Q&A III

All search terms appear exactly as they were typed into Google/Formspring, so I take no credit for any spelling or grammar errors.

Standard Definitional Disclaimer: Asexuality refers here to a sexual orientation among humans.  It does not have anything to do with biology, whether that means the biology of non-human asexually reproducing species, or humans with non-standard anatomy (if you’re looking for that, google intersex conditions instead). Asexuality means not experiencing sexual attraction; it does not mean or imply that we are “not sexual” in any way at all. The term is analogous to homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, etc. Asexuals are a widely varied group that may have little else in common with one another aside from not experiencing sexual attraction to others as a general rule. I can only answer for myself. My answers may include sarcasm.

On to the questions!

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Q: how do you know if people are willing to have sex (from Google)
A: You ASK. Yes, out loud. Directly. In a manner that’s not confusing. That’s the only way you’re going to get a clear answer that can’t be misinterpreted. Just a simple, “Hey, do you want to do x?” will suffice. Don’t take any answer other than a clear yes. And don’t act like it’s so hard, or like it would kill the mood. Just be casual about it, and it won’t. If you’re too nervous to ask, maybe that will kill the mood, but the question itself? I can’t tell you how nice it is to be asked to give permission before someone starts touching me. Nobody is a mind-reader when it comes to these sorts of things, and you’re not (or you shouldn’t be) expected to be one. If you are being expected to read minds, that’s your sign to get the hell out of there. Any signs that a person might be interested cannot be taken as proof that they are, because what if you’re wrong? That’s too great a risk to make assumptions.

And do keep in mind that just because somebody wants to do x (for example, kissing or cuddling) doesn’t mean they also want to do y (for example, having intercourse), or that just because they say they want to once doesn’t mean they haven’t changed their mind, and also, it doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind in the middle. Consent is not a single decision; it’s a continuous state.

Q: what is a gray ace asexual (from Google)
A. Kinda redundant, considering that ace and asexual mean the same thing. It’s like saying “what is a (adj) bi bisexual?” (Yes, I realize this is from google, so it’s just there to make the search more specific. I’m just pointing this out because there are going to be people reading this page who don’t know that ace is short for asexual.) First of all, you have to understand that in this model, sexuality is viewed as a continuous spectrum without any specific dividing line between sexual and asexual. It is understood that sexual orientation refers to general preferences, and that a lesbian may on very rare occasions (like once or twice in her life) have sexual attraction to a man, outside of her normal orientation. It’s considered perfectly reasonable for her to continue identifying as a lesbian, because her preference is for women the VAST majority of the time. The same applies to asexuals who have experienced sexual attraction maybe once or twice (or think they MIGHT have, because keep in mind that for asexuals, sexual attraction tends to be particularly difficult to define/understand, due to lack of experience with it and others’ assumption that it is just intuitive that makes them unlikely or unable to explain). The problem is, at what point in frequency of these kinds of experiences do you go from being asexual to vaguely sexual? Once in your whole life? Once in fifteen years? Once in ten? Five? There is no objective line that divides asexuals from sexuals in that sense, and whether a person would continue identifying as asexual comes down to personal choice. Some people start identifying as sexual instead, some continue to identify as asexual because that’s what they’re like the vast majority of the time, and others say they’re in the “gray area” in between. Keep in mind this is not the only explanation for why someone would choose to identify as gray ace, as it’s pretty personal and the definition of what constitutes the “gray area” is intentionally vague, but it gives you a basic idea.

Q: why would an asxual masterbate (from Google)
A: For… pleasure? Why would you masturbate? Being asexual doesn’t mean you can’t feel any pleasure from genital stimulation. Or sometimes, if you’re not really in the mood to masturbate but you have a headache or something, you might try it in an attempt to relieve the pain. Or to make yourself tired enough to sleep. Or because you’re experimenting to see what it’s like. There are a number of reasons to masturbate, none of which are any different from the reasons people who aren’t asexual do it.

Q: are you supposed to be sexually attracted to body parts (from Google)
A: Not experiencing sexual attraction myself, I can’t answer from personal experience, but I thought it was an interesting question and I’ve read quite a lot of sex education materials, so my answer comes from that. From my understanding, there are people who find penises sexually attractive but have somewhat of a repulsion for men, there are people who find men sexually attractive but find penises kind of repulsive, there are people who find feet or other body parts sexually attractive but not (fill in the blank), and probably all manner of other combinations. There’s nothing wrong with any of these, all of them are just normal variations. And variation is the rule when it comes to sexuality. There’s no “supposed to be” because all people are different. You’re not supposed to be anything. You’re normal no matter what body parts you are or aren’t attracted to.

Q: how long should a woman give a guy personal space (from Google)
A: I’m not really sure how to answer this one, but I thought it was interesting that this search led to my blog somehow. I can’t answer it because I need more specific contextual information. Balancing personal space in a relationship can be very tricky, my partner and I actually broke up once because we were dumb about it. Even if you were just following what culturally is “supposed” to happen rather than what’s better for you as individuals, the answer to this question would still depend on what point you’re at in the relationship. The most generalized advice I can give is that you should communicate directly about what you need, and neither one of you should make assumptions. It’s more typical in heterosexual relationships to rely on cultural scripts that tell you what “should” happen instead of actually talking about your own personal feelings and what you both want from the relationship, but if either one of you balks at having relationship discussions, the relationship will suffer.

Q: do you wish there was no sex (from Google)
A: Me? No way. Because 1) I find it generally enjoyable and 2) I wouldn’t exist if it didn’t. Moreover, the amazing diversity not just of our species but of life in general either wouldn’t exist, or would be severely diminished. I do, however, wish there was no sex that any person involved didn’t want to have on any level.

Q: why do i keep saying no to sexual partners when they want to have sex (from Google)
A: Presumably because you don’t want to have sex? It’s okay to say no, you don’t have to have sex whenever a partner asks. Just because you have sex with them sometimes doesn’t mean you have to do it every time they ask. If you actually do want to have sex but you still keep saying no, then there’s something about the situation that must be bothering you. Try to figure out what that is, so you can resolve it.

Q: what does it mean if someone says is it okay if i jack off your formspring page (from Google)
A: Uh… I have no idea. Anyone else care to take a stab?

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Have you got a question you’d like me to answer? Ask me here.

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3 thoughts on “Q&A III

  1. At first, I read the last one as “what does it mean if someone says is it okay if i jack off TO your formspring page,” and felt a little disturbed. Then I noticed that there was no “to,” … and now I’m intensely curious about how one would jack off a formspring page.

    Like

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