Have I made it clear yet that I accept demisexual and gray-asexual identities as valid, and am totally supportive of these folks being part of the asexual community?
Because if not, I’m about to make it very clear. And I’ll go further: I think that rejecting of the validity of these identities, or claiming that some people aren’t “really” asexual, actually harms the asexual community.
This essay isn’t really about asexuality itself, but more about a small current within the asexual community that I think needs to be discussed.
I get quizzed a lot about my sexual history with girls. That’s not okay.
Gender: a visual guide.
When most people think of the gender spectrum, they think in terms of blue and pink, and maybe some purpley stuff. That model isn’t much of a spectrum and is rather a scale of femininity vs masculinity, when in reality gender is only sometimes on those terms, and is a huge, multi-dimensional concept that simply can’t fit on a single line. At this point, I would like to propose the term "gender sphere” rather than “gender spectrum” to emphasise its absolute complexity.
this is good yes
rlly tired of a sliding scale between two end points being used as a rejection of a binary
Anonymous asked: so its ace awareness week which is 200% necessary and delightful but ive seen a lot of people saying "ace people often will have sex and still fall in love and like none of us never have relationships" and as an aro ace person this makes me really uncomfortable? like on one hand i get that there are lots of misconceptions about aces but i was watching a video that said that the percentage of aces completely disinterested in sex was like 0 and it made me really anxious? am i the problem? thanks!
I understand why it would make you uncomfortable; a lot of ace-politics spend so much time trying to debunk myths that they end up sweeping some identities under the rug.
This happened with the gay/lesbian community too, with people saying “not all gay men are girly” or “not all lesbians are bulldykes” etc. It’s to combat stereotypes, yeah, but in the end it shits on a lot of other identities that are only negative because of cishet culture.
While it’s completely true that asexuality is a huge umbrella (that ranges from those that have sex to those that don’t), social politics often try to “soften the blow” with attempts to “normalize” aces because we live in a “sex-is-normal” society. They succeed in one thing but completely ignore another.
Aces can have sex and some don’t want it whatsoever. By boxing everyone into “aces have sex and relationships too!!” it defeats the purpose of awareness by not being all-inclusive.
Ultimately, it’s a lack of intersectionality, and it’s pandering to sex-normal society.
Please know that you aren’t the problem, it’s how other people are going about spreading “awareness.”
I hope nobody minds if I add some general commentary to this. The point brought up by the anon OP and by dyemelikeasunset is very important.
Sex positivity can all too easily become sex normativity, which can be outright harmful for many asexuals, especially those of us who turned to the asexual community because we felt alienated by the sex normativity in mainstream culture. According to a community survey, 70% of those on the asexual spectrum have never had sex before (77% of asexuals, 61% of gray-As, and 59% of demisexuals) and an additional 11% have had sex before but are currently sexually inactive (9% of asexuals, 16% of gray-As, and 14% of demisexuals). Thus 81% of those on the asexual spectrum (86% of asexuals, 77% of gray-As, and 73% of demisexuals) are not sexually active. Yet, too often our outreach efforts say, “Some asexuals are sexually inactive, but others have sex,” as if these two were equivalent groups.
Moreover, the community survey also showed that 55% of those on the asexual spectrum are sex-averse or repulsed by the idea of having sex (65% of asexuals, 51% of gray-As, and 37% of demisexuals). Only 4% say they enjoy having sex (1% of asexuals, 4% of gray-As, and 11% of demisexuals). Again, saying “Some asexuals don’t like sex, and others do,” or talking a lot about, “being asexual doesn’t mean you can’t have and enjoy sex,” while true statements, may misrepresent the experiences of the majority of those on the asexual spectrum, especially of “core” asexuals (i.e., not gray-A or demisexual).
Other times, important concepts are presented in a very simplified form that ends up erasing the experiences and identities of many aces. For example, gray-asexuality is often presented as just experiencing sexual attraction rarely. In fact, there are many ways to be between.
Or take romantic orientation. This is often presented in a way that makes it seem like watered-down versions of sexual orientation categories. (This graphic, for example, just reproduces the Kinsey scale - right down to sticking aromantics off to the side as though we’re not related to all the other orientations. Kinsey’s study did the same thing to asexuals, calling us “Category X” and thus most people don’t realize that Kinsey knew about asexuality.)
This way of thinking about romantic orientation can result in dividing asexuals up and putting us with the related sexual orientations - something that erases asexuality. Moreover, heteroromantic asexuals are often treated as though they’re straight. They’re NOT. They’re asexual. People typically only identify as asexual after coming to realize that other identities don’t work for them, and that includes heterosexuality. Heteroromantic asexuals often face significant alienation in heterosexual relationships because of their asexuality, including coerced sex and rape (in fact, heteroromantic asexual women may be particularly at risk of domestic violence or sexual abuse, similar to bisexual women with male partners).
Another part of this is when non-asexuals decide that some asexuals get to be “queer” and others are excluded. Curiously, it’s not just heteroromantic asexuals who are excluded, but also aromantic asexuals. People who make these arguments often have a binary view of queerness, that is, that anyone who is not queer must therefore be straight. This leads to the nonsensical result that an aromantic asexual who is not attracted in any way to people of a different sex or gender, and who most likely has not had a relationship with them and does not want to, is called “straight” and told they don’t belong in LGBTQ spaces and need to go away. Isn’t it about time that we recognized that same-sex attraction is not the only way to be non-heteronormative?
But that’s not all! According to the same community survey quoted above, 29% of aces do not fit into the “Kinsey scale” type model of romantic orientation. That’s the largest single category in the survey! Some aces have developed the concept of wtfromantic to convey that this model leaves them out. Stop and think about this next time you say something like, “All aces have a romantic orientation, and the romantic orientations are just like the sexual orientations.” Whichever group you belong to (biromantic, heteroromantic, etc) there are more wtfromantic aces than there are of your group, and nearly third of all aces overall are wtfromantic.
If the way we present asexuality and the asexual spectrum to others does not resemble what the community actually looks like, and erases the experiences of many aces, we are doing a grave disservice to our own community and we need to stop and think about why it’s more important to be “accepted” by the mainstream than to do what’s best for our fellow aces.
what they don’t tell you about belatedly realizing you are Something Other Than Straight is the sheer amount of time you will spend facepalming at yourself
like yes there is a lot of angst and panic and confusion but there is also
pure unadulterated facepalm
because your past self suddenly appears as dense as the person in a horror movie who suggests everyone split up
Mary Lambert - She Keeps Me Warm (by MaryLambertVEVO)
You HAVE to watch this adorable beautiful music video.
Here’s what Mary Lambert said about it:
"Two years ago, I [searched] YouTube for a main-stream music video that depicted a lesbian relationship. I was disappointed, shocked and a little hurt that I couldn’t find a single one. Sure, there were hot girls rolling around in lingerie, girls briefly holding hands, or something involving a man. Lesbians used as shock value. This video came to fruition with an all queer, female crew, who shared my vision. It was an incredible experience.
Everyone has had the butterflies of love: the giddiness, the quick heartbeats, the sweaty palms. It’s important to remember that love is universal… no matter what gender you’re attracted to.
Additionally, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that I, a plus-size femme, co-starred in the video. So often curvy women’s bodies are a novelty. They provide a comical relief to a romantic scene. Our bodies are not allowed to be sexy in media, and it’s part of the reason there’s an epidemic of poor body image in our society. I don’t think that’s okay. I think that’s screwed up. I’m sexy and romantic, and I deserve to feel that way. Every woman does.”
to imply that it is homophobic to identify as bisexual or pansexual or polysexual or asexual or queer or anything that is not simply gay or lesbian is queer erasure in itself, and it truly fuckin boggles my mind that this even has to be said
#there is nothing wrong with you for not id’ing as gay #you are not a bad person #you are not appeasing heterosexists #you are simply recognizing what you feel and how you love and giving it a title #and nobody- absolutely nobody on this planet has the right to tell you that is wrong
Bisexual Role Models: Jeremy Brett
So you all need to know who this brilliant man was.
Jeremy Brett, actor from 1954 to 1995. Also known as the quintessential Sherlock Holmes. He wanted to be the best Sherlock Holmes the world had ever seen, and he was.
This was no passing acting role or whim. How dedicated was he to his role?
- His most treasured possession on set was his 77-page Baker Street File, which was composed of everything from Holmes’s basic mannerisms to his eating and drinking habits.
- In order to get better into his role, he did what plenty of us are familiar with: he made his own headcanons—about how lonely Holmes’s college days were, how brilliant he was at sports, how he didn’t see his father until he was twelve, how his mother was so distant.
- When he first got the script for the Granada series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, he found it so far adapted that he went to the script editor and said, “But you’ve asked me to do Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. These aren’t Sherlock Holmes—Doyle’s stories.” And the editor told him, “Jeremy, you’re here to act. Just get on with it.” So he tipped the table over and his fish dinner landed in the editor’s lap. And that was the beginning of their tousle.
- He would take the original story—what he always referred to as ‘the canon’—with him to every filming and fight for accuracy to Doyle’s stories, to the point that Granada gave him an extra week for rehearsals. So that the first week he would fight for Doyle, and the second week he would rehearse.
- Also, his nickname for Sherlock Holmes was the “damaged penguin”, and if you don’t think that’s the greatest you can get out of my face.
He was Sherlock Holmes for ten years, and made 36 hour long episodes, and five feature-length specials. And he did all this while struggling with manic-depressive disorder, cardiomyopathy, and dyslexia. He continued playing Holmes even as his heart grew to twice its normal size, his general health and appearance deteriorated, and he had such trouble breathing that he needed an oxygen mask on set.
His only comment?
"But darlings, the show must go on."
And he was bisexual. He married Anna Massey, though they divorced four years later. After that, he entered a committed relationship with Gary Bond for seven years, part of which they lived together in Notting Hill. He was later in a romantic relationship with Paul Shenar, which lasted five years. His last publicly known relationship was his marriage to Joan Sullivan Wilson, until her death nine years later.
So next time someone gives you shit for your sexuality, you tell them the quintessential Sherlock Holmes was bisexual and he was more brilliant than they could ever hope to be.
always reblog Jeremy Brett
He is a fantastic Sherlock Holmes and all around actor. Definitely one of my favorites.
My favorite definition for bisexuality so far is the one popularized by (the wonderful) bisexual activist Robyn Ochs. Ochs says, “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex, and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
This is by far the broadest and most enabling definition of bisexuality that I’ve found to date. Its strength is in the way it enables anyone who wants to identify as bisexual to do so. (In other words, it reassures people.)
In a world in which bisexuality is usually very narrowly defined, many people who experience bisexual desire, and want to identify as bi, often feel afraid to start (or keep) identifying as such, as they feel as though they “don’t qualify.” The role that an enabling definition for bisexuality can fulfill to counter these feelings of internalized biphobia is invaluable—and I feel that Ochs’s definition does just that. It reassures people that they are “allowed” to identify as bisexual if they wish to do so.
Page 1 of 5