy was enforced double orders like the Order of Fontevraud or Paraclete were favoured by people who had been couples even though there was fairly strict segregation. Though the female side of the order accepted from nobility to ex-prostitutes.  

 

12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

yeah, I don't agree with the tumblr consensus regarding the word “sexist”

I am assuming the tumblr derps have it as only possibly effecting women? (I avoid tumblr mostly so I am just guessing the most SJW thing I can think of) 

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On 11/11/2017 at 7:49 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Before celibacy was enforced they were monasteries where married monks and nuns could live together to raise their children

Interesting, do you know any sources (if you don't mind)? AFAIK celibacy was introduced in the 4th century, but probably not taken that seriously until the 11th century. But was this also the case for monks (instead of just for priests)?

On 11/11/2017 at 7:49 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Before celibacy was enforced they were monasteries where married monks and nuns could live together to raise their children, and even when celibacy was enforced double orders like the Order of Fontevraud or Paraclete were favoured by people who had been couples even though there was fairly strict segregation.

Syneisaktism” – brace for the friend zone jokes. xD

On 11/11/2017 at 7:49 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I am assuming the tumblr derps have it as only possibly effecting women? (I avoid tumblr mostly so I am just guessing the most SJW thing I can think of)

Yes, exactly: “There’s no such thing as sexism against men. That's because sexism is prejudice + power.”

 

I'm not favorable about such kinds of linguistic prescriptivism. In general the modern tendency to push the debate from the content-level to the meta-level (especially bad in Internet communities) is very unfortunate. Like what I say now would be shot down as “concern trolling”. xD “Debating someone to the point of speechlessness” ≠ Socrates. Rather people will think “sophist” and simply go away, without any change of mind.

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12 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Interesting, do you know any sources (if you don't mind)? AFAIK celibacy was introduced in the 4th century, but probably not taken that seriously until the 11th century. But was this also the case for monks (instead of just for priests)?

I get most of my information from an old book that is out of print, but most of that is gathered from the primary source of correspondence between a woman called Heloise, who once headed the Order of Paraclete, to her husband Peter Abelard. Some of the medieval primary resource sites might have translations. Double houses were an interesting anomaly so I am pretty sure more modern investigation has been done. I don't know about the monks/priests thing, the book's focus was on women in power in historical religious settings. 

I didn't delve into the references but here are some of the references for that part

 

Reference008_640x337.jpg 

 

Anything like that from tumblr seems like it is written by 13 year old who are sure they know everything. I think I was once called out for concern trolling or something similar when I got into what I thought was a discussion of semantics because I didn't understand the way they were using certain words. About 9 replies in they declare they were not going to 'fight about semantics' ~ that was the whole point of our discussion and it certainly wasn't a fight (though in this case, because of the topic, I like to think the person was some SJW 45 year old who forgot what it is like to be a teenager). 

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