Part of the reason I started this blog, instead of someone else starting it, is that I have years and years of experience blogging. I’ve been blogging since 2007, years before I ever thought about asexuality, because I was involved in internet atheism and skepticism. Being an atheist, and part of the internet atheist community, is an important part of my life.
Now that Laura is talking about being asexual and Muslim, and Ace Theist has done their church e-mail project, I should also talk about the intersection of asexuality and atheism, or at least what it is to me. (Mind you, it’s not like I’ve been quiet about it this whole time. I have been talking about this forever on my other blog, and have mentioned it here several times too.)
But the way we talk about intersectionality doesn’t quite work for atheists. Just by saying I’m an atheist, I’m telling you that I think your theistic beliefs are wrong. By telling you I’m a “new” atheist, I’m telling you that I think you’re wrong and you should stop being wrong. To speak of intersectionality is to look for allies. But we are not allies, we are opposed.
Yes, I am one of the bad atheists, the ones you’ve heard horror stories about. My blogging idols include PZ Myers (known for desecrating a communion wafer in 2008) and Greta Christina (author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry?). I am not rude or disagreeable by nature but by gods I try!
The thing is, in this particular context, non-religious people, agnostics, and atheists make up the majority of asexual communities. Atheists by themselves are not a majority (23%), but we are overrepresented. This community serves a rightful purpose for people of all religious views, and there’s a risk of us making people of various religious views needlessly uncomfortable. I do want to make people uncomfortable, but only in the right ways and circumstances.
But enough talking about theistic people. What’s it like being an asexual atheist?
I’m afraid of saying it’s “peachy”, because probably there are asexual atheists out there who did not have a peachy experience. For me, it’s like eating a sweet and juicy fruit, sort of like a nectarine but fuzzier.
Being an asexual in an online atheist community is a lot like being an asexual in an LGBTQ group. There are problems, sure, and people talk about sex a lot, but the level of education is by and large better than the general population. I’ve seen atheists bring up asexuality on their own, multiple times! I’ve seen atheists in comment threads mention their asexuality, multiple times! And nothing bad happened! Nobody believes that there’s any particular ideal lifestyle that we must conform to, or anything like that.
But it does depend on which atheist community we’re speaking of. The internet atheist community has such Deep Rifts that frankly asexual community divisions seem piddly in comparison. Let’s just say that there are some atheist communities with more social justice leanings than others. If you go far down enough in the spectrum, you eventually encounter MRAs, who are predominantly atheists, no kidding. The less social justicey an atheist community is, the less confidence I have in it to be ace-friendly.
So with that, I open the topic of asexuality & atheism. But it’s all lopsided since I only have my own perspective. To seed further discussion, I’d like to know, what questions and issues do you see relating to asexual atheists?