[tw: fetishizing, mentions of: rape threats, Magic Genitals, sex as self-harm]
So I usually don’t do this anymore, but today someone got here by this search term:
“can an asexual ever have one time encouter that i’s extremely satisfying with this one person” (sic)
I think it’s reasonable to assume that whoever typed that meant a sexual encounter. If it’s about non-sexual encounters, then it should be pretty obvious that of course that’s possible, so I see no reason for them to be asking that question. So let’s assume they meant a sexual encounter.
My answer: Possibly? Maybe? But it would be exceedingly rare.
If you are wondering whether you could “count” as asexual because of an experience you had enjoying sex—yes! you can still be asexual and enjoy sex! Even one-night-stand sex! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If you’re not asexual and hoping for that to happen in real life, don’t. Most of us are not interested in sex. Those of us who are open to trying it are usually not looking for a one-night stand type of situation. Most of us who do try that (one-time encounters) find it to be… well, lackluster. If not worse than that, because it’s been coerced. Some of us might seek out situations like that not for pleasure but to self-harm, or while desperately trying to be not-asexual. In my experience, people generally do not care enough to make sure a one-time sexual encounter is a good experience for asexual-spectrum people. So a more likely scenario is that such a thing would end very badly. Hopefully those norms will change, and more people will be able to have good, fully consensual experiences.
If you’re writing a story where that happens, really don’t—unless you’re actually ace, I don’t think it’s wise to try to navigate those waters. It’s completely unrealistic as a representation for a group that has almost no representation as is, and it plays into the Magic Genitals myth. (That is, that some “right person” is going to come along and magically make us have amazing sexual experiences that somehow “turn us,” like vampires or something—and yes, people actually try to be that person. In real life. It’s a type of rape threat.) You will do our community vastly more harm than good, because people really want that myth to be true, and they will latch onto it as if it’s representative of the whole community. People sometimes tend to fetishize asexual people.* That’s not cool.
If that actually does happen? And you’re sure that’s what’s happened, not just assuming it? Then okay, fine.
But do not expect it. And DO NOT try to coerce an asexual person into a one-time sexual encounter with you. If you’re in a situation where an asexual person might actually agree to have sex with you, please follow this guide. Be respectful of their identity and try to make it the best experience they could have had—and if the best experience for them is not having sex, then don’t push for it!
* My ancient article about fetishization** is getting linked around a bit again, but for a more recent (and less creepy) example, check out how journalists treat David Jay.
** That old article makes me cringe now, as much of what I thought back then was the product of grooming. Being fetishized (among other things) was something I was conditioned to accept instead of challenge, and I was barely starting to break out of that back then. And the landscape of what’s out there about asexuality has changed drastically in the past seven years, so keep that in mind too.
2 thoughts on “Question: “can an asexual ever have a one time encounter that’s extremely satisfying…?””
Just out of curiosity, why did you assume the person who searched that phrase is allosexual, and not asexual themselves?
Well, it’s certainly possible they were somewhere on the ace spectrum. But it’s more about who my blog already tends to attract and who needs to hear that message the most than about whether or not the person typing that was allosexual. Nearly half of my blog’s traffic is generated by that one guide these days, either by asexual people linking allosexual people to it, or by allosexual people searching themselves (search traffic dwarfs link traffic on that post by quite a bit, but I do realize that some of it is certainly people who’ve already read it trying to find it again—most likely to link others to it).
Usually people who show up through a search won’t come back to check later, so I’m not actually writing to whoever wrote that message—I’m writing to whoever else will type something similar in the future. I feel like the majority of people who would search for that and get here wouldn’t be ace themselves—and if they are, they wouldn’t need that sort of guidance, they’d be looking for something else (validation that I personally can’t provide).
But it still might benefit them, if they’re in a situation where that sort of thing might happen (given the question we can assume it hasn’t happened to them personally yet), to be able to link this to whoever they might be wanting to have a one-time sexual encounter with (or who might be pushing for that with them). It might weed out some of the people who genuinely don’t care about whether or not they hurt ace people, at the very least. I would advise against a one-time sexual encounter with anyone who wouldn’t be willing to at least read this and talk about it.
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