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Old 21st Jan 2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc.

We all seen how we feel that sexuality labels could accurately describe our own experiences because we assume our relativistic feelings is correct. The problem with this assumption is it ignores the problems of semantics that carries on with different relativistic feelings from others and it ignores all the different conceptualization of sexual attraction, sexualities, attracted. We even have evidences that shows sexuality can be argued as a social construction such as the documentary-" The Impact of Social Context on the Conceptualization of Sexual Orientation: A Construct Validity Investigation", and other documentaries that investigates social constructions and/or semantics. There are different emphasis on the immutability assumption, exclusivity assumption, and durability assumption. The emphasis level on each assumptions results into different acceptable subset of the core definition of bisexual plus different conclusions when analyzing one's other sexuality. Finally, there's also the issue of individuals who experiences very different sexual feelings in different sexual activities {pornography, sexual fantasizing, sexual activity} which just complicates matter even more.

As for fluid sexuality, fluid sexuality is the condition where one's sexual preferences changes over a period of time (1 year to even decades) and the ending result is seemingly set to stick that way after the change. Such cases has been observed throughout anecdotal claims which can be found in a few researches, articles, and more. But it isn't common for a major change to occur, but it is not unheard of. Please note that fluid sexuality is extremely rare and does not involve the therapy of sexual orientation changes. Those therapies are just bunk.

So, what would be my questions?

How much should we place emphasis on our labels? (I'm not saying that you shouldn't cling on into it or assuming that you cling into it, but I'm only questioning whether we have the right balance into emphasis on those labels to describe our-self)

To what extent we must assume that others would understand our conceptualization and our relativistic feelings considering there are so many different conditions and relative feelings which inevitably leads into different conceptualizations and scenarios?

Although this isn't related, but it has been bothering me.

Why aren't non-orientations being considered? The most noticeable two non-orientations are pomosexual and apasexual.

Last edited by Reptillian; 21st Jan 2013 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:03 AM   #2
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

The way I see it, labels are important, really, whatever the case may be. In my opinion, we shouldn't look to conform to labels, but rather make a label conform to us. If one happens to work for an individual, great, utilize it. For example, I am attracted to men, sexually and romantically, and I am a man. Therefore, I am gay. As for another, I compose, perform, and study music. I am, then, a musician.

As for others, if they don't understand the label, what's wrong with explaining it so that they can understand it?

In regard to your question of non-orientations, I can only offer my thoughts: "pomosexual" and "apasexual" are rarely heard of. I don't even know what apasexual means, and I have no motivation to research it. I understand that pomosexual is the rejection of labels as to define one's sexual orientation, but isn't that a label in itself? And from past posts of yours, I would consider, from your words, to think you are asexual. I wonder, as well: is 'non-orientation' itself strange to say? It could be said that non-orientations are indeed orientations, but are orientated to nothing? Correct me if I'm wrong please.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

Too... many... big words.

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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

Hmm, you have some interesting points. I think we certainly should only label ourselves, never others, and always respect the labels that people choose. And I also think perhaps people should be more open to fluidity.

And I hadn't heard of pomosexual and apasexual until now, so thanks for educating me. Apasexual might accurately describe me, though I guess it doesn't really matter.

@QueVidaLaMia, In regards to you trying to categorise the non-orientations, that is something that is discussed on another forum I frequent. Do asexuals have a sexuality of nothing or do they have no sexuality? In my opinion, thats the same thing, and I really can't be bothered to argue it.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 06:10 AM   #5
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

I'm starting the first class of a course on Social Constructivism in 30 minutes, so I'll let you know whether you're right after

In seriousness I understand why this is appealing to lots of people but I wonder whether a radical rejection of sexual orientation is necessary. Its certainly useful for many of us to be able to easily describe some aspects of our orientation with a single word, and even if we never exactly fit that mold the efficiency might make up for any slight inaccuracy for most people. Also, I would wonder what makes something like "pomosexual" more appealing than "queer."

Anywho, I haven't studied these things in-depth, just my impressions. As I said I know the course Im taking covers Construction of Gender and Sexuality eventually, so hopefully I'll be more literate on these subjects in a few months!
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

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Originally Posted by Hexagon View Post
Hmm, you have some interesting points. I think we certainly should only label ourselves, never others, and always respect the labels that people choose. And I also think perhaps people should be more open to fluidity.
This ^ Respecting others' self-appointed labels is the best thing IMHO.

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@QueVidaLaMia, In regards to you trying to categorise the non-orientations, that is something that is discussed on another forum I frequent. Do asexuals have a sexuality of nothing or do they have no sexuality? In my opinion, that's the same thing, and I really can't be bothered to argue it.
I agree, I think they're the same thing.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

this made me feel a lot better, thank you.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

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Originally Posted by QueVidaLaMia View Post
In regard to your question of non-orientations, I can only offer my thoughts: "pomosexual" and "apasexual" are rarely heard of. I don't even know what apasexual means, and I have no motivation to research it. I understand that pomosexual is the rejection of labels as to define one's sexual orientation, but isn't that a label in itself? And from past posts of yours, I would consider, from your words, to think you are asexual. I wonder, as well: is 'non-orientation' itself strange to say? It could be said that non-orientations are indeed orientations, but are orientated to nothing? Correct me if I'm wrong please.
This is one of the common misconception that people asserts about non-orientations. (A)sexual orientation labels have one thing in common is that they indicates who's one relative feelings of attraction or the lack of thereof in respects to the sexes and genders. Apasexual and pomosexual do not indicate any preference or the lack of thereof in respect to the sexes and genders. That's why apasexual and pomosexual is a non-orientation. Pomosexuality doesn't really contradict itself. Pomosexual is the active rejection or passive rejection to use (a)sexual orientation label to describe oneself and itself is a non-orientation. There's nothing in pomosexuality that involves the rejection of labels, but the rejection of sexual orientation labels.

Apasexual is about being apathetic about sexual activities, nothing less and nothing more. A heterosexual or a homosexual could identify as an apasexual. Any orientations can be mixed with apasexual and also non-orientation as well. An apasexual pomosexual would be someone who's apathetic about sexual activities although the pomosexual in question does not partake into using sexual orientation labels to describe himself/herself and it seems like it is irrelevant. The differences between those two non-orientation is that pomosexual cannot be mixed in with other 'sexual' label.

By the way, it is possible to identify as a homosexual heterosexual at the same time if you have a certain set of perceptions of the 3 assumptions I mentioned on my first post.

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In regards to you trying to categorise the non-orientations, that is something that is discussed on another forum I frequent. Do asexuals have a sexuality of nothing or do they have no sexuality? In my opinion, thats the same thing, and I really can't be bothered to argue it.
Asexuality is usually described as lacking sexual attraction to no one or extremely low degree of sexual attraction that it's irrelevant. It is a orientation because it describes the lack of attraction whereas a pomosexual could be classified as anyone from asexual, heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, omnisexual dependings on your assumptions about sexuality and your criteria. When boxing in two pomosexuals, they may have very different preferences with regard to the sexes which is also relative the person classifying them.

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Also, I would wonder what makes something like "pomosexual" more appealing than "queer."
Whether it seems to be more appealing is all perspective. Here's a insight though, the differences between queer and pomosexual is that queer describes all set of behaviors and attraction and labels which isn't heteronormative. Pomosexual could argued to belong into the queer label, but queer is not the same thing as pomosexual.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

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Originally Posted by QueVidaLaMia View Post
The way I see it, labels are important, really, whatever the case may be. In my opinion, we shouldn't look to conform to labels, but rather make a label conform to us. If one happens to work for an individual, great, utilize it. For example, I am attracted to men, sexually and romantically, and I am a man. Therefore, I am gay. As for another, I compose, perform, and study music. I am, then, a musician.

As for others, if they don't understand the label, what's wrong with explaining it so that they can understand it?

In regard to your question of non-orientations, I can only offer my thoughts: "pomosexual" and "apasexual" are rarely heard of. I don't even know what apasexual means, and I have no motivation to research it. I understand that pomosexual is the rejection of labels as to define one's sexual orientation, but isn't that a label in itself? And from past posts of yours, I would consider, from your words, to think you are asexual. I wonder, as well: is 'non-orientation' itself strange to say? It could be said that non-orientations are indeed orientations, but are orientated to nothing? Correct me if I'm wrong please.
+1 and congrats to OP for managing to throw in some labels Google couldn't even tell me jack shet about once l did gather the motivation to research them.

But yes, that is a label in itself as it as announcing that you are _____ to the world. l would just call it asexual too, if not a more hipsterish version.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

Apasexual refers to the attitude toward sexual activities and it doesn't refer to the preference while it's not about rejecting sexual orientation labels, that's why it can be mixed in with other 'sexual' labels. An asexual could desire to have sex for reasons that have nothing to do with relative concept of sexual attraction. Why can't I edit post after a while?

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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

Are you a virgin
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:53 PM   #13
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

What does this have to do with the topic at hand? And yes, I am a 19 years old virgin.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

only curious. Carry on
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

I'm not sure what to say. None of these labels are used by academics or the general public. Their existence is not defined by any academic and, for all intents and purposes, are made up on the spot. How do you know such a thing even exists? How can it be clearly defined without research?
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 01:13 PM   #16
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

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I'm not sure what to say. None of these labels are used by academics or the general public. Their existence is not defined by any academic and, for all intents and purposes, are made up on the spot. How do you know such a thing even exists? How can it be clearly defined without research?
Ah, but one can argue that even orientations do not exist when we argue from a certain social construction theory by showing how there is no perfect definition exist that is of the subset from the core definition of the orientation label plus how you cannot quantify sexuality. Hence, why I pointed to the studies that shows that you can argue this perspective. That's another issue. How we see the world is relative. Note, none of the orientation or non-orientation is clearly defined, it's at best ill-defined. It's ill-defined because every interpretations of the core definition has its own set of problems.

So yes, you can make a case against the existence of non-orientations.

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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

On second thought, lemme think about this again. Since those non-orientation labels does not involve the complications of preferences and relative concepts, then it is possible to show that they exist by simply pointing out to examples that fits under the definition.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 02:19 PM   #18
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire by Lisa Diamond...This explains A LOT.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 03:01 PM   #19
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

In all of my soc-psych and soc. identity classes the idea of labels was always a very touchy subject. Mostly because it evoked the same type of questioning as what we can see here. On the one hand, it was theorized that labels "help" (and I use that term loosely) us navigate through society, "saving" us time in making decisions. Are they 100% accurate? Of course not. Do they always describe the human being that is being labeled (be it yourself or others)? Definitely not. We are more complex than a single word, as you've pointed out. I think the problem with labels is the attitudes attached to them. Label does not define you, it is something that you choose to mark a part of yourself or others, I suppose. Good or bad - they have the right to be, and sometimes helpful, sometimes the opposite.
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Old 22nd Jan 2013, 03:23 PM   #20
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Re: Emphasis on sexuality labels, the issues of semantics, fluidity of sexuality, etc

@afterthefact: I think you hit the nail on the head, at least for me.

Labels are useful in that they help us define things, but they should never become the thing they are describing itself. They are tools and approximations, not full proof.
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