Jacob Woods

Jacob Woods
Jacob is gay. He eats, breaths, and sleeps lgbt issues. Currently he is a rural psychology student working to educate the simpletons. Enjoy his blog and his other creative meanderings!

Thursday, April 7

What About Asexuality? We Are a Sexuality Too!

An asexual symbol that originates from the AVE...
About a month ago I had Sarah guest post on Asexuality. Sarah: Guest Post

Her blog can be found at No I Don't Reproduce With Myself

The blog deals with the meanderings of an asexual female who has no desire for sex. That is the essence of asexuality. However this does not mean asexuals don't desire relationships at all. Sarah would love to have a healthy relationship that goes off from being romantically involved with another individual.

This post was inspired by a short conversation I had with her at the library. Basically she is very upset that I do not link to her blogger blog on my Good as Gay site. And she persisted in asking me why I didn't link to her. I honestly didn't have a valid reason to not post it. Asexuality is a sexuality related blog after all. But I got a bit course when she said, "You have a bisexual blog listed on your blogroll."

That is when I became uncomfortable and exited politely from the library. I wasn't sure why this had bothered me until the next day when I started thinking about asexuality more. I began comparing the stigma of asexuality to the stigma of homosexuality and bisexuality and being transgendered.

When Sarah said, "You have a bisexual blog listed on your blogroll.", she was borderline saying you are discriminating against my sexuality by not posting my blog on asexuality on your blog. You have a bisexual blog and that doesn't fit the target range of gay teen males.That is discriminating. Recently I have opened my blog up to more of a comprehensive perspective of the social sciences in regards to sexuality. If in the future an asexuality blog reads credible and interesting and there are some decent reasons to put it on my own blog for my readers to benefit from, I will surely post it. But here is why I do not post any asexual blogs thus far.

Asexuality symbol (disputed)
Nothing against Sarah. "(And of course I don't get mad that Mathew Lush, Tyler Oakley, or Davey Wavey don't link or mention me. I don't get offended when Dave the infamous Rave doesn't link to me either, or maybe I do.) The primary point here is not everyone is going to link to you. Whether you like it or not you can't take it personally when your link exchange is denied. In the end you want people who are genuinely reading your content. You just need to continue blogging! Don't care about what others think, myself included, just continue blogging.

The other reasons I don't post to them is more factual. Asexuality isn't generally included in the lgbt umbrella term because asexuals can still get married, still donate blood, still hold hands with the opposite sex if they prefer to, still adopt children, and still live without the extreme oppression and  hatred lgbts face. Surely someone might think asexuals are strange for saying you don't have any sexual attractions. But asexuals aren't told that you are going to hell by their ex girlfriend's for being asexual. Even if it were true I doubt it happens to the extent where an asexual feels a necessity to end their lives or seek alcohol and substance abuse to cope. I highly doubt that there is a statistic for asexuals that shows they are more likely to be homeless and bullied for their sexuality. Parents aren't going to kick their kid out of their house for not having sexual attractions. America today would probably like asexuals for not participating in sex! What about hate crimes? Not likely!

None of this is to say asexuals should be shoved out of sexuality and that asexual topics don't matter. Asexuality is an orientation of sexuality and there is a lot of misinformation out there in regards to asexuality. In finding ones sexuality an asexual may find that path difficult. It is hard to relate to others who don't feel the same way. In that sense the lgbt community can help people come to terms with their sexuality and relate.

Lastly, there is no discrimination in the fact that I don't find asexuality relevant enough to my readers to post a blog link about them in my blog roll. People who read my blog are more likely  relating to lgbt specific issues and perhaps a periodic post and guest post on the topic of asexuality. The degree of discrimination and oppression faced by the lgbt community compared to the 1% of people who identify as asexual is extremely disproportionate. There is just no sexual attraction there for me! (Pun intended.)


tyleroakley said...

I totes agree - it's just a stretch to include in the umbrella.


Jacob Woods said...

Awesome Tyler! Glad to see you did stop in!!! Makes my evening!

craiggay said...

Very interesting Jacob, and to be honest I haven't thought enough about this topic to give you my opinion. I will agree that the discrimination isn't the same - while asexuality isn't understood, it doesn't lead to individuals being abused. Let me get back to you on this one...

Jacob Woods said...

Awesome Craig!

Thomas Fitzgerald said...

I'm sorry, but is it jut me or is asexuality not a statment that defines your right not to be inclubed under any label os sexuality itself. If you homosexual, straight, bi-sexual, transgender you are syaing, if your open, that this is my sexuality, that indeed you do feel attraction to the opposite, same, internal sexual beings and need that clarification. Asexuals dont not want or indeed need that clarification so to be upset for not been braceted with other denominations of sexual conduct is mute. Jacob I agree whole hearted with you.

Jacob Woods said...

I still feel modestly terrible for writing this post. But usually if I have an internal inclination towards a feeling there is a reason it is there.

It just takes me a while to find it!

pianycist said...

Asexual and LGBT aren't mutually exclusive categories. I'm a gay asexual trans man. Because the U.S. government doesn't recognize my actual gender, I could theoretically marry a partner whose legal gender was male. I could theoretically hold hands in public with my partner without danger. I can't do those things without being perceived incorrectly as a woman. I also occasionally enjoy sexual activity (with a cis man who has had sex with other cis men), and I can't donate blood because of that.

pianycist said...

(Sorry for double post.) Asexual people aren't heterosexual: heterosexism causes them harm. Many asexual people, myself included, have been perceived as gay (lesbian in my case; it was before I was aware I was male) because of their lack of sexual attraction to the expected gender, and harassed by their peers for it. This is why many straight asexual people consider themselves to be queer.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of reasons for an asexual to be depressed and find life a struggle- you can easily end up in a situation where your parents either laugh in your face or become disappointed with you or themselves as "failures" because they "obviously did something wrong". Your friends often don't believe you and still try to pressure you into sex, often with the "advice" that you are broken, need to see a doctor, were abused/are repressed and need therapy. When your loved ones, your nearest and dearest, won't accept who you are and even think that you are wrong... that's hurtful. Society being so sexual is overwhelming. The chances of finding a compatible partner is significantly less than other orientations and a mixed orientation relationship is hard work. The sheer isolation of everything and hardship that can be endured can cause an asexual to struggle to cope, so things aren't the bed of roses you seem to indicate in your blog. As well as that, as pianycist says, since "asexuality doesn't exist" others can label us as "closet gays" and give us your discrimination based on that. I have even heard of an asexual being "correctively raped" after coming out. There are sources on AVEN, the main asexuality website, that show the negative and positive reactions that asexuals get and sadly the negative is a far longer thread.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know why @Asexuality retweeted this (maybe they didn't read it first), but you sound to me not like a guy who wants me to go die in a fire but a guy who just has a little bit of a misunderstanding, and that is a step up from the BS I normally have to put up with, so I'd like to offer you a little friendly perspective on this post before anyone else comes here from @Asexuality comes here and *isn't* able to restrain their impulse to smash their computer screens in.

I was with you on this post for the first half. I agree, your readers probably don't care about me or my plight, and you shouldn't feel obligated to link them. Further, you're right when you say that not everybody on the internet is going to link you and you should suck it up and keep blogging. I am 100% behind you there.

But then you had to go into those "factual" reasons there.

I guess this never occurred to you, but right off the bat: there are "LGBT" asexuals. So, no, I can't marry the person I want to marry, or adopt children with her, or anything like that. Thanks for asking.

Beyond that, just because you don't care enough about us to know what our problems are, or just because they're not *exactly* the same as yours, I really don't think it make them any less valid. And actually, there is quite a lot of pressure to be in a heteronormative relationship that asexuals have to face, and due to the fact that we have zero visibility, a lot of us live lives of misery because of.

Or, you know, are assumed to be closeted gays, and get all the fun that goes along with that.

You shouldn't feel pressured to link asexual blogs because, it's your blog, and you don't have to. But if the only reason you're not doing it is because you ASSUME we don't meet your arbitrary standard of "not persecuted enough"? Then that, my friend, seems to me to be pretty A-phobic.

(Posted anonymously because I'm honestly very afraid of you not being the nice-but-ill-informed guy you seem to be. Sorry, but the world has told me if I'm asexual in public, I'll be punished for it.)

Jacob Woods said...

Isn't asexuality currently considered in the book as sexual aversion disorder. I am not going to argue that it is an unhealthy disorder caused by this or that. I am just saying that calling others misinformed when really we are all misinformed isn't really getting us anywhere.

This is good discussion. I feel that there isn't a whole hell of a lot of research out there to indicate a whole lot of information in regards to asexuality. And this is where the confusion comes into play.

I am more than willing to move myself around but the issue seems to be not misinformation but lack of information whatsoever.

There is research out there but not a whole hell of a lot.

I don't hate asexuals or any people for that matter. In the case that an asexual is attracted to the same sex I would identify that as homosexuality or bisexual.

I am really beginning to feel that the whole idea of "romantically involved" should be demolished. I feel that sexual drive in general is what functions on a pendulum where as sexual orientation is more fine lined and harder to understand and categorize.

Romantically involved to me reeks of low sex drive in regards to certain sexual situations!!!

Overall there is a life time of work out there and I am clearly not the only one who feels asexuality is something that needs to be looked into more.

Anonymous said...

>Jacob Woods

You are so totally right, how did I not see it before? Clearly I am not qualified to evaluate my own feelings! Oh, goodness, wherever did I get that thought in my head. Thank you ever so much for explaining to me that I should wait for research to be done on feelings, and then let you and other people talk about my feelings, and then you'll tell me what my sexual orientation is. I really appreciate it! All of us asexuals out here are really just so clueless about ourselves, it's so good of you to remind us that our community needs to wait for the researchers to get around to us and then let them tell us what we truly are. And you too, Jacob Woods, some guy with a blog! You're a saint for coming into our community and telling us what our problems are and aren't, and how we're really just mistaken about ourselves. We owe you one, man. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think the first step to understanding asexuality is to understand (and accept) that romantic attraction does not equal sexual attraction. Although we asexuals might not feel sexually attracted to someone (and we probably don't even like said sex), we can still desire to be in a relationship with them.

Asexuals that are romantically attracted to the same sex are not homosexuals or bisexuals; they are homoromantics and biromantics. The suffix of "sexual" implies sexual attraction, and asexuals do not feel any sexual attraction.

And, although the difference between romantic and sexual attractions is usually associated with asexuals, I have heard cases where people are romantically attracted to one gender and sexually attracted to another. (For example, one might like having sex with men but like being in relationships with women, or vice versa.)

And, in terms of information about asexuality, if you really do wish to understand asexuality, then the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is a great place to start.

Anonymous said...

Look, I've posted a well reasoned factual, nicely worded comment 16 times, only to find myself deleted in less than 5 mins.

I'm beginning to suspect that the only voice in LGBT rights you want to hear is your own. That doesn't strike me as fair, especially since I'm just as gay as you are and I'm likely to be a lot older and more reasoned as well.

This really makes me sad. Deeply sad.

Anonymous said...

Of course the discrimination asexuals face isn't the same or nearly as bad as the discrimination faced by the LGBT (unless you're LGBT ace of course). Discrimination against the LGBT is more extreme and overt than what we face which is more along the lines of general disbelief, ignorance, alienation and exclusion, but it still hurts and it's still there.

Being accepted in the LGBT shouldn't be based on how much discrimination you face. It's about providing a home and support to any individual of a sexual minority who has faced discrimination on ANY level.

If an asexual feels discriminated against because of who they are they should be able to turn to the LGBT for support and comfort, not be turned away on the grounds they haven't "suffered enough".

Asexuality is an orientation, it is not an illness. I can't help not being sexually attracted to either gender/sex any more than a gay man can't help not being attracted to women. When I hear talk of "research" it just reminds me of the days when homosexuality was thought to be an illness, caused by something and that could be cured.

The troubles we face may not be the same but everyone is united in their desire for acceptance and freedom - but how can we hope for those things when minorities discriminate against minorities?

Anonymous said...

I have never been under the impression that the requirement to be included in LGBTQIA groups is the amount of discrimination and suffering a sexual orientation has been through. LGBTQIA groups are formed to provide supportive communities for individuals who find that their sexual orientation falls outside of the heteronormative culture most of us live in. Gays, Lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, queers, and, yes, even asexuals all fall outside of the accepted 'norm.' People within these groups turn to LGBTQIA communities for a place where they can feel accepted no matter who they are and who they love. Why should asexuals be excluded from this? Ignoring the fact that asexuals do, in fact, suffer discrimation, what does that have to do with anything? Are we less deserving of support and understanding because our sexuality does not stand in direct conflict with some religious beliefs (which, again, it actually does according to several religions)? Should we have to prove our right to belong by holding up depression and suicide statistics? The qualifications you require of people to belong to the LGBTQIA community are absurd, and as ignorant and discriminatory as the anti-homosexuality views you fight against. As a member of a marginalised, persecuted group I would not have thought you would be so quick to marginalise and persecute asexuals.

Anonymous said...

It would have been fine if you chose not to link an asexual blog to yours, but you also made a lot of offensive assumptions about asexuals in the process of explaining yourself.

It's a shame that you came off sounding really close-minded. One would hope for the opposite from an LGBT blog.

Anonymous said...

Would you please just let us know why our comments are being deleted? Again, this is your space so you have every right to do so, but it'd be nice if you at least gave us a heads-up that what we're writing will never be seen.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to know why those you aren't responding to the above commenter.

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