Asexual Perspective on Sex

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You’re probably wondering what an asexual is doing contributing to an issue of Bekhsoos that’s dedicated to sex. Well, apart from the fact that I’m a sex-positive asexual, believe it or not, not having sex by orientation and not choice raises eyebrows and is just like any other sexual behavior that does not fall within the very narrow heteronormative boundaries.

And the flak doesn’t come from the intolerant heterosexuals alone. Whereas I’m lucky to have found in Meem and the Bekhsoos team a lot of acceptance and awareness, some of my fellow asexuals elsewhere are surprisingly facing a lot of prejudice from the LGBT community itself.

One of the most common comments I hear when I say I’m asexual is, “You must have had some negative sexual experience, such as abuse or rape.” I know a lot of sexual abuse victims – who in Lebanon doesn’t know any? – but I still don’t know any asexual who’s like me. Both occurrences might coincide but when you accept a person’s self-identification, you don’t try to justify it.

Just because I enjoy watching shows about ghosts and haunted places doesn’t mean I’d like my place to be haunted [...] Some asexuals have fetishes, are into BDSM and masturbate. We just don’t want or feel the urge to engage in the act ourselves.

So, let’s talk about sex. Personally, I have a much better attitude toward sex than my heterosexual counterparts in the Lebanese society; I’m even their unofficial “sexpert”. My experience comes from the extensive research that I did when I was trying to find out what’s wrong with me. Not fitting the norm helps sometimes!

However, people need to understand that just because I read about murder and crimes, it doesn’t mean I have any criminal fantasies I’d like to act upon.

Many asexuals read about sex, watch porn or even write fiction which either only mentions sex or centers around it. Some asexuals have fetishes, are into BDSM and masturbate. We just don’t want or feel the urge to engage in the act ourselves.

I guess the word “asexual” conveys the picture of a prude puritanical geek – and some asexuals might be like that – but what the word really means is the lack of sexual attraction toward others. When I look at other people, I never feel any urge to have sex with them and I look at both men and women the same way, physically. That’s not to mean that I don’t appreciate beauty or appeal, because I do. It’s just that sexual attraction never occurs.

So, what are my opinions on sex in general? Unlike many, I see sex and love as two different things and while one might be the expression of the other when they occur simultaneously, I don’t believe that they’re one and the same. I believe you can be in love with one person and have many sexual partners and, vice versa, that you can have one sexual partner but be emotionally committed to many people at once. Maybe my aromantic asexual disposition prevents me from seeing things on a more “romantic” level. And I see what’s depicted as romantic in the media and our Lebanese society as a promotion of hypocrisy and lies and as irrational concepts which attempt to bind and restrict people’s emotions and feelings, something which I believe is impossible. I believe in honesty and freedom; honesty to be with whomever you want to be with, honesty in your own feelings and freedom to express your nature whichever way you like, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, including yourself.

As for celibacy, I respect every person’s choice, but I hate the double standard in our Arab world. While men are encouraged to have sexual experiences, a woman’s virginity is still a measure of her ethics. Personally, I think celibacy isn’t very healthy when it’s practiced out of fear or tradition rather than by personal conviction.

I believe that if our society allowed some measure of safe consensual sex and created a space for education and awareness on the topic, a lot of lies and deceptions can be avoided – not to mention the amount of money spent on reconstructive hymen surgeries or for treatment from STDs that can be saved. But maybe that wouldn’t agree too much with the people financially profiting from the hidden truths.

- Contributed by CL

Guest Contributor

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