Tag Archives: lgbtq

What does sensual attraction mean for queerness?

I’m curious.

There’s been some revival of the asexuality & queerness discussion over at the Asexual Agenda, and while I have little to (directly) contribute to that, it brought up a question for me regarding where sensual attraction fits in relative to other types.  Aside from transness, a conservative definition of queerness/qualification for an individual to ID as queer tends to require same-gender romantic or sexual attraction.  Sensual attraction is usually treated as irrelevant.

Which is interesting for me because this is not the case any time people (indirectly) speak of same-gender sensual attraction outside the context of asexuality debates.

For the purposes of this post, I’m defining sensual attraction as any impulse/involuntary interest in kinds of touch that, to the individual, would not be defined as having sex.  Kissing, for example.

We know that you don’t necessarily have to have a crush on someone to want to kiss/enjoy kissing someone (i.e. it can be recognized as a purely physical attraction/desire/pleasure).  And we know that you don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to want to kiss/enjoy kissing someone (ex. some sex-averse romantic aces like this).  Therefore: kissing is neither necessarily romantic nor sexual.  Individuals may feel it’s one or the other or both for them, but such categorization doesn’t have to be true for everyone or every case.

Yet ladies kissing ladies is often considered queer (or grounds for queerness), and the same goes for dudes kissing dudes.  Granted, it could be argued that, in these instances, kissing is being read as synechdochic for romantic and/or sexual feelings.


I believe I’ve seen same-gender sensual attraction itself being labeled as gay or queer, and so I wonder if that’s contingent upon it being accompanied by other forms of attraction as well, or if people really do interpret “I wanna smooch this person of the same gender as me” as itself queer (or “worthy of being deemed queer”), irrespective of the person’s sexual or romantic orientation.

In any case, it casts what I’d previously only regarded as an error in a new light — that is, whenever people define sexual orientation as who you’re “physically attracted to”, implying inclusion of nonsexual physical attractions (what I’ve been terming here “sensual attraction”).

The desire for cuddles isn’t generally considered relevant to this conversation, and that may be fair, but then again, I don’t see why certain sensual activities should carry more weight than others.  Do we just group things according to the concentration of nerve endings in a given body part, then?  Wouldn’t that make hand-holding a significant one, if that were true?  Does same-gender physical attraction only become possibly-queer once it involves genitals?  Where does that leave butts and boobs, then, which are conventionally sexualized by some cultures?  How thick is the line between same-gender physical attractions that are “worthy of queer”, so to speak, and those which are not?

PSA for Pan, Bi, and other Non-Mono People

Hey there, my multiple-gender-loving friends.  You’re all lovely people.  Keep rocking on with your bad selves.

There’s just one little request I need to make of y’all.  When you’re talking about your orientation, please avoid saying things like “hearts, not parts” or that, for you, attraction is “about the person, not the gender”.  I am a person on the asexual spectrum, and I love people regardless of gender as well… and I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re getting at, since the reason you identify as bi, pan, or what have you, I assume, is because you have a different experience than I do as a ???romantic gray-a.

I, too, would date or fall in love with someone because of what’s in their soul, not because of what’s in their pants — but that’s just because I hate genitalia in general.  For me, it’s a perspective of hearts, not parts as well, because those kinds of “parts” don’t appeal to me in the first place.

So, while that kind of talk isn’t bad, per se, it’d be nice of you to keep in mind that it’s not a very precise way to describe the experience of feeling romantic or sexual attraction to multiple genders if it can also apply to a person of whom that is not true.

Please inform your peers of this consideration if the opportunity arises.


Where are the horror stories?

Where, I wonder, are the stories of cis aro aces causing problems by being included in LGBT spaces? 

Has that happened?

I’m not sure how to reach ace-inclusion opponents for comment on this… which would probably be easier if I actually used tumblr, but even then — there’s not really a “LGBT allosexual” tag that everyone checks, is there?  How do you find these people, except for on those occasions when they dump their belligerent posts in the tumblr asexual tag?

I’m skeptical, and my position on the matter — see previous post — doesn’t hinge on it, but I don’t want to repeat their same mistakes by making assumptions.

All these concerns that ace-inclusion opponents have, those wouldn’t be purely hypothetical, would they?

Sing it with me

What shall we do with the drunken aro?

What shall we do with the drunken aro?

What shall we do with the drunken aro?

Early in the more-arguing-there’s-no-liminal-space-between-queer-orientations-and-straight-orientations.

Atheist Heterosexism

A tweet from @findingdoubt that reads "May more and more fundamentalists give birth to homosexual children!  Maybe then they will learn."

an example of a straight atheist

Let’s talk about atheists and heterosexism.  Or rather: let’s talk about atheists being heterosexist while thinking they’re fighting heterosexism.

Gay kids are not a punishment.  Their lives are not your rhetorical tools, and it is hateful and evil to wish abusive parenting on them for the sake of “Maybe then they will learn”.  I’m not gay, but I’m not straight either, and I have Catholic grandparents who vote Republican and watch Fox News.  I haven’t come out to them yet for fear of their reactions.  The fact that someone out there would be celebrating that situation, like my existence is some kind of amusing jab at them, betrays the fact that straight atheists such as these (pictured above) don’t actually care about helping any of the gsrm identities — they care about taking shots at theists, even at the expense of the oppressed. Continue reading

“You just want attention”


Yes, I do.

That’s not “we” because I can’t speak for all of us, but yes, yes I do want attention.  I want the asexual spectrum to get attention.  I want everyone to know about it.  I want every mention of sexual orientation, every sentence that begins “gay, straight, or bi” to include the word ace — on everything from the official Planned Parenthood website to guilt-tripping publicity stunts on Tumblr. I want there to be a book on asexuality among the shelves of others in my school’s diversity lounge.  I want there to be a book on asexuality in my school’s main library.  I want it to be impossible to forget about us.  Every time a form asks for my orientation, I want there to be an accurate box to check.

“You just want attention.”  Yes, of course I do — but when you say this, I know what you really mean: “You want more attention than you deserve.”

In other words, by claiming asexuality doesn’t deserve acknowledgement and education efforts, you’re saying that we’re supposed to stay quiet and that the way it is is the way it should be.  That the damage the culture does to us is inconsequential.

There are aces who took years, decades, to find the words for their feelings, aces who subjected themselves to experiences they didn’t want because they were pressured into thinking they had to, aces who thought there had to be something wrong with them, who were taught that sexual attraction was an essential component to being human and who had to come to the conclusion that they were broken — and if you go through accounts of our experiences before we learned about asexuality, you’ll see this word over and over again: broken, broken, broken, a product of confusion and self-loathing and shame.  They suffered because of ignorance and you’re saying that they deserved it.  That their lives and their mental health are not worth enough for them to hear that they’re not alone and that it’s okay.

You’re saying that preventing that from happening isn’t worth it because it would be too inconvenient for you.

You think this is just a ploy to look “special”?  You think we have any incentives to lie?

Of course some of us would want attention.  It’s the least that we deserve.

How Ace Visibility Helps Queer People

First of all, because some aces are queer.

In theory that should be enough for you.

However, since apparently you’re still reading past the first sentence, perhaps you’re interested in considering another (albeit lesser) reason.  This post is going to approach the issue from the perspective that not all aces are queer, at least not via being asexual, and in doing so, it’s going to demonstrate how raising awareness for those non-queer individuals still has additional residual benefits.  To clarify, I’m writing this post as a response to those in the queer community who fear that asexual visibility will somehow prove harmful to young non-ace queer people, muddy the waters with identities that aren’t as important, or even provide cishets with further justifications for oppression.

On that note, an alternative title for this post could be: “A Personal Journey in Becoming Less of a Heteronormative Crapbasket”.

Continue reading

I Am Not Straight

I used to think I was straight.

Through introspection and education, I climbed out of that box because it didn’t fit me, and yet there are people would push me right back in again.

As understandable as it is that LGBTQ+ communities* would want to protect their safe spaces from cisgender straight people, if they’re going to do that as well as exclude people like me, then they had better offer a different reason for choosing to do that, because I am not straight.

Continue reading