SLLOTD: Maladjusted Shits

Comments

103
@97: I've explained it enough times in enough different ways, that you really should have gotten it by now. At this point I'm going with straw man as the explanation for you, rather than misunderstanding, particularly after your rhetoric in 97. It's certainly consistent with the general level of dishonesty you've been displaying the whole time.
104
Mr Rhone - I have no objection to as many flirtations as anybody likes, and only ask that they be done with sufficient panache so as not to give the onlookers the LMBs.

Ms Erica - Think of it as analogous to playing bridge. "Bridge players" play often, make it a priority, can find it absorbing and rewarding of deep study and exploration, often join clubs, have tales of partnership troubles as multifaceted and polarizing as the letter from the poly woman who was raped and couldn't stand the thought of sex with her husband but sex with her boyfriend made her feel warm and whole and wonderful, and can get out of sorts if they have to go too long without a game. Then there are those who can enjoy a rubber from time to time, particularly if it brings deep pleasure to someone else at the table, but who would never feel driven to suggest the game and could live quite happily without it from one decade's end to the next.

Ms Cute will recall the passage in Mansfield Park in which Sir Thomas Bertram, a whist player himself, advises his wife that she would be better amused by speculation.
105
@ 96: The crazy thing is that I know some asexuals offline and at least in my limited experience they're if anything abnormally honest and realistic when it comes to these issues. I've never even heard of someone IRL with as few scruples or as little sense as to willfully misconstrue the concept of dating the way DRF does.

Thanks. That's a relief.

If all you'd heard about them was the stuff their apologists put up online you'd think they were some kind of alien parasite, but they're really fairly principled people and don't seem to go in for these weird tactics.

Yeah. "Weird alien parasite" is pretty much the impression I've been getting. It's good to know they aren't actually like their online apologists portray them.

...Wait a minute. What if you're just a more clever apologist, trying to lull us into a false sense of security regarding these alien parasites?!?

(I kid, I kid.)
106
@ EricaP: I'm someone who does think sex is super important, and yet I'm finding your analogies to bring more heat than light to this discussion. Going on a first date with someone without saying you're asexual is like stabbing someone in the eye? Um, no. Actually, it's not like that.

The analogy wasn't for him, it was about this:

I think it's a little strong to talk about immorality. It's probably more an issue of having a blind spot. Given their own disinterest, asexuals may not be able to appreciate the importance of sex to sexuals.

Failing to fully appreciate the harm inflicted on someone by a certain course of action can't justify harming them. If you were correct, then it would be morally acceptable for someone who's been blind since birth, and thinks blindness isn't so bad, to stab people in the eye. After all, he can't fully appreciate the harm he's inflicting either--does that make it okay? I don't think it does.

We measure harm by how much is inflicted on the victim, not by whether or not the perpetrator claims to believe it's harm.
107
@103: It's certainly consistent with the general level of dishonesty you've been displaying the whole time.

In fairness to DRF, he's been claiming the right to be dishonest this whole time, so it's a mark of consistency that he's doing so in a dishonest manner, right?

But I'm done attempting to communicate, since we're past the point of attempting to wake someone who only pretends to sleep. As such, that only leaves your-momma jokes. Fortunately I'm fine with that, though I usually only do that with people I like.

@ DRF:

I don't know about yours, but my sexuality is very personal. I don't go around talking to strangers about it, and people on a first date are strangers to each other.

Boy am I glad your mom is more honest about her sexuality than you are, or last night would've been unsatisfying for both of us.

If you read what I've actually been posting, you will see that I am in favor of people making informed decisions, but that is fare more likely to happen if potential partners have time to gather information about each other before anyone whips out the scary shutdown words.

I take it you don't share your mom's opinion on safewords, either? You should ask her to explain it some time. That woman really knows her stuff.

People can be incompatible for reasons other than sex.

I know, right? Your mom and I are incompatible for every reason other than sex, but even so I have no complaints.

It is not untruthful to refrain from disclosing a personal matter from people whose business it has not yet become. Someone on a first date might hope for sex but should not expect it.

Wow, you must've learned this from your dad, since your mom certainly knows what dating is. She might not want to waste a lot of time on it before getting down to the fun stuff, but I'm not going to hold that against her.

Yes, you are confusing "common" with "reasonable." Just because something is rare doesn't mean that it is unreasonable.

I agree! Even if your mom and I only hooked up rarely, it would still be a good idea.

In this column we read about the strangest sexual preferences there are and we do not treat them as unreasonable because they are not.

Not the strangest sexual preferences there are, because we haven't read about your mom's yet. And let me tell you, that woman is a freak.

I'm using "know" in the general sense, not the Biblical sense. Find out what kind of music someone likes. Find out someone's opinions and general likes and dislikes.

Like, say, their sexual preferences? It's a shame you didn't learn more from your mom; she's refreshingly honest about what she wants. And how!

108
One of my best friends is genuinely asexual. He told me he would have sex with someone he really loved, and he believes he would do it better than a sexual person because he has no motive other than wanting to make her happy. I don't know if the claim that he's better in bed than sexual people is true or not, but he really wants to make his girlfriend happy and I certainly wouldn't dissuade any sexual people from dating him or people like him.

I think asexuality exists, but there are a lot of people who claim they are asexual that I'm doubtful about. My asexual friend is disinterested in anything sex related, but there are some who call themselves asexual despite being aroused by sexual things. I have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around how somebody can look at porn, masturbate, and call themselves asexual. Yet, many do. Shouldn't they call themselves celibate?

There is this idea many have that if you call yourself a thing, you ARE that thing. I don't know if I buy into that. Words should have definitions.
109
@vennominon, thanks for the bridge analogy. We might still discuss when someone who enjoys the occasional rubber should disclose their relative disinterest to someone who is looking for a passionate bridge partner...

@106, there’s harm and then there’s harm. Someone who goes on a first date without announcing that they’re asexual may “harm” the other person by wasting their time, but then you just wasted everyone on this thread’s time with your “your momma” jokes (please don’t make me explain the inescapable misogyny in “your momma” humor; I’ll just say up front that if you can’t see it, that’s your own blind spot and not an excuse.)

Most adults don’t track that level of “harm,” they just chalk it up to the hazards of living and dating and reading the internet. They don’t obsess about it and they don’t compare it to stabbing someone in the eye.
110
Mr. Ven @104: My own personal LMBs are only triggered by baby talk and excessive romantic gushing.
111
@ 108: I don't know if the claim that he's better in bed than sexual people is true or not

For what it's worth, studies seem to indicate that people rate selfish lovers more highly. Which might just mean that he should pretend to take real pleasure in it, since so many people rate partner-satisfaction so highly. That sounds difficult, but if he can do it, more power to him.

But it seems like it would be better for everyone involved if he dated fellow asexuals...

I have a lot of trouble wrapping my head around how somebody can look at porn, masturbate, and call themselves asexual. Yet, many do. Shouldn't they call themselves celibate?

Experience so far is that a lot of those people will become normally-sexual once they get over themselves. Ideally, they'd call themselves "people with even more sexual hangups than usual."

@ 109: ...but then you just wasted everyone on this thread’s time with your “your momma” jokes

Nope. I disclosed that that post was going to consist entirely of "your momma" jokes. Ahead of time. And I did it twice. See the difference? If you, knowing what it was going to be, decided to read something you find to be a waste of time, you wasted your time. Unlike people who have the misfortune of dating asexuals who are as dishonest and predatory as DRF seems to think asexuals are by default, you were able to make an informed decision in advance.

But let's ignore that part, since it's not the point.

I’ll just say up front that if you can’t see it, that’s your own blind spot and not an excuse.

So now you agree with me that having a blind spot doesn't excuse causing harm. What if I were a being of infinite patience, and thus did not have personal experience with the discomfort caused by time-wasting? I don't think that would make wasting other people's time any more or less moral.

They don’t obsess about it and they don’t compare it to stabbing someone in the eye.

Once more: The eye-stabbing analogy had nothing in particular to do with the harm caused by bait-and-switch asexuals; it was an example used to illustrate why your earlier-expressed principle of "this isn't immoral behavior, since it's the result of a blind spot" is false. If the principle weren't false, then eye-stabbing would be okay as long as the stabber didn't fully appreciate how important it is to be able to see.

Since you now seem to agree that it is false, is there some way I could have made that clearer at the time? I've now had to explain several times both that the principle is false, and that the example I was using to illustrate that the principle is false is an example I was using to illustrate that the principle is false, and not some other thing being used for some other purpose.

Or was I misreading you initially, and you knew at the time that it was false, and it was a joke, or an attempt to give DRF far more benefit of the doubt than the rest of us were by that point? If so, I didn't get it, and I apologize.

More significantly, where does the "first date" business in 109 come from?
112
@108 TLC, there was a guy who wrote in to Mr. Savage a few years ago who coined a new expression, "minimally sexual." He said that he'd used to identify as asexual but then realized that he was closer to sexual than his full-asexual friends were.

@100 Erica P, by "people" I meant everyone, asexual or not. By "cool with" I meant anything from the range of "not offended and freaked out by" to "actively pleased by."

@106 Eudemonic, the assertion that going out on a couple of dates with someone harms them has not been supported here. Asexuals don't have nasty, highly contagious diseases, so why should they shout "Unclean, unclean!" whenever they enter the village proper? How are people harmed by going on a few outings with someone who doesn't like sex?

No one has been saying that asexuals or anyone have the right to lie. What I've been saying is that they don't have to tell new acquaintances, such as people they've only gone out with once or twice, about their sexuality until it looks like sex is becoming an issue.

The real difference here is that you seem to think that going out on a date, even a first date, is a promise to have sex, so you feel like you've been lied to if the person doesn't want sex. I don't. Guaranteed sex is not a reasonable expectation of a first date, no matter the persuasion of one's partner.
113
@111 “I disclosed that that post was going to consist entirely of "your momma" jokes.”

The very first time you threatened to bring out “your momma” jokes you were already wasting my time with that crap – there’s no difference between a threat to use a “your momma” joke and the stupid joke itself. In both cases, you’re saying that “your momma” jokes may reasonably be used to attack someone. The content of the joke is irrelevant; the point is to irritate someone by referencing their mother.

“So now you agree with me that having a blind spot doesn't excuse causing harm.”

I haven’t changed my stance, which is that people should disclose early if they have very unusual tastes, but failing to do so is discourteous (to use Square101's term), not immoral. If I say that your shirt is ugly, I’m being rude, not immoral, even though I may have “harmed” you by hurting your feelings. If I put my own dating needs first and don’t offer you the chance to reject an asexual out-of-hand, that may be rude of me, but I don’t see it as immoral. Stabbing someone in the eye, now that's immoral.

As for your last question, the term “first date” has come up 24 times on this thread, so you’ll have to explain more why you find it a non-sequitur. Are you saying we all agree that people don’t have to reveal their asexuality on a first date?
114
I'm surprised at how many people think it's a good idea for asexuals to keep their sexuality a secret until the last minute. Imagine if it was the other way around: imagine that you're an asexual dating a sexual person. Everything seems normal and you think you enjoy each other's company. You have sex, because it's expected, but you don't enjoy it because you're asexual. Weeks later, after spending a lot of time with this person, you refer to them as your girlfriend/boyfriend. The sexual person says "oh no, I'm sorry, I'm aromantic. I'm just in this for the sex." Would that seem deceitful at all? Wouldn't it be better if they had made it clear this was a strictly fuckbuddy relationship from the start?

On a slightly different note, if I was dating an asexual and they didn't inform me of their asexuality until I started trying to have sex with them, I would take it as an insult. Maybe it's just me, but I would suspect they were lying and simply found me unattractive. If they brought it up over dinner, I wouldn't be suspicious. I would also be a little insulted that they didn't think it was worth telling me something this important until they are forced to. I really see no reason why an asexual shouldn't disclose on the first date. If you aren't confident enough to risk rejection, just don't date at all.
115
@114 Actually, no one's said anything about "the last minute." The issue we've been arguing about is whether the first date or the third date is too early.

Discussions of what sex means to the relationship should come before sex happens.

You do understand how "just don't date at all" isn't a feasible solution for most people, right? Refraining from disclosing until after the potential partner has had a chance to see why dating this person, asexuality and all, might be worth it doesn't eliminate the chance of rejection, but it does make it likelier that it'll be an informed rejection.
116
You guys are so busy wanting to be right that you've missed seeing that there is an obvious solution that everyone's actually already arguing for, albeit using different vocabularies.

meet someone
hang out more
go out for coffee
do stuff together
get to know them

before explicitly expressing either romantic or sexual interest. To keep things from being Serious Dates, don't treat the other person to a meal and don't prioritize 1-on-1 activities.

This is the way Europeans claim to do it, and is the way that I (a geeky, not hugely attractive woman who usually has many male friends) have started all my friendships and my relationships.

I called them "pre-dates," hanging out and getting to know someone before it became clear which way the interaction would head. The key to non-jerky behavior is to not string someone along if it's clear that they want more and you're not ready to get serious (which in the case of an asexual would mean to disclose).

I've recently become handicapped in a way that seriously affects my life. I have a boyfriend, but if that ended, I figure that the only way I could have a relationship again would be to get to know someone well and have them start to seriously care for me before expecting them to decide to take on everything that would come with dating me. No more casual dating for me.

This wouldn't be easy to do, but it's not a particularly hard solution to think of.

The same interaction pattern would work for asexuals who want to meet people off-line.
117
@112: "No one has been saying that asexuals or anyone have the right to lie."

Actually, YOU have been saying exactly that, all the while fiercely disclaiming your own dishonesty. That is lying by omission, founded in an aggressive assertion of deliberate obtuseness.

"What I've been saying is that they don't have to tell new acquaintances, such as people they've only gone out with once or twice, about their sexuality until it looks like sex is becoming an issue."

For 99.9 percent of the people you date, sex with someone who doesn't want sex is going to become an issue eventually. You know this perfectly damned well: you know that most people want sex along with their romance; you know that you -don't- want sex with your romance, in direct conflict with 99.9% of your partners; you know that that constitutes a fundamental incompatibility that is going to blow up in your face 99 percent of the time. And yet you insist, in essence, "Hey, it could work!" Again, that is aggressively deliberate obtuseness. Knowing all this, knowing what the eventual outcome is overwhelmingly likely to be, and still forging ahead while not laying your cards on the table: what you are doing is keeping the other person in the dark for as long as you can get away with it. That is a perfectly good definition of lying.

You are the crooked croupier standing at the rigged roulette wheel, calling in your customers and justifying your actions by wheedling that hey, sometimes the magnet _might_ not engage.
118
Or more accurately, you are hoping to find a customer who doesn't mind playing at a rigged roulette wheel, because you the croupier are just so fucking charismatic.
119
@117 No I haven't. At no point have I said that asexuals should claim to not be asexuals. At no point have I said that they should never disclose. I've said that they are not required to talk about their sexuality with people whom they barely know, even if those people are prospective romantic partners. What my reaction to this letter comes down to is, "Wow! The third date sounds really early to talk about something that personal!"

The difference seems to be is that you assume that the act of accepting or offering a date requires claiming to be a non-asexual. It doesn't.

Like someone with a hardcore kink or sexual disability, an asexual should be allowed wait until some level of trust and interest has been established. Sure, they can disclose on the first date if they want, but they do not have to start with their not-best foot forward. Lots of people go out on dates with people with whom they do not end up having sex, and things work out that way for all sorts of reasons.

@116 L604, that sounds like a good approach to dating, but I don't think people should be required to use it as their only approach to dating. What offends me about this thread is the assertion that asexuals shouldn't be allowed to date the way other people do.
120
What I'm saying is that your, my, and avast's suggestion as to how asexuals might date are *all the same,* just using different vocabulary. Do stuff with people and get to know them without implying that sex might be an imminent possibility.

I don't care whether you call it a date, a pre-date, or hanging out, just be sensitive to the other person's expectations.
121
I have already said, do not date in a way that gives the impression you are developing or are open to developing a romantic relationship, when you are fully aware that you are not interested in that other big half of romantic relationships that your partner is 99.9% likely to expect. Sure, that takes a little more time than the first date, but even on a first date do not be giving that impression. 116 has the right idea. Letting them go on assumptions until the point where you are forced into the big reveal, is lying.

" What offends me about this thread is the assertion that asexuals shouldn't be allowed to date the way other people do."

That's because you are dating under a radically different set of assumptions than 99 percent of your partners. Letting them think their assumptions apply to you, when you know damned well they don't, is lying.

What would you say if the issue was not that you were asexual, but that you were married? Would you have a responsibility to disclose that to your date right up front? Or would it be fine to keep that dark until they got to know you better, maybe fell in love with you enough to want to date you even though you have a spouse?
122
@DRF:
I don't think that an asexual hast to blurt out his or her asexuality at the first moment of the first date. But fairly early on.

You ignore the one argument that cannot be ignored: not being sexually desired by one's partner, feels like being rejected on a very elemental level.

Others have said that repeatedly on this thread but you seem to ignore it.
123
@122 I haven't ignored it, but it doesn't have much to do with the issue that we're talking about—the timing of disclosure. Then there's the part where there's nothing the asexual partner can do about it. It doesn't come from lack of caring about a partner's feelings or from selfishness. It's like feeling bad about the fact that a guy who's injured and lacks a penis lacks a penis. Oh well.

@121 Avast, the point of this discussion is that a lot of asexuals do want romantic relationships; that's why they're out there dating. Telling someone that they're not allowed to have relationships because there's one part of the relationship that they're going to have to grin and bear is unrealistic.

Being married is not remotely the same as being asexual. A married person should not be dating. A married person has made a promise not to date. Helping someone cheat on a committed partner is immoral. Many people would feel like they'd been made accessory to a crime without their prior knowledge. That's not the case with dating an asexual. No angry spouses, no divorces. At worst, the person spends a few evenings with someone who's trying to be pleasant.
124
Sexual exclusivity is NOT the only definition of monogamy. For example, Dan and his husband are romantically monogamous. They've had threesomes, but only have an emotionally intimate, committed, romantic relationship with each other.
125
@DRF:
There is a huge difference between someone asexual and someone with abnormal/ not functioning/ missing genitals.

Personally, I could be in an LTR with someone who is lacking the plumbing but shows clear sexual desire for me.

OTOH, I wouldn't be able to be in an LTR with an asexual. The lack of sexual desire for me would undermine my self-esteem, no matter how much I tell myself that the lack of sexual desire is not my fault. This is so elemental it goes beyond rational reassurances.

Yes, it is not the asexual's fault that s/he is asexual, but it is not shallowness on my part that I don't want to put myself in a situation that will damage me.

The lack of plumbing can be overcome- the lack of sexual desire can't be overcome.

No-one is saying that the married partner is cheating. Maybe the marriage is open. In that case, you'd be fine if they disclosed about their marriage only after a few dates?
126
@123: The married person's promise not to date -- if it in fact exists; see #125 re: open marriages -- is made to the spouse, not to you. So you are worried about helping the other person (potentially) be dishonest with a (potentially) unsuspecting spouse whom you don't even know. Hell, whom you don't even know exists. And it's not like you two have had sex yet, either. From your perspective, all you have done is "spend a few evenings with someone who is trying to be pleasant." But you have no problem being the person who is stringing along the person you are actually dating? Good to know. (And by now, predictable.)

For the sake of argument, let's assume the marriage is open. Would you be perfectly happy waiting three or four dates until you had a definite attraction going and sex seemed to be imminent before finding out that your date is married?
127
@125 If there were any immorality involved, such as cheating, I would want to know right away so that I could refrain from participating. I would feel betrayed if the person waited until after sex had taken place. As for whether or not a married person dating is cheating, I'd say that even if the married person doesn't think that it counts as cheating, the non-married person still might, and (if this is a matter of opinion rather than one of fact) their take on the matter is just as important.

@126 An asexual who goes out on a date because they're interested in forming a romantic relationship is not stringing anyone along. They are using dating for its intended purpose.

I wouldn't be happy spending even one second on a date that violated my moral code in any way, but waiting until after sex would be much, much worse. Sex is a very big threshold to cross. Cards should be on the table before that happens.

Here's another take: If you were out on a date with an asexual, would you feel as though you had done something wrong? Would you feel like you'd hurt someone or hurt society? Would you feel guilty? Would you be ashamed? Would you be at risk of getting fired from your job or losing friends if people found out that you had gone out with an asexual? Any and all those things come into play when someone dates a married person and not when someone dates a partner who turns out to be available but flawed.
128
@123, continued: the point of this discussion is that a lot of asexuals do want romantic relationships; that's why they're out there dating. "

You are allowed to have romantic relationships. Just not under false pretenses, and not with people who don't want the same thing as you. That is what I have been saying all along. If you understood me to say you aren't allowed romantic relationships AT ALL, then you need to work on your reading comprehension.

"Telling someone that they're not allowed to have relationships because there's one part of the relationship that they're going to have to grin and bear is unrealistic."

Uh, actually, that's how the real world works. If you think you are going to get a romance-only relationship with someone who wants a sexual relationship as part of their romantic relationship, you are going to get dumped hard and often. If you try to hide the fact that sex doesn't interest you until sex is becoming an imminent event, you are going to pick up a reputation as a manipulative liar. If you try to grin and bear it, unless you are such a skilled liar that you can convincingly fake interest and enthusiasm for sex on a regular basis (i.e., once a week at minimum, for years at a stretch), you are going to fuck up the emotional health of your partner -- who WILL see through your ploys and sense your lack of desire, and take it personally -- which is a pretty damned evil thing to knowingly do to someone that you purport to love. Either that or you will be the one who becomes resentful of the constant demand for this thing that you just can't see the value in. If you honestly believe that isn't going to happen, THAT'S being unrealistic. Maybe you had better go back to the beginning of Dan's archives and work your way forward.
129
DRF @127:
Sorry, why can't you accept that knowing if a prospective partner is asexual is as important to other people as knowing if a prospective partner is married is to you?

Personally, I wouldn't feel cheated but probably very sad if I was seriously interested in someone and they told me they were either married or asexual on the second or third date when I had gotten hopeful that this might lead to something.

Because I am monogamous and sexual myself.
130
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I don't understand why some asexuals apparently have such a strong need for a relationship. You don't desire sex, you desire companionship. No offense, but I think most people can survive a few years without a romantic partner. I don't understand what would make an asexual so desperate for a relationship that they resort to hiding their asexuality out of fear of rejection.

@115 The reason I brought up "the last minute" is because I saw some comments saying that asexuals shouldn't bring up their (lack of) sexuality until the issue of sex actually comes up. Here is a quote from you: "It seems to me that a good time to talk about sexual orientation would be before engaging in any sexual activity."
131
@ EricaP:
The very first time you threatened to bring out “your momma” jokes you were already wasting my time with that crap – there’s no difference between a threat to use a “your momma” joke and the stupid joke itself.

First, it wasn't a threat. I assume you know that, right, and are just exaggerating to make a point?

Second, saying "we're all done talking here, so screw it, I might as well make 'your momma' jokes instead" is the same as making them is ridiculous. Is a spoiler warning a spoiler?

The content of the joke is irrelevant; the point is to irritate someone by referencing their mother.

Content of anything is never irrelevant, and you don't know what the point was, so telling me what I meant is insulting. The point was that making "your momma" jokes is more fun than trying to communicate with DRF, and just as productive.

I haven’t changed my stance, which is that people should disclose early if they have very unusual tastes, but failing to do so is discourteous (to use Square101's term), not immoral.

Ah. I agree with that, but I don't see asexuals as having unusual tastes, so much as not being interested at all. It's not like a kink. Look at how DRF is dodging the question of when a sexual aromantic should disclose to a non-aromantic asexual, and look at how every asexual apologist seems to dismiss out of hand the idea of asexuals dating each other. The latter seems more significant the more often it's dismissed.

As for your last question, the term “first date” has come up 24 times on this thread, so you’ll have to explain more why you find it a non-sequitur. Are you saying we all agree that people don’t have to reveal their asexuality on a first date?

No, I'm saying that the discussion is not and has not been solely about the first date. People deliberately mischaracterizing the pro-honesty side of the thread have consistently claimed it was, but that shouldn't be surprising behavior, given that their whole effort here is to advocate dating-by-deceit.
132
@ 130: I don't understand what would make an asexual so desperate for a relationship that they resort to hiding their asexuality out of fear of rejection.

To be fair, there are a lot of cultural reasons why someone could want to be in a relationship even if they don't any particular feelings for any particular person. I haven't usually found it enough to keep me in a relationship I didn't enjoy, but plenty of people (asexual or not) seem to.

But I think it's significant that asexuals apparently won't consider dating other asexuals. Is it just a function of whining about how much that would shrink their dating pool--the same as any other common dealbreaker--or do they know something we don't?
133
@129 We're not talking about someone not knowing that a potential partner is asexual. We're talking about not knowing right away. The issue is not whether asexuals should disclose; no on here has said that they should not. The issue is when. I hold than an asexual should have the option of hanging in there for a while and getting a chance to impress a potential partner before dropping that bomb. We say the same thing to hardcore kinksters.

@132 If someone's in a romance, then they do have feelings for the partner. Sexual feelings are not the only kind of feelings.

No one's said that asexuals shouldn't date other asexuals, only that they shouldn't be required to only date other asexuals. Frankly, that whole thing's got a very, "Stick to your own kind and stay away from us normal people, you freaks!" vibe that should be turning people off a lot more than it seems to be.
134
DRF:
I think an asexual should disclose at the same time you think a married person in an open relationship should disclose their marriage.
135
@131, It's true that from a humor competition perspective, the content of a "your momma" joke matters (btw, yours were lame).

But warning that "I'm going to bring out my 'your momma' jokes" is just as misogynistic as telling a 'your momma' joke. In fact, lazy people use "Oh, your momma!" as an insult all by itself. Because it doesn't matter whether you're calling your target's mother fat, stupid, ugly, or slutty, and it doesn't matter if your wording is especially clever. What matters (as far as misogyny) is that you're erasing a real woman -- and isn't that so hilarious.

Here's an essay that explains it better than I can. Key quote:
>> Are such insults founded in misogyny, I ask Cameron, author of Language and Sexual Politics and Feminism and Linguistic Theory? "Of course they're misogynistic. Not just overtly. If you think about those 'yo momma' remarks that they use in playing the dozens, they're subtly misogynistic in the way they systematically erase the mother. She isn't even present when the insult takes place. She's not even important enough to be the subject of the insult." But isn't her honour being defended when men leap to the defence of their insulted mother? Some sardonic tittering comes down the phone line from Oxford by way of reply. >>
http://www.theguardian.com/football/2006…
136
@135 correction: Deborah Cameron is the author of Language and Sexual Politics and a different book, Feminism and Linguistic Theory. My poorly placed tags made that look like one long title.
137
@ EricaP: (btw, yours were lame).

Given that you moved immediately to the talking points about why all yo momma jokes are immoral, (any time someone says "Content doesn't matter," they are telling you a lie) I have to apologize for my inability to take your evaluation seriously, since the objectivity of it seems to be questionable at best. Feel free to provide some examples of non-lame ones for comparison, though, if you feel that I am unfairly dismissing your critique.

(I can promise my real-life mother won't mind, should she hear of it; like most real-life adults, she knows what a yo momma joke is, and what it is not. And unlike many, she's unlikely to pretend otherwise for imaginary rhetorical advantage.)

What matters (as far as misogyny) is that you're erasing a real woman -- and isn't that so hilarious.

Nope; there are no real women involved. My fictional relationship with DRF's fictional mother is fictional, as all adults who can read are aware. Similarly, all reasonable adults are aware that fictional events and people are fictional, and not real.

But warning that "I'm going to bring out my 'your momma' jokes" is just as misogynistic as telling a 'your momma' joke.

I was going to say "Let's step back for a moment, though: Each time someone has claimed to know your motivations better than you... were they ever right? Or were they just inventing self-serving fantasies in which people who disagree with them are immoral?"

But really, we're both doing this because making yo momma jokes and calling people misogynists are both more fun than actually talking about asexuals, and that's why we're both participating, so I'm fine with it if you are. But I think it's best not to have any illusions about what's likely to be accomplished--I hope you had as much fun relating Cameron's fantasies about what happens in other people's heads as I had coming up with yo momma jokes. If not, perhaps it's worth changing tack.

The odds of actually convincing anyone of anything in this thread are nil; I think we've had every possible position described ad nauseam. I mean, even DRF is back to pretending that gay people are oppressed by the expectation that they'll date gay people, rather than deceiving straights into relationships with people who aren't attracted to them.
138
@ 134 Both the married person and the asexual have bomb-level dealbreakers that should be disclosed as some point. They are both bringing the potential partner into the possible inconvenience of dating someone whom they will not end up wanting. However, the married person is also bringing the partner into wrongdoing and the asexual person is not, so they should lead with being married. Or just wear the wedding ring. That's they're for: to let people know that they're married without having to say so all the time.

139
@137 all "your momma" jokes are misogynistic, just as all blonde jokes are misogynistic, pretty much by definition of the genre. Do you want to argue that one too?

But some are clever:
Yo mama's teeth are so yellow, traffic slows down when she smiles
Yo mama's so dumb, she puts lipstick on her head so she can make-up her mind.
Yo mama's so black she went to night school and they marked her absent.
Yo mama's so poor that when I saw her kicking a can down the street, I asked her what she was doing, and she said 'moving.'
Yo mama's so fat, she doesn't fit in this joke.

more at http://academictips.org/funny-jokes/funn…
140
@138: Nope. You are still talking about wrongdoing. Did you merely fail to see the phrase "a married person in an open relationship," or are you ignoring it deliberately?

If the marriage is open, the spouse has already given their blessing for the new relationship to happen. There is no wrongdoing. At that point it is solely about your reaction to being with someone who is married to someone else. If you would want to know this about them right away -- in other words, to not waste your time with someone who has a characteristic that you know in advance is a dealbreaker for you -- then you equally owe someone advance notice of your asexuality.

Maybe you need to wear an asexuality ring, so the people for whom that's an absolute dealbreaker know to steer clear of you. I'd say that would be a win for both of you.
141
@140 I do see the "in an open relationship part." I simply don't feel that having permission to do something wrong makes it not wrong. However, for the sake of argument, let's treat morality as relative in this case (which means that we're ignoring the issue of whether cheating on one's spouse is still bad, wrong or harmful even if one has permission—a discussion for another thread). Let's say that the two people in the marriage don't think that dating others is immoral. The people whom they intend to date still might. In this scenario, we're ignoring who's right and who's wrong and instead assuming that everyone's moral systems are equally important.

The married person and the asexual who date people who turn out to have married/asexuality on their dealbreaker lists have inconvenienced their potential partners, but the married person has both inconvenienced the partner and drawn the partner into sin/crime/wrongdoing. Even if the date-ee doesn't personally believe that dating a married person is wrong, he or she could still face consequences, such as losing a job or friends, that do not come into play when one dates an asexual.

Look at it this way. A person who finds out they dated an asexual might feel sad, but a person who finds out they dated a married person would feel guilty.
142
DRF, I don't think asexuals are freaks, and I don't think they should stick to their own kind. I feel like you may be projecting your feelings about yourself onto everyone else. You described asexuality as being more like a hardcore kink, such as rape fetishism, than a sexual orientation. I watch rape porn a lot, and I consider myself kind of freaky for doing so. I imagine if I was asexual I wouldn't consider myself freaky.

I would find your position easier to understand if I understood what advantage an asexual has by not disclosing their asexuality early. What good does that do for an asexual person? If I was asexual, it would hurt my confidence to know that someone was only dating me because they believe I am something I'm not, even if only at first. I would rather date somebody open minded enough to give a chance to an asexual.

The idea seems to be that if a sexual person gets to know an asexual person before discovering their sexuality, they will be less likely to reject them. I have a question: is that really true? Maybe I'm naive but I would by a little surprised if this worked very well for asexuals. Are dealbreakers really this flexible?

One more thing. Your insistence that open marriages are immoral is bizarre. It makes me think you don't value honesty at all. The thing that makes cheating immoral is the lying and hurt it causes, right? If both partners are honest about extra-marital sex, there is no lying or hurt, so what could POSSIBLY be immoral about it?
143
@142, If monogamy is difficult but valuable (to people like DRF), then one can want society to dole out harsh punishments for non-monogamy (even if ethical non-monogamy).

About dealbreakers-- here's another kind of dealbreaker... Crossdressing men are also told to reveal it very early, in order to find women who appreciate that in a guy. But there aren't many women who appreciate crossdressing, so most crossdressers hide it early on in a relationship. Some reveal it before marriage, some only when they get caught. After the secret comes out, more women do stay than would have agreed to date a crossdresser on that first date. So, yes, dealbreakers can become less of an automatic reason to walk away, over time.

On the other hand, crossdressers are arguably hiding something that is a private hobby, which arguably doesn't affect their spouse. That's not true for asexuals.
144
@142 Legit question. I've said this earlier, but whoever starts talking about sex, especially on a first date, is at a disadvantage. Whoever meets a new person for the first time and immediately dives into their sexual dos and don'ts is going to sound creepy and obsessed with sex, whether they're a kinkster or asexual or not.

Anyone with a potential dealbreaker, like asexuality, a sex-impairing physical problem, infertility, or a scary kink is going to get rejected out of hand a lot, even by people who might not make the same decision if they knew more about the person's personality, compatibility and other mitigating factors.

In short, it is best for the asexual to wait to disclose because that allows the asexual to make a good impression on a potential partner. It's to find those people in the middle, the ones who'd reject the stranger-asexual but not the not-a-stranger-asexual. "Well, I'd never date a guy who had a DUI ten years ago. Go away now! How dare you date me?" becomes "Oh, I've been dating Harry for a little while. Turns out he got a DUI ten years ago. That's not a big deal." As to whether this really happens when asexuals are out there dating, you'd have to ask some asexuals who've tried it. The question that you and I can address is whether or not they have the right to try. They do.

And by rape fetishism, I was thinking about this guy from the recent "Not Gonna Happen" letter. He does not like non-kinky sex. By asexuals who are willing to go along with sex to please a partner, I was thinking about the guy's wife.

As for whether open marriages are wrong, there's so much to say about that issue that I'd rather save it for another thread. This one's about to age out anyway.
145
Monogamy does not have to mean "sexual exclusivity."

"Monogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime or at any one time."

I have a family member, and also a good friend, both of whom are asexual. My friend was in a committed, monogamous relationship with an equally asexual partner for many loving years until that partner's death.

Relationships don't need to be defined entirely by who, or whether, you fuck, Mr. Savage. Asexual people can be monogamous regardless of the fact that they don't have sex.

I agree that it's unfair to not reveal that you are asexual to a person you're dating who is not. I can get that.

But the bit about monogamy being based solely on sex seems to be a little surprising to me.
146
I think asexuals are fooling themselves if they think that a sexual person just needs a chance to get to know how great the asexual is in other ways, and then the sexual person will totally enjoy a long-term, rewarding, romantic relationship with the asexual.

Seriously, this argument is laughable.

What pretty much everyone wants in a romantic partner at a bare minimum is someone who feels sexual desire for one. Stating over and over again that given time, a person might decide she'd rather be in a relationship with someone who does not sexually desire her but tells awesome jokes or something is just stupid.

Also, someone expressing interest on a first date in eventually having sex isn't "creepily obsessed with sex". That person is maybe somewhat indelicate. But I can see how a normal person might seem creepily obsessed with sex to an asexual. Consider this: we're pretty much all like that. Might be better to stay away.
147
@146 None of the first dates I've been on have involved discussions about sex.

An asexual might not think that sex will stop being important to a non-asexual, but they might think that it's better to be rejected as a whole person than as a label. And don't forget that layer of people out there who aren't asexual but don't need sex as much as other people do. Someone like that might be open to a relationship with an asexual whom they'd gotten to know a little bit. For most of these subtle distinctions, the only real way through is to get out there and interact in person.
148
@147 I'm not sure why you think the lack of discussions about sex on your first dates is even relevant. "This has never happened on a first date involving me, therefore anyone who does it is creepily obsessed with sex."

LOL.

Asexuals can delude themselves that they are being rejected as a whole person rather than because of the sex, but it's a delusion. It doesn't matter if it happens on the first date or on the tenth date or after a year.

Anyways, in my own days of dating, my (very effective) screening tool for asexuals and people with hangups about sex and people who were not very sexually interested in me and people I was not that sexually interested in was that I would not keep seeing a person for more than a few dates if we had not had mutually enthusiastic sex. Problem solved.
149
@ 139: lol. "Yo mama so fat she bought a fur coat and the whole species went extinct."

The history major sitting next to me: "Yo mama so fat she went swimming and Amerigo Vespucci tried to claim her for Spain."

My preferred flavor of yo momma joke, though, is the kind that isn't actually saying anything negative.
150
@ 140: Maybe you need to wear an asexuality ring, so the people for whom that's an absolute dealbreaker know to steer clear of you. I'd say that would be a win for both of you.

Doesn't it seem like DRF has accidentally endorsed that?

@ 142: Your insistence that open marriages are immoral is bizarre. It makes me think you don't value honesty at all.

In his defense, that has been his position from the start. Points for consistency, in that respect. It's sort of how certain kinds of conservatives find discourse on rape to be nonsensical, when they don't really understand that consent is a thing.

@ 143: On the other hand, crossdressers are arguably hiding something that is a private hobby, which arguably doesn't affect their spouse. That's not true for asexuals.

I think this is one of the key points here. Asexual apologists keep having to elide the distinction between traits which don't affect their partner, and traits which do.

@145: "Monogamy is a form of marriage in which an individual has only one spouse during their lifetime or at any one time."

This isn't correct.

But the bit about monogamy being based solely on sex seems to be a little surprising to me.

That is how the word "monogamy" is typically used in this country, and all others with which I am familiar; the definition above is bizarre. If you reread Dan's post reading "monogamy" the way he (and everyone else, as far as I knew) means it, it will make more sense.
151
DRF:
People will lose their jobs for going on dates with married people, even if they don't know that their dates are married? I find that hard to believe, unless their employer is the Catholic church.
But then, the President of my country is a married, but separated Lutheran pastor who takes his domestic partner to official functions.
152
@149, I see that you're trying to thread that needle: "my jokes were about sluttiness, but I'm sex positive, so I wasn't actually insulting DRF's mother."

You can pretend that you were giving DRF's mother a compliment, but that's just your own defensiveness at work. You don't have any reason to think she would appreciate you calling her a slut on the internet, and you insisting that she ought to like it doesn't help your cause.

The structure of the joke requires an insult. Or at least, if there is a "your momma" joke which is funny without being insulting, I've never seen it. Here are some un-funny ones:

Yo mama's so pretty, I had to scrub my dick just to feel worthy
Yo mama’s so sweet that I kissed her cheek and got diabetes.
Yo mama's so good, the Pope confesses to her.
Yo mama’s so nice that if her cell phone rings in a movie theater, someone pauses the movie for her.

Though searching on "yo mama's so nice" also leads to things like:
Yo mama's so nice, she blew me for a nickel when I didn't have $2.00.
153
@ 152: You can pretend that you were giving DRF's mother a compliment, but that's just your own defensiveness at work.

Again: When people who disliked you self-servingly decided to invent hidden motives for something you did, which not-coincidentally made them feel that they were better people than you, how often were they correct?

Do you understand what a reasonable person extrapolates from those results?

But then there's the really weird sentence:

You don't have any reason to think she would appreciate you calling her a slut on the internet,

Again, you're leaning heavily on the pretense that neither of us knows what a yo momma joke actually is. I do, however, and I suspect that you do as well. Unless you believe that your having posted #139 makes you a fervent misogynist?

But what's more important, I suspect, is that your argument is based on presuming that slut-shaming is and should be accepted. I did not expect either of those to be the case here.

and you insisting that she ought to like it

That never happened, and we both know this. What were you expecting to gain by the falsehood? It seems out of character for you.

...doesn't help your cause.

Any chance you'll explain what you imagine my cause to be?

The structure of the joke requires an insult.

Ah, there's where you went wrong; the structure of the joke causes the reader to expect an insult. But now with this previous sentence, I've explained too much of the punch line, which is never good for jokes. Alas.
154
I didn't say you were "a fervent misogynist", I just pointed out that you used misogynistic jokes, and, yes, of course I did too, @139. If the topic were racism, I'd point out that the jokes I posted were racist as well, given the association between yo mama jokes and "the dozens."

If I were posting material without realizing that it would be seen by others as misogynistic, homophobic, racist, or whatever, I would appreciate someone letting me know. Mr. Ven often lets me know when I'm erasing gay or bi people by being heterocentric, and I appreciate his admonitions.
155
@151 Even if someone doesn't get fired outright, it can create bad feelings and damage careers and reputations.

How many times have we heard, "But I didn't know! Really!" and gone "Suuuuuure you didn't"?

@148 Of course not. I was merely offering a counterexample to your assertion in comment 146 that talking about sex right away is not unusual. I've never seen it happen.

"Delusion"? That's only true if asexuality is the only possible reason why an asexual might be rejected. Maybe the two people turn out to have different political opinions. Maybe they think different things are funny. Maybe one's a dog person and the other's a cat person. Maybe they have widely different plans for the future. Maybe the sexual person doesn't happen to be attracted to the asexual.
156
Fair enough; it seems I was making the same mistake of judging by format and association rather than by the particulars of content. For that, I'm sorry.
157
(156 was intended for EricaP; I failed to include "@154," as I'd assumed nobody else was still reading the thread by now.)
158
@123: "Avast, the point of this discussion is that a lot of asexuals do want romantic relationships; that's why they're out there dating. Telling someone that they're not allowed to have relationships because there's one part of the relationship that they're going to have to grin and bear is unrealistic."

You appear to be confusing companionship with romance.
159
"one part of the relationship that they're going to have to grin and bear"

It's not enough to "grin and bear" the sex itself. Sexual people don't just want the sex act, they want to be wanted, sexually. And an asexual isn't going to be able to offer them that.
160
@159: Let me rephrase, they're confusing codependency with romance.
161
I felt like that post was "mean", then thought about it, and wondered about the inverse of recommending someone "grin and bear" a lifestyle they didn't want to participate in. What if someone told the asexual to "grin and bear" sex and live that lie to its fullest extent? The thought is not as pretty or convenient as put forth.

I don't know what being an asexual is like, and perhaps I'll eventually talk to someone in person who dedicates themselves lifelong. I've had friends self-classify in the past, but eventually they've found partners of a more romantic situation so I can't re-check with them years down the line. Anecdotes, I know, but it leads to a relative lack of perspective.
162
@161 If they don't want to participate in a long-term relationship with an asexual, then they shouldn't have a long-term relationship with an asexual. The issue under discussion here is whether or not the asexual has to disclose right away. That's not "living a lie." That's discretion.

In most relationships, one partner does something that's not to his or her taste to please the other. In these cases, that would be sex.

@159 EricaP, if there are people who don't want sex at all, then perhaps there are people who want sex but don't need exactly what you've described, who would be content with I'm-doing-it-for-you if the partner was to their liking in enough other ways. These people would be even harder to label than fully identified asexuals, so the best way to find them would be to go out on dates and look.
163
@162: This isn't a quirky kink, this is a base sexual preference (aka none, please.)
164
"there are people who want sex but don't need exactly what you've described, who would be content with I'm-doing-it-for-you if the partner was to their liking in enough other ways. These people would be even harder to label than fully identified asexuals"

Is that even asexual? Sounds more plain apathetic.
165
@164 More like a lower drive than most people.

@163 Freudian slip? It's hardly base. It might be basic. The issue is that because it is 1. not something that disqualifies someone from being in a relationship and 2. something that might put the asexual at a disadvantage if disclosed too early that would not be the case if disclosed later, asexuals should not be required to disclose right away.
166
The kinkster analogy is not nearly as good as DRF likes to think. There is a fundamental difference between the two:

Kinkster: "There is this essential thing about my sexuality, but if you get to know me well enough first, you may be enthusiastic enough about me as a person to indulge my kink."
Asexual: "There is this essential thing about my sexuality, but if you get to know me well enough, you may be enthusiastic enough about me as a person to be content with starving sexually yourself."

It would take an asexual or near-asexual to equate the two, since it requires completely devaluing sex to think that asking someone to put up with sexual malnutrition is not a big deal.

It would also take an asexual to fail to understand how soul-crushing it is to sexually desire your romantic partner and not be sexually desired in return. No, actually: servicing your partner is not a substitute for desiring your partner, unless you are such a hell of a good liar that they can't tell you are faking.
167
For what it's worth, I would say the exact same thing about a kinkster whose kink is so deeply ingrained that the only way they can enjoy sex is doing it the kinky way. In that case, they have no business getting involved with a largely vanilla person, because the vanilla person will be stuck always indulging the kinkster while never getting the vanilla sort of sexual affirmation that feeds them.

You have no business looking in the general dating pool and attempting to hook just anybody if you already know this about yourself (e.g., that for you only kink will do). The general dating pool is going in with some pretty common expectations for a relationship that you personally are incapable of fulfilling. It is dishonest of you to give the impression that you are capable of it when you know up front that you aren't.

Frabnkly, I would call that sort of kinkster a selfish, maladjusted shit.
168
@165: "Freudian slip? It's hardly base. It might be basic."

Your thesaurus is not as comprehensive as you think.
169
@165 "More like a lower drive than most people."

Low sex drive is NOT ASEXUAL. Unless you're trying to somehow conflate "low" with "no", in which case your inability to prove your case without deception.

"it is 1. not something that disqualifies someone from being in a relationship and 2. something that might put the asexual at a disadvantage if disclosed too early that would not be the case if disclosed later, asexuals should not be required to disclose right away."

Whether it is something that's a disqualification for a relationship is up to the potential partner.

It should be an acceptable disqualification is the party is specifically looking for romance and sex and the only way that the other can get their foot in the door is through deception.

You're helping nobody. All you're doing is extending both parties' anticipation and crushing dissatisfaction through dishonesty. This isn't "I don't like sex in your particular manner (demanding or not) but we can both find compromise", this is "I will not have sex with you".

Asexuality is a kink how baldness is a hair color.
170
"Freudian slip?"

Ah Internet, never stop these delightfully smug failures to correct.
171
@169 I was saying that someone with a low sex drive might be more amenable to entering a LTR with an asexual than someone with an ordinary sex drive. Because people with low sex drives are even harder to label than asexuals, they are even harder to find.

Refraining from disclosing absolutely everything right away is not deception. It is discretion. Waiting until after the wedding vows could be construed as underhanded, but waiting until you know this person well enough to tell what they're going to do with the information is just prudent.

base (adjective, archaic) morally low, meanspirited, degenerate or valueless (This word was often applied to sexual desires in a sex-negative way, as in "one's baser needs.")
basic (adjective, modern) fundamental

Kinkster: There is something different about my sexuality. It might even be a deal-breaker, but you're the only one who can tell me so. I figured it was too big of a bomb to drop right away. I wanted you to get to know me well enough to decide whether I was worth the trouble. I promise I will do my best to meet your needs.

Asexual: There is something different about my sexuality. It might even be a deal-breaker, but you're the only one who can tell me so. I figured it was too big of a bomb to drop right away. I wanted you to get to know me well enough to decide whether I was worth the trouble. I promise I will do my best to meet your needs.
172
@171: I'm sorry you don't own a dictionary. They're pretty cheap, but you can even find them online these days.

"Because people with low sex drives are even harder to label than asexuals, they are even harder to find."

I find that doubtful.
173
"There is something different about my sexuality."

Yes, it is not present. Give me a goddamned break. It's like saying Atheists believe in the God Atheos. Er, no. a lack of sex is not a preference for a type of sex. It's not sex at all.
174
It means that they relate to sex differently. A kinkster hopes that a partner will indulge him or her. An asexual hopes that a partner will be content with being indulged. For either to have a successful relationship, they must be committed to making the (presumably vanilla) partner happy, which may mean different things depending on the partner.

@171 Actually, some of them are free: Dictionary.com. Here's a link to the entry for "base." Hit CTRL-F and type in "value." When you refer to asexuality as "base," one could infer that you think that it is valueless or meanspirited. This is borne out in the rest of your comments, so I'm not sure why you're objecting to the suggestion that that is what you really meant on some level.

175
An asexual doesn't relate to sex by very definition.

I'm sorry that you don't understand the difference between a noun and an adjective. Try reading more and correcting people less.
176
@175 Actually, asexuals do relate to sex; they just don't enjoy it the way other people do. Anyone in a relationship with a sexual person must develop a relationship with sex too.

This isn't a quirky kink, this is a base sexual preference

Sentence structure indicates that "base" is being used as an adjective. Assuming parallel construction, "base" and "sexual" both match up with "quirky," which is an adjective without a noun form (for that spelling). Even if parallel construction is not being used here, in general, it doesn't make sense to go noun-adjective-noun. The placement of two cumulative adjectives before a noun is much more common in English.

It's your post and you're the final authority on what you meant when you said something, but it is reasonable and legitimate for a reader to think that "base" is being used as an adjective here.

Also, the sentence is run-on.
177
Are you trolling or seriously this passionately dense about every subject you discuss?
178
177: I think we've identified the base problem, anyway.