This is an Angry Post

“I feel really alienated when a person self-describes as sex-favorable or sex-enthusiastic, because I feel like I need to assert among other asexuals that I do not have that experience of sex.”

“Maybe sex favorable asexuals should leave the community and identify as other things since sexual attraction doesn’t seem to be important instead of trying to carve out a space where they’re going to cause damage”

“I just don’t know if it’s possible to spread the information about asexuals’ sexual agency (to engage in partnered sex) in a way that actually bolsters all asexuals’ sexual agency. I feel alienated by asexual spaces that valorize sex by emphasizing the segment of the community that have enjoyed partnered sex in the past and may consider it in the future. I feel like within the asexual community, their sexual agency is not threatened as much as the sexual agency of people who don’t ever desire sex.”

So there’s another round of “is talking about sex-favorable or sex-indifferent asexuals bad for the community”, and while it started out with some valid points about the problems of phrases like “some asexuals are willing to have sex and some aren’t”, it’s starting to turn  (unintentionally or not) into the bashing of anyone who might be sex-favorable or sex-indifferent or who might ever want to talk about the possibility of being open to having sex. And, what the hell, people.

You don’t get to silence asexuals with different experiences than you just because it’s inconvenient to have people in the community who aren’t all exactly the same.

You don’t get to kick us out of the community because we don’t experience things the same way as you do.

You don’t get to scapegoat our very existence for the misleading stereotypes that other people will hold no matter what we say.

You don’t get to tell an entire group to suck it up in silence or fuck off just because people might use their existence to confirm misguided stereotypes.

You don’t get to throw us under the bus and expect us to smile and go along with it because we are “less threatened”.

You don’t get to tell us to shut up because we’re just a small minority and it’s better for the majority this way anyway.

Aces who hold neutral or even positive feelings toward sex are not just theoretical talking points, we are real people. We are not hypothetical cases or a minority not worth mentioning.

If you wonder why sex-indifferent and sex-favorable and other aces with similar experiences keep talking feeling uncomfortable and attacked in asexual spaces, stuff like this is why.

There are serious issues around the pressure on asexuals to have sex, on the way that aces who deviate from the current gold-star norm (in any direction) are silenced or portrayed as just “those weird deviants”. There are real problems with statements like “sex-positive asexuals are asexuals who are willing to have sex”. But telling any aces who aren’t sex-averse and celibate that their very existence is harmful and that they need to shut up or get out solves nothing and just does more harm.

Driving us underground might certainly make parts of the community more comfortable, but sometimes you need to stop and think about at what cost that comfort comes.

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About Sennkestra

I'm an aromantic asexual and a bit of an [a]sexuality nerd, recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in linguistics. When I'm not reading stuff on the internet I like to cook fancy food, watch anime, and make costumes and other arts and crafts projects.
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7 Responses to This is an Angry Post

  1. luvtheheaven says:

    Oh no, where did you come across this new round of these discussions?

    I agree with your points.

    • Sennkestra says:

      I’m not sure I want to link the exact posts, since I mostly made this because I needed to vent and I’d rather not turn this into personal fights, but basically there was a (originally quite good) post on tumblr that started out as being about how posts that say “sex-positive asexuals are asexuals who are willing to have sex” are both incorrect and carry some kind of dangerous implications, but some of the comments in the reblogs started to move away from just that and back into the trap of “the ace community would be better off if sex-favorable aces didn’t exist”, which bounces around every now and then on tumblr.

      And like, would it be more convenient and comfortable for the ace community if aces who like sex and aces who have sex just didn’t happen? Most likely it would! But the reality is we do exist and trying to silence us or push us out doesn’t change that.

      • luvtheheaven says:

        Yeah, tumblr, okay I get it. I haven’t seen it and I won’t go looking for it, you’ve described it very well. But thanks for clarifying. ;)

        And yeah I know what you mean!!

      • Kasey Weird says:

        oh wow. That makes me so sad, because it’s *super* important to differentiate between sex-positivity and personal sexual preferences/orientations. What a sad-making derail :(

  2. Libris says:

    Bah. I saw and engaged with the first and third quotes (basically raising the issues you vent about here), but I hadn’t seen the second quote and now I am even more annoyed and disappointed.

    I really want this whole line of discourse to stop – it veers between frustrating and outright hurtful – but apparently it’s not going to anytime soon. :/

    • Z says:

      I know this is, like, from two weeks ago, which is total ancient history for the internet, but I thought maybe I should explain the second quote, both for you and for anyone else who might stumble on this post and feel bad about it. I had commented on the op suggesting alternatives for the phrases they had problems with, which apparently the op was not actually looking for, and got roped into a ‘talking about asexuals who have sex is dangerous’ thing that I wasn’t prepared for (or particularly interested in engaging in at the time, especially with that op). I tried to sidestep as much as possible (instead of calling out) and the second quote is from my tags and if your don’t follow me/know what I usually talk about then the tags read pretty badly. As a fairly sex favorable asexual I often feel like I shouldn’t be part of the community, that I don’t belong, and that my existence really is dangerous to others, especially when my problems revolve around not experiencing sexual attraction (full stop) and the asexual community frequently ignores that there are problems about not experiencing sexual attraction and focuses instead on problems about not wanting or having sex (I had just finished trying to explain to another ace that if not dating someone because of sex interest incompatibility was fine then not dating someone because of incompatible sexual attraction was also fine and got basically told that no one should have a problem with dating someone who wasn’t sexually attracted to them because that’s nothing important), and I’m always wondering if it would be better if, because sexual attraction is apparently so unimportant, it would be better to break from the asexual community and go elsewhere (not to any other sexual orientation though because having sex without experiencing sexual attraction makes me a danger to those communities too) and that quote is a result of that thinking. It should be read in an upset and sarcastic way and if I had thought anyone would have been looking I would have been clearer.

      This might be out of line, idk, I just want to put up something to stop future bad feelings from possibly spreading.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    100% agreed. And like… you know, they tell us to just shut up and leave the community. I tried that once twice. The community just followed me. Apparently, such discussions are valuable enough that when they are shut down in one place, people will just seek them out somewhere else.

    I cut a bunch of this comment out because it was too ranty, but this…

    “I feel like within the asexual community, their sexual agency is not threatened as much as the sexual agency of people who don’t ever desire sex.”

    …really? Seriously? You’re gonna tell ace survivors of corrective rape that if they happen to have ever been interested in sex, then therefore their sexual agency is “less threatened” than that of aces who have never desired sex?

    Or is it just that the people saying these things are assuming that any ace who could possibly enjoy sex must NOT be a survivor?

    This kind of discussion makes me want to crawl into a hole—not just because of all the triggers, hostility and pointless Oppression Olympics, but also because of the embarrassment of “sex positive” being misdefined… still. After being corrected repeatedly.

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