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View Full Version : Has a celebrity ever "come out" as asexual?


monstro
02-17-2014, 11:06 AM
If so, what do you think the response would be?

SanVito
02-17-2014, 11:21 AM
Stephen Fry did years ago (though I'm not sure how serious he was, and he changed his mind and got a boyfriend). No idea what they thought in the US, but in the UK, well, he's such an eccentric anyway I don't think anyone thought much of it.

DonLogan
02-17-2014, 11:22 AM
Jeanane Garofalo.

Response: People write on their blogs about it.

Esco
02-17-2014, 11:22 AM
There's rumors Tom Cruise is, but thats probably all bullshit

Czarcasm
02-17-2014, 11:32 AM
There's rumors Tom Cruise is, but thats probably all bullshitAnd since he hasn't come out as asexual, it doesn't count.

Paula Poundstone has said she was asexual.

kunilou
02-17-2014, 11:33 AM
There's rumors Tom Cruise is, but thats probably all bullshit

And that's the problem. If you say you don't have any sexual feelings, most people, regardless of their own orientation, will call bullshit.

I have a friend who worked for a well-known comedian for years. My friend insists this person is asexual. I don't know the comedian at all, have no reason to believe my friend is lying, yet STILL don't believe it.

Wendell Wagner
02-17-2014, 11:37 AM
Janeane Garofalo claims to be asexual. That's what it says in her Wikipedia entry. It's also what she says at 18:15 in this YouTube video:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janeane_Garofalo

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fcSlwAjgJqU

At 20:25 in the same video, there's a minute or two about the claim that Morrissey is asexual, as it says in his Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrissey

In each case, though, it appears that they weren't claiming to be asexual their whole life, just some significant proportion of it.

Kimstu
02-17-2014, 12:00 PM
Stephen Fry did years ago (though I'm not sure how serious he was, and he changed his mind and got a boyfriend). No idea what they thought in the US, but in the UK, well, he's such an eccentric anyway I don't think anyone thought much of it.

Sorta. Stephen Fry came out as celibate, not asexual, in what was essentially a humorous article for Tatler in the mid-80s.

Though he has confirmed that he remained celibate for sixteen years straight (heh) during most of his 20's and 30's, I don't think he's ever claimed to be asexual. Simply not having sex, even for a long time, isn't the same thing as fundamentally not having any physical desire for sex or attraction towards anyone as a potential sexual partner.

I'd make the same distinction for many if not all of the other celebrities named here as "asexual". Being bisexual, celibate by choice, or just plain too busy or depressed to have a sexual relationship doesn't automatically equate to asexuality.

LibrarySpy
02-17-2014, 12:05 PM
Paula Poundstone has long claimed to be asexual.

And is on this list of asexual celebrities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Asexual_women).

I've just always assumed she was gay. But she probably would have come out already. Maybe she's just asexual.

Esco
02-17-2014, 12:09 PM
Paula Poundstone has said she was asexual
Didnt she get caught with an underage girl or boy??

Or was she just emotionally and not sexually attracted to the child??

Czarcasm
02-17-2014, 12:16 PM
Didnt she get caught with an underage girl or boy??

Or was she just emotionally and not sexually attracted to the child??she was charged with committing a lewd act with a 14 year old girl, but the prosecution asked that the charges be dropped.

gytalf2000
02-17-2014, 12:18 PM
The horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), while not completely asexual (he was married briefly), had very little interest in sex.

Esco
02-17-2014, 12:23 PM
Man, I couldnt even fathom being asexual. I'm one of the horniest guys in the world, wind blows too hard and I have an erection :D

boozilu
02-17-2014, 12:57 PM
Richard Simmons

Malacandra
02-17-2014, 01:07 PM
Sorta. Stephen Fry came out as celibate, not asexual, in what was essentially a humorous article for Tatler in the mid-80s.

Though he has confirmed that he remained celibate for sixteen years straight (heh) during most of his 20's and 30's, I don't think he's ever claimed to be asexual. Simply not having sex, even for a long time, isn't the same thing as fundamentally not having any physical desire for sex or attraction towards anyone as a potential sexual partner.

But I remember that essay, which was in an anthology of his stuff that I read probably 20 years ago and don't have to hand, and IIRC some of the key points that he was making was that it was a fundamentally silly thing to be doing with someone else's private parts, and wasn't it more trouble than it was worth in a relationship because sometimes one of you would want to do it when the other one didn't, and besides, he thought he wouldn't be any good at it.

Admittedly with Fry it's not always easy to get through all the intellectual pretentiousness and discuss whatever he might be saying with detachment, but I would have thought that the preceding paragraph would put him firmly in the asexual camp, as might quotes such as these:

I would be greatly in the debt of the man who could tell me what could ever be appealing about those damp, dark, foul-smelling and revoltingly tufted areas of the body that constitute the main dishes in the banquet of love.

It's probably easier to come out as a member of a satanic abuse ritual than to come out as celibate. People seem to think that there's something wrong with you if you don't indulge in these frothy, squelchy activities.

Of course, that was then.

stpauler
02-17-2014, 01:12 PM
she was charged with committing a lewd act with a 14 year old girl, but the prosecution asked that the charges be dropped.

The lewd act was being intoxicated around a minor to be specific.

Wendell Wagner
02-17-2014, 01:17 PM
And besides the Wikipedia entry that LibrarySpy links to, there's this entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Asexual_men

LibrarySpy
02-17-2014, 01:21 PM
The lewd act was being intoxicated around a minor to be specific.

That. The minor was her adopted daughter, with whom she was caught drunk driving.

buddha_david
02-17-2014, 01:23 PM
Morrissey has for a long time claimed to be "asexual & celibate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morissey#Personal_life)." Which probably means he's in the closet, not that it's anybody's business.

Miller
02-17-2014, 01:24 PM
The lewd act was being intoxicated around a minor to be specific.

Two separate incidents. She was arrested for driving while intoxicated with her adopted/foster children in the car, and was convicted. Around the same time, she was also accused by her foster daughter of sexual abuse, but the accusation wasn't credible (or possibly recanted), and all charges were dropped.

Bellhorn
02-17-2014, 01:32 PM
I'm not sure why a celebrity would actually "come out" as an asexual. Maybe the rationale for Ms. Garofalo was to deflate the rumors that she was bisexual.

I do remember, Patrick MacNee (John Steed from The Avengers tv series) claiming to have been celibate for a decade or so. Same thing with Orson Bean between 1979 and 1993 (between marriages. I thought it was a pretty odd topic bring up on a talk show.

monstro
02-17-2014, 01:49 PM
I'm not sure why a celebrity would actually "come out" as an asexual.

If people keep speculating that you must gay because you don't have a man or woman on your arm, what else are you supposed to do but "come out" as asexual?

Or if someone is interviewing you and asking about your personal life, it makes sense to disclose this information, since it's relevant to who you are.

IvoryTowerDenizen
02-17-2014, 02:07 PM
And that's the problem. If you say you don't have any sexual feelings, most people, regardless of their own orientation, will call bullshit.


I think the bullshit was about the rumor he said it (in that he probably didn't say it), not that if he actually said it that the feelings were bullshit.

DMark
02-17-2014, 02:22 PM
I am not sure who said it (Ian McKellen?) but I recall one actor saying, "I'm gay, but at my age, it is all just in theory anyway."

vontsira
02-17-2014, 02:36 PM
Malacandra quotes Stephen Fry:

"I would be greatly in the debt of the man who could tell me what could tell me what could ever be appealing about those damp, dark, foul-smelling and revoltingly tufted areas of the body that constitute the main dishes in the banquet of love."

I would suggest that here, Stephen is just expressing -- in a slightly novel way -- a sentiment that many others (who have often not been asexual) have voiced in the past. I recall -- from memory, probably not with great accuracy -- something similar from Leonardo da Vinci, to the general effect of: "The sexual act, and the areas of the body most closely involved with it, are so disgusting; that the human race would have died out long ago if there were not pretty faces and sensual natures." I have to feel that it's possible to see where these folk are coming from with these views. Looking at the copulation thing coolly and objectively, it can indeed seem pretty revolting.

Malacandra
02-17-2014, 02:50 PM
Indeed. But if it colours your view of sexuality so thoroughly that you can't imagine wanting to do it, then that probably qualifies you as asexual; which was the topic under discussion, and not whether or not Fry had grounds for feeling that way or was in any way original.

His novel The Liar, which wasn't so much autobiographical as "how I wish my schooldays had really been" if I read it aright, had a protagonist who was happily seeking out all manner of homosexual experiences at school and after before settling down with a nice young lady at university via an informative but somewhat traumatic fling with an older woman... if, once again, my memory is recording the facts at all well after an interval of twenty-odd years.

vontsira
02-17-2014, 02:53 PM
Yes -- sorry -- I was just rather taken with Fry's hyperbolic but hitting-home words, and thus led astray into off-topic-ness.

Kimstu
02-17-2014, 03:21 PM
Indeed. But if it colours your view of sexuality so thoroughly that you can't imagine wanting to do it, then that probably qualifies you as asexual; which was the topic under discussion, and not whether or not Fry had grounds for feeling that way or was in any way original.


Yeah, but I think the tone of the article was exaggerated for comic effect. As you noted, Fry's quasi-autobiographical novel as well as his own actual autobiography have made it clear that he's not emotionally or physically indifferent to sex, and has had quite a lot of sexual experience over various stages of his life, almost all of it with other males.

His temporary though long-term abstention(s?) from sex, and his satirical remarks in that article about the aesthetic shortcomings of sex (somewhat undercut, if you recall, by the article's closing sentence, "Besides, I'm scared that I may not be very good at it"), do not IMHO equate to an actual orientation towards asexuality.

typoink
02-17-2014, 03:44 PM
Tim Gunn has, IIRC, come out as something like post-sexual. He had his heart broken in the early 80s and hasn't been in a relationship since. I'm not sure he's been too explicit, but I believe he implied that he's been celibate in that time.

Miller
02-17-2014, 03:48 PM
Fry has also struggled for a long time with depression, and if it was something he wrote twenty years ago, that would put it right around the time of his nervous breakdown and brief disappearance. Even if the piece weren't partly satirical, it probably wouldn't be a very reliable account of Fry's internal state at the time.

nearwildheaven
02-17-2014, 06:59 PM
Morrissey has stated that he's asexual. Whatever he is is his own business.

Henry Rollins claims he's straight, but he has always struck me as asexual, too.

Esco
02-17-2014, 07:54 PM
Wow, total number is at 1%. That means in North-America aboot 3.6 million dont enjoy sex.

These poor, poor people :(

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality

njtt
02-17-2014, 08:02 PM
Boy George famously declared that he would rather have "a nice cup of tea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_George#Sexual_orientation)" than sex. Other things he has said, however, seem to contradict this.

monstro
02-17-2014, 09:19 PM
These poor, poor people :(

I have nothing but pity for them myself. I bet they get lots of headaches from rolling their eyes so much.

Loach
02-17-2014, 09:22 PM
I am not sure who said it (Ian McKellen?) but I recall one actor saying, "I'm gay, but at my age, it is all just in theory anyway."

In another thread I was able to quote John Mahoney on the subject. I was not able to find the cite again.

Mahoney long has been the subject of gay rumors. In the cite he still wouldn't confirm or deny but basically said that due to decades of health issues(including a colostomy) sex was something that was in his past.

PastTense
02-17-2014, 09:29 PM
The authoritative source on this topic is of course Straightdope polls. So:
"What type of sexual are you?"
A(sexual) is chosen by 2.72%
http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=691724

Chronos
02-17-2014, 10:29 PM
It seems to me that there might be a financial disincentive to celebrities coming out as asexual. If you're a straight man or a gay woman, the tabloids can run articles about what woman you might or might not be romantically entangled with. If you're a gay man or a straight woman, they can run articles about what man you might or might not be entangled with. Either way, you get your name in the media, people recognize you, and casting directors want you. Even if you're a closeted asexual, the media can still run these stories, and they'll just be 100% baseless instead of 90%. But if you come out as asexual, there's not much more to say, and you lose out on all that publicity.

ekedolphin
02-17-2014, 10:39 PM
I have nothing but pity for them myself. I bet they get lots of headaches from rolling their eyes so much.

Thank you! If it's not cool to judge someone for being LGBT (and frankly, society has a long way to go before they truly accept transgendered people), it's not cool to judge someone for being asexual, either.

Kimstu
02-17-2014, 10:40 PM
It seems to me that there might be a financial disincentive to celebrities coming out as asexual. If you're a straight man or a gay woman, the tabloids can run articles about what woman you might or might not be romantically entangled with. If you're a gay man or a straight woman, they can run articles about what man you might or might not be entangled with. Either way, you get your name in the media, people recognize you, and casting directors want you. Even if you're a closeted asexual, the media can still run these stories, and they'll just be 100% baseless instead of 90%. But if you come out as asexual, there's not much more to say, and you lose out on all that publicity.

Yeah. Tabloid audiences are probably not that receptive to stories of exceptionally beautiful and/or charming people just staying home with a good book.

TBG
02-17-2014, 10:50 PM
Does the Pope count as a celebrity?

Ethilrist
02-17-2014, 11:21 PM
Has he said he's asexual?

Kimstu
02-17-2014, 11:51 PM
Has he said he's asexual?

Exactly. Once again, "celibate" != "asexual". Though, of course, there's no reason an asexually-oriented person couldn't be Pope, AFAIK.

Rushgeekgirl
02-18-2014, 12:27 AM
Wow, total number is at 1%. That means in North-America aboot 3.6 million dont enjoy sex.

These poor, poor people :(

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality


It's really not that big a deal. If you don't enjoy something you don't enjoy something. Besides, I see a lot of people who make foolish choices due to their dicks getting caught in a windstorm. I don't have to worry about that. Not that I have a dick. But anyway, it's only a problem when we find someone we really care about and we have to battle with doing something we don't enjoy to make our partners happy, or hope we have partners who understand and don't expect it. You can imagine how often that happens. And we miss out on a lot of affection that's often tied with sex. I would truly love to have a friendly cuddle buddy but nobody gets in to that sort of thing these days, it seems.

Acsenray
02-18-2014, 12:34 AM
Regarding Garofalo, it sounds like to me that she has lost interest in having sex. I'm not sure that this is exactly the same as being asexual. She has been living with the same man for more than 10 years. Even if they're not engaging in activities involving stimulating each other's sex organs, I suspect that that's not necessarily an asexual relationship. Plenty of couples stop having sex. Does that necessarily mean their relationship is asexual?

nearwildheaven
02-18-2014, 12:39 AM
Besides, I see a lot of people who make foolish choices due to their dicks getting caught in a windstorm.

Oh, heck, genitalia. Women get in some really big trouble with theirs too (and no, I'm not referring to pregnancy).

Sampiro
02-18-2014, 12:44 AM
Boy George famously declared that he would rather have "a nice cup of tea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_George#Sexual_orientation)" than sex. Other things he has said, however, seem to contradict this.

And would rather have a couple of lines of coke than either.

Mississippienne
02-18-2014, 01:57 AM
Singer Emilie Autumn formerly said she was asexual, but later found that she liked sex just fine. She said that at the time she identified as asexual, she hadn't yet met any partners who were "any good at" sex.

AppallingGael
02-18-2014, 04:45 AM
And besides the Wikipedia entry that LibrarySpy links to, there's this entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Asexual_men

Having looked at both links, it seems there is an asexual woman for every asexual man out there.

alexandra
02-18-2014, 07:49 AM
Morrissey has stated that he's asexual. Whatever he is is his own business.

I have never seen a direct quote from Moz saying he's asexual, and I've read a lot of Morrissey interviews. :cool: :o I know Wikipedia claims that he's said that, but there's no direct quote there either, and a lot of people do confuse it with celibacy - which is a behavioural choice, not an orientation.

A lot of the interviews with Morrissey in which he discussed being celibate are from the 80s, when no-one talked about 'asexuality' by its modern definition. More recently, he's been in relationships and has discussed this in interviews and his autobiography. And as any fan knows, romantic and sexual attraction has always been a theme in his lyrics.

Kimstu
02-18-2014, 11:05 AM
I don't know how broadly we're defining "celebrity", but the great mathematician Paul Erdos did unambiguously "come out" as asexual late in his life, in interviews and in a biographical documentary. He described sexual pleasure as being "painful" to him, or as something he "couldn't stand", and he certainly never seems to have had or sought anything like a sexual relationship with anybody.

(I don't have any personal understanding of asexuality and don't know what Erdos actually meant by that description; I've wondered if it might be something as anatomically straightforward as, say, a condition of phimosis where erection causes physical pain. But I'm going to assume he knew the difference between a physical pathology that interferes with natural sexual desires and a natural psychological orientation that makes sexual desire actively repulsive. Can anybody explain in more detail what an asexually-oriented person might mean by saying that sexual pleasure is painful?)

Loach
02-18-2014, 11:17 AM
In another thread I was able to quote John Mahoney on the subject. I was not able to find the cite again.

Mahoney long has been the subject of gay rumors. In the cite he still wouldn't confirm or deny but basically said that due to decades of health issues(including a colostomy) sex was something that was in his past.

Ok found it.
http://timeout.com/chicago/theater/john-mahoney-interview

From 2008:

TOC: In everything Iíve read about you, I havenít seen any mention of a partner or a romantic life.
John Mahoney: Yeah, it doesnít exist for me anymore. [Laughs] I think thatís dead and buried. Twenty-three years ago I had cancer of the colon. I had to have major surgery, and I have a colostomy. I really couldnít have sex after that. Iím very happy by myself and with my friends, but no, Iím definitely not involved with anybody. Nor do I ever look to be.

Marley23
02-18-2014, 11:30 AM
Man, I couldnt even fathom being asexual. I'm one of the horniest guys in the world, wind blows too hard and I have an erection :D

Wow, total number is at 1%. That means in North-America aboot 3.6 million dont enjoy sex.

These poor, poor people :(

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality
That's enough, Esco. The thread is about asexual people, not your sex life or what you personally think of asexual people.

Kimstu
02-18-2014, 11:43 AM
I am not sure who said it (Ian McKellen?) but I recall one actor saying, "I'm gay, but at my age, it is all just in theory anyway."

Sounds like you're thinking of the character Graham Dashwood's line from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: "I'm gay - although nowadays more in theory than in practice". (Dashwood is played by Tom Wilkinson, who happens to be straight, or at least so I deduce from the fact that he's been married for decades to a woman with whom he has two children.)

Wendell Wagner
02-18-2014, 08:35 PM
Kimstu writes:

> I don't know how broadly we're defining "celebrity", but the great mathematician
> Paul Erdos did unambiguously "come out" as asexual late in his life, in interviews
> and in a biographical documentary.

Paul Erdős is also someone who people have speculated have Asperger's syndrome or something on the autistic spectrum. This is such a broad and vaguely defined area that it's hard to tell whether the current categories make any sense, let alone whether any particular person who is dead and can't be examined by professionals have any such condition. He basically had no life outside of mathematics. The only way he could relate to other people was to work on a mathematics paper with them, and that's part of the reason that he had 511 co-authors during his lifetime. I don't know if Erdős in claiming to be asexual was saying that he couldn't relate in any romantic sense to anyone, so he didn't even try sex, or if he just disliked sexual intercourse.

Kimstu
02-18-2014, 10:52 PM
He basically had no life outside of mathematics. The only way he could relate to other people was to work on a mathematics paper with them, and that's part of the reason that he had 511 co-authors during his lifetime.

Except that he apparently had a very close and affectionate relationship with his parents, particularly his mother, until their deaths. That doesn't rule out an Asperger's-like condition, of course, but it does add some emotional range.

Moreover, even though all his friendships were with other mathematicians and his personal activities were almost exclusively mathematical, that doesn't mean that he "couldn't relate" to his collaborators as people too. He seems to have had many collaborators who liked him personally in addition to enjoying their shared work.

I don't know if Erdős in claiming to be asexual was saying that he couldn't relate in any romantic sense to anyone, so he didn't even try sex, or if he just disliked sexual intercourse.

Well, the quotes I referred to were very specifically describing his negative reactions to what he unambiguously called "sexual pleasure". That doesn't sound to me like "I don't like romantic relationships" but rather "I don't like sexual pleasure".

Lamia
02-18-2014, 11:08 PM
Well, the quotes I referred to were very specifically describing his negative reactions to what he unambiguously called "sexual pleasure". That doesn't sound to me like "I don't like romantic relationships" but rather "I don't like sexual pleasure".That's not what being asexual is, though. Asexual people don't find sex to be painful or repulsive, or if they do it's for reasons other than asexuality. Asexual people simply aren't interested in sex and experience little if any sexual desire.

Did Erdos actually describe himself as asexual, or are you assuming that's the reason for his aversion to sex?

Kimstu
02-18-2014, 11:13 PM
That's not what being asexual is, though. Asexual people don't find sex to be painful or repulsive, or if they do it's for reasons other than asexuality. Asexual people simply aren't interested in sex and experience little if any sexual desire.

Did Erdos actually describe himself as asexual, or are you assuming that's the reason for his aversion to sex?

See the earlier post I mentioned above:

He described sexual pleasure as being "painful" to him, or as something he "couldn't stand", and he certainly never seems to have had or sought anything like a sexual relationship with anybody.

(I don't have any personal understanding of asexuality and don't know what Erdos actually meant by that description; I've wondered if it might be something as anatomically straightforward as, say, a condition of phimosis where erection causes physical pain. But I'm going to assume he knew the difference between a physical pathology that interferes with natural sexual desires and a natural psychological orientation that makes sexual desire actively repulsive. Can anybody explain in more detail what an asexually-oriented person might mean by saying that sexual pleasure is painful?)

astro
02-18-2014, 11:33 PM
If you look at the wiki bios of some of these asexual men like Edward Gorey they seem to be living lifestyles (sex aside) that are a lot more in line with gay sensibilities than otherwise.

Esco
02-18-2014, 11:48 PM
If you look at the wiki bios of some of these asexual men like Edward Gorey they seem to be living lifestyles (sex aside) that are a lot more in line with gay sensibilities than otherwise
And how accurate are all those wiki entries???

Wendell Wagner
02-19-2014, 06:17 AM
What Erdős says in the documentary I assume you're talking about (N Is a Number) is "Actually, I have an abnormality. I can't stand sexual pleasure. It's a curious abnormality, it's almost unique.":

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5iflQseSSfA

(at 48:20)

I have no idea what that means. He doesn't say that intercourse is painful to him. He says that he can't stand the pleasure of it.

alexandra
02-19-2014, 08:08 AM
And how accurate are all those wiki entries???

Well TE Lawrence is listed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Asexual_men) as a man who has come out as asexual and apparently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence#Sexuality) his friends thought he was asexual.:rolleyes: The man died over seventy years ago. (I'm guessing some of his friends noted his lack of interest in women but wouldn't have thought or certainly wouldn't have said he might be gay, which may have been the case.)

There must be a contingent of Wiki editors bent on increasing asexual visibility.

Mississippienne
02-19-2014, 07:05 PM
I have no idea what that means. He doesn't say that intercourse is painful to him. He says that he can't stand the pleasure of it.

He could've had some kind of sensory processing issue. We'll probably never know for sure, considering Erdős caught a case of Death awhile back.

Esco
02-19-2014, 07:08 PM
Well TE Lawrence is listed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Asexual_men) as a man who has come out as asexual and apparently (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence#Sexuality) his friends thought he was asexual.:rolleyes: The man died over seventy years ago. (I'm guessing some of his friends noted his lack of interest in women but wouldn't have thought or certainly wouldn't have said he might be gay, which may have been the case.)

There must be a contingent of Wiki editors bent on increasing asexual visibility
Thing is though, anyone can edit wikipedia. So it leaves itself wide open for trolls to post whatever they want

panache45
02-19-2014, 07:39 PM
Hopefully, Abe Vigoda.

Acsenray
02-19-2014, 08:41 PM
Hopefully, Abe Vigoda.


That seems kind of mean.

Lamia
02-19-2014, 09:06 PM
See the earlier post I mentioned above:I saw it, and I could not determine from it whether Erdos actually described himself as asexual. You said that he "did unambiguously 'come out' as asexual", which I would take to mean he said something along the lines of "I am asexual", but the only statements you specifically mention are about how he didn't enjoy sex. Did he unambiguously come out as asexual or not?

Kimstu
02-19-2014, 09:58 PM
I saw it, and I could not determine from it whether Erdos actually described himself as asexual. You said that he "did unambiguously 'come out' as asexual", which I would take to mean he said something along the lines of "I am asexual", but the only statements you specifically mention are about how he didn't enjoy sex. Did he unambiguously come out as asexual or not?

IIRC he never used the word "asexual", which even recently wasn't widely recognized as a specific sexual orientation. But according to the documentary and to anecdotes recorded in Bruce Schechter's biography, Erdos was always uncomfortable with physical contact of any kind and never had or pursued a sexual relationship. (Although he does seem to have enjoyed and needed friendly companionship, usually talking about mathematics but also including other friendly conversation, so I don't really buy the blanket explanation that he just couldn't relate to others socially at all.)

What I meant by his "unambiguously coming out" was that he made no secret of never wanting or seeking a physical relationship and never enjoying sexual feelings. To me, that seems to imply asexuality, but as I said, I don't have any personal comprehension of that orientation. If that's not what Erdos meant by what he said, then what might he have meant?

Wendell Wagner
02-19-2014, 10:03 PM
You said that he described sexual pleasure as being painful to him. That wasn't what he said at all. Having problems with anyone else touching him sounds to me more like autism:

http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/19/understanding-why-autistic-people-may-reject-social-touch/

Slow Moving Vehicle
02-20-2014, 12:55 AM
Malacandra quotes Stephen Fry:

"I would be greatly in the debt of the man who could tell me what could tell me what could ever be appealing about those damp, dark, foul-smelling and revoltingly tufted areas of the body that constitute the main dishes in the banquet of love."

I would suggest that here, Stephen is just expressing -- in a slightly novel way -- a sentiment that many others (who have often not been asexual) have voiced in the past. I recall -- from memory, probably not with great accuracy -- something similar from Leonardo da Vinci, to the general effect of: "The sexual act, and the areas of the body most closely involved with it, are so disgusting; that the human race would have died out long ago if there were not pretty faces and sensual natures." I have to feel that it's possible to see where these folk are coming from with these views. Looking at the copulation thing coolly and objectively, it can indeed seem pretty revolting.

"Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable" - Lord Chesterfield.

Annie-Xmas
02-20-2014, 09:44 AM
Interesting article The rise of the asexual (http://dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-321874/Rise-asexual.html)

I've come out as asexual on this message board, and I've started talking about it in public. Every asexual person I've spoken to has remarked that they know if they would be straight or gay if they were interested in sexual matters, but they are not.

I think asexuals are seen as worse off than gays. Whose fucking business is it anyways?

gytalf2000
02-20-2014, 09:51 AM
Interesting article The rise of the asexual (http://dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-321874/Rise-asexual.html)

I think asexuals are seen as worse off than gays. Whose fucking business is it anyways?


That's my take on the matter. People differ in so many different ways -- it just stands to reason that, out of a population of 7+ billion, there are going to be some individuals that aren't interested in sex. Not a big deal...

KneadToKnow
02-20-2014, 10:05 AM
Didnt she get caught with an underage girl or boy??

Or was she just emotionally and not sexually attracted to the child??

She was charged in 2001 with committing a lewd act on an underage girl. The prosecution dropped those charges, so we cannot say what the deal was but it doesn't sound like they could make the case. She was also charged with "child endangerment." That had nothing to do with sex. She was driving drunk with kids in the car. Wikipedia Cite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Poundstone#Personal_life).

Annie-Xmas
02-20-2014, 10:17 AM
That's my take on the matter. People differ in so many different ways -- it just stands to reason that, out of a population of 7+ billion, there are going to be some individuals that aren't interested in sex. Not a big deal...

Thank you so much. Every asexual person I've spoken to is so tired of the "all you need is one good lay" approach. Similar to gay people being told "you just haven't met the right person of the opposite sex."

Asexual people do get STD's or face unwanted pregnancies. It's worth it.

Nava
02-20-2014, 10:40 AM
I think asexuals are seen as worse off than gays. Whose fucking business is it anyways?

I see what you did there...

gytalf2000
02-20-2014, 10:43 AM
Thank you so much. Every asexual person I've spoken to is so tired of the "all you need is one good lay" approach. Similar to gay people being told "you just haven't met the right person of the opposite sex."

Asexual people do get STD's or face unwanted pregnancies. It's worth it.


You are very welcome! I'm a paraphiliac myself. What I want to do sexually differs dramatically from the norm, so I appreciate the fact that some of us are just different.

KneadToKnow
02-20-2014, 10:50 AM
Asexual people do get STD's or face unwanted pregnancies. It's worth it.

Is there a word missing from this?

Loach
02-20-2014, 11:33 AM
Is there a word missing from this?

I hope so.

Lemur866
02-20-2014, 12:36 PM
Thank you so much. Every asexual person I've spoken to is so tired of the "all you need is one good lay" approach. Similar to gay people being told "you just haven't met the right person of the opposite sex."


Yeah....but there really are plenty of people who don't see what the big deal with sex is. Then they eventually discover X. And they finally understand what the big deal is. And "X" could be homosexuality, BDSM, the clitoris, or whatever.

So people lie about their sexual behavior all the time, often for understandable reasons. And people often don't understand their own sexual behavior. And people often don't have the time or mental resources to devote to understanding themselves, they're too busy struggling with other things.

I certainly agree that if someone isn't interested in sex it's not my job to ask them if they've, like, really tried to like sex. Because they probably have, and even if they haven't, that's their problem not mine. Unless I'm in a romantic relationship with you, I don't care if you enjoy sex or not. As long as the lack of enjoyment of sex isn't causing you pain.

CatherineZeta
02-20-2014, 09:26 PM
I have never seen a direct quote from Moz saying he's asexual, and I've read a lot of Morrissey interviews. :cool: :o I know Wikipedia claims that he's said that, but there's no direct quote there either, and a lot of people do confuse it with celibacy - which is a behavioural choice, not an orientation.

A lot of the interviews with Morrissey in which he discussed being celibate are from the 80s, when no-one talked about 'asexuality' by its modern definition. More recently, he's been in relationships and has discussed this in interviews and his autobiography. And as any fan knows, romantic and sexual attraction has always been a theme in his lyrics.

Here is a direct quote clearing up the asexual thing (he is not asexual)- statement from his website (http://true-to-you.net/morrissey_news_131019_01).

Hershele Ostropoler
02-22-2014, 07:17 PM
Thank you! If it's not cool to judge someone for being LGBT (and frankly, society has a long way to go before they truly accept transgendered people), it's not cool to judge someone for being asexual, either.

In my experience, asexual people are way more judgmental of LGB people than gay people of straight people, or than transgender people are of cisgender people.

(That is to say, I've encountered more aces who are judgmental, though still a minority.)

That's not what being asexual is, though. Asexual people don't find sex to be painful or repulsive, or if they do it's for reasons other than asexuality.

Going by the orientation model, I don't see why it would be any more wrong to say that an asexual person finds sex "repulsive" than it is to say a gay person finds sex with someone of the different sex repulsive.

Rodgers01
02-22-2014, 08:06 PM
Every asexual person I've spoken to has remarked that they know if they would be straight or gay if they were interested in sexual matters, but they are not.

So, I wonder how that works... Is it then the case that asexual people typically have some level of physical attraction to other people, thus allowing them to know whether they would be heterosexual or homosexual, but the level of attraction is weak to the point that they would not then actually be interested in having sex with someone they are attracted to, hence the asexuality?

Annie-Xmas
02-23-2014, 07:58 AM
I think that's a good way of putting it. I do find some people physically attractive, but the sexual attraction is either very weak or nonexistant.

Mr. Miskatonic
02-23-2014, 08:58 AM
Musician Emilie Autumn used to identify as asexual and was mentioned & tagged as such on her wikipedia page. Looking at her words it seems she just had trouble enjoying sex rather than not being sexually attracted to anyone. Her wikipedia page was changed to reflect this although she still has the 'asexual women' tag at the bottom of her page.

actualliberalnotoneofthose
02-23-2014, 04:38 PM
Wow, total number is at 1%. That means in North-America aboot 3.6 million dont enjoy sex.

These poor, poor people :(

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality

Sounds pretty fortunate to me. If they have no interest in sex, that saves a lot of anguish and time to pursue other things.

If you have no interest in something, you aren't exactly "missing out."

BigT
02-23-2014, 08:57 PM
If you have no interest in something, you aren't exactly "missing out."

With most things, I'd agree, as there's usually some other equivalent. But with sex (or, at least, orgasm), there's really not. So if you don't like sex, you may be "missing out" on type of pleasure you just will not be able to experience.

Another example would be someone who was completely colorblind. I would say they were missing out on a certain level of experience, even if they have no desire to see in color.

AppallingGael
02-23-2014, 10:11 PM
Relatedly, has a celebrity ever been outed as asexual?

monstro
02-23-2014, 10:34 PM
With most things, I'd agree, as there's usually some other equivalent. But with sex (or, at least, orgasm), there's really not. So if you don't like sex, you may be "missing out" on type of pleasure you just will not be able to experience.

Another example would be someone who was completely colorblind. I would say they were missing out on a certain level of experience, even if they have no desire to see in color.

A colorblind person doesn't know they're missing out on anything until other people bring it their attention.

Seriously, the only time I feel bad about my lack of sexuality is when people insist that I should feel bad. And it's not really sadness I feel as much as plain resentment over the fact that my life should be seen as pathetic, no matter how many cool experiences I have and no matter how content I tell people I am.

nevadaexile
02-23-2014, 11:10 PM
She was charged in 2001 with committing a lewd act on an underage girl. The prosecution dropped those charges, so we cannot say what the deal was but it doesn't sound like they could make the case. She was also charged with "child endangerment." That had nothing to do with sex. She was driving drunk with kids in the car. Wikipedia Cite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Poundstone#Personal_life).

Actually Poundstone herself went into some detail about what occurred. She adopted a young girl who had a number of mental and emotional issues and who was acting out because she wanted to return to her biological family instead of staying in Poundstone's care. The case was dropped when the girl admitted that she had fabricated her story and why she had done so. It's really sort of a sad case as the girl (now an adult) has apparently a number of run-ins with law enforcement and issues with substance abuse.

I'm by no means a fan of Paula Poundstone. I never thought that she was very funny. I can however, see where her inability to form a substantial personal relationship (or relationships) and adopt children with a partner, might have come back to "bite" her later in life.

Reference:

http://thesmokinggun.com/file/paula-poundstone-abuse-case

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