Posts tagged sexuality
Posts tagged sexuality
College Final Major Project
These are posters I created for my final major project at the end of my 2-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Graphic Design.
I decided to create an information pack for schools and colleges providing resources for them to share with students about LGBT+ issues.
Created in Illustrator.
You are welcome to print these for your own personal use or to put up in LGBT+ safe spaces/societies/clubs/etc.
"Inside Out" is a fictional campaign.
While these are wonderful, I’m kind of upset that you forgot about bisexuals… :(
I guess because bisexuality is relatively more known & understood so they decided to skip it. Then again I’ve heard/read some really ridiculous things about people’s impression on bisexuality, so a poster on that probably wouldn’t be a bad idea…
Just thought I’d jot down a couple thoughts on this because it’s been popping up in the tags recently.
First, I’m not going to argue against the idea that the types of discrimination targeted at LGBT people can be much more severe - it’s a simple fact that while many queer people live with the danger of being attacked or killed, that’s not usually the case for asexuals (ignoring for now cases of identity confusion and intersectionality, which are no little thing).
On the other hand, whether or not you get killed is not the end all be all of discrimination. Because while anti-LGBT discrimination may be widespread, so is pro-LGBT support and education. But that’s not the case for asexuality, at least not yet.
See, I was lucky enough to be raised in a very liberal, pretty pro-LGBT community, and to go to university in an even more queer-friendly area. I’ve lived a lot of my life in environments where being anti-gay-marriage gets you dirty looks at least and no one would dare openly discriminate against LGBT or claim that they need to be fixed or cured. So even though I’ve had periods of time where I was basically taken for queer by people who didn’t know that I was asexual I’ve never had to worry that much about the disapproval of or mistreatment by any of the people I respect and interact with a lot - there was too much of a strong social imperative against the mistreatment of LGBT people.
But on the other hand, I have no such guarantees that people will respect my asexuality in such a way. Many of the same people who are so into supporting the LGBT community see no problem with mocking asexuality, or making jokes about how we must be socially inept virgins or mentally ill sociopaths. They see no problems with telling us we can’t be real, that we should go back in the closet or go to a doctor to “fix” our problems. When we try to discuss out own experiences we get accused of being special snowflakes - or worse, we are told that our experiences are “problematic” and a promotion of homophobia and rape-culture - we are attacked simply for existing.
I have many spaces where I know I can be safe and respected as a queer-identified person. Yet I have almost none where I can feel fully safe and secure coming out as an asexual.
See, discrimination against asexuals may be less severe in terms of magnitude. But unlike homophobia (at least in many areas), anti-ace discrimination is seen as totally acceptable. Laudable, even. Too many otherwise educated and decent people see nothing wrong with dismissing and degrading asexual people. And so long as people keep dismissing anything short of being murdered in the street, that problem will persist.
(plus, if severity of discrimination were the only thing that mattered, we should be shortening the acronym to the T and not caring about the rest…yet funnily enough, that’s the exact opposite of what usually happens.)
Mark Carrigan, Asexuality: The ‘X’ In A Sexual World
I love this quote so much because I’ve said the SAME thing to my friends when talking about asexuality. So many times in our culture we couple romance and sex and they just AREN’T the same thing. They aren’t the same feeling. And, I’ll use TV as an example, too many times in our media shows will write in “romantic” plots and most of it is about sex and we are expected to enjoy this—expected to support this. But it feels so unreal and contrived because this kind of portrayal weighs heavily on the sexual aspect of a relationship, and we as the audience on some level understand that this isn’t right. That a truly romantic relationship/connection isn’t necessarily about sex or sexual desire.
The reality is that romance and sex are different. They may support each other, but they are fundamentally different. Having a distinction, thanks to the asexual community, i think allows us to speak to a new language of interpersonal connection. One that is richer and more definitive than the distinctively sexualized one we’ve been speaking.
So I was at the HRC website today where you can get a free Equality sticker and they only had the following options for sexual orientation: lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight/heterosexual, queer, and other.
Doesn’t really say much to me about “equality” when they don’t bother to list asexual (or anything else) in the options.
Really there’s so many different ways to identify & so much gray area I don’t think they could possibly list them all. They might as well just make that part customizable.
This post has been cross-posted to The Asexual Agenda.
A while back there was this big kerfuffle on tumblr* about how aces are secretly harmful to LGB folks. One of the main arguments was that LGB folks have internalized heterosexism, and thus use the asexual community to…
This is so damn accurate, especially this part
The asexual community isn’t interested in hiding from sexuality–it’s much more interested in analyzing it until it falls to pieces and everyone winds up questioning everything they ever believed about themselves.
Nothing more true has ever been typed in the history of the internet.
1. You keep using that word….I don’t think you know what it means.
Asexual = not sexually attracted to anyone
It has nothing to do with (sexual) lifestyles. Hell, it’s possible for asexuals to be a part of a very sexual lifestyle or subculture, because that’s all about behavior & not necessarily attraction.
2. Why the fuck do you it’s ok to encourage/associate with gay bashing? Using the word “faggot” is never necessary.
I do find it funny that lesbians are perceived as man-hating but gay men are not perceived as woman-hating, and in fact are often illogically shielded from accusations of misogyny simply by being gay
I’m interested in both the actual and ideal relationship conduct of cross-orientation allosexuals: people whose romantic and sexual orientations don’t match.
Just to review, cross-orientation sexual identities include but aren’t limited to:
- heteromantic homosexual
- homoromantic heterosexual
- biromantic heterosexual
- biromantic homosexual
- homoromantic bisexual
- heteromantic bisexual
- aromantic heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual
- heteromantic pansexual
- biromantic pansexual
- homoromantic pansexual
- panromantic bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual
I imagine that the most common practice amongst these allosexuals is to still have conventional romantic-sexual relationships with others because that’s the normative behavior and lifestyle, and perhaps some cross-orientation folks don’t mind being in these functionally normative relationships, even though they’re not actually experiencing one form of attraction to their partners while participating in the relationships.
But there must be some cross-orientation allosexuals who really would prefer to keep their romantic and sexual relationships separate. Who want nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex and to have that separation happen in the most seamless way possible.
I figure the biggest problem for cross-orientation allosexuals is invisibility, like it is for asexuals. If you’re a cross-orientation allosexual person and you meet another allosexual who isn’t—one who just experiences romantic and sexual attraction the same gender or genders—trying to communicate that you’re romantically into them but not sexually into them or vice versa is hella difficult because they just don’t know that such a thing is possible or that cross-orientation sexuality exists. And we live in a culture that says romance doesn’t exist without sex and ongoing sex without romance is the behavior of somebody “afraid of commitment” or “afraid of emotional attachment” or somebody who’s a slut and just wants to have sex with multiple people rather than one person they’re dating.
But in a perfect world, where everyone in society knows that cross-orientation sexuality exists and where everyone is open-minded enough to accept nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex and the coexistence of a sexual partner with a romantic partner who are two different people involved with the same person, would the average cross-orientation allosexual set out to form romantic relationships without sex and sexual relationships without romance and say “fuck it” to combining the two forevermore?
Are there already cross-orientation allosexuals who have managed to form these separate relationships in their lives? How’s it going?
And what about aromantic allosexuals? I’m guessing they’re the cross-orientation types who are most easily demonized, when other allosexuals actually hear about them. What’s an aromantic allosexual’s first choice lifestyle? Regular sex and otherwise no life partner, living alone, having friends? Sex with people they’re attracted to sexually and a nonsexual/nonromantic life partner who’s the emotional center of their lives? For aromantic allosexuals who want a life partner, does gender matter? Do some aromantic allosexuals want more than one partner? A kind of nonromantic polyamory?
I’m a celibate asexual with no romantic identity, but I’m really interested in cross-orientation allosexuals and their experiences and the possibility they represent of a diverse society where nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex are practiced as commonplace, accepted, supported lifestyle choices. I can understand wanting love without sex, and though I don’t desire sex, I have always perfectly understood and supported sex devoid of romance.
I think cross-orientation sexuality needs to become visible. I think it needs to be discussed openly. I think it needs to have a presence in our media. I think cross-orientation allosexuals should be able to separate their romantic relationships from their sexual relationships as they desire, rather than having to settle for romantic-sexual relationships just because those are the norm and most allosexuals don’t think nonsexual romance and nonromantic sex are acceptable.
I just want to live in a world where everybody understands that you can love someone romantically and not feel sexually attracted them, you can want to fuck someone silly but not feel a shred of romantic attraction to them, you can want romantic relationships without sex and sexual relationships without romance, and you don’t need to sexualize a romantic relationship to make it real or romanticize a sexual relationship to make it appropriate.
definitely a thing, and an important concept to have!
Asexual people are regularly told we “should” be indifferent enough to “just try it.” (Meaning sex, of course. Because if we ID as asexual, we’re usually assumed to be virgins.)
Asexual people who feel they are too repulsed to “just try it” are assigned a “fear of sex” and dismissed outright by people who don’t think trying sex is a big deal.
Asexual people who HAVE “just tried it” and didn’t like it (or, as is sometimes the case, found it horrible) are dismissed outright by people who think we did it wrong, did it with the wrong person/wrong gender, or ruined the experience for ourselves by expecting to hate it.
Basically, this suggests that the only authentic way of experiencing sex is to engage in it without prejudice, enjoy it, and stop calling oneself asexual (ignoring, of course, that some asexual people can enjoy sex and still feel that their orientation is asexual).
But let’s look at indifferent and repulsion reactions. Here is something to keep in mind before you slap an asexual person who reacts this way with judgment on why their failure to love sex is pathological.
Imagine, if you will, that you are a straight person, but everyone has told you your whole life that you “should” like the same gender in your bed. You imagined as a child that you would fulfill this expectation by developing those feelings, but no, you feel straight even after you’re finished becoming an adult. So you feel something is wrong with you, and that you “should” desire gay sex, and that message (plus a drive to connect with others emotionally or romantically) leads you to seeking out a consummate homosexual relationship.
You do it. You don’t like it. You either felt actively sickened by the experience or you at least didn’t enjoy it the way everyone says you should have. Either the experience itself or the experience of not connecting in this supposedly fundamental way leaves you out in the cold, wondering what’s wrong with you, why this doesn’t work for you, why it wasn’t the transformative experience everyone else talks up, why you can’t feel what everyone else feels. That’s pretty scary, isn’t it? To have everyone look down their nose at you when you say the sex you had was either something you could take or leave or something you would really prefer to leave, thank you?
I think people who say we should be open to pursuing sex no matter how we THINK we’ll feel about it don’t understand why “just trying sex” IS too tall an order for some of us. There are plenty of people out there who don’t have to be sexually attracted to their partners in order to have sex with them—and some asexual people are in that camp—but it’s not normally considered unreasonable to be unable to stomach sex with a person who’s not attractive to you.
Unless you’re asexual.
Then you’re expected to acknowledge that your feelings are wrong or weird, and you’re led to believe that jump-starting your active sexual attraction experiences is possible through pushing yourself into sex. But since last time I checked most heterosexual people don’t believe they can be turned gay by having gay sex they aren’t interested in, I’m pretty sure we’d all be on the same page if we could agree that sexual attraction is not like vampirism—some kind of desire that’s absent completely until it’s bestowed upon you by the person who bites you. Most folks agree that a person can tell who they are attracted to, and that they are well within their rights pursuing only those partners.
Again, unless they’re asexual.
It’s a double standard for asexuals. We aren’t trusted to be the authority on our feelings, and we’re told that this is so because Sex Is Good so there must be some form of it we WILL desire or enjoy. But asexuality—the state of not being sexually attracted to anyone—isn’t a condition that limits our capacity to understand ourselves and authentically choose what intimate experiences we want to have.
So before you tell an asexual person that they “should” be indifferent enough to give sex a try, or that they “should” never have a revulsion response to having sex … think about how you’d feel if you were told the same thing about how you’re supposed to feel about having sex with partners you’re not attracted to.
And think about how frustrating, demeaning, isolating, and scary it would be to live in a world where that message is the master narrative by which you’re expected to define your most cherished relationships.
Think about that. And then don’t say it.