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Terminology Empty Terminology

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:40 am


9 Oct. 2016 to address a known limitation of this framework, under the new "Limitations" header.
11 Apr. 2015 to clarify the issue with the "celibacy" definition.

One of the most challenging issues with establishing this community, is that in English, there isn't a set term for what we are. Some of us come from different communities, each using different frameworks with different ways to classify sexual abstinence, celibacy, etc.

Among the different groups that could be considered celibate, or have considerable overlap with it, they have differing ideas of what counts as "celibacy", or what term to use if they don't identify as celibate.

Also, each framework values each of these distinctions differently:

1. Voluntary vs. involuntary
2. Temporary vs. for life
3. Religious reasons vs. non-religious reasons
4. For asexuals; the deliberate rejection of sex vs. lack of interest in it.

The default framework used here is that from the Antisexual Stronghold, though with a few tweaks in order to be adapted into English. All 4 of the above distinctions matter. This runs into a lot of issues in English, as detailed here ("Issues with language"), but we have our reasons for using this framework as the default.

Antisexual: Someone who consciously rejected of sex. This rejection is voluntary, for life, and for non-religious reasons. Contrast with (religious) celibacy, and other forms of sexual abstinence (may be intended to be temporary, may or may not be voluntary, or seen as a sacrifice). It is also not the fear of sex, though antisexuals who aren't asexual feel like their sexuality is a burden, but the issue is having a body working against oneself.

Asexual: Someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction and/or any intrinsic desire for partnered sex. Most asexuals are neither prosexual nor antisexual. There are two types of asexuality 1) innate or primary: asexual individuals who were born that way. 2) Acquired or secondary asexuality is when a formerly non-asexual individual became asexual.*

  • For an asexual to be antisexual, they may have to consider their rejection of sex to be a deliberate decision that goes beyond the lack of desire for sex that's naturally associated with asexuality.
  • For an asexual to be prosexual, they may have to be not only favorable towards the idea of having sex despite the lack of desire for it, but feel like it is of value, and a priority in their lives.**

Celibacy: Religious vow of sexual abstinence.

  • note: Only listing this definition, because this is what the AS meant by the term, but see below in "The tweaks made to adapt it into English" section that the respecting the wishes of those who identify as celibate without religious reasons trumps this definition.

Sexually abstinent: Someone who isn't sexually active for whatever reason. The reasons can be internally or externally motivated, and can be a choice that was made, or imposed on them. This is an umbrella term; antisexual and celibate are sub-categories.

Prosexual: Someone who wants sex, seeing it as favorable, or insisting on the need for it. Those that aren't sexually active are either sexually abstinent or celibate.

Sexophile: Prosexual to an extreme degree; Someone who not only wants sex, and values it, but does so to the extent that they're uninformed of the impact that sex has on their life, and others' lives. They may be uninformed, or willfully disregard the negative consequences. This also includes the type of people who are so obsessed with the pursuit of sex, and their own gratification, that they don't care who gets hurt in the process.

Sexophobe***: 1) Someone with an irrationally negative attitude towards sex, and doesn't understand the mechanism of the rejection of it (i.e: didn't make an informed decision, may have been pushed into it by shame and fear). 2) clinical fear of sex; sometimes synonymous with erotophobia.

Antiromantic: Someone who consciously rejected romance. This can be separate from how they feel about sex.


There are some limitations to this framework:

The antisexual and prosexual terms may give a false impression that there is a dichotomy, and that everyone must be one or the other. These terms aren't applicable to everyone, and may not apply to people with conflicted, ambivalent, or indifferent attitudes towards sex.

The tweaks made to adapt it into English:

1. Using the term "sex-repulsion" and/or "sex-aversion" for people who strongly don't want sex, usually feeling physically disgusted by it, but don't necessarily have an ideological rejection of sex (or not necessarily antisexual). It's a useful concept to incorporate; in the original Russian, there isn't a term for this concept, and to not include it here would also seem like a glaring oversight. Sex-repulsion would need to be distinguished from sexophobia. Someone can be repulsed without being sexophobic, and repulsion isn't irrational.

  • It doesn't automatically follow that a sex-repulsed person will be antisexual; ideological rejection of sex may not be needed for some repulsed individuals.
  • Nor does it automatically follow that an antisexual person must also be sex-repulsed; repulsion is just one reason someone may reject sex.

2. Elaborating on the concept of erotophobia, and it's something we're also not. There is more of a need for this in English.
3. The rule against invalidating others' choices in labels means we can't say those who identify as celibate without religious reasons, are using the wrong label, because that would be hypocritical. So, the definition given above needs to be disregarded. It was mentioned just to show part of the original context.


*The English speaking asexual community does acknowledge secondary asexuality to some extent; some individuals reported that their orientation shifted to asexual over time, or that they lost all sexual attraction or desire for sex. However, what's controversial is whether someone can have asexuality forced on them, or voluntarily become asexual.

**I've met asexuals who are open to having sex, but am unsure if I've met any that might be considered prosexual.

***Of all the terms listed here, this may be the most controversial.

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Terminology Empty Re: Terminology

Post by xenosimiana on Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:52 pm

Thanks! This is helpful!


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