Sexual intercourse has always mattered, of course, but never has sex been so mainstream, so in your face. At least breasts are in your face, unless you go on-line and there I am told it’s a no holds barred voyage through and across impossibly large genitals and other weird and disturbing sexual acts that you just hope and pray your mama never engaged in. Or your new partner, I suspect. Or the couple next door.
Men, especially, though I suppose it might also be the case with women, define themselves through sexual conquest, through how many women they have copulated with and how many times a night they can pleasure a mate. Or themselves, as I believe is mainly the case. Though on the deathbed, with the exception of Casanova, people never refer to past sexual conquests as they breathe their final farewells to the world. On the deathbed sex is far from the troubled mind. Unless you are Catholic and in dire need of having your sins absolved.
It is said to be socially healthy for sex to be considered matter-of-fact. Certainly we indoctrinate children with the subject in a way we certainly don’t bother with when it comes to saving the planet or even when it comes to teaching plain old good manners. We persuade ourselves to be enlightened, whereas we think the Victorians were stunted, puritan and hypocritical for their attitude toward sex. I doubt if in reality anything (sexually) has really changed. We just open the doors and windows to the naughtiness of our erotic souls, whereas the Victorians only had peepholes and denied that sex even existed.
To some though, in this day and age, sex is brain-addling. To those for whom sex is the epitome of life the term ‘sex is brain-addling’ will be amorphous, as impossible to grasp as catching clouds with a butterfly net.
Recently, and I mean in the last week, I have had my eyes opened to asexuality, something I should have known about for the last fifty years but which has passed me by as modern youth culture is presently doing. And if you thought the divisions of sex only consisted of straight, gay and bi then like me you are in for a rollercoaster ride. On the asexuality spectrum – and for more informed comment and opinion go to Asexual Visibility and Education Network website – are the following: Heteroromantic; Homoromantic; Panromantic; Aromantic; Demisexual; Gray A; as well as asexual and sexual.
Asexuals are people whose genitals do not stand up to do the Samba or Quickstep or blast out pheromones to the beat of the 1812 overture at the sight of someone who they otherwise think attractive or interesting. That’s a very rough guide, so go to the AVEN website to be better informed. Heteroromantics are attracted to the opposite sex but only in a romantic way. Homoromantics to the same sex. Panromantic to either sex. Aromantics are happy with friendship, non-romantic relationships or just living on their own. Demisexuals form strong emotional attractions but as with all the other groups on the spectrum do not feel any sexual attraction.
Surprisingly people who are numbered amongst this invisible orientation can form successful and long-lasting relationships, even have families, as asexuals are neither impotent nor frigid and because of their deep love for their partner, or even perhaps through a sense of duty, can engage in sexual intercourse. It is simply that asexuals experience no pleasure from sex. I suspect that there is no greater love than an asexual for his or her heterosexual partner or heterosexual to his or her asexual partner. I suspect the secret is communication; something a lot of us are not good at.
The existence of asexuality uncouples romance from sex. The two are not necessarily intertwined. In this we have as a society put the cart before the horse. We place sex above romance, when romance should be heralded as the the greater of two gifts. Love is better exclaimed in romance than through sex. Though that is most likely to be stating the obvious. Or perhaps we have lost sight of the obvious.
This subject is personal to me and discovering asexuality has shone a light on the closet in which my personality has existed all these years. My life, and thus far it has been a long life, is clouded by the belief that I am psychologically broken as sex, the sexual act, brings me no real pleasure. Pleasure at pleasuring my other half but not the lighting of an inner light that it should be. Even basic forms of intimacy like shaking hands and the formal kiss upon introduction are as intimidating to me as being told there is a sword-wielding maniac or a boa constrictor in the garden.
I can only put this personal epiphany into the public domain as I doubt if anyone actually bothers to read my random attempts at expressing my beliefs and opinions. If someone I know reads this I shall be embarrassed and doubtless I will be unable to speak about the subject. Which I hope I will not be when I confront my other half with the ground-breaking news that I am not all what I might seem to be. But at least somewhere within this revelation there is explanation and I hope, someday soon, peace of mind. Perhaps my broken personality might even recover towards some semblance of what for me will be normality