I was watching Taboo today, a show about “taboo” subjects like how to raise a child or what is beautiful, and the topic for this episode was sex. It made me think about my last job and how one of my ex-coworkers found my “orientation” incredibly strange. He was doing the “typical” thing though and combining my sexual preferences, my affectionate preferences, and my relationship preferences. I was equally annoyed with the show which, of course, wanted to focus more on the “scandalous” things such as swingers who only do it for the sex (not all do, just saying that’s what the show focused on).
It didn’t so much get me thinking about my own preferences when it came to all this, as those I have known for ages, but it annoyed me that even a show which is supposed to be exploring how different cultures do different things is still very much closed-minded and sometimes portrays those different cultures as bad or wrong. In a world where we’re trying to expand and accept, why do people still generalize and shun? I understand the whole straight people not liking homosexuals blah blah but there is this whole culture out there who claims to be so open about sex and relationships and even they can’t “help” themselves.
I was recently looking at the website for an asexual organization and it claimed that if you have ever been aroused by another human being then you weren’t asexual yet you can be aroused by anything else so long as it’s not human…. what? This isn’t really shun but it does go along with the whole generalizing issue. The site claims that asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction… umm that means no arousal for anything by those standards deary. People attack what they don’t understand so I can accept the whole shunning issue (even though I fight against it) but why must people generalize to the point that they make their own stance completely unintelligent??
Let me explain something: asexuality doesn’t mean you’re not aroused by something (human, animal, color, letter of the alphabet, whatever), it just means you have a lack of interest in the act of sexual intercourse and, perhaps, aren’t really aroused by much if anything. I really hate people who generalize and think everything falls under one big blanket that can be explained in one sentence… I equally hate people who categorize things to death as well so we need to find the happy medium. My sexual preferences are NOT the same as my affection preference, and nether of those are the same as my relationship preferences. I am an asexual pan-ployromantic polyamorist. Yes, it’s longer and harder to say than “I’m bisexual”, which is what people who think there are only three types of “orientations” would call me, but I like it that way because it covers all three types of personal interaction rather than trying to group them all together. It also describes me very well rather than having to go back and try to pick apart “bisexuality” and redefine it over and over again.
What it means: Asexual – I have a lack of interest in all sexual acts, I honestly think of it often as a waste of time (I know, CRAZY ain’t I?). I don’t abstain from doing them and I do feel arousal for others, but I would much rather do something like cuddle up and watch a movie than have sex 90% of the time and can easily go long periods without sex (to the “normal” person that would be “hard times” :P). This, of course, does not mean I have never had a meaningful sexual relationship or that I never enjoy myself during sex, I just don’t think it’s the “best thing ever” like we’re told it is; pan-ployromantic – I am attracted romantically (and because of this sort of sexually as well) to all genders (pan) [yes there are more than 2 in some cultures!] and can love more than one person at once (ploy); ployamorist – I have relationships (both romantic and sometimes physical) with more than one person at the same time (how these relationship connect depends on the people involved). This brings me to my current relationship which is a singular one with my long, long, long term boyfriend Chris (over 10 years and still just with him cause he’s special :D). I have my preferences, but I also take into account my partner’s thoughts and wishes. Chris wants a monogamous relationship and I am fine with that because I love him dearly. I still have feelings for other people, but I don’t go out and have affairs or anything like that which is what some people immediately think off when you say ploy- anything.
My point in all this jabbering is that people need to stop being so close minded about their supposedly open minded views. Stop shunning people who are different simply because they love people a different way. So long as everyone in that relationship is happy what the hell difference does it make? And, while I have your minds on the subject, trying thinking about your own preferences outside the limits of the generalized “normal” views that link all three types of personal interactions together into only three “orientations.” Sex, love, and relationships are so much more than that and I hope people wake up to that soon because all three are wonderfully different things and I hate to see people limit their potential with close mindedness. Go forth and explore!
I totally agree! That type of attitude annoys me so so much. Like there’s this show, forgotten what it’s called, about helping couples who’s marriage is struggling. I watched two episodes (the second one to see if they did the same thing as the first – looks like they do it pretty much every time). All it was about, basically, was sex is essential.
How much sex are you having? You can’t have a good marriage without good sex. Why aren’t you having enough sex? Okay lets fix those things so that you can have more sex. And while we’re at it lets manipulate jealousy and pretend that your spouse is cheating on you so that you get all fired up about them and realise what you love about them and how much you want to keep them. MARRIAGE FIXED! Um. No. For some people, yes sex may be the issue in their marriage (though I don’t think the jealousy ploy is ever a good idea) but you can’t approach every relationship like that (and the way they structured the show and approached the couples was clearly not really listening to them and was heavily influencing them to come to the conclusion that sex (and also a loss of attraction) was what was wrong with their marriage).
What you were saying about asexuality though has me interested.
Warning – getting pretty personal / lots of talk about sex:
I would never have considered I was asexual because I think sex is fun, and have it often, and enjoy it quite a bit when I do. But I don’t think it is the best thing ever or essential or anything like that. I could easily go a year or more without it. But (and this is the part that leads me to beleive I am not asexual) it wouldn’t be so easy going a year without an orgasm (which sex doesn’t do for me – and no that’s not because my boyfriend is “doing it wrong” we could go at it for a week straight and I wouldn’t… anyway – but I still enjoy doing it). So I’m not all that fussed on the specific act of sex, there are plenty of non-sexual things I’d rather do, but other sexual stuff I still like quite a bit. That being said I wouldn’t feel as hard done by as most if I had to go a while without that other stuff as well. So yeah… Sorry if that got too personal. But there’s more…
I wanted to ask you some questions though, but you don’t have to answer if you (or Chris) don’t want to share that stuff with me or with the internet. How does Chris feel about your not being that into sex? I’m assuming here that you’d do it less often than the “average” couple (whatever that is). Does he share your feelings about sex or is he more into it? And do you ever do it for his sake when you otherwise wouldn’t want to?
The reason I ask is that my boyfriend (Anthony) also isn’t that fussed on sex, but as he put it the other day (paraphrased):
I don’t really like sex, it’s messy and uncomfortable, but I have a lot of biological urges to do it because of hormones and that that make me think I need it a lot.
Which eventuates in him wanting to have sex more often than me but being equally unfussed about it from an objective viewpoint. And I’m happy to have sex in a situation where I personally wouldn’t have sought it out for myself but he wants to do it in the same way I mightn’t have wanted to watch a certain movie that he wanted to but I’m happy to watch it so that we can spend time together and I know later or some other day he’ll watch one I want to watch even if he doesn’t want to for the same reasons.
But yeah, I’ve never really told anyone of our views on sex because I think society as a whole shoves that message down our throats that if we don’t have lots of sex we’re in a bad relationship, we don’t really love each other, and we aren’t sexually attracted to each other, and that’s a bad thing. I think being sexually fulfilled in your life is important (though there are more obviously important things like being fed and having somewhere warm to sleep etc) but the importance of the phrase “sexually fulfilled” is that just means getting what you want from life, in a sexual context. If what you want is no sex at all, or just a little bit of sex, and that’s what you’re getting then you’re still as sexually fulfilled as someone who wants loads of sex and gets it. So that’s what I think.
Umm I have a fine relationship that has lasted longer than many marriages (over 10 years) and sex is not that important 😛 And no, even the idea of wanting to bring jealousy into things as a potential fix is just disgusting. Anyone who has faced a jealous partner knows how destructive it can be and is in no way beneficial, but what do you expect from a show? They have to have a set plotline or the hosts wouldn’t know what to do xD And you’re right, you in no way can approach every relationship the same way.
Moving on to the sex stuff 😛 warning warning minors away! lol Don’t worry about getting personal with me, I tend to think the world has gotten to impersonal and cold most of the time!
Orgasm through penetration alone is actually NOT all that common. People think that when you have sex you’re supposed to orgasm multiple times for like ten minutes because movies and shows have deluded us… just the same as they have that sex is supposed to be some always romantic, non-messy, best thing ever invented ideal 😛 As for going without an orgasm, I can understand that. Your body is going to react to certain things (sometimes whether you like it or not lol). For me though, I can probably go a lot longer than most without any sort of sexual release, doesn’t mean I don’t feel aroused from time to time, I just don’t always act on it. Just because one is aroused does not mean you have to have a release or you’ll die or something… another myth from hollywood 😛
To answer your questions, I am sure Chris would like to have a lot more sex lol he’s a typical guy what can I say xD My sexual preferences are not a reflection of his but I am not going to get into that here cause that’s his business whether to share or not. Have I done it for his sake? Sure, I have no problem saying that because I know that a lot of people (both men and women) have done the same. That’s just a normal part of a relationship, not the having sex even if you don’t want to stuff essentially, but loving your partner and wanting to do for them something that will make them happy. I know some people might not agree with me, but in my relationship it’s the same as Chris cuddling up with me on the couch and watching a show he doesn’t want to watch simply because he knows I like cuddling up with him (sensual to me is way better than sexual!). It’s not about “what” you’re doing.
Anthony’s thoughts are pretty average. A lot of people when they first have sex are surprised that it’s not like it is in the movies (no really?! :P). It is messy, it is uncomfortable, it is sweaty, it is hard work… but yes your body does naturally get aroused from time to time. As I already said though, just because you’re aroused do not mean you have to have that sexual release. If you do it every single time your aroused you can easily get addicted to the chemicals that are released and will then continuously need more. Sex addiction is not an addiction to the act of sex but the feel good chemicals.
Our bodies get aroused due to many things, simple primitive urges to mate and spread our genes being a big one, doesn’t mean we have to do anything “sexually” about it. I can get aroused, like many people, after watching sex scenes in movies/shows or seeing some really hot guy/girl… whatever, but I don’t run to Chris and jump him every time 😛 I can have a really good laugh or a tickle fight with Chris and it makes me feel the same way as if I had just done something sexual because it’s the same feel good chemicals. I can go for a walk and enjoy nature or watch a really heart-warming movie and feel great, it’s something people have forgotten because we have come to associate feeling good with having great sex. (And you then say pretty much the exact same thing about doing something you might not want to do for his sake as I did above lol great minds :D).
Its always good to be open about your views on sex and sexuality, but you’re right in regards to the fact that you don’t need to go shouting about it from every street corner. It is something that has over taken us as a society and something we will probably pay for in the future. For now, do like you said, and just fulfill yourself in your own way in your own life 🙂
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