Sexual Privilege

Sexual privilege is a phrase I haven’t used in a long time, and I thought it would be good to remind people why.

Privilege terminology ultimately comes from critical race theory, which created the concept of white privilege. White privilege refers to the set of unearned advantages granted to white people because of living in a racist society that values whiteness. White privilege as an institution harms people of color. It does not harm white people, though it makes white people complacent and more likely to harm people of color.

The cultural forces responsible for anti-asexual prejudice, however, do not function in the way that racism does. Those cultural forces do harm to more than asexual-spectrum people. Compulsory sexuality and amatonormativity (and heterosexism to a smaller degree) are the cultural forces responsible for anti-asexual prejudice.

A privilege/disprivilege dynamic doesn’t adequately explain anti-asexual prejudice because I think it is clear that non-asexual-spectrum people are harmed by being told that they must want to have (socially-acceptable) sex at any given time and that the only relationships that matter are exclusive, monogamous, romantic and sexual in nature.

“Sexual privilege” just doesn’t cut it as a useful term, and I think the members of the asexual community that still use it should discard it.

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