*prods the pretty article on sexual development possibly being more gradual than a simple teenage sexual awakening, and starting earlier*
I like this word.
It says that realisation of attraction and orientation, including asexuality, starts at, like, 10. A very, very good reason to be open-minded about it and talk to kids.
I remember there being a lot of ado about boybands in primary school, even before the boyfriends thing started.
Followed link from: http://asexandthecity.tumblr.com/post/134290479956/submitted-by-so-much-depends-upon-a-for
One philosophical point that stares me in the face is the dichotomy between body and soul or mind. Love has become the expression of the soul. Sex of the body. Asexuality says we do not wish for sex and your typical love and relationships with our bodies and minds, as one whole. We need to discuss them as one coherent entity if we are to be accepted.
Traditionally, the sexual drive is seen as lust, a drive of the flesh and therefore worse than the more superior desires of the soul or mind. In modern times, sexual desire is located in the body, the focus of research is on how body is the instrument to both give and receive whatever acts flow from attraction. It is seen as natural, because we’ve all got similar bodies, right? A lack of sexual desire is a physical dysfuntion…. right?
To be asexual is having an experience alien to humans, whether you view it from an old-fashioned or modern perspective about how sex and sexuality works.
Or so we’re told.
But if body and mind are one… if we do not receive signals from others that excite us sexually, and do not put out those signals, if we experience an absence of sexual desire or the absence of a wish to express a sexual drive or even just attraction to any specific partner, or whatever asexuality is, if all of these are seen as coming from the same source, the subject, body and soul, then can it be weird?
Then we can simply be on the asexual spectrum, body and soul, and some signs of that can be perceived through the senses, or through instruments, some expressions of that asexuality occur in our mind, conscious or subconscious, and it’s all part of the same process, no bit invalid, no bit not ours.
After all, by sheer volume, we are a pretty common variety of human beings, not a single anomaly, which means the sexual drive is not an essential feature of the human condition.
4. Have you had any positive experiences with therapy? If so, can you give specific examples of what your provider did right? What things helped you the most?
- Treatments and therapists aren’t ‘one size fits all’. Don’t be afraid to talk with a few until you find one with whom it clicks.
- Treatment, for me, didn’t work until I wanted it to. I think that’s underestimated in many cases. People wait to be helped, not realising help doesn’t work unless they’re open to accept it. People try to help when that person’s not ready for it at all.
- DO NOT underestimate the importance of your religious identity and most deeply held beliefs. Find a therapist that matches yours, or one that is actually open-minded. Treatment strips you to your core, where you can be hurt and twisted very badly. And though especially Christians and atheists match on the surface, both being movements that grew up in the western world, core beliefs can be very different.
- Set a goal, and a deadline. Treatment, in most cases, is meant to help you work towards being a functioning adult. It’s alright to remain different, slightly odd…
3. [cut for length] Is there another intersectional issue that is more important for you to find a therapist […], that you would prioritize that instead of understanding of asexuality? Have you even decided not to bother coming out to your therapist about being ace?
I think it’s good to know that your mental health and physical health impacts your sex drive. Your sexual drive may vary throughout your life. A really busy time at work may shut it down. Graduating from college may fire it up, because you cast off a big burden.
My sexual drive didn’t come online until over a year had passed after I’d seen my last therapist.
What I do think is a shame is that, though we talked around my having a partner, is that after I declared myself single, we rarely touched the issue again. As if being single was sort of a catch-all for “oh, don’t have to talk about sex, then.”
I think the taboo of NOT having sex comes into play there. It’s weird how abstinence is more shameful than sexual activity, in our culture. It’d be so much better if both were accepted.
2. Have you felt unable to access treatment because of asexuality or conflict? Or, was the quality of your treatment reduced? Have you experienced reparative therapy—done with the intent to “cure” or “fix” your asexuality? Even if the treatment you received was not aimed at “fixing” your orientation, was it more difficult because you had to spend too much time educating your provider instead of focusing on things that would help you?
I received treatment, but it didn’t have anything to do with my sexuality, but rather with a mental issue that preceded even puberty and struck during high school and college.
Having gone through several iterations of therapy, I think I can provide a few signs of treatment that will succeed:
- You have chosen to seek treatment. No matter how clueless you are or powerless you feel you are, treatment, any kind, won’t work unless you wish it.
- Your therapist is respectful of your identity, in its entirety.
- The family or friends you choose to depend on during your treatment (and you’ll need a few) are completely respectful of your space, as if you’re a functioning, healthy adult even if you’re not, without enabling you to indulge in whatever bad behaviour you exhibit due to your issues. This, truly, is the type of love you need, and it’s hard to find and keep up. This support becomes easier for people to give if they can share the burden with others.
- Your treatment fits your psyche. You may need to try a few different types before you find one that works.
- Your treatment goes to the roots of the problem you have. If you tackle only the symptoms of a mental health issue, it will return with a few new heads added on. Like a hydra.