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Steph Ace

Asexual Men Musings

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JMichael

A little reflection I wrote today:

 

I know what it's like to to experience both blatant and subtle homophobia. I have come to understand that I present a target for this kind of behavior in part because I lack an aggressive sexuality towards women/feminine people. The assumption seems to be that since I am far more interested in friendships, that I must be saving my aggressive sexuality for men/masculine people. This can even result in subtle comments questioning the gender of my partner or the veracity of our relationship.

 

This same set of assumptions can wreck the kind of intense platonic relationships I enjoy with guys, who ever wary of the possibility of aggressive sexuality ward off intimacy with cries of “no homo” .

 

I also know what it's like to experience blatant and subtle acephobia, mostly in queer settings, mostly from men. I have heard the suspicion that bi/pan identities are indecision or cowardice, holding onto a sliver of heteronormativity. There is my negative experience of trying to resist the aggressive sexuality of queer men, leading them to unqueer me. I have experienced the gender norm reinforcement that real men only cuddle after sex, if at all. I have had the frightening experience of receiving aggressive sexuality before I had a chance to consent, and the heartbreaking experience of emotional abuse after denying consent.

 

In all of this, I recognize a powerful structure at work, of systemic aggressive sexuality, primarily wielded by men, that forces everyone I connect with, especially women and femmes to question, “is he safe? Could it possibly be true that he wants to be my friend?” I am too in love with my partner to be faking it, too male to be safe, too queer to be straight and too ace to be queer. I find myself  longing for the construction of a healthy masculinity and a healthy sexuality of honor, consent, and gentleness. In the meantime, I hope to keep proving that I am not too dangerous to be friends.

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Just like Jughead

All these sexual harassment claims (and it’s a new one every day) really illustrates to myself just how asexual I really am. I would have never thought to approach any woman like that, but with the volume of charges it appears it actually is something men do and think about every day. 

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The Unknown Warrior
2 hours ago, Just like Jughead said:

All these sexual harassment claims (and it’s a new one every day) really illustrates to myself just how asexual I really am. I would have never thought to approach any woman like that, but with the volume of charges it appears it actually is something men do and think about every day. 

We also need to remember that there are plenty of sexual men that find that abhorrent. It would be terrible if men became too scared to approach women. This has already happened with how men are viewed when near children.

 

Being a man sometimes makes me want to curl up in a ball and die because of how in general we're seen as a threat and yet so many of us are kind and loving people that would never hurt anyone.

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Still

Personally, I like to think that most sexual men wouldn't think of groping/making sexual suggestions to random unwilling people.

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daveb

I guess it's more common than most men know, but I hope it's less common than we fear. It does make me think about my past and wonder whether I ever did anything that caused distress for any women I knew. I like to think I didn't. I mean, I didn't do anything obvious like the various physical allegations, or lewd remarks or the like; but how can I be sure I never did anything inadvertently? I think it is something everyone should try to be cognizant in their own behavior.

 

It also makes me think about the arguments some people espouse in favor of so-called "bathroom bills". Brings up at least a couple of thoughts: 1. the claim is that girls and women have to be "protected" from transwomen? What about all of these straight cis-males?; 2. I suspect some of the people who make that argument do so because they know how perverted they would be given half the chance.

 

And it's not just men who are the perpetrators, and not just women who are the victims - although the percentages are probably more men as perpetrators (whether that's because there is a higher percentage of men in positions of power or for some other reason, I don't know. Probably a combination, I would guess.), and more women as victims (simply because more men are heterosexual than any other sexuality).

 

I also firmly believe a lot of this isn't news to women and girls (other than specifics about who, where, when, etc.), but has often been brushed off by many guys. Look at just last year, with "excuses" like "it was just locker room talk".

 

I guess things have finally reached a point where people are ready for it to come to light and have a national conversation. Hopefully it will all lead to a better place for everyone (except the predators).

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Just like Jughead
7 hours ago, Still said:

Personally, I like to think that most sexual men wouldn't think of groping/making sexual suggestions to random unwilling people.

Well it’s mainly men but I know first hand women can also be aggressors. 

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will123

I had never heard of Harvey Weinstein before the initial accusations. Not to diminish this in any way, the whole thing sounds like the proverbial 'casting couch' scenario. "You sleep with me or else you don't get the role". He gives me the impression that if he was Joe Schmuck office worker, the average female employee wouldn't give him the time of day. To me he looks like a lout.

 

 

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will123
9 hours ago, daveb said:

I guess it's more common than most men know, but I hope it's less common than we fear. It does make me think about my past and wonder whether I ever did anything that caused distress for any women I knew. I like to think I didn't. I mean, I didn't do anything obvious like the various physical allegations, or lewd remarks or the like; but how can I be sure I never did anything inadvertently? I think it is something everyone should try to be cognizant in their own behavior.

My fear of doing or saying the wrong thing to a female friend when I was younger pretty much precluded that from happening. I'd never think of acting untoward to a stranger.

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Just like Jughead
11 hours ago, will123 said:

My fear of doing or saying the wrong thing to a female friend when I was younger pretty much precluded that from happening. I'd never think of acting untoward to a stranger.

I never wanted to to do anything untoward to anyone. Ever. But I hear guys at work discussing co-workers in inappropriate ways all the time. That doesn’t mean they would act on anything, but it is talked about on a daily basis. 

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Shadowstepper

Over the years I learned to be good at "guy talk" or "locker room talk". Mostly to fit in where I clearly didn't. In a way it helped me to confirm that I only had an aesthetic attraction to women, not a sexual attraction. It also helped me get over social anxieties by interacting with people "on their level", as it were.

 

I did learn a few things of note in that time.

 

1) Most guys are harmless and would never actually act on any of the big talk. A lot of it comes down to 1-up stories. Any claim made in a group setting is measuring stick that other guys try to compete against. It's pretty dumb, but at the end of the day, no one means any harm.

 

2) Guys are stupid. Half the time they don't realize they've said something offensive, especially if it isn't pointed out to them pretty soon after. The other half the time, they misread the boundaries of the woman they are speaking to and think the comment they made is ok.

 

3) Some guys are just predators. They actually do believe all the things they say in the locker room and they have every intention of acting on it. There are some the it is obvious from the jump, but others only make sense in hindsight. Unfortunately, the predators have made it so that everyone is regarded as suspect, even if they never had the intent.

 

As for point 2, and this is something I've stressed when giving sexual harassment briefings at work, ignorance is no excuse. If you want to make off color comments to your friends, fine, but you need to be consciously aware of a stopping point. You have to pay attention to the things you say. Coming back at the end and saying "I didn't mean anything by it" doesn't work.

 

Additionally, like any good performer will tell you, you have to feel out your crowd. A comment made in private doesn't come across the same in public. An innuendo made to the secretary by a coworker doesn't give you the greenlight to start telling her you like how tight her jeans are.

 

Always assume it is inappropriate to say inappropriate things, until you are 100% sure it isn't inappropriate. Be a gentleman, always.

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will123

Great posts @Just like Jughead and @Shadowstepper ! I worked my entire career in a factory. I heard and took part in a lot of shop talk. Even though some of the content was pretty 'bad', I never witnessed anyone acting inappropriate around female employees. I'm pretty sure the guys knew where the line was.

 

That being said, apparently some of my co-workers spent time in another plant in the area. Some of them had to deal with a situation created when a female employee acted like one of the guys and the guys let their guard down. The next thing they knew they were being called on the carpet due to inappropriate conversations. The employees in question and the female were transferred to my location after a closure. One of the guys pointed out the complainant to me and said to watch what I said around her. I told him it wouldn't be a problem since my job didn't concern her work area.

 

Not sure exactly how the guys figured out it was her other than maybe she was the only female employee in the area and/or she was the only one that knew of the 'off-colour' comments.

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Nidwin
On 20/11/2017 at 1:16 AM, Just like Jughead said:

Well it’s mainly men but I know first hand women can also be aggressors. 

Yep, for sure and first hand too.

 

What sickened me back then was that I was told to be proud to be physically hit by women, flattered.

And

"She clearly saw something in you when she showed you her underwear! Be proud mate!" (when there was actually underwear in some cases I should add)

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Warsaw

Some awkward Thanksgiving dinner banter.  Was told my wife is waiting for me overseas by my family in either Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe and that they preferred Russian/former Soviet women for me because of their European appearance.  Basically a double wammy of racism and anti ace retoric coming from a very German family.

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Warsaw

I VERY nearly lost my cool, and was very close to educating the family about Asexuality, but didn't want to be a sideshow especially with children in the room.

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The Unknown Warrior
On 11/22/2017 at 2:38 PM, Nidwin said:

Yep, for sure and first hand too.

 

What sickened me back then was that I was told to be proud to be physically hit by women, flattered.

And

"She clearly saw something in you when she showed you her underwear! Be proud mate!" (when there was actually underwear in some cases I should add)

I think we've all got bad memories of things that have happened. Men are just laughed at for talking about it. Men are strong and women are weak after all, right?!  

 

I've had women/girls become aggressive when I've told them I'm not interested and they've even threatened to follow me home. It's really NOT ok and really creepy... I felt exactly as a woman would feel but people have laughed at me when I said it made me uncomfortable.

 

Other times I've had inappropriate sexual comments made about me, had girls flash their knickers at me and been touched. Yes, it does happen much more to women but men are also affected. We have feelings too, after all.

 

Rant over lol. I just needed to say it really.

 

My goal is to be seen as equally unattractive to women and men because I just want to be left alone.

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daveb

I have never had any inappropriate advances from any female. Nor ever been pursued or stalked or anything like that. All of the abuse I've endured in the past was inflicted by males (bullies in school physically assaulting, family members being verbally abusive and/or physically assaulting as the case may be; non-sexually). But that's just my experience. I don't doubt others have had different experiences.

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Just like Jughead
2 hours ago, The Unknown Warrior said:

I think we've all got bad memories of things that have happened. Men are just laughed at for talking about it. Men are strong and women are weak after all, right?!  

 

I've had women/girls become aggressive when I've told them I'm not interested and they've even threatened to follow me home. It's really NOT ok and really creepy... I felt exactly as a woman would feel but people have laughed at me when I said it made me uncomfortable.

 

Other times I've had inappropriate sexual comments made about me, had girls flash their knickers at me and been touched. Yes, it does happen much more to women but men are also affected. We have feelings too, after all.

 

Rant over lol. I just needed to say it really.

 

My goal is to be seen as equally unattractive to women and men because I just want to be left alone.

Been there. 

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Just like Jughead

Each day another man is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. I guess the reason I’m confused by all of this is all my life I’ve been told my people, movies, magazines, etc., this was “normal” for men and one of the reasons I was always led to believe I was so abnormal. 

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daveb

Sexual behavior is normal. Inappropriate sexual behavior should not be. Also, normal in and of itself is not inherently good or bad. 

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Warsaw

I have been harassed blatantly at many jobs by women.  I would get laughed at by our superiors if I said anything.  I actually have and was shrugged off.  For the record women are 100% just as bad as men ever were, they just get a free pass due to the keymaster vs gatekeeper dichotomy.

 

I have had everything from direct sexual advances to women touching me inappropriately.  Every time all the men around acted like I was a hero, but inside I was recounting events to find where I slipped and caused her advance (because it's my fault.)

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Grinchmer

Looking like a pound of ground pork has a lot of advantages :D

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will123
1 hour ago, Homer said:

Looking like a pound of ground pork has a lot of advantages :D

I don't even want to know...

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daveb
2 hours ago, Homer said:

Looking like a pound of ground pork has a lot of advantages :D

Sorry, but this made me laugh (out loud)! :lol: 

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InquisitivePhilosopher

Hello. I don't mean to intrude, but I just thought it'd be important to mention that some women are aware that other women are abusive towards males or sexually harass others, too, because they've experienced it, themselves, and/or have seen them do that to others. (i.e., that we're on your side, too.)

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mav709

I can't believe I didn't see this thread until now! I considered myself heterosexual until a couple years ago when I started exploring asexuality, but figuring out which label fits has been particularly difficult because of the way men are expected to initiate sex and romance. It makes it hard to figure out whether not having sex or seeking it out is because of orientation or shyness or something else. It helps a lot to hear from more comfortably ace men and compare experiences.

 

Also like a lot of men here I've always felt slightly more comfortable hanging out with groups of women rather than groups of men, whether friends or family. I'm not sure if that's because of asexuality or just a distaste for traditional heterosexual masculinity.

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Tuple
19 hours ago, mav709 said:

Also like a lot of men here I've always felt slightly more comfortable hanging out with groups of women rather than groups of men, whether friends or family. I'm not sure if that's because of asexuality or just a distaste for traditional heterosexual masculinity

I have two best friends and they are both gay men. I find that they are much more understanding and accepting of asexuality than people who are heterosexual. They also aren't particularly masculine so I feel more comfortable hanging out with them than my with my straight male friends.

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Just like Jughead
9 minutes ago, Tuple said:

I have two best friends and they are both gay men. I find that they are much more understanding and accepting of asexuality than people who are heterosexual. They also aren't particularly masculine so I feel more comfortable hanging out with them than my with my straight male friends.

Pretty much the same. I don't get along with straight women.

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Tuple
On 12/7/2017 at 6:13 PM, Just like Jughead said:

Pretty much the same. I don't get along with straight women.

I get along with women okay. I have a few female friends, although no close female friends. I'm not sure why but I find it harder to be friends with women than men. Maybe it's a product of society and how when growing up boys and girls don't really interact with each other much. I also don't have any sisters.

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The Unknown Warrior

I think maybe I've been lucky with my friends because they've been really understanding. Two of them are heterosexual married women and others are heterosexual single women. I don't really have any gay friends. I have a heterosexual married male friend that gets on my nerves sometimes with his sexuality by asking me if I find particular women hot and how I would rate them 1-10.

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Warsaw
On 12/6/2017 at 9:57 PM, mav709 said:

Also like a lot of men here I've always felt slightly more comfortable hanging out with groups of women rather than groups of men, whether friends or family. I'm not sure if that's because of asexuality or just a distaste for traditional heterosexual masculinity.

I feel completely uncomfortable being around women, and prefer the company of men.  I don't like being around women because 

 

1.  They get sexually attracted easily, and NEVER (ever) take rejection well.

 

2.  They expect "traditional heterosexual masculinity," expect being the key word.  My male friends make fun of me for having manicured fingernails, and salon fresh hair, but pass me a beer and consider me an equal anyways.

 

3.  I can't relate to the trials and tribulations of their life, different problems, different point of view, etc.

 

4.  It's easier to share your feelings with men without being judged.

 

5.  I find men to be more compassionate, and willing to help in my hour of need.

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