Label =/= identity (Carnival of Aces)

31 enero 2018

This is a contribution to January 2018 Carnival of Aces.

My sense of identity is not strong. I have a greater sense of individuality than of identity. Among the different factors of identity (race, religion, gender fandom) proposed in the call for contributions, I don’t feel strong identity in any of them. I live in a racially homogeneous country (thanks to miscegenation) where the great gap is marked by the Hispanic culture, which includes a lot of countries in the Americas. My country is also religiously homogeneous country, where even the atheistic are so in opposition to Catholic beliefs. Personally, I don’t feel a strong sense of gender identity, and I don’t identify with any fandom. Contrary, I do feel identified with the asexual and aromantic labels.

The label itself doesn’t create the identity, as one’s identity may be expressed with a complex phrase, but it helps shaping it. Identifying with a label is not the same as satisfying the label. For instance, most of asexual are unaware of their asexuality because they ignore the label. Conversely, many antisexual identify as asexuals when they are actually allosexuals who reject their sexuality. I especially dislike when journalists confuse these states as synonyms, speaking of a 1% of the population who identify as asexual, when most of this population is unaware of the label.

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Do I belong here?

31 diciembre 2017

This is my take for December 2017 edition of Carnival of Aces: Alienation and Belonging.

As I told in my last post, when I entered the asexual community, I was not sure I was completely asexual, maybe hyposexual, but I felt the community was welcoming enough to stay there, even questioning. It was only later that I came across the antisexual elitism, people or groups that kidnap the asexual label for a meaning tailored to fit their convictions, especially of a religious kind. Apart of those, who try to policy who belongs, the community is built around an agreed definition focused on sexual attraction, which makes the rest of the variables free and welcomes the grays. Moreover, there is a tradition to give advice but to leave the last word on their asexuality to the subject.

In real life, I feel discriminated as aromantic and single than as asexual. In my current circles it doesn’t matter if you get laid or not, but having a steady partner matters a lot, and has a lot of unfair advantages. As I haven’t explicitly come out, I don’t know if I would be discriminated for being asexual. Another chapter is what would happen if I came out publicly, but this was treated in the carnival theme Unassailable Asexual of August 2014.


Labels left behind in my discovery of asexuality

30 noviembre 2017

I came across the asexuality jargon in 2008 while trying to help a friend to understand their sexual orientation. When I read the definitions, they resonated a lot with my experience, but I didn’t identify as asexual right then. I had previously considered if I could be bisexual, but I discarded the idea because I didn’t desire guys sexually. I didn’t desire girls sexually either, but what confused me is that I was open to sexual exploration with girls, so I was an odd kind of heterosexual in my mind.

From my first encounter with asexuality terms, I remember reading about Rabger’s model, whose author has changed their mind later, and about the split attraction model. The distinction between sexual attraction and desire was clarifying, though I still needed better descriptions of them in order to decide if I could be asexual. Also, the split attraction model made me realize I could be aromantic, though by that time the concept of squish had not been coined yet.

Three months later, after some conversations with more sexual people, I realized I was not in their wavelength, so I reconsidered asexuality and joined AVEN. At the beginning, as my first posts in this blog prove, I didn’t consider me asexual yet, but within the gray spectrum. I considered myself hyposexual on the heterosexual branch. In terms of Storms’s model, I would score a little in the heterosexual axis and zero in the homosexual one. This was still subject to revision under better descriptions of sexual attraction, however I was pretty sure about my aromanticism.

The concept of squish made me completely sure of my aromanticism, and further conversations with asexuals made me refine the definition of sexual attraction and labeling me as asexual. Nevertheless, I am still attached to the term hyposexual, and defend it as a useful and legitimate category within the gray spectrum. So, I encourage people to explore their orientations and take as many provisional labels as they need, using them always descriptively and never prescriptively.


An answer to exclusionists of asexuality

30 septiembre 2017

Although I don’t listen to those who spread hate and exclusion of asexuality while nominally fighting against hate and exclusion of sexual minorities, but restring it to the tetragrammaton LGBT, I listen to the complaints of asexual activists who have suffered it first-hand. These haters use to exclude both asexuals and non-binary genders with the excuse that they are not oppressed, as if the oppression-privilege rhetoric were a truth, especially in the contexts where they try to extrapolate it. Unfortunately, this rhetoric has already crossed the sea and is heard even in Europe, where it was not even applicable its very initial example, and activists uncritically adhere to it, both for attacking and defending asexuality and non-binary genders.

While non-binary people are deemed by the exclusionists “not trans enough,” the asexuals are directly regarded as cis-hetero, ignoring the diversity of the asexual community. Some exclusionist know a bit about this diversity and claim “asexuality is not queer per se, but some asexuals may be LGBT if they are homo/bi/panromantic or transgender.” What neither of them wants is to admit any cis-heteroromantic people among them, regardless of how asexual they are. Aromantics are usually ignored or grouped together with heteroromantics in order to exclude them, since their very existence disrupts their preconceptions, so they may prefer not to analyze it in depth.

If the reader doesn’t mind the Gospel and the patriarchal whiff of its parables, I’ll retell one I find relevant for the topic (Matthew 18:23-35) discarding most of the patriarchal features: A slow-paying debtor gets, out of mercy, a deferment for a one-million debt, but applies for an impoundment in order to get paid a one-thousand debt. Then, the original creditor says “as I was merciful with you and waived several thousands in interest, you should have had mercy with your debtor in a business much smaller,” revokes the deferment and applies for an impoundment.

Although the LGBT community doesn’t owe anything to the cis-hetero one, the former asks for inclusion to the latter. If the LGBT community excludes asexual and non-binary people, it may happen to them as to the unmerciful debtor who asked for mercy. So, my answer to these exclusionists is the following: If you include, you may be included. If you exclude, you will be excluded.


Disproved =/= unproved

26 agosto 2017

Versión en español

In a recent post, I have mentioned the ad ignorantiam fallacy, which is based on the confusion between disproved and unproved. I shall explain the concepts. A claim is proved if a proof thereof is found according to the standard of the corresponding discipline. A claim is disproved if a proof of its negation is found. In both cases it involves proving, whichever it means in the corresponding discipline. In the case of disproving, it also involves proper negation of the claim, avoiding false dichotomies. When a claim is neither proved nor disproved, it remains unproved. The unproved claims lie in a kind of limbo, where they stay until proved or disproved.

Each discipline has its own proving standard and, in the experimental ones, a proved claim can return to the state of unproved, or even be disproved, if contradictory evidence is gathered. In the case of being unable to disprove the claim, it may happen that the researcher can prove that current evidence can’t prove or disprove it, bringing it back to the state of unproved. These two scenarios should be clearly distinguished, since disproving a previously proved claim is much stronger than just proving the evidence too weak to prove it, and the implications are different. The ad ignorantiam fallacy consists in deliberately confusing them by considering that a proof of the second kind as if it were of the first kind, concluding thus disproved the opponent’s claim.


My view of asexual research

19 agosto 2017

Esta entrada es otra colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, que este mes trata sobre la asexualidad y el mundo académico. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

Versión en español

When I entered the asexual community, I realized some facts I could check by my experience there. Some of these facts were supported by scientific research, but most were unresearched. In the first category we find the works of Storms and Diamond to which I have devoted my first contribution to this month’s edition of this carnival. The first work proposes a bidimensional model of sexual orientation that places asexuality as a fully legitimate sexual orientation. The second work supports the separation of sexual and romantic attraction, and even gives ground for explaining demisexuality. But most of the interesting conclusions of the asexual-community experience remain scientifically untested. Moreover, with the exception of Storms, who published in 1980, the rest of the scientific literature on asexuality is very recent and, in most cases, it comes to rediscover facts that are well known to the asexual community, even in weaker forms. It’s true that each scientific discipline has its research standards, and that passing from an empirical fact to a scientific truth takes its work, but good research should take into account the community experience, at the price of making up another theory of phlogiston.

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My favorite asexual research

11 agosto 2017

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, que este mes trata sobre la asexualidad y el mundo académico. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

Versión en español

I’m glad to learn that the baton of Asexual Explorations on compiling a bibliography of research on asexuality has been picked up by Asexual Research in the platform Zotero [see introduction]. This way I’ve found recent articles revisiting my all-time favorite piece on asexual research, Storms (1980). The reason I like Storms’s article is because of his bidimensional model of sexual orientation, which I’ve described previously in this blog and, in a nutshell, considers heterosexual attraction and homosexual attraction as perpendicular axes, obtaining four regions: heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and asexuality. This model improves Kinsey scale, considering asexuality a fully legitimate sexual orientation instead of an off-scale outlier.

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