The July 2014 Carnival of Aces about sex-repulsion/aversion is excellent and I recommend reading all of the submissions. It is so thought-provoking that I am dedicating this post to various responses to the submissions for this carnival.
First of all, a number of submissions – specifically “Why I prefer the term “sex-revulsion””, “The False Dichotomy of Repulsion Vs. Indifference”, and “Sex-Averse of Sex-Indifferent” – discuss the inadequacy of the terms sex-repulsed/sex-averse/sex-indifferent/sex-favorable. I also realized while I was writing my own submission that there are problems with the ‘sex-indifferent’ label, but I will keep the label until I find something better (I toyed with ‘sex-disinterested’ but I do not think that is any better). If these labels were not already within use in the community, I probably would not have come up with the idea of labeling myself this way at all.
In “Am I sex-averse? Maybe. I have made a decision to identify as such” luvtheheaven describes her reactions to sexual situations which helped her realize that she is sex-averse. I have not been in such situations, and I honestly do not know how I would react. Maybe I would discover that I am sex-averse after all. Maybe I would discover that I like sex after all. I did not expect to like being buried in hot sand or lying down on hot stones in a small chamber, but in Japan I learned that I love being buried in hot sand and lying down on hot stones in a small chamber. That said, I do not think it is important for me to find out how I react in highly sexual situations, just as I do not think it is important for people to find out how they react to being buried in hot sand.
I am honored that The Thinking Asexual responded to my submission with their own post. They mention that almost all of the sex-indifferent aces they know are having sex in romantic relationships, and they have assumed that sex-indifferent aces would have sex within a normative romantic relationship. Well, that particular hypothetical does not apply to me since I happen to be romance averse, and that normative romantic relationship simply is not going to happen.
I have at this point decided that I am never going to engage in romance (or at least in what is commonly understood as romance). I have not made the equivalent decision about sex – for example, I might at some time in the future pursue procreative sex.
The reason why I prefer ‘sex-indifferent’ over ‘sex-averse’ is that I do not reject sex because it is sex, I reject it because it takes time, I do not have the experience, I want to avoid STDs, I do not want the emotional drama, etc. Of course, it is 100% okay to reject sex because it is sex as well. I do reject romance because it is romance, which is why I think the ‘romance-averse’ label works for me.
Like Thinking Asexual, I identify more with aces who abstain from sex than with aces who have sex, and there is certainly a strong correlation between aces who are sex-averse/sex-repulsed and aces who abstain from sex.
Finally, even though it was not part of the carnival, I just want to say that Ace Muslim wrote a superb post which quoted my carnival submission and I would like to respond to it when I have more time.
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I’m looking forward to your response post! I quoted you because your post managed to express better than I’ve seen almost anywhere else a core idea that I wanted to draw on and refer to in the course of making my own argument.