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Poster:  Karl
Forum: Blog Post Discussion
Post01 Feb 2009, 04:45
No new posts
[This post was originally written by site member Omnes et Nihil on March 13, 2008]

The real question is why people are looking for a “cause” of sexual orientation, or specific sexual orientations, to begin with. Proof or no proof is completely beside the point. If we’re going to talk about scientific evidence, we should consider all the interpretations of the data, not just some that appear convienent. But I don’t for a moment think that it is helpful–or even makes sense–to talk about scientific evidence surrounding the “causes” of sexual orientation. In fact, I think that argument is inherently problematic.

Arguing that sexual orientation (of any kind) is genetic / learned / socialised / set in the womb / ordained by some higher power / otherwise caused… basically all boils down to accepting the premise: if people can be made heterosexual, they should be made heterosexual, and if people can’t be made heterosexual, then society should accept everyone as they are.

It’s a brilliant tactic to avoid challenging heteronormativity, because no matter what cause of sexual orientation people believe, and no matter what legal and social rights people believe people should have as a result, we’re still protecting heterosexuality’s pedestal.

Personally, I’d rather see that pedestal fall, and give people social and political rights regardless of whether their love for other people is caused by genes, their mother or the spaghetti monster.

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 Comments: 4  •  Post a reply  •  Views: 7003

Poster:  Karl
Forum: Blog Post Discussion
Post01 Feb 2009, 04:29
No new posts
[This post was originally written by site member Hu on January 27, 2008]

Plainness (Llaneza)
Jorge Luis Borges, 1968

The garden’s grillwork gate
opens with the ease of a page
in a much thumbed book,
and, once inside, our eyes
have no need to dwell on objects already fixed and exact in memory.
here habits and minds and the private language
all families invent
are everyday things to me.
What necessity is there to speak
or pretend to be someone else?
The whole house knows me,
they’re aware of my worries and weakness.
This is the best that can happen.
What heaven perhaps will grant us:
not to be wondered at or required to succeed
but simply to be let in
as part of an undeniable Reality,
like stones of the road, like trees.



Borges sometimes crops up on those lists of conjectured asexuals of the past — you know, the endless lists that grow on the Wikipedia article and have to be trimmed back like vines. We have to accept that anyone who died before the very recent appearance of an asexual identity can never be anything but an object of conjecture in this regard. It’s true that sexual lust ranked extraordinarily low among Borges’s favored themes, but plenty of scholars will tell you he was gay, which is really just as credible. Whatever the case, I would imagine him a sympathetic soul and certainly a voice we can turn to. This poem in particular stands among my favorite expressions of unadorned love.

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 Comments: 1  •  Post a reply  •  Views: 5988

Poster:  Karl
Forum: Blog Post Discussion
Post01 Feb 2009, 04:24
No new posts
[This post was originally written by site member Vittoria on February 28, 2008]

Sex is great. Fan-bloody-tastic. Not only is it fun, it’s good for you. Burns calories, reduces stress, lowers risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and endometriosis, reaffirms the emotional bond between partners. If people spent more time blowing each other they’d have less time to blow each other up—Make Love, Not War and all that. I love sex. More people should have it (safely). I don’t feel compelled to jump in the pile, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think anyone else who wants to shouldn’t. There are a lot worse things people could be doing with their bodies.

Yes, I’m one of those sex-positive asexuals, which some take to mean an asexual who has sex, but I’m at a loss to find a better phrase for being asexual but endorsing sex as healthy and natural. Some asexuals think every single thing to do with the act is gross, gross, gross and want to hear, see or think about none of it. Those people make me feel lucky that I find sex interesting, intellectually at least, because hating sex while living in the modern world would be rather like disdaining oxygen. It’s everywhere, so either find something about it interesting or resign yourself to being a life-long grump monkey.

I’ve been interested in sex since I was a pre-teen. As a teenager I realised that though I found sex fascinating the physical act didn’t interest me. That discovery didn’t dampen my intellectual interest, however; it made sex even more interesting because it seemed such a driving force for so many people even though it wrecks lives and can have disastrous consequences. Anything with that kind of power is inherently fascinating, as are the ever-shifting social mores and taboos.

Then there are those who protest, “But surely, if you enjoy thinking about it so much you must really want to do it!” To that I say that I’m also fascinated by serial killers—it doesn’t mean I’m planning a spree. I find many things I’m not personally interested in utterly captivating. Their very popularity is what mystifies and compels me. Certain celebrities (whose massive popularity despite their lack of talent or intelligence) fall into the same category.

Having no vested interest in sex can give a person a more unprejudiced view of the mattress rodeo. From a purely anthropological view sex is grossly inaccurately portrayed by the media, abstinence-only education is an excellent way to support the tide of unwanted pregnancy and STDs, and people aren’t doing nearly as many kinky things as frequently as you might think.

Something I love about being a sex positive asexual are the responses from sexual people I receive. People never expect you to have seen a porno or know what bukkake is, let alone where the G-spot is located or that the real person in control in a dominant-submissive scene is the submissive partner. There is a special kind of joy in being able to talk unflappably about things that turn even your most liberal friends a lovely puce. They want to know why I’m such a pervo and I say that sex is like a restaurant—sexual people find the things they like and stay with that part of the menu, but asexuals (of the sex positive variety) wander by the buffet and check everything out because it’s all odd to us. Sure, some things are at the farther end of the wowwee spectrum, but for the most part it’s all baffling to us. We’re not thinking of ourselves in those situations so it’s more academic and less personal. Sex positive asexuals can be a sex positive sexual’s best ally.

And, of course, we don’t mind listening to you bitch about how annoying sex is, either.

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 Comments: 11  •  Post a reply  •  Views: 16347

Poster:  Karl
Forum: Blog Post Discussion
Post01 Feb 2009, 04:21
No new posts
[This post was originally written by site member Spin on March 5, 2008]

My partner once remarked that since an asexual person’s love wasn’t about sexual attraction, it must be something more real and deep. That with an asexual you knew you were loved for who you are.

Sorry hon–and I do really love you–but that ain’t necessarily so. I can be shallow, too.

I’ve had more frivolous crushes than I can count on people I didn’t even like, for the stupidest reasons. I’ve noticed people based on their appearance, their scent, the way they write their fours. I’ve had feelings for girls simply because I found out they liked girls too. I’ve been interested in boys because they used to be girls. I’ve liked people because I couldn’t tell if they were a boy or a girl. I’ve fawned over men and women because they had a good singing voice or artistic skill, or because they were just so damned pretty I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Yeah, I’ve seen people on the street I instantly wanted to drag home for. . .tea.

Most enduring for me are intellectual infatuations–crushes on people’s brains, which sounds like a good enough reason for obsessing about someone, doesn’t it? But I’ve fallen for total jerks because they were intelligent and articulate.

I’m not immune to shallowness, and asexuality doesn’t make my love any more true or pure. Asexuality has always contributed to shyness about pursuing these attractions or being pursued, but I don’t think I’d have made better or worse choices were I sexual.

Asexual people can love others for the wrong reasons, sexual attraction just isn’t one of them. We are as prey as anyone to all the other human weaknesses; superficiality, vanity, pride, selfishness, loneliness, pity, curiosity, rivalry, you name it. We can be charmed or fooled, we can lie to ourselves, we can mislead and use and hurt other people. Our choices are not always good, our motivations are not always honest.

Just like anybody else.

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Poster:  Nathan
Forum: Blog Post Discussion
Post25 May 2008, 14:02
No new posts
Most people on Apositive seem to agree that asexuality is not simply about whether or not somebody has sex, or enjoys sex, or even about whether or not somebody can want to have sex. It's about sexual attraction, and whether sexuality is a part of somebody's life and a necessary aspect of intimate relationships. The media like to portray asexuality as “Here's somebody who doesn't want sex.” Even many asexual people say something like “Asexuals don't experience sexual attraction, and don't want to have sex,” again making it about the act. But asexuality, as I understand it, is about more than some particular act, or group of acts – it's about not interacting with people along a sexual framework, and not desiring and requiring sexuality (note the -uality, the whole sexual mindset) to be a part of close relationships in the way that sexual people do. Thing is, it seems that sexuality, too, is about much more than the act of sex, even though wanting sex is a main part of the common description.

In David Jay's podcast #18, he interviews sex-positive sexuality-education advocate/activist Nora Dye, who biked across the country talking to sex-education folks. She says that “There's this sort of assumption, or belief out there, that when I said sexuality, people thought [I meant] sex. And that's not what I mean at all! The physical act of having sex is such a small part of sexuality for almost everyone – I mean, I haven't met anyone for whom that's it, that's the end of their sexuality is the physical act of having sex.”

I used to assume that people do sexual things simply because they are enjoyable, and the significant other happens to be the person to do them with. Sex, though, is not merely another way sexual people want to be intimate, an extra part of a relationship. Say there's some sexual person who thinks/acts/feels just like any other, but simply isn't able to do the physical act of sex. It would be far easier for another sexual person to have a relationship with that one, who still is sexual in every way except for the particular act, than with an asexual person who says, “Sure, I'll do whatever, just not have sex.” What those partners actually do would be pretty similar, but the asexual person wouldn't have all the little accompanying thoughts, interactions, and understanding of, well, having sexuality.

My sense is that being a sexual person is about moving through the world in a sexual way with sexuality an integral aspect of daily life, close relationships, and sense of self. It's true, sexual people do want sex, but it seems that should be thought of as more of an expression of a person's sexuality, which permeates all aspects of a relationship, than their final goal in itself. I think that in order for asexual people to create fulfilling relationships with sexual people, it is necessary to understand how sexuality ties into a sexual person's life.

Much of the asexual talk, it seems, is about what asexual people don't want to do (“I don't want [____], simple as that”), rather than about all the things that both sexual and asexual people desire in common. And I think that to find those commonalities requires a broader understanding of how sexuality is a part of most people's lives. The slightly more useful asexual talk is about how people feel, but even the idea “I don't feel sexual attraction” is almost meaningless without an understanding of what “sexual attraction” is to a sexual person, and what role sex plays in their life and relationships. I'd say, even, that in order to understand asexuality, it is necessary to understand sexuality.

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 Comments: 13  •  Post a reply  •  Views: 13256



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