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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » What do that call that?

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Author Topic: What do that call that?
TheFlash
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Just wondering. If you are sexually attracted to the same sex, you are homosexual. If you are attracted to the opposite sex, you are heterosexual. If you are attracted to both sexes, you are bisexual.

What do they call it if you are not attracted to either sex at all? Does this exist? If you are not attracted to either sex, could you be interested in sexual arousal simply because it feels good, but just not with any one else?

I'm not talking about someone that is afraid or abused, just not interested in sex because they are not set up that way.

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Heather
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While it's not actually what that word means, of late, people who find they are just simply not sexually attracted to anyone have often been using the term "asexual" to describe themselves. And yes: people who describe themselves that way do tend to say they enjoy masturbation.

However, with young adults, I'd remind that people have different timetables. Most people will in time find themselves emotionally or sexually attracted to other people, and for young people, it can just take some folks longer to get there than others.

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TheFlash
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I thought about asexual, but I think that term means the person doesn't have a sex (like a Barbie or Ken doll). So I thought that was not the right word. I would think non-sexual would be better, but maybe that has a negative meaning and would sound like an insult - even though I have no idea why it should be. I would think using the word asexual would be an insult because it's not that they don't have a sex or identify with a sex - they're not a Barbie or Ken. That's why I asked.

I have an aunt that doesn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend and my mom says never has. She says she's not interested in that sort of thing. My mom thinks she might be a lesbian, but I don't think so because she doesn't have a gf either and not having a bf doesn't mean your homosexual. When asked, she simply says she's "not interested in anyone". She has friends of both sexes, so I'm sure she means sexually.

I think I'll just call her my Aunt. She's cool either way.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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Heather
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I'm with you: it doesn't strike me as an accurate term because it is already meant for a very different use that is about biological sex.

But it IS the term that many people who feel that way have been using to identify themselves with: http://www.asexuality.org

And IMO, it's one of these things where when you're not part of a group of people identifying themselves, you defer to what members of that group do want to be called.

However, if your Aunt has never told you about who she is or isn't attracted to, it does seem a stretch to presume she's not felt attraction to anyone based solely on what she's communicated to your Mom. Too, if she is lesbian, do remember that when we date same-sex, our dating pool is often waaaaaaay smaller, so her not having a girlfriend isn't evidence of anything, either way.

But yeah, since your relationship with her is familial, and she's likely old enough to know how she wants to ID in situations when that's pertinent (which family situations often are not), I think "Aunt" is likely the best call here. [Smile]

[ 03-19-2008, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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