How to Represent Asexuality in the Media

The Image from the front page from the “Love Story” music video by Taylor Swift.

According to many surveys the answer to that is around 1% but those surveys are probably worded incorrectly to ascertain an accurate figure since it most likely measures what are known as hard asexuals. Asexuals who lack any attraction whatsoever. If the heteroromantic, homoromantic, and biromantic asexuals were taken into account, and you include people with slight and weak levels of sexuality, then the figure will likely be much higher. There are very few studies that attest to that level but I would make the assertion that asexuals constitute the largest sexual minority in the population. Most asxuals, like myself, have attractions and identify with them. In the earlier years of my life, despite my being asexual, I identified as a heterosexual since I’m a male who is attracted to females, romantically. If I look at a relatively young, symmetric, unblemished, woman who looks conventional (not alternative, I don’t like tattoos or dyed hair) then a serotonin release is triggered in my brain telling me that I like her and I think “Would it be crass if I introduced myself on that sole basis?” Eventually, I usually do introduce myself and qualify it with “I’m an hard extrovert who talks to everyone and so it isn’t crass to talk to her.”

                At that point, I don’t try to date her or anything but just add her to my list of connections and greet her when I see her and maybe eventually ask her on a platonic coffee or lunch date. My use for pretty girls insofar as I use them is as a social ally with more popularity than myself. I try to keep in contact and keep their association but I never attempt to romantically court anyone ever. In any case, that experience while similar is also different than that of typical heterosexual males since when they see an attractive woman, I assume, they strongly want to be with them. They imagine themselves with them. They feel a wave of longing and desire. When I see a pretty woman, it’s a little sweet, a little creamy, it’s not intense or deep and half of what turns on in my brain is abstract social politics and not physical warmth. There are a lot of guys who approach women that way but if you took queues from popular culture you would come to the belief that guys are mostly, obsessed with sex.

                There is almost no representation of asexuals in the media and no representation of what asexual life is like. The attractions of asexuals and the other non-Kinsey scale attraction groups like demisexuals are a world far more colorful and diverse than they are given credit for and the media is missing a salacious opportunity to exploit our exoticism to its full potential. Right now, there are about two types of relationships that exist in popular media: heterosexual and homosexual. One would have to dive into the most obscure depths of indie media to find anything that covers asexual or demisexual attractions and relationships. The scriptwriters and media executives imagine that there are no interesting stories to tell on the less sexual side of the divide but as an asexual, the ways in which my people are attracted to others are deep and complex, if not lustful and erotic.

Foremost among the ways in which asexual and demisexual relationships are interesting is in the imagination and creativity within such attractions. Sexual roleplay isn’t terribly complex which is why porno plots are simple and emphasize the visceral sexuality. Asexual and demisexual romantic fantasies have far more intricate and deep plots with much attention paid to the stories and emotions embedded in the stories. Asexuals and demisexuals want something warm, deep, and affectionate and the politics and the human relationships of an asexual fantasy play a very important role in how much satisfaction an asexual would have. A gentle forehead kiss can communicate a lot of information and emotion and a simple glance can convey the most complex of thoughts. For an asexual, that type of emotional depth is tantamount to pornography. Intellectualism, emotion, and connection are the basis of our desires. Which is not to say there is nothing sensual. Making out, holding, passionate hugging, and other behaviors are very much enjoyed but nothing erotic and there is a much greater focus on the scene, the setting, and the genre.

There are many stories to be told about how asexuals see the world and what we get out of relationships. The inner-desires of asexuals are not dry or bland but can be just as interesting, if not more, than the desires of sexuals. There are rarely scenes of genitalia and few of exposed breasts. If there is darkness, it is H.P. Lovecraft or Franz Kafka, not E.L. James or Alfred Hitchcock. If there is light, it’s The Shawshank Redemption, not Love, Actually. All ranging from flowing period dramas to the most surreal of fantasy worlds. The fantasies of asexuals are an untapped resource for artistic material and I hope that if my writing becomes renowned enough I can produce much myself to break the silence and put our fantasies on par with the fantasies of sexuals.

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