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Asexuals in the Modern World

by Allison Costa 2 years ago in humanity
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Discrimination Against Asexual Identities

Asexuality. According to the Oxford Online Dictionary, asexuality can be defined as the quality or characteristic of having no sexual feelings or desires.

The Asexuality Visibility and Eduction Network has refined this explanation, however, to include the following . . .

An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction – they are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way. Unlike celibacy, which is a choice to abstain from sexual activity, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are, just like other sexual orientations. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or better; we just face a different set of needs and challenges than most sexual people do. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community in the needs and experiences often associated with sexuality including relationships, attraction, and arousal.

As America becomes more and more accepting of sexual identities that are outside of the norm - bisexuality, homosexuality, transgender - gender and sexual identities outside of the norm are not only coming into the light, but they are also becoming more and more accepted.

But this is not true for asexuality. In a way; asexuality faces one of the same problems that atheists face; they are forced to not only explain, but also defend the idea of nothing; that is, the idea that they can not believe or do something.

It is important to note here, the use for the words “can not”. Not will not, but can not. Asexuality is not celibacy - it is not the decision to abstain from something. It is the physical inability to experience sexual attraction.

This is not to say that all asexuals do not take part in sexual acts. Though a large portion of the asexual community certainly fit that description, there are many who engage in sex and sexual acts in order to please their partner, or experience the closeness that many feel comes with physical contact. It is much like any act one performs for their partner, many claim - something you do for them, or with them, because you care about them.

Asexuals are forced to be constantly on the defensive, to repeatedly explain their asexuality, and how it does not make them any different from any other sexual or gender identity.

It is often considered an integral part of being a human being to have sex. As a niche community, asexuals are often faced with not only discrimination and confusion, but also anger; as though their lack of sexual drive, interest in sex, or ability to feel pleasure from the act of sex is a personal insult to the person discovering it.

Worse yet, are those who want to ‘help’ asexuals. Corrective rapes attempted by friends and, worse yet, family members are more common than any of use would like to believe.

But then there are the other moments - the fake acceptance that we often we receive from those around us. “I don’t understand it, I don’t agree with it, and I think you’re being melodramatic. But I like you, so I’ll let it go for now.” This is considered acceptance?! This is not, in any way, acceptance of another person. It is, in fact, the exact opposite, particularly when snide comments made by these individuals through out the course of a conversation bring home the fact that they are not accepting, that they do not agree with your lifestyle or biological differences, and that they feel you need to be ‘fixed’ of this idea that you don’t like sex.

It all boils down to one thing, of course; it’s different. At least with homosexuality, the act of sex is still very much a part of somebody’s biological needs. WIth asexuals, this ‘basic human need’ is no longer being met - or so sexuals will tell you.

This is outside of their comfort zone, their understanding of how the world works, and human beings fear what they do not understand.

It is my firm belief that discrimination is born out of fear, and discrimination against asexuality is no different. Being different has always been difficult, and members of the asexual community have had to learn this the hard way.


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Allison Costa

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