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April 23, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Asexuality

Let’s discuss.

In a society which places such a ridiculously large amount of value on sex and sexual relationships – asexuals can face criticism, feel inadequate, and (since asexuality has only recently been recognised) feel the kind of isolation that arises from being the only asexual in the village. To combat this, I am going to explain a few things about asexuality. And I’m going to start…now.

The Asexuality Aotearoa New Zealand website (www.asexuality.org.nz) defines asexuality as a “lack of sexual attraction” or sexual desire for other people. It is not to be confused with celibacy (that wickedly deviant lifestyle choice), or sexual repression, or anything else like that. It’s just a “dude, I don’t feel like having sex with you, ok? Now, stop following me”. I know this is a difficult concept for some of you perverts to wrap your minds around. So try to think of the occasional time when you just didn’t feel like having sex with anyone. While sitting in a dentist chair, for example. Or defending yourself in court. Or watching someone give birth. Yeah. That’s how asexuals feel all the time. That is not to say that they never feel anything for anyone, however. Asexuals may feel a lack of sexual attraction to others, but there are still so many other types of attraction that all of us can feel. Emotional, intellectual, physical (as in, “wow, that person looks beautiful. I want to befriend them”), professional (as in, “I love their work”), social, antisocial (“let’s bond over our hatred of everyone else in the room”), and many others that I can’t think of right now. According to Asexuality Aotearoa, asexuals can also feel a romantic attraction to others, which is like a ‘candle lit intimacy’.

But still, no sex. Sigh. Even though it’s undeniably cute, the innocence makes me feel like a crusty, old hag.

Asexuals can feel the romantic attraction to specific sexes, so we can have hetero-romantic asexuals (who can have a romantic attraction to the opposite sex), homo-romantic asexuals (who can have a romantic attraction to the same sex), bi-romantic asexuals (who can have a romantic attraction to both sexes), and “asexual asexuals” (who have no romantic attraction to anyone). In this way, asexuals can and do have relationships, either with asexuals or non-asexuals. Relationships with non-asexuals can be hard when one person is wanting sex, and the other, not so much, but there is a continuum between asexuals who are repulsed by sex, and asexuals who can give or take it. So don’t worry if you think the person you’re keen on may be an asexual, because they just might have sex for you. They just won’t enjoy it in all the same ways that you do.

I think we could all learn a thing or two from them asexuals.

Like, just how important are sexual relationships really? Can’t relationships that are filled only with understanding, trust, and emotional intimacy be just as good? Sure, sex feels good, but other things feel good, too. Such as blowing your nose, having a long soak in a hot bath, and eating bowl after bowl of crispy M&Ms. Even better, if you get lonely, you can do all these things with a friend! You can have sex with a friend too, but let’s be honest – you’ll probably fuck it up.

Asexuals tend to find more enjoyment in friendships, hobbies, and life itself, than others do. It seems like we spend so much time and effort thinking/talking/laughing/dreaming about/trying to get sex. And when we do get it, it only lasts for a few fleeting seconds, in comparison to the amount of time that we can spend agonising over it afterwards. Maybe we could be out there doing something more productive, yeah? Maybe the asexuals have got it right…

P.S. Correction to my last column: Checkmate apparently doesn’t have a student rate anymore, which sucks if you’re a student, and you want to enjoy a nice steam. Also, UniQ are having their annual Traffic Light Dance Party on May 5 at Our Bar, but more on that later.

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