Being Ace in a Kavanaugh United States
Rachel Lindo, Contributor
Personally, I’ve rarely considered myself sexually attracted to anyone. This is asexuality: an orientation where one doesn’t feel sexual attraction. It’s simple as that. It doesn’t mean that we have a traumatic™ backstory that’s broken us. It doesn’t mean relationships aren’t enjoyable. According to the informative website “What is Asexuality?” asexuality is just as much of an orientation as homosexual or heterosexual.
So why have I been asked if I need to take medication to “heighten my libido” when my orientation is just as natural as sexual orientations? Why has my asexual friend been doubted by their gay friend on the basis that “you need to have sex to fulfill the relationship”? The notion that sex must happen in relationships and that sex happens when you love someone is a false one. Romantic attraction is separate from sexual attraction, and sex is not necessary for a relationship.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reported that 86.3% of hookups were unwanted in our current “hookup”-cultured society. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation, I have felt even more singled out. Why? Because I’ve had an ex-boyfriend force our first kiss under the assumption that I just haven’t tried it yet and he’s the one that will “fix” me. A friend told me their ex claimed their asexuality was invalid because “they just don’t know how it feels like yet.” Not only have I been singled out by the heterosexual community but my own LGBTQIA+ community, as stated previously. What I hope I can communicate is that there is a reason “A” is represented in our queer community’s acronym. We face prejudice and more so as this Kavanaugh United States of ours wrongfully intertwines rape culture with sex as and its attachment to romance.
Romantic attraction can be shown through nonsexual acts of intimacy such as holding hands, a kiss on the top of the head, cuddling and embraces. No one is bumping the uglies under the sheets here.
Rape culture has shown itself through Kavanaugh’s hearing in the fact that sex is seen as a power play or a gift to others versus being something that is mutually enjoyable by both parties. The posts defending Kavanaugh were made from those who haven’t experienced this power play. They haven’t been placed in the situation of sexual assault. The solution to this is just as simple as the definition of asexuality: listen to what people have to say and throw out your personal defense. When victims share their stories, they share out of the hopes those who are listening will be empathetic and that they are not attacking you personally. Believe them. Protect them. Fight for them. This is the first step towards ending the denial towards sexual assaulters getting away with their crimes. Let’s stop the belief “Boys will be boys” or “Well he was drunk” to dismiss the fact that victims are hurting and that we are hurting ourselves as a nation.
This article first appeared in the Friday, October 12 edition of The Echo.