Category: Being pressured by partner

Translation (via Google translate):

aphobia in numbers

27% of asexual people between the ages of 30 and 45 reported pressure from their partner to have sex.
4% of the cases involved threats of rape. For 18%, “forcing” to have intercourse was proposed as a “cure” for asexuality.

data taken from the annual survey of the “Collettivo Asessuale Carrodibuoi” association, visible on carrodibuoi.it

discrimination against asexual people is called aphobia

Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct

Excerpts:

«Members of theAssociation of American Universities (AAU) are workingto combat sexual assault and misconduct on theircampuses. As an association of research universities, AAU decided in 2014 that the best way to help its members address this issue was to develop and implement a scientific survey to better understandthe attitudes and experiences of their students with respect to sexual assault and sexual misconduct. The survey’s primary goal was to provide participating institutions of higher education (IHEs) with information to inform their policies to prevent and respond to sexual assault and misconduct.In addition, members hoped that the survey would provide useful information to policymakers as well as make a significant contribution to the body of academic research on this complex issue.In the fall of 2014, AAU contracted with Westat, aresearch firm, to work with a university team of researchers and administrators to design and implement the survey, entitled theAAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.The survey was administered at the end of the spring 2015 semester on the campuses of 27 IHEs, 26 of which are AAU member universities. This report provides a description of the survey methodology and key results.»


See the whole survey here.

ACT Aces: Asexual Experiences Survey

Excerpts:

«“Much Worse Stories”
It is significant in itself that so many respondents chose not to tick clearly relevant boxes because they did not think their experience was “serious enough”.

Many write-in responses began with phrases such as: “So I don’t know if this counts, but…” or “I know other people have had worse stuff…”

I have been catcalled, have had my ass grabbed, and had unsolicited nude photos sent to my phone, i luckily have been only minorly harassed but it still is valid and traumatic and I feel so much empathy for those who have that sexual abuse trauma.
-Taylor (Location Not Given)

Taylor describes having their “ass grabbed” and being sent nude photos without consent, actions which amount to criminal assaults in many jurisdictions. They describe this as being “only minorly harassed” and express compassion for the suffering of others, in part by subordinating their own trauma.

This attitude is representative of many respondents, each claiming others have been through more trauma than themselves, while they seem to want to justify talking at all about their own feelings, even as they diminished them by comparing their trauma to the that of the unnamed and unspecified“others”.»

«81.7% of all respondents reported experiencing at least one form of discrimination, oppression or violence. As the write-in answers led to new forms of abuse being added to each of the three original categories, the final results were consolidated into four new groups.

13.3% of respondents experienced some form of Institutional Discrimination. This primarily covers medical and workplace incidents, but also occasionally schools or religious institutions.

49.9% of respondents either told stories about, or ticked the boxes “Social exclusion” or “Exclusion from LGBTQIA+ spaces”. This also includes a small number of write-in stories that weren’t about specific acts of deliberate exclusion but about feeling excluded by the world in general.

Verbal/Emotional Abuse received the highest number of responses, at 75.4%. This category covers insults, acephobic rhetoric, shaming, and many instances of relationship abuse.

The Physical/Sexual Violence category contains a small number of cases of physical violence, and a larger number of experiences of sexual violence, from unwanted touching to rape. 13.0% of respondents experienced some form of violence.»

«4.1.1. Medical Discrimination (12.2%)

The majority of these stories were about doctors refusing to believe patients about their own sexual history or engaging in unethical, unprofessional or discriminatory behaviour.

There are some stories of doctors refusing to prescribe medication, provide emergency care or discuss issues unrelated to sex as a result of medical professionals fixating on “the libido problem”.
Both medical doctors and mental health professionals such as counsellors and therapists appeared in these stories.

I suffer from major depression, complex ptsd and various other diagnoses, when my doctor asked me about my sex life I briefly said that it wasn’t relevant because of my asexuality. The doctor then wanted to take me off of my meds that I needed, because he felt that my low libido was worse than me having suicidal thoughts. He kept saying it was my meds that caused it; despite me knowing and telling him that I’ve been identifying as asexual since I was 15 which was before I’d gotten on those medications.
He wouldn’t listen. I ended up in the e.r later because I got so depressed and was close to taking my own life. I had to switch doctors and I haven’t told my current one about my asexulity because I’m scared that they’ll take me off my meds again. –Lore (Sweden)

I went to urgent care for the third time after I couldn’t get a UTI to heal with the antibiotics they gave me and the female doctor flat out was like, “This is an STD and I won’t give you anymore meds unless you ADMIT you’re sexually active because you’re 26 and 26 year olds have sex. You are not a virgin and you are hurting yourself with your lies.” It was really scarring. –Isabella (USA)

 

4.1.2. Workplace Discrimination (1.9%)

This was less common than medical abuse, but there were more “Yes” responses than the survey authors expected. Some of the workplace discrimination involved being harassed at work, including sexually harassed. There was one story about being asked deeply personal questions by a boss during a one on one management conversation, and another about being left harassing pamphlets by coworkers.

I had a shift lead who continuously made sexual jokes and asked sexual questions about my life. After telling him im ace, he’s consistuantly made fun of me and encouraged others to make the same jokes and ask me the same questions. He’s also let me go from work early several times because “i cant pull the ‘sell them with sex’ approach with people” (its a pizza shop why the fuck do we have to use sex to sell it???) –Emma (USA)

 

4.1.3. Religious Exclusion (0.4%)

Write-in answers identified six cases of religious exclusion. These stories primarily related to disapproval of the person’s romantic orientation and insistence on the importance of marriage. These incidents are discussed in more detail in Section 1.6. Religion (pg.18).

My parents are strictly against anything to do with the LBGT+ community. They do not know of my orientation and may never know, but they talk about the community like a plague. And though I still find myself (romantically) attracted to the opposite gender, if they where to find out they would contact the church and be in despair for days. And though I’m unsure if I where to be kicked out, I know I would be shunned. -Sophie (USA)»

«4.3. Verbal/Emotional Abuse

Initially, seven forms of verbal or emotional abuse were included as checkboxes in this section of the survey. Five additional categories were added based on write-in responses (in yellow). These categories are recommended for any future survey.

The largest category, more than three quarters of respondents overall reported experiencing some
form of verbal or emotional abuse. Quantitative data about relationship abuse was not collected, but there was an opportunity to tell a story on that theme: 77 respondents did so. (Several also told stories under sexual violence that also fit this category).


The most frequent offender in the area of relationship abuse was “Asexuality blamed by partner for relationship problems”. 11.79% of respondents checked this box.»

«13% of respondents reported at least 1 incident of physical or sexual violence.

The nature of the stories provided by respondents are in many cases potentially distressing. Included below are some representative examples, and readers are advised to read with caution and be mindful of self -care.


My best friend assualted me when I said i did not want to join her and her boyfriend for a threesome. She threw me on the ground and beat me up, grabbed my hair and held my head back while her boyfriend poured rum down my throat -Linda (USA)

In fear of either being raped, physically or mentally abused by someone, I chose to have sex even though I didnt want to. -Quinn (Location Not Given)

My now ex-husband required that I provide him with at least two intimate sexual acts each week. Ten years ago he told me that the reason he had an affair and
contemplated ending our marriage was because I was not providing sufficient intimate sexual acts. That threat was held over my head for ten years. Under that duress, I have engaged in sexual acts that I did not want to be a part of at least twice a week for ten years. And it still wasn’t enough – throughout that 10 year period he had multiple affairs and has left me for his most recent sexual partner. -Ruby (Australia)

My ex forced himself on me because of my lack of interest in sex and sexual activity. And made me feel extreme guilt because he said I didn’t love him because I wasn’t interested in having sex with him -Lore (Sweden)

The first friend I ever told about my asexuality told me I was “too cute to be asexual”. He later took me out for drinks on my birthday, drugged me, and raped me in my own home. He tried to justify it later by saying that I didn’t know my own secret wants.
-Barbara (USA)

He raped me many times to try and convince me that I wasn’t asexual, and once time while trying to force my mouth open for oral sex he pulled the bottom bracket off of my braces. If I spoke about being uncomfortable with sex, he would suggest the idea of me drinking to get through it. –Aadya (India)»

«While it is difficult to compare the results of the full cohort (1595 respondents) with that of males only (91 respondents), this one statistic was sufficiently dramatic to warrant discussion.

The percentage of total respondents reporting rape and sexual assault is 4% and 9% respectively. For male-identifying respondents, the figures are much higher: 12% reported rape and 21% reported sexual assault (including the “Sexual Assault by Definition” category).»

«Male respondents who ticked the boxes for sexual assault and rape were less likely to share their story than female and non-binary respondents. Conversely, men who described sexual assaults in their stories were less likely to have checked the corresponding boxes. In many instances they
seemed unaware that what they have described is sexual assault or rape. This raises questions about what men know about consent and their rights to bodily autonomy – whether they are asexual or not.

A reminder must also be added here that the survey authors were unable to identify, except where that information was given, whether a respondent is transgender.»


See the whole survey here.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:
Aphobia
Emotional manipulation
Non-consensual touching, specifically through emotional manipulation

Letters to an Asexual #39 (“We have a right to EXPECT sex unless otherwise disclosed!”)

This is #39 of a series in which I read correspondence between me and people who have questions, comments, or–more often–misconceptions about asexuality.

Here I share someone’s opinion on sex in relationships: namely, that they have a right to expect sex 2 to 3 times a week unless otherwise agreed. If asexual people want to negotiate otherwise, they say, that is fine, but if they do not explicitly tell their partner(s) how little sex they will be getting, this is a violation on par with not paying your bill at a restaurant or refusing to use the toilet in your shared home. Nice!

TRIGGER WARNINGS:
Acephobia/Aphobia
Invalidation
Suicide threats/emotional abuse
Panphobia
Homophobia

Why We Need Mental Healthcare Without Asexual Erasure – And How to Get There

Excerpts:

«The first person I told was my therapist. Big mistake.

She immediately responded by telling me that my asexuality would go away as I got older (I was 18 at the time). She also said that she thought that my lack of interest in sex was probably “just a symptom” of my depression.

I argued and told her I didn’t think it would go away. It was true that I’d been experiencing depression since long before puberty started, but it just didn’t feel like a symptom to me – it felt like an identity.»

«One partner thought he could make me sexual, so he pressured sex when I didn’t want it, and I gave in because I grew up in a world where sex is considered an obligation in relationships.

It wasn’t until I felt validated and assured in my identity that I gained the ability to talk about my sexuality safely and openly, making my relationships healthier because I was able to communicate more honestly and (assuming a respectful partner) ensure my needs were respected. 

If my therapist had actually supported me instead of denying my own self-wisdom and understanding, I might have gained those tools much earlier in life.»


Read the whole article here.

Asexuality and Rape

Excerpts:

«That problem is how asexuals are exceptionally prone to the outskirts of the rape culture when they interact with and date sexuals. This is especially true of romantic asexuals.

Now what I mean by this is not that they are especially prone to forcible rape and the types of rape we most focus on when discussing rape, though these occur far too often and can affect asexuals just as much as sexuals.

What I mean are coercive rapes. Those where one’s autonomy and free choice is put to intense pressure and manipulation in order to force a technical consent, which is nowhere near the gold standard of mutual enthusiastic consent or informed consent. This can occur in many forms:

– Using alcohol to try and remove ability to withdraw consent
– Stating that whether one’s partner loves you or not is wholly dependent on whether or not they put out.
– Wearing down resistances to no so they accept to shut you up.
– Lying about the effects of sex without desire in order to manipulate a partner into giving sex.
– And using cultural memes towards how sex is owed to your partner to exact sex from an unresponsive and not-enjoying-it partner.

As well as many others.»

«And asexuals may just be another victim of this idea that “yes should be a default” in a committed relationship, but they are one especially prone to it. Not only are they ones for whom the default is usually no, but they are usually ignorant about the “accepted rules” most sexuals use to navigate the rape culture.»


Read the whole article here.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:
Acephobia/Aphobia
Invalidation
Harassment