Wednesday, 23 June 2010

You don't count

“Isn’t it annoying how men are really sex-obsessed?”
“Not all men are sex-obsessed. If you thought about it for a moment, you’d realise that a lot of the men you know aren’t.”
“Give me an example.”
“I’m not.”
“Well, you don’t count. You’re asexual.”

“I think everyone would secretly do anything for sex, they’re just hiding it.”
“Again, not true. I wouldn’t.”
“Yeah, but you don’t count. You’re asexual.”

So what’s with this idea that, because I’m asexual, I’m outside of the normal spectrum of sexuality? I’m statistically written off? I think partly, it’s an example of how people construct a ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy in their stereotypes, especially of gender. They think that, for example, men like sex, and so think of men who like sex as being most typically men, and then, when they think of the people who they know who are typically male, surprise surprise, they all like sex.

There’s also an element, though, of odd otherness. Like when you cross the line to asexuality, your views are no longer useful because you’re in your own little subsection. Which is just not how it works. Firstly, asexuality is a spectrum, or several, not a little group of people born without any relation at all to the world of sexuality. Secondly, if you’re going to remove all the people on one side of the data, you’re going to have really badly skewed results. Thirdly, I’m a human being, dammit! (or a man, or whatever other population you were talking about). It’s as simple as that. I’m a human being so, whatever my sexuality, I am automatically one representation of how human sexuality can function. Even if that means functioning by absence.


  1. That sort of exclusion just serves to confirm their already-held assumptions. It's also totally dehumanising

  2. liminalD, yeah, those two sentences were basically exactly what I was gettting at. Thank you.

    (Realised just before posting that that may sound horrifically sarcastic on the internet? You'll just have to trust me that it really wasn't)

  3. Great post! This reminds me of a conversation I had with a man who was trying to convince me that "women do not like sex." His argument was that women have sex with men only if they have a reason to do so. He gave me two examples: women who have sex for money and women who have sex in order to feel more "connected" with their partner. After I told him I did not agree with his argument, he said, "What the hell would you know, anyway? Aren't you queer or something?" I think he had to resort to the "oh, but your opinion doesn't count" line because his argument was invalid. Nonetheless, his dismissal of my opinion based on my sexual orientation made me feel insecure (especially since I had just come out of the closet to my friends and a few others just days before this conversation).