Tag Archives: marriage

Not a Priority

Back in the summer of 2014, Queenie wrote a post titled “Prioritizing identity” in response to a pervasive pattern of divvying up the ace community by romantic orientation. This was specifically in the context of the “are aces queer” debate, and so it involved both 1) splitting off the gay/lesbian and bi aces from the rest (the focus here was overwhelmingly on cis people) and 2) dictating that in order to be let into LGBT communities, it’s not just enough for cis aces to be L, G, or B — they specifically need to deprioritize their ace identity, putting other identities first. To date, this remains one of the main associations I have with any kind of pressure on aces to prioritize their romantic orientations.

This post, too, is about priorities, but to be more specific, it’s largely a post about deprioritizing. It’s post about my decision to deprioritize the romantic orientation model, and it’s a post about quoiromantic aces like me being deprioritized by a community that likes to claim us, and it’s a post about why getting hitched (as in married) is a logistical priority for me in way that has nothing to do with what gets prioritized in aro community discourse. It’s about politics and it’s about financial insecurity and it’s about the thought of dying. It’s about saying, and being, not a priority.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort. Preview image by Morten F, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.]

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Notes on the Nuclear Family

Be advised these are not proper “notes” but more like a slapdash pileup of sources on the subject, loosely categorized, and sprinkled with the occasional quotes and bullet points. I figure they can be a starting point for anyone interested in investigating further. More or less a response to this conversation. Crossposted. Updated 9/17/19.

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Takeaways from conservative Christian sex manuals

[cw: sex-normativity, misogyny, rape culture]

It is through sexual union that people feel closest to Christ. Not only does God reveal himself in sexual love, but, as one book poetically argues, the only way mortals can find Christ is in the marital act, which is the holiest of acts. In this sense, the marital union is seen as a profound prayer, as “no human activity gives more glory to man’s creator than the act by which man is permitted to share in creation.” […]

Husbands and wives are obligated to honor each other’s sexual needs for “it is God’s will that married people enjoy sexual relations.” Abstinence from sex is allowed only under specific conditions, by mutual agreement, and temporarily. […]

The two principal types of sexual maladjustment cited in the manuals are frigidity on the part of the wife and premature ejaculation on the part of the husband. According to one book, “sexual frigidity is without doubt the greatest sexual problem threatening contemporary marriages. It is not an exaggeration to say that the majority of modern wives are, in some degree, frigid!” These authors are pessimistic regarding the transformation of cold into passionate wives. “There are frigid women, many of them, and the most skilled lovers would be powerless to ‘cure’ them.”

Lionel S. Lewis and Dennis D. Brissett, “Sex as God’s Work”

Nothing to say here that I haven’t said already.

Thanks again to Kristiny for the link.


more Lehr quotes

[cw: heterosexism, misogyny, racism, classism]

“We can consider further the importance of sexual exclusivity within marriage and the impact of inclusion into the marriage contract by exploring the regulation of marriage through the requirement of consummation, which guarantees that the family is a sexual family.  Richard Collier (1995) provides a detailed analysis of the construction of appropriate sexuality and masculine identity in British law through legal cases contesting the consummation of particular marriages. In these cases, the courts decide what counts as meaningful enough sexual interaction within a marriage so that the marriage should continue… the courts can void those contracts where they — generally in conversation with ‘experts’ such as medical professionals — determine that appropriate sexuality has not taken place.”

–Valerie Lehr, Queer Family Values, p. 28-29

“…In fact, the social privileging of heterosexual monogamy was part of an early twentieth-century attempt to control and civilize European immigrants, and to control and encourage white middle-class women to reproduce.  It was a social norm heavily connected to the middle-class desire to encourage the development of private family life, a life away from the public space of the street.  By forming such isolated family units, men would be influenced by the pro-social desires and needs of their wives; workers would be more hesitant to strike, both because they would be less connected to one another and because they would feel greater responsibility to their wives and children; ideal consumer units would be created; and parents would be able to support their increasingly costly children…  Within this patriarchal construction, women were accorded rights by the state and benefits from the state not as individual, but as mothers and as caretakers of others.”

–p.57

“…Equally important, [creating and maintaining relationships and that embodied romantic and sexual desire] provided a rationale for addressing what had become a serious social concern — an increased number of educated, middle-class women who were choosing not to marry and not to give birth.

In the period immediately prior to the consolidation of the companionate marriage as ‘normal,’ women chose in extraordinary large numbers to forgo marriage and childbearing… The circumstances that gave rise to an ideology that defined single women and men increasingly as ‘sick’ and dangerous are instructive for us today because they reveal the complex ways by which gender, sexuality, race, class norms, and privilege were woven together through the creation of norms of family.”

–p.60-61

“While white middle-class women were giving birth to fewer children in the late 1800s, large numbers of immigrants continued to enter the country and rates of reproduction were higher among immigrants, blacks, and the native working class than for the white middle class.  Spreading the middle-class value of sexual restraint to the working class was one answer to growing fears of ‘race suicide.’ This would only be effective, however, if combined with increasing pressure on white middle-class women to marry and give birth to more children.  President Theodore Roosevelt expressed these desires: ‘By 1906 [Roosevelt] blatantly equated the falling birth rate among native born whites with the impending threat of ‘race suicide.’  In his State of the Union message that year Roosevelt admonished the well-born white women who engaged in “willful sterility” — the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race suicide’ (Davis 1981, 209).”

–p.61

“The development of hegemonic family centered around companionate heterosexual relationships and had a particularly devastating effect on women who often did not have the economic resources to choose not to marry.  The attack used against women who were choosing to not marry was that they were too androgynous — that is, not accepting of their proper place as women.”

–p.61-62

…Does this remind you of anything?


AA: on “ending up alone”

The copilot sent:

Can you please write a post about “ending up alone?” That is all.

Well, I can try.

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No Sex *After* Marriage?

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.

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