Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby strange_person » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:56 am

SilverFeathers wrote:Is contentedness really a mental illness nowadays?


This struck me as a big enough question to deserve it's own thread.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Alikat » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:01 am

It CAN be. After all, stress is part of the evolutionary package, we feel things for damned good reasons sometimes. If someone is placid and contented when they have every reason to be feeling far different emotions, it can be a sign of a problem. No matter how compelling it is to sit around and be a Lotus Eater, it's a recognizable curse.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:24 am

I don't think I'd describe myself as placid. I have my "OMGWTFBBQ" moments... usually involving someone quietly reminding me that I'm not allowed to E-string the new employee for being an assclown, but overall...

I guess it's just that I don't have the overwhelming tendancy in the US nowadays of "I NEED!" Yeah, I do the "I need" on little things... books, toys... cute pets. I guess I'm weird because I'm not overboard like most of the country is. Everybody at work is killing themselves doing overtime to pay for a huge house and a car (or cars... or houses) they and their spouse can't afford so they're both working two or three jobs... And here I am content with my two bedrooms (the pets have... well... both now...) and bus routes. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't go out to clubs. I guess I'm a bit of a hermit. I get my socialization in at work (my office is highly Dilberty). I just don't feel like I need all the major things everybody else does. This is what gets me told there's something wrong with me. A relative keeps telling me to get a "real job in the art field" so I can make some "Real money". I decided to not try and explain the art field right now, and also... I'm a supervisor where I'm working right now. It took me two years to climb to that level, and there's still room for me to climb. I'm happy at my job (despite the chaos that crops up, and the daily Overheard at the Office moments). I'm happy living my semi-solitary life. I've never wanted kids... I've never LIKED kids... Which ties in neatly with never wanting a mate, either. I'm happy with my abnormal pets and equally abnormal facinations (virology, criminology, forensic science, aviculture, etc...)...

This is what makes my family tell me straight out "You need to seek professional help."
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby RaharuAharu » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:28 am

SilverFeathers wrote:I don't think I'd describe myself as placid. I have my "OMGWTFBBQ" moments... usually involving someone quietly reminding me that I'm not allowed to E-string the new employee for being an assclown, but overall...

I guess it's just that I don't have the overwhelming tendancy in the US nowadays of "I NEED!" Yeah, I do the "I need" on little things... books, toys... cute pets. I guess I'm weird because I'm not overboard like most of the country is. Everybody at work is killing themselves doing overtime to pay for a huge house and a car (or cars... or houses) they and their spouse can't afford so they're both working two or three jobs... And here I am content with my two bedrooms (the pets have... well... both now...) and bus routes. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't go out to clubs. I guess I'm a bit of a hermit. I get my socialization in at work (my office is highly Dilberty). I just don't feel like I need all the major things everybody else does. This is what gets me told there's something wrong with me. A relative keeps telling me to get a "real job in the art field" so I can make some "Real money". I decided to not try and explain the art field right now, and also... I'm a supervisor where I'm working right now. It took me two years to climb to that level, and there's still room for me to climb. I'm happy at my job (despite the chaos that crops up, and the daily Overheard at the Office moments). I'm happy living my semi-solitary life. I've never wanted kids... I've never LIKED kids... Which ties in neatly with never wanting a mate, either. I'm happy with my abnormal pets and equally abnormal facinations (virology, criminology, forensic science, aviculture, etc...)...

This is what makes my family tell me straight out "You need to seek professional help."


There is nothing at all wrong with you ^v^

Most american humans are so foolish, working so hard for "things" they do not really need. Going deep in to debt.
Making "Real Money" does make you happy. Status symbols are such a waste of time.

Now you likely could be a bit more social outside of work, but there is nothing wrong with you if you are not.

But I am an alien from beyond the moon, so my views on life are bound to be different.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:44 pm

:3 I think I'm fine, but my family needs to get off my back...

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As for being social, I find clubbing and such kinda awkward since I don't drink (allergic), don't smoke, hate most modern music, and have NO desire to hook up (that last causes the most problems) being asexual. I find it much more relaxing a weekend to stay home with the pets, read, do some art, watch some movies, chat online. Maybe I go to the stores with a friend to get new pet stuff.

Besides, the way people drive out here... staying home is SAFER!!! :3
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby strange_person » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:51 pm

Perhaps we asexuals should form some sort of union, distinct from the usual PSL support/lobbying groups?
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:45 pm

I dunno if I'm "content" but I was rather happy just staying home all the time playing wow or whatever game, watching anime and TV. It was very slothy of course… I was miserable at times, but only a few days in a row. I might just be hateful of change though, since I don't really ever want things to change. Of course I'm going to a work/internship soon and that will change. Plus I somehow got a girlfriend (who hates gaming sadly).
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Nick » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:11 pm

SilverFeathers wrote:As for being social, I find clubbing and such kinda awkward since ...

Being social does not equal clubbing.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:14 am

Around here it does. That seems to be all the better part of everybody I know does. That or mall-trawling. I socialize in small, irregular doses at pet stores, etc. Like microbursts. I've been asked (and wild mildly restrained disgust) why I'd want to spend a saturday doing something like going to the library.

I haven't found much else to do out here, at least not without traveling across the city... which is no small distance even by car. >.<
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:16 am

Uh... no.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:02 am

??? ???
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:00 am

I'm basically asexual. Sex just doesn't interest me, except very, very, very rarely. Yes, this sometimes causes problems with one of my spouses, who is very sexual. But we work things out.

Amazing as it sounds, there are people in the world for which sex and sexual attraction mean nothing, or virtually nothing, and they are just fine with that. I'm one of them. If anything, I am relieved to be free of the burden of such a drive. For me it was an annoyance and a kind of madness. Not fun.

This does not mean I do not like physical contact - quite the contrary. I like to be close to my mates and cuddle and hold and take baths together and generally hang all over each other. But it is innocent and sweet. There is no desperate drive to slap taint together making smells and mushy sounds while staining things. Finding that activity non-gross just isn't there. And that is just fine, as far as I am concerned.

In short, it is not only possible, but surprisingly pleasant to be asexual.

Just thought I would mention that.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:56 am

I am further along the line than Jennifer is. I have no desire whatsoever for a mate or intimate companionship of any kind. I stop entirely at friendship. As "intimate" as I get is the occasional rubbing of a friend's head. I personally don't fully understand the need for intimate relationships at all, especially when you don't want children and could just have friends. As for erotic imagery, I find certain aspects of it interesting, but in the same way I find pictures of strange animals or stuff off of rotten.com interesting. Personally, if it weren't a legal and monitary issue, I'd happilly have everything below the waist removed and be a true Neutral. But you cannot be an "N" legally.

Incidentally, since we're always happy to share, I've been asexual for almost 30 years now. Which is my entire life. I've never even felt the desire to go on a date.

I suppose it's ironic I've been told I write very good yaoi. But most of my muses are male, so I chalk it up to that.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Tychomonger » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:32 am

I apologize if this is too personal, SilverFeathers, and feel free to ignore it, but do you masturbate?

Shackler wrote:See, that's why I don't think asexuality really exists. In my opinion, sexuality would ideally by expressed by a pair of axes, one for gender preference, with either extreme being "perfectly heterosexual/homosexual" and one for "sexuality", where one extreme would be hypersexuality (nymphomania or satyriasis) and the other would be asexuality. Almost no one would actually fall on the furthest extremes, although they might be very close-- in most cases,"asexuality" is rather a pronounced lack of sexual urges in most situations, not actually feeling no sexual impulse in any way shape or form at any time whatsoever.

I would instead make it a graph with a Male/Female independent axis and a Level of Sexual Attraction axis. You could describe someone's sexuality as a curve, and find interesting things such as discontinuities and local maxima.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Idiot Glee » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:58 am

To be a hundred percent honest, I understand that a person can be asexual, but I don't understand being asexual.

I don't understand how someone could get along outside of some sort of loving relationship, snuggling up with someone they love. There's some physical things, closeness, the warmth of another body, the feel of a heartbeat, things I can't understand not even seeking.

I just don't get it.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby strange_person » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:04 am

Think about it this way:
Has there ever been a time when the person with whom you were cuddling was a little too clingy, and you wanted them to back off? Has there ever been an occasion when you just wanted to be left alone, or when there was something that you wanted so much more than to-be-with-another-person that the latter desire barely even registered? Well, imagine being like that all the time.
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Idiot Glee » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:34 am

strange_person wrote:Think about it this way:
Has there ever been a time when the person with whom you were cuddling was a little too clingy, and you wanted them to back off? Has there ever been an occasion when you just wanted to be left alone, or when there was something that you wanted so much more than to-be-with-another-person that the latter desire barely even registered? Well, imagine being like that all the time.


I can understand that in the abstract, but it's probably as hard for me to understand that as it is for you to understand me. I must come off as a hormonal train wreck. *Stares in wonderment*
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:05 pm

Tychomonger wrote:I apologize if this is too personal, SilverFeathers, and feel free to ignore it, but do you masturbate?


I don't mind answering. No, I don't. Not to sound like a robot cliche, but. my body doesn't respond to such stimuli.
Idiot Glee wrote:To be a hundred percent honest, I understand that a person can be asexual, but I don't understand being asexual.

I don't understand how someone could get along outside of some sort of loving relationship, snuggling up with someone they love. There's some physical things, closeness, the warmth of another body, the feel of a heartbeat, things I can't understand not even seeking.

I just don't get it.


If it helps to look at it in a spiritual sense, at least to explain myself since I can't speak for all asexuals... Most people are looking for their soulmate(s) to complete themselves. They feel that something is missing. I don't feel that. I feel content and whole and in no need of searching.

I get my cuddling needs in with my pets. Yes, snakes can be cuddly, too. Especially when they're bonded to you. And there's something absolutely mystical about taking a nap with a peacock snuggled up to you. :kiss:

...and anyone who reads anything inappropriate into that I will personally come and skin alive. Those are my kids you're thinking bad thoughts about. :frown:

Idiot Glee wrote:I can understand that in the abstract, but it's probably as hard for me to understand that as it is for you to understand me. I must come off as a hormonal train wreck. *Stares in wonderment*


Naaaaaaaaaah. As long as you're not rife with Baby Mama Drama or Baby Daddy Issues, we're all good. :mrgreen:
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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby SilverFeathers » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:10 pm

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Re: Pathologizing the Sublime

Postby Mitsukara » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:39 am

My take on the basic/original question is very simple and blunt: if it's not broken, don't fix it.

If you're happy with how things are, then screw what other people think you should aspire to or whatever. Happiness should be enjoyed when one finds it, not wasted in a futile search for something better. Searching for something better is what you do if what you have sucks (or you don't have anything).

As for sexuality, I guess I can understand both views, although I certainly am not asexual. But I have somewhat lofty expectations, and I definitely place the loving, good, pure parts of a relationship first and foremost. First we have to like each other, second we have to be able to compromise- without costing too much for either of us-, third we have to be really, really comfortable around each other... somewhere after that comes sex. If I feel that certain, pure wonder of absolute, true love, and I'm definitely not just deluding myself or falling into a trap or somesuch, well.

But if I was really happy with someone, either romantically or- possibly- as very good, comfortable, happy friends willing to be experimental but somehow not quite coupling- good happy sex could be very nice indeed.

My idealized vision of perfect sex is to do it with someone I absolutely love and understand and we communicate perfectly, so that it would be like connecting not only mentally and emotionally as we always would, but physically as well- all parts of our being joining together. That's my sappy vision. I want to experience that one day.

But on the other hand, there are a million reasons why an individual could feel uncomfortable, or uninterested, or think it's gross- indeed, it is in several ways- or be spoiled on it by bad experiences and not want to risk such things again. That is completely understandable, and if that makes them happy, good for them, I say. :)

It also does wonders for lowering your risk of STDs :dead:

The only way in which I could say "contentedness" were damaging would be if you mean "apathy" rather than "contentedness". "I'm happy with my way of life as it is" is a far cry from "I don't care about my life".

In fact, I think contentedness itself should be a goal, ideally. I know it is for me. I don't care if I'm rich, I just want a decent (by decent I mean enough space for the occupants and stuff and a little tiny bit of stretching room, and no roaches/deadly toxins/exploding boilers/crimes/drive-by shootings/etc.) place to live and the necessities of staying alive, the freedom to explore my interests and hobbies, to be myself, and to be in a good, loving relationship with at least one person. And some pizza now and then.
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