Ace Admiral’s post about the Artemis Fly Trap reminded me of the same gut reaction I had to his Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2012 video. I like watching Todd’s reviews
because I like watching people get angry at bad media, and he’s entertaining sometimes, but there are also times when he makes cringeworthy mistakes that cut down on the enjoyment — and when it came to the song “Wanted”, the disheartening thing is how many people would unthinkingly agree with him.
Why wouldn’t they, you know? Because “men only want one thing” = men are categorically incapable of genuinely wanting nonsexual relationships with women, right? Asexual men, those can’t exist, right?
Hunter: I wanna call you mine
Wanna hold your hand forever
Todd: “Wanna hold your hand”? It… it’s not 1963 anymore, guy. There is no man in the world this innocent, girls.
Hunter: I wanna make you feel wanted
Todd: “I want to make you feel wanted” is how drunk guys hit on you. This song is so unbelievably chaste that I can only see it as a complete con. Hayes just wants to get laid, girls. Don’t fall for it.
Because men who aren’t immediately demanding sex (or worse, claim they don’t want sex at all!) must be trying to deceive you, right?
Agh, this is reminding me of that movie trailer where some character goes, “I wasn’t going to have sex with you this early [in the relationship]… but then I remembered… I’m a man.”
And we’re not supposed to expect any different.
Apparently asexual men defy the laws of nature or something.
On the same subject, Ace Admiral wrote:
I have an intuition, though, a puzzling, puzzling intuition, that asexual men are a very important component to making asexuality more visible and accepted, and I don’t mean by using their male privilege to make it happen.
I disagree. I think this is absolutely a matter of male privilege, albeit in a nonstandard way. Granted, the whole manhood = sexual presumption is irritating for asexual men, yes, but the way in which “asexual men are avery important component to making asexuality more visible and accepted” is rooted in the presumption of relative male credibility. How many times have we seen people respond to the revelation of asexuality* with “Okay, but are there any asexual men?”
It’s in part because the existence of asexual men is considered less plausible, but it’s also because the credibility of women and non-men, on their own, isn’t seen as enough. Once men are established as part of a phenomenon, that’s when it becomes real.
And that’s a load of bull.
*Feel free to picture “the revelation of asexuality” as someone pulling back a velvet curtain to reveal a bunch of aces sitting on the floor drawing charts and graphs.
So yeah. This attitude bites for asexual men, but it also bites for all asexual people being told that asexual men are the key to our legitimacy. I mean, what if there were no asexual men? What if if were just women and non-binary people who could have asexuality as their orientation? Would that make it any less valid?
And as if enforcing allosexuality on men and telling everyone else that their feelings aren’t legitimate until a man feels the same way wasn’t enough, the culture of compulsory male sexuality also contributes to the anxieties of sex-repulsed asexual people who date allosexual people, especially male ones — because no man could really be satisfied with a nonsexual romantic relationship, it says. A man who claims to accept your boundaries is only trying to trick you, it says. He’s lying, it says.
And, hell, maybe he is. I’ve heard enough to be wary. But I also hate to see this idea naturalized (“there is no man in the world this innocent” and “unbelievably chaste”), as if sincerity in these matters is not just unlikely but impossible.
This is part of the reason why it’s so confusing to see someone (like Dan Savage) worrying that sneaky asexual people might be luring unsuspecting
allosexuals into sexless relationships.
Dear allosexual people: We’re not trying to trick you. If anything, we’re afraid of you.