Our current society is hypersexualized: sex is a normalized practice, and popular culture is imbued with sexuality, whether in its songs, television series, films, books, stars.
This ambient climate may make some people uncomfortable, who feel no (or little, but this is a point I will detail later) sexual attraction.
So I’m going to talk today about….
Asexuality is simply, as I explained earlier, not being sexually attracted to anyone.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that sexual and romantic orientations can be detached. Asexuality can therefore be complemented by a romantic orientation, such as asexual and homo-romantic. Aromantism is the equivalent of asexuality for romantic orientation, and can also be associated with sexual orientation, such as heterosexual and aromatic.
Some people argue that asexuality is not a sexual orientation, because it defines a lack of orientation and not an orientation in itself.
For my part (but that’s just my personal opinion), I don’t agree with this, because for me asexuality defines an absence of sexual attraction, not orientation, the absence of orientation would probably be more related to people who question their orientation, because they don’t know where, or rather to whom, to point their attraction.
For all the people who are wondering here, know that I support you because it is easy to understand that it is not an obvious thing to wonder about your sexuality.
Symbols of asexuality
So, now that the debate aspect is closed (temporarily, because I will have to re-open it later), I will present to you without further delay the different symbols of asexual pride.
First of all, we have the inverted triangle, the symbol of the AVEN, (Asexuality Visibility & Education Network, which I will discuss later). It is a diversion of the Kinsey scale, which is represented as such in a straight line form, with heterosexuality and homosexuality at the ends, bisexuality enters the middle. Well, it’s missing like something.
A triangle was therefore formed from this line, including asexuality.
- Black: asexuality
- Grey: greysexuality/demisexuality
- White: zedsexuality
- Violet: the ace community (abbreviation for asexual) as a whole.
Yes, sexual attraction should not be considered as two fixed ends, i.e., on the one hand, the absence of charm and on the other side the presence of attraction. In reality, it is a spectrum on which one can move freely. This “grey” area between strict asexuality and zedsexuality is called greysexuality (originality/20). To be entirely correct, it is therefore not necessary to talk about asexuality.
Different types of aces and grey-As :
There are different types of aces and grey-As, and I will try to explain the various situations to you, trying to be as exhaustive as possible.
Greysexuality is a general term for people who very rarely feel sexual attraction. However, this category can be further divided to handle more cases. Note that these terms have variations designating the romantic orientation, such as greyromantism or halfromantism.
- Demisexual: Demisexuality is the feeling of sexual attraction only after a strong emotional bond has been established. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that a strong emotional bond is not an instant guarantee of sexual attraction, i.e. a strong bond will not systematically lead to the appearance of sexual attraction. This is one of the best known names in the ace community, as it is a frequent occurrence. The term demisexuality can be coupled with another sexual orientation, such as half-pansexuality or half-bisexuality. I think I will develop demisexuality in another post, because I find that the documentation in French on this subject is far too poor, and having documented a lot on this subject, I can perhaps share my knowledge with you.
- Fraysexual: Basically the opposite of demisexuality, sexual attraction disappears after meeting the desired person.
- Akoisexual: An akoisexual person is a person who can experience sexual attraction, but this will fade if the attraction is mutual. This could be related to lithosexuality, as the person does not want their sexual attraction to be reciprocal. It can also refer to people who don’t care if their attraction becomes reciprocal: in this case, it can be called placiosexual.
- Aceflux: This ends by describing a person whose sexual attraction may change over time. Thus, for this person it is possible to feel completely asexual and then later feel a weak sexual attraction.
orissexuality: a word referring to a dissociation between a person and the object of his desires: he may have fantasies involving this person, but he will not want to have sex with this person and not be attracted in person for example.
- Cupiosexual: a person who would like to have sex but does not feel sexual attraction.
- Quoisexuality: refers to a sexual orientation in which the person concerned has difficulty discerning sexual attraction with other types of attraction.
There must probably be other terms, and the community has a very rich and diverse lexicon. I know that this could disturb other people, but for my part, I really appreciate the fact that we can invent a lexicon as precise as we can feel. Maybe I’ll do a more detailed debate article on LGBT+ vocabulary, asking for your opinions, to be able to discuss around, over a nice cup of tea in peace. It depends on whether you’re excited about this idea or not.
In short, let’s get back to the point.
The different asexuality?
Some aces use the signs of the card games to represent themselves: spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds. It is a pun because ace, the abbreviation for asexual, also means ace in English.
- Ace of Spades: asexual and aromatic.
- Ace of Hearts: asexual and romantic.
- Ace of Diamonds (Ace of Diamonds… yeah, this one clearly sounds better in English): semi-sexual and semi-romantic.
- Ace of Clubs (Ace of Clubs): sexual and greyromantic graysis.
All the cases cited below show the diversity of the asexual community. This diversity is illustrated in particular in the relationship between ace at and sexuality.
The relationship between asexual people and sex
There are various scenarios. Some people will choose to have sex with their partner out of a desire to please their partner or to get pleasure, to relax, or to share a moment of intimacy with their loved one, while others will not. Some people choose to have sex just to procreate. There are people who are in favour of sex, people who are indifferent to it and people who are repulsed by it. It is difficult to make generalizations because each person is different, and it is important to respect it.
Aspects of community and asexual culture.
Over time, and with the help of the Internet, a real community has developed with its own characteristics.
AVEN is the abbreviation for Asexuality Visibility & Education Network (well, it’s also a cosmetics brand, but we’re not talking about the same thing here… humor). This organization was created in 2001, and its primary objective is, of course, to raise awareness and educate about asexuality/romanticism. The website and its forum bring together the largest asexual and aromatic community.
The black ring on the middle finger:
It is an object that can show asexual pride. Its color, black, represents asexuality, and this and its position have a symbolic connotation.
“Cake is better than sex”:
“Cake is better than sex” was born on the AVEN forum to joke and transmit good humour within the community, and eventually became the same and a symbol itself of the ace community. Here is an example:
After having presented to you what asexuality was more or less, I will now present to you what asexuality IS NOT.
Asexuality is not….
- a choice: sexual orientation has never been a choice, so it is also the case of asexuality. It is therefore different from abstinence, which consists
inchoosing not to have supportive relationships with regard to one’s convictions.
- a prolonged period of celibacy: in a period of celibacy, even without having sex, it is still possible to feel sexual attraction, whereas this is not the case (or not much) of asexuality.
- having a lack of libido: this refers to the absence of sexual energy, and it is not necessarily connected to sexual attraction. As we have seen previously, there are as many
asexualitiesas there are different people: it is thereforepossible to meet asexuals with a high libido, and sexuals with a lowlibido, everything there are asexuals without libido and sexuals with a high libido.
- : “it’s because you didn’t find the right one”: just… NO. Just because the person who said that has trouble conceiving asexuality as something that can exist, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
- be cold/heartless: I think it’s mostly something that can be said against aromas. Social relationships are not limited to love relationships, and there are several forms of affection: family, friendly… Moreover, an aromatic person can feel emotions like anyone else. Not feeling no romantic attraction does not make the person heartless, this accusation is absurd.
- from a psychological disorder or sexual trauma: asexuality, like any sexual orientation, does not come from
a traumaor psychological disorder, and to affirm that this is inherent in all orientations other than heterosexuality is somehow to illegitizewho have this sexual orientation because… it is like that, it is life, the population is diverse and varied. To do this is to say that no sexual orientation other than heterosexuality is natural, which is to describe them. However, this is not true in all cases, and even if there must be asexuals with a mental disorder or who have experienced trauma (and acein this category must be respected as much as anyone else), this is not the case for all asexuals.
Finally, I will reopen the debate file….
Do asexual have a place in the LGBT+ community?
Well, as you can guess, that’s the case in this community, you’re welcome with open arms (it would be nice to see a little more, in my opinion), but in the Internet world, this issue is subject to some debate. From what I have read on the Internet, some LGBT+ people believe that asexuals should not do part because they have not experienced so much oppression, or because some are hetero-romantic.
For my part, I find it rather cruel that minorities can reject other minorities, which themselves are not recognized. I am not sure that asexuality has experienced “as much oppression” as gay, bi or trans people, but this should not be a source of rejection within the LGBTQ+ group: what brings members of this community together is not being understood because of their sexuality or gender, declared as “out of the ordinary” by society. Moreover, not all asexuals are hetero-romantic, so well, not admitting them into the community would be the same as assuming this (hetero-normativity, hello…).
However, I have heard, from a testimony posted on the Net, that these disagreements were only in force on the Internet, and that in reality ace is well accepted in the various LGBT+ associations or groups. One person said that he had only encountered support in the community, and I am happy about that.
The Ace community is actually much more complex and varied than one might imagine at first glance.
To return to what I said about sexuality in the introduction, it would be nice if each person were respected for their sexuality, no matter how present or even absent, and that the optimism transmitted by people assuming their abundant sexuality should also be valid for people who choose or do not wish to engage in sexual relations, so that ace do not feel out of step with a society overlooking sex.
So, I hope this little (NB: cross out the word “little”) article has educated you on the asexual cause, which is generally quite neglected and ignored. If you would like more information, I invite you to first consult the AVEN website, the original one if you have a correct level in English, or the French version if it is not the case. I also invite you to watch Ash Hardell’s videos, which are very well documented, and will allow you to learn more about aromatherapy. This channel is generally very informative on LGBTQ+ concepts, provided you have a good level of English. I also heard that there was a documentary on Netflix (I don’t know if it’s still there) called (A)sexual.