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Jacob Lopez Prof.

Elizabeth Miossec-Backer WR 323 19 February 2013 New Paradigms and Shifts in Accepting A-Sexuality American culture is obsessed with sex. Sex is a marketing tool, it is social motivator, it is how we take our romantic relationships seriously. The documentary (A)Sexual broadened my idea of how central sexuality is to our culture and how difficult it is for people to think that sexuality is not inherent. The recognition that A-sexuals are trying to gain is reminiscent of the struggles the LGBTQA community has faced. Similar to the LGBTQA community, the A-sexual community is part of the beginning of a paradigm shift; having to have to convince potential allies that your existence is valid and that you are not just young, experimenting, or confused. Anything that is different is weird to most of our culture. It is easier for us to accept that some people experience sexuality differently than it is to understand that sexuality might not be an inherent aspect of our lives. Ive experienced very low levels of this; being vegan and sober for many years many people first response was often I feel sorry for you or But meat/beer is so good. When others lives are drastically different than the mainstream it is easier for them to assume something is fundamentally wrong rather than to examine the nature of their feelings. When Carol Queen says Beginning to talk about (asexuality) at all, it seems to me, unpacks an enormous amount of diversity, because theres so much packed into the sexuality box she is acknowledging our assumptions about sexuality. To talk about our nature in how we express sexuality comes the implicit assumption that we all express sexuality. I think Dan Savage personifies the assumptions that a lot of people have in regards to sexuality. Dan Savage refuses to identify Trans and

Bisexual identities and throughout the documentary makes comments invalidating A-sexuality. Although he is openly gay and advocates polyamory, his adherence to the norms of sexuality reflect a lack of acceptance of other lifestyles and mimic the same kind of oppression that someone like him has most likely faced at some point in his life. I feel as if it is problematic to look into norms in human sexuality, because they are completely socially constructed and have changed drastically over time. Trying to identity human sexuality as a norm creates a standard of sexuality that most people are expected to follow, which would make any smaller factions perverse. It would be beneficial to attempt to understand why sexuality is such a major part of our culture and how it is more of a social norm than a biological norm. I think that sexuality is deeply tied to romantic relationships. The idea that sexuality is how we take romantic relationships seriously resonated more with me than anything else in the documentary. Sexuality is how we distinguish our close friends from our lovers. We have just as strong bonds with our friends but lack sexual attraction. I have always liked to think that romance and sexuality where to completely different spectrums that can exist on their own, but often overlap, but its difficult to think of a romantic relationship where sexuality is not a factor. Even in relationships sexuality is not directly involved in courtship, sex is still a topic; sex is still an inevitability after marriage or when both parties feel they are ready. I dont think Davids decision at the end of the film point to any sort of failure of himself, and if anything they are a sign of failure of our culture to not accept A-sexuality. Thinking of my decision to stop being sober, I am able to relate to Davids decision. After many years of feeling alienated from both drinking culture and straight edge culture I made the decision for neither culture to define me. Davids decision is not reflecting a change of heart or a want to be sexual, but rather a want to be accepted and to not constantly feel like an outsider.