Because lately, I have seen people using words in the ace tags that are new to me, and also using words I know in ways that make no sense with the meanings I associate with them. Needless to say, this makes constructive dialogue a bit tricky.
Here I work through my thoughts and personal…
My definitions more or less match yours, with one exception: I’ve seen “indifferent” used as sort of an antonym to “repulsed,” with aces ranging from actually indifferent to/”meh” about sex all the way up to aces who enjoy and seek out sex falling under the label of “indifferent.” Mind you, I haven’t seen this in a while, and it’s possible the word isn’t being used in that context so much any more, but my tendency is to see “repulsed/indifferent” viewed as a spectrum that people fall upon and “indifferent” as a term covering one entire side of it. When I was active on AVEN, people often used that scale to identify themselves when the topic came up in conversation, as well as a “libidoist/non-libidoist” scale, the romantic orientation one, and I think one or two others.
I don’t think I’ve seen this happening so much on tumblr or the blogs, though. It may be a community-specific thing?
Hey, I’m someone who exclusively uses “aversive”, so I’d like to clarify why I do and what it means to me.
Basically, “repulsed” is TMI for when I’m talking to strangers or to a general audience. I don’t think people need to know that sex is super gross to me, that I have visceral repulsion to it. Nor do I particularly want to introduce imagery of repulsion into the conversation. It should be enough to say “I don’t care for that, thank you.” Or more specifically, in my case, “This is something I avoid, it’s not pleasant or positive for me, but I don’t care to discuss my personal reactions in detail right now.”
I also identify as/talk about myself as having a sex aversion, and to me this doesn’t have strong associations with a disorder (maybe because sexual aversion disorder is not something I’m particularly familiar with, or have been diagnosed with myself?). I’m not willing to drop this useful construct from my vocabulary just because a similarly-named condition, that the medical establishment has decided - most likely without consulting anyone who actually has it - is a disorder, exists. I think there’s a lot of linguistic strength in simply dropping the language of disorder from a label (think of “autism spectrum condition” versus “autism spectrum disorder”), and if someone wants to link my sexual aversion with a pathological condition, I’m happy to explain to them that it’s not.
Does this help somewhat?
I… am not sure if you meant this for me or Kaz? In my case I tend to use “repulsed” more or less entirely out of inertia, not any considered feelings on which word I prefer. My status with respect to the whole repulsion/aversion/indifference spectrum is complicated and weird and consequently not very important to me, so I don’t tend to bring it up much and it’s not a big part of my identity.
Thanks for the explanation of why you prefer “averse,” though! From my perspective, introducing the identification as repulsed/averse/indifferent at all when I’m talking to a general audience or strangers is actually TMI, with the exception of when I’m doing panels, which are completely TMI-free zones. And even when I’m panelling, that’s a question I don’t usually tackle unless someone specifically asks me what my feelings on sex/whether I’d be willing to have sex are, and when I do I tend to say something along the lines of “Probably not, it’s not something I have a lot of interest in experimenting with and because of my romantic orientation I don’t have much reason to” rather than really getting in depth with my personal feelings regarding sex.
So I’m used to only using those terms as community-specific jargon when it comes up in community discussions on things like compromise, not in terms of talking to anyone who isn’t already well-versed on ace issues. And, er, in terms of ace community discussion my habit is to expect massive quantities of TMI anyway (see here: why I got a huge chunk of my sex ed from sitting in on conversations on things like masturbation and sexual fantasies in ace communities). I don’t know if that’s a general thing or just a holdover of my personal experiences with said communities, though. I’ve been in ace spaces for a very long time, during which said spaces and the conventions and terminologies used by them have often changed dramatically, so I’m very aware that my experiences may be somewhat different from other people’s experiences.
None of this is to say your own personal feelings re: the word choice are invalid or even that I necessarily disagree with you on the points you’ve made! I’m just interested in the different situations that terminology gets used, because with respect to the repulsed/averse/indifferent issue that’s a bit of terminology that I would absolutely not use when doing something like 101 or when coming out, and it really interests me that a huge part of your feelings about not liking “repulsed” center around taking that bit of jargon and applying it to a situation I almost never use it for.
Makes you think about the very different ways in which people use language, huh?