Singles and Asexuals: Their Intersextion January 23, 2013Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, sex, single and happy, We like. . ..
Tags: asexual, AVEN, david jay, happy singles, single blog, swank ivy
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the asexual person must have something wrong with them.
A ‘non-seeking single’ refers to someone who doesn’t particularly care if he or she finds The One or gets married.
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the single person must have something wrong with them.
Whoaaaaaa there, some of our Copious Readers might say. Why are you comparing asexuals to singles? You’re just perpetuating the stereotype that non-coupled singles don’t get any sex! And that’s not true! We get a LOT of sex! Sometimes!
No, this is not about that. This is about rhetoric. Asexuals and singles of many stripes are alike–in that they suffer from (or are irritated by) the same kinds of prejudiced rhetoric. I recently watched the documentary (A)Sexual. Its primary hero is David Jay, the founder of AVEN, the Asexuality and Visibility Education Network. The film also follows asexual advocate Swank Ivy. I stared with fascination as she described her Top Ten List of Things People Say To an Asexual.
If Onely had compiled a Top Ten list (why didn’t we ever think to do that?) it would be pretty much identical to Swank Ivy‘s. (Although her online list varies slightly from the verbal list she gives in the movie, their essences are the same.) Note that she writes from the point of view of a hetero woman, but the list could easily be tweaked to fit men:
You’re in denial.
You’re a lesbian.
There’s something wrong with your hormones.
You’re too busy.
You couldn’t get a man.
You hate men.
You’re just inexperienced.
No, asexuals are just born that way.
David Jay initiated a worldwide discussion asexual people. Before, they were a demographic that most people (including me) never even knew existed, much less talked about. But Jay said Hey, we are here!, then set about challenging the misconceptions about asexuals. Nonetheless, the topic remains under-discussed and under-recognized.
In many ways, this lack of dialog reminds me of the fight against singlism (discrimination against singles). The topic is barely discussed (though more so than asexuality). Yes, lately the media has been writing or talking about happy singles, though less so about happy non-seeking singles. However, the underlying problem of institutionalized singlism–the government laws and corporate policies that favor married people–remains under-discussed and under-recognized.
And another similarity: Asexuals ‘have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships’ (to quote from the AVEN home page). However, people assume otherwise because our culture is so couple-obsessed and defines coupling in sexual terms. The same thing happens to socially single (uncoupled) people. They have to explain that single doesn’t mean alone. Unmarried individuals usually have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships.
Copious Readers, do you think that Asexuals should be in corporated into the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender) community? When Jay and his friends marched in the Pride Parade, they encountered mixed reactions. Some marchers cheered them, and some shrunk from them. Should we start saying GLBTA? What about singles? Should they participate in this gathering of sexually marginalized people? GLBTS?
It can’t hurt to add two of the most coveted Scrabble letters to that otherwise awkard acronym: GLBTAS can be rearranged to make BLAGST, which is actually pronounceable! But that sounds like some excavated rock from the paleolithic era. Copious readers, can you help?
Photo Credit: Simon Falk