Asexuality Resources

In the wake of Asexuality Awareness Week and a comment someone posted on one of my blog posts, I thought I’d create a non – extensive resources list on where people can go to find information on asexuality. Here goes:

Websites/ Forums

Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) – a forum and information resource on asexuality – includes FAQ for both those who suspect they are asexual and those who have asexual friends/ family/ partners

Asexual Archive – a collections of posts/ articles that offers information about asexuality and support for members of the asexual community

Books (available both in hardback and electronic)

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality – Julie Sondra Decker (2013) – this book on asexuality is also available in iTunes, (I know because I’ve got it). This book is very good. It goes through what asexuality is, research conducted by Canadian researcher Anthony Bogaert, social and legal issues faced by asexual people in the U.S. as of 2013 (things may have changed since then). Overall, it’s a good book. It’s simple to understand, but also quite extensive.

Understanding Asexuality – Anthony Bogaert – I’ve never actually read this book, but giving it’s by one of the original researchers into asexuality, I can’t see how it can be that bad. More updated information may be available that isn’t included in this book.

Articles/ News Items

The media is starting to catch up when it comes to the existence of asexuality. I’ve seen and read a number of news items over the years that have talked about asexuality and most of them have been quite good.

Ravishly – What IS asexuality anyway? 27/10/2016

Debunking 5 Common Everyday Feminism: Debunking 5 common myths about asexuality – October 19, 2014

Everyday Feminism: Getting real about what it means to be asexual – October 1, 2016

Mamamia – This is what it’s like to live a life with no sex – 20 October 2014 I remember when I first read this, I think I nearly cried and I’ve had respect for Mamamia’s founder and publisher Mia Freedman ever since. Written by the former blogger and asexual advocate Johanna Qualmann.

I remember watching this on SBS, again in 2014. Very good clip. No sarcasm or impoliteness from the hosts of the show (which can happen).

 

Some magazines have also done articles on asexuality, including the late Cleo (again, by Qualmann), and “Australia’s Women’s Weekly”, I think back in 2014. That was a big year for asexuality awareness! For that, I’m grateful.

 

What other good items/ articles/ shows, etc have done a good job exposing asexuality? Feel free to drop links in the comment section below. 

Asexuality Mentioned On Planned Parenthood Website

I get they’re a controversial organisation. I couldn’t believe it when I found out that asexuality is mentioned on the Planned Parenthood website.

This is actually a good thing. In her book ‘Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality’, Julie Sondra Decker talks about the discrimination and other unethical treatment that asexual people can face by mental and other health practitioners. I’m hoping that this signals the start of the end to this sort of discrimination. Asexual people, or people questioning their sexuakity, need to be supported, uptake not seriously and given accurate information when if comes to sexuality.

So to have such a major health provider acknowledge asexuality and accurately define it is a good thing. Wonder if Marie Stopes does the same in Australia.

My Experience Speaking About Asexuality On Social Media

Let me say this from the outset, I know that for many LGBT+ people worldwide, coming out can be downright dangerous. Many LGBT+ people can face harassment, bullying, family abandonment, ‘corrective’ rape, spiritual abuse, etc. I get that and in no means minimising that because for too many people it is still a dark reality.

Having said that, for the past couple of months, this week in particular, I’ve posted a fair bit of asexuality awareness pictures from groups and pages and the response I’ve received has been all positive. I’m really, really pleasantly surprised about that. I’ve even posted one on coming out as a member of the LGBT+ community

B.                                              image

For those who can’t read the text, it says:

You don’t come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, ps sexual, transgender, etc. you come out as yourself.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m super, super lucky with the friends and family I have. That’s not to say that posting all this stuff or actually writing/ talking about asexuality and LGBT+ topics in general haven’t made ms nervous. The voice inside my head hasn’t always been positive (quite the opposite actually). Will the nerves stay away complete,y? Probably not. But it has given me the courage to be more open and honest about asexuality and related topics. I’m willing to answer (reasonable) questions if need be.

I’m confident that asexuality awareness is going in the right direction.

I may may be a rare case. Have you posted anything on social media about asexuality and/ or LGBT+ issues? If so, what’s been your experience?

About “Finding the Right Person” Comment – Food For Thought

I haven’t been through this personally, but I have heard it in the media and also read it on Facebook. Someone mentions that they’re asexual and a common response is “you just haven’t find the right person yet”. Here’s a few points I want to give to non – asexuals; before you use that line on someone who identifies as asexual, here’s a few points think of this:

  • DId you have to “find the right person” before you found out that your were straght/ gay, etc?
  • Did you have to “bat’ if you like for different teams before you realised your orientation?
  • Did you discover your orientation before or after you fell or felt attraction to someone?

Chances are, the answers to those questions are: No, No, and Before. Sexual orientation is innate. It exists whether we “act” on it or not. Scientifically, it’s believed that our sexual orientation is actually determined in early childhood (in about the first five years. Of course our experiences of sexual/ romantic attraction are not felt until years later). I’m a firm, hard – headed believer that this is the same with asexuals. Asexual people are programmed the way they are from early on; at least I would say, most are (I get that sexuality can be fluid. I’m not denying that).

 

I get that many people don’t get it. That’s why I want to write this. We’re asexuals, not by choice, but by the same indicators that other people are straight, for example.

Asexuality is an orientation. It’s the way some people (albeit small percentage) just are. And there ain’t nothin’ anyone can do about it.

Mental Health Month

Trigger Warning: depression and suicide. Plese proceed with caution if this is triggering for you.

October is known as “Mental Health Month” in Australia (I’m not sure about other countries). It’s about bringing awarenes to the issue of mental illness. The reason why I’m doing this post on this blog in particular (I did another one in another one of my blogs read here if you want: Mental Health Month) is because LGBT+ youth are statistically more at risk of mentla health issues and suicide than non – minority groups. I also know from experience that identifying as asexual can be scary and quite isolating.

When the Trevor Project started in the US a few years ago, which was originally aimed at preventing suicid among LGBTI youth, apparently they also got calls from young people who idnentified, or at least suspected, that they were asexual. I get why it does your head in. First, the confusion that asexual young people can go through, sometimes for years, can be really hard. When I suspected that I was asexual, there seemed to be less visibility than what there is now.  It was mentally hard. I have to say though, that i haven’t been through many of the experiences that others have been through, which is explained by Julie Decker on Youtube. I admit I’m lucky that way. Although, I’ve got to say the invisibility can be hard.

Whoever you are, if you are experincing mental illness, or suspect you are, please, please get help. Find some support from family, friends and professionals to help you get through it. Nobody, regardless of sexuality, gender, or any other factors should have to suffer in silence. Please get support.

For people in Australia who need support:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Beyondblue.org.au- Visit beyondblue

KIds Helpline (for those under 25): 1800 55 1800

Mensline: Mensline Australia: Help, Support and Counselling Services …

 

Anyone who knows any services from a home country other than Australia, feel free to post the links/ numbers in the comments section below. Thanks.

 

 

What If….

In light of Bi Visibility Day, which was apparently yesterday, I thought I’d play a ‘what if’ game.

  • What if we could look at each other as humans rather than sexual (or perceived) acts?
  • What if we just leave each other alone and just let it be?
  • What if we just admitted when we don’t understand what it’s like to be gay/ bi/ asexual, etc and move on?
  • What if ALL incidents of sexual harassment were taken seriously?
  • What if people took our identities seriously?
  • What if everyone minded they’re own business when necessary?
  • What if all LGBT+ youth could feel safe from being bullied or harassed?

Frankly, I’m constantly gobsmacked at the amount of discrimination that people still face. Even if you disagree with someone, you can show a tad bit of courtesy. If you don’t understand, just admit it. We still have a LONG way to go in terms of fair treatment, particularly of LGBT+ people.