And know comes the half rant/half-explanation/half-snarky comeback for why everyone of these comments is not only ace/arophiobic but also shows the complete disdain that society as a whole has for people that don’t fit into the sexual-romantic complex (I named it after the prison-industrial complex because my feelings for both are the same. They suck)
First let me explain the very important comment that I forgot to include “Sex and romance are fundamental parts of human nature.” Before I tear this to pieces, some comedy.
Unfortunately, asexuals and aromantics are not deity of unimaginable power (or at least I’m not. (otherwise some people would have been smote (smite-ed?) a long time ago)) But that doesn’t make the comment anymore acceptable. Every time someone says that they are invalidating a queer population that is at least the size of Canada (and that’s just the asexuals, I couldn’t find the statistics on the aromantics) and that is quite possible much larger given the sheer number of people who may or may not identify as asexual due to a lack of information about the orientation in general and asexuality specifically.
“You must have so much self control” / “Celibate” / “I could never”- Does a straight man require self control not to jump the bones of every man he sees? No? Then why do people assume that asexuals, require self control to keep from trying to have sex every moment of their lives? Simple, the idea that asexuality requires self-control is based firmly within the idea that everyone, regardless of what they say, is attracted to someone, and as such, asexuality is not a sexual orientation but some form of celibacy. This is wrong. Aces have been born asexual. Aces have lived asexual. Aces will die asexual. It is not a choice. It’s not something that can be turned on or off. It is a sexual orientation regardless of whether or not people accept it as such.
“You’re saving yourself” – The issues with this are similar to that of the previous, but with the added dimension of not only assuming that everyone is held up to the same religious standards (in the us, that’s generally Christianity), but it also implies that everyone is waiting for their “perfect some one” generally a romantic partner, which is an issue not just for asexuals but aromantics as well.
“That’s not what that word means” – Fuck you. You pedantic ass. Word usage changes over time, that why we still aren’t using dictionaries from 1873. If you want to erase ace/aro sexualites at least have the decency of not hiding behind a paper thin excuse and saying what you mean to our faces.
“You must have so much free time.”/ “I wish I was asexual/aromantic. I would get so much stuff done.” – I’ve never really understood this one. I don’t think people intend of it to be offensive, aro/ace individuals have just as much stuff that we need to do in a day. Do people assume that because we’re not always after the D, the V, the R, or all three that we for some reason don’t have things to do? Aro/ace people are college students, mortgage brokers, parents and millions of other things, what makes you think we don’t have shit to do.
“Tease” / “Prude” / “Frigid Bitch” / “You’re to pretty to be asexual/aromantic” – All of theses statements are firstly problematic because they imply that people in general (often women) exist only for the sexual and/or viewing pleasure of others. But for asexuals it is doubly problematic because all of them imply that not only that they exist for the viewing pleasure of other, but also that because of the combination of their looks and their asexuality that they are some how inherently offensive just because they exist.
“You should go to a doctor” / “You’re just depressed” – Both of these statements pathologize asexuality, something that’s a very large problem because asexuality was only taken out of the DSM (for those not in the know, it’s a book of mental disorders and their symptoms) in 2013 after many asexual advocates made it clear to the American Psychologists Association that Asexuality was no more a disease then homosexuality.
“Have you had sex?” / “How do you know if your asexual if you’ve never had sex?” / “You’ve had sex. You can’t be asexual” – All of these questions work back to the root of why many people have problems with asexuals, specifically many people have very complex and illogical ideas about sex and sexual attraction and when those things are mixed with asexuality then things can quickly become confusion to allosexuals (people who do experience sexual attraction) and asexuals. And while that confusion can make some questions reasonable, there are lines, every single one of these questions/statements cross that line by miles, especially if the asexual and the questioner are not on close terms
“Do you masturbate?” / “You can’t masturbate, your asexual” – To the people who say things like this: What the hell do you think gives you the right to tell people asexual/aromantic or otherwise what they can or can’t do with their bodies? Did you magically become the masturbation god? Did you magically become more knowledgeable about other people’s bodies than they are? Because those are the only close to appropriate reasons for saying something like that, and even then you probably should hold your tongue. Furthermore, would you say either of those things to someone who wasn’t asexual? Would you say those things to someone who wasn’t aromantic? Would you ask your mother those questions? If not then it’s not a good thing to say to an ace/aro individual unless they give you explicit permission.
“That doesn’t exist.” / “Liar” / “Fake” – I feel like the terribleness of these is self explanatory. If you are aro/ace and someone tells you any of these: I by the power invested in me by the internet give you permission to kick them into submission (disclaimer: this will probably not hold up in court if you are arrested for assault).
“Did you find that on the internet?” – Yes, many ace/aro individuals do find their orientations on the internet, but that’s primarily because (at least in my case) I’ve never heard either of them mentioned in a sex ed or health class, so of course the only way that information about them would be found is on the internet, and that is a fault caused far more by the American sex education and queer awareness then what ever “special snowflake” nonsense that someone who would ask that question would probably follow up with.
“You’re gonna die alone” / “You can’t love anyone. Right?” – To all aro/ace people if someone tells you any of these: I by the power invested in me by the internet give you permission to kick them into submission (disclaimer: this will probably not hold up in court if you are arrested for assault). But while kicking them into submission make sure to give them an in dept lesson about human sexuality, the different types of attraction, and how it is them and not you that is going to die alone.
“You’re just to ugly to get a date.” – Again, the idea that someone’s sexuality is based on and defined by their looks is still false and just as jerkish as it is when the opposite is said.
“Never heard of it.” – This is the only comment on this list that isn’t inherently negative. Instead it shows a lack of information (which is a different problem for a different comic). And can, depending on what follows it can lead to everything from a thirty minute human sexuality crash course to a screaming match of epic proportions (but maybe that’s just me). I wouldn’t actually qualify this one as “shit” so to speak, but “twenty five insults and backhanded compliments that showcase the many negative aspects of the sexual-romantic complex and one comment about the lack of general knowledge of queer identities and sexualities,” was a bit to long to be a good comic title.