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.