So, some days ago, I read the thought-provoking “Why men are the sexual hunters and women are considered ‘keepers of sex’ – and what can be done to address this imbalance”. It’s not thought-provoking because it has new ideas – most of the ideas presented aren’t new to me – but it lays it all out in a very comprehensible way which makes it easier to reflect on these ideas.
And I think I can finally put a finger on one particular way being asexual-aromantic makes me feel like an outsider to society at large: I am not a keeper of sex.
Of course, I have been raised in the global culture which considers women “keepers of sex” and been through part of the socialization. But, since I am not pursuing romance/sex, I haven’t needed to complete that socialization. I have no reason to make myself sexually or romantically appealing, so I have not learned how to manage that stuff (or to the extent I have learned, it has been incidental or for academic purposes). I am very comfortable on the “prude” side of the prude/slut dichotomy, so I’m not walking that tightrope. In other words, I don’t have to learn to “tame the beast” because I’m steering clear of it.
I don’t think this is unique to asexual/aromantic women. I have read accounts of heteroromantic/sexual women claiming they don’t care if men are attracted to them, and they want to make their lives about something other than sex.
Since older women are regarded as having lost their sexual appeal, they cease to be perceived as keepers of sex, and I know some who have used this as an opportunity to make their life about something else. That said, older women do face the problem that some *do* want to maintain a sex life, yet society sets up obstacles, and that furthermore, society often treats women who are no longer keeping sex as having lost their value. I can still pass as a keeper of sex, which means I am in some ways more esteemed by society than older women who no longer pass as keepers of sex. That, by the way, is totally messed up.
Alas, the expectation is that “beauty and attractiveness is what a woman does, point blank”, and I can’t change society by myself. But beauty and attractiveness is *not* what I do, and if other people see me that way, that is their own point of view, not mine.
I am not keeping any sex here. Sexual hunters need to go hunting somewhere else.