I REALLY hate how people a saying things like “Asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction” THIS IS NOT A UNIVERSAL TRUTH! I hate it even MORE WHEN AN ACE SAYS IT. I know nothing will change by posting this, but CHOSE WHAT YOU SAY Carefully! You will regret it if you don’t! Some of us are pro-sex, Some of us are anti-sex, Some of us enjoy it under certain specifications, Some of us don’t enjoy it but do it for there partner occasionally, Some of us never or rarely act on sexual tension because they don’t relate it to anything! etc. etc. PLEASE IGNORANCE IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY IS A PROBLEM! WE REALLY NEED TO WORK ON BECAUSE IF WE DON’T WE WILL HAVE A HELL OF A TIME BEING ACCEPTED OR RECOGNIZED!
edit:I understand the “Dictionary definition” just fine, and you can tell me whatever you want. I will not be mad at you, even if i disagree with what you said. I really do respect everyone’s opinion’s, but I do not have to like it. For example sebastifan said to me “Human sexuality isn’t a straightforward thing. But the overriding definition is a lack of sexual attraction. You can’t try to answer everything with one word, of course not. But that is the most basic, simplest way to define it. Graces and demisexuals are just as legitimate and experience sexual attraction but it’s very, very rare. I’m really confused as to why you think that shouldn’t be the definition of asexual. That is what it is.” and I really respect people who can respond with such thoughtful and considerate responses like such.
“Not experiencing sexual attraction” is the only definition of asexuality. If you do experience sexual attraction, you aren’t asexual. You may be gray-asexual, if you rarely experience sexual attraction, or you may be demisexual, if you experience sexual attraction as a result of romantic/emotional attraction/attachment (though not necessarily to every person you feel this emotional/romantic attachment for). That’s why those terms exist, to describe people who are not asexual and yet not entirely allosexual, in the sense of experiencing primary sexual attraction on a regular basis.
Can you be asexual and still have a sex drive or masturbate or find people aesthetically attractive or consent to sex and physically enjoy it? Yeah. But if you don’t experience sexual attraction to other human beings, you’re still asexual even if you do any or all of those things.
If you can look at another person and think or feel, “I want to fuck that person,” then you aren’t asexual. Simple as that. Even if it’s a rare occurrence. If it’s rare, then you’re gray. If you experience sexual attraction but you don’t really care about actual sex and don’t feel the need to pursue it, then you qualify as a a gray-a or maybe you don’t want to identify as anything and just say, “I don’t really care about sex enough to try having it regularly.”
After having a conversation with a friend I’ve known for 20 years who recently came out as asexual, I’ve come to understand that there is a clear distinction between asexuality as an orientation, and asexuality as an identity, both equally valid, but not always coincidental in the same person. Here is what I mean.
My sexual orientation is asexual. Like outlawroad said, this means I don’t experience sexual attraction to anyone. I also identify as asexual, which might seem like a no-brainer and, in this case, you’d be right.
However, my friend has told me that he really is attracted to women sexually, but he has absolutely no desire to follow through. While he has had sex with women before, it never felt all that good and left him with a decidedly “meh” feeling. Instead, he prefers to take care of his libido with his hand and his fetishes (he has a leather fetish and some others I’m not sure about). He is in his 40s like me, and he doesn’t feel, after years of trying to change himself, that he is ever going to enjoy having sex with a partner. So while his sexual orientation is clearly heterosexual, he feels that for the purposes of relationships and dating, his identity is asexual.
Lastly, it can happen the other way around as well. There are people who enjoy the mechanics of sex with a partner, even if they don’t actually feel sexually attracted to anyone. In these cases, while their orientation is asexual, they might identify as lesbian, gay, straight, pansexual, or bisexual.
Anonymous asked: Sometimes, I find a lot of negativity thrown at gray-asexuals and demisexuals from people who identify as asexual, claiming that we aren’t “real asexuals” or that our sexualities are lifestyle choices. Can you offer any advice to the demis and graces out there on deflecting this attitude? I hate to say it, but I hear this opinions from aces quite a lot more often than I expected to.
Demis and graces on still on the asexual spectrum, as far as I’m concerned you’re every bit of asexual as somebody who identifies exclusively as asexual. It doesn’t matter if you sometimes experience sexual attraction or whenever you’re only sexually attracted to your partner, you deserve the same respect and you’re entitled to the same help and resources as everyone else!
Asexuality should never ever be an elitist thing, everyone experiences sexuality differently and we should all embrace that, instead of judging others. Keep strong anon!
It’s sad when this kind of thing happens in any minority community. We all need to stick together and support one another, rather than pull elitist bullshit.
However sometimes I’m afraid some (though not all) of it may be the result of miscommunication. For example, there are aces who identify as aversive asexual, people who aren’t even a little grace or demisexual, and who would only ever consider dating people who are either very asexual or only a tiny bit gray, but generally wouldn’t date a demisexual since they wouldn’t want to be in a romance with someone who might eventually find them sexually attractive and want to have sex. That isn’t to deny that demisexuals are ace, it’s just that some asexuals wouldn’t want to be in a position of having to negotiate having sex with anyone, regardless of how that person identifies.
I can see how this could lead to a misperception on the part of demisexuals and some graces that these aversive aces are being elitist, but in this particular case, they really aren’t. It’s just a matter of dating compatibility. Functionally speaking, aversive aces just aren’t usually romantically compatible with demisexuals.
(A)sexual film screenings during Asexual Awareness Week.
The film (A)sexual will be screened in the following locations during Asexual Awareness Week (Oct 23-29) 2011:
- The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, Monday, October 24th at 7pm.
- Monkeywrench Books, Austin TX, Monday, 24th October at 7:30pm.
- UC Davis LGBT Resource Center, Tuesday, October 25th at 5pm.
- Bryn Mawr College Campus, Philadelphia, Thursday, October 27th at 5pm.
- Boxcar Books, 408 East 6th Street, Bloomington, IN, Thursday, October 27th at 7pm.
- UC Berkeley QSA - Saturday, October 29th at 6:30pm.
- University of Warwick, Wednesday, October 24th.
- University of York, Wednesday, October 24th.
(Times and further screenings to be confirmed.)
Screenings after AAW.
- One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192, Wednesday, 2nd November at 7pm.
- Stanford University, Thursday, 3rd November at 7pm.
- 115 Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street,
- Pittsburgh, PA 15261, Thursday, 3rd November at 8:30pm.
- University of Florida, Tuesday, 8th November at 7pm.
I don’t know how much a few cute little doodles can do to sooth the massive hurt the asexual community has been feeling, but I hope they get across the point that no matter what comes our way, nothing can erase our community. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere.
This is beautiful!!
[Image: Purple text on a plain, black background reads: “I am a hetero-romantic asexual and you are a panromantic asexual. We have been together for a while now but my insecurities and low self esteem keep me awake crying at night thinking that you will leave me for someone of the same sex… I feel so inadequate not to mention terrible for thinking this as you would never do so, right?
I love you”]
OP, I don’t know how your partner uses the term “panromantic”, but at least some of us use it to mean that we could potentially be romantically attracted to someone of any gender, just like we might be aesthetically attracted to someone of any hair-, skin-, or eye-color, or spiritually attracted to someone of any religion / non-religion, or intellectually attracted to someone of any set of interests, etc.
Being of the agender variety of genderqueer, myself, I don’t see any difference in the personhood from one gender to the next, so I may not fully understand a fear such as yours, but I would ask you to consider the following questions: Are you afraid that you aren’t feminine/masculine/genderqueer enough in personality to satisfy them romantically? Have you asked them what being panromantic means to them? Would you be reassured with an answer like the description I gave above?
Speaking for myself, it’s all about who my partner is to me, not what their body looks like, what their gender identity is, what their religion is, etc. Those things aren’t all that important to me. I have to admit that there are some things where my potential attraction range is much narrower: I’m turned off by smoking, by right-wing politics, by apathetic politics, by fundamentalist versions of any religion or non-religion, by apathy about the environment, by lack of curiosity about things. But I don’t think that any potential romantic partner is going to feel more secure because they fit all my narrow parameters, than they would because they fit my broader (pan-) parameters since there are many, many other people in the area I live who are non-smoking, politically progressive and active, religiously liberal, environmentally sensitive, and intellectually curious about stuff.
In fact, I would imagine that any partner of mine might feel more secure about the pan- aspects of my attraction to them, since it is in these areas where they have more freedom to grow and change and still be secure in the knowledge that I will love them. If they were to become religiously more conservative, it might threaten our relationship, but if (while remaining progressive) they were to convert from, say. Lutheranism to Sufism, or from belief in a God or gods to Athiesm — because at that time in their life they feel the new belief system is a better fit for them — they have the freedom to do so without concern for losing my affection.
Where on earth did they find the right shade of purple? That’s the most difficult part.
- there is no “right shade” of purple. When they voted on the flag design last summer, they never did get around to voting on a specific shade of purple (or grey, either).
- It’s not hard to come by that shade of body paint at theatrical costume supply stores.