Sunday, 15 March 2015

Educate Me, Asexually

EDIT: I didn't realize just how much traffic this page would generate, which is just myopia on my part (this is controversial content, it gets traffic), but since more people - still - are coming to this page, I want reassure everyone that the following blog post no longer represents my beliefs about asexuality. However, I will not delete this. I am not ashamed, I am proud of how far I have come, and this experience has taught me not only a lot about asexuality, but also about prejudice and it's insidious nature. Perhaps this might encourage someone else to reconsider their prejudices, and learn from them as well. I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, now officially an LGBTQIA Ally . . .
I consider myself pro-LGBTQ; an ally to the cause of non-heteronormative sexuality and an advocate for the rights of these people. I've written posts about this, and I've talked about several points regarding gay and gender issues. In fact, that gender issue thing is related to today's post because both cover a similar ideal.
One argument I see against homosexuality all the time is "if we accept homosexuality, then shouldn't we accept paedophilia too? What about bestiality? Where will we draw the line?"
Of course, this is a ridiculous argument. Child molestation is always wrong, if consent isn't given, it's rape; if consent is given, it's still rape because children don't have the experience, knowledge or emotional maturity to understand sex, love and its ramifications - and even if they did, the rapist is enacting a sexual fetish whereby they can be in complete control, and seek someone without the authority to refuse them - it's fifty shades of fucked up.
And bestiality, simply, is rape. Even if the animal isn't getting hurt by the experience, you're encouraging someone to control a mentally inferior creature. And zoophilia involves all kinds of self-absorbed sociopathy, I don't even want to know.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. But my point is, I support homosexuals, transgendereds, queers, bisexuals & the like because I've actually considered it. I've looked into it, and I can see no harm in it. Not only am I an empathetic human being who agrees with love, but I have looked into this with scrutiny and skepticism, and I can see more harm in hatred than in acceptance.
But there’s an issue which I haven’t gotten behind . . . and that’s asexuality.

Wait wait wait! I don’t hate asexual people and I don’t want to stop them getting married or . . . well, whatever they advocate. That’s the thing, I don’t really know what you want, if you want anything at all. I don't know much about asexual people because I tend to avoid them. When I read about them I tend to ignore it, when I hear about them I just don’t think about it, and when people declare themselves to be one in comment sections, I tend to change tabs.
I've done some looking into it, but that's either given me know answers, or confirmed some of my distaste for the idea. I don't know what anyone would want except acceptance, but I can't grant that because this idea is something I find difficult to accept.

Don’t hate, please, this is about me admitting a failing of mine and attempting to rectify it, I want help, I'm just explaining - and I know that it’s irrational and I also understand that if you’re asexual and reading this, I sound like Captain Arsehole right now. I don’t want to be, but I can’t deny that I feel uncomfortable with the idea. It skeeves me out, so I want to learn more and allay this discomfort.
I want to move past this, since I'm sure I'm the one in the wrong, especially since this is a gut-reaction moreso than a logical one. It’s not aphobia, because that would mean “fearless”, but I’m definitely whatever the proper word for “irrationally uncomfortable with asexuals” is, and I would like to explain my position on the subject.
Because that’s the thing, the only reason I find asexuality so “skeevy” is because I don’t understand it enough. All I have are my assumptions about it, and many of them paint "aces" in a poor light - either as liars, who are trying to hide a deviant sexuality; sick people that reject a cure or arseholes trying to justify their misanthropy. I'm sorry, but that's what I see from my limited perspective. I'm hoping it’s just because I don’t understand, and even though this all occurs in my head, it’s based entirely on prejudice. So, if someone can help me to understand why I'm wrong to feel this way, I’d appreciate your response. Because I'm sure I'm wrong - I hope I'm wrong - but asexually just doesn't sit right in my mind.
The Word of the Day is: 'ASEXUAL'.

Asexual /ay'sekshūəl/ adj. 1. Not sexual. 2. Having no sex or no sexual organs.
EDIT: You may notice, my dictionary doesn't cover "attraction". As has been pointed out by a few commenters, this is because dictionary is outdated in this regard. He was published in 1998, cut him some slack. For a more applicable definition, try Urban Dictionary.

I want to start this by saying, I'm sorry, but I'm just going to stream-of-consciousness this. I'm going to express my mindset on this issue. I'll probably offend some people, and I apologize in advance, but I haven't been given a reason to think otherwise . . .

Firstly, to me, it does sound like you’re broken. All my life, people have been trying to tell us that it’s okay to be sexually active and - hell - a big part of being healthy is having a sexual appetite; there have even been movements for people to be less prudish, and to endorse "sex-positive" feminism and be more out, proud and open about sexuality.
So when people come out saying “I don’t want sex, and I’m proud not to want it” this always sort of reminded me of pro-ano websites (i.e. anorexic people declaring that they’re proud not to eat food). If that sounds ridiculous to the aces out there, I'm sorry, but that’s how ridiculous this sounds to me, wanting sex is a basic, human drive, so when someone says they don’t have that, my first instinct is:
  “What can I do to fix that?”
I mean, sexual drive is caused by hormones and neurochemicals, so does that mean that asexuals are missing those key hormones & chemicals and they just need replacing?
So, I guess my first question is, do asexual people have no sex drive/sexual impulse at all (you don’t even masturbate and when/if they have sex they don’t like it)? Or, do they just not desire to have sex with someone else?
You don't have to answer if you don't want to, consider it a rhetorical question. But I'm just thinking aloud here, and both of these answers just bring up more questions . . .

Because if it’s that asexuals have no interest in sex, masturbation or orgasm, I find it difficult to comprehend. I'm not saying I don't like that answer, what I’m saying is if that’s the case, then it sounds like you’re missing . . . something. You’re ”person (minus libido)”. If that’s the case, all I’d really want to know is why you're so damned happy about that. I'm not claiming that life is sunshine and roses for people of this persuasion - everyone suffers in their own way, and you have your fair share - but, I don't understand why you wouldn't want to fix that.
Because everyone that’s asexual seems to be fine with their absent libido, but I don’t understand that, is that really the case for everyone, or just a few? I'm not saying you have to get fixed, but to me, it would be like being born without toes. Sure, some people would walk funny, and it’s not really important, so you can ignore it if you want to; but even though it doesn’t matter, surely SOMEONE would be upset about their missing toes, right? I mean, for one thing something is missing in your life, why not want to fix it? Naturally, sex is meant to feel nice - it was developed that way so that dumb monkeys like us would do it - so, that's a malfunction, you can't say it isn't. Why not want to fix that?For another, what does sex feel like to you? Is it nails and razorblades? Is it just numb, unlubricated rubbing, what the hell? I am physically incapable of understanding how orgasm could be an unpleasant experience, and the idea that someone would want to avoid that is part of the reason this is so disconcerting to me. That's why I use the word "fix" and not "change", because the sex drive is caused by internal chemistry, right? If someone isn't getting horny, then doesn't that mean they aren't getting those arousal chemicals? And it can be nothing less than dysfunction when the idea of other people is a turn-off, how does that even work? How does that make any sense?

I know it's prejudice, and I'm trying to be open-minded (and prepared to be educated in this area), but until I can actually understand the reason behind it, this sounds like asexuals are something we can "fix" . . . and now I sound like a fucking "pray away the gay" homophobe, can someone please throw me a fucken bone?!

Anyway, that aside, what if you answer the other way? You have a drive - as in you can get aroused and enjoy it - but just don’t feel it for people . . . that kinda does makes sense to me. This is what I hope is the case, because if that's the case, that just seems like a matter of taste. In the same way that other sexualities have a preference for a certain gender, it’s like you’re just looking at the buffet table and go “I’m hungry, just not for that”. Because I have read that some asexuals enjoy self-pleasure (not that that’s a prerequisite for this to make sense to me, I’m just saying, either those people are lying so that they seem less unusual, or they’re telling the truth and asexuality is a matter of just not getting turned on by gender).
I still don't quite get it, but I am onboard with the idea of it this being a sexual orientation. It's still pretty alien to me, but I can understand that.
That's what icks me out the most - I am an ally because I believe in love, I believe that everyone should have the chance to express their love. But if you have zero sexual attraction, then you don't have love. I'm not an advocate of that. But, asexual doesn't mean aromantic . . . yet, that brings up another issue . . .

If asexuals can still fall in love, then doesn't that mean that asexuality is not a sexual orientation? I mean, if you fall in love, it's because you're attracted to someone. If you're attracted to a man or a woman (or either) - that's your preference. Whether or not you fuck them is beside the point (despite the name, "sexuality" is all about love, not sex). If that's the case, then my issue is a semantic one - people referring to this as sexual orientation, when really it's sexual frequency [it's not radio station, it's radio volume; as it were]. I've seen people claim that they are attracted to personality, not gender. And I'm sorry, but that is not asexual, that's bisexual. You're not special because you love someone for who they are, that's what you're supposed to do.
And if you do fall for people, but aren't sexually attracted to them, then how does that work? Sex is a part of a normal, loving relationship, so, wouldn't you want to see someone about that? Unless you hunt down a fellow asexual, you're denying them an important part of a relationship, and one of you will have to either suffer through it or suffer without it and so I would refer you to my earlier question - why don't you want to fix it?

[Look, I understand here that such a question would seem insensitive. If asexuality is this "get aroused, just not by them" thing, and you are in a relationship, that's probably a huge obstacle. A lot of this is just me thinking aloud, and these questions are mostly rhetorical. But if you're keen to try to answer them in the comments section below, I request that you have a thick skin, and a lot of patience for idiots like me, who declare their prejudice on the internet.]

I'm not saying that falling for someone instantly makes you non-asexual; I'm just saying that, calling it a "sexual preference" limits my potential for understanding. And if sex is an issue in your relationships, well, I can't help but refer you to my earlier question: If it's a problem, why wouldn't you want to solve it?

See, a major concern of mine on this topic, is that I feel like some people claim to be asexual when really they just don't have as much sexual desire (as their partner/other people); and that really bothers me. Don't get me wrong, that's fine, you're allowed to have a lower than average libido - of course you are - I'm fine with that we're all different, and people can work through that.
But if that’s the case then you need to stop calling yourself 'asexual'.
When you use this language, this language means "I do not, the sex"; as in no, as in less than any. Because language is weird, it's also come to mean a negative sexual attraction; but either way if you have a loved one, and you make love sometimes, and you have the capacity to enjoy it, but sometimes you're just not in the mood? Then you're not asexual.
Seriously, look at that dictionary definition up there! It can mean you have no genitals. If you're not the equivalent of sexless, then you're not asexual.

This is the part that's the most frustrating. Because people pretend we're in a new, liberal era - but we're more conservative than ever. We are less open these days than we pretend to be, so we start huddling in our little corners and talking amongst ourselves, never quite seeing the big picture.
I have no doubt that even though people say "I'm asexual", they aren't in consensus, . Don't get me wrong, they don't have to be a hivemind. But if I ask:
"Hey, are you attracted to people that are the same gender as you?"
If they spoke the truth, 100% of homosexuals would say Yes.But if I asked 100% of self-declared asexuals: "Can you enjoy sex?"
I don't think I'd get the same answer from all of them, even if they answered truly and for that reason I know that many self-proclaimed asexuals are demonstrably not. It's frustrating, and one of the reasons that I avoid asexuals, because I know that some of them are what I wouldn't even classify as asexuals, and I don't want to get into a whole discussion on "What kind are you?" - especially because I do suspect that some people just lie about this kind of thing.
Not vindictively, but I mean, just like people that call themselves "pansexual" when they're just bisexual, and scared of the implications of that label; or when people call themselves "happily single", when really, they're lonely, but sick of people asking if they have a partner, yet. They're lying to us, and themselves, because the truth is too difficult. Or, they are desperate for a label that's "different" or "interesting", so they latch onto ones that don't even apply to them (as I mentioned in my blog post about self-identifying labels).

I'm not saying that's true of all of you - I know for a fact that it isn't - but the reason I'm so confused is because people are misapplying this label to themselves, when really they're just smug bisexuals, or have an easily sated sexual appetite, so I don't know what the fuck any of you are talking about.
I'm not sure what to think, but I want to be. The problem is, I want to know, but I don't want to ask. So, fuck it, I'm asking. This draft has been in my blog for the last six months because I've been scared to ask; but, to hell with it, I'm asking, that's the whole point of this post:

Asexuals . . . what's the deal with you?

In conclusion, I'm sure I've offended some of you - for that, I apologize. That's why I didn't post this for so long, I knew someone would get upset, and at me and that I'd deserve it. But, it felt intellectually dishonest not to speak my mind, so here I am. Don't worry, I'm tolerant, I'm open-minded and I'm willing to listen. I am admitting a failing of mine, and trying to move beyond it. I would appreciate any help which anyone can provide - that's what the comment's section is for.

I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and in the future, I hope to be more accepting and less prejudiced - and not allow the "ick factor" as George Takei calls it, to influence the way I think; and I could even add a little 'A' onto my LGBTQ Ally status.

16 comments:

  1. Asexuality is a sexual orientation where a person does not experience sexual attraction towards any gender.

    Sexual attraction (and orientation) is separate from a persons ability to become aroused, their level of sex drive/libido, whether they have or don't have a general desire for sex, their level of interest in sex in general, their level of interest in having sex, how much they enjoy the act of sex, and how much sex a person actually chooses to have. All of these can overlap and influence each other, but they can also occur independently. People of all sexual orientations have different levels of these.

    Sexual attraction (and orientation) is also separate from romantic attraction (and orientation) as well as other attractions like aesthetic, sensual, intellectual, platonic, etc. These also can overlap and influence each other (or occur independently) and may or may not occur in people of all sexual orientations (not everyone experiences all attractions). If someone's sexual and romantic orientations aren't the same it's called being varioriented. (ex. biromantic asexual, homoromantic heterosexual, aromantic pansexual) If they're the same it's called being perioriented.


    Also it's not transgendereds, it's transgender people or people who are transgender.

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    1. For starters, "transgendered" is just a synecdoche; there's nothing wrong with omitting the word 'person', it's why I'm called an Australian and not an Australian person.

      As for what you say . . . you're essentially saying that "sexual attraction" is a non-entity, and as such, your third paragraph confuses the hell out of me.
      Boiled down, you say: Sexual orientation ≠ sex drive; sexual attraction ≠ romantic attraction & romantic attraction = whom you can love, romantically.
      But, if that's the case, then the term 'sexual attraction' doesn't mean anything.

      I mean, think about it, if sexual attraction isn't related to one's lust, and it isn't related to one's love, then . . . what is it? Is it just people you like platonically (i.e. people you can be friends with)?
      Well, everyone can be friends with anybody, unless you're some kind of sexist or 'phobic.
      So, I think you've mixed your words up, here, Anon.

      I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that language is failing us in this instance. Since before even I was born, homosexual has been synonymous with homoromantic or "homophile".
      And asexual was used for those without genitals, or who never used them. So, although they have the same suffix, I'm sorry, but if that's the way you define it, then asexual isn't a sexual orientation, since when we say "sexual orientation", we really mean "romantic attraction".

      As for frequency and drive, well, that's not really anyone's business. I mean, I can have sex with a man, and we would probably both enjoy it too - it's just parts sliding into other parts, after all, and if he's good looking I'd enjoy myself. But I'm not going to call myself bisexual, because I could never marry a man. I don't find that . . . well, "attractive". Sex just isn't that important.

      I've seen asexuals complain that the world is overly sexualized, so it's odd that they'd want our sexual frequency to be advertised. When I ask sexual orientation, it's because I want to know who you date, not because I want to know who you'd take to bed - and unless I'm mistaken, I'm pretty sure that's what everyone else means too . . .

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  2. Hi. I'm going to try to maybe add to or clarify the previous Anon's description by describing my own experiences. I am a heteroromantic ace, meaning that I am attracted romantically (and want to be in relationships with) the opposite gender (male, in my case). However, I am not sexually attracted to anyone. I am perfectly capable of becoming aroused and, if I ever choose to have sex with a significant other, I may or may not enjoy it. These things do not affect my asexuality. Some asexuals are very sexually active and some are sex-repulsed. The action of having sex really doesn't mean anything in terms of sexual attraction. Like you said in your article, you could have sex with a man and possibly enjoy it, but wouldn't label yourself a bisexual. Asexuals can have sex and enjoy it, but it doesn't mean that it changes who they are sexually attracted to. When I become attracted to a person, my main attraction is to either their personality or their looks, probably much like you. However, I have never seen or spoken with someone and felt that I wanted them in a physical sense. I might have sex with them because sex is pleasurable, but I would not have felt an actual attraction to this person in the physical, sexual sense.

    In your comment to the previous Anon, you said that, for you, the word homosexual has always implied the gender that attraction is felt in both romantic and sexual senses. The idea of romantic orientation being different than sexual orientation is rather new, and I cannot blame you for not knowing or understanding the difference. Just as people can be sexually attracted to someone with no intention to foster a relationship, asexuals with any romantic orientation, other than aromantic, feel attracted to people and want relationships, but may not want sex to be a part of the relationship.

    Asexuality is a spectrum, and finding one general way to describe all of us is nearly impossible, but I hope that I helped a little.

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    1. Your comment does help, and thank you. As for the First Anon, it really is just a semantic issue.
      The thing is, that's how we use the word - don't get me wrong, I agree, but as I said below [I'm answering these comments out of sequence], I suggest using the word "-philia" instead of "-romantic" [y'know, like bibliophiles & pogonophile].
      Language goes with the flow, and follows the path of least resistance. I've always thought that "-philia" should REPLACE "-sexual", since that's the context in which it's used.
      However, if your goal is to correct language's disenfranchisement of you, then using a shorter, more accurate word, this might SUPERSEDE "-sexual" as the word used for romantic orientation.

      It's just a suggestion, since to me the "-romantic" thing seems confusing, and "philia" already has a basis of understanding in language . . . but language is decided by the majority, so neither of us have control, I'm just saying . . .
      If things turn out the other way, I'll just have to get used to the language as she is spoke and writ.

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  3. I'm just gonna go through everything you said and address everything, okay, I hope this is helpful. Starting from here:

    I appreciate that you want to understand, thank you.
    "All I have are my assumptions about it, and many of them paint "aces" in a poor light - either as liars, who are trying to hide a deviant sexuality; sick people that reject a cure or arseholes trying to justify their misanthropy." That really wasn't necessary- it comes across like an excuse to insult people disguised as honesty- but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just didn't think abut how this kind of thing might effect people who've heard all this before, okay?

    You shouldn't really look at a dictionary for this, it's like looking in a medical journal a few years ago for "homosexuality"- if you don't understand it, what makes you think other people will? Asexuality is commonly defined as a lack of sexual attraction.

    "Firstly, to me, it does sound like you’re broken."
    This is not okay to say, even in ignorance, even in honesty, even with your apologies, but you did explain, so okay.
    "All my life,....proud and open about sexuality."
    A part of sex positivity is allowing people to choose not to have sex- you don't get to tell people how often they should be having sex.
    "So when people.... pro-ano websites (i.e. anorexic people declaring that they’re proud not to eat food). ….
    “What can I do to fix that?”" This is really offensive actually, but you did warn me.
    "I mean, sexual drive is caused by ….sex with someone else?"
    Here's where your dictionary definition causes a problem- asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, not a lack of sex drive- although some asexuals don't have a sex drive, and that's perfectly healthy- it's not harming them-self or anyone else and it's not your place to decide whether they need fixing.

    Because if it’s that asexuals …... How does that make any sense?" Stop it, you're digging a hole now, that only needed saying once, like I said it's different for everyone and it's not your place to say who needs fixing. Asexual people are not broken, and they don't need fixing, they just work a bit differently. Some asexual people masturbate, some have and like orgasms, some don't.

    "I know it's prejudice, ….. fucken bone?!"
    Yes, you do sound like that, but since you know that, I'm going to tell you it's okay, I appreciate that you're asking. (I'd say "we", but I can't speak for everyone.)

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    1. "Anyway, that aside, …... If it's a problem, why wouldn't you want to solve it?"
      Yes, asexual people can fall in love.
      A) There's sexual attraction, and romantic attraction- this might be difficult to understand, because a lot of people think of these as the same thing; they're not- you CAN and people DO feel one without the other. This is why people who are not sexually attracted to people can still desire romantic relationships with them. For example I am homo-romantic, because I desire romantic relationships with women, but not the sex part.
      B) No, sex does not have to be part of a healthy relationship, you can have relationships without sex, and again, it's really not your place to judge other people's relationships.
      C) There are people who are aromantic, they do not desire romantic relationships, the may or may not be asexual as well. They can and do form close personal fulfilling relationships with other people. They can and do love, they are no less people.
      D) Many asexual people develop intimate relationships with non-asexual people, this is only a problem when either party lies about whether or not they have a problem with the current boundaries. Some asexual people will have sex with their partners, some enjoy sex, some just don't mind it, again, it's sexual attraction not sexual behaviour. Also, asexuality is not something that can or should be fixed. In some cases a lack of libido can be a symptom of a problem, but in most it isn't, and again, that's libido, not attraction.
      E)Personally, I hate the "It's about love argument, because it implies that it's wrong to have sex with someone of the same sex if you're not in love with them. Which it isn't. But that's just me.

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    2. "See, a major concern of mine on this topic...... Then you're not asexual." You clearly had no idea what asexuality was when you wrote this, yet you still feel entitled to tell people what they are or are not? Again, asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, not libido or sexual behaviour.

      "Seriously, look at that dictionary definition up there! It can mean you have no genitals. If you're not the equivalent of sexless, then you're not asexual." I've already said everything I have to say about this.

      "This is the part that's the …..
      "Hey, are you attracted to people that are the same gender as you?"
      If they spoke the truth, 100% of homosexuals would say Yes. But if I asked 100% of self-declared asexuals: "Can you enjoy sex?"...Or, they are desperate for a label that's "different" or "interesting", so they latch onto ones that don't even apply to them (as I mentioned in my blog post about self-identifying labels)."
      Again, you do not get to decide what labels people use to define themselves. (By the way there is a difference between bi and pan sexuality, that being attracted to gender binary or all genders, but some people do use them interchangeably and It is not your place to tell people what labels they can or cannot use to define themselves with.) Also, if you asked a more general question, like “as a percentage, how gay are you?”, you'd get very different answers, and if you asked asexuals a more specific question, like “Do you feel sexual attraction?,” you'd get a more common answer.

      "I'm not saying that's …..what the fuck any of you are talking about."
      You're judging people for n reason, and it's insulting.

      "I'm not sure what to think, but I want to be. The problem is, I want to know, but I don't want to ask. So, fuck it, I'm asking. This draft has been in my blog for the last six months because I've been scared to ask; but, to hell with it, I'm asking, that's the whole point of this post:

      Asexuals . . . what's the deal with you?"
      To some up, I appreciate that you want to learn, so thank you for that. Asexuality is sexual attraction not behaviour or libido. Sexual attraction is different from romantic attraction. It's not your place to decide what labels people can use to define themselves with. I hope this was helpful, if you have any more questions or I didn't make something clear, ask. I hope what I said seemed fair, thank you for your time.

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    3. Before anything else, there's something important which you need to know: I'm not a nice person. I anticipated that some people would be offended, but you seem moreso than most of these other commenters, so I felt the need to address this. I'm not nice; I have a sick sense of humour; I am highly opinionated and Australian (i.e. I swear like a fucken ratbag).
      I try not to directly insult anyone, unless I think they deserve it; but I can't help it if people infer that I am insulting them when I am not, I am not that prescient. Now, I don't want to hurt people's feelings, so, to put it as simply as I can: "If any of the offensive things which I have said are FALSE, then they are not true; and therefore not capable of being true of you". Or, to put it another way, since you seem most annoyed about the "fixed/broken" comment, if I were talking about - say - a broken leg, and I was ignorant and I asked: "Is your leg broken, or is it all in your head?"
      Then, everyone involved would call me rude for suggesting they WEREN'T broken, do you see what I mean? Sometimes, these things can't be helped . . . I'm sorry that you were offended, but that was not my intention. Okay, let's move on.

      Now, as for the comment itself:

      Dictionary is my schtick - I am a Word Nerd - my knowledge isn't based on the dictionary, I just include a definition with every "Word of the Day", humour me - I know people don't always read them, but I think they're fun. Now, you're right, it is outdated, so I should add an addendum to say it's outdated. [If I don't in the next 24 hrs, remind me in another comment, please. I can be quite forgetful]

      You say it's not okay to say "It does sound like you're broken" even in honesty or ignorance and to that I say, you could not possibly be more wrong. Allow me to explain: If someone was a massive racist, but you said "you can't say anything racist, and if you do, you will be punished severely." - would they stop being a racist? No, they'd just be an OPPRESSED racist - and might even feel like an entitled racist - but the ideology goes nowhere. They would act racist and think racist, but you'd never stop them because they'd be silent. It's called Covert Racism.
      So, if what I say offends you, GOOD, tell me why I'm wrong! In fact, you don't have to, because I've read THREE comments now EXPLAINING why I'm wrong! and I FUCKING LEARNED SOMETHING as a result.
      If, however, I had never said that offensive thing, then no one would have corrected me. I would be writing my next blog post right now, continuing to believe that asexuals are broken or lying, and still being grossed out by the very idea. Because of this post, I am comfortable with the idea, and while some aspects still elude me, I can understand and empathize with you and I'm willing to learn more.
      Sure, no one would be offended, but no one would learn anything either, your ideology promotes ignorance.

      [Wow, there really is a character limit on my comments . . . okay, "To Be Continued"]

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    4. [By the way, kudos on replying to your own comment to continue. Some others didn't do that, it makes it a lot easier to find your comment.]

      . . . I see that the language about fixing/broken can be construed as harsh. But I assure you, I was just trying to ascertain whether or not asexuality was a burden in any way. From my outside perspective, I had trouble empathizing because - as I explain - I still could only understand it from the position of "loss" not as "never there in the first place". The intent of the question was purely inquisitive, not accusatory. As my Dad would say: "There's no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer."
      And think of it this way, now that I know, I never have to ask that question again.

      I have to say though, the first paragraph in your third comment is contradictory. As I wrote in the blog post: "some people claim to be asexual when really they just don't have as much sexual desire [. . .] But if that’s the case then you need to stop calling yourself 'asexual'."
      - but then you "correct" me by saying the same thing:
      "Again, asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, not libido or sexual behaviour."
      See, this is one of the reasons why getting offended is a bad idea. I get that what I'm saying is wrong, and to you I am an easy target, but that doesn't mean I'm ALWAYS wrong in everything I say, you were so busy looking for insults, you lost your focus . . .

      I'm not judging people for "no" reason, I'm judging people for the same reason that anyone judges anyone else. Just as you assume that someone who offends you wanted you to be offended (not always true); or how you are prejudiced against people that are uncomfortable with asexuality (and rightly so). Everyone judges everyone, but the problem is that most people do it quietly. And that is the whole point of this post, it's only by being open and honest about prejudices that anyone can learn whether those prejudices should be discarded. The problem isn't in being prejudiced, it's being close-minded. I'm no longer prejudiced because I've learned that my previous beliefs were erroneous. How is that possibly a bad thing?

      In conclusion, the rest of your comment was either more offense, or stuff I've covered in other comments. I am sorry, I'm trying to respond to all of these, so I don't mean to half-arse it; but I did try to respond to ALL of your unique & important points; if I didn't respond to something, assume that it's because I understand and agree with you. All I can say is thank you for taking the time to respond, despite being offended. It probably took a lot of guts, it's always risky entering an online discussion, especially on such an inflammatory topic, but you have helped me learn, Thank You.
      And all I can really say in conclusion is, if you still think I'm too offensive, then although I'll be sad to see you go, this blog might not be your cup of tea. However, if you think you can stomach it, I do cover some of the other points you raise in other blog posts [http://absurdwordnerd.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/see-label-for-details.html], you might learn something, or once again, respond and point out where and why I'm wrong. It'll be fun.

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    5. Wow, I didn't realise I seemed so offended, I'm sorry about that, I often come across that way- okay, the 'broken' thing upset me a bit, because a lot of people hear that a lot of the time. What I meant was, don't say it again, if you don't want to upset people, because that does upset people- obviously I wouldn't say that to an unapologetic racist, because it wouldn't make a difference. An apologetic racist, however, is a different matter:). I don't think being honest is a bad thing, again, I was just trying to be clear, but I do come across that way, sorry!"
      I wasn't clear when I said the third comment thing, what I meant was, that no-one who did any research into to asexuality would say that, because that's clearly not what it means. (And if they did then it's such a small minority, it doesn't really matter.)
      I really don't mind that you missed out what you'd read elsewhere, I don't expect you to spend hours answering every comment in perfect detail! Thank you for responding so well!

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  4. Good evening! How are you? I hope all is going well. Points for having a great blog title and for being willing to admit ignorance, seeing as not many people have that kind of strength. Thanks for that. The earlier anons are brilliant and I'll probably reiterate much of what they said, but different wordings tend to click for different people. So, onwards.
    Let’s go chronologically. First, what do we advocate? Advocating is not necessary for an LGBTQ+ group by any means, but there seems to be, of the many desires one will see amongst the asexual community, one that stands most prominently: visibility. Very few people know that the word can be applied beyond mitosis (congratulations, you’ve gotten that far!), let alone how to treat it in respect to human sexuality (and here’s your road block). There’s this desire not to receive pity or sneers or cringes, not to be “fixed” – forcibly or otherwise. And that is something you, as an Ally, should you choose to support us, can contribute to. Yes, I’m sure there’ll be other things desired later, but first come visibility and acceptance. It’s basic, fundamental human need.
    Also, to us? It can feel like we are broken. All our lives, people tell us “it’s okay to be sexually active and - hell - a big part of being healthy is having a sexual appetite,” our friends love to gossip about how sexy he is, what wouldn’t I give for just one night, oh I would love to pound her brains out. Their eyes are drawn to the hips that swing down the street, the six pack trenched in oil, trail up and down the complete stranger in the hall, and seriously – what the heck? This feeling of sexual attraction, this allure, or heat, or hunger, or gut feeling, subconscious though it might be, just isn’t there. I’ll make an assumption – and, please, correct me if I’m wrong – that you identifying as an ally rather than a LGBTQ+ member means you are heterosexual? If so, imagine it a bit like this. You obviously experience sexual attraction –however you would describe it – to members of the opposite gender on the gender binary. See some random individual of that gender walking down the street and yes, flare of attraction, so hot, you’d tap that, etc. See a member of the same gender (or non binary, or any member but of the gender you are attracted to) walking down the street, and you are not, by your very nature, going to feel that attraction. It’s a negative, a lack, but is there anything wrong with that? No. Just Like there is nothing wrong for homosexual individuals not being sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender (or non-binary, etc). Asexuality just operates opposite of bisexuality (or, more accurately, pansexuality, I suppose), in the fact that instead of sexual attraction occurring in the positive direction, it occurs in the negative.
    tbc

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  5. cont
    So, now that I have gotten a bit off topic, we can often feel broken. The culture is so sex-positive that it is sometimes dangerous. Most of the time, what is desired, is the choice. The choice to say “yes, I want sex” or “no, I don’t”, no matter that situation. That is the basics of consent, but in a culture that says everybody desires sex and anybody that says otherwise is broken or in denial? Consent becomes flimsy and we can edge into rape culture. Because there is this idea, like you stated, that asexuals are liars, are in denial, need to be fixed. And if everybody desires sex, well, it’s fairly obvious where that direction can, and has for various individuals, gone. Because sex drive –libido – that is separate from sexual attraction, as is arousal. Libido varies from individual to individual and, while a sudden drop or rise can be a sign of a medical condition, a lifelong low or high level is really not bad. It varies from individual to individual of any sexuality, in all honesty. So you will have asexual people with low libidos who will thus seek out little sexual pleasure, whether from themselves or outside sources, or asexual people with higher libidos, who will thus seek out more sexual pleasure, whether with themselves or outside sources. Arousal is merely a function of equipment functioning and does not necessitate sexual attraction or even enjoyment of a given experience. You also have various psychological views when it comes to sex. There are a few asexuals who very much enjoy the physical experience of partnered sex and even actively seek it out, much like there are a few people who, while not attracted to the same gender whatsoever, will still enjoy sex with them and take the opportunity when it does arise. There are sex- indifferent asexuals, who exist in a broad variety of forms, but, for the most part don’t actively seek out partnered sex and would not particularly care for it unless the benefits of the given experience held significant weight. I’ve heard it described as folding laundry or washing dishes before by individuals who identify as such. Then there are sex-adverse individuals, the majority of asexuals, do not avoid partnered sex and will not have it. You said it yourself, we had to be evolved very specifically to put up with this very messy and occasionally painful act in the first place. People can dislike dogs. People can dislike spiders. People can dislike meat. People can dislike water. People can dislike sex. One doesn’t necessarily need to be asexual to fall into one of these categories either, it’s just that sexual attraction adds enough to the experience that most people end up at enjoyment. Your level of comfort of how you’d feel having sex with someone you are absolutely not attracted to (think perverted old man or creepy cat lady) is probably a pretty good indicator of where you’d fall if asexual.
    tbc

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  6. cont
    Also, sex doesn’t equal love, countless one-night stands have proven that, so isn’t such a big jump to make that love (romantic love), doesn’t equal sex? The asexual and aromantic communities have been separating sexual orientation and romantic orientation for years for this very purpose. You are correct in the fact that before it was treated as one concept, attraction being attraction regardless of the form, and this attraction believed to exist, sexually and romantically, for the same group of people. But language does this brilliant, wondrous, spectacular thing: it evolves. It becomes nuanced and shaped and twisted to fit new circumstances and new ideals. That’s how you get words like gay or bisexual, aromanic, straight. So yes, most of the time they align, a person is heterosexual and heteroromantic, sexually attracted to the opposite gender and romantically attracted to the opposite gender as well. You could be homoromantic and heterosexual, biromantic and homosexual, aromantic and asexual, heteromantic and asexual, aromantic and bisexual, the list goes on. It is defiantly a new, different way of thinking about things, but honestly, so is everything at one point. Thus, to people who function under this new terminology, it would be a romantic attraction that would most likely be deemed necessary – though not vital –for a romantic relationship – and a sexual attraction that would most likely be deemed necessary –though not vital –for a sexual relationship.
    Also, bit psa on aromanticism, aromantics may not fall in love but they still love. Romantic love is no more or less vital than the love one holds for friends, for family, for children, and the minimization of this is really bad.
    But anon, you say, unless you are in a romantic relationship with someone whose sexual orientation overlaps with your own, there will be difficulties functioning on the oftentimes included sexual part. And congratulations, you have stumbled upon one of the most debated topics regarding relationships within the asexual community. Who has to compromise? How much? Is it fair? Would an open relationship work? Would polyamory? Polyfidelity? Who is responsible? Who is at fault? Is it still considered consensual? Is it worth it?
    tbc

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  7. cont
    In answer to your original question of what the heck is asexuality, well, I believe the problem you are running up against is you keep treating it as a singular, distinct label. Yes, it is an orientation, but it also refers to an entire spectrum that is opposite the (I’ll regret using this term later) allosexual spectrum (heterosexual, homosexual, polysexual, pansexual, etc). So you will get individuals on the asexual spectrum who are greyasexual (sexual attraction is so rare, faint, and fleeting, that they identify here) demisexual (they experience sexual attraction but, unlike you who can have it simply by spotting a really hot stranger, need a really strong emptional bond in order to develop it) lithsexual (experience sexual attraction unless its reciprocated, in which case it completely disappears),and many more.
    Um, this is a lot, so please post any questions (or, if you are ace or an ace activist, corrections) in reply and I’ll be happy to clarify.

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    Replies
    1. I appreciate your enthusiasm, and first things first, I didn't realize that my comments had a character limit . . . I'll look into that. Yes, I am heterosexual, but I'm empathetic to LGBTQI+, and don't worry, I do understand your meaning.
      I think that you've hit the nail on the head here, and this explains a lot. And I can understand the ideal of acceptance, that's something anyone desires, and I really appreciate you going into such detail about the intricacies of asexual variety. And although my mindset was not conducive to that, understanding is key to acceptance, so this is a step in the right direction.

      [As a side-note, have YOU considered writing a blog post? You can carry an idea over 2,000+ words, and this is interesting, engaging and informative. I feel like I've got two blog posts on this page, and this one is less controversial.]

      My only issue is . . . well, I understand that language evolves. Of course it does. However, I don't think it's going to evolve the way you want it to. It seems, by your (and First-Anon's) usage, you want the word "sexual" to start meaning "relating to sex" again. However, since the people suggesting this change are minority (and, I've seen the way language evolves, to become simpler), I don't see that happening. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you . . . we should have used "philia" in this regard, since it's more apropos . . . however, I have a suggestion.
      Instead of "-romantic" as a suffix, I would suggest "-phile". See, that's what the word means. If you want to encourage people to use the words properly, firstly, this has less syllables (and language takes the pat of least resistance), but secondly, it might actually encourage language speakers to make the distinction between what they love and what they lust. And especially if "aromantics" can feel romantic attraction, it seems to me that the word is more apropos anyway. Just a thought . . .

      Anyway, thank you for the response, and like you, I suggest that others should feel free to comment as well.

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    2. I had to mention, Thank you, you've really answered one of my biggest questions, there in your first comment. I really didn't understand why anyone would want to promote it, especially since it's sexual in nature (being asexual is related to sex), to me, it was like "Well, what you do - or don't do - in the bedroom isn't my business . . ."
      And to be honest that's what lead to my questions about being fixed/broken. Since there was no marriage inequality/oppression I could see (I understand the idea of being invisible now, though; thank you), I assumed that people wanted recognition because they wanted me to "understand their plight" as it were; so I thought, "If it's a burden, do you want me to fix it?"

      I'm sorry if it is a struggle at times; while I can't live a day in your shoes, I assure you, I have the capacity to empathize and understand. As a writer, it's important to see the world from all kinds of perspectives; and knowing who I am and my temperament, in your place, that kind of flippant disregard for my identity would make me very angry and cynical . . . I'm not saying you are, I'm just imagining that hypothetical situation, and that would be my reaction, it must be different for everyone.

      I feel better not only from shrugging off a lot of this discomfort, but also at having been received so kindly by the people that should be hating me the most. One of the reasons I was disinterested in it before was that I felt like my questions weren't being addressed. And so, I was getting annoyed that no one was talking about the things that confused me the most, so when the subject came up, I started to close off, thinking "Fuck it, they won't answer my questions anyway." and I avoided the topic. I'm glad things went as smoothly as they did.

      So, to you, and anyone that's read through my blog and now all of these comments, who's asked, responded or opened their mind because of this discussion - thank you.
      This is what blogging is for.

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