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HuffPost Live interview
ivy
swankivy wrote in asexuality
HuffPost Live did an interview with us:

Asexual Pride!

Interview hosted by Ricky Camilerri, including sex researcher Lori Brotto, journalist Dominique Mosbergen, and asexual activists David Jay, Micah R., and me. (I think it's kinda funny that I used my legal name since it was also quoted in the related article Dominique wrote, but people do tend to still use my nickname . . . way more people know me as Ivy!)

I didn't have time to watch it back or anything, so I have no idea how dorky I came across in this video, but it went pretty well. Though I do have to say that I would contradict what was said about how asexual people who masturbate don't fantasize because I know I've seen some people say they do. Also just a teeny bit disappointed about the few items I hoped we'd get to discuss that we didn't get to discuss, but it was only a half-hour segment.

Enjoy!

Most of my asexual friends (including myself) write raunchy fanfiction - if that's not fantasizing I don't know what is.

Unlike non-asexuals we can fantasize about unattainable film, TV and pop stars without any accompanying worries that we might ever really be in a situation when our fantasies might be realised.

In my case, writing smut is not AT ALL about fantasizing. It's about writing something that people apparently, for some reason, want to read - and seeing if I can pull it off even though I find it completely foreign and bizarre, and don't really get why anyone would want to do any of that stuff or read about other people doing it, and in fact I find writing it really tedious and boring. It's just sort of been an experiment to see if I can write stuff that people find hot... kind of like trying to pass as sexual.

(Survey says: Apparently I can! But that doesn't make it any less boring for me, so I stopped. :D Now people gripe about how I "glossed over" the sex or "faded to black" in fics. Maybe because the story has a point beyond porn?)

So for some asexuals it might be fantasizing, but in my case at the very least, it's definitely not.

Mea culpa. I should have said 'I' rather than 'we', because no one can speak for all asexuals. Though I was using the term 'fantasizing' in its very widest sense in which it applies to all fiction, not just porn.

Unlike non-asexuals we can fantasize about unattainable film, TV and pop stars without any accompanying worries that we might ever really be in a situation when our fantasies might be realised.
This is the first I have ever heard about anyone worrying about that. Does that really happen? o.O

Well, in my case (and I shouldn't have used 'we') I certainly avoid putting myself in a situation where I might meet an object of my fantasises in real life (but grew up in London in the 60s when (a) asexuality wasn't recognised as an option and (b) girls were expected to be sexually available to media stars (see Operation Yewtree).

I get the ace perspective (I'm grey-A and it's mine as well), but I don't think that I have ever encountered sexuals who had the kinds of worries that you describe. Maybe I just don't know enough people who run into stars, though, the expectancy of being sexually available would make people worry, I'd imagine.

I'd be worried about that pressure, too, though, regardless of fantasies about such a person/environment causing that kind of pressure.

Yeah, most of the asexuals I know on a more personal basis at least read porn. (Though writing seems to be more about the challenge or about a drive to educate than about making personal fantasies public.)

Personally, I need to fantasise in order to get aroused enough to make the whole relaxation exercise work at all. Does purely mechanical stimulation really work for anyone?

The difference I've found when talking to verisexual people is that they mainly seem to fantasise about themselves having sex with people they are attracted to. That's the part I don't do at all. Thinking about myself having sex is weird and off-putting, and I don't get attracted to people. And frankly, objectifying real people without their explicit okay (even movie stars, who I know, on the rational level, proably take that aspect of their fame in stride) feels icky to me, because I don't want other people thinking about me that way.

That's why fanfic comes in handy. It's all about the cerebral part of sex (the emotions, sensations, talk, kinks and paraphilia), written in enough detail that it's easy to empathise, at least if it's written by a female or queer writer. (For some reason, pornfic written by straight men is usually very focused on "tab A in slot B" and impossible anatomy, involving characters completely devoid of internal life.) And it's all about fictional characters - I'm not forced to visualise the actual actors.

Okay, I am really relieved to read this discussion. The bit about how asexuals don't fantasize made me worry (because I know it's an umbrella term for anyone who finds it useful, but I'm insecure and I can't quite let go of being afraid my asexuality isn't legitimate and is really just a symptom of something else I could/"should" have treated) and it's comforting to know it IS something other asexuals do. I make that same distinction about never using real people, and about not being IN the fantasy.

I think it turned out awesome, congrats!

Thank you!

The guy hosting the discussion annoyed the hell out of me, but it's great to hear this stuff being discussed at least, and validated :-).

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