For the asexually curious and the curiously asexual

Archive for September, 2009

The American Virgin (and thoughts on asexual denial)

Somehow, I think possibly in my wonderings over various sex- and kink- positive blogs (because they tend to make quite interesting reading), I ended up on the blog The American Virgin yesterday. Reading through it again earlier this morning, I got a strong feeling that this is a very useful resource for triggering asexual thought.

Basically, the blog is dedicated to virginity. It appears staunchly pro-sex education, though, and I would guess that it takes the same line as a lot of asexuals; sex positivity, while pointing out that sex isn’t and shouldn’t be positive for all.
The posts seem to be either about the pressures and stereotypes of being a virgin in this culture, a chord which I know will resonate with a lot of asexual virgins, or about people’s personal stories and experiences of virginity.

I haven’t come across mentions of asexuality yet, in the few posts I’ve skimmed, but that’s why I think this blog is so interesting from an asexual point of view. Sometimes I feel we asexuals get so obsessed with our own, socially constructed, definitions and labels that we might not realise that, just outside or beside the asexual label, there are people with whom we can still relate. In terms of Venus’ fabulous colour wheel, these people are greeny yellow. Or yellowy green. Or turquoise, cerulian and aquamarine. Or greeny red (a colour which I occasionally see out of the corner of my eye, but probably only due to my colour blindness). Or, indeed, greeny grey.

Ok, overstretching the palette a bit, but you get the idea. Maybe asexuality should look outside of itself a little. It doesn’t help the asexual movement much, but it certainly helps asexual individuals to see how people without the magic label justify their similar sexualities and sexual choices.

EDIT: Oh gee, I forgot one of the main reasons I wrote this post. It’s often difficult, when justifying a sexless life, to hit that right balance. You always end up swerving off into a pre-created position.
Either you think sex is icky and everyone should stop doing it, or you pretend you’re more sex positive than you are so that no-one can call you erotophobic (when plenty of sexual people are just as uncomfortable about the role of sex in modern society, which is actually pretty screwed up).
Either you open yourself up and say, as the last interviewee on the American Virgin blog did, something like; “I’m worried that I have some kind of undiagnosed social anxiety disorder” and open yourself up to the idea of being ‘damaged goods’, with a disinterest in sex that is obviously entirely the cause of an oversimplified and malignant psychiatric disorder, or you close yourself up and become the Ideal Asexual, with a standard of psychiatric health, confidence and complete wellbeing that no human being could aspire to.

This is the choice asexuals (and other celibate people/deliberate virgins) have to face. Either you deny who you are, or you give your enemy the power to accuse you of denying who you are.
Ok, so I’ve only read a little of this blog. But, from what I’ve read, it seems to float above that whole mire quite effortlessly and beautifully. People just are who they are. If they don’t want sex, it isn’t a problem with a cause, but a choice, with a whole array of reasons. It’s something to be admired, and if we can gain that same tranquility and honesty, I feel we’d all be a great deal happier.

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Filler post

Ok, I am determined to write about something soon. I have a whole variety of more academic posts at 2/3rds finished and some interesting things that have happened since I wrote the last blog.

EXCUSES TIME:
I have to get my university application off by October-time, and I still barely have any idea where I’m going. As well as that, I’ve just started college, and I’m looking for part-time jobs, while keeping my volunteer work going, because I doubt I’m gonna find anything in the recession. I am very, very busy. So sorry for the continuing stagnation, folks.

Anyway, something off-topic and not especially related to asexuality:
I found this today:
http://calculators.lloydspharmacy.com/sexdegrees/

“You have had 0 indirect and direct sexual partners.Based on information entered into this calculator, people in your age group have had 296,132 indirect sexual partners”

While this is a fun meaningless quiz for asexuals, I’m really not sure of the maths.

On a hunch, I entered that I’d had one sexual encounter, with a 17-year-old. If the 17-year-old was male, I’d have racked up 3,074 indirect sexual partners. If she was female, I’d have a cumulative total of, wait for it… 17.

Wait, what? I really, really wanna see some methodology. How does that maths even work? Surely they assume that a girl of my age would have slept with someone else before me? If they didn’t assume that, then straight boys would have a combined total of only who they’d slept with. But they’d probably also assume that the girl had slept with mostly boys (it can’t be very likely that I’d find myself dating a lesbian or someone close to that end of the Kinsey Scale). So I’d be only one degree of seperation away from a whole handful of those slutty, slutty menfolk, and then my numbers should rack up like lightning after that.

Not only is this based on gender stereotypes that are highly questionable (on the second series of The Sex Education Show, they interviewed a lot of boys only a few years younger than me who were pretty much all virgins, so I don’t see how men are this much more promiscuous than women), it’s also very heteronormative, and simply doesn’t seem to add up.

Sorry for the density of this post. I was trying to figure out the maths as I wrote.

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