Neither can exist while the other…wait

redbeardace on Tumblr is asking about what to include in his planned The Asexual’s Guide to Orgasms:

As I mentioned last week, I’m considering writing some stuff regarding orgasms and masturbation from an asexual point of view.

Before I begin, I’d like to find a bit about what you all think should be covered in it.  Is there anything you think is important to mention?  Is there anything you’d like to know (or wish you’d known years ago)?  I’ll probably be setting up an anonymous survey to get a wide range of perspectives, so are there any questions you’d like to see asked there?  Is there anything you think it would be best to avoid?

Since I have a few more followers now (thanks!), I thought I’d try to help promote his post on WordPress in addition to replying on Tumblr. Asexual arousal is another topic that’s important to me and one that I’ve written a bit about in my private correspondence, because its presence is confusing. If I think about it too much, it tends to make me do a little shuffle among the asexual spectrum before settling back down at my current default, ‘asexual-ish’.

I think it would also be a very good idea for allosexuals to hop over to his blog to submit questions or comments they might have (click here to do it!). Perhaps due to the nature of our orientation being defined as the absence of something else, I feel like discussion in the asexual community has a tendency to devlolve into wild mass guessing and blind men’s arguments. Which is why I really like it when I’m browsing through AVEN threads (usually arrived from frantic Google searches in moments of self-doubt) and see a ‘I’m not asexual, but…’ post.

Allosexuality, asexuality; neither makes sense without the presence of the other, and I am all for more non-asexual people joining the discussion. It’s surprisingly difficult to find sexual perspectives that are written with the same sort of specificity and objectivity with which aces discuss sexual attraction and romantic/platonic feelings. (Which are hugely helpful, by the way.) I don’t mean that it’s hard to find objective writings on allosexuality; more that writings on allosexuality – not about particular facets of allosexuality, about sexual attraction itself – don’t even seem to exist. I suspect it may be because the world at large generally assumes that discussions like those don’t need to happen – everyone knows what sexual attraction feels like, everyone knows what sex means, everyone has sex or wants to have sex, right?

All right, my actual responses to redbeardace, which are necessarily a bit squicky and hence under a cut:

  • The relationship between arousal and the validity of asexual self-identification (in other words, ‘it’s okay to be aroused, promise’)
  • Already mentioned, but how to tell what arousal is – different types of arousal, if that exists. Things that might be mistaken for arousal (…sudden memory from investigating this last year and a friend the similarity in sensation between arousal and needing to pee, heh). The relationship between sexual arousal and other forms of bodily arousal – cold is what I personally have trouble with, but maybe fear, etc.
  • Under what circumstances exactly do aces feel a need to masturbate? How do these differ from those of allosexuals? The common image seems to be that aces masturbate out of boredom or to dispel much-unwanted horniness, but is there anything else?
  • Relatedly, how to tell what an orgasm feels like…and what to do about lame or unsatisfying ones. I think this might be particularly frustrating for asexuals who masturbate to get rid of arousal that’s affecting their ability to function, who don’t really want to be doing it anyway, and don’t even get much of a reward out of it.
  • If allosexuals fantasize about sex with objects of their attraction, what goes into common ace fantasies?
  • Something about asexual kinks. Which may be highly sexual in nature.
  • Interviews or something with people – aces and not – to find out their attitudes towards arousal and masturbation. Is it an annoyance? Something they enjoy? Shameful? Exciting? Frustrating? Do they want more of it? Less?
  • Probably more, but I really need to go.

All right, I’ve spent way too long on this. I need to get a few thousand words of essay-writing instruction written in the next two hours. I’ve only written about enough material for a 20-minute lesson over the entire summer, and doubt my ability to come up with the rest within two hours (especially considering it’s lunch time)…but we’ll see. Also the world just started spinning when I leaned forward. Probably not a good sign.

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