Asexual identity prescriptivism linkspam

This is a collection of links that each contribute important points on the subject of prescriptivism in asexual communities. This list is meant to be illustrative, rather than exhaustive, of reasons to abandon the enforcement of “lack of sexual attraction” as the most important definition of asexuality, to embrace a utility model of asexual identity, and to reject the enforcement of asexual definitions altogether.

James writes about why enforcing “lack of sexual attraction” as the only definition of asexual is detrimental to asexual community-building and leads to continually policing the boundaries of who “counts” as asexual. (Contains NSFW discussion of sexual activity.)

swankivy, in a conversation about the harm in emphasis on “asexuality is not sex repulsion” in vis-ed, describes other useful definitions for “asexual” in addition to the sexual-attraction definition.

Tecmag writes that having multiple definitions of asexuality is not a problem unless a person imposes a definition on others, or otherwise uses a definition as a litmus test to determine if someone else is asexual.

Siggy writes that the lack of sexual attraction definition, and the insistence on it being so specific, fails in encompassing many people who could benefit from being part of asexual communities.

Queenie writes in this comment on Coyote’s post about pitfalls in asexual vis-ed that have bad consequences for sex-averse aces, about the push to restrict definition of asexual to “lack of sexual attraction” exclusively, which has the result of asexuals who use other definitions for themselves (such as “lack of sexual desire”) not being taken seriously by the broader asexual community.

In response to an anonymous person asking “What’s the actual definition of asexuality,” Queenie describes several definitions–lack of sexual attraction, lack of sexual desire, and definitions used by non-Anglophone communities–and emphasizes that any of those paths to an asexual identity are valid, and that there is no one, singular, “actual” definition that supercedes all the others.

epochryphal lists several reasons a person who does not fit the “lack of sexual attraction” definition might choose to describe their sexual orientation as asexual. Co further writes that the community should not shunt asexual people of those definitions into gray or demi identity, because identity labels are about describing yourself in ways that make sense to you alone, not about cramming yourself in a box.

Siggy writes about how people with similar experiences will sometimes use different words, and why it is important for this to be affirmed in the asexual community.

Things That Make You Acey writes about the long and violent history of White people stripping people of color of agency over their identities. Saying variations of “even if you don’t use the word, you’re still asexual” to anyone reinforces this oppressive dynamic. The move to streamline asexual identity is a symptom of problems in society that are much bigger than asexual identity politics. Dismantling identity label prescriptivism requires dismantling of broader oppressive forces in society.

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