This week is designated as Asexual Awareness Week. It’s hard to believe, but in this SEX!SEX!SEX! culture, there lies on the sexuality spectrum those that would prefer just not have sex. In this context, it is so very easy to dismiss these people as not part of our sexual culture – after all, if they aren’t having sex, why bother? This minimizes a very real part of our sexual spectrum. Today, we will dig a little deeper into asexuality.
First, it is a sexuality. Don’t marginalize asexuals by dismissing their orientation.
As with any other sexual orientation, it is rarely a choice on the part of the individual. It’s just the way they are made. Asexuals usually fall into the queer quadrant of sexuality grouping since their sexuality falls outside of the ‘normal’ sexualities. Still, for asexuals it can feel like their sexuality is being erased, even from well meaning people.
“You haven’t found the right person.”
“You should see a doctor, something might be wrong.”
“You will never find someone.”
“You don’t know what you’re missing.”
It should go without saying that someones sexuality doesn’t need to be ‘fixed’ by anyone, and to tell someone that their preferences will change when they meet someone is insulting. However, accepting this sexuality is only one aspect.
Asexuals need to be embraced in our sex culture. Even, and especially, in the kink community. I recently attended a party of female dominants, and we all introduced ourselves before play began. One man said he was an erotica author and would not be participating but merely wanted to observe. I could tell that this was normal for him, he had no desire to play in a sexual situation but instead wanted to be a part of the event by watching. This is quite alright, and one way asexuality manifests itself in the BDSM scene.
Even more than that there are more than a few people in the BDSM culture who do participate but are still asexuals. From the outside in, it can appear that BDSM is about sex, but more about that sensory and sexual experience. Not every (read: very few) BDSM encounters and scenes end in sex. How could that not appeal to an asexual?
Just like the gay community, the asexual community needs the same type of support. Recognize and validate their sexuality, realize they have feelings, and some even feel sexual attraction (though, by definition, this is rare). They love and cuddle, and are wonderful people – marginalizing a portion of our community because they aren’t GETTING IT ON is not what we are about. Asexuals can love rope, pain, dominating, wax, and many, many other activities. It would be disingenuous to say kink isn’t about sex, because we know it is. But is would be disingenuous to say kink is ALL about sex.
If you’re sexual, but find yourself attracted to kinky activities, I urge you to venture out. Never fear to state your sexuality to anyone, but also never fear trying those BDSM play activities that don’t involve sex.
Here is a great comic written by Adri. Here is her tumblr
Need more? Here is a GREAT presentation by Molly –
Last, here are some links, we will post these in our resources page as well –
- Asexuality Archive Intro: What is Asexuality?
- Asexual Outreach
- Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) Overview
- Asexuality Overview (video)
- Asexuality by Tiny Dinosaur
For Friends and Family:
For Medical Professionals:
How to be a Good Ally:
- How to be an Asexual Ally Part 1
- How to be an Asexual Ally Part 2
- How to be an Asexual Ally Part 3
- Asexuality: How to Be an Ally (video)
- Asexuality: The “X” in a Sexual World
- No Sex, Please- I’m Asexual
- Young, Attractive, and Totally Not into Sex
- What is it like to be asexual?
- Among the Asexuals
- You’re about as sexually attractive to me as a turtle: Coming out as asexual in a hypersexual culture
- 6 Weird Ways the World Looks Different When You’re Asexual
What Not To Do
- 8 Things Never to say to an Asexual Person
- Don’t Science My Orientation
- Ten Things Well Meaning People Say to Asexual Peoplee
Books and Resources:
- Asexuality A brief Introduction- Free downloadable ebook
- The Invisible Orientation by Julia Sondra Decker
- Understanding Asexuality by Anthony Bogaert (an academic book)
- Rated “X” and Asexual Documentary
Keep talking the taboos!