Sunday, February 1, 2009

Word of the Gay: "Asexually Repressed"

"Asexually Repressed" is a new term floating around the asexual community to label someone who is fooling themselves into believing they are interested in sex when indeed they are not.

9 comments:

pretzelboy said...

I love this term. I can't remember well, but one day I was thinking about something, and it just popped into my head. I thought it great because it completely turns on its head traditional ideas about asexuality being "sexual repression." So I had to write something about it: Repressed!. I guess it's kind of like the "heterosexual quiz" where you ask question like, "Are you sure you're heterosexuality isn't just a phase?"

L. Stephen said...

I am trying to understand asexual repression. Please help because I really see nothing repressive about being asexual. A person who is asexual prefers to not have sex. They do not experience employment discrimination, prohibition from serving in the military, discrimination in the right to marry whom you choose, homophobic rants and raves, hate crimes, murder, and the myriad of other horrendous discriminatory practices by our culture and society. Different? Yes! Repressed? NO!!!!! In fact, in the Roman Catholic Church, an asexual person would be adored and make the perfect priest or nun!!

Anonymous said...

In this case, repression refers to mental repression, not repression by society. Asexual repression refers to people convincing themselves that they are not asexual when they are, in fact, asexual.

Anonymous said...

L. Stephen - A few reasons people may suppress their asexuality: There is considerable stigma about being 'frigid', and especially if you already have low self-esteem, internalising these attitudes can lead to feeling broken or defective. There's also the fear of being alone forever if you ever let yourself accept that you're never going to have an enjoyable or workable sex life with a partner, especially when you believe you're the only one in the world. As a result many asexuals do report being in denial for years or assuming they're homosexual 'by default' simply because thanks to the cultural environment it seems so inconceivable that they would naturally not be attracted to anyone. This has lead to many unhappy relationships.

Queers United said...

Stephen the reason I feel it is important to discuss asexuality is not because asexuals are being killed, or being denied rights. Asexuals still have to come to terms with their unique sexual identity, struggle with coming out, facing a society that doesn't understand or have any resources for them. So while gays have a struggle that is different asexuals, there are parallels between them. I don't care if there are 10 asexuals, or 10 million asexuals, I have always intended to reach out to those who need us the most. As for actual stats they say 1% of the population is asexual which translates into a lot of people who need comprehensive info about asexuality.

pretzelboy said...

L Steven, I would use the word "oppressed" rather than "repressed" for what you're talking about. And in that case, I would agree with you. There are real issues that asexuals face, but generally oppression isn't one of them (at least not as asexuals.) In fact, there was a front page piece on presicely this subject in the most recent issues of AVEN's bimonthly newsletter, AVENues on precisely that subject that you may be interested in. It's called "(A)sexually Oppressed?"

L. Stephen said...

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think pretzelboy and Anonymous have hit the nail on the head....I was using "oppressed" for "repressed" in the blog entry. For the time being, I have my hands full following the "oppression" of gays and lesbians. I will let QU and others worry about asexual repression. And respectfully bow out of further discussions on this topic. Thanks again.

Cerberus said...

Oh, don't worry L. Stephen, a good number of us asexuals are all in for the greater fights of LGBTQI and the more specific and active oppressions perpetrated against them/sometimes us. And we are not so self-absorbed to believe we face active discrimination or oppression or that what small issues there are somehow trump greater struggles for equality. We're just preventing the passive discrimination of invisibility while also again being all in in the greater struggles where we can.

On the topic, I think I went through a phase like that. It was more intellectual and scientific but no less rooted in the unspoken assumption that it couldn't be an absence unless I tested every potential possibility first (in stimulus).

More sadly, I suspect it might be more common that we admit in places like religiously fundamentalist homes where women's sexuality or sexuality in general is seen as optional to marital duties. How much is genuine asexual repression versus (genuine) sexual repression though is unknown. Somehow I suspect that most if not all (a)sexual repression is probably caused by the active suppression of frank open conversations about sex in general combined with the additional weight against enthusiastic consent that makes couples somehow worse or more brazen if they try and honestly track down and talk about sexual desires without shaming or pressure.

More specifically, the idea of a unnatural "normal" that we are supposed to conform to that doesn't take into account the diversity of the human sexual animal as investigated by Kinsey and the collective imagination of the internets. Without that, there would be no need for closeted gays, questioning trans or genderqueers, repressed (a)sexuals, secret poly, or other sorts of double life, self-doubt crap that takes you out of the mindset of enjoying your own life and sex or lack of sex.

L. Stephen said...

Thank you Cerberus for your reflections and insight on this fascinating topic. You have been my teacher!

Post a Comment