Upcoming dates of note: March 3rd is “America’s Sexuality Day” (apparently) and March 14th is Sweet Asexy Love Day and Asexual Awareness Week will be coming up in the fall. (Edit: March 31st is also Asexual Awareness Day, pardon my missing that!)
I’m sure I’ll post more about the others later but I wanted to take a moment to encourage asexual bloggers (and twitterers and facebookers etc) to consider participating in some way in the America’s Sexuality Day.
I took a class last trimester in which we were given a handout called “Sexuality – Definition” by Carol Queen, Ph.D. :
“Sexuality encompasses erotic fantasy; masturbation; reproductivity; physical activity that excites (or is meant to excite) the genitals and/or the body’s eroticiscm (that also-hard-to-pin-down quality that differentiates a handshake from foreplay, having to do with the intent of the person touching and/or the experience of the person touched). It also encompasses fetishism (which is part of some people’s sexuality, but not everyone’s), pleasure in sexual looking, and sexual orientation – that is, the varying directions we focus our erotic attention. My definition does not include gender or physical “sex,” which is implicated mainly in reproduction, though sexual response and focus can be shaped by gender as well as cultural differences. Sexuality is physical (including anatomical and hormonal), social, and psychological.”
I’d argue that there’s even more to sexuality, who are you romantically attracted to? What turns you on in any capacity even if being “turned on” doesn’t mean “makes you want to have sex.” It’s about who you find attractive (even if finding someone attractive doesn’t mean you want to have sex with them). It’s about the way you perceive and describe yourself. It’s about your relationship with your body and the way you relate to all the aspects of the sexuality of others.
The single most frustrating thing I hear is “asexual means you don’t have a sexuality so no one can be asexual because everyone has a sexuality.” From what I’ve read I’m not alone in the feeling that who I (don’t) want to sleep with isn’t the only thing that makes up my sexuality. I’ve been accused of not being asexual because I masturbate… yeah, masturbation is part of my sexuality (the rates of masturbation in the asexual community seem to be about the same as the general population) and other asexuals don’t masturbate and that’s part of what makes up their sexuality. Whether our answer is “yes” or “no” or “sometimes” or “maybe” or “nothing” or “everything” or “never” to the various topics listed in Dr. Queen’s definitions or in my additions it doesn’t matter, the point is that we all have *an* answer and the combination of those answers is what makes our sexuality so unique to us.
I’d like to see people write about what makes their sexuality unique to them, what words do they use to describe their sexuality beyond the one-word label. I’d also like to hear from people who consider themselves to not have a sexuality at all and hear why (not because I’m asking you to defend yourself but because I’d like to know!) and if you consider yourself not to have a sexuality how do you conceptualize the ideas and aspects of person-hood mentioned above that I automatically categorize as being part of sexuality (not because that’s the correct way to conceptualize it but because that’s how I conceptualize it).
On March 3rd (or thereabouts) I’d love to learn from other aces by hearing their declarations of sexuality, lack of sexual attraction and all!