Can I be both bisexual and cruel sex
On this overview page you will find a short definition of A_sexuality, the A_sexual Pride Flag and what it means, a detailed text and scientific literature on A_sexuality and further links and books on the subject. If you have any questions, write us a message, e.g. via our anonymous suggestion box.
[The picture shows the Pride flag for a_sexual people. It has four horizontal stripes of equal size. Top to bottom: black, gray, white and purple.]
The Pride Flag for a_sexual people was developed in 2010 and put to a vote in a forum. Black stands for asexuality, gray for the asexual spectrum, white for sexuality and purple for community. [Source: http://wiki.asexuality.org/Asexual_flag?title=Asexual_flag]
What is A_sexuality?
This text is very detailed and contains a lot of information. It doesn't matter if you don't understand some things right away. If you have any questions, write to us!
What is A_sexuality?
A_sexuality is an independent sexual orientation, such as heterosexuality and bisexuality too. The largest organization of a_sexual people, the Asexual Education and Visibility Network (AVEN) defines an a_sexual person as someone who has no sexual attraction to other people or a person who has no desire to engage in sexual activity with other people (AVEN 2017). Other a_sexual organizations or people sometimes define a_sexuality differently.
A_sexuality is not the same as antisexuality (i.e. rejecting sexuality), as celibacy (i.e. voluntarily choosing not to have sex), A_romantik (i.e. not falling in love with other people and / or not wanting to enter into romantic relationships with other people ), suppressed sexuality or fear of sexuality, inability to find a partner, and A_sexuality is not a disease either (Asexuality Archive 2012, pp. 35-52). It is estimated that around 1% of humanity is a_sexual.
A_sexuality and A_romance
In the a_sexual community, the distinction between romantic and sexual orientation is used. The romantic orientation refers to who a person falls in love with or with whom they would like to have a romantic relationship, and the sexual orientation to who a person finds sexually attractive and with whom they would like to have sex. This separation is called the Split Attraction Model ("separate attraction model"). Some people are both a_sexual and a_romantic, i.e. they do not fall in love with other people, do not want to enter into romantic relationships and do not feel sexual attraction (towards other people). But that doesn't apply to all a_sexual people - many a_sexual people fall in love with others without ever feeling sexual attraction for them.
A_sexuality also does not mean that a person does not have sex. Many a_sexual people satisfy themselves or have sex, e.g. because they want to have a child, because they want to be close to their partner, or because they think it's beautiful.
A_sexuality as a spectrum
Like many things to do with sexuality and gender, A_sexuality is a spectrum. That is why we also use the underscore ("A_sexuality"). The spectrum ranges from people who feel no sexual attraction at all ("asexual") to people who can basically feel sexual attraction ("allosexual", sometimes also "zedsexual"). Allosexual people can be gay or straight, for example.
The people who are on this spectrum also call themselves gray-asexual or gray-asexual - the "gray" stands for the gray area, i.e. the spectrum. For example, gray asexual people rarely experience sexual attraction or only under certain circumstances. An example of an identity on this spectrum is Demisexuality. Here, a person only feels sexual attraction towards others when there is already an emotional bond, e.g. if they are already friends with this person. Some a_sexual people find sex repulsive (sex-repulsed). Some a_sexual people simply don't care about sex (indifferent to sex), they may also have sex (Mardell 2016, pp. 160-170).
Discrimination and prejudice
There are many prejudices against a_sexual people. For example, A_sexuality is often understood as the result of an experience of abuse, a hormone disorder, a prudish upbringing or an intellectual disability or mental illness (see Decker, 2014, pp. 91-134). In contrast, allosexuality is understood as 'natural'. It is also assumed that all human beings are sexual beings (Przybylo 2011, pp. 446-448). A_sexual people are thus deprived of their human status (see Gressgård 2014, pp. 68, 73-76; MacInnis / Hodson 2012, 725-743). This understanding of a_sexual people as less human can result in emotional, psychological, physical and sexual violence, including in an attempt to 'cure' a_sexual people. The discrimination experiences of a_sexual persons run through the whole society, just like e.g. sexism or racism. They are referred to as 'allonormativity', among other things. A_sexuality is largely invisible in society, in queer activism and in gender and queer studies (cf. Chu 2014).
Consequences of Discrimination
All of this leads to a_sexual people having more psychological problems, e.g. self-hatred, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, fear of loss or self-harming behavior. In addition, A_sexuality is very rarely spoken of in sex education classes, educational books and in the media; therefore, it takes many a_sexuals a long time to understand that it is normal and okay not to have sexual attraction. In addition, many asexual people take a long time to find words (such as “asexual”) that describe themselves.
A_sexuality in medicine and science
Non-existent and little sexual attraction, and thus also A_sexuality, is often pathologized and medicalized, i.e. viewed as a medical problem that needs to be “cured”. That goes back to the time of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. At that time, only women were pathologized under the term 'frigidity'. From the 1960s onwards, frigidity was dealt with as the "product of a male misunderstanding about female bodies and their sexuality" (Cryle & Moore, 2011, p.2, translation Annika) and partially depathologized, i.e. no longer defined as a disease. Today the International Classification Of Diseases defines 10 (ICD), i.e. the internationally valid list of all diseases under the code number FS52.0: Lack or loss of sexual desire ("No or little sexual attraction") again various syndromes and diseases such as Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) ("Female Sexual Dysfunction") or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) ("Decreased Sexual Attraction Disorder"). HSDD can now be diagnosed in people of all genders.
The medical focus is on adapting people to the societal norms of sexuality. This should happen regardless of whether there is psychological strain, that is, whether the person suffers from the lack of sexual attraction and is limited in their quality of life. In addition, it is not important where this level of suffering comes from (see Jutel, 2010). However, there are also considerations to explain A_sexuality either as an extreme variant of Hyposexual Desire Disorder or, depending on the level of suffering, to decide whether treatment is sensible and necessary (see Brotto, Yule & Gorzalka, 2014). However, psychological stress as a category is questionable: It is possible that many a_sexual people do not suffer from their as_sexuality, but simply because they do not know what as_sexuality is or because their as_sexuality remains invisible in society, for example Sex education invisible, resulting in a_sexual people suffering from their sexual orientation.
In scientific research, A_sexuality occurs exclusively in connection with sexual disorders. In gender and queer studies, however, it has hardly been researched. It is also often not taken into account in scientific papers on sexual orientation and heteronormativity (Chu, 2014; Decker, 2014, 45-68). In the queer community, too, a deeper discussion of A_sexuality is still pending. A_sexuality and a_sexual activism enable an expanded perspective on sexuality in general. In the asexual community, sexuality and identities are seen, among other things, as fluid, self-determined and negotiable, which provides a larger vocabulary for all people (Milks, 2014, pp. 100-101; Chu, 2014, pp. 85-94).
Bibliography / Scientific Literature
Asexuality Archive (2012): Asexuality: A brief introduction. Accessed on March 4th, 2017. Available at: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/AsexualityABriefIntroduction.pdf.
AVEN (2016): About AVEN. Accessed on March 2nd, 2017. Available at: http://asexuality.org/?q=about.html.
Brotto, Lori A. / Yule, Morag, A. / Gorzalka, Boris B. (2014). Asexuality: an extreme variant of sexual desire disorder? International Society for Sexual Medicine, 12 (3), pp.646-660.
Chu, Erica (2014). Radical Identity Politics. Asexuality and Contemporary Articulations of Identity. In Karli June Cerankowsi & Megan Milks (eds.), Asexualities. Feminist and Queer Perspectives. New York: Routledge, 79-99.
Cryle, Peter / Moore, Alison (2011). Frigidity. An intellectual history. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Decker, Julie Sondra (2014). The invisible orientation. An introduction to asexuality. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.
Gressgård, Randi (2014). Asexuality: from pathology to identity and beyond. In Mark Carrigan / Kristina Gupta & Todd G. Morrisson (Eds.), Asexuality and sexual normativity. An Anthology. New York: Routledge.
World Health Organization (WHO): International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Accessed on April 15, 2017. Available at: http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en.
Jutel, Annemarie (2010). Framing Disease: The Example of Female Hyposexual Desire Disorder. Social Science & Medicine 70, pp. 1084-1090.
MacInnis, Cara C. / Hodson, Gordon (2012): Intergroup bias toward “Group X: Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals. In: Group processes and intergroup relations 15 (6), pp. 725-743.
Mardell, Ashley (2016). The ABC’s of LGBT +. Mango Media.
Milks, Megan (2014). Stunted Growth. Asexual Politics and the Rhetoric of Sexual Liberation. In Karli June Cerankowsi & Megan Milks (eds.), Asexualities. Feminist and Queer Perspectives. New York: Routledge, pp. 100-118.
Milks, Megan / Cerankowski, Karli June (2014). Why Asexuality? Why now? In this. (Ed.), Asexualities. Feminist and Queer Perspectives. New York: Routledge, pp. 1-15.
Przybylo, Ela (2011). Crisis and safety: The asexual in sexusociety. Sexualities. 14 (4), pp 444-461.
De Winter, Carmilla (2021): The Asexual Spectrum: An Exploration Tour. Marta Press.
www.asexuality.org - The English-speaking Asexuality Visibility And Education Network
www.aceweek.org - English page of the Asexual Awareness Week, which takes place every year. There are lots of great resources on the website!
asexyqueer.blogsport.de/ - German-language blog about A_sexuality
https://germanaroaces.tumblr.com/ - German blog for a_romantic and a_sexual people
aktivista.net - Association for making A_sexuality visible
asexualresearch.tumblr.com - English language blog about research on A_sexuality
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