So, there’s a new discussion coming up in the asexual community, one that says that the typical asexual refrain of “I don’t have any physical issues that interfere with having sex, I haven’t been abused, I’m not mentally ill, and I don’t think sex is gross” is problematic.
This is completely true.
As someone who can say the above line, I naturally missed how problematic it was, but the fact is that some asexual-spectrum people are mentally ill, or have physical problems that get in the way of sex, or have been abused, or are sex-repulsed.
Asexual-spectrum people are people. Some people are mentally ill, or have physical issues, or have been abused, or think sex is a whole lot of nothing they ever want any part of. And some people who fall into any of those categories are asexual.
Asexual-spectrum folks who can say “I don’t have any physical issues that interfere with having sex, I haven’t been abused, I’m not mentally ill, and I don’t think sex is gross,” we have a duty to asexuals who can’t say that. We can not throw them under the bus so people don’t think we’re weird or broken, because they deserve to not feel weird or broken as much as we do.
To that end, I’ve made an action plan. I might have to change it, because it could be problematic, but until I hear otherwise, if someone asks if there’s something physically wrong with me, or if I’ve been abused, am I mentally ill or why do I think sex is gross, then what I’m going to say is, “The answer to that question does not change the fact that I am asexual, no matter how much you want it to, and frankly, if you don’t already know the answer to the question, there is a reason.”
The long and short of it is that noone is ace-spectrum “for a reason,” just as noone is any other sexuality for a reason. Which means that none of the cases we’re refuting can invalidate someone’s asexuality or demisexuality or gray-asexuality. You cannot claim something caused a sexuality, it’s a fucking moldy walnut thing to try and do, and anyone trying to do it is a moldy fucking walnut.
Additionally, it’s not your goddamned business what people are going through. If they have a medical condition, if sex grosses them out, if they’re mentally ill, or have been physically or sexually abused, that is for them to know, and that is for them to say, or not say at their own fucking discretion. They don’t need to prove themselves to anyone, not allosexuals, not other asexuals, not anyone, and if they’re gonna tell you this kind of shit, it’s going to be because they want you to know.
And if you’re using that kind of shit to invalidate their sexuality, then I say you sure as hell don’t deserve to know, but that’s just me.
Ace-spectrum folks who can say “I don’t have any physical issues that interfere with having sex, I haven’t been abused, I’m not mentally ill, and I don’t think sex is gross,” it’s time to pull up your big kid underwear and step the fuck up. Do not be like the cishet guy who throws a temper tantrum because he can’t fuck a lesbian.
Just avoiding saying problematic shit is not enough, we’ve created a hostile environment, we have to take steps to create a safer one. Call each other out. Call yourself out. Remember that life experiences do not invalidate sexuality."