Heterogeneity in the asexual community

6 enero 2017

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, que este mes trata sobre diferentes formas de ser asexual. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval, pero hay una traducción aquí.

Despite not being two similar asexuals, even within subcategories, I still notice a great divide between romantics and aromantics. Although the border between both is blurred, existing a wide and diverse grey zone, I still find useful the distinction between romantics and aromantics. Whilst the divide between asexual with and without libido, which completed the now-obsolete ABCD model, deals with more private issues, the divide about romantic attraction has to do with the way the asexuals behave socially, especially about pairing off. We deal with very different societal pressures. In my first asexual meet-up, the host said in the introduction “I assume you all have sexual experience,” to which I replied “No, I don’t, and I’ve never felt pressured into it.” The point was that I was the only aromantic at the meet-up, and this made my experiences around sex very different to others’. Although there are people who, being aromantic in ignorance, succumbed to the pressure to pair off and so had to bear the pressure to have sex too, most experiences I’ve heard from asexuals could be roughly classified as, either happily single and celibate, or with couple issues around sex. Each group use to feel only one of the two aforesaid societal pressures, with exceptions. For instance, some happily single guys, once accepted as confirmed bachelors, feel pressure to get laid.

Contrary to the divide discussed in the previous paragraph, which can be recognized from the asexual’s story, there is another piece of information that should be provided in order to know where the asexual comes from and how society treat them: the so-called sex assigned at birth. I don’t mean the gender identity, which is stated in the user’s profile, but the sex assigned at birth, the socially recognized, especially by the most conservative ones, unless they go stealth. Whilst gender identity is necessary for politely addressing the other users, the sex assigned at birth is necessary for properly understanding the societal reactions and giving better advice. The more conservative the society where the asexual lives, the more relevant their sex-at-birth is. I am a cis guy, thus I state so in my profile. If I were trans and felt mislabeled by my sex-at-birth, I would consider using a formula in my profile that let other users know. But, recalling the previous month’s topic, it’s a matter of personal privacy to decide what data to share online.

Despite, their usefulness at introductions, the aforesaid categories are not clear cut, since Natura non facit saltus [Nature doesn’t make jumps]. We should not replace a homogeneous stereotype of asexuality with a discrete set of them, since it would be the same mistake at another level. I want to end with some words from Kinsey Report:

The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. Not all things are black nor all things white. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories. Only the human mind invents categories and tries to force facts into separated pigeon-holes. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects. The sooner we learn this concerning human sexual behavior, the sooner we shall reach a sound understanding of the realities of sex.

PS. Another divide, in this case inside the romantic community, is discussed in this post at A Life Unexamined. Roughly speaking, it divides between aros driven to couplehood or driven to singlehood. The stereotype of aromantics I mentioned would correspond to those driven to singlehood. Anyway, its author’s conclusion is similar to mine.


A good ally

24 septiembre 2014

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval. Esta entrada va dedicada a un aliado de la comunidad asexual hispana.

When reading the call for submissions for September’s Carnival of Aces, whose topic is allies, I couldn’t help remembering Jose Cabrera, a bisexual activist and ally of the Spanish-language asexual community who blogs at La Radical Bi (in Spanish) about any minority marginalized for their sex, gender, orientation or combination thereof, including asexuals and intersexuals. He was an active member of AVENes around the time I was most active there, and he had a bidirectional communication with the asexual community. He asked to and learnt from the asexuals in order to educate both himself, the LGBT community and the open-minded public. He also informed the asexuals about queer topics that might be of their interest. I’ve known other LGBT activists doing these things, but they were asexuals themselves, so they don’t count as allies but as members. Therefore he is the only ally of the asexual community I’ve known, and he happens to be a good ally.


The asexual community in Spanish language

3 junio 2011

Este entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs sobre la intersección entre la asexualidad y la raza, cultura o nacionalidad. Escribo en inglés porque el objetivo de esta entrada es explicar a la comunidad asexual internacional las particularidades de la subcomunidad en lengua española.

I belong to the asexual community since 2008, when I started considering asexuality as a possibility for my sexual orientation. Now I identify as aromantic asexual and no longer take part in the forums, but I took part for long enough to compare the asexual communities in Spanish and in English. The greatest difference between them is that the macro forum of AVEN is exclusive of the community in English. There exists AVENes, the subsidiary of AVEN in Spanish, but it is much smaller. Its size and sex-positivity makes AVENes closer to Apositive than to AVEN. As far as I know, Apositive was founded because of a strongly anti-sexual current of opinion that dominated AVEN at the time of the foundation. Another thing I like about AVENes is that the Just For Fun subforum is small, not as in AVEN, where its bullshit overflows in such a way that one may forget that it is a forum on asexuality. The drawback of such a small community is that it is difficult to have subcommunities large enough to deal with the intersection of asexuality with, say, transgender or autism.

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