Category Archives: Sex-repulsion/aversion

Identifying asexuality in hindsight

This entry is for the November 2015 Carnival of Aces: “Reasons I should’ve known I was asexual”

(I was in a rush to get this published, so there may be proofreading errors)

Looking back, there can be many ways for an individual could’ve realized their asexuality, but didn’t. It may not have been obvious at the time, and only becomes obvious in hindsight. I’ve had my share of those experiences.

In middle school and my earlier years of high school, I was largely oblivious towards sexuality and romance, and was lucky that I didn’t have either pushed on me seriously during that time (though I did deal with teasing from immediate family who kept insisting I must be “in love” with one of my male friends). It was in the later years of high school that I started to feel negatively towards sex and romance as I became more aware of the suffering caused by both, which for me coincided with me becoming aware of my asexuality and that it likely wasn’t going to change. In my earlier years, I thought I’d grow out of it, but by my junior year of high school, I didn’t, and I didn’t want to.

It’s weird; in my earlier years I thought asexuality was the norm in a sense, but also thought I’d probably outgrow it to accept my future roles in life. I understood that many others wanted sex, but not that they had an intrinsic desire for it, so when I did overhear sex-obsessed peers or see them on TV, I thought they were exaggerating at first!

Maybe it was the aversion to sex and romance that I thought I’d outgrow specifically. With my awareness of asexuality, I became aware that the suffering related to sex and dating is much more common than I thought, if nearly everyone desires them.

Probably the biggest thing that should’ve made me realize I was asexual was my attitude towards sex and relationships, specifically that I couldn’t understand why others hyped up sex so much, and claimed to desire it so much that a relationship without it wasn’t seen as real. I also couldn’t understand why others were frustrated over not having sex, or not having it for weeks or months.

Those things on their own don’t instantly point to being asexual, but it is a common experience among other asexuals that could’ve warranted me looking into the community to see if the label fit, but I didn’t originally think to seek out the asexual community, or why I felt the way I did about sex. To me, it felt like commonsense. Isn’t it commonsense to outgrow an obsession with sex after realizing it’s not the life-changing magical experience that it’s hyped up to be, or hear from others that it’s not? At other times, I dismissed my feelings as me being cynical and overly analytical, and just didn’t think about it further until I was out of high school.

I thought logically, how is sex love when people have it all the time without meaning? No one says that one-night stands are an act of love, after all. I also didn’t understand how sex, or the lack of, can get in the way of, or ruin relationships that are otherwise perfect.

Being averse to sex doesn’t always mean being asexual either, but can be linked, and someone can become aware of their asexuality because of it. That I found the idea of sex to be repulsive, and the way that affected me, could’ve clued me in to the possibility of being asexual. Because I don’t have any desire for sex, I can’t imagine it ever having any appeal; it just seems like something that would take a lot of effort on my part for little or no gain for me, with all of the risks to sex. What some people say feels like the greatest form of closeness just feels invasive. All the risks and none of the benefits. The only way to go through with it would be to repress those feelings, but I’d have to force myself to do it, to override those feelings of repulsion, but with no guarantee it’d actually work.

One of the earliest things that could’ve clued me in was that in middle school, and my earlier years of high school, I frequently read teen magazines, and the sections that interested me the most were the fashion tips, and the articles about unusual life experiences, though I still did read the sections about relationships. There were often articles about guys, and written by them, often with pictures prominently on the pages, I thought they looked good, but didn’t think that I was supposed to swoon over them, and didn’t realize some readers would be more interested in the pictures than the text!

Another thing that should’ve clued me is that while there wasn’t much of an emphasis on abstinence until marriage where I grew up, I was aware that many others were told that they needed to abstain until marriage. I thought “Ha! I could abstain for life, because I want to!”, and couldn’t comprehend that sexual abstinence can be a struggle for others. That is a way some asexuals realized their asexuality.

I don’t know if this counts, but when I read Nineteen Eighty-Four in my sophomore year of high school, I didn’t understand at first why the Junior Anti-Sex League was seen as a problem, since I couldn’t relate to the concept of sexual desire, nor what it’s like to have nearly all outlets for that desire denied. I understood the part about only procreation being permissible as a duty to The Party, because sex didn’t appeal to me, that it being work, a sacrifice or duty to another person made sense to me. I didn’t agree with it, but it made sense.

Perhaps one of the most clear giveaways to me being asexual is implicitly being told that everyone is either straight or gay (or maybe straight, gay or bi), and I felt like none of those applied to me. In this situation, some asexuals thought they were straight just because they knew they weren’t sexually attracted to the same gender, others thought they were gay or bi for not conforming to heteronormative expectations. Some thought they were gay because they knew they weren’t attracted to the other binary gender. I didn’t really think about it much, and for some time, I didn’t use a label for my orientation. I didn’t think there was one until later in high school when I thought if there are people attracted to the “opposite gender” (I didn’t know of non-binary genders until years later), the same gender or both, that there should also be people who aren’t attracted to anyone.

How can signs like these be missed? The topic of sex and sexuality didn’t come up much in middle school or high school, aside from sex ed. I didn’t think about it that much in middle school nor my earlier years of high school, but I sort of thought I would outgrow my aversion and lack of interest for sex or romance. I thought I’d go through the dating-obsessed phase that was expected, which would also make me open to sex and tolerate it (for the other person and their pleasure at least, if not for my own), if not actively want and enjoy it, but I didn’t, and I didn’t notice since most of the friends I had didn’t talk about sex nor romance that much. They didn’t seem to care, and I didn’t either, so my lack of interest didn’t stand out to them, so I didn’t think I was the odd one out, and I even thought those who were wanting sex were the odd ones out for a while! Years later, I found out one of those friends was asexual and aromantic!

I didn’t like the idea of having sex just to please another person, but that being the only way I could envision sex also could’ve been a clear sign of asexuality, but one I still overlooked, perhaps because the idea of sex as a duty they have to endure if they can’t enjoy it, is so normalized! Of course, I found that idea repulsive, which contributed to my later ideological reasons for rejecting sex, because I believed no one should have to suffer through that.

If my lack of interest did stand out among my friends, I likely would’ve it noticed sooner because it would’ve had a more significant impact on my life back then, but I also likely would’ve gone through a phase of feeling broken too, a phase I’ve been lucky I didn’t go through.

A tale of two sites

This is a tale of how I became the admin of two similar sites that have contradicting stances, and how to try and reconcile it, on top of having to reconcile that with my involvement in the asexual community.

Maybe I can’t reconcile it, but I’m the admin of Outside of Sexuality, but I’m also the admin of another related site called FORTRESS: For Those Resisting Sexual Society.

I wasn’t expecting to eventually create the latter site when I created Cake at the Fortress, so this wasn’t any deliberate foreshadowing months in advance. In March 2014, I created Outside of Sexuality, and I was expecting it to be the only site I needed to create as a resource for voluntarily celibate people, but a split happened earlier this year.

This post I wrote for this blog explains what led to the split. I wasn’t yet ready to mention it, but I had created FORTRESS just a few days before that post.

Regardless of what terminology and framework were to be used, I aimed, and still do aim for OOS to be a support group for voluntarily celibate people, to allow critical discussions of sexuality and how it affects others. I aimed for it to be as straightforward as possible, to reduce the chances of it being taken the wrong way, and to be more easily able to reach out to others.

Continue reading

Mercenary from unknown lands: part 2

This is part 2 of my submission for the February 2015 Carnival of Aces: Cross Community Connections

Part 2: Site of resistance against the hypersexual world

In part 1, I referred to the collection of communities that the English-speaking asexual community may recognize as being “celibate”, even though some of these communities contradict each other.

I specifically associate with the community about “celibacy” that is: voluntary, for non-religious reasons, for life, and this rejection of sex is an end in and of itself. Ideologically, it’s very different from the other “celibate” communities, and could be regarded as being in a class of its own. It actually has more in common with the asexual community and its goals than the others. Wouldn’t we be natural allies?

There’s just a very glaring issue: For their rejection of sex, they/we primarily identify as antisexual instead of celibate, and use a definition that not a lot of people recognize, not even in the asexual community. This led to both groups shutting themselves off from each other, and I believe the reasons why are unfortunate.

Both have many similar goals, fighting against compulsory sexuality and sex-normativity, aiming to raise awareness on how there’s nothing wrong with not wanting sex, and that some people don’t ever want it. Both also seek others who are alienated by the hypersexualized world.

They’re both separate communities and need to be, but it’s sad that differences in language, terms, and framework, keep us from understanding each other, and both sides think the other is the enemy, and against their goals. This issue has frustrated me ever since I found the asexual community. Since I did, I’ve constantly felt like I’ve forced to pick sides, and I feel burdened by massive conflict-of-interest issues.

Continue reading

Walking the tightrope

A brief follow-up to my previous post, let’s consider this part 1.5. inspired by Ace Admiral’s account of the 2011 debacle. He mentioned that shaming of the repulsed was another issue during the debacle, among other issues.

This was during a time when asexual community overall just wasn’t a safe space for the sex-repulsed, aside from some splinter groups. By 2010, AVEN took sex-positivity too far, and the repulsed were being shamed, and accused of being elitists if they said something the wrong way. The splinter groups weren’t that active, so where else to go?

Sciatrix’s post that he linked to, her account of the 2011 debacle, reminded me of how difficult it was for me to go through the asexual tags on tumblr too. I can relate to so much of what she said. It was often nerve-wracking, but I read through the tags because they were the only part of the asexual community I was a part of at the time.

I felt like I needed to do it, after 2 years of self-doubt and feeling like my right to identify as asexual was taken away from me, I needed to get it back. I wanted to get involved, but was always on edge.

I felt like I was in a tightrope; one wrong move, and I’ll lose everything. In my eyes, I was just regaining my confidence and right to identify as asexual, after they had been taken away from me, and I was afraid of losing it again. Coming out to the wrong person, or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could’ve cost me the progress I made.

I was almost afraid to contact my campus’ local LGBT groups, because of what I read about asexual inclusion in LGBT groups. I knew that some groups were inclusive, others not, and I had to cross my fingers and hope the local group was inclusive, or would at least tolerate me. I was lucky that they were inclusive. Many of the members didn’t know of asexuality until they met me, but were willing to learn, and were respectful. I was really lucky, because if that had gone badly, that likely would’ve scared me off from ever trying again, and lose what confidence I built up. Their acceptance helped me a lot, but I was still nervous coming out to others.

I thought the tumblr community would be safer than AVEN. In 2011, this wouldn’t have been the case. In 2012, there was the potential for change. The tumblr community was clashing with AVEN, and I knew that a lot of people were leaving AVEN because they didn’t feel welcome. One of the issues had to do with the treatment of the sex-repulsed on AVEN. The tumblr community seemed like the safer option, despite how difficult it still was for me to browse the asexual tags, and it was still difficult to talk about being sex-repulsed on tumblr.

This was in 2012, when things were cooling off somewhat. I can only imagine how much more nervewracking it would’ve been to go through those tags back in 2011! It’s probably a mixed blessing that I didn’t try to get involved until 2012. Those who endured the 2011 debacle are among the trailblazers of the asexual tumblr and blogging communities. They endured a lot of challenges for the rest of us, so it’d be a shame if this era of asexual community history were forgotten. We’ve come a long way in just a few years. I like Ace Admiral’s take on the debacle; we were getting heard outside of AVEN. We were pushing forward, and overcame a lot of resistance.

Talking about sex-repulsed and favorable sub-spaces

Earlier this year, there were a lot of blog posts about sex-repulsion/aversion, and the treatment of sex-repulsed/averse people within the asexual community.

There’ve been more posts speaking in favor of creating sub-spaces, and I strongly agree. The asexual community as it stands, is burdened with a difficult balancing act that still hasn’t been solved. AVEN is by far the largest, and most centralized asexual space, and needs to support all the asexual sub-groups. The tumblr community is decentralized, but still has this same issue. However, it seems like the needs of asexuals who like sex, and sex-repulsed/averse asexuals, are at odds with each other, and that focusing on one group must come at the expense of the other.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and creating sub-spaces for different groups would help ease that burden. I think it’d be great to have these sub-spaces created, and refer them to newbies who might need them, to show that their needs aren’t being forgotten.

If referring newbies to sub-spaces happens, it shouldn’t be done in a way to try and relegate them to the sub-spaces, and away from the larger community. That ends up being exclusionary, and gives off the message of “You’re too _______ for the main community, and risk making asexuality look confusing (if sex-favorable), or look bad (if sex-repulsed or averse), so go over here where you’ll be welcome instead”.

Sex-favorable asexuals may benefit from having their own sub-spaces, as an affirmation that they, and other people like them, exist. Sure, there are a lot of topics on AVEN and in the tumblr community about having sex, but numerically, there are few sex-favorable asexuals, and they may still be under-represented. I’ve asked about this before on AVEN:

I pointed someone to that thread [about asexuals who enjoy sex], who enjoyed sex but wasn’t sure if they were asexual because of that. On the second page, I told them that I didn’t know if there are simply few sex-favorable(?) asexuals or if there are more, but [they’re] under-represented.

Some doubt that they are asexual, because a lot of definitions of asexuality that unintentionally exclude them, or the possibility of being asexual never crossed their mind. A sub-space may help sex-favorable asexuals realize that they’re asexual sooner, and find each other, so they don’t feel isolated over feeling like they’re the only person who is both asexual and favorable towards the idea of having sex.

Sex-repulsed/averse asexuals make up at least half of the asexual community, yet many don’t feel welcome to talk about their experiences in most asexual spaces. Even when it’s explained that it’s okay to talk about how someone personally feels about sex, as long as it doesn’t mean attacking others, there’s still all of this doubt.

Does the fear of being labeled an asexual elitist still linger on? I’ve seen some say they feel like “bad” asexuals for not wanting sex, in fact, I’ve said that too! I’ve been involved in the asexual community for 2 years, and I still experience these doubts!

Spaces for repulsed asexuals (or repulsed people in general) would be useful so they can more easily talk about their experiences, without that fear looming over them.

These spaces may also be useful for repulsed newbies who have a lot of pent-up frustration about the sexual world, and could help newbies “detox” by being allowed to vent these frustrations. Sex-repulsed people don’t have a lot of spaces to go to to talk about this. This has been mentioned before on AVEN, but a lot of people seem uneasy towards the idea, fearing that a space for the sex-repulsed will easily turn elitist. Does this show some distrust towards the repulsed, by the non-repulsed?

If it’s not that, is it simply the fear of newbies thinking such a space means they can get away with disparaging other people? Or are they talking about the fear of any sub-space turning elitist, but it’s just that no one there mentioned sub-spaces for sex-favorable asexuals yet? A sub-space should obviously cater to the needs of which group they’re for, and affirm peoples’ experiences and feelings as valid, but they can’t adequately be supportive if they’re shut out to differing opinions that could give constructive advice.

Do you have any experience with sub-spaces for sex-repulsed or sex-favorable asexuals, or run one yourself?

Why is there still all of this doubt?

Why do many sex-repulsed/averse asexuals still doubt whether they’re welcome to talk about their experiences in many asexual spaces?

This is still a problem, even when it’s been clearly explained before that there’s no problem with someone discussing how they personally feel about sex, whether they find it delightful or disgusting, and that it’s only a problem if it involves attacking or shaming others in the process.

The line is drawn at expressing viewpoints in a way that attack other people, or being elitist.

To me, that sounds clear, but I wonder if some repulsed asexuals still don’t feel like they can express their viewpoints, because although they know what the line is, they’re still unsure if what they say isn’t on the wrong side of that line.

A recent thread on AVEN showed that some repulsed people don’t feel comfortable talking about their experiences, because of all of the threads that are about having sex. They fear that what they say will still be taken as an attack on those who have sex, even after making it clear that that’s not what they intend at all. Some said that they feared not being welcome, because they don’t believe that sex is good and beautiful for everyone, and feel that they can’t talk about the negatives about sex without getting attacked.

Continue reading

Asexuality (and related concepts) 101 part 4

This is part 4 of my Asexuality (and related concepts) 101 page, and I’m looking for input. This section is probably big enough to be its own page though!
EDIT: This is an edited version, based off of suggestions made in the comments. Thanks to luvtheheaven and sablin27 for the suggestions. This section is still open to more suggestions.
Because of how large this section is, it’d be better to split it into a separate page, that the “Asexuality (and related concepts) 101” page will link to.

Attitudes towards sex

How someone feels about having sex is separate from whether they’re asexual or not. Asexual and gray-asexual people’s attitudes towards the idea of themselves having sex, and towards sex/sexuality in general, are as diverse as allosexual people’s viewpoints.

Personal attitudes towards sex

The three terms usually used in the asexual community to describe how someone personally feels about sex, or the idea of sex involving them, are repulsed, indifferent, and favorable.

Statistics from the two relevant censuses of the asexual community will be used. The questions to measure personal attitudes towards sex were phrased differently, with radically different results, because of it*. For each group, breakdown by asexuality, gray-asexuality, and demisexuality will be given, for both surveys.

Repulsed

Repulsed (or “sex-repulsed”) individuals strongly dislike the idea of themselves having sex, under most, or all circumstances. They may feel physically or mentally grossed out by it. There are different degrees of sex-repulsion, ranging from someone who is completely repulsed by anything sexual, and doesn’t want to talk about it, to those who like the idea of sex in theory, but are repulsed by the thought of actual sex involving themselves.

Sex-repulsion isn’t itself a sign of being asexual, but the sex-repulsed do make up the majority of the asexual community, and the asexual group has the highest percentage of sex-repulsed individuals.

Results from 2011 AAW Census

  • Asexuals: 65%
  • Gray-asexuals: 51%
  • Demisexuals: 37%
  • (no stats for allosexuals given)

Results from 2014 AVEN Census

  • Asexuals: 55%
  • Gray-asexuals: 27.4%
  • Demisexuals: 15.9%
  • Allosexuals: The percentage still needs to be calculated**

Another term that’s sometimes used is sex-averse, which sometimes is synonymous with sex-repulsed, but other times, it’s something similar, but not interchangeable.

Indifferent

Indifferent (or “sex-indifferent”) individuals are indifferent towards the idea of themselves having sex. They often describe their attitude towards sex as “take it or leave it”, or “wouldn’t mind having sex under some circumstances, but would be perfectly content to never have it”. Some are willing to have sex, even if they might get little, or nothing out of the act itself, such as if they have an allosexual partner who wants sex, and the want to make their partner happy. Not all these relationships are sexual, for different reasons, described later in the “Mixed Relationships” section.

For indifferent individuals who don’t want sex, it’s not that they find it repulsive, but rather, they feel like it may not be worth it for them from a cost-benefits perspective.

Results from 2011 AAW Census

  • Asexuals: 24%
  • Gray-asexuals: 32%
  • Demisexuals: 34%
  • (no stats for allosexuals given)

Results from 2014 AVEN Census

  • Asexuals: 42.3%
  • Gray-asexuals: 61.2%
  • Demisexuals: 54.3%
  • Allosexuals: The percentage still needs to be calculated**

Favorable

“Sex-favorable” individuals are those who are favorable towards the idea of themselves having sex under some circumstances.

Results from 2011 AAW Census

  • Asexuals: 1%
  • Gray-asexuals: 4%
  • Demisexuals: 11%
  • (no stats for allosexuals given)

Results from 2014 AVEN Census

  • Asexuals: 2.7%
  • Gray-asexuals: 11.4%
  • Demisexuals: 29.8%
  • Allosexuals: The percentage still needs to be calculated**

Not everyone neatly fit these labels

Not everyone can neatly fit their experiences into just one of these labels. Some individuals may be unsure, or ambivalent towards the idea of themselves having sex. Others may feel like their experiences are a mix of them, and can’t neatly be categorized. Some individuals may also identify with multiple of these labels under different contexts.

Desiring sex is separate from wanting it. Sex-favorable asexuals may want sex for the sake of it under some circumstances, despite not having any intrinsic desire for it, and there are sex-repulsed and averse allosexuals who never want sex despite having an intrinsic desire for it.

Rhetoric to avoid

  • Certain usage of “Asexuals can enjoy sex too!” (particularly right after talking about sex-repulsion): It’s true that some asexuals can enjoy sex, but how this phrase is often used, has been used to silence repulsed asexuals, by sweeping them under the rug. When talking about both sex-repulsed and sex-favorable asexuals, take care to mention both sides respectfully. Acknowledging one group doesn’t have to come at the other’s expense.
  • The assumption that all indifferent and favorable asexuals are open to sex: This one may be unintentional, but it does seem to be implied a lot. Liking, or at least not being repulsed by the idea of sex, doesn’t automatically mean being open to sex, and there are other reasons someone might not want it.
  • Assuming that a repulsion or aversion to sex is something that must be treated: Many sex-repulsed individuals aren’t distressed by being sex-repulsed; their distress comes from isolation, and lack of acceptance, and there have been many repulsed individuals who don’t feel welcome talking about their experiences, even in the asexual spaces.
  • Assuming that if someone’s sex-repulsion isn’t “supposed” to have a cause: Some sex-repulsed individuals feel that their repulsion does have a cause, including trauma, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. Their repulsion isn’t any less valid.

Attitudes towards sex in general

How someone feels about personally having sex (repulsed, indifferent, favorable), is also separate from how they feel about others having sex, or how they feel towards sex in general. There are terms used for describing attitudes towards sex in general, but the definitions for each of them are widely disputed.***

The AVEN 2014 Census showed that most respondents don’t have any problem with consenting adults engaging in sex, but many of those same respondents also at least somewhat agreed with the statement “Our society has too much sex in it, and it would be better if it were diminished.”. Agreeing to both of those statements may not be contradictory, considering how sex is treated as compulsory by society as a whole, and there’s a lot of pressure to have it.


Footnotes:

*On the full page, I’ll have a footnote addressing the discrepancies between the percentages of sex-repulsed, indifferent, and favorable individuals in the 2011 and 2014 surveys. These discrepancies are likely due to methodological differences between each survey, and how they measured personal attitudes towards sex.

**The percentages of sex-repulsed, indifferent and favorable allosexuals will be added when those statistics from the 2014 AVEN Census become publicly available.

***I’m also planning on writing a terminology page, with a section for terms whose meanings are highly ambiguous or disputed. The “sex-positive” and “sex-negative” labels are two of them.

Being repulsed and “compromising”? (part 2)

I hate when this happens. I was working on a part 2 to this post, shortly after I published it. The first part was about the ways that considerably high statistic of repulsed asexuals being willing to compromise on sex should be taken with a grain of salt, because of the methodological issues surrounding the survey question it was from.

The second part was intended to be based off of observation and personal experience, my concerns about those who actually say they’re willing to compromise. This is a major rewrite, and pardon me if the writing style for this post is so disjointed. There were a bunch of different things I wrote about in my original draft before scrapping it, because I couldn’t figure out how to tie them together. If there’s anything that’s unclear, feel free to say so in the comments.

(TW: sexual coercion, talk of repulsion-shaming, blaming the coerced)

Continue reading

Being repulsed and “compromising”? (part 1)

A new analysis of the 2011 AAW Community Census data yielded various findings. One of them which sparked further questions, is the considerable percentage of repulsed asexuals who said that they’re willing to “compromise” (that was the wording used), and have sex with their relationship partner.

On the flip-side, some asexuals who enjoy sex, and some who are indifferent to it, aren’t willing to compromise.Of the 659 respondents who said they’re indifferent towards having sex, 6%, or 40 people, said they aren’t willing to compromise.* I don’t know how much I can say about this, because of the 54 respondents who said that they enjoy sex, 4% said that that they’re not willing to compromise. Rounded down, that’s 2 respondents. It can however, show that just because someone may find sex enjoyable, there are reasons they may still find sex to not be worth it for them, that outweigh what enjoyment they could get from it.

However, I find it troubling that there are sex-repulsed people who say they’re willing to compromise on having sex in a relationship, particularly that it’s not 100% of completely repulsed people saying that they’re not willing to!**

The Asexual Agenda asked some questions about this part of the survey results. As noted in some of the responses, the “somewhat repulsed” category is ambiguous; it’s not clear if it means:

  • A moderate degree of repulsion, that someone who is willing to have sex with their partner, can push aside temporarily, or there are times when they aren’t feeling that repulsion.
  • Being repulsed by some acts, but not others, and be willing to do the acts that the individual doesn’t find repulsive.
  • Some who know that they’re repulsed by sex, yet have their doubts, because they never had it, and are thinking in the hypothetical about that question. These respondents could’ve responded that they’re somewhat repulsed, because they didn’t want to rule out the idea of being okay with something, under some circumstance, or to some extent. Luvtheheaven gives an example of this doubt from her own experiences, despite knowing of not having sex to be an option.

It’s possible that that the “somewhat repulsed” group included respondents for all of these reasons (plus others!), and that there are different degrees of repulsion, that couldn’t have been captured simply under an indifferent/somewhat repulsed/completely repulsed framework.

The results could in part be due to the ambiguity of that question, but I wonder how many of them said that they’re willing to have sex, despite how repulsed they are, just because they don’t want to feel like they’re disappointing their real or hypothetical partner, and feel upset at the thought of not being open to any sex with them?

It’d be better to drop the term “compromise”, and ask multiple related questions. would be something like “Under what circumstances are you willing to have sex, if any?”, to try and capture the various nuances that weren’t accounted for in the original question.


Footnotes:

*I suspect that percentage of indifferent asexuals who are unwilling to compromise on sex, is low. It could be because of the indifferent-repulsed dichotomy. As Sara K. notes, it assumes that indifferent asexuals are open to sex, and it’s an assumption even made in asexual spaces. Being repulsed by sex is just one of the possible reasons why someone wouldn’t want to have it.

**Some people who are repulsed by sex, are distressed by their feelings of repulsion; they want sex, and are distressed that they’re too repulsed to go through with it. However, such people are very unlikely to seek out asexual sites for support. What’s much more likely in asexual spaces, are sex-repulsed respondents, who may feel distress over the social pressures to have, or enjoy sex, not from the repulsion itself. They don’t want to change the fact that they’re repulsed, the problem is with the social pressures.

They nearly pushed me over the edge…

**tw: sexual coercion, asexual invalidation, repulsion-shaming, talk of suicide**

…In the name of sexual liberation. This is a continuation of my Unassailable Asexual post, in which I explained a lot about why some friends I had, were so determined to invalidate my asexuality and sex-repulsion at every turn. Not only did they convince me I had no right to identify as asexual, they tried to make me get over my repulsion, and be open to sex, by shaming and bullying me. These two were both sex-positive extremists; they didn’t see anything wrong with their coercive tactics, because they believed it was “for my own good”, and would “sexually liberate” me.

Continue reading