HEY. I’m calling you out, ace community. I’ve seen something prevalent in our community, and I think it’s time that it needs to end.
The way we talk about and portray allosexual folks is often almost a caricature. We often speak of them as if they are constantly horny, unable to abstain from sex, and unable to experience love without needing sex. We sometimes act as if we are superior because we are able to pursue our interests without ‘all that sex business’ getting in the way. We often suggest that our friendships are more important to us, or even that allosexuals will always choose a sexual relationship over a platonic or queerplatonic one.
We need to stop this. This is detrimental to many people. It erases the experiences of allosexual folks who are in queerplatonic relationships, are celibate, are aromantic, or are in mixed relationships with asexuals. In addition, it suggests to romantic asexuals that romantic, or even platonic, relationships with allosexuals is a lost cause, as they could never repress their UNCONTROLLABLE NEED FOR SEX. It also contributes to the pressuring of aces in mixed relationships to ‘compromise’ and have sex that they may well not want, since no sexual person could ever be in a romantic relationship without sex. However, it also perpetuates rape culture and gross assumptions about sexuality that need to be stopped.
Where do we get these ideas from in the first place? Society teaches us that men can’t help but rape, objectifies women, and tells us that a woman’s most important role is to have (heterosexual) sex and have children. Women are portrayed as constantly sexually available. Most of society only recognizes monogamist, sexual, romantic relationships as legitimate primary ones. In the law, platonic relationships are hardly recognized. The media is increasingly hypersexualizing images of men and (mostly) women. Nearly everything in society sets us up to make these assumptions about allosexual people. Then the taboo of talking about sex prevents us from discussing our sexualities with others and realizing that these myths that society teaches us are simply not true. In addition, we are hurt by allosexual folks who erase and discredit our own sexualities and relationships.
However, by talking about allosexual people as if they can’t help but need sex all the time constantly and can only think of relationships as sexual, we are only perpetuating the problem. It teaches us that if we ever want to be in a relationship with a person who is allosexual, we will be forced to have sex, since they can’t live without it. It makes us more likely to distrust or push away allosexual folks as friends, zucchinis, or partners, since we are believing these ludicrous assumptions society teaches us. It makes us discount the experiences of allosexual people in non-sexual primary relationships, accounting that they won’t last, since a sexual person cannot live without sex.
This totally erases allosexual people who abstain from sex for whatever reason. Allosexual people at least have their own experiences to know that they are not constantly craving sex. However, many of us don’t have these experiences, so we allow what society teaches us to become our main archetype for what allosexual people are like.
So how do we fix this? We need to not make generalizations or assumptions about allosexual people. We need to realize that, like us, they are human and their sexualities exist on a wide spectrum. We need to look at the beliefs we have about sexuality and allosexual folks and critically examine where those come from and how society, the media, and we are contributing to them. We need to not shame people for being allosexual, and accept their sexualities as part of who they are, and realize that does not make them a better or worse person. We need to openly communicate with our romantic, sexual, platonic, and queerplatonic partners about what their sexualities mean to them and talk about how that interacts with our own. We need to listen when allosexual people call us out and tell us we are making assumptions or contributing to the false conceptions of sexuality that our society teaches us.
Most importantly, I believe we need to have discussions with our allosexual friends about their experiences. This will help dispel many of the misconceptions some of us have about allosexual folks, as well as open communication and create allies. There’s an entire wealth of information to be shared and explored. We merely need to talk about it!