Metro -A- Sexual ?

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

David Jay is the poster boy for the asexuality movement.

I don’t know about you, but judging by his ability to embrace the camera’s gaze, I am wondering if he does not desire to be desired as much as any metrosexy young man today.

Maybe David doesn’t need to have sex with anyone else, because he is enjoying a long-term meaningful (21st century) love-affair with himself!

I am writing a longer piece on this issue. One of my main questions is: can anyone be ‘asexual’, particularly in the metrosexual culture we live in?

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/life-without-sex-the-third-phase-of-the-asexuality-movement/254880/

Comments
  1. redpesto says:

    QRG: “I am writing a longer piece on this issue. One of my main questions is: can anyone be ‘asexual’, particularly in the metrosexual culture we live in?”

    Yes. First, being ‘metro’ may not have a relationship to actual, you know, sex (I think I’ve discussed this point here before or on Graunwatch). Second, if ‘asexuality’ is also about lacking sexual desire for non-medical or psychological reasons, then it’s still compatible with ‘metro’ if there’s an absence of sexual desire for an/Other. Third, why wouldn’t asexuals care about how good they looked?

    • well being metrosexual is not just about wanting to look good. It is a ‘desire to be desired’. Simpson uses the term ‘desire’ deliberately because he thinks metrosexuality IS about sex. In part.

      My point is – or one of them – that asexuality in metrosexy culture could be seen as an ‘extreme’ version of the self-love that characterises metrosexuality.

  2. From Heresiarch – http://www.heresycorner.blogspot.com (@Heresy_corner)

    Lots of famous asexuals in history:

    Pitt the Younger
    Isaac Newton
    George Frederick Handel
    Edward Gibbon
    (some of my all-time favourite people, in fact… Except Newton, obviously)
    Joan of Arc (probably too young to count, though)
    Jesus

    Of course there were paradoxes. Handel wrote some of the most sublimely erotic music ever composed (check out Per le porte del tormento), while Gibbon was fascinated by the sex-lives of Roman emperors, which he lovingy recounted in Latin footnotes….

    The sense I have is that historically people who weren’t into sex just didn’t have sex and it wasn’t that big a deal. I assume that’s what you’re getting at when you suggest it’s impossible to be asexual? Asexuality as another form of sexuality. Perhaps. The modern asexuality movement looks like a reaction to the foregrounding of sexuality in modern culture and politics: the idea that everyone needs to be defined sexually, so that instead of just not having sex some people feel the need to proclaim their asexuality. Or there’s a need for psychological enforcement of one’s normality in a society where sexual dysfunction is increasingly medicalised. Or where the sexually inactive may be suggested of harbouring dark desires, axe-murderers or paedophiles.

    What asexuals seem to be saying in pictures like the one here is: “Look at us, we’re hot, we’re not having sex because we don’t want to, not because we can’t get anyone to sleep with us. Here we are depriving the world of our hotness. We’re not like those sad losers with bad teeth who can’t get laid.” So yes, it is a bit narcissistic and elitist. But isnt everything these days?

    • Míng Yí says:

      As a sad loser who can’t get laid (my teeth are fine, but the rest of me is pretty bad) I think there’s a lot to that. From a position of bitter loneliness, the ability to create an in-group (even of one) is very attractive.

      And I certainly wouldn’t admit my continued virginity in certain circles, for fear of a) attempts to fix me, and b) being seen as weird and creepy. There was a time when I would watch shows like “Criminal Minds” and wonder whether I was supposed to be a serial killers, despite the fact that that seems even less hygienic and more frenetic than sex.

      But for all that I cant get with asexuals, for the sort of metaphysical reasons you mention down-thread in response to Jonathon. It’s all about identity; a unitary and persistent “true” self. I think you can see this in the endless taxonomising you see in some places online, splitting people up into finer and finer types of sexuality. I understand and accept that I have contradictory and changing desires; and I also accept my second-order desires, I don’t feel guilty for desiring to desire things I currently don’t; but I see in some asuexual discussions a great fear of cognitive dissonance, and an attempt to hammer out a single and eternal identity.

  3. redpesto says:

    QRG: well being metrosexual is not just about wanting to look good. It is a ‘desire to be desired’. Simpson uses the term ‘desire’ deliberately because he thinks metrosexuality IS about sex. In part.

    Yes, but knowing one is desirable doesn’t require reciprocation. It’s not an abstinence/chastity narrative – ‘I look hot but you can’t have me’ – more ‘Do I look hot? Thank you, I’m flattered, but I’m not interested’

  4. Jonathan says:

    I like your comment there rp🙂

    But also, asexuality doesn’t necessarily mean no sex, just that sexual attraction isn’t necessarily the basis for it. For instance, sex may arise through romantic attachment, in which being desired may be very relevant, even if you don’t reciprocate it exactly.

    • hi Jonathan this makes me think ‘asexuality’ is all about the ‘identity’. I mean lots of people have sex ‘for romantic reasons’ – the ‘dutiful wife’ syndrome is just one example of that.

      and I read that some asexuals masturbate. But how is that ‘asexual’? what the hell do we think about when you are masturbating if not something sexual?😀

  5. Jonathan says:

    I’ve just remembered a link @quarridors tweeted🙂

    http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.php?title=Asexuality

    That may tell you more than I could.

    • elissa says:

      I’m a complete dunce on the whole topic of Asexuality – what confuses me is the use of masturbation within (some of the) the community. I’m not sure of the role of mental fantasy and attraction and their congruence with asexuality.

      Is it even possible to masturbate without constructing a sexual mental fantasy?

      Is it just the physical non-use of another person that makes oneasexual?

      Ooopps QRG had the same thought – I’m always a penny short and an hour late

    • Hi Jonathan. I have read that link and have a few problems with it. They are presenting the ‘born this way’ version of sexual identity as if it is proven fact. It’s not.

      and they say ‘celibacy’ is a choice.Often it isn’t!

      • Jonathan says:

        Fair points both.

        And yes, I have problems with “born this way” too: (1) that it’s largely conjecture; (2) that it implies people wouldn’t choose to be “this way” (whichever way), which implicitly adopts a heteronormative narrative of difference as being inferior. Sod that!

  6. elissa says:

    Speaking of celibacy – I’ve wondered if catholic priests masturbate as much as similar males who are not Catholic priests. Without looking for an answer, it feels like a yes to less frequent. I bet they do it in the best places though.

    Some of those dry spells could be called non-consensual celibacy.

  7. […] sex, and want to gain pleasure from it. I have been looking into the growing phenomenon/identity of asexuality recently. And I have been finding that many people don’t, and/or can’t gain pleasure […]

  8. […] and want to gain pleasure from it. I have been looking into the growing phenomenon/identity of asexuality recently. And I have been finding that many people don’t, and/or can’t gain pleasure from […]

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