Saturday, 16 May 2009

'Demisexuals' and the blogosphere

Catchy title, yeah? Well, consider yourself lucky I’m posting at all, with this many exams.

When I’ve had time to settle down to this blog (and taken it out of the current 'stealth mode'), I’ll find out how to put one of those lists on the side with all the blogs I read. They’ve been really helpful to me in seeking out loads of new asexual blogs.

Anyway, I was looking at my list of blogs the other day, and it surprises me just how many of the blogs are written by ‘demisexuals’.
To clarify, when I say demisexuals, I don’t use it to mean people who are sexually attracted to romantic partners, which I think the official definition is. I use it to mean everything in the grey bit of the AVEN triangle, grey asexuals, demisexuals, semisexuals, kinky asexuals, honorary asexuals, or just ‘proper’ asexuals who are so involved in a personal way in sex positivism that they find a way to apply it to their lives. Names such as ‘Edge of Everywhere’ and ‘Shades of Grey’ are on everyone’s reading list.
I can hear you pleading with me to get to the point. Maybe the stereotype of the (possibly aromantic) ‘frigid’ asexual who wants nothing to do with sex or the sex culture is just that, a stereotype? But they’re very common in AVEN. It’s just that less of them seem to write blogs.

The traditional asexual doesn’t feel they have anything to say. That’s interesting. So, putting on my best pseudo-scientific head, I thrashed out a couple of hypotheses:

1. If you don’t want to interact with sex in society, you can largely ignore it. Aside from bitching about the occasional lewd advert or film scene, an aromantic asexual won’t build up a complex relationship with sexuality. A romantic asexual who draws very strong lines outside the bedroom door will have a slightly more complex relationship with sexuality, but still largely simple. Their problems will mostly be with getting their partner to understand them. These sorts of issues are the kinds of things AVEN is really helpful for, with the emphasis on escaping the annoyances of everyday sexual society and on relationships (as a glance at the forum titles shows; ‘Asexual musings and rantings’, ‘Asexual relationships’, ‘For Sexual partners, friends and allies’). They’re not good issues to run a blog on, though.

Now take a look at the standard ‘demisexual’. They want it all, flirting, romance, physicality, platonicness, and all of it uniquely repackaged for their own brand of asexuality. Better start drawing a lot of graphs!
Suddenly sexuality is something really complex- far more so for the asexual than for the standard sexual. So we need words and diagrams to help us figure out what we want, which is something more complex than the ‘No sex, please’ of the traditional asexual, even if that’s still a recurring theme.

‘Demisexuals’ have something to say to the world, a big speech to give, an explanation of who they are. Asexuals less so. Especially since most readers of asexual blogs are already familiar with standard asexuality.

2. Or, alternately, ‘demisexuals’ are self-selected to correlate to people who think too much. Hence the blog-writing. Indeed, hence this blog.

It sounds quite insulting (or possibly quite bigheaded), but the people who identify as asexuals have to be looking off the beaten track a bit anyway. For those asexuals who want a lot of what sexuals want, arriving at the conclusion that they’re asexual indicates that they’re very introspective. Then you can get a weird alternate version of Big Fish syndrome. Having jumped from the ocean of sexuality into the rather small box of asexuality, we find that there’s still too much room for our liking, and abando it for our own, smaller boxes. Most of them hand-made.

Now, that’s the kind of mind that would write a blog, that takes intrigue in little intricacies and (no offence, most demisexuals are fascinating) finds themself a fascinating subject of academic study.

3. The final theory is, and I admit it’s quite a stretch, that there are two almost entirely separate asexual blogospheres. The demisexual or sex-positive asexuals relate more to one set, so link to them, while the other side relates more to the other. I would expect these other blogs to turn up on the AVEN or the asexual wiki blog lists, though.

But there’s still a chance that I haven’t found them, for whatever reason, or they just resonate less with me.

Any other explanations I’ve missed? I feel like there’s another one I meant to put. I may do an update of this when I remember.
In the meantime, back to the graphs.

EDIT: About 2 minutes after submitting this post, I stumbled across a really awesome and long-running aromantic asexual blog, and remembered there's quite a few out there I was already reading. I hope the trend I've been observing is real, and not just random chance mixed with my own interests, or the entire post will be a failure. Any other day, I'd feverishly tally up blogs, but tonight it's 1 AM.