This is #47 of a series in which I read correspondence between me and people who have questions, comments, or–more often–misconceptions about asexuality.
This video is about perspectives on asexuality within different religions. I share some other asexual people’s experiences and thoughts in a religious context.
Some religious quotes I mentioned:
“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (NIV: 1 Corinthians 7:8-9).
On why Paul, who remained celibate, recommends marriage for those who desire sex: “I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.” (NIV: 1 Corinthians 7:6-7).
“[I]f one’s healthful condition, integrity of heart, and peace of soul reside in celibacy then that is better for him, since these are things that are desired of marriage. If one can reach these without marriage then celibacy causes no harm.” (The Sustenance of the Hearts (Qut al-qulub) —Abu Talib al-Makki)
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Bereshit 1:28)
“Every man is obligated to marry a woman in order to reproduce. Anyone who is not having children is as if they were killers.” (Shulhan Arukh, Even Ha’Ezer 1:1)
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Christianity and Asexuality
«Asexuality is in an odd place, compared to the other minority sexual orientations, when it comes to Christianity. Some religiously conservative Christians tolerate or even applaud asexuality while condemning all other non-heterosexual orientations. In that way, asexuality escapes the vitriol to which the LGBT* community is subjected*. But this leniency is often based out of a misunderstanding of asexuality– and it’s by no means universal. I know of other aces who’ve been told, by Christians (and others) that their asexuality is sinful, or even that they’re going to hell for it.
I’ve observed four primary areas of tension between asexuality and Christianity. The first is the mistaken idea that asexuality is voluntary, or is basically celibacy. The second is that asexuality isn’t a choice, but is still commendable. The third is that asexuality is preferable to being gay. The fourth is that asexuality is sinful. These ideas are probably familiar to anyone who does ace 101, but I believe this four ideas are so prevalent in Christian discussions of asexuality because of deeper beliefs that run strong in many Christian communities.»
«Christians who believe asexuality is sinful may be coming from one of a couple of places. If they are talking to or about female aces, they may be influenced by misogynistic ideas about women existing solely for marriage, children, and the sexual pleasure of men. If they’re speaking more generally, they may be operating off of the incorrect assumption that the nuclear family is the basic unit of, and integral to, Christianity. (If you are one of those Christians reading this, I suggest you go back and read the Matthew verse I referenced above.) Or, homophobia may have convinced them that heterosexuality is the only good sexual orientation, and therefore anything else must be condemned. Or, they may be under the mistaken impression that asexuality is “unnatural” and therefore sinful.»
Read the whole article here.
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This is #35 of a series in which I read correspondence between me and people who have questions, comments, or–more often–misconceptions about asexuality.
This conversation is about a person who tried to “define” asexuality as automatically a disorder because it is unusual, followed by saying that our activism is a bad idea because young people will “diagnose” themselves prematurely because of it.
This is #15 of a series in which I read correspondence between me and people who have questions, comments, or–more often–misconceptions about asexuality.
This one covers a question we sometimes get from a vocal minority in the queer community claiming asexual people absolutely do not have problems worth discussing because the very worst thing we ever experience is “hurt feelings” over people not acknowledging our orientation.
Here are the citations and links for everything mentioned in the video.
Siggy’s Breakdown of asexual queerness (orientation and gender identity):
My appearance at Creating Change (where I was invited to discuss asexuality at an LGBT conference):
My interview in the Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post:
The numbered list backups:
1. JOB AND HOUSING DENIAL:
* The study documenting asexual discrimination: “Intergroup Bias toward ‘Group X’: Evidence of prejudice, dehumanization, avoidance, and discrimination against asexuals”
* An anecdotal account of possibly being fired for asexuality:
* A follow-up to this story by the same person:
2. ADOPTION DENIAL:
* Discussed in Olivier Cormier-Otaño’s lecture, wherein he mentioned asexual couples getting denied adoption because “If you’re asexual, you’re not fit to be married.”
3. CONSUMMATION LAWS:
* These may change, but as of the creation of this video, the states requiring consummation for a marriage to be legal are here:
* For laws regarding consummation as it refers to a couple that includes one immigrant, please see this document:
4. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW:
* In New York, SONDA, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, mentions asexuality as one of the sexual orientations that cannot be discriminated against legally.
* In Vermont, asexuality is included in a “protected category” list under “sexual orientation”:
* The proposed legislation in Texas that names asexuality as a protected class is reported on in a news article here:
* The law paper by Elizabeth Emens, accepted by Standford Law Review, which thoroughly examines how asexual people live in a prejudicial environment and how that works out legally, is entitled “Compulsory Sexuality.”
5. “CORRECTIVE” RAPE:
* Huffington Post discussed “corrective” rape and how it’s hurting the asexual community here:
Here is a Tumblr thread where another user and I discuss rape threats:
* You can see some of the rape threats I have received here:
* And you can read about my experience with a man forcing himself on me after I told him I wasn’t interested here:
6. POOR REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA:
* Godiva’s is a Canadian show that is canceled. It featured an asexual heteroromantic man, Martin. He was “fixed” with testosterone supplements.
* Huge is an American show that is canceled. It had an asexual aromantic woman, Poppy, in a minor role. She mentioned her asexuality once during a discussion with a fellow camp counselor and it was never mentioned again.
* Shortland Street is a New Zealand show that is still going on as of this writing. It featured an asexual biromantic man, Gerald. His asexuality is examined deeply throughout the series.
The bad House episode is called “Better Half”:
7. MISDIAGNOSIS WITH A MENTAL DISORDER:
* DSM definition of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder:
8. DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE:
* The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
* Materials created by AAW for the Trevor Project’s volunteers: