Edit: added a submission from rainbow-after-the-stormy
Thank you everyone who submitted a post of the November carnival of aces, on the theme of expectations in friendships/relationships. I’ve posted links below, but if I’ve missed anybody (or if you are still working on it) then please let me know 🙂
This is the first of two posts looking at the differences between asexuals and allosexuals. The second part will hopefully be up in a few days
I find this question incredibly difficult to answer, not least because there is no typical way in which asexuals do relationships – there is a massive range of feelings, experiences, and attitudes towards having relationships. For that matter the same is true among allosexuals once you move beyond looking at heterosexual monogamous romantic-sexual relationships. And comparing such diverse groups of people is not straight-forward.
But bearing that in mind how might asexuals and allosexuals differ in relationships? Going by a common definition among the ace community the only thing distinguishing asexuals is a “lack of sexual attraction and/or sexual desire towards others”. And I would sum up the distinction when it comes to relationships as simply that asexuals need to negotiate with their partner(s) the consequences of their lack of sexual attraction/desire.
So what are the consequences of not experiencing sexual attraction/desire within a relationship? It really depends on how an asexual feels about sex. Whether it provokes negative feelings and repulsion to the idea of having sex, or positive feelings and enjoyment of the physical side of sex (e.g. orgasms), or neutral feelings and a “could take it or leave it” attitude. There are asexuals who experience each of these emotions towards sex. And there is no typical way for an ace to feel about sex within a relationship.
“You’ve got the gays marching for the right to be cocksucking homosexuals, and then you have the asexuals marching for the right to not do anything. Which is hilarious. Like, you didn’t need to march for that right. You just need to stay home, not do anything.”
Dan Savage, 2011
Dan Savage has already (rightly) been criticized for his many bigoted views elsewhere, so I won’t dwell on that. But his view that asexuals have nothing to campaign for is not that unusual, and amongst other things is one of the arguments used for excluding asexuals from LGBTQ movements. And so I thought I’d compile a brief list of some of the issues that affect asexuals – because believe it or not, the right to suck cock is not the only thing affecting people of diverse sexualities. Continue reading