This month’s Carnival of Aces has sparked a lot of conversations already. One topic that has long been under-discussed is asexuality and eating disorders, and this submission about Binge Eating Disorder has gotten that discussion going. [Obvious warnings for EDs, food, body image issues, etc. for this and all other links. Some also have references to sexual assault.]
Did you know that in Understanding Asexuality, Bogaert actually speculated that there would be no aces with bulimia? (Why bulimia specifically? It is a mystery!)
“In the first example [of ways sexuality and food intersect], if dieting and related body-image issues are often driven by mating concerns, might asexual people never or rarely have dieting problems? Perhaps even a bolder prediction could be made: there may be no asexual bulimics (or at least no asexual people who have become bulimic). This is not to say that asexual women may not be concerned about their body image for reasons other than sex/mating (i.e., finding a romantic partner if romantically inclined) but I expect their body-image issues and control of food consumption to differ from those of sexual women.”
Quoted from Queenie’s review.
Even if it had been the case that Bogaert sought out asexual people for comment and found no one willing to talk (I doubt it), he still misunderstands eating disorders as being about sexual attraction—they aren’t, they’re about control. So yeah, I’d say this kind of discussion really needs both to happen and become visible to professionals, so that they will stop baselessly speculating about how such problems must not exist for ace people.
So now, flying in the face of that stunning display of erasure, there is a new blog focused on asexuality and eating disorders!
There is an open call for submissions. If you want to contribute something on that topic for the carnival but don’t have a blog yourself (or feel uncomfortable posting it to your own blog), you might consider asking to have it posted there.
I would also like to point people interested in this topic to Olivia’s blog, which has quite a lot of good articles on eating disorders, other mental health issues, and asexuality. Previous discussion of the intersection of asexuality and eating disorders here: Sexuality as Selfhood and Body Hatred, I’m Afraid of Identifying as Asexual. And Beautiful Asexuality about body image.
If anyone has seen this topic discussed elsewhere, feel free to link things.