Friday, February 13, 2009

Asexuals United! -- Give Me a Break!


or NO SEX PLEASE -- WE'RE GLBTA!

You may or may not have noticed how some GLBT bloggers are adding "asexuals" to the list of oppressed minorities (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender). If you have any sense at all, you're probably going "what the fuck?" [Or perhaps "what the no-fuck" might be more appropriate.] Salon and The New York Times both did articles on the (small) number of people who are identifying as asexual and who claim that, like gay or straight, it is an orientation.

No, I'm not making this up!

It's almost becoming -- hell it has become--comical the way that groups are stealing the language of gay liberation -- "asexual and proud" like hell! -- and appropriating it for their own pathetic purposes. Of course, some dim bulbs in the GLBT movement are perfectly happy to let them do it. As I've said before, some well-meaning but intellectually challenged individuals are loathe to discriminate against anyone who might be "oppressed," so they''ll add just about any group imaginable to GLBT (thank goodness that does not extend to pedophiles or bestialists, but in the future, who knows?)

Asexuality has different meanings but for our purposes it refers to people who have no sexual attraction for anyone, male or female. Naturally they have no sex lives, or if they do, don't get any pleasure out of them. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't an orientation -- it's a disability and it does no one -- least of all the asexuals who are missing out on one of life's greatest pleasures -- any good to pretend otherwise.

Frankly, as a gay man I find it deeply offensive to have these "asexuals" comparing themselves to gay people. Sex is the big bugaboo in our society, not a lack of it. I don't know of anyone being beaten to death because they were asexual, or being fired from their job because of it, or any really negative societal response except maybe laughter, pity, or disbelief. The fact that homosexuality was once seen as a mental or medical disorder doesn't change my mind one bit. Homosexuality is not a disability; asexuality is.

David Jay (pictured) founded a group for asexuals called Aven when he was all of 19. Many people don't know if they're gay, straight, bi or what-have-you at 19, but Jay has identified as an asexual for the past four years. Even people at 23 or (much) older often haven't determined exactly where they are on the sexual scale, so it seems a mite premature of Jay to classify himself as anything. But the asexual movement -- pause for a big guffaw right here -- is just the kind of stupid thing that an immature mind would conceive of and post on the Internet.

There are different reports as to the number of members in AVEN, everything from 100 (which seems reasonable) to 4000 (which is pathetic). I've no doubt that a lot of sad, sexless people who for one (bad) reason or another have zero sex drive have happily signed up with the group to validate their dysfunctional lives. Some of them may be people who couldn't get laid if they showed up in hooker heaven with a pile of thousand dollar bills in their fists. Many therapists [unless they're politically over-correct assholes] agree that these are people who need therapy and counseling, not to be told that their asexuality is just another "orientation."

Comments that Jay makes to reporters make it clear that he has a very negative attitude toward sex, which is either the cause or result of his "asexuality." He literally doesn't seem to understand what it is that he's missing.

It's appalling that some GLBT people would take the asexual movement seriously. Again, I can only assume its very young or at least very immature people who have no real sense of the long-time gay movement, the struggles before and after Stonewall (and still on-going) and really don't understand why comparing asexuals to homosexuals is blatantly ludicrous, inaccurate, and even, as I said, offensive.

And there's something else that's troubling about this. In a New York Times piece written by Mary Duenwald, she writes about a 32-year-old man who got married hoping that it would "fix" his asexuality. Unfortunately, it only resulted in divorce. Duenwald then writes: "now he is living with a younger man in a relationship that he described as loving and romantic but free of sex."

Frankly, this guy sounds more like someone who's gay and in denial, someone who desires men sexually but is too hung up for whatever reason to act upon it, then a genuine (if there is such a thing) "asexual." [Asexual may merely be the opposite of bisexual and just as trendy, if not yet as political.]

And how many more of the men and women attracted to AVEN are in this category, how many more will fall victim to Jay's childishness and irresponsibility. Even if one believes that some people are "oriented" to be asexual (that's like not liking food, as one therapist puts it), it doesn't mean that many people who classify themselves as such don't need counseling and sex therapy and help of some kind to discover why there is this abnormal gap in their psycho-sexual make up. GLBT activists should not and hopefully most will not enable these people in their delusion.

Sure, there may be people who are not sexually active and may be happy in spite of it. You can be deaf and blind and still be happy -- but you're still disabled. Just like deaf people who refuse to get cochlear impants, "asexuals" have the right to refuse treatment or advice. But they are not an oppressed minority group, and I believe -- despite all the pc fools out there -- if they continue to insist that they are it will only backfire on them.

Now I'm going to have some safe sex. The rest of you -- jerk off!

83 comments:

NG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Because it makes so much sense for someone who is part of a group widely discriminated against to discriminate against another.
You seem terribly hostile, and your attitude towards this disgusts me.
I suggest you actually speak with some Asexuals and gain further insight before shitting all over them.

NG said...

For someone who deems himself a uniter, he sure seems upset that you're calling these people out..

NG said...

The way, I see it, if these guys don't want to be defined as gay, then they're ex-gay.

Lina said...

Let me get this straight - no pun intended, darling - as a "Jewish Author Tough Gay Activist Bear", you still find the GALL to blatantly discriminate against some 67 MILLION people who identify under this particular orientation? The amount of misinformation in your post, your unbelievable prejudices based on your singular point of view and lack of an open mind, and your shaky, illogical conclusions are rather infuriating, to be quite frank. I am significantly repulsed by your coarse attitude towards this issue, and hope that for your sake, you can learn to occasionally consider the world from the perspective of someone other than yourself.

Anonymous said...

I must say I'm rather surprised by your willingness to insult an entire community without first actually doing some research. You "claim" to know the beliefs of therapists yet you fail to mention the scientific research that has been done on asexuality, starting with Kinsey himself who found approximately 1% of the male population fit a category X who did not experience sexual attraction, the definition of asexual. I know some research suggests a possibility of it being a mental disorder, but like all mental disorders a criteria for diagnoses is "causes personal distress," asexuals who don't experience personal distress are just asexual by definition.

Is it such a stretch that someone could actually not experiene sexual attraction or desire? Gay/lesbian people don't experience sexual attraction towards the opposite gender and hetero people don't experience sexual attraction towards the same gender. So why is it such a stretch that some might experience neither? If one can claim a lack of sexual attraction for one gender or other, or attraction to both (bi) it stands to reason that one can claim a lack of attraction for both.

Anonymous said...

Sir, I could not finish your article for fear of blowing up an artery. Let me tell you something, asexuals are similar to homosexuals just in the sense that we both are minorities and our "disability" (as you labeled) it is related to our sexuality. So just because we don't get beat up we are do not exist? How about your parents thinking that you are going through a phase? To hear them blaming themselves for what you are? Does it ring any bells?

This article of yours is a fine example of oppression. And you comparing asexuals to pedophiles and bestialists is insulting.

Furthermore you make them sound like we are dying to be queer. Honestly? Really!?! I wish I were sexual so I just wouldn't have to keep quiet whenever the topic of sex comes up. Only a very shallow person could want to belong to the GLBT community just because it is trendy (I hope I did not hurt any of your sensitivities there?). You want us out of the GLBT community? Good for me, because I have never had any desire to belong to it. I am just fine with my own slang, I don't want yours, keep it. I am defined by so much more than my sexual orientation or sexual identity or whatever you want to call it. I don't think you can say the same. That is why you are so quick to judge and write this opinion piece that, in all honesty, lacks research.


Screw you, figuratively speaking.

NG said...

Being frigid is not a sexual orientation.

DJ said...

i am deaf. i have a cochlear implant.

why did you compare asexuality to getting a cochlear implant?

you're just extremely ignorant of people who are different from you, it seems.

Ryan said...

It always boggles me when I see someone from a minority group attacking (or at least disparaging) another minority group.

Catherine said...

You, sir, are a jerk.

What you have written above is, among other things, deliberately ignorant and just plain mean.

I am a 23 year old woman and have always known I was asexual. Whatever you're thinking of calling me, don't. I am not disabled, frigid, dysfuntional or wishing to be gay. I am a warm and loving person who enjoys all forms of romance (with men, though I'm sure women are lovely). I just happen to have zero desire to have sex. I am fully capable of sex and have had it on many occasions and tested out a handful of different partners, just to see if it ever felt right. Surprise, surprise, it never did!

I suggest you get to know an asexual or two before you make such sweeping and ugly judgments about who we are and how we feel. If you pass these judgments without knowing any of us, you're just an ignoramus and no better than the good ol' boys who beat down innocent men for the heinous crime of loving in a way they do not understand. You may not be violent but you sure speak the language of hate.

Bill Samuels said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone, pro and con. I can't comment at length because I have a date (hopefully with sex) tonight and tomorrow, but maybe after the weekend when I'm rested I can reply.

For now I'll just say to Lina, the various anonymous ones, and Catherine, that you should all LIGHTEN UP! Maybe you should try getting laid! I hear it works wonders at getting rid of stress and tension and all that extra angry energy.

To Ryan, far from "disparaging" or hating asexuals, I'm doing I feel the responsible thing by suggesting that with therapy and counseling many can bring a new, exciting and wonderful element to their lives. I'm NOT saying they are inferior human beings or should be discriminated against. I just don't see them as an oppressed minority group a la gays.

To DJ, I did NOT compare asexuality to getting a cochlear implant. You read my post too quickly. I said that asexuals have the right to refuse any treatment the same way that deaf people have the right to refuse cochlear implants even if they might benefit from same.

Last -- and certainly -- not least -- NG, I love ya! Thanks for your comments!

Bill

Bill Samuels said...

One last comment tonight for Lina.

67 MILLION PEOPLE identify as asexual?

Bullshit!

Get therapy!

NG said...

Oh joy. You're getting sex and all I got tonight was a coke and salami and swiss sandwich.

Damn.

John Bisceglia said...

Here's the problem with the term "sexual-orientation" - Is it really just plumbing and parts? (I prefer "love-orientation").

When I was a child, I remember having silly romantic crushes, like probably MOST of us, on other guys. My LOVE ORIENTATION was towards my own gender, and MUCH LATER I became aware of how I could express this special kind of romantic love sexually with my body. I also learned that I could express my sexuality without any love.

BUT - It was my HEART that identified as "gay" first; not a homo-sexual heart, but a homo-loving one.

But when I read all of the anger above, I wanna just tell everyone to "go F*CK themselves". [a nod to an old George Carlin joke]

Hopefully, we will want to work for equality for all, EVEN for those we think are A-holes or idiots. Can we as an oppressed "community" place the good of the whole above some of our mutually-felt animosity?

I dunno....

John Bisceglia said...

"Maybe you should try getting laid!" - Bill Samuels

Looks like Bill beat me to it
[the "go F-yourself" part].

Niamh said...

@Bill:

"One last comment tonight for Lina.

67 MILLION PEOPLE identify as asexual?

Bullshit!"


Studies stretching back to Kinsey have found that about 1% of the population is asexual. Here's a recent one.

The world's population was estimated in July of '08 as being about 6,706,993,152. One percent of that is 67,069,931. Obviously, not all of these people identify as asexual. But mathematically, about 67 million people in the world should display traits characteristic of asexuality.

Vampyre_Smiles said...

How is not thinking about sex at random times a disability? Think of all the time and effort I save.

Go ahead and enjoy sex. No one is stopping you. Lots of people also like chocolate, but you don't say someone who doesn't crave the stuff has a disability, do you?

(Platonic) Love and Peace, dude.

Anonymous said...

Mr. J.A.T.G.A.B.,
Something about this entry and your previous comments tells me you are an attention seeking blogger. So I will just keep the intelligent response I had planned to write for myself.
The same goes to this NG person. You two are full of hate, it is no wonder you are so chummy.

Anonymous said...

And how could I forget John Bisceglia's comments.

You guys are making the whole homosexual community look like a elitist sex-crazed bunch.

Have a good life.

nike_victory said...

Thank you, sir, for providing a perfect example of precisely why asexuality should be added to the list of oppressed minorities.

NG said...

I have a suggestion for you A peeps:

You detail instances of when an asexual was shot in the back of the head by a classmate, was hanged, beaten to death, shot, raped, held in isolation by religious zealots, deported, exterminated, had his personal civil liberties violated, denied hospital visitation rights, denied his deceased partner's benefits, or arrested in some disingenuous police sting, prevented from getting married and not procreating, and I'll (I can't speak for Bill) will be more than happy in volunteering my blog in the quest to A in LGBTQWhatever.

GalileoAce said...

NG: Seriously? Asexuals didn't experience the kind of viciously vilification that homosexual people have (which they did) so they don't count? Is that how it works is it?

Since when did respect and pride become a competition?

Anonymous said...

If they weren't an oppressed minority before, they will be after this post. At least, those who have the misfortune around you will be. What a narrow minded attitude. People who don't conform to the 'norm' by having heterocentric relationships, 2.5 kids, are at a disadvantage in our society. Asexual may be a dumb term, but they're still a group who don't need to get crapped on from on high by an ignorant child.

Catherine said...

"For now I'll just say to Lina, the various anonymous ones, and Catherine, that you should all LIGHTEN UP! Maybe you should try getting laid! I hear it works wonders at getting rid of stress and tension and all that extra angry energy"

Err, Bill? Maybe you should work on the old reading comprehension, because if you had actually looked at my post, you might have noted that I have, on many occasions, "gotten laid" (as you so politely put it). I've even been in more than one long-term relationship. And why ever should I lighten up? Would you lighten up if someone told you that you weren't gay, you just hadn't found the right woman? I just want the right to exist here, Bill.

"I'm doing I feel the responsible thing by suggesting that with therapy and counseling many can bring a new, exciting and wonderful element to their lives."

There are many who would say that sending you off to a camp that "cures" gays would do the same for you.

Maybe next time you want to write such a venomous post, you should pull your finger out and actually do some research into what you're talking about. I recommend reading Kinsey.

Why are you so afraid of people who don't want to have sex?

Anonymous said...

You do realize there is a large segment of the heterosexual population who think homosexuality is a treatable disability? Do you need therapy, hon?

Chris said...

This old chestnut again?

You seem to have trouble understanding how asexuals and gay men could share common ground. In order to illustrate I'd like to list a few facts about asexuality.

1. Asexuality is a recently described phenomenon and so currently has a low visibility. This means that the vast majority of people, including those to whom the asexual label would apply, have never heard of asexuality. Consequently many asexuals perceive their feelings as being unique to themselves, a situation that results in profound feelings of isolation.

2. In a highly sex-orientated society asexuals are made to feel deficient and ashamed because of their lack of sexual desire. They face criticism and suspicion if they choose not to enter into sexual relationships and, as is evident from your blog, they are often ridiculed when they try to express how they feel about sex.

3. The majority of asexuals experience romantic attraction towards other people and many would like to form romantic non-sexual relationships. However, relationships without sex are not seen as valid or "real" as sexual ones.

4. When interacting with the medical profession asexuals run the risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, most notably a sexual desire disorder.

Given these facts we can conclude that asexuals are a group of people who often feel isolated, marginalised, inadequate and ashamed because of their sexual orientation. They face criticism, ridicule or diagnosis with a mental health disorder when they express their sexuality, and the kind of relationships they would choose for themselves are considered invalid or substandard.

Do any these experiences sound familiar to gay men?

Cerberus said...

Bill-

I must say, your comments have laid bare our feeble attempts to disguise our true intentions. We were oh so close to successfully dismantling homosexuality with our fifth column of sex-hating homophobes when you bravely managed to find our secret training manual. Damn you, Bill, you have thwarted us for the last time!

Seriously, though, you're ignorant. First of all, many asexuals have been attacked as gay, seen as gay, have seriously considered whether they are gay. Some have even gone whole-heartedly in trying it out, myself included. Furthermore, not every asexual is living sexless lives, some do stuff for their partners or have regular sex themselves and many are more informed about the sexual world than say you are (considering you don't apparently even believe in bisexuality). I have had sex, I talk about sex and sexuality obscenely often and perform it regularly for my partner so that they can get off. I'm hardly hiding.

What is also interesting and ironic, but you may have missed being as you are a gay MAN, is that the "therapy" you proscribe and the diagnosis you wish to make mandatory to all asexuals, to force all of them to have sex and claim enjoyment, would mean that you would be proscribing to asexuals that they be raped into a "correct" sexuality. Now, the reason I post this as ironic and relevant is that as a gay MALE, you apparently are not aware that this was the proscribed cure for lesbianism pre-Stonewall and one of the main reasons for the Riots.

So you're an ignorant bigot, ah well, but don't claim we are ignorant when you seemingly can't be bothered to know about lesbian history, deny bisexuals, and the reality of asexuals.

Nelson G. said...

i am deaf. i have a cochlear implant.

why did you compare asexuality to getting a cochlear implant?

you're just extremely ignorant of people who are different from you, it seems.

Uh-oh, we appear to have another case of EEIFGEM syndrome.

Nelson G. said...

GalileoAce said...

NG: Seriously? Asexuals didn't experience the kind of viciously vilification that homosexual people have (which they did) so they don't count? Is that how it works is it?

Since when did respect and pride become a competition?

I'm still waiting on you to provide data.

If you want pride and respect, then don't blow smoke up our asses. I've seen the YouTube videos and many of you look like you were trying to punk out the media.

Fer said...

NG said:
"If you want pride and respect, then don't blow smoke up our asses. I've seen the YouTube videos and many of you look like you were trying to punk out the media."


And you sound like you are afraid of asexuals stealing the gay scene. Grow up.

NG said...

And you sound like you are afraid of asexuals stealing the gay scene. Grow up.
So, in other words, you're trying to be the new gay?

I would suggest that if asexuals are proud of who they are, as some have claimed on this blog, you don't need to be riding the queer express. Get your fucking bus.

Bill Samuels said...

This is becoming ridiculous. While I'm tempted to just dismiss most of you as nut jobs and move on, I'll show you enough courtesy to reply (although most of your comments were the opposite of courteous).

I've never said that asexuals should be "raped" into normalcy, or that bisexuals don't exist, nor do I "hate" and "fear" asexuals or anything else.

All I can say is that if the asexuals who commented are representative of the so-called asexual comunity then what a bunch of touchy, silly, self-absorbed ninnies you are!

What's ridiculous is that my original "beef" -- if that's what is was -- wasn't even with people who identify as asexual, but with those in the GLBT community who wanted to consider asexuals another oppressed sexual minority. I'm sorry but I have issues with this because:

a.) How can people who are not sexual be a "sexual"minority? It's ludicrous.

b.) The jury is still out on whether or not most or even any asexuals are actually born that way. [Stop quoting Kinsey at me, for christ's sake! That study was done sixty years ago and while it was admirable in many ways it was also seriously flawed in others. So is another recent study claiming 1% of the population is asexual. Any one who hadn't had sex in a year was labled asexual! There are millions of people who probably haven't had sex in a year but it doesn't make them "asexual." Most "studies" can say just about anything the researchers want them to say.

c.) While one poster did explain in intelligent (surprise!) fashion the isolation that some asexuals feel, most seem to say they are perfectly happy without sexual feelings. I'm a bit tired of people trying to relate this to being gay. Young people with all sorts of issues can feel "isolated" and so on -- fat girls, unathletic boys. Should we add an F or U to GLBT? One can be sympathetic to a group of people without instantly thinking of them as another oppressed sexual minority.

d.) Speaking of which, I have trouble seeing asexuals as a persecuted minority group a la gays, African-Americans, Jews etc. Oh, I'm sorry -- did I forget about how millions of you asexuals were rounded up and put in death camps? Excuse me for my "ignorance."

I'm aware that as a gay -- and Jewish -- man (How interesting that everyone has harped on my being gay and my gay identity even though the word Jewish is also prominent, as is Author etc.) I'm supposed to accept every fashionable notion that comes along relating to sex (or, in this case, no sex, or at least no sexual feelings) but I'm sorry if I can't comply in this case. I still say that someone who declares him or herself or anybody else an asexual without first getting a complete medical check up and speaking to a sex therapist is an idiot! Lack of sexual feelings can be attibuted to depression, subconscious child- hood traumas, various medical, emotional, and psychological disorders etc. I'm not afraid of asexuals -- why the hell should I be? -- but why are you so afraid of sex (some of you at least)?

I recognized from the first that when I talk of "treatment" I would be letting myself open to the usual "but people think GAYS should be 'treated'" business, but -- as one commenter put it -- asexuality is all rather new while homosexuality has been studied for DECADES. The jury is still out on asexuality. Sorry if this bugs people seeking an identity.

To me the asexual "movement" also smacks of a certain snide puritannical, anti-sex,
attitude that I just can't relate to, being a lusty man. [Not being able to relate to somebody or some fad doesn't make anyone a hateful bigot. I'm sure many of you can't relate to being gay -- that doesn't automatically make you homophobic.] Perhaps asexuality is simply an attitude more than an orientation.

Honestly I don't give a damn if people are or think of themselves as being asexual. It's your business. But at this point I take the asexual movement about as seriously as I do scientology. I mean, we've got a movement started by a 19 year old college kid who, for all we know, doesn't know if he's coming or going, and who could even identify as something else in a couple of years. Twenty-somethings who declare that "I've been aseuxal all of my life." All of your life! You've only been on the planet for about five minutes!

I'm not saying people should be ashamed of lacking sexual feelings. And if openly asexual people start being fired from their jobs or denied marriage rights, I'll be behind them. But as for my blog post CREATING oppression -- Jeez, I'm hardly that powerful! And there are certainly enough gullible people willing to support the asexual movement that you don't need to worry. And, no, I'm not afraid of the A movement taking attention away from gays for the simple reason that we live in a society that is fascinated by sex, not the lack of it.

We live in an age of fads, cults, fashionable notions, and people too afraid of being called bigots to say what they really believe. I decided when I started this blog that there would be No Bullshit, that I would say what was on my mind without fear, that I would not be concerned about being politically correct all the time, and that at all times I would display a sense of humor. Surely SOME asexuals can see the humor in all of this?

Let me put it this way. If years ago when I was in the Gay Activists Alliance someone told me that approx. a quarter of a century later a bunch of asexuals would want to tar and feather me, I would have said "in what looney tunes alternate universe would THAT ever happen."

Looks like the looney tunes alternate universe is upon us.

Forgive me if I'd rather stay in my universe -- you can all stay in yours with no complaint from me!

As usual, I wish everyone well with your own individual psycho-dramas.


P.S. To the person who claimed that the Stonewall riots were caused in part by lesbians being forced into heterosexuality or whatever, I wrote an article years ago in which I interviewed people who were actually present in the Stonewall during the riots, and/or who participated and you're not really accurate in your assertions. Don't try and tell a long-time gay activist and professional writer and reporter gay history, please! [Next you'll be saying that asexuals started the Stonewall rebellion!]

Bill Samuels said...

To John and NG, thanks for your comments. You've both made some interesting points.

Yes, it would be nice if everyone could just get along, but if the price of that is that I have to censor myself, then I don't know if it's worth it.

just a thought.

Fer said...

"'And you sound like you are afraid of asexuals stealing the gay scene. Grow up.'
So, in other words, you're trying to be the new gay?"

I am not asexual. All I am saying is thet you make it sound like gay is something everyone wants to be. It is not a fad, it is a sexual orientation.
And just in case you are wondering, I am heterosexual.

Cerberus said...

Hey Bill,

In your urge to fight that dastardly political correctness, I noted you tried to loudly cough and look the other way about your proscription of forcible rape to "treat" our disorder.

I'm waiting, Mr. Historian of Gay Issues. Also, seriously, wait history of lesbianism pre-Stonewall doesn't include the long histories of rape by cop? The old refrain of "I can change you". Yeah, you're really well-read if all you read is gay male stories and Jewish stories.

No, we weren't gassed, we weren't stoned, hell some of us probably got a nice sweet ride in the Catholic Church once upon a time. But I guaran-damn-tee you we've been raped, both forcibly and by the soft-bigotry of expectations of performance.

Also, fighting PC, seriously? Really, you're going to make a big stand against that? That frankly tells me all I need to know about your allegiance to the wide web of anti-oppression politics especially about intersections of oppressions.

Oh, P.S., we're already in your community. We're still trans, intersex, bi-romantic, homo-romantic, queer-identified, gay ally, or the victim of homophobic assaults or insults.

Oh also, want something newer?

Roselli et al and Stellfug et al on ram mating including asexuality, Anthony Bogaert on psychological definitions of asexuality and warning against doing what you did here as well as a more recent study confirming Kinsey's incidence rates with more modern survey technology.

Also, you don't get to scoff and laugh about our silly little young twink ways when you just said we should be ordered into forcible ways because we are diseased sexphobic people. Honestly, I would be willing to bet my larynx that I am both more confident in my sexuality and more sexually informed and curious than you are.

Lina said...

I've re-read my comment and I apologize for any rudeness I may have displayed. You have the right to your opinion, like anyone else, and my biggest problem with this article was the coarse way you chose to state it. I find it extremely difficult to deal with my sexuality - or lack thereof, according to you. Some days I feel like I could die, because I don't know how I'll be able to continue in our sex-crazed society, surrounded by attitudes such as yours. Nonetheless, thank you for your response to my comment.

John Bisceglia said...

Bill - YES. Leave the censorship to the MSM; otherwise where will we hear truth....good, bad, and ugly?

I personally delete "Anonymous" comments (they tend to be REALLY annoying), so I have this little note when folks comment on my blog:

"Howdy! Please say what's on your mind....BUT - I tend to NOT give a Rat's Patootie about negative comments when they come from cowering fingers on anonymous keyboards. BE REAL - I AM. I can't take you seriously if you're afraid to put your name behind your comments."

Niamh said...

You know, there are plenty of asexuals who also identify as lebsbian, gay, bi and/or trans. I'm a woman in love with a woman. If I could, I'd marry her; I want to spend the rest of my life with her. We just don't get it on.

But to an observer, we look like any other lesbian couple, and we get the same shit thrown at us and have the same rights withheld as any other lesbian couple. So getting shit on by an ignoramus like you from within my own community is really fucking frustrating.

Namiryu said...

Umm...there are over 17,000 registered members of AVEN, so clearly your figure of 100 to 4,000 asexuals is incorrect. I've seen you make comments about how you are some sort of "professional writer", so I would recommend that you rectify that sort of factual error - especially since it's a fact so easy to find out, people will doubt the amount of research you put into your post regarding the asexual community.

Also, you stated in a comment that you find asexuals to be "anti-sexual". However, this is not true. Many asexuals do participate in sexual activities to please their partner, they just simply do not gain any pleasure from the act themselves or desire it at all. The idea that asexuals are 'repressed' is a fairly common one, but it simply doesn't hold up, at least in the case of sexually active asexuals. (see the AVEN forum "For Sexual Partners, Friends, and Allies" for examples of asexuals being in working relationships with sexuals)

Additionally, most asexuals think that sex is a find and dandy thing to do - so long as they aren't the ones doing it. They recognise other peoples sexuality and are respectful of that, we only want you to do the same.

You happen to be absolutely right about the lack of physical harm done to asexuals, so I understand that your objection to the idea of asexuality being compared to homosexuality. However, I do not see how the lack of violent history towards asexuality denounces it as an orientation. Also, asexuals have never claimed to be discriminated as much against as homosexuals have been - they merely show parrelles between both sexual minorities and seek to gain recognition in the collective community along with gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people. Especially considering the large overlap between those communities and the asexual one. (Many asexuals have a "secondary orientation" or "romantic" orientation, and this can be as vairied as it is with sexuals. Believe it or not, it IS possible to form a long-lasting, meaningful, and romantic relationship with another person without involving sex.)

You write that you are gay, so I assume the level of attraction you feel towards women is somewhere between "very little" and "absolutely none", yes? Why, then, is it so difficult to understand that someone would feel that way about both men AND women? A straight man will not desire sex with another man, a straight woman will not desire sex with another woman. And yet, you do not consider that the straight man needs treatment for not desiring men, the women treatment for not desiring women. You just accept this lack of desire as part of their sexuality. Asexuals need treatment no more than you do. How insulting would you find it if I claimed you needed to enter therapy to fix your lack of attraction to the opposite sex?

As for asexuality being a "disability"...sex exists for one reason: Procreation. You don't really need it for any other reason. And if it's a 'disability' to not procreate at some point in your life, then all gays and lesbians are 'disabled' as well.

I'm afraid this comment is becoming a bit long-winded, so I'll just end it by saying that I hope we can come to some sort of understanding. I get that it may be hard to wrap your mind around the fact that some people simply don't desire sex without having something wrong with them, but if you could please try to talk to some asexuals and try to understand a bit more from their perspective, I think you may learn a lot.

emma-rainbow said...

I'm in your queer movement, whether you like it or not, as are the men and women I love. I've been victim of homophobia, because I lean towards the ladies and I don't hide this. I've received a hell of a lot more shit for being ase. I've been told I'm ill, nuts, that I don't know myself, that I cannot love. Oh, wait, just like you have done. I'm not sorry if I sound pissy - I'm sure you'd be pissed off if you saw someone you'd automatically support from within your community claim that you don't belong there, that you're ill, nuts, don't know yourself, cannot love. No one deserves that and I am allowed to say that.

Would you honestly toss me out? I was 14 when I realised I wasn't attracted to men. I presumed I was a lesbian, then bi, but I felt wrong, I knew the label wasn't right, I felt so uncomfortable and wrong in every way. When I read the definition of asexual I felt liberated - I was this! This was me!

I now identify as queer. It is EASIER than trying to explain my own flavour of asexuality, because people think 'oh, no sex, freak' and ignore me.

It hurts.

Why should someone in a same-sex relationship be denied the community and safety within LGBT space? Ase people have a significantly higher level of trans incidence and about half are open to same-sex relationships.

And if you want some reasonably modern statistics? Bogeart's study on sexuality in the UK - >15000 adult participants and more than 1% ticked the box for orientation 'I have never been attracted to anyone at all'.

Also, it's dispicable to bring the orientation of a 26 year old man into question 'because he's too young' - read David Jay's blog before criticising him.

Numbers for AVEN are now in the 20000s, btw. 100 people identify that way you reckon? In which case I've met about a fifth of the world's population! Ffs, someone else from my primary school identifies as ase.

Landon said...

Here's coming from a homoromantic asexual.

When people see my girlfriend and I holding hands down the street, people don't know that we don't get it on in bed.

emma-rainbow said...

I know a lesbian asexual who has been involved in activism for decades - she established the LGBT group on my campus in the 70s, is still vocal and campaigning.

Is she not welcome anymore?

Blu said...

You sound like Michael Savage, calling asexuality a mental disorder. You also show a lot of venom and immaturity. You question why people commenting on this entry are angry? Just look at the wording of how you've presented your so-called case. You're an unkind, close-minded individual. Basically, you suck.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, your an idiot.


Just because some people don't have a desire to have sex doesn't mean they are unable to be engaged in a romantic relationship with someone they care for.

In addition, you might be interested to know that not every gay person under the sun wants nothing but meaningless sex. Some of us actaully have relationships that mean more to us than that.

Nelson G. said...

Isn't it interesting how these comments went from people who aren't gay feeling they should be a part of a repressed sexual minority to people who are gay who feel the current acronym ought to be amended to reflect gays who don't make sex a central point in their lives.

Catherine said...

Bill, two questions.

1. If it's not too personal, can I ask when you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were gay? I have a close gay friend who says he's known since he was a pre-teen and I'm just wondering if, by your logic, he was too young to know he was gay. Should he have given women a fair shot until, say, 30, before making a decision? I'd like to know what criteria you're using to define who is "too young" to know themselves.

2. There's a lot of venom going around here as well as a huge amount of misunderstanding, both deliberate and accidental. Would you be interested in interviewing an asexual? It might give you a different understanding of what it means for us to be asexy, which would perhaps help you understand just how much offense was given by your blog post. If this is something that might be interesting to you, please email me at twoforjoy @ gmail . com because I would love to have a chance to discuss this in a rational and polite fashion (instead of this rather ugly mudslinging).

Bill Samuels said...

Okay, I appreciate the more reasoned tone of the comments from asexuals. You make some interesting points. However, they only reaffirm my belief that asexuality is not an orientation. Here's why:

Several people have noted that attraction to another human being encompasses more than sex; it is emotional and romantic as well as sexual. A perfectly valid point. And certainly there are couples, gay and straight,who are not asexual but who have stopped engaging in sex.

But that's just it. Many of you have identified yourselves as being gay, straight or bi -- you're emotionally and romantcially attracted to men or women, just not sexually. Then THAT'S your orientation. Gay/bi asexuals are certainly part of the GLBT movement; straight asexuals are not. Is that really so off-base or bigoted? You're my gay brothers and sisters even if you're asexual, and already part of a movement that could use your support. How can your "orientation" be asexual when you're already hetero, homo or bi-sexual?

I just don't see asexuality as being a genuine sexual orientation, especially as asexuals are already "oriented" towards men or women or both. [Frankly I should have made this point from the very first.]

No, I don't feel asexuals should be forced into doing anything they don't want to do, just as gays should not be forced into "conversion " therapy. I just feel that a person who feels they may be asexual should at least consult with people -- and I don't just mean AVEN -- first to make sure that they really are asexual and that there's not some other "problem." I assume all of you have already done so. I mean, if your asexuality causes you distress -- as some have indicated -- why wouldn't you want to do a full investigation?

I don't consider myself a mean or hateful person and apparently people are offended by the irreverent tone I often take in my posts regardless of what I'm writing about. That's who I am.
But try to understand -- I'm a middle-aged jewish gay guy dealing with a variety of issues, including aging, and asexuality is just not on the top of my list of causes I wish to espouse.

Catherine, of course I'd contact and interview you and others if I was going to do a big piece on the subject, but to be frank it just doesn't interest me all that much and I don't want to be in the position of helping to publicize a "movement" that I have some issues with. There is nothing to stop any and all of you from having your own blogs to promote asexuality, if you're not doing so already.

Remember, the whole point of my original post was to discuss if asexuals should be lumped in with GLBT, not to "attack" asexuals as such.

John, you've made a good point about anonymous comments. People should have the courage of their convictions. NG, thanks for your input as well.

Lastly, I'll say that with groups such as Focus on the Family garnering millions and millions of dollars from the religious right for a full-out hate campaign against homosexuals, I would recommend that gay/bi asexuals get on the GLBT bandwagon, as you're much more likely to be attacked for your same-sex interests than you are for being asexual, even if you may not feel that way right now.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think we don't consult others or do a full investigation?

Not having sex is what is comfortable for us and feels right, but that doesn't mean it is not terribly inconvenient or awkward sometimes. We realize fully that this means we're not going to be listened to, not believed, and it makes finding a compatible partner difficult. Who wants that? A lot of us struggle initially with this knowledge before settling into the comfort of knowing we're doing what's right for us.

The distress really comes from not from our sexual desire or lack of, but the fact people like to sit there and tell us what we're thinking and what our position in society is.

Alexandra Erin said...

So, it's just a phase, he's in denial, he should grow out of it, how can he know if he doesn't try?

Talk about co-opting language...

Anonymous said...

"OH NO! There are people who are different from me!"

Sorry, that's all I could hear from this.

Anonymous said...

This post is stupid and ignorant and you should feel stupid and ignorant for making it.

Deal with your issues without shitting on other people.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, why don't you like women? I mean, you're a man. You HAVE to like women... I mean... it's like not liking food or something! I hope you get the help you need so your so-called "orientation" is cured... Hopefully one day you'll wake up and realise the choice is YOURS to be attracted to females!

kasper said...

here's a friendly tip for you: you don't get to decide how other people define themselves. especially a group of people who you clearly don't know anything about. if you did, you wouldn't be talking out of your arse and claiming that it's a disability.

stop being so fucking arrogant and educate yourself about issues before you decide to give people shit for who they are. and before you start, no, that is exactly what you do in this blogpost. it's disrespectful, ignorant, and fucking ridiculous, especially coming from someone who clearly fancies himself a "proper" blogger about LGB issues (and no, i'm not going to throw the T in there as you don't seem to give trans people a second thought in your blog. how surprising!).

Anonymous said...

If people are happy living as they're living, NO MATTER HOW BADLY YOU THINK THEY'RE MISSING OUT, they don't have a problem.

If this makes you uncomfortable, you might need to consider more about why the thought people are perfectly happy not having sex or being sexually attracted to others make you uncomfortable than what possible problems those who define themselves as asexuals may have to not enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

You're my gay brothers and sisters even if you're asexual, and already part of a movement that could use your support. How can your "orientation" be asexual when you're already hetero, homo or bi-sexual?

I just don't see asexuality as being a genuine sexual orientation, especially as asexuals are already "oriented" towards men or women or both. [Frankly I should have made this point from the very first.]


Someone isn't bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual if they aren't sexually attracted to someone. Homoromantic asexuals are those who are romantically attracted to the same sex. Heteroromantic asexuals are those romantically attracted to those of the opposite sex. Biromantic asexuals are those romantically attracted to both sexes. There are also aromantic asexuals who just aren't interested in doing anything with anyone ever. It's an orientation no matter which way you look at it. Keep in mind that "romantic" and "sexual" mean two different things.

Anonymous said...

Many therapists [unless they're politically over-correct assholes] agree that these are people who need therapy and counseling, not to be told that their asexuality is just another "orientation."

Sounds like those days when they thought that therapy and counseling would set straight the homosexuals. That didn't seem to work much, now did it?

Emily said...

Interesting that you're touting the words of a few "therapists" as the gospel truth, when 25 years ago, those same therapists would have said that YOU were the one with the mental problem. I think that perhaps you just need your own tent in the Queer Camp with a sign outside saying, "You must be this oppressed to enter."

Coleslaw said...

To all th people coming here to call names, please... That's not helping matters in ANY way. If you can't contribute something productive, don't contribute. It's not making anyone look any good.


Just one question for the blog owner: where did you find a group of asexuals saying that they were suffering the same fate as the gay community? I can assure you, most of us only struggle with the fact that there is a great deal of ignorance about our orientation, hence creating and congregating on a website designed for visibility and education, not for infiltrating the gay agenda and attempting to take your spotlight.

I agree with what Catherine has said in some comments. Do some research. Interview someone. Read the actual AVEN web page. It'll save you in the future from writing an extremely misinformed post. Simple things, such as knowing how many members are actually on AVEN, would have spoken worlds better for you.

Additionally, most asexuals are not anti-sex. I, personally, think everyone should be free to have as much safe and consentual sex as they so desire. And I also think that those who do not desire sex with anyone, ever, should also be allowed to live without it.

Cheers,
Cole

Anonymous said...

To Bill, far from "disparaging" or hating homosexuals, I'm doing, I feel, the responsible thing by suggesting that with therapy and counseling many can bring the new, exciting and wonderful element of heterosexual intercourse to their lives. I'm NOT saying they are inferior human beings or should be discriminated against. I just don't see them as an oppressed minority group.

Bill Samuels said...

Everyone keeps making the same points over and over. It's getting boring.

Let's all just agree to disagree on this.

I'm perfectly sympathetic to people who, for whatever reason, are completely devoid of sexual feelings. You'll only interpret this as condescension, I'm sure, but okay I feel sorry for you -- if sympathy is what you're after. You can try as you will to twist asexuality into being the same as being gay, but it isn't. You say I'm ignorant -- maybe. But asexuals are completely ignorant of sexuality and what it's about, but you wouldn't like if I told you you couldn't have an opinion on various sexual matters.

Again, I've explained why I don't think an A for Asexual should be added to GLBT, and I'm sticking with it. Sorry it pisses people off. If you want to interpret that as an "attack" on asexuals there's nothing I can do to change your minds.

For those who are interested in this subject I suggest you google "asexuality" and you will find articles on the subject (with comments from asexuals, therapists etc.) and the AVEN web site. Make up your own minds.

I haven't deleted any comments, no matter how nasty. You've had your say and can continue to have your say in other venues.

But for now this discussion is closed, and any new comments will simply be deleted and unread. I've got a life; hope you all do, too.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shain Neumeier said...

I'm asexual and disabled, and in both cases I see no reason that I am any less perfectly and imperfectly created than you or any other sexual, able-bodied person, and therefore no reason to hand myself over to others to be "fixed."

Am I traumatized by things done to me? You bet. Do I have a host of yet-undiagnosed mental issues? Yes sir. Am I socially delayed? Definitely. Do I have several medical conditions that are known to impair sex drive? No question about it. But does any of this make me less asexual? Nope.

I still will think "That person has an awesome sweater! I'd love to be able to knit it!" or "Their hair looks soft, it must feel nice!" instead of "Oh my god, they're hot! I want to fuck them!" when I see someone. I still think that the sweetest forms of physical affection are hugging and holding hands. I still have yet to understand how one could need sex like one needs air, food, drink and sleep. Just because something might have "made" me asexual doesn't make it any less valid to me. I have never felt sexual, so I can no more conceive of missing sex than someone who has never wanted to eat chocolate missing it.

Anyone who's known me in a great capacity could tell you that I do not lack love or emotional affection. I love intensely, truly, loyally, completely. It just doesn't connect in my mind that "love" = "putting something in a hole." To me, love is protection, love is devotion, love is being willing to understand someone else's mind completely and accepting them for it. As cliche as it sounds - if this is wrong, I don't want to be right.

As for what I'm missing out on? I see sexual people who wouldn't want to get to know me because I wouldn't sleep with them in the same way I see people who would judge me and treat me badly for my cleft lip or my lack of teeth. They're shallow bastards who are pointlessly passing up loyal, intelligent, caring companionship, and catering to them by sacrificing what I am would be a colossal waste of my time. I'd sooner become a crazy old cat lady than hand over control of my body again to someone who thinks what they're doing is "for my own good" (and believe me, I have well enough experience with that to know that "for your own good" almost never is). But I'm not ready yet to give up on the idea that there's another person out there who might be looking for someone like me.

Unless you can prove that an existence like mine is somehow a threat to yours, or that I as I am with my experiences would necessarily be happier if I was like you, I see no reason for your complaint. You very much seem to want no one like me, disabled or asexual, to be as we are. How is this right?

Bill Samuels said...

I'm leaving your comment here Shain, because it wasn't nasty and it was full of feeling.

Shain, you may not believe this, but whatever our differences in opinion, I truly hope you find someone to share your life with. I have no desire for asexually-identified individuals to be lonely or miserable.

I've explained myself in my OP and in three follow up comments. I have nothing more to add.

This dicussion is now CLOSED.

goethechosemercy said...

Wow.
And you haven't even started in on the antisexuals yet!

Anonymous said...

This far, and no further, hmm? You stay classy.

Anonymous said...

I was going to post my opinion here, but reading through the comments, I just had to give up. Not because everything I wanted to say was said, but because HOLY CRAP NG IS THE HUGEST SYCOPHANT, like, EVER. The fact that he sucks up to your hatemongering ways, Mr. Samuels, should both alarm and shame you.

Nelson G. said...

Suck Up?

Well he is taller...

Knock the crap off, people.

If you guys wish to practice a form of celibacy, by all means, but don't go looking to define it or add letters because it's dumb and idiotic and no one's buying it except maybe that idiot who runs Queers anything but United.

Nelson G. said...

Oh great, another gay purist.

This whole notion that people who allegedly give the community a bad name be cast off ala Survivor: Queer Island is another matter than needs to be addressed.

Some of you in the LGBTQ queer community seem to forget what happened the last time we let a so called sexual minority be a part of the gay community.

They all but destroyed the gay rights movement.

And because our gay rights leaders of the time didn't do anything about them, many of us have been paying for it in spades.

Be quiet? Give me a fucking break.

I paid for my right to judgemental and as a blogger (and militant gay activist as coined by the anti-gays) I get to criticise whoever the fuck I want, because I earned that right.

James said...

Bill, I as an asexual agree that asexuals are not discriminated against to the same degree as gay men and women. However, I do feel that many of the things you have said are inflammatory and offensive. The way you worded many of your comments is outright rude. I believe that is why you are getting so much harsh feedback from your posts.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

- "and appropriating it for their own pathetic purposes."

- "it's a disability"

- "Homosexuality is not a disability; asexuality is."

- "just the kind of stupid thing that an immature mind would conceive of and post on the Internet"

- "I've no doubt that a lot of sad, sexless people who for one (bad) reason or another have zero sex drive have happily signed up with the group to validate their dysfunctional lives."

- "He literally doesn't seem to understand what it is that he's missing."

- "I can only assume its very young or at least very immature people"

- "it doesn't mean that many people who classify themselves as such don't need counseling and sex therapy"

- "Maybe you should try getting laid!"

- "Bullshit! Get therapy!"

- "This is becoming ridiculous. While I'm tempted to just dismiss most of you as nut jobs"

- "what a bunch of touchy, silly, self-absorbed ninnies you are!"

- "While one poster did explain in intelligent (surprise!) fashion"

- "To me the asexual "movement" also smacks of a certain snide puritannical, anti-sex, attitude"

- "And there are certainly enough gullible people willing to support the asexual movement that you don't need to worry."

- "But asexuals are completely ignorant of sexuality and what it's about, but you wouldn't like if I told you you couldn't have an opinion on various sexual matters."


Yes, Asexuals do not experience nearly half of the opposition that Gay men and women face. However, there were many better ways to rephrase things like these so as not to offend.

You dismiss us all together, which is unfair to us. We don't do the same for you. How would you react if someone told you, "You just haven't had enough pussy to know how incredible it is to be straight." Most of the asexuals I have met have had sex. Many, such as myself, have experimented with men and women, but nothing seems to be interesting. Should I keep wasting time with sex if I don't enjoy it?

The trials we face are different than those you may have dealt with. I have had relationship after relationship end because your partner feels like they are raping you every time you have sex. It is hard to feel used because everyone just seems to want to have sex with you rather than find love.

As you said, "We live in a society that is fascinated by sex, not the lack of it." This society doesn't care for (Or actively hate) those who don't share an interest in sex. I, personally, just want to be accepted and respected. I don't care if you want to add a stupid little letter onto the title of your gay alliances, but please don't question our sexuality and tell us to seek therapy.

Bill Samuels said...

James, I allowed your post to go through because it was well-written and it wasn't nasty.

I am, without apology, a very blunt no-bullshit kind of person. I always say what I feel. It's not that I set out to be offensive, but as a middle-aged gay guy whose had to put up with enough bullshit from others over the years I'm not overly concerned if I sometimes tick people off -- you'll get over it. I'm not trying to be a curmudgeon, just honest. I can be wrong. I've been wrong in the past and if I ever come to the conlusion that I'm wrong about this issue -- and I'm not going to repeat the points I've already made -- I will admit it.

There are people out there who roll their eyes when it comes to asexuals etc. behind your backs but are all friendly and seemingly supportive to your [mostly anonymous in this case] faces. I don't do that. You know where you stand with me. I know many people who act like they're all understanding of GLBT groups and other groups but when they let down their hair it's another story.

I do NOT hate those who identify as asexual. I recognize that most have no great desire to be lumped in with GLBT. And while I don't hate them either, my original complaint wasn't with asexuals but with those in the GLBT community who feel asexuals are a sexual minority when they are not even sexual.

I've stepped on some toes, but I'm entitled to my opinion just as you are yours.

Anna said...

Perhaps the problem here is one of definition, then, and the people you are complaining about are using "sexual" as "in relation to sexuality" rather than whatever definition you use that excludes those that do not experience sexual attraction.

An asexual person's relationship to and understanding of sexuality is very different from that of the majority of people, so in that sense I don't see why they shouldn't be described as a sexual minority.

Anyway, since an asexual's lack of attraction often leads to them experimenting and being generally confused about their sexuality, surely it makes sense for sexual/gender diversity awareness and support groups to be informed about asexuality and prepared to help those who may be that way.

Bill Samuels said...

Thank you for your intelligent and reasoned response, Anna. I think you make some interesting points, which make good sense if it's true that all asexuals are born that way. But I don't know if that's actually the case with everyone who identifies as asexual. If the "help" that is offered is therapy or counseling it may only be rejected by those who insist they need no help because there's nothing "wrong" with them, even if it's just offered as a way to help them adjust to their situation. But perhaps support groups can help people determine if they're truly asexual or if their lack of sexual feeling is attributable to something else.

Thanks for your comments.

Khal said...

You seem to mostly be defensive over asexuals "stealing the thunder of gays". Stating that they don't have the same right as gays to be included in sexual orientation groups, be proud over their sexual orientation, and so forth, because it is a disability and not a sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation means your orientation to biological sexes. This can refer to your own biological sex, of course, and what it is orientated too. For example, pansexuals. Thusly it is possible to be sexually attracted to the same gender, the opposite gender, both genders or no genders. Stating that your orientation must fall under one of the genders is discrimination against those who aren't sexually attracted. It happens. Just like being attracted to the same gender. But I'm sure you know that.

Are you insulted that bisexuals or heterosexuals can claim to be proud as well? Or, since bisexuals are also sexually attracted to the same gender, just insulted about heterosexuals?

Some people who are young and still soul searching their sexual orientation may, in fact, identify with asexuality, yes. But that does not make them immature. If that were so, would homosexuals who were dating girls also be immature? Social norm has stated that sexuality is between a man and a woman for a while, hence the discrimination against gays -- But social norm also states to be dating, and most high school students also tend to believe that they must have a girlfriend or boyfriend. Someone who is not yet attracted might think there is something wrong with them -- even if they're a late bloomer or truly never will be sexually attracted.

It is not a disability to be a cat person. It is not a disability to be a dog person. It is not a disability to like both cats and dogs. Nor is it a disability not to like cats or dogs. There are people in the world who are late bloomers, people who are gay, straight, bi and ace.

I don't think its fair of you to hate on these individuals. Even if some of them are young and will soul search again and realize they simply haven't met anyone they've been attracted to, doesn't mean that they simply aren't attracted. Personally, I love cats, and even find it odd that somebody could NOT like cats -- they're too hilariously cute not to like. But I understand there are people who exist in the world who don't like cats, and I understand there are people in who exist who don't experience sexual attraction --- and they're perfectly healthy individuals (even having fine libidos).

The antagonistic and abrasive way you wrote this article will spark abrasive and antagonistic responses, but both sides should remember that neither makes the responses productive. If you're asexual and offended, stop and realize that he's offended too -- because he doesn't fully understand you, and you don't fully understand how someone could say these things.

if you have to respond, try to write it elsewhere then revise it from a non personal approach. You should be able to target the points you want to without an abrasive edge.

Khal said...

Sorry, I'd also like to add one other thing.

There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not asexuality is a valid "sexual" orientation.


Sexual orientation refers to your sexuality (or rather, what you're attracted to), not to what you have sex with. Heterosexuality is not a "lack" of heterosexuality and is thusly a sexuality.

In essence, heterosexuality is to homosexuality as asexuality is to bisexuality.

Jen said...

I identify as asexual (okay, if you want to get technical, I identify as "panaesthetic demiandroromantic asexual"), but I differ from most asexuals in one big way. I really don't think asexuality as most people define it is an orientation. After all, no one would consider "hypersexual" an orientation, and they're both the same kind of label. It's more of how one feels about sex. I think your orientation has to do with what you are attracted to in any way, not just what you want to have sex with. That said, I do consider aromantic asexuality to be an orientation. It deals with what you are attracted to, and besides, people who feel this way need some kind of label, don't they?

Anyone who says asexuals are oppressed is kidding himself. These people probably just want something to feel estranged about. Still, the fact that a group isn't oppressed doesn't mean that they don't deserve to be noticed. If that was true, every Caucasian male would be an invisible...! Just because some people love something doesn't mean everyone has to.

Akari said...

Some people consider asexuality to be a disorder. But a more recognized and far more dangerous problem is hypersexuality or sex addiction, going as deep as there being anonymous groups, telephone hotlines, and specially-marketed "porn blockers" to help deal with it. These people often feel their lives are empty and useless because of sex. Such people are also prone to becoming sexual harrassers and rapists. Meanwhile, most asexuals are happy with their lives and not likely to hurt anyone because of their amount of libido. If you're going to consider asexuality a disorder, you'll have to recognize the fact that hypersexuality is a worse one. If asexuality is a disorder, it is not one in dire need of treatment. Hypersexuality, however, is.

Bill Samuels said...

Thank you, Akari and Jen, for some very interesting comments and points.

Best, Bill

SpirallingSnowy said...

I see several Asexuals have posted previously to me, so i will try to not repeat what they have said.

I'm asexual, but by default, people assumed i am a stereotypical heterosexual woman. I have never ever claimed to be part of the GLBT movement, and any real life asexuals i know who are not G,L,B, or T as well, do not try to be part of the movement.

Im not sure it needs to be included, purely because im not sure i want to be attached to the GLBT community. Im not saying i dont, and i think everyone should be treated equally regardless of their orientation.

More because i dont feel part of the community because im not attracted sexually to either gender, and am romantically attracted to men.

Therefore i pass as straight.

This said, i think that it can be beneficial for us to gain recognition, particularly when many Asexuals support GLBT rights.

What i do object to is being told that asexuality doesnt exist, that im missing out on something, that im broken, and need fixing.

Im not missing out on anything, for the record ive had over 8 sexual partners in my lifetime, and have held healthy sexual relationships with these people.

Where i differ to anyone else who is straight is that i dont view people in a sexual sense. I emotionally and romantically connect with them.

I know how to have sex, i can play the sexual game, i can talk, walk, appear straight.I make the guys blush, imply more sexual innuendo than you can poke a stick at. I just dont see people in a sexual sense. And am not terribly fussed in engaging in sexual anything with anyone.

But i can, have, and will, if the relationships i form with people require this of me and i want to at that particular point in time.

I do think that you are narrowminded, unjustifably having a go at a community who you know sweet FA about, rude, ignorant, and accusing Asexual people of things they as a whole are not doing.

Yes we do want recognition. It is imperetive that people recognise asexuality exists. We live in a highly sexualised world, sex is everywhere, and it can be incredibly distressing to feel like there is something wrong with you, that you are broken as a person, or that you are in someway made differently to 99% of the people around you.

Sure, there are prolly people who are repressed or there is something wrong with them who identify as asexual. It is suggested and expected that asexuals will get them selves checked out medically to make sure nothing is wrong.

If there is nothing wrong medically, and they clearly dont find other people sexually attractive, where is the harm in allowing them to identify with a community who doesnt try and make them feel broken for not wanting it?

There is such a nasty connetation that if you dont want sex then you are missing out. I know it, i experience it every time a talk to a male friend. Some friends i dont bother telling cos they have called me freak. Ive been called weird, a freak, that im broken, that it cant possibly be true. That i need to try sex first. Does the GLBT community NEED to stick their toes in the straight pool just to make sure they fit in?? No. some do, some dont. same with asexuals.

I get told - go try more sex. I with hold the amount of times ive had sex because people are baffled. For your information, in 2004 i worked it out to be over 700 times. Yes, i got lots of practise in.

In fact, i still have sex. There are so few asexuals that i know i will have to compromise in a relationship about sex. This is unbelievably complicated because people take it as a personal insult when you dont want to sleep with them.

Still asexual.
Still attracted romantically to men, but dont want to have sex with them.

Is it so hard to understand that people can NOT want sex?
It especially sucked when i was still working myself out and i was the one bugging the sexual boyfriend for sex, not the other way around, cos i thought that it was what i was supposed to do.

My body works for sex, but i just dont like sex that much.

Bill Samuels said...

CLOSED DISCUSSION!!!!!!!

Okay, this discussion is CLOSED for real. I have allowed a few more comments to go through and I truly believe we've seen every possible point of view on this subject. I've allowed just about everyone to have their say and I can't be fairer than that. There's plenty of food for thought here. Some of the responses were quite eloquent, and it's also interesting to see that not all asexuals agree with one another on this issue.

No future comments on this post will be approved or published. People are mostly just reading my OP and reacting to it and don't bother ploughing through all of the responses that follow anyway, so we really don't need any more of them. Thank you for your cooperation.

Rachel said...

I was born, and I continue to be, a white Christian heterosexual female. I would never claim to be a part of the Jewish community and understand the suffering in their history, nor would I claim myself to be a part of the black community or the GLBT community either, and for me to do so would be just as ludicrous as this, in my eyes. Any kind of "asexual movement" just sounds like a bleeding hearts club, and while I support their right to help each other out in whatever they are going through, I have yet to see any evidence that they suffer discrimination in any way.

Obviously they are all going to gang up on anybody who says "boo" to their "lifestyle", but more power to you for saying what you think, and I completely agree with you.

Bill Samuels said...

Okay, two more comments came in that at least were not just retreads of what's already been said.

LeilaW begins with a slam at me

-- "I'm just going to ignore that irritating attention seeking little man" -- [that's one way of getting your comment published, Leila!} but at least she provides information in her comment so here's the rest of it:

"The LGBT/LGBTA issue is currently being debated at my local LGBT.

The argument for, was that asexuality needs support to raise awareness for those who are mis-diagnosed or mis-treated because of their orientation, and who may still be unaware of it themselves. If the A movement needs a base, where else is more appropriate than the LGBT? Also, that A is more related to LGB than T is, so if T is accepted, then A should also be included in the title.

The argument against, was that Transexuality has 'traditionally' gone alongside homosexuality, whereas Asexuality has not. That As do not face the same harassment that practicing homosexuals do, therefore they do not need the LGBT's protection. Adding the extra letter would distract from important Gay Causes, e.g trying to abolish the death penalty for homosexuality where it still exists.

The conclusion of the debate, was that LGBT should keep that name, but include A information on it's stalls and leaflets, and links on it's website.

The Queer Youth network already lists asexuals as one of it's groups. I prefer 'Queer' to 'LGBT'/'LGBTA', as it avoids requiring people to pigeon hole themselves, and basically supports anyone who doesn't conform mainstream heterosexuality."

And one last message below.

Bill Samuels said...

The "one last message" I referred to was actually Rachel's above -- thanks, Rachel.

All future comments from anyone will be automaticaly eliminated without being read. There are other venues where those who disagree with me can vent. I have already deleted some comments that were especially childish and immature, but now they'll ALL be deleted.

I don't know about anybody else but I'm bored with the whole subject!