In response to a fairly recent submission on About Male Privilege (I'm one of the moderators there) regarding Asexuality, I felt I needed to take a moment to say a few things.
One of the least talked about issues with Asexuality is the rape culture that is unearthed in people being against/disturbed by the idea of Asexuality.
When talking about sex and relationships, there are often some blanket assumptions made about how a sexual/romantic relationship works:
- If you are in a romantic relationship with someone, sex is expected
- If you are dating someone, your obligation to provide them with sex increases exponentially with each date
- If you decide you do not want to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with someone, you are ‘friendzoning’ them
- If you decide you do not want to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with someone after any number of dates, you are a cocktease
- If you flirt, you are a cocktease
- If you do not have sex with everyone who wants to have sex with you, you are frigid, unfeeling, etc.
- Relationships are only valid and worthwhile if consummated by penetrative intercourse
- People who are Asexual (sex averse or not) are broken, and something is inherently wrong with them
Here is the above list, fixed:
- Sex is something to be decided upon by involved parties and should be consensual and without coercion. You should never feel pressured to have sex. Being in a relationship of any kind does not mean you owe anyone sex. Ever. If this is an expectation for anyone, you should sit down and have a talk. If a sexual relationship is a desire/requirement, this should be expressed without trying to coerce anyone else toward a decision to have or not to have sex.
- You never owe anyone sex. If you have had sex for 10 years with the same person and you say no at any time, the answer is no.
- If you decide you do not want to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with someone, they should respect your wishes and not treat the rejection as some sort of victimization.
- If you decide you do not want to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with someone after any number of dates, you have decided you do not want to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with that person. The dates were there to determine that.
- If you flirt, you like to flirt.
- If you do not have sex with everyone who wants to have sex with you, it is likely that you are making your own decisions or something. What a novel concept.
- Relationships are only valid and worthwhile if you feel they are/ they make you happy/ they feed your soul
- People who are Asexual do not experience primary sexual attraction