In the “Introduction” of the book, “The Invisible Orientation – An Introduction to Asexuality” ,author Julie Sondra Decker tells her own story of how she never felt sexual attraction, even when she tried to date in high school. She terms herself “non sexual” after her second relationship failed.
I found this part quite empowering actually. She goes on to say that she decided after the failure of her second relationship that she was non – sexual (hadn’t heard the term asexual yet), and was determined to own her own feelings and let HER tell how she felt and not others. This part was so empowering and great to read! And someone who would’ve been so young at the time, I find even more inspiring.
One fact that I did relate to was, after reallising that she wasn’t sexually attracted to anyohne, was the alienation she felt from her peers. I truly get that. It can be isolating, espoecially when you can’t put a label on why. Or just the pure fear that you might be rejected.
Frankly, I was shocked about some of the “concerned comments” she said she recieved. Personally, I found them quite mean. They included:
“That’s not normal. You need to get checked out” (not too bad, ill – informed, yes, but not too nasty)
“You’re never going to be happy” (Ill – informed, quite unnecessary. Deliberately mean? Maybe not)
“I can fix you. I can help you”. (Well, for one, no one can “fix” something that isn’t broken and also, I think that can come off as quite a dangerous comment).
“You’re going to die alone with a house full of cats” (How rude!)
“Shut up and admit you’re gay” (This one hits me. I honestly believe that no one as a right ot “accuse” anyone of being gay, no matter what.
“Why is it such a big deal to try sex? (Why is it a big deal NOT to?)
I’m glad for her that she obviously wasn’t too phased by these comments, and I commend her for being so strong. But I do find that some of these comments are offensive and can be very hurtful for someone who isn’t so strong and thus, such comments, I believe, shouldn’t be encouraged. LIke she herself said:
If eveyrone treats you like you’re broken, you may evenutually crack
I believe that to be true. The comments above, to me portay, yes that there is (or at least has been) a lack of awareness aboiut asexuality until recently (especially since the making of AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) by David Jay in 2001. I also can’t help but think that asexual people do face treatment that would be at least widely criticised if it was aimed at another group of people. It would be nice if ALL discrimination and rudeness toward people was all equally condemned, that’s all I’m saying (asexual people aren’t the only ones to face such issues, I may talk more about that in another post).
She explained why the book was written; to put simply – to infom people asexuals (or suspected asexuals) and non – aces alike. Good move. Everyone could benefit from at least having a brief understanding of what asexuality is (and what it isn’t… something she did explain very well also).
I’ve been enjoying the iBook so far. It’s been a really good read. Next post I’m hoping to talk about “Part 1”. Watch this space!