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Old 01-22-2015, 04:46 AM
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Default Asexual Poly?

This is a continuation of a debate on another thread (see http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...530#post287530 thru http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...883#post287883). The questions are:
  • Is poly about sex?
  • If you remove the sex, do you just have friendship?
  • Can polys have romantic friendships?
  • Can you have romance without sex?
  • How about sex without romance?
  • Can asexuals be poly?
  • Are poly asexuals messed up?
Please sound off with your opinions on these questions.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2015, 06:57 AM
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  • Is poly about sex? No, not the way I practice it. I like the sex, and this is the first relationship I've been in where I felt safe in my sexuality, but even without it I'd love Mal. We actually talked about being non-sexual at the beginning, and decided that it didn't matter either way. The love was what mattered.
  • If you remove the sex, do you just have friendship? See above. No, we have love (Eros, not Phillia or Agape)
  • Can polys have romantic friendships? Can anyone? Yes? Then polys can.
  • Can you have romance without sex? Yes. Jeez, it's so common its a trope!
  • How about sex without romance? Many people can. Djinn can, and Mal too to some extent. I can't.
  • Can asexuals be poly? Don't see why not. As someone who is not asexual (demisexual maybe, I haven't figured that out) I don't get a say in what asexual people do or feel. Not my business.
  • Are poly asexuals messed up? No. No further explanation needed.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:46 AM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
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Is poly about sex?
Nope. Poly is about love, not sex. However, people who enjoy and desire sex (i.e., the huge majority of folks) are obviously very, very likely to include sex in their poly 'ships.

If you remove the sex, do you just have friendship?
I object to the use of "just" here. IMO, every healthy relationship is, at its core, a friendship anyway, it may just have additional add-ons (sex, shared household, etc.pp.). Any healthy partnership is an FWB arrangement, in my eyes, and sex is just one of the many forms benefits can come in.

Can polys have romantic friendships?
That's not a term I use. I've heard other poly folk use the term, though, and it seemed to make perfect sense to them, so I'd say yes.

Can you have romance without sex?
Of course. I can't even count the times in my life.

How about sex without romance?
Um... duh?! Happens every day, doesn't it? You may have heard of that newfangled thingy called "prostitution"?

Can asexuals be poly?
Of course. Not only are you reading a post right now that one of them wrote (), but from what I've seen, polyamory actually seems a good bit more common among aces than among sexuals. (Still a minority, but it sure looks like a more substantial one.)

Are poly asexuals messed up?
No more messed up than straight, gay, and bi/pan polys.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:19 PM
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I dont presume anything about anyone else's relationships because I feel its up to them to define. For myself without a physically intimate element being it is just a friendship. I feel that my friend "work wife" and I have a romance but still we are just friends and of course I've had a lot of aetx without romance. Anyone can be poly and not practicing but If an asexual person has multiple non sexual partners but defines them as relationships that is their choice.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:21 PM
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I'll reply here to justascientist's reply to me:
Quote:
Originally Posted by justascientist View Post
Here's a second attempt. How about we broaden the word "sexual relationship" to includes romantic and non-penetrative relationships, such as kissing of the neighbor's hand above? By that def, I have a sexual relationship if I am fantasizing about someone, or thinking romantically about someone off limits. If KC43 could agree to that then we can all agree that poly includes asexual yet romantic relationships which changes back to poly excludes asexual relationships using this broader def for sexual relationships. Confused yet?
Yes.
Why? Why reclassify "sexual relationship" to be overly broad? Why reclassify it to mean "anyone we've ever fantasized about"? Hell, then as a teenager, I would have had a sexual relationship with fictional characters, and that just seems wrong. How do you have a relationship with someone you've never met (and never could meet)?

And why is non-sexual necessarily non-penetrative? There are plenty of sexual activities that don't require penetration, or are all lesbian relationships romantic/asexual ones in your viewpoint?


Quote:
Originally Posted by justascientist View Post
Perhaps the real problem here is my desire to apply our mentality to the school of monogamy, since there sex is black and white, and it isn't cheating if you are in love with someone else but not having sex.
Really? Plenty of monogamous people find the "in love" part worse than the "having sex" part. There are folks who find swinging much easier to emotionally deal with than poly.

Then there's the whole religious concept of "lust in your heart" being a sin. Where does that end? Does lusting after the Hollywood hottie somehow differ from lusting after your neighbor? In some people's minds, no, they're both bad. In some people's minds, no, they're both okay. And some folks think the potential attainability of such a relationship is what makes one okay and the other not okay.

You can't nail this stuff down to one set of beliefs, one school of thought, because there is no "one school of thought."


Quote:
Originally Posted by justascientist View Post
Masturbation isn't usually cheating either, but some would disagree. Is thinking of someone else during sex cheating to a monogamist? Too dangerous of a question for a monogamist, since then many of them would all be cheating! I'd guess that's the real problem here, that mentally lusting after someone but not having sex is a much bigger deal in poly than it is in monogamy, where it is par for the course.

The "if there is no sex then it's just a friendship" disagreement should disappear IF we can agree that there is such a thing as a romantic friendship, which apparently is not possible for polys.
I don't understand what you mean by "a much bigger deal in poly" - basically in a poly relationship, you are able to admit to these romantic feelings and relationships without "breaking the rules," even though the rules of monogamy can be squishy as hell (and why many couples find themselves believing they're on the same page, when they're not). The differentiation between "relationship" and "romantic friendship" seems to be your hangup here, but I'd posit that a "romantic friendship" *is* a relationship.

Anyway, I guess I'll bring it back to this statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by justascientist View Post
Perhaps the real problem here is my desire to apply our mentality to the school of monogamy, since there sex is black and white, and it isn't cheating if you are in love with someone else but not having sex.
What is "our mentality" that you're applying? What is the "school of monogamy" you're applying it to? To me, neither of these is as black-and-white as you would seem to believe.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2015, 03:44 PM
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Is poly about sex?

No poly is not about sex alone. Does it include sex for most yes. Poly is about intimacy and romantic loving relationships.

If you remove the sex, do you just have friendship?

In my opinion no.

Can polys have romantic friendships?

This is not a term I use either but yes they can.

Can you have romance without sex?

Yes

How about sex without romance?

Of course.

Can asexuals be poly?

Yes they have romantic and intimate relationships without sex.

Are poly asexuals messed up?

No.. they are not.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:00 PM
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I"m reading this thread, but I think I've already voiced my opinions/responses to those questions in the thread Kevin linked...and I'm also trying to mind my P's and Q's as far as *how* I respond to things.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:38 PM
Eponine Eponine is offline
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My answers are pretty much the same as InsaneMystic's (post #3), except that I do use the term "romantic friendship" to describe one of my relationships. To me it means there are romantic feelings involved, but the relationship dynamic is more like a close friendship than a typical romantic relationship (e.g. there's no expectation of "heavier" stuff like moving in together). But romantic friendship seems to mean something slightly different for some others, like a friendship with romantic-coded behaviors but not romantic feelings.

As for the question "How about sex without romance?", I assume it means "Can you personally have sex without romance?", because there's no doubt that it can happen in general. I doubt I can have sex with someone I'm not romantically involved with, because if I'm close enough to them to be okay with having sex, I'm likely romantically involved with them. But I won't say I absolutely won't have non-romantic sex, because the emotional connection in a deep friendship can be very significant for me too. I definitely won't have sex without a strong emotional bond though.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2015, 11:35 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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For me this topic has become more pressing due to the fact I have developed medication induced asexuality. The meds are being changed because I don't like it but if they don't work with this med change I'm not going to keep screwing with my health just to be able to have sex. Thankfully both my husband and my Sir have stated they would rather me be asexual in not in pain (fibromyalgia and other potential auto-immune disorders) than sexual and hurting.

Is poly about sex? No. Not to say sex isn't by default not a part of poly. But I believe you can have romantic love with out it.
If you remove the sex, do you just have friendship? No. What I have with my friends isn't to the depth of what I have with my husband or Sir. I want to spend my life with them. I want to live with them. I want to raise children with them (even if they are only adopted).
Can polys have romantic friendships? I don't use that term, but have no problem with others using it.
Can you have romance without sex? Yes, sex is only a part of love. You also have commitment and intimacy.
How about sex without romance? Random NSA ONS. I can't do it, but others can.
Can asexuals be poly? I'm poly and currently asexual.
Are poly asexuals messed up? No.I only feel that I am messed up at the moment because I have generally been sexual. Yes, if this med switch doesn't work I'm not going to keep trying to work things out. But I am going to do therapy to make the mental transition that I will need to.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:10 AM
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Perhaps the most difficult question I can ask myself is this:

Crushing on an unavailable person is one thing, but suppose there is a person with whom I *could have sex* -- but wouldn't want to have sex under any circumstances. In other words, I'm not even hypothetically interested in having sex with that person.

Is it possible that I could (nonetheless) have a romantic relationship with that person?

And if it's not possible, is that person then discluded from those people in whom I could have a polyamorous interest/inclination?

So that being polyamorous means I have at least a hypothetical interest in having sex with more than one person? (not necessarily with more than one person at a time of course.)

If so, then a lot of self-identifying monogamists are actually polyamorists, don't you think?

To avoid all that confusing stuff, we must be able to cleanly and absolutely sever romance from sex. Can we do that?

I don't know if I can do it. In my perception, sex by nature is *highly* romantic. But wait ... Don't ladies of the night sever romance from sex all the time? Even if they have a regular client whom they like in a friendly way, they still don't necessarily get anything romantic out of sex with that person.

Question remains though, can there be romance with zero interest in sex? nada, zip; not even a hypothetical interest. My first thought is, "Of course there can. Asexuals have romantic relationships all the time."

But I'm wondering if justascientist's argument was that asexuals *can't* have romantic relationships ... of any kind ...

And I know the correct answer is, "That's only true of aromantic asexuals." But I'm wondering if justascientist's argument was that *all* asexuals are aromantic.

How is romance, then, able to exist in a box totally separate from "the sex box?" I suppose it is because in some relationships, the people could have zero interest for sex with each other, yet have considerable interest for kissing, holding hands, snuggling, etc.

Can I want to kiss, hold hands, and snuggle with someone, without any desire whatsoever to have sex with them?

I had a few girlfriends as a kid in school (and one or three pre-teen crushes I can think of), and that's how I would say I felt at the time. Sex? No way! but that other stuff? Sure.

Although ... I was deeply immersed in the sexually stringent culture of the LDS church at the time. Was I merely in a state of sexual denial?

I'll probably never know for sure.
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