There’ve been several posts claiming that Asexuals don’t experience oppression at all. Never have and never will be. So here I am, publishing this post with all the research you need to stop being an aphobic. Education is the key. Sadly those who say things like stated above don’t even know what Asexuality is. Here’s the definition:
An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who someone is. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality does not make anyones life any worse or any better, they just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy or sexual abstinence, which are behaviours, while asexuality is generally considered to be a sexual orientation. Some asexuals do participate in sex, for a variety of reasons. — Asexuality by AVENwiki
Aces don’t face oppression
- Intergroup bias toward “Group X” – Evidence of prejudice, dehumanisation, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals by Gordon Hodson Ph.D.
- Methodism has specific doctrine that says that it is inhuman to not experience sexual attraction. “We recognize that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We believe persons may be fully human only when that gift is acknowledged and affirmed by themselves, the church, and society.” This was the language used in the Book of Discipline (the church’s bylaws and beliefs) The modernized language is much simpler, although that quote above is the direct one from the paper copy of the BoD. “All persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married,” is what the book says online, along with “sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons.” And this concept of all humans being sexual is discussed specifically in the context of what sexual behaviors and what relationships are and are not acceptable, so this is about both attraction and behaviour. We can choose to be single, or to be celibate, and that is affirmed as having worth. But we cannot ever be asexual, because to be human is to feel sexual attraction.
- Study from the AAU about sexual violence and assault on college campuses that shows asexuals, regardless of their gender, have a higher response rate than heterosexuals for all questions regarding sexual assault, harassment, and intimate partner violence:
AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct .
- Asexuality was listed in the DSM as HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder) until 2013, making it officially a mental illness that would be treated with therapy and medication. It is still in the DSM, except that you can ‘opt out’ if you self-identify as asexual, which is great except that asexuality is still so unknown that there undoubtedly many people who are asexual but don’t know that it’s “a thing”. This means that who knows how many asexuals have been sent to therapy and told they’re sick, then been “treated” for their orientation to try and force them to experience sexuality “correctly”.
- Asexuals are the highest target for corrective rape
- “If anyone has followed me or seen my posts you will know I have gone through some form of ‘corrective therapy’ for being a sex adverse asexual. My counselor told me to have sex until I like it and to have various medical tests to see what was wrong with me; my doctor prescribed me 3 different medications, two of which has been clinically proven to have no significant effect on ciswomen (Viagra and Cialis, the third was a testosterone supplement). I should not have to discuss the emotional turmoil it has put me through and what it has done to me.Of course these forms of therapy is not as bad as corrective therapy for homosexuality, that is a whole other can of worms. Just because something is not as bad as another thing does not make it harmless and unworthy of discussion.” —medical therapy
- “What I experienced was never formally corrective therapy, but it absolutely veered in that direction several times. I was seeking therapy for my anxiety disorders at the time, and decided to try a therapist I’d met through a local college queer group. When I asked him at that first meeting, he said that he absolutely knew what asexuality was and implied he was willing to respect that identity in anyone who came to him. Needless to say, I was already out to him before I set up my first appointment.
A note before I go further: I have fibromyalgia, suffer often severe chronic pain, and was at that time using a cane part time. I don’t think I had a cane with me when I met him, but I absolutely did when I went to my appointments. I think he would still have given me problems if I hadn’t, but I have no doubt that my visible disability exasperated the situation.During my first therapy session with him, the subject of asexuality came up because I was doing a lot of ace activism at the time. It was the primary thing getting me out of the house, so it was pretty important to me. I think I only went to this guy three or four times, but at some point in the first two sessions my disability came up. He wanted to know about the cane. About what fibromyalgia was. About my pain.He asked me if I was sure that my asexuality wasn’t caused by the fibromyalgia, by the pain.
He suggested that I might try sex, to see if it was worth pushing past the pain for.
He suggested that sex would help my pain.I shot him down politely, calmly, firmly, on all of those points. I left the sessions and cried and screamed the entire drive home. In the third or fourth session he suggested that perhaps “something had happened to me” “in my past” that I wasn’t bringing up. That maybe I was very young. That maybe I didn’t want to remember. That maybe it had something to do with “the way [I was] now.” We hadn’t talked about anything BUT my asexuality and pain since the first session, so I knew he wasn’t talking about my anxiety. The context was absolutely that of questioning my sexuality and implying that I must have been sexually abused when I was a child, probably by a parent or family member. I told him that no, nothing like that had happened to me as a child. I did not trust him, and did not want him to find yet another way to tell me that my ace identity was wrong and a sign that I was broken. At that point I think I’d been out for five years; I was extremely comfortable identifying as ace. But every therapy session was spent dissecting that part of my identity and questioning it. There was no way to get him to change the subject. In my experience, therapists don’t like to explain their method, what they’re doing, unless it involves homework that I have to do outside of their supervision. So to my knowledge, what he was doing was never formally considered corrective therapy. But he was trying very hard to make me question my orientation, assign it as a symptom of something else. If I’d continued going to him, who knows. At some point between my last session with him and the one that was scheduled after it, I emailed him to cancel. I was pretty explicit about what my reason for stopping therapy with him was (his attack on my asexuality). He replied to deny that, tell me that he had asexual friends and had known them over twenty years. To tell me that I was always welcome to come back if I changed my mind.” —corrective therapy
- “When an asexual is raped to “correct them,” it is not just an act of “violent misogyny.” It is specifically acephobia.When an asexual is forced into therapy or medical treatment to “correct them,” it is not just abuse or ableism. It is specifically acephobia.When an asexual is mocked, insulted, demeaned or attacked because of their asexuality, it is not just bullying. It is specifically acephobia.When an asexual has their sexuality invalidated, it is not just an act of homophobia. It is specifically acephobic.
We’re not trying to say we are systematically oppressed, or have it worse than any other oppressed people. We’re not here to play the Who Has It Worse Game.
We’re asking you to stop erasing us from the narrative. Stop erasing our issues and dismissing the hardships we face. Stop erasing and invalidating our sexuality. Stop denying us a voice. Stop speaking over us. Stop trying to lecture us on our own sexuality, and our own experiences.
Every time you deny the existence of acephobia, you are defending acephobic behavior. Each time you deny the existence of our problems, or try to change the name to make them seem arbitrary, like anyone might have suffered the same way, you are telling us how little we matter.” —Ashley
- “Straight” isn’t a sexual orientation, it’s a position of power.What I mean by this is that “Straight,” as the privileged class in a system of oppression, has the power to construct itself with arbitrary rules that go beyond “who you’re dating.” Straight people decide who and how and what is Straight, and Straight people enforce that canon to keep themselves in power.Acting like all “sexual orientations” have equivalent meanings (”gay people are attracted to the same gender, straight people are attracted to the ~opposite~ gender”) ignores a lot of the fundamental ways that Straightness maintains and wields its power, and absolves Straight people of their complicity in the oppression of queer people.
Straightness is a monolith. Straight people have made it that way. A person can’t access Straight privilege simply by being in an m/f relationship or engaging in m/f sex; a person can only access Straight privilege by being Straight, and it’s Straight people who decide what that means.
And this is why ~bisexuals in “straight” relationships~ is Bad Discourse, and this is why het+asexuals and het+aromantics can never be Straight (and why that does not invalidate lgb+ace/aro identities), and is why your respectability politics and “We’re just like straight people, except we’re gay” rhetoric is dishonest garbage.
It’s also a problem of essentialism, trying to construct monolithic and prediscursive sexual orientations out of social positions of privilege and marginalization. That’s the whole reason for all the transphobia/transmisogyny coming from cis gays and lesbians. They’ve spent so long articulating homosexuality as something that’s dependent on genitals, something that’s uniform and always presents in a certain way, that they of course see trans and MGA people as a threat to that essentialist approach they’ve taken. I get that a lot of that approach was in response to societal bigotry and conversion therapies. That’s the history of it. But refusing to examine that now is an act of deliberate erasure and gatekeeping of people who face similar oppression with even less recognition. —Why Asexuals aren’t straight
- A blog completely about this topic: Asexuality and Aphobia
- And, of course, their Suicide Tag
- Examples of asexual oppression
A bonus: The History of LGBTQIA+
Short quote from that exact post: “The full expanded acronym that was most generally accepted by the early 2010s was LGBTQQIAAP+, standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual and beyond.”
- Queerly Texan – LGBTQIA+ Blog
- The Asexual Agenda
- Quirky Books – Author of the “Asexual Perspective” book
- Ace in a Hole – sex positive
Don’t ever erase the pain or suffering others went through simply because you never experienced it yourself.
—LGBTQIA+, because A doesn’t mean “Ally”