asexual elitism

Destroy all asexual elitists who believe

  • demi’s and grays are just allo’s and can fuck off
  • you have to have dysphoria and desire for your genitalia to be removed in order to be a real asexual
  • masturbating makes you allo
  • more and more people are saying they’re ace because they think it’s ~*~cool~*and*~trendy~*~
Asexual Elitism is Alive and Well

This is a repost of my article “Asexual Elitism is Alive and Well” from Issue 25 in AVENues, put online in 2013 and written in 2012. Since writing this article I have found many asexual 101 and 201 spaces that don’t repeat the trends I identify here, but asexual elitism is also still pervasive in the ‘asexual’ tag on Tumblr so I thought it was worth a revisit. See end for comments on edits to this version.

 As asexuals we’ve been fighting to get out of the closet of societal obscurity, but we might have lost a few of our own along the way. In the push to legitimize asexuality as a unique sexual orientation, some asexual people have become elitist as they police the barriers of who is in and outside of asexuality.

This topic has been discussed for years on the forums of the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (or AVEN), and as the user gbrd143 wrote in a pinned sticky on the Q&A forum, “this is an old subject which, for some reason. Just. Won’t. Die” (gbrd143). I’d like to propose a reason for this; perhaps asexual elitism is still alive and well, albeit in a manifestation we have not considered before.

Asexual elitism is an elitist attitude where some asexual people don’t consider others to be asexual because they participate in an activity that the asexual elitist thinks falls outside of the realm of asexuality. Notably, people who are not asexual also participate in this trend. What the activity is, be it masturbation, kissing, or sex, varies between asexual elitists (gbrd143).

AVEN, as a whole, does not participate in asexual elitism by defining asexuality on its website homepage as “a person who does not experience sexual attraction.” This definition allows an asexual person to engage in any type or amount of sexual behavior; their identity only relies on the fact that they are not sexually attracted.

On the AVEN forums, gbird143 expands on this by writing “[i]n theory, a person could even earn their living as a prostitute and still be a perfectly valid asexual” (gbrd143). While it might seem like we have exposed and challenged asexual elitism, I will argue that in fact we have only changed its superficial appearance. We see this through a distinction between 'exposed’ and hidden asexual elitism, an exploration of what being sex-favourable is like for some asexual people, en explanation of how asexual elitism is used to protect some asexual people from sexuality, and by ultimately rejecting asexual elitism in all of its forms.

Keep reading

On the Disgraceful Exclusivity and Elitism on the Ace Discourse Thread

As a panromantic asexual, on behalf of cishet aces in the ace community, if we do not accept heteroromantic asexuals and neither does the rest of the world, where do you think they’re supposed to go? As someone who has been in a few relationships with the opposite sex, I understand that the world is not welcoming to aces whether or not they have passing privilege. Yes, passing privilege is a benefit, but it also eats people away in an invisible manner. Perhaps, consider how some of you felt before you came out. You had passing privilege, but you can’t deny the feeling of how it eats away at you, knowing you’re different and how great it felt to finally find a community that welcomed you and called you one of their own. Yes, acephobia and arophobia are not as aggressive and destructive as homophobia and biphobia, but it is still painful to experience. I REFUSE to turn bisexuals in straight relationships and cishet asexual and aromantic people aside just because I’m bitter that they can pass as straight. Fact is, they’re not straight and they’re not going to have the benefits of actually being straight. Also, how low are you all willing to stoop, just to shun anyone who isn’t “queer” enough? To hell with that. Anyone who has suffered discrimination, dysphoria, or loneliness because of their gender or sexual identity belongs in the LGBT community. They deserve to feel that they have a place in the world and I will never be a member of a community that acts elitist, exclusive, or is so bitter that they refuse to welcome anyone who doesn’t fit their description of LGBT.

So I’m thinking it would be an awesome idea to reclaim the actuallyasexual tag from anti-gray anti-demi bigots that fill it with elitism–by filling it with posts from aces who aren’t bigots. The origin of the tag was to have a tag that wasn’t full of anti-ace sentiment, back when non-ace-spectrum people regularly used #asexual and #asexuality to argue that having an asexual identity (especially a homoromantic asexual identity) was sexist and homophobic, and to argue that asexuality itself was bullshit.

- metapianycist

What elitism (really) looks like: a response to those who are critical of demisexuality as an orientation

Since first joining AVEN a little more than 8 years ago, I have observed many instances of asexual elitism on the site. Asexual elitism on AVEN took the form of an asexual person’s understanding their asexuality as being defined by behavior or nonlibidoism rather than by attraction, with an additional belief that relationships without sexual activity were inherently “purer” than relationships with. Some asexual elitists I observed were anti-masturbation and many or most were anti-sex. Most of them did not state any religious reasons for their views. Many of them rejected the idea that a person can masturbate or participate in sexual activity and still be asexual. All of them took the position that they were more enlightened than people who were not asexual, and all of them had views that invalidated other asexual people’s identification as asexual.

Demisexual elitism, when it happens, is slightly different than asexual elitism. Like asexual elitists, demisexual elitists view their sexual orientation as a state of enlightenment rather than a description of their subjective experiences. Also like asexual elitists, demisexual elitists view their sexual orientation as contingent on behavior and engage in invalidation of other demisexuals’ identities.

A demisexual elitist might take the position that only people who experience sexual attraction in a demisexual manner are capable of truly loving relationships, or some other position that devalues sexual attraction in the absence of a close bond. What all demisexual elitists have in common is their making a moral judgement that it is better to be demisexual than another orientation, or that everyone should be or become demisexual. They also seem to all share an understanding of their own demisexuality as a state they have achieved or were gifted with, rather than a state they happen to be in.

All the people who are critical of demisexuality that I’ve read have made the error of identifying a demisexual elitist’s demisexuality, rather than a demisexual elitist’s elitism, as the problem. People critical of demisexuality as a valid orientation fall into two groups: those who view demisexuality as an inherently elitist construction, and those who consider demisexuality to be “normal sexuality” or the default kind of sexuality society wants us to have. I will consider both groups separately.

I have read multiple people on Tumblr telling demisexual people that their orientation is an elitist or slut-shaming construction. This may be in part due to the fuzzy ways that people describe the inherently fuzzy concept of sexual attraction. If sexual attraction is described as an inclination toward sexual behavior with another person (as I’ve commonly seen it described), it is easy to confuse attraction with behavior and think that a demisexual person is describing their behavior rather than how they experience attraction (which is one reason why I’ve tried to identify sexual attraction in terms of desires rather than inclinations to behavior). At the same time, I have seen multiple individuals who are critical of demisexuality in this manner fail to respond to arguments against them by demisexual people who do engage in casual sex or otherwise have sex in the absence of sexual attraction–and thus fail to acknowledge that demisexuality as an orientation is descriptive of how a person experiences what they identify as sexual attraction rather than a description of their behavior.

I have also read multiple criticisms of demisexuality as an orientation by people who argue that demisexuality is the kind of sexuality that society wants people to have*. This group of critics argues that society wants us to be romantically attracted to people before we are sexually attracted to them. I think the people who make that argument have also confused attraction with behavior, but not in the way that you would expect. I think this group is also making the mistake of thinking that sexual attraction is a more conscious process than it is: they may be making the assumption that sexual attraction as a term describes what you feel when you judge that you are “ready” to have sex with a person, rather than a feeling that hhaving a romantic attractionappens before then. If you feel that at some point you had to make a decision as to whether or not you were “ready” to have sex with a person that you already wanted to have sex with, it’s likely that sexual attraction, if you experienced it toward that person, preceded that decision. So this position also confuses behavior with attraction. Ironically, the position that demisexuality is “normal sexuality” also has the consequence that sexual attraction (or sexual behavior) in the absence of romantic attraction is freakish, abnormal or bad. According to this criticism of demisexuality, it’s not okay to shame people for their sexual behavior, except that it’s totally okay to shame people for experiencing sexual attraction or engaging in sexual activity without also desiring a relationship. That position invalidates casual sex and any other form of sexual behavior or attraction that is not accompanied by desire for a romantic connection–I have a problem with that as a person who has willingly done sexual things with others without desire for or intention to have a relationship, and so does every demisexual-identified person who willingly has sex in the absence of sexual attraction: they exist, and are more common than you think.

It may be true that a lot of demisexual people describe themselves in the following manner: “I only want to have sex with someone after developing a close bond with them.” It is possible to interpret this statement as slut-shaming (if interpreted as a description of behavior), but it may also be a case of the speakers’ not being clear with how they’re describing their experiences, which results in others misinterpreting demisexual identity as slut-shaming and elitist. I think the underlying problem is people being quick to make assumptions when faced with vague statements, rather than willing to ask, “Are you sure that’s what you mean by demisexual? Could you be more descriptive? Phrased like you said it, I don’t understand how you’re not making a moral judgement about other people’s sexual behavior, and I would like to not make that assumption.” It’s time that the critics of demisexuality as an orientation become willing to acknowledge that they are reacting to vague statements rather than responding to true demisexual elitism.

It’s time to challenge the true elitists.

* It is worth noting that this position ignores that there are demisexual people of color and that the racist sexualization of people of color results in people of color, especially women of color, being expected to be hypersexual. It is also worth noting that this position ignores that there are demisexual men and that men are expected to be always ready for sex when their partners desire it.

Asexuality Challenge: Day 24 (Part II)

Write something or post a picture about asexuality that upsets you.

This is the second part of this post (the other part is about what I hate outside of the community, which is Moffat’s rude comment).

I probably need to breathe for a bit but I’m going to tackle the issue inside the community that I absolutely hate right now: elitism.
I really honestly don’t understand this. There are people at this very moment policing the identities of other people as if they have a right to. They’re saying that ‘you’re not really asexual if…’ and generally just making people feel as if they have no right to a label that they honestly believed applied to them.

You know what? Fuck that. We get enough of that from outside the community; we don’t need it from inside.
Sexual orientation shouldn’t be about your beliefs about sex; the sexual behaviours you are involved in (because of course nobody has ever heard of being in the closet or doing things because they’re the path of least resistance or doing things because they feel good and have nothing to do with the label they use to describe themselves); what other people think about your orientation; the way you came to identify with that label or the reason you came to identify with it; or if it’s generally accepted by the wider public as something that’s real.
It should be about finding a word that finally fits how you feel; a word you can use to explain your feelings to people who might want to be in a romantic relationship with you; a word that tells you that you’re not the only person that feels this way; a word that says 'you’re not broken’; a word that helps you to converse with people that understand what you’re going through.

It is not a word for anyone else. It is a word for you. If you feel asexual, if you feel like you relate to anything that other people in the asexual community are going through, then I don’t give a flying fuck how much sex you’re having or how often you masturbate or whether you’re actually just confused or internalising a load of shit. What I care about is that it’s a label that helps you, whether that means that you use it for a while, become part of the community and learn more about attraction and realise you’re gay or it means you use it for the rest of your life and makes you happy to know you’re not broken.

The label you choose is a word for you, not anyone else. And if anyone tries to take it off you, please make a suitable sex pun about fucking off.

thenameoftheworms-blog  asked:

Er I have seen demi people who's slutshaming was very closely tied to their orientation, actually? So it might not be the best wording; obviously it's not that their demisexuality caused their slutshaming so much as their slutshaming was shaped by their demisexuality? But the connection is there, it's just... not what those people think.

I would characterize that as elitism rather than as connected to their demisexuality. Elitism is present in every marginalized group. I wouldn’t call an asexual elitist slut-shamer’s slut-shaming “closely tied to their orientation”; I’d call it closely tied to their elitism.

But yeah, I know what you mean. I haven’t yet encountered a demi slut-shamer, but I have encountered a shit-ton of asexual slut-shamers on AVEN over the past 8 years of my being a member there. AVEN is a cesspit.