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Topic: Episode 3: Asexuals  (Read 10727 times)

Lemon

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Episode 3: Asexuals
« on: January 26, 2013, 09:24:04 pm »
Now it's time for the asexuals to get their say! We sat down with three webcomic artists who have no shame in telling you that they have not had sex in their lives. Might they do so in the future? That was discussed in a great conversation that went from Racists' who want promiscuous children to things to do in Las Vegas when you're asexual to the correct title of a Pixar parody porn title, and all logical points in between.

fluffy

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 05:00:08 pm »
So, I liked this episode for showing some reasonable balance with some asexuals who weren't AVENites, and weren't ashamed of what quirks they actually had. However, I did take issue with the short-sightedness of them stating (one outright, the other two agreeing) that the gay marriage issue doesn't involve asexuals at all.

A lot of asexuals still form romantic attachments, and those romantic attachments can still be same-sex and still develop into a desire for marriage (even without sexual involvement).

Plus, there's the general issue of how wanting other people to have rights even if those rights don't affect them is just plain, you know, neighborly.

There's also been some pretty good writing about how asexuality is legitimately on the queer spectrum. It's a bit alarming how many people only want to be inclusive to other people who are just like them, and their fight for equal rights, respect, and visibility and so on ends with their own personal issues - and then those people turn around and try to still differentiate why other people shouldn't get those rights, respect, or visibility.

Meanwhile, the AVEN forums themselves are pretty terrible, but David Jay seems to have his act together pretty well, and he's pretty well-spoken when it comes to relating with the media, at least.  So, here's a two-for-one in which David Jay addresses these issues.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 05:01:40 pm by fluffy »

Chaz

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 05:40:50 pm »
I did take issue with the short-sightedness of them stating (one outright, the other two agreeing) that the gay marriage issue doesn't involve asexuals at all.

Hi there, I was one of the three guests on this episode, so I'm here to discuss this. I think I know what part you're referring to (Our response to the question "Is there any consideration to asexual rights?"), and I think you might have gotten confused with the wording we used. I agree that same-sex relationships and marriages of any kind, whether sexual or platonic, are important and should definitely be made legal. What we were talking about in response to that question was this whole notion that asexuals are demanding the right to be asexual and nothing else, and how plain silly that notion was.

If someone is a romantic asexual and wants to enter into a same-sex relationship and get married, then yes, they should have the right to do that. However, that still falls under same-sex marriage rights, rather than asexual rights. If someone is asexual and isn't interested in having a relationship at all, they already have all the rights they need as a human being, they don't need anything more than that.

Keetah's on this forum too, and Icarus might drop by as well, so if I haven't answered your response appropriately (I do sometimes have a hard time finding the right words to respond to these kinds of issues), then hopefully one of them can help clear things up!

Keetah Spacecat

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 06:15:05 pm »
I'm going to echo Chaz too, since I was also in the podcast, that everyone should have marriage rights regardless of their sexual preference. I apologize for being really short sighted about the romantic spectrum of asexuality (seeing that I'm in it) in regards to same sex romantic relationships. If someone is in a homoromantic relationship by all means they should be allowed to get married! All of us are for marriage rights in general.

Asexuals for the most part enjoy the same rights as a straight person (unless of course they want to be married in a same sex relationship or are trans*), so we were focused mainly on the individuals (mostly idiots on tumblr) crying oppression over everything while GLTBQ members risk being killed for just the simple act of coming out. Of course everyone deserves to be treated with respect, but we we're for the most part calling out the more....stupid and non-nice parts of the asexual community as a whole. Especially when compared to the struggles the GLTBQ community had to go through just to keep from being JAILED for being who they are.

fluffy

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 06:44:34 pm »
Okay, that's a lot more reasonable!  I do agree that the idea of asexual-specific rights is more than a bit silly.

However, even if people don't tend to get violent against asexuals SPECIFICALLY, there's still a lot of marginalization and microaggression type stuff that occurs, not to mention all of the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose stuff around it where asexuality gets marginalized, ridiculed, and shamed.  Of course that all falls under the banner of basic human decency and it's not like it's only asexuals who experience that, but the phrasing I heard in the podcast seemed to just sort of go along with that being okay.  But it's also easy to take it out of context.

I do worry that a non-asexual non-supportive asexuals-are-just-repressed-homosexuals type might take that part of the podcast out of context and say, "See? Even asexuals don't think they need to be considered queer!" but people are always going to try to shit on other people no matter what, I guess.

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 06:52:50 pm »
By the way, what about "gray-a" and "demisexual?" Those particular terms got a lot of ridicule on the original fpl.us podcast, and I seem to recall the irregular one just sort of glossing over it, but I've seen some pretty good defenses of the terms - the problem of course is that the soundbitey definition that's so easy to rail against loses a lot of nuance (and the echo-chamber nature of the various asexuality forums doesn't help at all).

It seems like sexuality, attraction, and gender are really more of a continuum, and specific terms only serve to talk about extreme, highly-constrained points along that continuum.  So, while I used to think those terms were silly, I've more recently come to see them as valid, if only that they're shorthands for more complex explanations like "I'm asexual except for under very specific circumstances."

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2013, 08:01:56 pm »
The more I listened to this Irregular episode, the more I came to realise my own identification with a lot of what was said by the three guests about being asexual. I'm not saying that I would feel comfortable in not having sex but I can definately see the appeal in passing it up.

I don't remember if this was covered in the asexual episode, but I'm curious as to how many partners or past relationships the guests had been in before either coming to terms with their asexuality or experiencing a relationship as an asexual person (I know one of them had a partner that they couldn't have sex with due to medical reasons). I don't really know if my own personal disinterest with sex arises because I can't get into a relationship or not, could anyone comment on their experience?

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 08:15:03 pm »
Is it okay if that's answered by someone who wasn't a podcast guest? I've identified as asexual for many, many years.  I've never had sex, despite having many opportunities to do so.  On the other hand, plenty of asexuals force themselves to have sex but never really like it (same way that a gay person can end up forcing oneself to have sex with a member of the opposite sex to try to conform or whatever, which I suspect is also at the core of many conservative Christians' belief that homosexuality is a "temptation" that one must not give into).

I've been in a few relationships, usually with members of the same biological sex as myself, and usually they were problematic because of the imbalance where they wanted sex and I didn't, and couldn't understand how I would be uninterested (but I loved snuggling with them regardless).

In my case there's also some gender dysphoria going on; I identify as neutrois and would prefer to not have genitalia at all.  That has always been an aspect of myself, and it's not due to any sort of trauma or the like (for some reason the first assumption people make is that I must have been sexually abused as a child or something, so I just need to get that out in the open at the outset).

Like Chaz (I think he's the one who discussed the entrapment fantasy) I do have kinks that I find to be sexy in and of themselves, but that's different than sexual attraction and I think stems from the biological needs from my (lowered, but still existent) sex drive that tries to reach out in other ways.

Sexuality is complicated and different for everyone; it's just that most people have enough common ground that their respective differences are easy to compartmentalize.  Really, it's something that everyone has to figure out for themselves.

Chaz

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 08:59:03 pm »
I don't remember if this was covered in the asexual episode, but I'm curious as to how many partners or past relationships the guests had been in before either coming to terms with their asexuality or experiencing a relationship as an asexual person

For me, that would have been one relationship. I was still exploring at the time, and I met this other guy  who I ended up becoming boyfriends with, but they started to be pretty obsessed about engaging in a sexual relationship, and I really didn't feel interested or comfortable with it at all. He thought I was trying to troll him and pretty much word-for-word said "You can't have a relationship without sex". At that point I figured it wasn't worth trying to keep the relationship anymore.

Keetah Spacecat

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 10:24:02 pm »
I've always held the idea to heart that people shouldn't be huge jerks to each other, that includes asexuals. Hassling someone for their sexuality is just not cool. If they are being a big huge jerk, hassle them for being a big huge jerk, not because they are ____.

I'm also going to say that even though I identify as Asexual, it could be a side effect of both trauma and medical issues. Or it could just be my natural sexuality. But I've always been attracted to people's personalities and wanting to just be with them instead of it being a sexual thing. I don't know if it's something I'll ever be able to know unless they have a magic cure all pill and can fix my crooked pelvis and back so I didn't have to worry about getting hurt having sex :x

And for me I dated in highschool, and I went to a tight christian private school. If you were caught having sex you were expelled, and they'd usually expel the female students more than the male ones. My then boyfriend pressured me for sex all the time, and I told him no because I valued my scholarship that I'd get when I graduate more than a quickie. So he cheated on me and then dumped me over email :B Hah!

I've been with my current boyfriend/fiance now for 6 years. He's never once pressured me for sex and he is a wonderful man. I'm willing to try sex though to make him happy, but every time we even THINK about trying something his mother or my roommates come into our doorless room and ask to be driven to Walmart or to clean up cat puke.

It's funny cause his mother wants us to just do it so bad but won't leave us alone enough to try anything hahaha!

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 11:32:27 pm »
What about a motel room? If you're not crazy about the idea of sex, that's one thing, but if you really want to try it then "doorless room" is one of the easier hurdles to jump.

Keetah Spacecat

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 11:37:33 pm »
I'm actually saving up for a nice weekend at a local bed and breakfast. I'd rather just save up and drop money on a really nice room with some good food than the local motels (that have very bad reps) It's super awesome cause there's hottub like bathtubs in the rooms, and for an extra fee they can 'romanceify' the rooms. It's going to be very nice and romantic! I'm shooting for a date in March because work probably won't let me take off at all this month. Bleh.

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 11:39:22 am »
Good luck to you Miss Spacecat! I hope it all works out for you and your fiance.

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 01:32:35 am »
It's funny how small the internet can be. I already knew Chaz's name from a mutual artist contact, and was rather surprised to hear him in the episode!

I actually have a sister who identifies as a 'panromantic grey-area asexual' and who has made a big kerfuffle about depictions of asexuals in the mass media and so forth in her university's LGBT center. She also says that her coming out to people as such on the first date leads to people dropping her like a hat and her love live consequently wasting away. Both the Aces & Cakes as well as the Irregular episode have been interesting for that reason.

I hope the interviewees don't mind me asking, but how common is behavior like this in the asexual community? Do you guys and girls feel like it's necessary to come out early in the dating process? How do you find other people who're sexually and emotionally compatible with you? I'm quite curious. :)

Thank you!

By the way: I love the idea behind Irregular, and would love to see more shows in the future. I imagine they can be difficult to set up, but I'd just like to say right now that the effort is appreciated. The F Plus is funny, but these, I find not only funny, but also insightful. It's nice to know how some of these groups live, and I feel like you give them a fair shake on Irregular. So thanks for putting these together, guys, it means a lot.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 01:39:11 am by Adept Omega »

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Re: Episode 3: Asexuals
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 05:40:43 am »

I hope the interviewees don't mind me asking, but how common is behavior like this in the asexual community? Do you guys and girls feel like it's necessary to come out early in the dating process? How do you find other people who're sexually and emotionally compatible with you? I'm quite curious. :)


personally i avoid the asexual "community" as much as possible. having through chance found friends who are also asexual was just sort of a nice surprise. but as far as any niche identity internet community goes, they all seem to be different flavours of the same brand of terrible. so i have no idea how common that behavior is inside the community, since i don't go there.

as to the dating thing, i never actively sought to date anyone. friends worked just fine if i ever needed any emotional support or connection. that doesn't mean people didn't seek me out, though, and when i'd tell them they were barking up the wrong tree and that i identified as asexual? i would almost always get something like this. (excuse the fuzziness, and yes more often than not the last one was meant to be a pick-up line.)

but each experience is different.