Regular readers will know that I have difficulty finding emotional connections between who I am now and the subject of asexuality. I don’t experience a lot of angst in general, and have very little about my sexuality. Anyway, I’ve found something, something that I’ve long known about, but have been thinking about a lot more recently, which fits nicely into a medium-sized meditation with a Noel Coward song title (and will hopefully make up for the last post, which was rather fragmented).
What I want to talk about today is Hollywood (which I will be using as a shorthand for popular, drama-based and often cliché-rooted films) and my asexuality. For Hollywood and asexuality in general, see some of Ily’s pop-culture musings.
I’ve always been a complete social constructionist, but, with the amount of messages we get about being born the way we are, I find it difficult to even admit to myself that a lot of aspects of my sexuality might well be taken straight from whatever confused ideas my adolescent brain plucked out of the social consciousness. For example, my ideal vision of sex involves two people, in bed, artistically lit, faces working furiously, but no genitals, simply because Hollywood told me that sex doesn’t happen underneath the sheets. Preferably in a montage.
I’ve been wondering more and more about my demihomosexuality, while still trying to keep the whole thing as open as possible. It occurs to me that my attraction to people carries a great deal more of emulation than the average homosexual reports. I have a desire to become the person I find attractive.
I have a suspicion that I’m beginning to see the original causes of that desire. Throughout my life, especially in adolescence, indeed, until about two years ago, I had to confront this bewildering world of sexuality. And I had absolutely nothing interior to guide me. With no desire to form my path through this new world, I had to borrow from other people. David Jay talks about sexual drag, as a form of witty wordplay asexuals can use to free themselves from negative stereotypes. I sometimes wonder if I’m subject to another world of sexual drag, knowing so little about my true sexuality, I hide behind the role of the straight man, adopting his mannerisms and even feelings if I need them. I created a personality in which to store all this, and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to reconcile the created sexual with the overly simplistic asexual and see where that leaves me.
The main recipient of my subconscious scrambling for role-models was Hollywood, and there I found a particular sort of man. He was thin and had an elegantly sculpted face, amazing hair and amazing clothes, and eyes you could get lost in. He tended to have an English accent, and a pretty little smile that betrayed this exact confidence in what he was doing. He always played the lead role. Of these 8 qualities, I possess only the accent, and it’s a lot less sexy when you’re not surrounded by Americans, but the body, face, hair, eyes, clothes and self-assuredness are all things that I’ve felt self-conscious about from a young age. I think what really attracted me to this man, though, was the way he always seemed, in an adolescent way, to know exactly what was going on regarding love. He had his desires precisely worked out, and would smile that neat little smile that told you it was so simple, being him.
I wanted so much to emulate him, and even now, I still do. I’d love to be able to step into that amazing confidence, matched perfectly by looks. I’ve wondered, in the past, why I seem to care about my appearance when a lot of sexual men for whom it might be more important in real terms just get by with confidence. Besides the fact that a lot of them probably hide their emotions, like me, and the fact that they have less notion of what’s pretty in a man, I think it’s because becoming that boy matters so much more to me, it signals this complete ability to ‘pass’, to have, in some way, earned my rank not just as a sexual, but as a real human being. After all, if Hollywood’s taught me one thing, it’s that you don’t get your own plotline until you have damn fine cheekbones.