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Loving Differently

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26th May 2006

sewblue2:55pm: guess who


If I could say anything to you, I'd say
Don't judge my heart by my body
While both are on a quest to find their rhythym
One is more holy than the other.

Don't judge a body by it's rhythym
If it feels compelled to stretch and smoke
Or furl and cool
It's not up to you.

Take your hands off me now
Lift your eyes
You must step back from the consumption
And see me without your hunger.

8th August 2005

juandfr2:59pm: Obligatory Intro Post
Name you go by: Ifer, real name: Jennifer

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with?

I've started to work out a theory for life, the universe, and everything (no, it's not 42 ;P) that involves planes, parallel dimensions, pocket dimensions and alternate realities. I believe that all deities exist somewhere, and that all religions and theories are at least partially right, somewhere, but none of them are fully correct as the true nature of the cosmos can not be grasped by mortal nor immortal minds.

I'm a non-sexual, having no physical or sexual interest in people or beings of any type. (though my sex drive is quite high, VERY annoying when I don't get very much input from physical stimuly [pain, tickling, etc] and there's not really any other way for me to satisfy that desire -_-) In my mind, friends ARE family, so it's disgusting for me to see my friends in a romantic relationship with each other. Public displays of intimacy are also disturbing. It's very hard for me to understand the drives, actions, thoughts, and decisions of most people because of this. I do, however, want to understand, and be able to act appropriately in response to others, which is difficult when I can't judge what their responses and reactions will be. I crave non-sexual physical relationships, hugging, cuddling, etc, but I'm uncomfortable about it since I'm never sure how the other person(s) are reacting, and I DON'T want them to think about me or my actions in a sexual way. It disturbs me. I'm worried that an innocent gesture on my part will be taken the wrong way, and ruin the relationship I have with someone.

On top of all this, I've been brought up as a naturist, and therefore have a very different view of the human body, causing me to have even LESS understanding of fashion, modesty, and what is appropriate when and where. I see skimpy clothing as an attempt to objectify people, and turn their bodies into nothing but sex objects. Extremely disrespectful towards the person wearing it and anyone seeing them in it. Advertising's even worse, requiring barely clad, anorexic and top-heavy barbie dolls to sell anything.

What brings you to this community? I'm hoping to find a way to express myself that won't be misread, further understanding of how the human mind works, and more tolerance towards intimate displays.

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!) Non-sexual relationships come in a variety, including but not limited to: casual acquaintances, bestest best friends forever, soul mates (may be mates as in "my best mate, here", meaning friends) teacher/pupil, mutual tolerance, enemies, brotherly love, etc. Sexual relationships are very limited in that respect. Though there can be, as in the non-sexual relations, infinite shades between, they're generally: flings, life-mates, lovers, casual sex partners, long-term relationships, etc. Not nearly as different and diverse. There's also the tendency, in a sexual relationship, to ignore any problems and arguments and just have sex to make it all better. In a platonic relationship, while the problems can still be ignored, the temptation is far less severe, because you won't be worried that your partner will withhold if you upset them.
Current Mood: contemplative

30th July 2005

myralinn11:56am: Hi everyone,

This seemed like a community for me, so I just joined.

Name you go by: Sarah (real name), Myra or Myralinn (internet name)

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with? I'm a highly sensitive person, which means I usually feel a lot of empathy towards other, but also am easily overwhelmed by my environment. I also have a low sex drive, mainly because sex is too stimulating/overwhelming to me.

What brings you to this community? I'm glad there are other people who can love someone without sex being a must or a base for love. If sex is there it has to be an consecquence, not a necessary condition...

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!) I think nowadays too many people don't look any further than anothers person physical appearance. 'Is this one cute/hot' etc? I think to some level your appearance gets always appreciated by someone who loves you, but I think that in non or less sexual relationship the trust, comfort and the emotional bond is far more important.

hello everyone! 'waves'
Current Mood: contemplative

23rd July 2005

creatorsfire3:21am: Hello
Hello all,

I will do the requisite introduction

Name you go by: Victoria

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with? Well for the philosophy..um..existentialism...I am catholic and baptist raised (mother, father respectively)...I would say that I am spiritual and searching. I have researched many religions and am going through the old spiritual/religious identity crisis. :) as for orientation, I am a lesbian.

What brings you to this community? I have been celibate for about three and a half years and recently decided to "actively" accept this lifestyle. This is to say that over the past three and a half years I have felt a waning of desire for a sexual relationship. Recently I realized that I had been celibate for this time, I had not exactly choosen it, I just kinda eased my way into it I think. So now I find myself thinking about it and longing for contact with others who feel the same way.

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!) Besides the obvious? You know I never thought of it. LOL. For me a relationship that is sexual automatically includes one variable that can throw all others off. The "is this person attractive to me physically variable." When faced with a sexual relationship it seems that people tend to ignore many things as long as the other person is attractive enough for us. In a non sexual relationship the most important parts of the relationship are understanding, compassion, respect, tolerance, and compatibility. When we do not have "is he/she hot" clouding our brains we are able to see more about the other human being. This my rather long, contemplative, and unrehearsed answer to this question. :)

I suppose that's it for now, I am a twenty four year old female who hopes to find understanding fellows here. I have only told 2 of the people in my life about my choice to become celibate. The rest of my family and friends would not understand and would cause stress and drama. Then there would be fights and gossip. I just can't go there. That's why I'm here :)
Current Mood: okay

17th June 2005

sewblue6:59pm: From Elizabeth Abbott's A History of Celibacy. Pg. 34: Classical Rituals – Thesmophoria


Greek matrons could only contemplate celibacy from afar, in their goddesses and mythical heroines. Yet once a year, the Thermophoria, an annual religious festival of central importance to the participating city-states, liberated them from sexual relations with their husbands by imposing celibacy, albeit for just three days. The Thesmophoria was held each autumn in Athens and a few other cities, just before the sowing season, in honor of Demeter, goddess of agriculture. It was directed by two female officials and was probably confined to upper-class women. Men were strictly excluded, and the celebrants observed their three-day celibacy with a host of symbolic crutches that gave the Thesmophoria a unique character in the male-dominated, unchaste Greek city-states.

In Athens, the Thesmophoria was held on Pnyx Hill, otherwise the gathering place for (only male) citizens to congregate in democratic assembly. On the first day, the Way Up, the women traipsed up in a procession, carrying sacred objects. Once in the Thesmophorion, an open space, they set up rows of primitive shelters for themselves. When they sat or slept, it was on litters of willow, the chaste tree, reputed to calm the sexual appetite. They wore no makeup or jewelry, and only plain, unembroidered gowns.

Day two was the Fast, abstinence upon abstinence. Their breath and phlegm were so musty from fasting that the air in the Thesmophorion stank, another guarantee of sexual abstinence. This fast day reenacted both a mythical goddess’s grief at losing her daughter and also the olden days before agriculture.

Day three was the joyous Bearer of Beautiful Offspring, when the women celebrated the fertility they stimulated by their temporary celibacy. They made sacrifices and they feasted. Probably this was also when the Bailers went to work. Prior to the festival, these women, purified by three days of sexual abstinence, had buried piglets and dough models of snakes and male genitalia. Later, during the Thesmophoria, the Bailers would dig up and retrieve the decomposed remains. These were laid on altars, then mixed with the ritually planted seed corn that encourages the coming season’s fertility.

The Thesmophoria was unique in several ways. Matrons alone were admitted, not virgins. It was the only festival requiring laywomen to be celibate both as they prepared for it and as they participated in it. Men were actively chased away, and the women repeated a gory myth about an ancient Thesmophoria where women with blood-streaked faces and swords castrated King Battus, whom they had caught spying on them. A real man, Aristomenes of Messenia, once did sneak up too close, and the women captured him, using sacrificial knives, roasting spits, and torches as weapons.

Another unique feature of the Thesmophoria was that all its celebrants were known as melissai—bees—because of a mythical collaboration between a goddess and Melisseus, king of the bees. The Greeks greatly admired the bee’s chaste, hardworking lifestyle and the way it abominated adultery, which it punishes by attacking the adulterer or flying away. During the Thesmophoria, the matrons become melissai, sexually abstinent maiden-bees.

Give Greek women’s subordinate status in society, the Thesmophoria was an extraordinary three-day release, freeing matrons to leave their homes and chores to mingle together, deliberately unappealing with their rancid breath and unkempt appearance, fiercely driving off curious males, expressing themselves in men’s coarse, forbidden idiom, like the fictional women of Lysistrata. The importance of the festival overruled the notion that unsecluded, unguarded women are naturally whorish and emotional. The melissai were both unsecluded and unguarded, yet through unaccustomed celibacy and communion with other women, they performed crucial fertility rituals the men dared not neglect. Put another way, by matrons using this temporary celibacy to escape their daily grind, their husbands’, and the rigid constraints of their existence, the women reaffirmed among themselves their relevance to society. Finally, the oblations made and the corn seed planted, they exited from their brief camaraderie and slipped back inside the gates to the servitude of their separate quarters. Their ritual escape into celibacy for the sake of agricultural fertility was over for another year.

29th May 2005

rajka11:03am: let's see some action in this community!
Has anyone ever felt that the concept of "dating" is more of a hindrance to true expressions of love than a helpful framework?

It seems like a lot of groups, e.g. lifestyle bdsmers, polyamorists, asexuals, etc., often run into the problem of finding someone that they love, and have a sort of "relationship" with, but talking about it in those terms often implies dynamics (monogamy, equality, or sexual involvement) that just aren't there, and that they don't want to be there.

Discuss!

16th May 2005

kruszer12:31am: 25+ and still a virgin?
I'm being bad and cross posting this to a few forums, but I'm doing so in hopes that many people will take interest in this new community which I trust will benefit many.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/virgins_over_25/

This is a forum primarily for those of us over the age of 25 who have chosen premarital abstinence but are now finding ourselves in a minority among young and older adults. As most of our "true love waits" peers have married in their early twenties, we face a unique challenge as an unmarried adult in our late twenties, thirties, even forties.

Although this forum was designed with vigins in mind, I equally welcome those over 25 who have chosen second virginity and are living in abstinence; as well as anyone who is now married who was a virgin past the age of 25. (25 is the magic number, but if you're a bit younger and really want to join, let me know, I make a few exceptions.)

If you're an older virgin by choice and struggle at times with staying true to your commitment, this community is for you. My hope is that we can join together to support and encourage one another to stay on the road we've chosen and travelled on for so long.

28th April 2005

sewblue1:59pm: As I've been slowly plodding through Elizabeth Abbott's A History of Celibacy, I thought I would post some passages from the book. If you are offended by my violation of copyright laws
then you should probably go elsewhere because it is a regular habit of mine. The book focuses on an inordinate amount of religious celibacy, because this is the most readily available historical information on the subject, but Abbott covers a lot of territory ranging from historical to mythological and I am personally enjoying the book a lot. Here's a passage on Artemis from a chapter entitled DIVINE PAGAN CELIBACY


Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto, had much in common with her half-sister Athena, including the virginity she had longed for since she was a toddler. As she sat cradled on her father Zeus’ knee, a surge of affection infused him, and on the spur of the moment he asked her to tell him what gifts he should give her.

“Give me to keep my maidenhood, Father, forever,” Artemis replied instantly.

And give me arrows and a bow … and … a tunic with embroidered border
reaching to the knee, that I may slay wild beasts. And give me sixty daughters
of Oceanus for my choir—all nine years old, all maidens yet ungirdled; and give
me for handmaidens twenty nymphs of Amnisus who shall tend well my buskins, and,
when I shoot no more at lynx or stag, shall tend my swift hounds. And give to me
all mountains … for seldom is it that Artemis goes down to the town.



Almost as an ironic afterthought, she added that women in labor would constantly call upon her, because her mother’s feat in delivering her painlessly had prompted the Fates to designate her patroness of childbirth.


Artemis’ articulate and ready list of desires was not the whimsy of your average three-year-old. From the beginning she was as independent and self-directed as Athena. The life she had mapped out for herself was aggressively virginal. The first clue was in her demand for scores of innocent girls as companions. Unlike Athena, Artemis was a watchful and wary virgin, and she demanded celibacy from her followers. She also inspired it—the Amazons, for instance, who both worshiped and resembled her, were archers and disdained men’s company.

Artemis was ruthless to men unable to adapt to her rigid rules. The best example of this is her destruction of Orion for attempted rape. (Her treatment of the tragic Hippolytus, son of the Amazon Hippolyte, was immortalized in Euripides’ tragedy Hippolytus, described below.) When the giant Tityus tried to rape her mother, she and Apollo, her brother, conspired to murder him.

Nor did Artemis extend compassion to women. When her favorite maiden, Callisto, began to swell in pregnancy after Zeus seduced her, Artemis cruelly transformed her into a bear and set her pack of hounds on it. Only Zeus’ intervention—plucking Callisto up into the heavens—foiled Artemis’ plans for the maiden’s bloody death.

Read more...Collapse )

9th April 2005

green_elf8:29pm: 1. um.... Ross?

2. My own :), I work things out for myself, but I do like Budhisim and paganisim.

3. it seemed intresting, i'm not sure what kind of posts you could come out with though..

4. Hugs!, seriously though in a relatioship that isn't sexual your forced to value the pweson for what they actually are.

and hugs!
(you may think thsts obvious, but i't my answer and I have no other anser to give.)

8th April 2005

pinkisobscene6:06pm: Name you go by: Tom

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with? Not really. I'm bi, a little passive, hopelessly optimistic/idealistic. I think Dominant/submissive dynamics provide some of the more fulfilling non-sexual relationships, and in that regard I orient myself as a submissive.

What brings you to this community? The idea that sex isn't a requisite for extremely fulfilling relationships and that there are a multitude of ways to express love -- even romantic or physical love -- without sex.

It can be a struggle for me though, because although I greatly value platonic love, that whole pesky sex drive does sometimes get in the way. I've come to resent my libido, as so often it feels like it controls me. My deliberately seeking sexless relationships might be a reaction to this.

I've found BDSM to be a wonderful alternative in that it still feels sexual and is an outlet for sexual energy but without all the actual... sex. It also seems to transcend sex, offering many additional possibilities for self-exploration.

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?

To me, intimate, sexfree relationships often feel more "high-minded" than those based more around the physical. Maybe it's just a weird hang-up; sex occasionally feels "dirty" to me and so to thrust it onto an intense platonic friendship (often out of obligation) can feel like an act of defilement. If I'm already connecting deeply to a person, then sex isn't likely to enhance that for me, and in fact seems more likely drag it down with all kinds of expectations that can only hinder.

Hopefully this community will help me find out if there are others who share some of this sentiment, or if I'm just weird. :)

7th April 2005

xshorty84x11:46pm: Name you go by: Jaz.

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with?: I'm not sure how to answer that. I am religious. I have been a Christian for about two or three years now. I consider myself to be straight, but I have never actually dated anyone.

What brings you to this community?: I saw this community through the asexual community. I thought it looked interesting, and it would be nice to talk to people who aren't going to make me feel bad about not wanting to date. Many people have told me that "my time is running out".

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!): I honestly don't know what it would be like to be in either. I can assume that a non-sexual relationship would be more emotional, or platonic. I'm not sure. Perhaps a non-sexual relationship "goes deeper" than a sexual one...all I know is that at this point in my life, sex (for lack of a better word) frightens me and it is not an act that I can see myself participating in at this point in time.
toonworld19826:18pm: NOTE: Some parts of this may seem long or off topic. However, those passage were probably meant to give you some background about me to aid in understanding why I wrote what I have.

Name you go by: David

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with?:

buddhism, labled "liberal" for most of my views, labled "democrat" simply because that is the party that is currently associated with what I believe in and say. Course, who knows what party I will be in the future?

What brings you to this community?:

Interesting concept, being able to make new friends and acquaintences, good discussions, be able to be in a place where, as a male, I can say what I feel about the non-physical side of love without people thinking I am either A) a typical male and lying about not caring as much about the emotional side of love as opposed to the physical side or B) Trying to get into someone's pants (yeah, I am a wee bit cynical when it comes to such things. I am not a stereotypical heterosexual male who is friendly and wants to help, so I have been abused quite a bit by both sides. But hey, who hasn't when they have been in the same situation of not fitting the stereotype of their gender and is open about it right?).

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!):

Ok, I am a romantic, a dreamer, and VERY naieve and innocent when it comes to the physical side of relationships. I tend to be romantic and opptomistic when it comes to the emotional side. To me it is this: There is the physical side. This is good for making babies and making yourself/or both feel good in physical ways. But to me, someone who has been an outsider for a chunk of his life, sex is more than that. To me, it is a sign of a deep connection you share with your partner. It is a sign that I have finally made a connection with someone and that is one of the ways we can show that intimacy to each other.

As far as the non-physical (aka emotional side for my purposes) this too all goes back to my being an outcast and feeling unwanted for a long time. I felt unliked by other people for myself. I felt like a disappointment for my parents and family. Hell, I felt like a failure to myself. But I rose up and became comfortable with myself, that I make my parents proud, and that people can genuinely like me. That being said love to me is companionship.

There are three main types of love (each with many different types of love within them, each as individual as the person involved). There is a family love. It is meant to be unconditional love for each other. But you cannot choose your family generally, and so it is strong, but not my favorite type. Within this love, it is adapted to make the best of the situation because there is not much of an alternative for who your family members are.

There is the love of a friend. Here, you can choose your friends. And you may even share many interests, hobbies, feelings, and views. I love my friends because they like me and because of how we make each other feel. We draw strength fron each other and support each other during times of strife. But by and large there is no real intimacy here, at least not the physical kinds.

Then there is the one type of love I have yet to recieve, the love of the opposite sex as more than a friend. Like the friendship love, this is based upon choice. Of all the people in the world, they choose to love you and vica versa. You love each other for who you are, what you offer each other, and relatively unconditionally. You choose to remain with each other, support each other, draw strength from each other, and make each other stronger. You even gain intimacy with each other, to a level greater than friends. With friends you can by and large leave when things are not going well. With love like this, that is a bit harder to do, especially when it comes to living together in some fashion. You must adapt to each other's quarks and in time appreciate each other for them. In the end, this kind of love would signify this to me: A woman, having many other options and under no obligation of any kind, has choosen to be with me and care for me because of who I am. It would be because of the real me and all of me. Not the David that my parents see. Not the David that the public sees. Not even just the David that the public sees. She would love me for all of these things and because of the David she sees. And of course, I would love her for the same reasons. We would also love each other for what we can give each other. Be it complimentary personalities/views, or strengthening similarity, both parties would get something out of it. Not a dependence on each other mind you. Both parts would function by themselves. However, they would be optimum when in contact with each other, drawing from each other to aid each other in varying levels.

But my mind has come to an end, your eyes are getting tired of looking at the screen, and you may simply be tired of me or my post (or perhaps both). So, I will close. I have gotten most of my feelings here, but I am limited by many factors when posting online. So, while this may be a cliffsnotes on my feelings about love, they are not written in stone or the entire truth. They simply are what I can think of now to cover as many possible situations as I can think of now.

Thanks for reading and I hope this finds you in good health and in good spirits :o)
sewblue3:57pm: Intro Opp
Here's something to start people off if they'd like to say hi and get to know one another:


Name you go by:

Any philosophy or orientation that you identify with?

What brings you to this community?

What's the difference between a relationship that's sexual and one that's not?(besides the obvious!)

6th April 2005

toonworld19828:13pm: Hope this is right...
...Wrote this back in february when I was kind of confused about my feelings about someone. I think it may qualify as being something this community is about. Hopefully it is :o)

"Why The Hell Can't I Find Love Quotes That Sum Up What I Feel?

What is love? Many people go through life wondering what love is. Most are looking for a one size fits all definition or quote or phrase to tell them what it is so they can go find it. But in reality, love is none of these. In fact, love cannot be summed up into words because it is bigger than that. One reason is that love a person has for another is made up of both people involved and has as much variety as the human race has. I have spent my life trying to understand people, human emotions, why people are obsessed with "the norm."

In the end I have come up with my own definition of love. Love is that warm feeling you get in your heart when you think of the person. You yearn to be with them, to show them their appreciation of them, to be appreciated by them. You think about them at rates that differ with each person. Love goes beyond mental, pysical, and emotional (though a love with all 3 is the most enduring). It does not matter how much time you spend with them or how often you think of them, what matter is how you feel when you are with them or think of them, or talk to them. Does you heart grow warm? Does their concept dispell your dark times? Do you want to cry when you think of them because they inspire so many emotions (both good and bad) that they almost overwhelm you?

And when you do find a love (for I believe that there is not one "true love" but many people a person can truly love what do you do? Do you try to get with them? If you succeed then good, how do you express it from there and nurture the relationship? But if you fail, what do you do then? Do you obsess over them? Turn into yourself? Go on trying? Stop tyring? Or do you stay with them, adapt yourself and your love to whatever way will serve you both best (perhaps harboring some small part of hope that things will work out)? For me it is the last one. You stay with the person, be for them what they need you to be, build them up while others/the world tries to tear them down. You live them for their faults and their strengths. Your love for them makes you strive to be a better person and help others. You play support to them when they are down and share in their joy. You treasure every moment you spend with them and are willing to trade all that you have, or all that you are for more moments with them. When things go right, add them to your cache of memories, and when things go wrong you go back to them.

Most of all, you do not give up! You do not give up hope, you do not give up them. You stay with them, sacrafice for them and give what you can to them because if they are not important enough for you to stay around and help should they not share you love then you never really loved them to begin with. Love is a feeling where you would give your entire essence to them and to be with them, no matter what the form, on the off chance that it would bring happiness to them.

Yes, I know what love is and I know what love feels like. I have experienced all forms of love (save one). I know the good and the bad. I know it can get rough at times and seem like it is not worth it to give without any chance of recieveing. I know all this and have seen/experienced it all my life. But ya know what? It is worth it. Yes, you may ache to be with them. Yes, it may hurt to see them in pain and unhappy (with you or others). But at the end of the day all the hardships are worth it just to see them happy, see them smile, get a hug. And if you are the one who brought this joy to them? Well, then it was all worth it... "
Current Mood: reminiscent
sewblue4:13pm: Greeting
Hello!

I made this community realizing that it would reach a broad audience, but my hope is that there is potential for interesection and overlap in honest discussion about friendship and love without sexuality. The term Different Loving was probably most famously coined by the sucessful book by Gloria and William Brame of the same title. But in this instance it is meant to include a wide range of behaviors and lifestyles.

So much of our lives are controlled by sex. Constantly we are bombarded with sexual imagery and the pressure to be sexual by the media, our peer groups and social convention. It is my belief that this fixation with sex has diminished some of the capacity we have for real platonic intimacy between people that isn't shrouded in sexual tension. This is a place to discuss platonic relationships, or the desire to have them. It is a place to ask questions to one another, and to suggest resources for like-minds. My hope is to combine the knowledge and support of sexual and non-sexual people from all walks of life.


Welcome!
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