Edge of Everywhere

Archive for November 2008

Lately, I’ve been really fascinated by my body. In the past, I didn’t give it much thought aside from the usual anxieties about my weight and appearance, but now I check myself out in the mirror all the time when I’m getting dressed and think about how interesting it is that my body doesn’t exist for anyone else’s pleasure. When I look great, it makes me feel empowered, like a hot but untouchable superhero. And when I’m feeling unattractive, I can reassure myself that at least I don’t have to worry about how another person will view and judge my body. It’s all mine, and I like that.

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On a music blog I read, posts about bands with female members invariably draw comments about the attractiveness of the woman or women in the band. For some reason, some heterosexual male readers seem to feel a constant need to broadcast to the entire world whether they would “hit it,” i.e. have sex with the woman or women pictured. (I have never seen a comment of this nature on a post about an all-male band.) Occasionally, someone will chime in and remind these commenters that “she would never let you hit it.” A good point, but the way I see it, the damage has already been done. I imagine how the musicians might feel if they read the posts (and it’s possible that many of them eventually do). Getting press for your band is exciting; hearing people talk not about your music but about your sexual attractiveness (especially for the girls who get the comment “I would not hit it”) must be sickening.

There are definitely days when I wish I were sexual, when I can’t help but be frustrated by the idea that I can’t be in a relationship without one or both people having to compromise on something so big, something often seen as THE factor that distinguishes romantic relationships from platonic ones. There are days I want to want the things that everyone else wants, just to make it easier.

But I know, when I really stop to think about it, that being sexual wouldn’t make things easier. Sex is complicated, and messy, and risky, and wanting it would probably actually make my life and relationships more complicated. And while having to negotiate compromises about sex is not a pleasant prospect, couples make compromises all the time – on what city to live in, whose parents to visit for Thanksgiving, even what movie to see on Friday night. Compromises are part of all relationships, and I have to remind myself that just because asexual people and our partners have to deal with a type of compromise most people never do, that doesn’t mean that our relationships are more complicated than other people’s, or that they would be any easier or better if we happened to want the things society tells us we are supposed to want out of our relationships.