Asexual Awareness Week 2011 — October 23-29
Disclaimer: I am one individual asexual. My views, experiences, and opinions do not neccessarily represent those of the asexual community at large, nor any other individual asexuals.
Note: the word ‘sexual’ when used as a noun in this context means a person of one of the three intercourse-seeking sexual alignments: heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual; as opposed to people of the fourth sexual alignment: asexual.
Note: the word ‘normal’ when in quotes is used as an abbreviation for mainstream heterosexual norms, with apologies to all.
What is an Asexual?
Well, this is the big question: What, exactly, IS an asexual? There are a few definitions floating around out there, trying to home in on the idea. This is how I explain it:
Firstly, the word ‘asexual’ is somewhat of a misnomer. Asexual is a type of reproduction, like budding or cloning, that doesn’t involve two different creatures mingling DNA. The word I would use would be ‘nonsexual.’ That’s pretty straight-forward. There’s sex; you don’t want any, you don’t have any. “Sex – None” pretty much sums it up.
Or, a phrase I often use:
This concept is very difficult for sexuals to understand. Human life, culture, and society is so centered around sexuality, they have a hard time grasping the absence of it. So much time is spent in “dating & mating” activities, it completely absorbs some people. The ‘Net is full of Porn! Imagine people who have NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in the millions and millions of gigabytes of porn floating around? It boggles the mind!
Okay, so my view of sexuals may be somewhat skewed. I am here on the outside, looking in. Well, that’s what I see! You might not think you’re like that. But, living in your society, that’s what I get.
So an asexual is a person who has no interest in sex. Well, in having sex. They might fing it interesting or amusing to watch or study. AVEN’s standard acceptable definition states “An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction to another person.”
Well…. my definition of an asexual is a bit more direct than that. Mine goes, “An asexual is someone who does not want to have sex. With anyone. Or anything. Ever.”
I’m sorry, but in my book, if you want to have sex with something, that makes you sexual. I don’t care if it’s with other people, inanimate objects, animals, children, corpses, aliens, or hentai tentacle monsters. Honestly, I don’t see how you can lump necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality in with asexuality. (Okay, to be clinically technical, pedophilia is sex “with another person.”) They might be deviant sexual behaviors, but they’re still sexual in nature. Asexuality Is Not Deviant!
It is not my intent to marginalize or deny the asexual identifier to asexuals with libidos and/or sex drives. This is only my opinion, and I’m only one person. And not even the one in charge of making up the definitions!
Asexuality is a legitimate sexual orientation, just like any other orientation: hetero, homo, or bi. It “happens” just like any other sexual orientation — naturally. Through genetics. Or whatever — since no one really knows exactly how sexual orientation is defined in a person. It is not the result of trauma, or parenting methods (or lack thereof), diet, environment, or conscious thought.
Asexuality is not a dysfunction. It does not need to be cured. We do not need therapy. We are quite happy never having sex — EVER! …Yeah, I know, another incomprehensible concept. Try to take it slowly.
I recall one person on the AVEN forums defining asexuality as sort of a permanant six-year-old state. A state before puberty and the manifestation of sexual dimorphisms. A state of innocence before knowing about ‘dirty’ words and concepts. I think that’s a beautiful concept — however, I’m not sure it’s entirely accurate to reality. According to Floyd M. Martinson, in the book The Sexual Life of Children, children develop sexuality from birth, or even prenatally.
No, I have not read this book; and I never will. I find the entire concept to be deeply disturbing. I, personally, have not had any sexual thoughts, urges, fears, encounters, or whatever else the book talks about, as a child. I never imagined children in association with such things. I can’t even conceive of such a thing. But, there you have it. Just how weird sexuals are. :X
Now after dwelling on a lot of negativity and what asexuals aren’t… let’s look at some of what asexuals are.
Asexuals are capable of forming deep, lasting bonds of friendship and love. Love, to an asexual, has nothing to do with sex. You might not be able to picture never having sex with the one you love. You might equate refusing to have sex with someone as not loving them. This is the biggest and most painful hurdle asexuals have to deal with:
“I love you, but I don’t want to have sex with you.”
“Okay, we’ll just be friends.”
How heartbreaking is it that sexuals define and confine their concept of love with sex?
Asexuals may be attracted to a certain gender — just not sexually attracted. Like my friend keeps saying to me, “If you’re never gonna have sex with ’em, what difference does it make if you partner up with a man or a woman?” I dunno. But it does.
We call this “romantic” attraction, as opposed to sexual attraction. Romantic as in, wining and dining, taking long walks together, giving gifts, watching the sunrise, cuddling on the couch laughing at a movie… that sort of thing. (Things that sexuals consider either sexual or at least foreplay ::cough::) So an asexual can be ‘hetero-romantic,’ ‘homo-romantic,’ or ‘bi-romantic.’ (Yeah, yeah, or ‘pan.’ I won’t digress into my opinion on that.)
Asexuals may also have different reactions to the concept of sex. Some may be curious about it — just not interested in engaging in it, personally. Some may not care one way or another. In fact, these people might find a sexual (a sex-seeking person) partner and agree to have sex with him/her, even though they don’t actually get any enjoyment out of it. Or they enjoy making their partner “happy,” even if they have to get all slimy to do so. Or, there are ‘aversion’ type asexuals, who think sex is absolutely the worst, most disgusting thing. Heh, you can probably guess which type I am. :X
No, I did not get beat over the head by a nun or a preacher insisting that sex was evil/dirty/satanic/unnatural/disgusting, blah blah blah. I formed that opinion all on my own, thank you very much! What? It IS disgusting! It’s slimy and sweaty and smelly and UGH!
You know that phrase “better than sex”? Well, to me that sums up just about everything! Doing taxes, getting a root canal, standing in line at the DMV…. Better than sex, yep. Death? Definitley better than sex.
No, thank you ever so, you can NOT rape me and “show me how mistaken I am.” Like that would even work with a sexual? Yeah, rape = sex is fun. NOT. And on that note, remember to tune in tomorrow for a glimpse of what it is like to be this kind of crazy outsider in your sexual society!