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Author Topic: A Life Without Sex: The Third Phase of the Asexuality Movement  (Read 1560 times)
Beet
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« on: April 04, 2012, 09:09:53 pm »
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At its most basic, asexuality is defined by an absence of sexual attraction. Some asexual people are in romantic relationships, others aren't. Some are outgoing, others are shy. Some are sexually active for the sake of their partners or social pressure, some have never so much as kissed another person. Some think sex is disgusting, some are indifferent, and some think it's great for other people but have no wish to "go there" themselves.

But what all asexual people have in common -- and what defines asexuality as an orientation -- is that, while they may have a desire to connect with other people, asexuals have no desire to connect with them sexually. Asexual people are not the same as celibate people: it's not that they are purposefully or unintentionally abstaining from sex they would otherwise like to have, but rather that they have no interest in it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/

And more:

"in order to become a point of identification, not being interested in sex had to first be considered a problem -- or at the very least something worth commenting on. Asexuality exists as we know it in part because of the assumption that, unless otherwise stated, everyone is either having regular, passionate sex or seeking it out. It also exists because of the assumption that, if you're not doing that, there is something medically or psychologically wrong with you."

I think I'm limited to three paragraphs, but the entire article is quite good.
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Senator Polnut
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 09:15:33 pm »
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I met someone who claimed to be asexual... it's kind of strange, because until you're around someone who really doesn't think about sex at all, you don't realise how much you actually do.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 12:18:35 pm »
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Mental illness?
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 12:45:51 pm »
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Do they really mean asexual or do they mean autosexual?
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 12:53:02 pm »
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Mental illness?

Clearly.
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Beet
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 02:13:21 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

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Do they really mean asexual or do they mean autosexual?

http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/30870-asexual-vs-autosexual/

There are multiple ways in which the term 'autosexual' can be used: as an orientation and as a behavior. As an orientation, it refers to someone who only desires themselves. As a behavior, it refers to someone who masturbates but does not have sex. Those who orient autosexual also technically orient asexual, because they do not desire to have sex. Meanwhile those who behave autosexual may be asexual, or they may be sexual.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 02:48:26 pm »
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I agree with both the above statements.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 03:11:52 pm »
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I've never met an asexual. Is it true they don't think about sex AT ALL? How is that possible? What else is there to think about?
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 03:24:38 pm »
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I've never met an asexual. Is it true they don't think about sex AT ALL? How is that possible? What else is there to think about?

I would think most asexuals think about sex simply because we are forced to; it is impossible to live in modern society and not think about sex. To many asexuals, sexual desire is like an invisible elephant that suddenly appeared at puberty, when everyone around us started talking about it and living as if it were very important, and we know we are supposed to see it, but it remains invisible to us. We are familiar with it as a second-hand notion that is deemed very important but which we are excluded from. Asexuality doesn't preclude desire for a partner, desire for romance, autosexuality (as pointed out above), or other forms of arousal not involving desire for sex.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 03:51:10 pm »
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Perhaps in some people that cylinder never fires. I don't see what the big deal is.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 05:24:20 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 05:53:19 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 06:20:46 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Do you consider homosexuals to be mentally ill as well?  Both are sexual minorities who deviate from the "mainstream".  What's the difference?
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 06:24:05 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.

Benign? A life without sexual compulsions is missing a very necessary ingredient that drives intimate relationships. Legitimate asexuality presumably has pretty negative psychological consequences that cause you to be on the margins of society and never reaching full self-actualization.

I couldn't imagine living without a sexual drive. Maybe in some ways it could be beneficial but it's too foreign a concept for me and it's at the center of the human experience.
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2012, 06:24:47 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Do you consider homosexuals to be mentally ill as well?  Both are sexual minorities who deviate from the "mainstream".  What's the difference?

There's a big difference between having a different sexual preference and not having one at all.
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2012, 06:27:42 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.

Benign? A life without sexual compulsions is missing a very necessary ingredient that drives intimate relationships. Legitimate asexuality presumably has pretty negative psychological consequences that cause you to be on the margins of society and never reaching full self-actualization.

I couldn't imagine living without a sexual drive. Maybe in some ways it could be beneficial but it's too foreign a concept for me and it's at the center of the human experience.

What about procreating, raising children, etc?

Just because you can't imagine a lifestyle doesn't make it justified to condemn it.
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2012, 06:28:08 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention. 

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.

Benign? A life without sexual compulsions is missing a very necessary ingredient that drives intimate relationships.

Nope.

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Legitimate asexuality presumably has pretty negative psychological consequences that cause you to be on the margins of society and never reaching full self-actualization.

Again, from experience, nope.

And, as for me--

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I couldn't imagine living without a sexual drive. Maybe in some ways it could be beneficial but it's too foreign a concept for me.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2012, 06:32:26 pm »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention.  

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.

Benign? A life without sexual compulsions is missing a very necessary ingredient that drives intimate relationships. Legitimate asexuality presumably has pretty negative psychological consequences that cause you to be on the margins of society and never reaching full self-actualization.

I couldn't imagine living without a sexual drive. Maybe in some ways it could be beneficial but it's too foreign a concept for me and it's at the center of the human experience.

What about procreating, raising children, etc?

Just because you can't imagine a lifestyle doesn't make it justified to condemn it.

That's fair but I see there being significant difficulties finding a partner who simply wants to raise children and has only a romantic interest. I see that being tough to overcome.

That's fair. I wasn't trying to condemn it so much as I wanted to say that asexuality seems detrimental psychologically as long as society isn't understanding of it. I'd say the same of homosexuality.
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2012, 06:34:16 pm »
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@Nathan - Could you explain why so that I can further understand asexuality?
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2012, 07:01:54 pm »
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@Nathan - Could you explain why so that I can further understand asexuality?

Why what? I developed 'normally' (read: normatively) until I was about fifteen, at which point some switch or something got thrown and I lost progressively the desire to actually have sex with anybody and then most sexual attraction (it's only active sexual desire that I completely lack, my level of sexual attraction is just very low). There really isn't a 'why' for it, although I am in some ways happy about it since religious ecstasies and creative ability kind of fill in for most of that instinctual field, and 'sitting outside my friends' and acquaintances' love/sex tesseract watching and eating popcorn' for most of the social aspects*.


*this actually isn't due to the asexuality, it's due to celibacy, which is a separate issue for me with much more to do with a specific unrelated event in my life where I lost somebody I really loved.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2012, 09:42:26 pm »
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That's fair but I see there being significant difficulties finding a partner who simply wants to raise children and has only a romantic interest. I see that being tough to overcome.

That's fair. I wasn't trying to condemn it so much as I wanted to say that asexuality seems detrimental psychologically as long as society isn't understanding of it. I'd say the same of homosexuality.

Well yes; it's not any more detrimental than that experienced by any small sexual minority, or for that matter anyone whose partner preferences exclude a large majority of people-- which is, actually far more common than we realize. If a person's partner preferences were somehow wrong or made them incomplete simply because it reduced their chances of finding a mate, then practically all partner preferences, including the most common mainstream ones (thin, large-chested girls; tall, well-built men) are detrimental. It's more a matter of degree than a bright line. Of course, having visible communities where like-minded people can come together can make a real difference.
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2012, 10:23:11 pm »
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Do you consider homosexuals to be mentally ill as well?  Both are sexual minorities who deviate from the "mainstream".  What's the difference?

No buddy, a hole is a hole.  Its even just the right size and shape!
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 10:26:10 pm »
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Do you consider homosexuals to be mentally ill as well?  Both are sexual minorities who deviate from the "mainstream".  What's the difference?

No buddy, a hole is a hole.  Its even just the right size and shape!

In that case what, precisely, is 'wrong' with a specific deviation involving not caring about holes? Put another way, what makes interest in holes of such value to you?
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2012, 03:32:59 am »
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Asexual is not a mental illness, and the very fact that you would go there is emblematic of the way asexuals are excluded, rendered invisible, and otherwise marginalized by sexuals.

No, I didn't exclude them.  Sick people are very much 'with us', and can be quite visible as long as they're ambulatory or functional - in point of fact when they go on killing sprees they become quite the center of attention.  

True, they're 'on the margin', but after all, isn't it true that the vast majority of people have a working gonad and a brain connected to it?

Why would that entail sickness on the part of the minority? It's an entirely benign sickness at worse, and hence not in the conventional sense a sickness at all.

Benign? A life without sexual compulsions is missing a very necessary ingredient that drives intimate relationships. Legitimate asexuality presumably has pretty negative psychological consequences that cause you to be on the margins of society and never reaching full self-actualization.

I couldn't imagine living without a sexual drive. Maybe in some ways it could be beneficial but it's too foreign a concept for me and it's at the center of the human experience.

What about procreating, raising children, etc?

Just because you can't imagine a lifestyle doesn't make it justified to condemn it.

That's fair but I see there being significant difficulties finding a partner who simply wants to raise children and has only a romantic interest. I see that being tough to overcome.

That's fair. I wasn't trying to condemn it so much as I wanted to say that asexuality seems detrimental psychologically as long as society isn't understanding of it. I'd say the same of homosexuality.

I think you misunderstand me. I meant that many people would view things like raising children  as being at the centre of the human experience. Yet, a fair share don't want to or can't. And of course gay people are precluded from doing so, at least in the standard way. Yet, few would say that all such people are psychologically damaged.

I'll admit that I don't get asexuality. At the same time, I don't really care how people live their lives.
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2012, 10:22:59 am »
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Do you consider homosexuals to be mentally ill as well?  Both are sexual minorities who deviate from the "mainstream".  What's the difference?

No buddy, a hole is a hole.  Its even just the right size and shape!

In that case what, precisely, is 'wrong' with a specific deviation involving not caring about holes? Put another way, what makes interest in holes of such value to you?

To turn the nail on its head, do you also approve of anorexia?  Tis the same sort of disorder, pal.
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