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Odd question
Fay Doll still
fayanora wrote in asexuality
First off, I'm demisexual. So I have some experience in the ace community. Just not the experience I need to answer a question that came up yesterday. Which I will get to in a moment.

So I have a character, Lyria, who is asexual but not a-romantic. She begins to have a romantic relationship with a man who I can't figure out yet whether he's demisexual or what. I was planning a scene between them, where they're conversing about their respective sexualities. I basically just kind of let my characters talk in my head with each other when I plan out scenes like this, which means unplanned things come up sometimes.

Anyway, at one point the man, Forizano, mentions masturbation and asks Lyria if she ever masturbates. Her answer was that she tried it a few times and was unimpressed with the results. But it made me wonder how realistic her answer is, more generally speaking anyway. I can totally see her feeling that way, it's very much in character for her, but I was just wondering... I know aces don't feel any sexual attraction to other people, but what about masturbation? Part of me thinks aces don't masturbate, another part is not so sure. So maybe y'all can help me out here.

So if you're an ace, I'm curious if you masturbate, and what you think of it. I'll make sure anon is on in case you want to answer anonymously.

Please only aces answer, or possibly demis answering for aces they know well enough.

I'm ace and I personally have never enjoyed masturbation. It's not that I have any issue with it I just find masturbation boring and to be a waste of my time. I don't know if it is the same for other ace people though.

Edited at 2013-07-13 02:06 am (UTC)

Hrm. I'd consider myself on the ace side of grey-a and masturbate every once in a while. (Silly pre-period hormone fluctuations...) Lyria's answer is actually pretty much how I feel about it. Sort of a, "Yep, that's a thing that happened with my body. Time to get back to what I was actually doing."

Personally, I suspect that there are as many answers to this as there are aces (and possibly more -- I know I don't feel the same way about it all the time!). So, if it's in character for her, I say go with it. But perhaps aces less grey than I will feel differently!

Yeah, Lyria's pretty much a hard-line ace. I have a flashback scene planned where she's talking with her mother and is pretty much like "Sex? Meh. Sounds messy and boring. I'd much rather read."

Sorry for butting in but that was pretty much mine and my mom's talk about sex. I was just so under impressed and actually thought that it sounded gross and far to risky for something with, what I think to be, such a low payoff. Again sorry for butting in. /o\

I guess I'll de-anon, since my reply was marked as spam. Ah, well.

Yep, that's a familiar conversation! And I'm right with you, lilredlfc -- the payoff's soooo not worth it. (And please, no worries! :D)

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Sorry, it's one of the things I default to saying when I feel I should say something but can't think of anything to say. :-|

I used to masturbate, and it was okay, but there are better things to spend my time on so I don't anymore. Lack of interest I suppose, or I just never have felt a true urge/need to do it, I just did out of boredom and it was relaxing. There are probably as many answers to this as aces though, it's a complicated subject.

I was around 18 the first time masturbation 'did anything for me' so to speak - I'd always been really unimpressed with the results of the activity before that. Possibly the fact that I was handed a vibrator is what changed things. I'm solidly ace, not really gray at all, and am married to an ace man. I do occasionally masturbate, generally just before my cycle starts, and that more often in the Spring than any other time of year. My husband and I do want children, despite both of us being ace, so we schedule 'baby-making sex' at appropriate times - masturbation is a key feature in this process, for both of us, since the actual act of intercourse does little to interest either of us. For my husband, he rarely masturbates unless it is part of the BMS process.

Part of me thinks aces don't masturbate, another part is not so sure.

Please only aces answer, or possibly demis answering for aces they know well enough.

Just wanted to comment that maybe you're painting with too broad a brush? Asexuality encompasses a broad spectrum, and there are any many answers to your question as there are aces. What do you define as "only aces"? Only aces at the extreme end of the spectrum who experience revulsion/disgust at the thought of sexual activity? Only aces who can read/talk about it but find the actual process icky and uncomfortable? Or only aces who could participate if they chose, but have no desire to do so?

As a grey-ace who occasionally but rarely (i.,e. maybe once a year for a week or so) flips into 'demi-mode', I masturbate regularly for the neurological benefits (release of serotonin and other hormones), but I don't really connect it to sex in any way. Similar biological processes, but that's about it. Sex as I understand it is largely about the hormonally-reinforced emotional and physical connection between participants, whereas masturbation is purely biochemical, doesn't involve other people's bodily fluids, and doesn't require any kind of unspoken compromise or behavioural expectations.

See, this is exactly what I mean. I have enough knowledge about the spectrum to know I'm on it as a demi, but also enough ignorance to make myself appear foolish. :-|

You know, somebody who asks an honest question to become more informed on a certain topic never appears foolish.

Apart from that, I agree very much with torylltales' point of view. I am romantic ace, and even within my own spectrum, made up of my desires and needs -- or lack of them -- I fluctuate between being repulsed by masturbation and being very, very okay with it. Hormones and mood, I suppose.

Edited at 2013-07-13 07:12 am (UTC)

You know, somebody who asks an honest question to become more informed on a certain topic never appears foolish.


Agreed, there is no such thing as a stupid question. I didn't mean to imply it.

I fluctuate between being repulsed by masturbation and being very, very okay with it. Hormones and mood, I suppose.

that's exactly how it's for me. I'm ace, tending towards aromantic and I have to be in the absolutely right mood in combination with a high of hormones (mostly right before my period starts). And then I never think of people. It's something I do to fall asleep easier or calm my nerves. Right after it ends I'm disgusted and stop thinking about it all together. It's weird.

Yep. Like that. And the contrast between the disgust and the desire always baffled me too. But now I just go with the flow. :D

Also: icon love!

Icon love FTW! \o/ *highfives* :DD


Totally off topic: I'm going to friend you if you don't mind, not that I post much here these days... Aven, crowley, destiel, castiel, misha, richard speight, SPN cons, it's not even funny!

I don't mind at all! Friend away and if you don't mind I'll friend right back! And I'm not here much either - in fact I can say YES to all the stuff you crossed out in your reply LOL

Re. disgust, I get that too. Although I think it's more disgust with the resulting mess. Not to mention the smell. My nose is particularly sensitive, and the much-disputed ectohormones (the existence of which scientists have been unable to verify) that may or may not be released during sexual activity have a unique smell that tends to hang in the air afterwards.

ugh, yeah, I know what you mean. The smell isn't particularly pleasant, but for me that's not the factor causing the disgust. I'm more indifferent to it. I don't know what's causing the disgust. I just know that moment right after I can't even think about doing it again without shuddering with DO NOT WANT feelings.

It might be related to the emotional let-down, then. I know that can be quite abrupt for me, changing in a split second from the pleasantness and light-headed near-elation of immediately prior, to a sudden overwhelming surge of depressant hormones immediately after.

yeah, that sounds logical. It could very well be. It leaves me relaxed enough to sleep easily, but overall it's not a good feeling afterwards. Considering I only started doing it when I was 26 it shouldn't be such a problem to quit and yet I still do it now and then. *sighs*

It's really going to be different for every ace. (and grey and demi ...and even for people of other sexual orientations)
I'm ace and I masturbate. Quite a bit. I mean, I'd say my libido is on the high side.
(But I'm also into the sex stuff. (like masturbation is, for me, just an extension of how I feel about sex) I think it's an interesting activity. I'm not repulsed by it. I have kinks. I'm kind of on the far end of the spectrum that torylltales was talking about... zero sexual attraction, but still liking sex. (which actually still causes problems with people (and sometimes I feel even at odds in the ace community) because even though I'll have/enjoy sex, I don't have or care about the emotional/physical closeness it brings with the other person. (I assume my aromantic-ness has something to do with it) It's as connection building and close as playing a game of checkers with someone. Basically, just something to do. And people generally don't like hearing that.) Not that you asked about sex, but this sort of gives you the whole 'I masturbate and like it' side of things.)

I really identify with this comment, just wanted to say. It's basically exactly me, except that I'm not having regular sex (mainly because of the problems you note about the way a lack of attraction is perceived by potential partners).

Some do, some don't.

It doesn't invalidate one's ace membership, so to speak. Asexuals are people who don't experience sexual attraction to other people. That's about the only thing that can accuarately be said about all asexuals. Some are romantic. Some have sex with other people for various reasons. Some don't even like backrubs. Of course, some sexuals do and some don't. That always makes me stop and think, so you want someone else to put their. . . in your. . . but you don't want to touch your own. . . ? But, well, people are different. Of course, some sexual people don't have sex, either, because orientation labels describe inner feelings, not outer behavior.

I'm an aromantic asexual and I do. It feels pleasant and has since I was a little kid. It also doesn't for me have anything to do with sex. There happen to be genitals involved and for a lot of people they have something to do with sex. But. . . I don't assosciate it with sex or other people or fantasies the way I'm given to understand that many sexual people do. (I don't have sexual or romantic fantasies, period). If rubbing my toes felt as pleasant, I'd do that.

I'm ace (absolutely, nothing gray about it) and I do, but only at certain times in my cycle, and sometimes not even then. When I do, it's always a purely physical thing, I don't fantasize or anything.

From reading the AVEN boards, I'd say you get he full spectrum--anything from enthusiastic yes, to disgust at the mere idea. So pick whatever answer is best for your character--it'll be accurate for some aces and not others.

I identify as asexual, have never had sex, do have kinks I might indulge in with the right person but do not ever see myself having penetrative sex. But I masturbate frequently. There's a difference between not wanting to have sex and feeling around/enjoying orgasm.

I'm ace, am revolted by sex, but find masturbation very enjoyable. I do fantasize, but tend to pretend to be someone else during it, does that make sense? I find sex hot in the theoretical sense (I actually write erotic fanfic), but the idea of doing it myself is really horrible. My fantasies tend to be waaaay on the kinky scale so I doubt many people would want that to be done to them anyway...

I'm a sex-repulsed aromantic asexual; while the thought of intimate physical contact with another person makes me want to throw up, I do find masturbation to be a pleasant sort of thing I can do once in a while (usually just before my period starts - stupid hormones...). It's purely about the physical sensations, though - I don't think about anything in particular during it, and while it usually leaves me feeling relaxed and sleepy afterwards sometimes I'll just feel really miserable and guilty. Am still trying to figure out why this is.

Yeah, I do it frequently, and find it relaxing and enjoyable.

Another possible suggestion is that if your character does do it, then it could cause her to speculate about her sexuality a bit - like, if she enjoys sexual feelings, and has a romantic attraction, does that mean maybe she hasn't found the right guy/girl/whoever yet? I mean, it's not necessarily true, and some romantic aces are completely secure with their identities no matter what they do or don't do on their own, but it's definitely a thing that can be a source of doubt for some people, or for others could be anything between an identity crisis level question to merely a philosophical exercise.

I'm ace, and I masturbate pretty often, because it feels good.

Yes, but I started VERY late--like, when I was 20, I think. Used to masturbate just about every night, but medication side effects, plus the fact that I've never been able to have orgasms that I would term much better than "meh" (and even those generally take forever) mean I've all but lost interest.

Basically, at this point, masturbation is something to do when I need to make myself tired, or warm up enough so I CAN sleep, or I have the random urge to see if I can "get anywhere". On the other hand, it would help if I caved in and got a better vibrator... especially since even "meh" orgasms feel very nice and it sucks when I can't manage one!

I'm ace but get incredibly turned on and masturbate to 'scratch the itch'. Not to people usually, usually to fiction, stories... situations? I really don't understand myself.

I also have a few asexual characters and I too sometimes have problems with their actions because even though it fits them, I wonder if I'll offend some people?

Like someone above said, in a aesthetic point of view, I find some sexual things "hot". For some reason, I find kissing to be extremely erotic, so I like to see kissing in my movies/manga if they some charged with lots of sexual tension. On the other hand, I tend to enjoy male-male intimacy more than heterosexual, so if I'm going to read/watch anything with high sexual content/tension, I lean more towards male-male.
My therapist said it was because I disassociate myself from the act since it's 2 males, and that may be true, but since I was about 17 I've found male-male to be extremely "hot".

Anyway, about masturbation, I don't do it. When I was about 13, I guess I pseudo-masturbated, because it was all from the waist up, but even that died out as I grew older, and now the older I get the less interested I become. I also think it was because I found out about asexuality and that helped define soem of my feelings. I think in my younger days I was trying too hard to be something I wasn't, and everyday I am learning new things about asexuality that I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin and being sexual is becoming less and less important. I don't want to be "normal" now, since I am not broken.

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