Q&A XI

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. For a more detailed explanation on this, please check my FAQ page. 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!

*************
Q: do asexuals avoid dating (from Google)
A: Sometimes. I avoided it for a very long time, because I felt like I would be pressured to do sexual things, and because I thought it would be very structured and have too many rules to follow. I didn’t want to follow a cultural script that would encourage others to put me in a box that I don’t fit in. So for a while I just went (or intended to go) straight from friends to “in a relationship” status with people I was interested in. Then I met my fiancée, and accidentally ended up going on a date with her even though we had planned to go out as friends. I learned that dates don’t have to be that structured, and they’re not all that different from hanging out as friends. Now, I go on dates several times a week. But not all asexuals are like me; some just don’t want to date, or don’t see the point of it.

Q: are physical looks important to asexuals (from Google)
A: They can be. For some asexuals looks don’t particularly matter, though for me they actually do. I need to have at least a neutral response to looking at a person in order to be with them, as if I find them disgusting I’m not likely to want to be around them for very long. Prettiness is a bonus, but not a strict necessity for me. I also care about the way that I look and the kind of image I present to the world, and have several different styles I wear depending on my mood, some of which are deliberately strange. Sometimes I will dress down, and sometimes I will dress up, depending on how comfortable I am getting attention for my looks that day. Occasionally I have been known to experiment with what I wear to see whether people treat me any differently than they do when I dress “normally.”

Q: I’ve found that the older I get and the more in tune with myself I become, I find that while I enjoy masturbation, I’m less interested in having a sexual partner and would prefer someone I can emotionally connect to. Could it be possible I’m asexual? (from Formspring)
A: It’s possible you might be, however it’s also fairly common for *sexual people to feel that way too, especially as they age (from what I understand). The key difference is that the asexual people don’t feel any kind of sexual attraction, while the *sexual people do. So, are there still people that you get turned on by in some way, and would have sex with if not for being primarily concerned with emotional connection? If so, you are probably not asexual. Only you can know for sure, and sometimes it can be very difficult to figure out exactly what “sexual attraction” means. Give yourself some time to think about it, and realize that it’s okay not to know the answer!

Q: To the extent that there is an answer to this in the abstract, how do you think asexuals would feel about sexual people who chose celibacy? My hope is as kindred spirits, my fear is as tourists or wannabes. (from Formspring)
A: I think most of us would feel more like kindred spirits with *sexual people who choose to be celibate. There are a lot of similar issues that both asexuals and *sexual celibate people face, so we can relate in that way, and I’ve found that celibate people tend to react to asexuality with particularly enthusiastic support. Just the other day I had an interaction with a celibate person who had the “Wow, asexuals are AWESOME!” reaction, in fact. I don’t see why asexuals would see celibate people as tourists or wannabes, however, there are some reasons why asexuals might come into conflict with celibate people. The enthusiasm they have for asexuality can be a little too much sometimes, and it can feel like we are being idealized or even fetishized (by that I mean in the same sense that some Western people get overly obsessed with Japan because they think it’s the most amazing place, and by extension Japanese people, not necessarily a sexual fetishization). A lot of times the reasons why celibate people see us as kindred spirits are not reasons that we agree with, especially in the case of religious celibacy. Asexual people are often assumed to be religious due to the confused conflation of asexuality and celibacy, but in fact many of us are atheists, some of whom even actively oppose religion. So while we generally support celibacy as a legitimate life choice, we sometimes oppose the specific reasons why some people choose to be celibate. If someone is celibate because they’ve actually thought hard about it and come to the conclusion that that’s the best choice for them, awesome! But if someone is only celibate for religious reasons, believes that celibacy is the only good choice, pushes celibacy onto other people and/or believes that asexuals are “purer” or “more enlightened” because we don’t feel sexual attraction… well, those people are not so likely to be considered “kindred spirits” to asexuals.

Q: why does my fuck buddy confide in me so much? (from Google)
A: Well, gee, I dunno, maybe your fuck buddy trusts you and thinks you’re a good friend? They must be mistaken about that, though, if you’re so annoyed or worried about having their confidence that you’d google that. Apparently you aren’t actually interested in hearing what they have to say. Way to go, jerk.

Q: does greg house get nicer (from Google)
A: That one gave me a laugh.

Q: why date (from Google)
A: Because you want to, ideally.

Q: how do different sexual customs around the world increase the incidence of sexual dysfunction? (from Google)
A: Wish I had the expertise to answer that one. If anyone else wants to take a stab at it, feel free to answer it in the comments.

*************

Have you got a question you’d like me to answer? Ask me here. Remember to check the FAQ page!

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Q&A XI

  1. *shrug* I’m celibate for religious reasons, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being so. It’s just that being ace makes it a whole lot easier. I don’t really feel like I’m missing anything.

    Like

    • Well, sure, but many of us do have problems with being confused for “religious nuts,” and it’s fair to point that out, because it’s a reason some of us would be wary to consider celibate sexuals “kindred spirits.”

      Like

      • I get that, and I think the larger point is totally fair, especially since people conflate celibacy and asexuality all the time. But I don’t think being celibate for religious reasons is enough to qualify one as a religious nut. Choosing celibacy is a personal choice; believing that it’s the only choice, pushing it on other people, or thinking asexuals are “purer” are value judgments about other people. They’re not really the same thing.

        Like

        • That’s why I put that in quotes. There are a lot of people who do consider choosing celibacy for religious reasons to make you a “religious nut,” though. Just by knowing that you’re celibate for religious reasons, a lot of people would infer that you consider it the only right choice, yourself “purer” for choosing it, and push it on other people. And, to be honest, it’s not a totally unsupported assumption, as more often than not people the people who are dedicated to being celibate for religious reasons are also the people who like to proselytize.

          Like

          • “There are a lot of people who do consider choosing celibacy for religious reasons to make you a “religious nut,” though. Just by knowing that you’re celibate for religious reasons, a lot of people would infer that you consider it the only right choice, yourself “purer” for choosing it, and push it on other people.”

            Oh, I’m so excited to have *another* aspect of my sex life on which people can pre-judge me… asexuality wasn’t enough! (Sarcasm not directed at you. Just in general.)

            Like

  2. That third question was actually from me. I honestly can’t tell if I’m sexually attracted to other people anymore. Mostly because I don’t socialize much. Which may have a lot to do with my dwindling libido. Of course I’m also questioning my orientation as of late as well. But you’re right, I don’t have to decide anything about my sexuality and really I’m okay with that. More okay than I have been in a long time.

    I’ve been enjoying your writing and I look forward to reading more. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, I appreciate it.

    Like

  3. I really can’t say that I would feel any kind of kinship with someone on the basis of them not having sex. Which, of course, doesn’t mean that I necessarily think they are some kind of posers or tourists.
    But I also don’t feel kinship with other asexuals based on them having sex or not, because that’s often not what makes for most of the similarities in experiences anyway.

    Though I do often wonder at the reasons that some celibate, *sexual people want to hang around some asexual forums and such so much. And you really do get quite a lot of people looking to turn themselves asexual as if we all did it purposely somehow and as if it’s some kind of better state to be in (easier to keep up celibacy in, probably, but that’s hardly ever what they mean).

    Like

Comments are closed.