Ace: Good article. I do disagree on the pathological comments. However I agree the majority of asexuals have some latent or residual sexuality. I label myself nonsexual. I never Mbate, find all sexuality repulsive, am a virgin. I am a good example of a true asexual.
Saberi: Well Ace. Thanks for the comments. If you find sex repulsive it might mean you’re repressing something. The reasons for this may be childhood experiences. If you’re happy with your life, then fine, otherwise do consult a psychoanalyst.
Rhoda: I’m a low-sexual who has had asexual periods lasting years at a time. I wasn’t repressing anything. I struggled and searched for a way to be or at least pass for sexual. I didn’t even care much if I mustered up an attraction to men or to women. I just wanted to stop the constant harassment and threats of rape from people who had heard I was “frigid” (a pseudomedical pejorative term for a female asexual). I lived in fear because of gossip. During those times I had sex because society mandates it. It was torture. It left me depressed, confused and clinging to a sense of reality by a thread. When I have stopped I have felt powerful, clear-headed and confident. I just miss being socially accepted, as any woman who has sex will be accepted. If a woman is promiscuous, there is a vast culture of promiscuity that will treat her as “healthy”; she will be popular. If she is married there is a vast culture that will treat her as “stable”; she will be respectable. If she is not having sex at all, there is a vast culture that will treat her as “available”. If she is not available, nearly everyone will treat her as “crazy”, “witholding” (presumably witholding something that belongs to someone else), and “uptight” (presumably meaning any woman who is no fun must be altered to correct the defect). I am identifying as asexual because it is the shortest answer that comes close to describing my life.
One of the cruellest and most incomprehensible stereotypes of a’s I ever heard was that we are “cold” and “don’t love anyone”. Nothing could be further from the truth. It always seemed to me it was the other way around. It was highly-sexed people who threatened me and attacked me when I first tried to take a stand as someone who had a right not to have sex just to fit in. I still have flashbacks about some of the things men did openly, proud of themselves, with a self-righteous air, to me to punish my speaking up. They thought they were my owners and that I had no right to withold my biological functions from them. I didn’t even know some of them. Other people, male and female, have talked down to me, made fun of me and just refused to hear me, pretending I said something else. They seem to be the ones who have trouble being loving. Not all sexuals are unloving, but I think what I’ve seen tells me the higher-sexed people are by and large the least loving.
Saberi: Hi Rhoda. Thanks for your comments. Well I do agree with some of your points. Especially your categories for defining the sexuality of women. But your views seem to have been shaped by your experiences and your perception of those experiences. Society has in a way given certain importance to sex although it is not an absolute basic need, we can survive without sex. So asexuality should be accepted. Your own condition of asexuality may have been triggered by adverse events in your life and certain portrayals of sex in modern society have become very distasteful and many people are developing this repulsion for sex. So you will find other people like you and there’s a community for asexuals. Sometimes we may be highly sexed but simply never realize that we’re repressing our sexual desire. If you felt attracted towards anyone, you are not asexual. I don’t want to force you to fit in but the fact that you felt threatened by people who tried to have sex with you, shows a certain insecurity. Maybe the fact that you love people is actually a channeling of your sexual energy and it’s a good thing. I suggest you use your unrecognized/untapped sexuality for serving humanity, doing some social work or try creative pursuits. If you feel oversexed people are not loving, that may be due to your personal experiences but if you can associate sex with love at some point in your life, your opinions will definitely change. Thanks again!
My name is Aaron and I have been reading your article on asexuality . I’d like to first say that you make a false assumptions: You say that asexuals refrain from sexual activity. Yes they may not want to be involved in it, but if the chance were to come along they may or may not be open to it. You said, “Thus if a person engages in sexual activity mechanically and does not derive sexual pleasure from it, the very fact that he or she engages in sexual activity, makes him sexual.” Sexual in the act; does not mean he/she is heterosexual/homosexual or any other sexuality other than asexual. They may be sexually active for the benefits of their partner, or experimenting, but if they are engaged in sexual activities (no matter how frequent) and don’t enjoy it, then they are asexual.
“Autoeroticism or autoerotic pleasure through masturbation and similar means does not imply asexuality but rather autosexuality, as the person seems to have complete sex drive but that is not directed towards any person and turned towards self. This may have something to do with homosexuality or narcissism and narcissists could be autosexuals or repressed homosexuals.”
Many actually masturbate but feel not need for a partner, or they do not think of any person in particular (if they do, not necessarily sexually). Some pleasure themselves through sexual fantasies but when it comes to reality they do not enjoy it (as seems to be my case). I believed that I was homosexual, but am highly doubting it now. I am not a repressed homosexual because I came out of the closet a few months ago. And I’m definitely not a narcissist.
Perhaps you are right. The hypothalamus may have been damaged, but I wouldn’t say that all, even most cases are due to psychological problems. a study was taken between homosexual men and homosexual women, and they found that the minds of homosexual men were shaped similarly of that of a heterosexual woman, and visa versa. The mind codes for a sex drive, and in some cases people are born without one, or with the wrong one.
Religion can only make one practice celibacy, religion can not make one asexual. They still are attracted sexually to another sex, whether they are sexually active or not. They could ignore their thoughts or hide them. Coerced sexualities (if it is possible) are too hard to study.
It’s very hard to follow this reading when your definition of asexuality means both refraining from the act of sexual activity and no desire for sexual activity. Refraining from sexual activity does not make you asexual in the least.
“Thus a person who is autoerotic or prefers masturbation over the sexual act would not be considered as asexual.” Could you explain that more, that sounds like an interesting point.
“As of now, psychological tests have focused on measuring asexuality as the condition of ‘not being sexually attracted to anyone’.” I would agree with the psychologists.
I enjoyed reading your paper. I’m sorry I only listed the points I disagreed with, because there were a few points I agreed with you on. And I may be assuming that you are saying this research goes for all asexuals, but I think I’m safe to say that. I just want to know that can this same paper apply to any “abnormal” sexuality, such as homosexuality or bisexuality?
Hope you write back. I’m glad you took the time to read this if you do :)
Enjoy your day.
Saberi: Aaron – Thanks for your mail. That is my point, if you are enoying masturbation, it is more autoerotic/autosexual than asexual, you are not asexual. You may be an autoerotic celibate because you derive ‘sexual’ pleasure without requiring anyone else. I am trying to say that a complete asexual is one who has no desire (does not derive sexual pleasure) and also does not regularly practise sex. If there is no desire, the practise will also stop completely or will not be started in the first place. But of course, religion makes a person celibate and cannot make a person asexual but asexuals can take the refuge of religion in some cases. I know many people disagree with me but maybe i’ll write another article and differentiate the celibate from asexual. But thanks! SR