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Oct 27 16 6:41 PM

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Asexual Awareness Week 2016 (Oct 23-30'th)

It's Asexual Awareness Week!


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So what exactly is asexuality?


Asexuality can be defined as a sexual orientation in which one does not experience sexual attraction or sexual desire directed toward others. In a way, it can be thought of as a lack of an orientation. You could easily say, that we would much rather have cake than sex happy.gif 

But wait, there is more! In addition to being an (lack of) orientation, there are many sexuals who experience sexual attraction/desire so rarely, or only under specific circumstances that they identify with the label as well. 

For this reason, in addition to being an orientation, asexuality is also be considered a spectrum of sexual orientations. Imagine it as a gradient going from black to white. The black end of the gradient represents those with no sexual desire what-so-ever. At the other end, represented by "white," are allosexuals (or normal sexual people or non-asexuals whatever term you prefer). Allosexuals being people who experience normal to high levels of sexual attraction/desire. In the middle grey area are those people we mentioned earlier, the ones who only rarely or under special circumstance experience sexual attraction: Grey-sexuals! 

In fact, this diversity in asexuality is basis of our flag. Black on top to represent asexuality, gray for the gray-sexualuality, white for our allosexual allies, and purple to represent the community in its entirety! 

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So does this mean that asexuals are never attracted to other people and never fall in love?


Not quite. Asexuals do not experience sexual desire for others, but they can experience other types of attractions. You see, there are actually several different types of attractions. For instance, a person can be romantically attracted to someone but not sexually. Here is a graphic explaining some of the different types of attraction: 

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An asexual does not experience sexual attraction, but they can experience these other types of attraction. Asexuals who are attracted to the other gender romantically, but not sexually can be called heteroromantic asexuals, while those attracted to the same gender could be discribed as homoromantic asexuals. 

If an asexual lacks both romantic and sexual attraction they can be called an Aromantic Asexual. Not surprisingly, one doesn't have to be asexual to be aromantic. There are also sexuals who are aromantic as well. 

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So, asexuals are just people who don't have sex?


No, that not quite right. What you are describing is celibacy. 

Asexuality is an orientation much like being homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. And just like those orientations being asexual is not a choice. Being celibate, on the other hand, is a choice. 

Further, one need not be asexual to choose to be celibate. Also, just like all other orientations, one can choose to have intercourse with someone despite not being sexually attracted to that person for various reasons. For instance, an asexual may choose to have sex because they want to become a parent. 

But just like a person of any other orientation, there will be difficulties having intercourse with someone you aren't sexually attracted to depending on how repulsed one is to that gender. 

There are, in fact, many asexuals who are completely sex-repulsed to the point that even if they want children they would be unable to overcome their aversion to sex. These feelings often can cause major issues in mixed relationships with allosexuals and just one of the issues our community face. 

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Do Asexuals face Discrimination?

Trigger Warning


Unfortunately, yes, we do

However, Many people not only think we don't have such issues but they refuse to even accept that asexuality exist. Quite often, asexual people are told that they are suffering from hormonal issues, or mental illness, or that our asexuality is the result of things like abuse. 

Now, while it is possible for people to lose their sexual desire for others due to these factors; an asexuals lack of sexual disorder is due to their orientation, and it is important that people realize the difference. Fortunately, the field of psychology has now realized that and they have recently made a distinction between asexuality and Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . 

According to one study, we actually face more wide spread discrimination than any other orientation; HOWEVER, this discrimination isn't necessary of a phobic type. What this means is that a person who is homophobic is just as likely to hate asexuals as they are homosexuals, and that is assuming that they don't just assume that we are homosexuals in denial about our orientation. 

We are routinely seen as both machine like and uncaring, and yet also as animalistic. Perhaps, the single worst form of discrimination an asexual could face is "corrective rape." There has also been a story of an asexual couple denied the right to adopt a child because of their orientation. 

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In Conclusion


So, not to end on a downer not I would like to conclude by thanking the LGBT group here at DU for all of your support of DU's asexual posters and thank everyone who took time to read. For those further interested in asexuality here are some links: 

http://www.asexuality.org/home/ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/asexuality/ 

http://asexualawarenessweek.com/


Thank you all for reading this long post and please help yourself to the Ace cake~! 

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Last Edited By: Lost247365 Oct 27 16 7:14 PM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Oct 27 16 6:43 PM

Famous Asexuals


It is believed that asexuals make up somewhere around 1% of the population. Given that asexuality is a rare orientation, and it can be hard to identify someone for NOT desiring something it is not surprising that asexuality has a visibility problem. However, in spite of this, some open asexuals have achieved a degree of notoriety. Here is a list of some fairly well known asexuals you may or may not have heard of: 

Famous Living Asexuals


Janeane Garofalo


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Given this is democratic underground there is a good chance most people reading this have heard of Janeane Garofalo. 

The famous comedienne, actress, and liberal actress is also an open hetero-romantic asexual

Morrissey


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The famed singer, songwriter, former The Smiths frontman, and passionate animal rights activist is a Pan-romantic asexual

Tim Gunn*


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Famed fashion consultant, television personality, actor, voice actor, and Project Runway personality Tim Gunn makes a controversial addition to this list as some people claim that he is just celibate not asexual. But, since he did say, "I’ve always been kind of asexual" I am going to include him in this list as a possible homoromantic asexual. 

Caitlyn Jenner*


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Another controversial inclusion, Famed Olympic Gold Medalist and current TV personality Caitlyn Jenner told Barbra Walters that she (back when she was seen as a male) she was never gay but was a heterosexual. 

When pushed further she famously "Let’s go with ‘asexual’ for now,” which more than like meant that she was using the term asexual as a synonym for celibate. Regardless, even though she is probably likely a homosexual transwoman, I am going to list her as a possible homoromantic asexual. 

Famous Possible Asexuals From History


Asexuality as a recognized orientation only happened recently, but like all other orientation the truth is it has existed as long as all the other orientations. But with the difficulty of finding evidence of a lack of desire, and varying negative attitudes toward alternate sexuality through-out history it is hard to identify famous aces of ages long past. 

That said, there have been many people throughout history that displayed a pattern of behavior that strong hints that they too were asexual. Please take these names with a grain of salt as we can never know for sure. 

Nikola Tesla


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Nikola Tesla was many things; he was an electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and the inventor of AC Power. He was also a possible aromantic asexual. Not only was he known for being celibate but spurning all romantic relationships

Isaac Newton


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Yet another famed scientist and inventor. Isaac Newton never married and had no public relationships that anyone knows of. There is evidence that he had a close relationship with Swiss Mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier. I am going to list him as a possible homoromantic/aromantic asexual. 

Emily Brontë


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The author of Wutherning Heights constitutes another possible Aromantic Asexual. She was known as a recluse who barely socialized outside of her family and her beloved animals

Eleanor Roosevelt


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Many people believe that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a secret lesbian, and there is a ton of evidence to support that. But there is also evidence that she may have been a homoromantic asexual as well. In particular a letter to her daughter in which she said, "sex is an Ordeal to be borne." Not a very allosexual thing to say; but with all these historical figures it is hard to be 100% certain now that they are no longer alive to verify for themselves. 

Famous Asexuals in Fiction


They are rare, but there are also some famous asexual found in works of fiction around the world! 

Sherlock Holmes


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Sherlock Holmes was written as an almost perfect gaze into what it is like to be an Aromantic Asexual. His only interest in others is as puzzles to be solved or someone to beat in a battle of wits. Sadly, many more modern adaptations like CBS's Elementary seem insistent on removing this aspect of his personality, erasing perhaps the best known fictional asexual in the world. 

Sheldon Cooper


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How could I not include Sheldon on this list? Early on in the Big Bang theory Sheldon displayed a strong lack of interest in sex or romance or even being touched. Recently, however, he has been shown developing feelings for one of college Dr. Amy Fowler. Amy, strangely enough, displayed similar asexual traits when first introduced and who could be seen as a possible demi-sexual. 

Whether or not the show will remove his asexual qualities has yet to be seen, but for now he could be argued to be the most visible fictional asexual in America. 

Monkey D. Luffy


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Well, being the anime nerd that I am I couldn't end this without listing the most famous Asexual in Anime now could I? 

"Straw Hat" Luffy is the main protagonist of the world's most popular japanese comic book (Manga) "One Piece." Through all of his many adventures pirating on the Grand Line Luffy has not once shown so much as the mildest form of either sexual or romantic attraction to anyone. This was best shown when he was shown to be immune the powers of Snake Princess Boa Hancock who can turn anyone who has even the smallest amount of lust for her into stone whether they be man, woman, or machine. 

Further, the series creator even confirmed this saying that they only thing Luffy and his friends are in love with is adventure.

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#2 [url]

Oct 27 16 7:27 PM

The cake is awesome, and purple has always been my favorite color.  Try grape and cream popsicle.  Oh, but incidentally, purple is also in the bisexual flag, the counter extreme of asexual. Well, on asexual, and celibacy relatedly, I think that priesthoods and other kinds of celibate communities often were a haven for people "in the life," but the people in it did not act upon their feelings.  Thus, I'm sure they were pan/hetero/homo - romantic, but not sexual.
 

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#3 [url]

Mar 23 17 10:51 AM

Call Me Skeptical

Skeptical --

Just because I don't have personal romantic relationships, sexual relationships doesn't make me "asexual." Mostly what it makes me is incompatible. My identity is such that it doesn't neatly slot into the "hetero-normative dyad." Not male, not female, not hetero, not homo . . .  "trans."

Trans identity is analogous to speaking a language most others don't comprehend. Hard to engage in intercourse, sexual or otherwise, when you don't speak the language.

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

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#4 [url]

Mar 23 17 2:18 PM

AllisonWunderland wrote:
Skeptical --

Just because I don't have personal romantic relationships, sexual relationships doesn't make me "asexual." Mostly what it makes me is incompatible. My identity is such that it doesn't neatly slot into the "hetero-normative dyad." Not male, not female, not hetero, not homo . . .  "trans."

Trans identity is analogous to speaking a language most others don't comprehend. Hard to engage in intercourse, sexual or otherwise, when you don't speak the language.
Okay, breaking my hiatus just for this one post:

Not having a personal romantic relation, does not make one asexual or not asexual.  Asexuality is solely about not having the capacity to feel sexual desire/attraction.  Nothing more and nothing less.  As I said in my original post:


Lost247365 wrote:
Asexuals do not experience sexual desire for others, but they can experience other types of attractions. You see, there are actually several different types of attractions. For instance, a person can be romantically attracted to someone but not sexually.

So one can be asexual and be in a romantic relationship, or one can be asexual and not be in a romantic relationship.  Just as a person can have or desire a relationship with sex but no romance, so can there be people who desire romance but not desire to ever have sex.

And let me take a second to point out, this is about desire not behavior.  Just as a homosexual man can choose to have sex with a female for whatever reason (say he whats to have a child) so can asexuals.  Orientation is not about actions, or relationships; but rather, it is solely about sexual desire and attraction.  

Heterosexuals are sexually attracted to, or sexually desire to have sexual relations with, the opposite sex.  Homosexuals sexually desire/are sexually attracted to the same sex.  Bisexuals sexually desire/are sexually attracted to the same sex.  Pansexuals sexually desire/are sexually attracted to personalities and gender and sex don't matter.  Asexuals, don't experience sexual desire or attraction.  


Further, asexuality is a type of queer identity, meaning that not only does it NOT fit into the heteronomal dyad, as you like to say, but that it deconstructs it even further.  Asexuality itself can be broken into many different subtypes: Hetero-romantic asexuality, homo-romantic asexuality, bi/pan-romantic asexuality, and aromanticism.  

Asexuality is proof that that there are not just one sexual orientation, but many.  One can be heterosexual, one can be homosexual, one can be any degree of bisexual or pansexual.  And one can be none of those and can be asexual.

Asexuality is about orientation, not gender identity. Asexuality has nothing to do one way or another with being trans.  One can be cis and asexual.  One can be trans or asexual.  

I am going on Hiatus till May.  As an asexual crossdreamer, I would be more than willing to discuss this with you in depth when the semester is over and I get back.

Last Edited By: Lost247365 Mar 23 17 2:33 PM. Edited 1 time.

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