Too often, non-aces will speculate about what it’s like to be ace under the gaze of one of the most politically powerful religious groups to date, making assumptions about what we do or don’t face, without asking those of us who have the relevant experience. This zine, “Aces in the Church,” was created to be a compilation of ace experiences with & within Christianity, to bring our stories together into one place and close the door on any need for speculation.
Big thanks to everyone who contributed. “Aces in the Church,” a small digital zine edited by yours truly, is now available to read. Links for view/download: wordpress, sendspace, google drive
[cw: talk of porn, trivialization (?) of abuse]
cw: abstract, hypothetical talk of sex and rape
Back to my trademark pair of subjects for this post: Christianity & asexuality. More specifically, sex aversion within the context of conservative American sexual abstinence Christianese, sometimes known as “purity culture.”
Siggy wrote a thing from an atheist perspective on some stuff I’ve said about Christian reactions to the way we’re stereotyped, and that’s cool and good and I was going to leave it alone, but it’s prompted a few tangential thoughts.
Or at the very least, reconsider what it means to say that “aces aren’t repressed.”
This post is for the February 2015 Carnival of Aces, applying the theme of “cross community connections” to my complicated relationships with the ace community and the Christian Church.
First, however, I feel obligated to make a case for why such a discussion is even relevant. Unlike my identity as an ace, my “religious community” is not on the victim end of any institutional force of exploitation and abuse. Far from it, in fact. Presumably, some of you may believe that anything coming from the Church is going to be wrong anyway. And… yeah, I won’t argue that, but I think by ignoring the area completely you’re going to be missing out on some inferences and connections that have serious implications for all aces in general. Or, in other words, let’s take a moment to wonder why I get the impression that both sides in this matter are taking pains not to be mistaken for… well, someone like me.
So Queenie’s sparking a discussion that I’m in the process of writing a post for (it may take a while) but one thing I want to note, real quick, is that I’ve noticed a resurgence of little disclaimers about “I don’t know if it was my religious upbringing or what” when it comes to pondering reasons for not wanting or being hesitant/unsure/conflicted/uncertain about sex, and given the usual tone and context, it reminds me of a question I once posed:
Are we still “not broken” if we’re the ones who broke ourselves?
This is one of those more personal posts, just as a heads up.
So, a long time back, anagnori got an ask from captainheartless about the resemblance between asexual discourse and Western philosophy, and anagnori ended his reply on this note:
Now, I don’t mind secular humanism at all, but I do wish people would recognize it as an ideology in its own right instead of taking it for granted as “common sense” or “just being a good person.” And I want to hear more about how religious aces think of their asexuality. I’d start a discussion myself, but I’d be worried about sounding like a preacher or proselytizer.
Clearly, this was meant like a Bat-Signal in the sky for me, since I’m a religious ace who’s much less worried than average about sounding like a preacher or a proselytizer.
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? Continue reading
The other day, a friend of mine shared a sex ed video with me, pleased with its recognition of numerous orientations (even demisexuality, which is unusual for… well, anything, really), and to oblige her, I took the time to watch it. No more than a few seconds in, as a way of introducing the subject at hand, the guy announced, “Sex is awesome! You’re going to have it, if you haven’t already–” and I paused the video there because he had already alienated me.
I will not be bashful about being annoyed when this happens. I hate — and will be vocal about hating — when you can tell that something meant for “everyone” isn’t meant for you. I hate when something is designed to so blatantly not consider the potential for you to be part of its audience. I hate when well-meaning sex education is presented with the assumption that I’m not there or that I don’t count, or that people who are undecided about ever having sex wouldn’t be exposed to education on the topic [“Yeah, but aces aren’t expected to watch sex ed videos,” you say, in which case, you can read my post on Asexuality & Sex Ed for why your attitude is harmful].
Doesn’t matter that he went on to give a mention to ace spectrum orientations or that he later affirmed the importance of consent and being “ready”. There’s still that unwavering confidence in the idea that everyone will have consensual sex someday.
“You’re going to have it,” he said, with such certainty that, for me, it comes off with an implicit “whether you like it or not.”
I don’t know how to explain or justify how threatening that feels.