This is the final day of Asexual Awareness Week 2017. In what seems to be my tradition this year, I’m getting in just under the wire! It’s been an unpleasant year so far, so please forgive me for always being late with this stuff. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 stereotypes about asexual people and get to debunking!
1. Asexual People are Really Closeted Gay People
What? Seriously, I don’t understand where this one came from. I mean, if I was a lesbian, I would just come out and say it – at least people would know what I meant!
There seems to be a stereotype that asexual people are so afraid of coming out as gay that we made up this whole new orientation so we could lie. That’s a pretty elaborate setup, just to hide something that really isn’t that big of a deal anymore.
No, we aren’t lying about our orientation. Do you accuse bi people of…Ok, bad example! The point is, I know who I am and am not attracted to – hint: not attracted. I mean, I can appreciate a nice body or a pretty face, in the same way, I can admire a nice car or some amazing artwork. Aesthetically pleasing does not equal sexual attraction.
2. Asexual People are All Millenial Snowflakes, Once You Get Older, You Grow Out of it.
Yeah, because I don’t exist. Well, I am a Gen Xer, so I guess we were all alienated and just looking to belong somewhere too, right?
Asexual people are people of any age, from youth to senior citizens. It took some of us a long time to get here and understand that this is who we are. It takes time to find the asexual label since it’s not really out there in the media (although that is changing). I always knew I was different, so I called myself Queer for lack of something better. Now I understand what asexuality is, I still fall back on the Queer label, since more people understand (if imperfectly) what that means.
I doubt I’m going to outgrow it. It would be pretty strange if I woke up tomorrow and suddenly started finding people attractive. How odd. I think that would be rather distracting. No thanks, pass the cake!
3. Asexual People Hate Sex and People Who Have Sex. Slut Shamer!
Have you even met me? I am involved in a lot of sex-positive spaces and publicly came out as asexual at Catalyst Con, a convention for sex educators. In fact, I developed my Hey Ace! An Exploration into Asexuality talk for that convention – because that was the first place I said I was asexual and someone responded positively, saying “Hey Ace!” rather than “what?”.
Most asexuals are cool if you want to have sex. They may or may not want to join you. Lots of asexual people enjoy engaging in sex with the people they feel close to or find some sort of connection with. A lot of aces are not into sex, finding it strange or off-putting. That’s okay. Not everyone needs to have sex to be okay with other people doing it.
Now some asexuals will slut shame, but so will some allosexuals (that’s the blanket term for people who experience sexual attraction). That’s on them and has little to do with being asexual.
4. Asexual People Can’t Get Laid, so We Made Up an Orientation to Hide That Fact
Yep, I’ve never had people offer me sex. Never been offered disgusting amounts of money to have sex with someone. Never had someone beg and plead to have sex with me. 10 years as a Pro Domme will rack up more of those experiences than you can count!
I also have a wonderful partner who would love to have sex with me, as soon as I’m out of my sexual aversion period. Some asexuals go through phases where they are okay with sex, then others where they are adverse to sex. Right now, I’m just not feeling like getting down at all, and it only partially has to do with my mangled leg (I was in a pedestrian vs car accident, long story).
Most asexual people can find a sex partner if they want. If an ace isn’t having sex or looking for a sexual partner, it’s because they’re just not into sex.
5. We Haven’t Met “The One” Yet
It’s kind of like when I was younger and said I didn’t want children. People would tell me I would change my mind as I got older or when I met “the one” (which came with the assumption that I was hetero, for added facepalm). I haven’t changed my mind on the kids (and it’s starting to get really late to have those), I’m not about to suddenly start finding people attractive because I met a super amazing person. How does that even make sense?
We are asexual because we aren’t sexually attracted to people. No one, no matter how fabulous, is going to change that for aces. If we are attracted to one person out of all of the people in the world, it just might mean we are a grey-ace, not allosexual.
6. Asexual People are Nerdy Psychopaths/Sociopaths
Ok, that’s half right. A lot of us are nerdy or geeky. Probably because we have more time on our hands for fun hobbies, since we don’t spend all that time chasing or thinking about people we find sexually attractive.
I don’t want to shame or add stigma to people with mental health issues, but saying that because someone is asexual, they must have a serious mental health disorder is pretty messed up. Asexuals have a wide range of mental health statuses, some are mentally healthy, some suffer from depression or anxiety, some are bipolar or have a schizoaffective disorder, and yes, some suffer from psychopathy or sociopathy. Strangely, the same thing can be said about allosexual people.
I’m a firm believer that we need to destigmatize mental health disorders, especially ones like psychopathy and sociopathy that are so deeply feared and misunderstood.
I mean, would you look down your nose and say all asexual people are cancer patients?
7. Asexual People are Pure and Innocent, That’s Why They Hate Sex (If Only They Could Get Laid…)
Some people have this idea that we are all pure as the driven snow, never touched and perfectly virginal. I feel the need to remind you that you are reading this on a site dedicated to BDSM education. With classes like Bathroom Etiquette that teach you how to give your partner an enema or piss on them in a sexy way.
So super innocent here 🙂
Yeah, some aces are going to be virgins. Some are going to be pretty innocent, even naive. You know what’s coming next, right? Just like allosexual people!
Asexual people have a range of experiences just like everyone else. It’s almost as if we aren’t a hive mind and are actual, individual people.
8. Asexual People are Into Some Really Freaky BDSM and Fetish Stuff
Really? Right after we are all untouched virgins?
Yes, some of us are into BDSM. Some of us find that it’s a good way to connect with other human beings on a more intimate level with or without sex.
Our interest in BDSM isn’t why we are asexual. It has nothing to do with our asexuality at all. It’s just another part of us, like enjoying fantasy novels or heavy metal music or whatever people are into. Admittedly, the desire for BDSM and especially D/s is a bit more complicated than musical taste, in that for some of us it’s as deeply ingrained as an orientation, but it still has nothing to do with being ace.
9. Asexual People Deliberately Mislead Allosexual People, Trapping Them in Sexless Relationships
Muhahahaha! My master plan is revealed!
Seriously, though. What? Why would anyone do that? What is the point of it?
I mean, it’s totally awesome to be in a relationship with an allosexual who is super cranky because they want sex and you’re just not into it for like 6 months….Tons of fun. Trying to figure out if you can deal with sex (and not let on that you’re not into it and only doing it for them) long enough for them to get off because you really love them and want to make them happy, but not at the expense of your own mental health.
A lot of asexual people who are sexually averse and in relationships with allosexual people will have open or poly relationships for this very reason. We understand that sex is important to some people and we want our partners to be happy. It’s a need that we can’t fulfil all the time. So we outsource it. It doesn’t mean we love our partners any less, just that we aren’t into sex.
I’m still trying to figure out what the point of trapping someone in a sexless relationship would be. And why they’re trapped. I mean, wouldn’t they just break up if it was that bad? Or try to find some other solution? If anyone knows the answers, please let me know!!
10. We are all Autistic, Religious Nuts, Whiny White Teen Girls Trying to be Oppressed, Anti-feminist, Frigid Prudes, Sexually Abused as Children, Ugly, Fat, and One Good Fuck Will Cure Us
I just decided to throw a bunch of them in for the last one. It should be a good one, right? Let’s look at these individually (I mean I could just dismiss them all out of hand, but meh, let’s do this right).
I know that the autistic thing comes from Sheldon, the awkward character on Big Bang Theory. I don’t know much about the show, I’ve only seen it once or twice (which was 2 times too many for me). I do know that the character is supposed to be both autistic and asexual. Or so the rumours go.
Yeah, some ace’s are autistic. It has nothing to do with them being ace. I know lots of people on the spectrum and I can’t think of a single one that I know who is also asexual. I’m sure they’re out there, but asexuals make up a tiny portion of the population, so finding two rare things in a person is hard. And so what? I get the feeling when people say we must be autistic it’s meant as an insult. How about fuck you and your ableist bullshit.
I’m sure there are some asexuals who are religious nuts. I’m sure they avoid me like the plague – Heathen BDSM instructor that I am. Yay!
We covered the whiny teen thing in #2. Also, asexual erasure is a thing, it is harmful and that’s not whining. No, it’s not as bad as a lot of the oppression that goes on in the world, but we can care about (and try to educate people about) more than one thing at a time. Trust me, I do it all the time. (Must be all that extra time I have from not having sex/sexual attraction).
I have no idea where the anti-feminist thing comes from. I mean, considering that some rad-fems think all sex is rape, you think they would like us or something. For the record, I am an intersectional feminist and really kind of hate rad-fems, especially TERFs and SWERFs.
So yeah, lost on the anti-feminist thing. Comment if you know!
Now, being sexually abused as a child would not have any effect on sexual orientation, one would think. It doesn’t make you gay or straight. It’s a totally shitty thing that has happened to a person, and I can see how it might affect the way they relate to people in a sexual context, but not how they would be attracted. I don’t know of any specific research on this subject (and would be interested in reading some if you know of any), but I’m going to say nope. Not a factor. I do want to acknowledge that some asexual people have experienced this type of abuse and it’s tragic. They need our support as much as the allosexual people who may have experienced it.
Ah, fat and ugly, the last insult used by the desperate. I know I’m fat and ugly because I don’t want to fuck you, thank you for noticing. Really?
There is always that person with the magic peen (or poon) that believes if we just mash our genitals with theirs, we will be cured. I’ve tried mashing my genitals with a number of different people, but I’m still ace. Did they not have the magical genitals? I tried a few different configurations, innies, outies….I guess I’m stuck being asexual.
Oh well, there are worse things 🙂
If you’re curious, my video from last yeah: