Always keen to put a new label on perfectly natural aspects of being human, progressives have come up with a term for those who associate sex with an emotional connection, feeling attracted to others only after getting to know them.
It’s almost like arguing that the inclination towards mindless sex is the norm and involving one’s intellect or emotions places a person within a sexual minority. In fact, they seem to be arguing that by always involving the brain it is not pure attraction, but a half-assed one. And yes, I am aware that this theory refers to instincts only and not to any resulting behaviour.
Regardless, placing a watermark on perfectly understandable variations in human instincts is absurd; it is yet another strain of the identity politics fever spreading through the west faster than the plague.
First of all, men and women experience attraction differently, men being more visually-oriented and more quickly aroused. While admitting some people might only experience it at a physical level, attraction generally involves a variety of factors for both sexes, such as the vibe a person emits, which is directly linked with their personality. Picturing oneself in a sexual situation naturally entails perceiving the possibility of a connection, of a positive and pleasant interaction. It’s difficult to picture that with someone who is incredibly smug, for instance.
Just as attraction decreases for intellectual or emotional reasons in some people (let’s take the response to a great looking guy with a lovely swastika tattoo), in others it increases as they bond with their friends or partners. There is nothing strange about that. The attempt to quantify something so vague as the way people respond to each other, given the complex nature of every individual’s life, is a pointless one.
Having cleared that aspect, other progressive concepts pop out of the woodwork to confront dissenters, namely the allies of the demisexual community and their activism.
Can someone explain to me why being slightly different than others – again, a very normal expression of diversity to date – requires resources, allies, support and activism? Where exactly is the problem in these individuals’ lives? How are they being oppressed, as to require others to stand up for them in an organised manner?
“Coming out as demisexual” sounds incredibly ridiculous. While coming out as gay or bisexual makes sense before your family sees you kissing Bob instead of Jenny, what in the world is the point of explaining the ins and outs of your arousal to your relatives and friends? Whose business is it except your own how soon into the relationship you get a hard on in your partner’s company? The next thing you know, you’ll feel inclined to describe your favourite positions at the dinner table. You might even feel morally obligated, as to not deprive others of the needful education you can impart, and yourself of the imperious need to express every facet of your personality.
“Children usually figure out who they’re attracted to at an early age, even if they don’t want to act on it just yet, and children as young as 10 may have crushes and experience sexual attraction.If a child is not too young to adopt heterosexual as a label, then they’re not too young to adopt demisexual.” (same source)
Can I just say this is absolutely fucked up? First of all, people don’t adopt heterosexual as a label; most only come across it when finding out about other categories. Secondly, this “demisexual” label would presumably come as a result of someone analysing how they have felt for years; you can’t possibly expect a child to have enough experience to embrace that. The mere fact that attraction involves bonding implies they have had such bonds in the past and have reacted in the same manner; that certainly does not apply to children. In most cases I trust the teenager identifying as such may be a late developer, excessively shy, inhibited by the opposite sex etc. None of that is weird and needs to be permanent.
“Also note that asexuality is recognized as valid in the DSM-V, the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic tool.” (same source)
Recognised as valid in the DSM…? And that’s a good thing? “Valid” is a positive word. “Disorder” isn’t.
Speaking of legitimacy. Apparently, this is how the term was first created. By a member of an asexuality-based forum, in 2006, to be made popular in 2008 by another forum member, both referring to their personal experiences. Ever since, it has apparently remained in the community. Hence there really is no science behind it. None at all.
“Demisexuals are not actively persecuted on the same level as gays and lesbians…”
You cannot talk about the persecution of a group which was recently invented/ perpetuated by lobbyists in need of something to do. There is no such thing as a legitimate group, formed and oppressed based on how soon or they want to have sex with their partners. Who knows or cares about that part of an individual’s life? Even if the label had some real basis, these people would not be publicly identifiable, in order to claim any kind of oppression.
The only way for others to EVER know one identifies as demisexual is for them to advertise it themselves. Again, letting others know about being gay or lesbian has the purpose of being able to display affection in public, possibly get married etc. It is important for others to accept that, in the context of it being in their faces constantly. Whereas the existence and frequency of one’s sex acts will not, therefore making the announcement redundant.
The only certainty is that the trend of creating new labels won’t stop anytime soon, by the looks of it.
It makes sense to continue this post with the rebuttal of a video posted by someone who, without identifying as demisexual, argues for the legitimacy of the term, as well as the unkindness of those who dispute it, out of some presumed reactionary stubbornness.
If I may, I’ll respond to some direct quotes from the video:
What I hear when people talk like this is that they want to limit other people’s ability to communicate (…)
This claim suggests that by disputing it, some want to (or can) actively stop interested parties from using it, discussing it as much as they please among themselves and putting out whatever information they deem correct about it. However, expressing a negative opinion is nowhere near wanting to censor the initial one. The person in question might have said that this terminology should not be officially adopted, akin to the truckloads of other Tumblr-isms. Moreover, it seems it is the creator of the video who wishes to silence skeptics by presenting their skepticism as direct aggression.
What I hear instead is the skewed impression SJWs have regarding their ability to communicate freely. It seems it is common for them to think that when their theories or claims are met with invalidation, they are effectively being silenced. Therefore, the only way for them to serenely carry out their activism is for everyone to agree (or at least not vocally disagree) with their stance.
No matter how little is has anything to do with them, certain types of people see or hear a word they don’t understand, like “demisexual”, immediately squawk about its uselessness and somehow spin over to screaming “you’re not oppressed” and “you think you’re a special snowflake.”
Issuing such an accusation entails understanding, at least partially, what proponents of this label mean by it. One cannot claim the approach comes out of nowhere; equally, one cannot claim, unless they are disingenuous, that there isn’t a full blown epidemic of artificial labels in the name of which youngsters claim to be oppressed beyond their level of endurance. It’s mostly hysterical millennials latching on to these labels, pronouns and demands for special treatment.
When you say demisexual people don’t need a word because they’re not oppressed, you’re suggesting the only reason to name an experience is to claim special rights.
Again, it is disingenuous to argue that there is no precedent motivating that assertion. It’s not just any type of experience, but the claim to have identified yet another sexual orientation, besides those which it actually makes sense to differentiate. Unfortunately, once established and vocal, sexual minorities tend to be very aggressive in terms of lobbying.
When you’re saying that demisexual people are using a label because they wanna seem special, you’re suggesting that their orientation is about you and about getting attention from you.(…) Very self-centred of you, isn’t it?
I’d love to hear about their need to involve the community at large into their business in the first place, if neither privilege (special rights) seeking nor attention seeking is involved. Their orientation certainly is not about me/ us/ people who do not identify as such; however, the public dialogue involves both sides. And obviously, they initiated this dialogue. There are many groups out there based on a shared trait, which don’t feel the need to “educate” the entire world about their private habits.
So why would you invent a muddy motive to take away the legitimacy of their desire to connect? And if it so eats at your guts that they might get attention for it, why don’t you stop giving it to them?
Why do people bother to engage in such discussions instead of living their lives peacefully? This is frequent SJW rhetoric, which sounds reasonable enough, except it ignores reality and the precedent set many times before.
Live and let live does not work with groups which attain sexual minority status. That’s why they engage in activism in the first place. I’m not saying everyone identifying as one category or another is bent on becoming obnoxious and vindictive – however, we have seen organisations demanding that people or companies be punished for invalidating attitudes. And we have seen them succeed, ruining businesses and careers.
Even if you ignore the whole conversation, if you don’t get in anybody’s way, sooner or later they are likely to get in your way regardless. That’s how some places ended up with laws imposing draconian fines for “misgendering” a trans person or generally offending a thin-skinned one. Which is annoying enough when genuine minorities are involved – imagine being persecuted on behalf of an imaginary one.
Here is the definition of sexual orientation; it refers specifically to the sex of the people one is attracted to, not to any side issues such as special circumstances, behaviour, romanticism, attachment etc.
one’s natural preference in sexual partners; predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality. (source)
Again – why would this group, with the modest expectation of being left alone, need activism and allies? The word “ally” is used to describe a sympathetic person advocating the cause of a certain minority; why would advocacy be needed if there was no intention of going down the same path as other groups have before? Moreover, there is talk of “demisexual pride” and its symbols. Again, this is a comparison to gay pride, which has an aspect of rebellion to it, as gay people did face persecution in the west and still do in other parts of the world, where all these made up orientations are not a thing and probably won’t be anytime soon. As for demisexuality, in the context of no past, present or foreseeable persecution, I don’t see the need for all that.
If it’s normal, it can still have a name to describe that specific experience.
If it’s normal, then it is also very frequent, therefore the discussion will attract many people to the group.This activism entails proselitising to draw in naive, inexperienced teens, Tumblr types, who tend to collect these labels the way my generation collected sports figurines. When their nature will no longer conform to the self-imposed stereotype, they will become confused.
The people adopting this label as a result of proselytism will sabotage themselves by “coming out as demisexuals” to prospective partners. Which is like holding up a sign saying I’m not attracted to you; I might be in a few months or a few years, if I really, really like you.
There’s a big difference between abstinence by choice and telling someone straight out that you’re not attracted to them.Guess how many will stick around, if they’re not part of some weird sect, or “on the spectrum” themselves. Which is only bound to make these people feel marginalised.