Debates On Asexuality And Whether They Help Or Hinder The Community

From time to time, I read on Facebook questions on what makes a person asexual. Let me pose a different question: is asexuality a genuine sexual orientation? I pose this question because I can’t help but wonder if it would change discussion within the asexual community.

According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation is defined as: “sexual orientation refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted”   (American Psychological Association Help Centre). The article then goes through the orientations, with the exclusion of asexual and pan sexual.

So, if sexual orientation is defined as above, and we can agree that asexuality is a genuine sexual orientation (or non – sexual orientation if you want), then what’s with the arguing that can occur in asexual circles? If someone feels like they consistently lack sexual attraction, then he or she should be free to identify as asexual. Of course, this gets complicated when you consider that there is often a huge grey area when it comes to sexuality in general, and even asexuality.

A question that I find that is often asked, especially by newcomers into Asexual Facebook groups is: “Am I asexual if I…..?”. Frankly, I think if we define asexuality in such a way, then we will end up having a warped view on what asexuality actually is, unless, controversially, we end up saying that asexuality is NOT an orientation per se. I think I can say that the majority of asexual people (myself included) would strongly argue that it is an orientation, even though, like the other orientations, can become a little complicated.

I think it’s important that the asexual community comes into some sort of agreement of what asexuality actually is. Then hopefully, science and society in general will catch up.

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Chemistry on Screen

Most week nights, I watch ‘Neighbours’ during breaks on ‘The Project’. Tonight, when I was watching the show, it occurred to me just how weird I think sexual chemistry actually is when I see it on screen. Is it because I’m asexual of is it just my personality?

Since I was about in Year Ten, I got really into getting meanings out of movies (when I actually watch one from start to finish which isn’t very often any more), music lyrics and TV shows. Maybe that’s why I don’t get ‘on – screen chemistry’. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about people going at it. I’m talking about the tension that characters have in most movies and TV shows. Actually, sometimes, it’s annoying because it’s often so obvious what’s going on. Man, get to it already and get it over with!!

Sometimes, it just reminds me how alienated I felt in my latter years at high school (except for the very last year), and even in my early twenties, how I felt when those topics came up (which luckily wasn’t very often). I don’t stress too much about it. I’m over it. I know why I feel apathetic.

In a strange way, maybe that’s the personal meanings I get out of those shows and movies, and in a way, maybe why I can actually be draw pawn to them – because they cement even further how I identify. It makes it clearer to me that things haven’t changed and aren’t going to any time soon. And I guess I’m becoming OK with that.

To people who identify as asexual, how do you feel when you see chemistry on – screen?

Sex Positivity

Sex positivity is something that is, on the whole healthy, both within and outside the asexual community. However, (and this is a BIG however), we should not medicalise or go out to psychoanalyse people who say that they find it disgusting or otherwise unfavourable.

I made a post last year on the importance of owning your sexuality. Sometimes, that means accepting the fact that you don’t want it and accepting the fact that the idea of sex doesn’t appeal to you.

I admit, sometimes, sexual content in movies,etc makes me kind of squeamish. Other times, I’m just apathetic about the whole thing. Quite frankly, what stresses me out is when the whole idea that we’re all MEANT to be sexual or the one like it, that everyone feels (or is meant to feel) sexual attraction stresses me out. Frankly, it makes me feel alienated at time

Another group that should be given respect is people who choose to remain celibate for whatever reason. I’ve read a lot about Christians who identify as gay. Since the closing of ministries like Exodus International in the US and Living Waters in Australia, the debate has changed in a lot of Christian circles from whether people should change from gay to straight to whether or not they should remain celibate. Christians, of all orientations are divided on this. Some gay Christians (and yes,  for this article, I am using the terms ‘gay Christian’), feel convicted to remain celibate. They too should be respected.

Regardless of the reasoning for people to remain celibate, such people deserve respect. Similarly, people who feel apathetic toward sex or even feel averse or repulsed by sex should also be treated with respect, without automatically pitying them or treating them like they have something that needs to be ‘fixed’. We are all different and I wish we could at least begin to respect that.

 

 

Decade of Asexual Recognition?

In 1972, Australian magazine, CLEO came out and this month is celebrating the publishing of it’s 500th issue. I was just reading over their reflections of what has been going on over  the decades. There was a summary of various things like music and world events that defined the decades, including sexual trends. It got me thinking, is it possible that this decade will be about (at least the start of) asexual visibility?

Whether good or bad, since 2011 in particular, asexuality has been in the spotlight. Magazines like CLEO, Australia’s Woman’s Day (or was it Women’s Weekly?), the American show The View as well as The Project and SBS’s The Feed have all done articles or segments talking about asexuality. Yes, frankly, some of the coverage has been less than ideal, but it’s getting out there none the less. I think it’s not such a bad thing.

However, there is still come confusion on whether asexuality is a proper sexual orientation or whether it’s a “problem” that needs to be fixed. I think it’s fair ypthink sY that most asexual people (myself included) believe the former. Research, including scientific research, is still in it’s infancy and I hope over time, say over the next decade, that asexuality will be properly recognised as an orientation. I suppose the gay commubity had similar battles for recognition in the seventies (a long with much more). Homosexuality was removed out of the DSM in 1975 and in Australia, States and Territories started scrapping anti – sodomy laws (it wasn’t until 1997when all the States and Territories had the laws overturned).

What I’m saying is that I believed (and hope) that this decade will continue to see the discusdion, respect and validation of asexuality in society, within the scientific community and the media. I hope that eventually, people will be able to come out as asexual and not be disbelieved or ridiculed.

When do you think asexuality will be accepted as a genuine orientation? What do you think about media coverage of asexuality so far?

 

The Fallacy of the Statement ‘Humans Are Sexual Beings’

I’ll admit, every time I hear the saying “people are sexual beings”, I want to call into a ball and never be seen again. I CAN’T experience sexual attraction, like most people who identify as asexual (I say “most as to include grey – sexual sand demi – sexuals).

I have written before about some of the early research into asexuality and other bloggers, like Jo Qualmann have written about asexuality erasure and current research. When I read about research into asexuality on Tumblr, it was so liberating. Sure, more needs to be done, by put it’s a start.

This research, if it’s valid, is starting to prove that the saying “people are sexual beings” isn’t totally true. MOST people are sexual, yes, but we are not ALL sexual. No matter what others say, or what we even say to ourselves, some of us may never experience sexual attraction.

Asexuality is NOT something to be ‘fixed’, or dare I say it, something that could even be ‘fixed’ even if some people wished it could be so. No, just so we’re clear, no, having pig sexual encounters will not  change our asexuality. NOTHING is likely to change our lack of attraction (for some, it may change, I won’t deny that. However, for other people, it will likely never change).

My big hope for the asexual community, ultimately, is respect; for asexual personally and for the asexual community as a whole. I hope that people will be able to be open about their own asexuality without the fear of being belittled or ridiculed. All we ask is a little bit of respect. We are who we are. Get over it!

 

 

Even I Admit Asexuality Doesn’t Make Sense

This week, I’ve been very critical of broadcaster Steve Price’s reaction to asexuality on The Project after they did a story on it last Monday.  While I still think he could’ve been more sensitive, I’m coming to understand why for most people, asexuality is such a hard concept for people to grasp.

Most science surrounding human sexuality surrounds sexual attraction and “spreading the seed” do to speak. Also, it’s accepted that primary non – platonic relationships are sexual. It’s easy for asexual people to say that there is a difference between sexual and romantic attraction and that they don’t always go hand in hand, but for allosexuals, it would be quite a foreign idea.

It also contradicts societal expectations in what young men and women should do. For me at least, realising I was asexual through my own expectations for myself out the window in regards to relationships and what it meant to be a woman. It’s still a work in progress.

I believe it’s only a matter of time when asexuality becomes better understood and, hopefully, accepted. I think we just need to be a little bit patient.

 

 

About Nudity

I started reading an article on the Mammamia blog about two housemates (both female) who both decided to be naked when they were at home, even in the presence of each other. I’m kind of ashamed to say that the whole idea of being naked around a housemate made me feel a bit squeamish.  Why? Because when I thought “nudity” I automatically thought of sexual innuendo.

I believe that society has sexualised nudity. Think about it, why do we criticise women for not wearing enough? Why has breast feeding in public become a topic of such heated debate? I believe, it ‘s at least partly, because when we think of nudity, sex comes immediately to mind, at least for most people. People who live in nudist communities seem to be able to differentiate between the two, but others don’t seen to.

Even as children, we are warned that they are”private” and as we get older, sexual innuendo surrounds the genital area, like ‘sexual organs’. Yet, it is only one function of the genitals fop or both men and women. They’re used to birth a child, where menstruation passes through,  where urine passes, etc. Yet, we have, I’m coming to believe, reduce it to purely sex.

Just as I’m typing this, I just heard of a controversy a Neighbours star who was condemned for posting bare breasts on Twitter, supposedly as a protest.  I’m not exactly listening to the show, but I’m hearing the term “meltdown” a lot. So now wanting to be nude, you’re automatically mentally unstable? (That should NEVER be trivialised by the way). However, ironically, I did just hear that the Twitter image was a protest about the over sexualisation of women’s bodies. Protests in countries like Russia and Egypt (I think), about women’s liberation has. Included public nudity or posting naked images online.

Can’t bodies, both male and female, just be admired on an aesthetic level? Can’t we just acknowledge a lovely/ attractive physique without sexualising it? I just thought I’d point out that I’m not advocating for public nudity or anything. I’m just wondering whether we have the right idea about nudity.

What do you think? Do you think we unnecessarily sexualise nudity? What are your views about nudity in general?