One area of sexual orientation which I haven’t even touched on in the course of this blog is asexuality.  And that, frankly, is because I know and understand little about it beyond the basic theoretical conception.  For those of you unfamiliar with that, an asexuale is “someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people

choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are.”  (asexuality.org– You should check this site out)

I think this is such an interesting area of human attraction to look at, but sadly I have zero connections to the asexual community, have no asexual friends or relatives (that I know of, at least), and am thus rather isolated from the sphere of people who discuss these issues.  I find it most telling that my university, American, whose Queers and Allies chapter is the largest student group on campus, does not have any programing or sub-committees which focus on the needs of the asexual c0mmunity.  Boo.

Which is why this article from the Guardian is so adorable and deserves your attention.  Amanda and Chris are an asexual committed couple who talk about their experiences finding love and living in an overly-sexual world where they feel they don’t normally fit in.

“When we announced our engagement, our families were happy for us, and our friends in the asexual community were particularly pleased. On our wedding night, my mother-in-law insisted on booking us into a honeymoon suite, so we invited all our friends to an after party. We played Scrabble late into the night and everyone stayed over and slept on the hotel-room floor.

People always ask how our marriage is different from just being friends, but I think a lot of relationships are about that – being friends. We have built on our friendship, rather than scrapping it and moving on somewhere else. The obvious way we differ is that we don’t have sex, though we do kiss and cuddle. We like to joke that the longer we’re married the less unusual this is. By the time we’ve been married five years we’ll be just like everyone else.”

Awww.

Now the thing I’d like to stress about asexuality (and which might clear up some headscratching confusion for those of you who don’t understand how asexuals form relationships) is the way it differs from romantic attraction.  Most people of what I call “the monolithic sexualities”- gay/straight/bi- assume that for all people, those that we feel sexually attracted to, we also feel romantically attracted to.  This just seems natural and part of an inherently intertwined social construct of intimacy.

HOWEVER, its not always true.  If I were to fully explain my sexuality, I would say that I am a bi-romantic homosexual- meaning that I feel romantic attraction to both men and women (and those in between and around!), but only sexual attraction to women.  This same construct can apply to asexuals.  Though a person may not feel the sexual pull towards others in general, they can still be romantically attracted to men or women.

I think that the different orientations of romanticism is something that even the Gender and Sexuality Studies people don’t talk enough about, which is a shame because it is a beautiful representation of how diverse sexuality can be.

I’d love feedback and comments, especially if anyone knows/identifies as asexual or as a “romantic” that doesn’t match their sexuality (bi-romantic, homo-romantic, etc.).  Talk to me!

Stay cool, queer kids.

 

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