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Lifestyle sexuality
36 wrote in asexuality
The existance of the asexuals community, which from the description is clearly about celibacy, leads me to bring up something I've thought about before. Sexuality as 'lifestyle', not as who you're attracted to.

Many people identifying as gay or lesbian actually have a bisexual sexuality (I'm thinking of specific examples from personal experience here). If you are attracted to same sex and different sex people but only choose to have relationships with one of the other then your gay or straight sexuality is a 'lifestyle sexuality' by my definition.

Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely not saying that it has any more or less value than a 'sex drive driven sexuality', it's just different and interesting. I'm completely against elitism or resentments towards other groups and I'm aware that this could be a devisive issue. Also all language naturally evolves with time and use so I'm not going to claim the other group is 'wrong'.

As an asexual I myself have a lifestyle sexuality. I identify as queer and bisexual but many bisexuals would define 'sexual attraction to people regardless of gender' as the requirement and obviously I don't have that.

But back to my original point, with 'lifestyle sexualities' you have celibate people identifying as asexual because they have an 'asexual lifestyle'. It's a valid self definition and I'm certainly not going to stop them from identifying as such (as if I could) but perhaps it's useful to have some terminology to distinguish between asexuals and 'lifestyle asexuals'.

I don't want to place more value on my kind of asexuality by leaving it as the default. So how about this: I'll refer to celibate people as lifestyle asexuals and asexual people as classic asexuals (or perhaps classical asexuals?).

If I just say 'asexual' and I'm writing in this community you can assume I'm talking about classic asexuals.

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I'm still confused as to the difference between this community and the other one, but that confusion might more likely stem from my own confusing oscillation between periods of asexuality and sexuality, attraction and indifference.

Re: Wah, hormones

Classically asexuality is a complete lack of sexual attraction to other people. That's no drive to have sex. No sexual interest in other people.

Celibacy is people who /aren't/ a sexual but choose to live an asexual lifestyle. These are sexual people who abstain from acting upon their sex drive for some kind of moral, philosophical, ethical or personal reason.

For example, catholic priests are celibate but (mostly) not classically asexual. Also some people choose not to have sex because they believe that sex should be meaningful or because they believe that it's a bad thing that repeatedly complicates or upsets their life.

Mosts of the posts on asexuals and its user profile are from a celibate or 'lifestyle asexual' perspective.

This community is for people with low or no sex drive to talk about what that's like, not for people who abstain from sex to post about how other people's sexual activities are 'wrong'. As a rule if you're posting to say "My best friend is having lots of casual sex and I think people who have casual sex are bad" this probably isn't the community for you.

I'm interested in talking about my own experience of an asexual self and an asexual life. I'm really quite uncomfortable when I read descriptions or value judgements on the sex life of a third person. I think anyone who wants to live their life with lots of sex in it is just as valuable and worthy of respect as me. I value diversity is sexuality and sexual expression.

Read the other community and see how many posts are critising the sexual behaviours of others. Hopefully you won't see that here, but if that is what you want to see (and it's obvious many people do) then the other community is there and available.

I've been a memeber of asexuals since the beginning. I wasn't sure what the difference between the two was, though. I think I tend to drift back and forth between the two. I'm celibate (for the most part), or chaste, rather, but the attraction comes and goes.

I'll stick around for a bit and see.

Re: Wah, hormones

I found asexuals dissapointing immediately because the profile is making such a strong value judgement about meaningless sex. Personally I don't have meaningless sex but I would support anyone's right to have any kind of fully consenting sex.

I think people should have the freedom to do what they like with their bodies and the freedom to get together and do whatever they like each other to do with their bodies. I respect people and I hope that my respect for their sexuality and lifestyle would be returned in their respect of my (lack of) sexuality and lifestyle.

I stayed on the community because the name suggests the kind of classical asexuality I'm interested in discussing and I was sure other classic asexuals would join and perhaps occasionally post. I think lifestyle and classic asexuals do have lots of things in common and I'd really like to start those sort of discussions, but as it is I just wanted a community where it wasn't OK to say other people's lifestyles are bad.

Re: Wah, hormones

BTW, the periods of indifference would certainly qualify you for asexuality in the classical sense.

I believe in fluidity of identity and sexuality over time.

If you're periodically or occasionally asexual you're just as welcome here as any other member.

So, when you're in a period of asexuality do you see the world differently to when you feel sexual? I'm wondering if there's a greater or lesser ability to feel included or able to contribute in certain social situations. I suppose it depends in part of the social dynamics of the groups with which you interact but I've often felt a little excluded or lost in situations where talk tends towards sexual or even identity based topics.

If you don't mind my two cents'...

I feel that asexuality is the hardest to explain to others because it comes across as a problem to be solved. Friends want to introduce to other people, I'm constantly asked if I'm depressed because I don't have someone or why don't I want to be dating. I don't even discuss how long it was between my last two relationships out, because I have a fear of seeming the freak.
It's like the last sexual "thing" to brought to the fore, discussed and accepted within society.

Re: Wah, hormones

Yes, people assume that asexuality would be somekind of terrible condition and that we'd all be terribly upset or missing sex.

Or like lesbians are told, 'you just haven't found the right man yet', some people make the judgement that asexuals must be arroused by someone or something. The, 'you just haven't found the right fetish yet' approach.

Some people might assume that because they are sexual you must be too and you just don't realise it. Or maybe they think you're lying to yourself or others because you're ashamed of sex.

Because asexuality is so outside some people's experience, your self description can even be disturbing to them.

Once people do accept that you have no sex drive they can wonder how you get through your life or consider you a tragic pitiable figure.

I see parallels with when homosexuality was considered a mental illness and anyone who admitted to it was assumed to have been disturbed or broken by bad parenting or a terrible experience.

I'd like to see asexuality get to a point where it's a valid self definition, where people accept it as just one of many different, equally meaningful ways to be. I'd like to see the "Well if you're happy with that then good on yer mate!" attitude.

Re: Wah, hormones

> Once people do accept that you have no sex drive they
> can wonder how you get through your life or consider
> you a tragic pitiable figure.

Although, to be fair, as a student I get almost as extreme reactions when I mention I don't eat animal products or, even more so, when I mention that I don't drink alcohol.

Some people base all their 'fun' around one or two things and assume everyone else is really missing out if they're not getting any.

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