Sunday, 27 September 2009

The American Virgin (and thoughts on asexual denial)

Somehow, I think possibly in my wonderings over various sex- and kink- positive blogs (because they tend to make quite interesting reading), I ended up on the blog The American Virgin yesterday. Reading through it again earlier this morning, I got a strong feeling that this is a very useful resource for triggering asexual thought.

Basically, the blog is dedicated to virginity. It appears staunchly pro-sex education, though, and I would guess that it takes the same line as a lot of asexuals; sex positivity, while pointing out that sex isn't and shouldn't be positive for all.
The posts seem to be either about the pressures and stereotypes of being a virgin in this culture, a chord which I know will resonate with a lot of asexual virgins, or about people's personal stories and experiences of virginity.

I haven't come across mentions of asexuality yet, in the few posts I've skimmed, but that's why I think this blog is so interesting from an asexual point of view. Sometimes I feel we asexuals get so obsessed with our own, socially constructed, definitions and labels that we might not realise that, just outside or beside the asexual label, there are people with whom we can still relate. In terms of Venus' fabulous colour wheel, these people are greeny yellow. Or yellowy green. Or turquoise, cerulian and aquamarine. Or greeny red (a colour which I occasionally see out of the corner of my eye, but probably only due to my colour blindness). Or, indeed, greeny grey.

Ok, overstretching the palette a bit, but you get the idea. Maybe asexuality should look outside of itself a little. It doesn't help the asexual movement much, but it certainly helps asexual individuals to see how people without the magic label justify their similar sexualities and sexual choices.



EDIT: Oh gee, I forgot one of the main reasons I wrote this post. It's often difficult, when justifying a sexless life, to hit that right balance. You always end up swerving off into a pre-created position.
Either you think sex is icky and everyone should stop doing it, or you pretend you're more sex positive than you are so that no-one can call you erotophobic (when plenty of sexual people are just as uncomfortable about the role of sex in modern society, which is actually pretty screwed up).
Either you open yourself up and say, as the last interviewee on the American Virgin blog did, something like; "I'm worried that I have some kind of undiagnosed social anxiety disorder" and open yourself up to the idea of being 'damaged goods', with a disinterest in sex that is obviously entirely the cause of an oversimplified and malignant psychiatric disorder, or you close yourself up and become the Ideal Asexual, with a standard of psychiatric health, confidence and complete wellbeing that no human being could aspire to.

This is the choice asexuals (and other celibate people/deliberate virgins) have to face. Either you deny who you are, or you give your enemy the power to accuse you of denying who you are.
Ok, so I've only read a little of this blog. But, from what I've read, it seems to float above that whole mire quite effortlessly and beautifully. People just are who they are. If they don't want sex, it isn't a problem with a cause, but a choice, with a whole array of reasons. It's something to be admired, and if we can gain that same tranquility and honesty, I feel we'd all be a great deal happier.

4 comments:

  1. Im a young black bisexual male of 20 and Im a virgin that has not slept with a male or female. I frown upon promiscuity because I think its meaningless and so many people just give away their bodies and contract diseases and still dont give a damn. I do not understand how out of all the men and women Ive talked to that are highly sexually active, there is no real justification of the better. Ive found that most are running from something or had some traumatic experiences. So I do not buy the I just like sex, excuse because i do not believe that's true. When I think about them not even wanting to help themselves and keep on going at full speed but complain, it disgusts me.

    I dont have sex because Im not ready and a lot of sexual behavior just turns me off after hearing it. I do like men and women and I watch pornography here and there but as far as going to do it in person, it would take a lot of time. I make that known up front. Ive liked this blog ever since ive found it because people would often ask me am I asexual.

    But I will say one fear of mine is that I will do it and the mate may still cheat or leave, then id feel worthless! And thats the honest truth. But thats not the biggest reason why I dont....i just have to get into a place in my life where im comfortable entertaining the thought of the acts with someone I love.


    THank you for letting me share,

    Della (my blog below u can reach me at)

    http://rockiiboxxe.tumblr.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Im a young black bisexual male of 20 and Im a virgin that has not slept with a male or female. I frown upon promiscuity because I think its meaningless and so many people just give away their bodies and contract diseases and still dont give a damn. I do not understand how out of all the men and women Ive talked to that are highly sexually active, there is no real justification of the better. Ive found that most are running from something or had some traumatic experiences. So I do not buy the I just like sex, excuse because i do not believe that's true. When I think about them not even wanting to help themselves and keep on going at full speed but complain, it disgusts me.

    I dont have sex because Im not ready and a lot of sexual behavior just turns me off after hearing it. I do like men and women and I watch pornography here and there but as far as going to do it in person, it would take a lot of time. I make that known up front. Ive liked this blog ever since ive found it because people would often ask me am I asexual.

    But I will say one fear of mine is that I will do it and the mate may still cheat or leave, then id feel worthless! And thats the honest truth. But thats not the biggest reason why I dont....i just have to get into a place in my life where im comfortable entertaining the thought of the acts with someone I love.


    THank you for letting me share,

    Della (my blog below u can reach me at)

    http://rockiiboxxe.tumblr.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, I've had a look at that American Virgin site and so far it seems great - looks like it would be a good resource to asexual people to help deal with living without sex, and/or as a virgin. It does seem to have a very healthy attitude towards sex, rather than the very sex-negative view I've seen on some religious sites. I'll definitely be having a good read! Thanks :)
    On the second point, it's true that asexuals do have a big decision to face - if we're not the 'ideal asexual', as most of us won't be, it's harder to defend your position against any criticism.

    ReplyDelete
  4. StellaDella,

    I'm really glad you liked my blog, and felt it was useful to you even though you're not asexual.
    I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you want to wait for someone special, that's exactly how I feel.

    Having said that, I don't agree with you that people don't just 'like sex'. The science is pretty strong behind the idea that sex gives out endorphins and stuff, and endorphins make people feel happy. In the past, I've said exactly the same as you, that I didn't believe people really liked sex.
    The problem with that is that it makes us as bad as the people who say "How can you live without sex? Sex is the best thing in the world! Everyone likes sex!".

    Your last comment is really interesting, and it's been something I've been thinking about a lot lately. When I was younger, I really couldn't see why my friends were dating- they knew they weren't going to be with the people they were with forever, so why did they even bother?
    Now, I'm starting to come round to the view that people can't just pair up once and be happy- life doesn't work that way. In the same way that I have friends now who I probably won't see in a few years time, maybe relationships work a bit like that? (I'm not really qualified to say).
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can completely see where you're coming from with the idea that you only want to have sex with one person, but if you have a good relationship that ends, for whatever reason, it was still a good relationship, and maybe trying to only date one person is the wrong way of looking at dating.


    Sabriel:
    Thanks. Glad to see you agree with me about the site.
    When I first found it, I assumed it would be just another foil for the sex-negative, right-wing viewpoint, so I'm really glad to see that it's not.

    ReplyDelete