Got a great e-mail this week, here’s an excerpt:
I find it interesting that people find defining asexual relationships, more difficult to define than sexual (or potentially sexual) ones. Although I no longer believe that it is important to wait until marriage to have sex, I was raised with that belief, and stuck with it for a long time. Because of that, I never saw sex as the defining element in a relationship, because, if you're going to abstain until marriage, like asexuals, you need to find something other than sex to separate your romantic relationship, from all the rest. But maybe it's not that simple. Before AVEN, I assumed that I didn't want to have sex, because I was waiting. It didn't exactly occur to me that the ease of abstinence, might be caused by lack of sexuality. Do you think that for those abstaining, the desire for sex with their partner, replaces actually having sex, as a way to separate friendships from romantic relationships?
I’m REALLY GLAD someone brought this up!
There are lots of parallels beween asexuality and abstinence, haven’t been able to find many people into abstinence to talk about them with. I’ll start by getting the incompatibilities out of the way- abstinence is a moral code, asexuality is about doing what makes you happy. In abstinence you HAVE TO have sex in marriage, even if you’re miserable. The overlap is, I think, more interesting. Both abstinent people and asexual people, at least when they’re young, are out to enjoy life without sex.
There are two ways that abstinent people can go about this. They can make their life about building up to sex, OR they can party with the asexual kids and then worry about enjoying sex when the time comes. Both asexual and abstinent kids are facing at least some social pressure to use sexuality to validate themselves.
Confessions of an Asexual Slut, Part 2
(I’ve watered this one down a little bit)
Now it’s one thing to lick the inside of each others' faces or play table tennis with bodily fluids, but when it comes to actual balls-to-bone unadulterated nonsexual intimacy half of you are afraid to so much as show a little ankle.
Let me be perfectly clear here: when I say "intimacy" I'm not talking about when you stare into each other's eyes by candlelight and then "just" cuddle. I'm talking about vulnerability, about seeking out the most sensitive areas of your being and seeing what you can do with them. Now in my experience if you can do that, if you can really do that it’ll more intense than any sex they've had in their life, because at the end of the day the sensitive bits in your pants are, at best, just a cushy metaphor for what's happening deeper down.
Now I wanna talk to all my asexuals out there, ‘cause I want to back up and take a look at the big picture. Now I love ‘em, but sexual folk come prepackaged with an annoying inclination to pretend that we asexual people don't exist. They start out denying the existence of our whole population, and when they get over that they like to deny our existence as potential partners. Some of the other theory dorks from the community and I like to chalk this up to what we call the "sexual/nonsexual binary," the idea that pleasures, desires and relationships which are "sexual" are somehow different than pleasures, desires and relationships which aren't.
You can do a quick experiment to see what I'm talking about. Start telling someone about a close relationship that you're in, and create genuine ambiguity about whether the relationship is "just a friendship" or "something more." They'll start getting fidgety, eventually they'll interrupt you mid-sentence and demand to know if you and the party in question are bumping fenders, the same way they would if you started talking about a newborn baby and failed to mention the specifics of its genitalia.
Why? Because most sexual people can't think about relationships in any serious way without thinking about sex. To them capitol-r "Relationships" are in one category, "friendships" are in another and sex is the line that separates the two. They take one look at my (not unattractive) asexual ass and lament the fact that we will never be able to cross that line, writing me off as safely unable to reciprocate whatever desires they might feel.
It's almost kind of cute.
We covered this back in part one, but I reciprocate more desire than the barmaid at the Lusty Sailor Tavern on
Here’s the dirty little secret: By itself, sex is always boring. I’ve never known a sexual person, not one, who enjoyed sex simply because they like it when the penis goes in the vagina. At bars, clubs and drunken college parties people cruising for one-night stands are simply bubbling with nonsexual energy- they want to show off to their friends, they want to prove themselves, they want release, they want to be close to someone without worrying about the inconvenience of keeping them that way. New couples are practically overflowing with the need to be affectionate, to make each other happy, to create intimacy and to avoid it, to assert and give up power over one another. Everyone who has sex has it for a reason. What’s interesting is when people STOP having a reason to have sex. When they’re not looking for anything, when everything in their relationship has been figured out and hums along of its own accord sex drops right out of the equation. It’s kind of like a bucket of water- the fluids are only gonna slosh around when something’s shaking the handle.
All my asexual slutlets out there, listen up and listen good. Next time someone starts hitting on you or starts complaining about how much they need to get laid look at them out of the corner of your eye and squint. See past the sex, past the anxious horniness and the stress about bodies and the pent up tension, and get a good look at what’s shaking that bucket. Call it out. See what happens.
Question of the week- how do you hit on people? Interpret that however you like.