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Allosexual vs asexual

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by artstravel, Nov 11, 2021.

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  1. artstravel

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    There is a lot of information on what it means to be asexual and the variations depending on where you are on the spectrum but I find nothing on what it means to be allosexual.

    I can identify with some elements of being asexual (or grey or demi sexual) but I'd like to understand what goes on in the head of someone who is sexual to be able to figure myself out (I'm a very analytic person!). So, what does it mean to you? (like what goes through your head when things are leading to sex with a new partner, do you get a lot of crushes and what does it mean to you, is sex something you think about often, how soon after meeting someone to you tend be think about having sex with them etc). Obviously I know answers are gonna be vastly different from a person to another...

    I'm 27 and don't really have much sexual experience (I realized I was gay at 24 and never have been with a guy before), only a couple of time with a girl I was seeing. I did not really enjoy it but I figured I was just anxious for my first time. I have been single for a long time but recently I've been seeing someone who I really like and all the questioning came back full force because we started being intimate and there is a clear discrepancy between how she seems to be feeling in these moments vs how I feel. So basically I'm trying to figure out if I'm just anxious because this is pretty much all new to me or if it's because I'm simply asexual.

    Looking forward to reading your responses!
     
  2. Chip

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    Allosexual is not a term widely recognized or accepted term. It’s been promoted by the evidence-free crowd and has no credible basis in research, study, or even wide consensus among professionals. So I’d discard that one. Same with the ‘grey’ and other terms. Those are for the most part related to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and these are side effects of those conditions rather than sexual orientations.

    From what you describe it is unlikely you are asexual. It’s a lot more likely that anxiety is getting in the way of being able to fully feel your emotions related to sex.

    does that match with your experience?
     
    #2 Chip, Nov 12, 2021
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  3. BiGemini87

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    Hello, @artstravel. :slight_smile: I've got a few questions, but there's no pressure for you to answer them here. These are more intended to help you sort out your own feelings, attractions, or lack thereof.

    -Have you ever had a crush on anyone? If so, has it been a few or many? Is there a mix between the sexes or has your attraction only been to one (for example, only female)?

    -The girl you're seeing; what led to you getting together in the first place? Do you have a physical draw to her, and if so, is it a simple need for closeness, or do you experience arousal around her? Her aside, have you felt arousal towards anyone? I make the distinction between physical attraction and sexual attraction because while the two often overlap (the physical often leading to the sexual) sometimes the physical attraction stops at surface-level, particularly in cases where we know someone is attractive, but something about their character is incompatible with ourselves.

    As for my experiences: I've experienced various levels of attraction to people, and had countless crushes while growing up. I was often nervous around the people I was attracted to, and depending on my relationship with them (if we were close friends or if I knew them from afar) this could manifest in a myriad of ways. For friends, I'd joke around with them, often making a joke at their expense (they knew it wasn't malicious), playfully punch them in the shoulder, poke them in the ribs, spend as much time in their company as possible... That kind of thing. The more I liked someone though, the more nervous I'd be and more likely to be overly courteous or shy around them.

    While it's a bit cliche, physically this caused "butterflies" in my stomach or a hotness in my chest, but also a very prominent...ache elsewhere, more so as I reached my teens. Sometimes it would be a full body reaction, like my blood was running hot through my veins, and I'd feel intensely happy.

    Does any of this coincide with your own experiences?
     
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  4. artstravel

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    Thanks for your reply. Sorry if allosexual isn't the right term. I'll just go with "sexual" next time then but my questioning remains the same : what goes on in the head of sexual people?

    There is probably some anxiety at play here for me but at the same time I have never thought or imagined myself having sex with anyone. I do want intimacy but that has never been about sex for me. So I wouldn't rule out asexuality for now and will have to continue to see how I feel.

    Thanks @BiGemini87 for taking the time to ask all these questions and making me reflect and sharing your experience, I really appreciate it :slight_smile: I don't mind answering the questions, I think it'll help me to just put it in writing and maybe have someone's take.

    - I've had crushed on 2 guys when I was in middle school and high school but I am unsure if these were real crushes or me trying to fit it cause everyone around me had crushes and I didn't really. At the same time I never thought I could be attracted to girls at the time and in hindsight I definitely had crushes on girls but it was never about kissing or anything else. Just a sort a fascination and really wanting to get to know them. In university, I fell in love with my girl best friend and we ending up dating for 8 months but no sex (mostly because we didn't really have a place to be just the two of us but it's never something that I thought about or wished for when we were together). I might have had 1 or 2 crushes (or at least what I consider crushes!) since then on girls and these crushes were never about anything physical, not even kissing. More about wanting to be noticed and spending time with them, lot of admiration. And that's pretty much it.

    - I met this girl on a dating app. It's very rare that I meet someone on these apps that I actually want to see a second time without forcing myself (because otherwise my friends tell me I am too difficult). She's actually the 2nd in 3 years. I couldn't really see her in the pictures she posted but I could relate to things she wrote in her bio so I decided to give it a try. I found her cute when we met and we had a really good first date that lasted like 5 hours and we just talked and found out we had a lot in common. I am more drawn to her the more we see each other (it's been about once a week for a month and a half now) but mostly for cuddling and kissing and simple touches - wanting to be close to her (but being single during COVID and social distance also means that I have been craving touch and connection for months so I feel like this adds an extra layer and complicates things). I do experience arousal when she touches me in erogenous zones but I think it is always in response to being touched, I don't think I would initiate.

    I don't think I have ever felt arousal towards anyone either. Not with my ex for sure although again I would get aroused when we made out but was always fine with not going further. An anecdote that always stuck with me when we were together and made me feel abnormal : we were in a pretty violent car accident and although we weren't badly hurt, our bodies ached from the impact. A few days after the accident, she had a bit of a back ache and I offered to massage her and she agreed. She got topless, I gave her a massage and after I was done she told me that she found it surprising that I didn't try to touch her more (like her breasts and kiss her etc) while giving her a massage and that she would have. For me it was just a massage to help with the discomfort from the accident, it didn't even cross my mind to do anything else and she found that strange. That moment made me feel really inadequate like there was something wrong with me.
    So to answer in a more concise manner, I think for me arousal is always a physical response from being touched but not an emotional one, if that makes sense? And at the same time I'm not opposed to sex but I don't seek it either.

    Sorry for the long answer! So that's pretty much I feel and I feel like my experience is not what the majority of people experience and that's where my question what do sexuals vs asexuals feel came from. I don't feel a need to put a label on myself for this but I'm trying to figure out if I experience sexuality differently from most people.
     
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  5. BiGemini87

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    @artstravel That's all right, there's nothing wrong with a detailed answer. :slight_smile: It actually does make me wonder if you are in fact asexual, given everything you've said: about how the arousal isn't present unless someone touches you, how sexual intimacy didn't cross your mind in a situation where it otherwise might have for someone else, etc. I can't say for certain of course, but it is the impression I'm getting (since asexual people can still have a libido without actually finding another person arousing).
     
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  6. Chip

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    The question that immediately comes to mind for me, that would be things we'd want to rule out before looking at asexuality:

    -- How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to feel emotions in general (mad/sad/glad/afraid), on a scale of 1 to 10?
    Let's say 10 is you feel it so strongly in your body you can't sit still and are expressing the feeling with every part of you
    And let's say 1 is where the most terrible (or wonderful) thing in the world could happen to you (you just won 10 million dollars, or someone very close to you died), and your have no response and feel nothing.

    -- Do you have any history of anxiety or depression? If so, how severe is it?

    -- On the whole, how are you at asking for your needs? Is that easy or difficult? Do you get "steamrolled" over a lot?

    -- How would you describe your self esteem on a 1 to 10 (1 - completely in the shitter; not worthy; don't deserve, and 10 - totally confident and capable, and knowing you will be successful.)

    Those questions can help look at whether there are likely emotional issues that underlie your capacity for physical/sexual feelings.
     
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  7. artstravel

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    Thanks a lot for replying again and your take on this. Of course no one can tell me for certain and I'll have to figure that out for myself but it does help to see that I seem to be experiencing things differently than most :slight_smile:

    Thanks Chip for bringing this up. I have indeed been wondering if it would be a result of anxiety and difficulty of opening up - and at the same time believe it isn't mutually exclusive : one could be asexual and anxious/have emotional issues. I guess only time will tell (and probably therapy, I'm looking into that at the moment). Because my questioning regarding asexuality began way before I met the person I am seing now, when I was single and not confronted to having sex.

    I do identify with almost every issue you mentioned but with some nuance:

    - I'd say I'm probably a 5 in my ability to feel emotions. I am a very rational person so I intellectualize things a lot and feel like I am lot less emotional than most but at the same time I keep everything inside while most people are much more expressive so that creates a discrepancy.

    - I do not suffer from depression and never have but I have been relatively anxious lately (mostly this last year, lots of changes happening in my life when I'm not a fan of change - started therapy for a while, came out to my family, changed jobs, met someone). But it's not to the point where it's stoping me from living (no anxiety attack for example), it's more about thinking about what could go wrong in any situation while knowing that everything will be fine.

    - I am quite bad at asking for or talking about my emotional needs. However, I have no issue in putting boundaries when something really doesn't feel right for me ( like not going further than comfortable when being intimate with someone) and stand my ground even when that makes me me the 'odd one out' (like not drinking when people are pushing me to drink, same with smoking or even leaving a party early because I need peace and quiet etc.).

    - As for self-esteem, I'm definitely on the lower end of the scale but always with some nuance: I do feel like I don't deserve the good things that happen to me (while believing inherently that I don't deserve bad things either), I don't understand what someone could see in me, why would someone like me and feel like a burden for people around me. And at the same time, I know I am capable and will succeed in what I do because that's what my track record shows and I can recognize when I am being treated badly and deserve more than what people give me.

    So there is obviously quite a few things that I need to keep working on and that might be at play regarding the fact that I'm uncomfortable with being intimate. And there's also everything I mentioned in my previous post which might point towards some form of asexuality or at least not being very sexual. It's definitely hard to tell whether this is a cause - consequence type of situation or just two realities coexisting...
     
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  8. Chip

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    This is absolutely true.

    However, the combination of symptoms you are describing (which, by the way, are likely all interrelated), very strongly point to the issue you are describing as a lack of access to the emotional part of self that enables you to feel attraction, rather than hardwired asexuality. Having read your answers above, while it is possible that what you are experiencing is genuine hardwired asexuality, I think it is a lot more likely that it is conditioned by your childhood experiences. Which means it is not hardwired. And that's a good thing, because (at least in my opinion) it is a good and positive thing to be able to feel love and connection and a desire for sexual experience, as it is part of why we are here and for most all of us, that is hardwired.
     
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  9. artstravel

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    Thanks a lot for your take on this. It is definitively something that I need to continue exploring and I'll have to work on myself to figure it out!
     
  10. Aera25

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    Excuse me,what? No offense but those terms have meaning to a lot of people and these people are not mentally ill.
     
  11. Chip

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    Any word can have meaning, and people can use any label that they wish. I can call myself 'unicornsexual' if I want to do so.

    The point of my post was to convey that, as previously stated, 'allosexual' is not a widely used or accepted term; it's a term, just as 'unicornsexual' is, that someone adopted. And then a few folks, most likely on Tumblr or AVEN, applied some meaning to it, and suddenly people want to say it has the same legitimacy as other widely studied words and concepts. Except that it doesn't. It's one of many labels that have been created mostly to give people a sense that they're special or different from others. Nothing wrong with that, except when folks try to ascribe the same legitimacy that comes from study, research, or at least some sort of measurable, reproducible meaning grounded in something.

    It is also well studied in the sexuality field that there's a really high co-occurrence of people who label with one of these unrecognized labels, or even with the asexual label, and having some form of mental heath issue such as depression or anxiety... which, not coincidentally, are often at the root of a lack of sexual interest or desire.

    So this isn't about judging or devaluing anyone's perspective, just providing context so that people can recognize that if they aren't feeling sexual desire. or are feeling it in a diimished way, it may well be because of the anxiety, depression, or other underlying conditions that are almost always co-occurrent with diminished interest in sex.
     
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  12. Aera25

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    Sure it can be because of the aforementioned causes but it's just as likely that people are actually asexual.
    It's still offensive to suggest otherwise.
     
  13. Chip

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    Actually, the data does not show that. Over 60% of those who identify as asexual also have co-occurring disorders that CAUSE the lack of sexual interest. A very large percentage of that subgroup, when their mental health issues are addressed, discover that they do, indeed, have sexual attraction that was suppressed by their mental health issues.

    So why on earth, if someone has even the possibility of a mental health issue that could be influencing their sexual expression, is it offensive to alert people to the possibility that this might be the issue? We've had many, many people here at EC over the years who have described thinking they were asexual and, for years, believed this to be the case, but when they finally got help for their mental health issues, they found that suddenly they had sexual attraction. These folks universally expressed frustration and grief and anger at themselves that they had not earlier explored this idea.

    And that's why we share the information... so that fewer people will have that problem.

    It should not be seen as being offensive to people who are genuinely asexual to want to ensure that individuals have access to knowledge to help them make the best possible decisions for their mental and sexual health and well being. I'm sorry it's coming across that way, as it definitely is not the intent.
     
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  14. Aera25

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    Have you been part of asexual communities to come to that conclusion?
     
  15. chicodeoro

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    I'd just like to (ahem) chip in and say that I am one of those people Chip has just mentioned!

    My libido/ any feelings of sexual desire disappeared overnight last year when I realised I was trans. At the time I was coping with the loss of my partner plus lockdown and so the revelation about my gender tipped me over the edge. I had a kind-of breakdown a few weeks later.

    But does that mean I'm now asexual? No, of course not! I still want to be loved and to be sexually intimate with someone it's just that my body is telling my mind that just ain't possible at the moment. I hope, at some point, it will be again.

    Beth
     
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  16. Chip

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    I'm not sure what being part of communities has to do with understanding an area that has been researched in clinical settings for close to 80 years, and is written up in literally thousands of peer-reviewed studies.

    This is the core issue: We have information on hetero, homo, bisexual, and asexuality (and variations thereof) that has quite literally been studied in exhaustive depth for decades... and we have a small but vocal group of people who have, between them, created a reality that isn't grounded in any thing measurable or reproducible, and that group seems to be seeking the same level of recognition as the clinicians, therapists, researchers, and others who have dedicated their lives to studying these things.

    And the data is exceptionally clear for those who take the time to study it. One of the things that anyone who has studied research methods understands is that there are all sorts of necessary processes involved in producing data that is reliable and reproducible and credible.

    A small bunch of folks getting together and deciding something because it's common to some or all of them doesn't meet that standard, because it is not controlled or reproducible, nor is it grounded in anything.

    Again, anyone can believe anything they want. I can believe the sky is yellow, or that I'm unicornsexual if I want to believe that. But if beliefs are to be grounded in anythign measurable and reproducible so that others can benefit from collective knowledge, we have to be able to follow certain procedures to do that. And fortunately for those who care about accuracy of information, there are a whole community of professionals who have spent decades doing exactly that.
     
    #16 Chip, Dec 23, 2021
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  17. Sadness

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    I think this situation is the same with people like myself who at some point thought that they had "HOCD" when in fact hocd was never a clinical term, people in communities started to identify with this "label" but in fact it doesnt exist in psychological studies, so there's no evidence that such terms exist, while "ocd" in general is a well known term and based of a ton of mental and psychological studies, i think the same thing applys in this situation.

    You can label yourself the way you want and thats tottaly okay, but as chip said it doesnt sesm this terms are actually real and proven to be a sexual identity
     
    #17 Sadness, Dec 23, 2021
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  18. Aera25

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    For people who have been oppressed and should know better than to invalidate other people's identities,you sure don't.

    I'm demisexual. I know I am because my experiences have told me that. How would you feel if you were told that whatever sexuality you are is 'just a phase'?
     
  19. Aera25

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    I'm sorry but you're an ass for invalidating other people's experiences.

    Not to mention that 'professionals' aren't gods and aren't all knowing.
     
  20. Rayland

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    There is no need to get rude here. No one is invalidating anything. I think you have misunderstood something here. There are also people who have experience about thinking being asexual, but that ended up not being true and have mental issues instead, it's not just professionals saying that. That's why it's needed to share that knowledge too. If you know you are demisexual, then there is nothing wrong with that. You are still valid. Sometimes you need to see a bigger picture though. Your own experiences are not the only truth.
     
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