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Leichel

school paper about asexuality and our society

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Leichel

Hello! I'm writing a paper about how our society impacts asexual individuals, specifically the amount of hyper sexualization in media and lack of asexual education. I was curious if anyone had any personal anecdotes they'd be willing to share about their experiences? It'd be helpful to know peoples thoughts.

 

(Here's my thesis if that helps narrow things down:  Our society normalizes hyper sexualization and heteronormativity, which has led to asexual oppression and erasure.)

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yyy

Well  it is no secret that society all over the world puts a great value on being a very sexual being. I heard that in certain Asian cultures there are festivals in which they celebrate sexuality and a group of men parade carrying a gigantic effigy of a penis. Here in the United States there was the sexual revolution back in the 1960s and  that  was intended to take the "stigma" out of all kinds of sexual practices and so that people not be ashamed of being sexual in every  possible way.

 

I have heard that there are  gays  (of all people) who think of asexuality as not normal .

 

I think that it should not be hard to point out that asexuality  is the least recognized of  "orientations"  to put it that way. 

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Amber79

Hi. What YYY is refering to in Asia are actually religious festivals mainly of faiths like shinto (Japanese), which are what we'd refer to in the west as pagan celebrations and they parade the penis as a symbol of fetilty to the land not just towards people. Religion in this case also has an impact which is both seperate and on top of mainstream sexualised culture. As aro ace I find both difficult at times. I find the religious side of things problematic because there are expectations around marrying and having children, and as a woman who will never do either, I feel as if I'm rejected by most faiths. As for the mainstream culture, there is a double problem. It's not just sexualisation, but also ramanticism which makes life hard. Not only am I expected to comform by having sex, or aparently forcing myself to in order to have a relationship, but it also expects me to fall in love and behave romatically. I can promise you, I can't do either. I've pretty much given up going to see films as they always seem to have sex scenes, even in genres like action, horror or fantasy. On top of that I can't relate to girly films at all as I just don't understand having to have someone in my life all the time, or for that person to be the centre of my universe. I've given up going out as I get sick of people trying to set me up or asking me out, when all I want is a chat and a laugh and no one seems to understand that. I avoid relatives and events like weddings because i hate being asked about whether I've met Mr right yet when (from obseration of sexuals) I doubt he exists for anyone anyway, and when I have no interest in looking. I've certainly given up on religion, most religious groups seem to really have a problem with asexuality, like it's a worse threat than nuclear war (no idea why).

This normalisation of not just hyper-sexuality but also hyper-romanticism, is alienating and isolating. I've found myself being far less social than I'd like to be because of it, and the lack of information and education on asexuality means that it's hard to explain to people why you're not just not interested in either sex or romance. Often if you do try to explain, becuse there's a lack of official information out there from government and health groups, people don't believe you and you can easily end up either getting into an argument or you end up with someone TELLING you you're wrong and feeling like you should just leave or hide or something. Like a few aces on here, I've also had to deal with some very agressive, sexualised language, along the lines of if I was forced to I'd enjoy it also known as rape.

Actually the most shocking thing for me, is that anyone could find my lack of sexuality a threat, and yet people do all the time! I just don't get it, I mean, I'm never going to steal someone's husband, I'm never going to abuse someone sexually, I'm never going to use a prostitute (male or female). Basically I'm the least threatening person you could meet, and yet the reactions I've had to being ace have largely been aggresively negative, I've been made to feel like I have no reason to be alive, my existence is void and I should just go away.

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Leichel

Amber79: I completely understand what you're saying as I've experienced a lot of anxiety around social situations due to the same thing. Hyper romanticism is just as damaging as hyper sexualization and lack of education. I'm sorry to hear that you have had so many struggles,  but know that you are important and you are not alone. The experiences you share will help so many people, whether you directly see it or not.

Thanks for your response :) I'm happy I finally decided to connect with other people on the ace spectrum.

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Stheg

I think asexual prejudice would be a good topic to discuss in your paper. There's some interesting research on it. Personally, I've been the target of some very vile behavior just because I'm asexual. Sexuals seem to think that sex is one of the main reasons worth living, so if you aren't interested in sex, you either need to be corrected or you shouldn't even bother existing.

 

There's also the assumption that everyone has to like sex. For instance, when people start talking about what they like in bed and I don't have much to contribute. Or when I'm attending a religious service (my family is super religious) and they say that there's something wrong with you if you don't like sex. 

 

There's a thread somewhere about how "you know you're an asexual when..." that you might find helpful for this too.

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