The (A)Sexuality Spectrum

The film (A)sexuality was mostly about the conversations from people who do not experience a want or need for sex. The people in the video talk about how there is no specific group for them to fit in because society has a harder time seeing how they live such a “limited life” because asexuals love to have sex with themselves more than other people and some are capable of sexual arousal, but still have no interest in sex, and the LGBTQI community has problems accepting them because they feel this group of people have nothing to fight for. Because only one percent of America’s population has admitted to being asexual, it is rarely talked about and almost unheard of to some communities. In reaction to this, they are treated as homosexuals are treated by everyone else. People will say: “Apparently there is something “wrong” with them,or “they have hormone problems”, or even “they have just had a traumatizing experience”. Even when bought to psychologists, asexuals are probed for signs of sexual distress, anxiety, alienation, and suicidal thinking.

In society, there always has to be a reason that someone is the way they are. Either it’s a disorder or a traumatizing life influence. I agree with this up to a certain extent. I do not feel like everyone is born the way they are, but I do feel like just because someone makes a lifestyle choice, it does not have to be considered a disorder. I also do not agree that it has to be a traumatizing event. Although events such as that do happen and change a significant amount of people, it could just be the influence someone grew up with or how the person views certain aspects of life just by seeing and experiencing. Not everything is bad, but somehow people think of reasons that make other things bad because it is not what the majority of people are.

In the film, there was this old lady who kept having sex multiple times (50-60) in order to find an interest or reach her epiphany, but it never happened. From my point of view, she kept trying because that is the way it is “supposed” to be. The stigma is that a woman is supposed to obtain sexual gratification from a man, but even though she may not have been married, she kept trying to force herself to fit into what society thinks. In relation to that, I found it interesting that even though one is asexual, they can still can still be sexually aroused, but have no interest in sex. For example, some asexuals like to participate in Sadism and Masochism (S&M) for sexual stimulation, like the practices in 50 Shades of Gray with whips and floggers; however, the difference is that asexuals do not participate in intercourse afterwards. One guy mentions, ” It makes it hard for people to form close relationships without sex.” When he said that, I immediately thought about how the hook-up culture is set up. If you compare the web of relationships shown in the video and a web of relationships from someone you know who is engage in the hook-up culture, they look almost identical. They probably look almost identical because it seems as if being asexual could be a form of the hook up culture, only without sex. They believe no one is going to take the relationship seriously without sex, so they talk to multiple people, and the web grows. Also, in the article, “The Body, Disability, and Sexuality” by Thomas J. Gershick, it talks about asexuality as a disability as it did in the movie by describing it as “a problem solely in the individual, not in society”. It talks about how people with sexual disabilities are considered to just be asexual, and because of this, they are denied sexual health information; however, they are still perceived as sexual beings.

Here is a link to a graph of the asexuality spectrum:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/asexual-spectrum_n_3428710.html?1371648467

This graph really opened my eyes in explaining asexuality and how there are different spectrums within the spectrum. Since only one percent of America is asexual, this type of information is not spread or well known, so I found it helpful in explaining what asexuals really like. It also introduced a new term to me, which is a demisexual, someone who only feels sexual attraction to someone they have developed a relationship with. It also laid out what romance orientation and asexual orientation is. This graph by no means completes the entire spectrum because there are always deviations to labels; however, it is a starting point to understanding what it actually is.

Even though this graph was exciting to look at because it laid everything out for me that I did not understand, it truly made me feel as if all sexualities cannot be labelled and remembered. There are so many different things that people like, and so many labels that people ascribe to that even though learning about them could be helpful, it just creates more chaos the more it grows. Labelling is okay, but too much of anything is just never good.

Did this graph help your understanding of asexuals? Do you think that asexuals should be considered as people with sexual disabilities? Why can’t they be just be people who want to be celibate? Is there a difference in celibacy and asexuality, or do they tie into each other? Do you think labelling sometimes gets out of control?