jacquelee: (Orange is the new black: Suzanne)
[personal profile] jacquelee
The following is r-rated, as I talk about sex quite a lot, as well as masturbation and sexual abuse / rape (though I do not specifically name rape).

Asexuality. You might have heard this word, this concept. It means not being attracted sexually to any specific sex or any specific person. And therefore it means that asexual people never have sex with another person. Yes, you heard that right. A person who is asexual does not have sex. Ever.

We don’t want it. We don’t get anything out of it. If for some reason people who are not sure about being asexual still have sex, mostly those reasons are being pressured by a sexual partner though sometimes asexual people can say that they are just being curious as to what all the tam tam is about, it is better for them to identify as asexual afterwards, or to identify as greysexual if they want to continue having sex.



The thing is, this is not a popular opinion. On the contrary. All asexual material I’ve seen so far always had somewhere in it the point that asexuals can have sex. Usually this is even the first or one of the first points.
Because apparently it is more important to assure everyone that asexuals are not “prudes” than to actually build a safe haven for people who want to identify with a term that clearly states that they are not interested in having sex with anyone ever.

Why is that necessary? Because in our society it is nearly impossible to escape sex. Because having a defining identity for saying “no” to sex always and unconditionally would make this escape far far easier. Because, just as for lesbians, asexuals – especially asexual women – encounter far too many people – mostly men – who think their asexuality can be “cured” by the right partner.

Which it can’t, but reading all those popular blogs and sites about asexuality, you’d think it can. So, to actually tackle these points, to make asexuality a credible and valuable sexuality alongside being straight, lesbian and gay, we need to affirm and reaffirm that asexuals do not ever have the desire to have sex with another person.

The thing is, what asexuality stands for right now is anyone not being attracted to another person sexually but someone who still can have sex with another person for the “right reasons”. But why ever would you want to have sex with another person? Why ever would another person would want to have sex with you?

There are reasons for this, and I am not questioning them. The problem is, all of those reasons come from outside, not
from inside. I personally identified as asexual during my marriage with a man and got reaffirmed that it’s fine to have sex for those good reasons – like pleasing my partner – by those sites and blogs I found.
It seemed like a tremendous relief to know that there is nothing bad about me not enjoying sex, that it was just my sexuality. But here’s the thing, I never enjoyed sex with my ex-husband. Ever.

So in the end me identifying as asexual (and lesbian at that point, lesbians who have sex with men and people advocating that that is a good thing is a whole other can of worms that I don’t want to open up right now, stay tuned for that) just got me deeper into believing that the abusive situation I was in was actually healthy and good.

Then I met my wife for the first time in person and something in me clicked. I was like “wow. This is it. This is what love truly feels like.” And since I put love and sex together and because there was this huge spark I felt whenever seeing and touching my wife, I did want to try having sex and so did my wife.

So we tried. We both did not identify as asexuals at that point, in fact, I wrote a huge giant blog post about how I am definitely not asexual and how sex is great. We tried a few more times but then we kinda both realized that for us, sex is just completely pointless.

So we stopped. Completely. And we are both so much happier for it. Now we are both identifying as lesbian aces, something that is really important for us because we do love to cuddle and kiss and do all the lovey dovey sunsets and
“I love you”s.

And this is what I always believed had to somehow intrinsically lead to sex. So I had sex even though I didn’t want to, even though cuddling always having to lead to sex messed me up quite a bit when it comes to being touched, especially on certain body parts.

Romantic attraction and sexual attraction are very different things and it is very important that they are always defined as very different things. And yes, it is very important for people to be able to identify as straight aces, lesbian aces, bi aces or gay aces. Being romantically attracted to only one sex or both sexes is something that exists.

And it needs to be present and visible in our society. Especially for lesbians and gay men, since their romantic attraction is always always linked to sex. Everyone assumes a lesbian couple always has sex.

They even invented lesbian bed death for exactly this reason, because lesbians are actually happier with having less sex, because there is no man involved, and they needed to reassure everyone that no, that porn doesn’t lie, lesbians actually do have sex all the time.
Lesbians can be asexual and that means that they do not have sex.

Now, if you want to talk about masturbation, that’s a different topic. I’ve masturbated all my life a whole lot. And with that I mean basically weekly, later when I was with my ex-husband even nearly daily. Because I needed to be available for sex all of the time I needed to keep myself in a constant state of arousal.

Which was obviously very detrimental for my mental health and which completely stopped once I left my ex-husband and convinced my brain that it didn’t have to keep up this state at all (which was surprisingly easy considering how long I did it).

Now I don’t masturbate at all, because I don’t feel the need for it. But, and that is important, I’m not saying that asexuals can’t masturbate. Not at all. Libido is libido and it will want out, it just never wants to ever do that with another person which is completely valid and important to acknowledge.

Actually, as a funny coincidence, I dreamt about masturbating last night and actually woke up having an orgasm without even ever touching myself (or feel the need to touch myself now that I was awake). Apparently my brain decided that it wanted to do that all on it’s own. Well, why not? It was fun.
I’ve had dreams like that before but they never ended up in an actual orgasm and they never made me want to actually enact those things I dreamt about.

So, don’t ever feel ashamed for those thoughts, or dreams, even when you do want to act them out. That is completely fine and means you are still asexual. As long as you do not want to act those feelings and thoughts out with another person. That would be completely fine too and great for you and the other person, but please refrain from calling yourself asexual at that point.

It’s completely okay and valid to identify as greysexual or to, as I did, identify as asexual, then find a partner you do want to have sex with and identify as sexual and then identify as asexual again when you realized that, nah, okay, sex is really not your thing.

Asexuality is not fluid. That’s not what I’m saying here at all. Basically I’m saying the opposite. Asexuals need to have an identity that clearly says “I do not want to have sex with another person and I will never want to have sex with another person”. Because that is something we desperately need in our sex obsessed society.

It might seem that I’m saying “the right person can cure you of asexuality” but that is not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is, when you meet the right person you both might think that you are in fact, sexual, but this might not be true at all. It might be true, but it might not be.

You might discover that sex is pointless for you, at which point it is obviously okay to identify as asexual again. But please refrain from identifying as asexual in between. It doesn’t help anyone, especially not people who have not met the right person but think that it’s fine to still have sex anyways, even when they don’t enjoy it, because as an asexual you can still have sex, right?

That is not true and it leads only to sadness and pain. Believe me, I was there.

Date: 2015-07-18 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] entwashian.livejournal.com
When I saw your question to the mod in the challenge post for gameofcards, I was hoping you'd end up writing this!

I'm not ace myself, so I'm still struggling to fully understand asexuality, and I really appreciate you sharing your point of view. Ace visibility is so important!

Date: 2015-07-19 05:18 am (UTC)
catko: (heart)
From: [personal profile] catko
This is a great piece, thanks for writing. I know how articulate you are on issues based on tumblr ;) but this is especially personal and insightful. Good for you! You know what works for you and -- challenging though it might be, given our society -- you make it work! It's wonderful that you've found a partner who shares your love and your values. Just good, all the way around...

Date: 2015-07-19 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ciaimpala.livejournal.com
Thank you for speaking out about this, you are so articulate and definitely help me understand things I may not have before.

Date: 2015-07-19 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_eyesofpride_/
This was a very good and interesting read! I've been thinking about my own sexuality the past few months and asexuality has been in the forefront of my mind. I'm still not entirely sure what's going on with me, but this has been helpful to see someone who has dealt with it firsthand.

Date: 2015-07-20 08:12 pm (UTC)
chamilet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chamilet
I find it so strange that society in America is so focused on sex and finds it so important, but in the same breath says that women who DO have sex whenever they want are sluts. And we're so focused on sex, but if you have one movie with gratuitous sex and another with gratuitous violence, the one with the sex will ultimately get the NC-17 or R rating. No wonder someone who is ace throws people into a spin!

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