Disability and asexual ?

For discussion of general issues pertaining to asexuality.
PiF
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Disability and asexual ?

Postby PiF » 09 Feb 2016, 04:36

Firstly My point out of the way. I consider a disability as a physical one or a mental one i.e. brain damage. etc...I personally do not consider mental health a disability but more mental health is disabilitating which is something quite different

With that in mind ....We do not often see those with a physical disability or a brain condition appearing as asexuals. it's probably one of the least obvious groups within asexuality but there must be some

The last Asexual person I knew with a disability was a great friend in aven who sadly passed away at 21...Redpandacyborg

It's with that in mind I wonder if we have any asexuals with a disability and how the both interact and the impact...if any..on day to day life??

I think often we can under value this very small but important group within asexuality

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KAGU143
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby KAGU143 » 10 Feb 2016, 08:48

I personally know of one person who I would consider to have a physical disability, and I think she would agree, but I don't think she's a member here (if so, she isn't active) so I don't want to name her. She is/was quite active on AVEN and on some of the Facebook pages for asexuals. She doesn't walk around waving a disabled flag or anything like that, but I've met her and she's definitely not faking it.
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PiF
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby PiF » 10 Feb 2016, 09:24

I mentioned it as it's one of the few groups that rarely gets mentioned in Asexuality but should be mentioned more.

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CatBunny
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby CatBunny » 19 Feb 2016, 17:21

I guess technically I'm mentally disabled, although haven't relapsed in 8 years so i'm not fully disabled. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that bipolar causes sex obsession, which sucks for people who are recovering or still sick. I came across a post of someone asexual and bipolar and they said it was hell for them.

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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby Ettina » 13 Sep 2016, 14:59

I'm autistic and aromantic asexual. Asexuality seems to be overrepresented in the autism spectrum, especially among autistic women.
In some ways it's easier for an autistic person who's also asexual - I don't have to try to figure out the dating game. It's really confusing and frustrating for a lot of autistic sexuals looking for partners.
But on the other hand, there's some intersectionality that bothers me. There's a stereotype that disabled people aren't sexual beings, and many disability rights people, in combatting that stereotype, end up saying very anti-asexual things. Meanwhile, some asexuals are so concerned about making the point that asexuality isn't something *wrong* with a person, that they end up being ableist. (Just because I'm disabled doesn't mean that the way I am is wrong. I'm no more concerned about my autism than my asexuality, they're both just what makes me me.)

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CatBunny
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby CatBunny » 13 Sep 2016, 15:31

Ettina wrote: Meanwhile, some asexuals are so concerned about making the point that asexuality isn't something *wrong* with a person, that they end up being ableist. (Just because I'm disabled doesn't mean that the way I am is wrong. I'm no more concerned about my autism than my asexuality, they're both just what makes me me.)

Asexuality isn't a problem, a disability is though. It's not something wanted, it's not something you need, it ruins your functioning, It's a health problem one has to learn to deal with and life would be better without it. I would sell my goddam soul to get rid of my bipolar and dyslexia.
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TheGuvnorsMoll
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby TheGuvnorsMoll » 14 Sep 2016, 00:44

I have Asperger's Syndrome and dyspraxia.
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby Velziza » 03 Mar 2017, 13:43

I am disabled. I think my being asexual has little, or nothing, to do with the disability, and vice-versa. I do seem to have libido (I consider "sex-drive" as separate, though it's mostly used interchangeably), and now that I'm older, the pain (endorphins?) my libido is higher that it was when I was 25. Sexual attraction (or sex drive) I have very little of; or, at least, I find all that super-confusing. I think of the spectrum more in terms of a 3-D function with an x, y, and z axis. We're all somewhere there. And, "now" is not the same as the past, nor will it be the same as "tomorrow."

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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby TypoMaster » 08 Mar 2017, 20:28

I am disabled and have depression (depression isn't much of a disability in the traditional sense to me. It's more a trait of someone that haunts them for their entire life that they had no say in the matter.), but I consider both to be little factor in why I am an ace in practice. I don't care really what the undesirable parts of my mind think otherwise --- I strive to be an ace in practice (admittedly, it's not hard for me......) for many other reasons. For one, I see way more benefits in being ace than not. I also don't get society's fanaticism for sex is. I don't consider it that big a part, if any, in my life. While I suspect my disabilities and depression no doubt factor into me being an ace in practice; as I've said before, it's not the only reason I'm an ace in practice.

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KAGU143
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby KAGU143 » 09 Mar 2017, 06:45

I admit that I'm puzzled by the idea of being "ace in practice"? That sounds more like voluntary celibacy, although I might be reading it wrong.

I can definitely understand how physical disabilities and chronic depression can play havoc with a person's feelings of self-worth, and that can start a vicious cycle that feeds on itself, possibly leading to all sorts of negative consequences. Asexuality might, or might not, also be present, but it isn't a cause and effect type of situation.

In it's classic sense, asexuality isn't defined by what a person does. (or doesn't do) It's defined by what they would PREFER to do, in a hypothetical perfect world where there would be no negative ramifications of any kind.
So, in that imaginary perfect world, an asexual would prefer to not have to have sex, ever, even if the opportunity were present and they were in a loving, stable relationship with a wonderful partner, and they would suffer no negative consequences from admitting to that preference. (such as loss of the relationship, social shaming, pressure from parents, etc.)

Of course, that perfect world doesn't exist, and never will, and a lot of asexuals voluntarily choose to have sex in order to avoid those potential consequences. Each person is different, but I imagine a numerical way to rate the negativity of having sex as compared to the negativity of losing a relationship, enduring ridicule, etc.

If a person's idea of having sex only rates as a negative 1 and losing a relationship rates as a negative 8 then having sex is definitely the much lesser evil and it should be an easy decision.
But, if a person's idea of having sex rates as a negative 8 then it might be completely different for them. We're all different.
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CatBunny
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby CatBunny » 11 Mar 2017, 07:51

I know depression causes low sex drive and impotency but that and asexuality are pretty different things. Just my two cents.
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Lord Grep
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby Lord Grep » 15 Mar 2017, 05:08

I have written about this a great deal elsewhere. It is something I have a bit of an interest in.

I myself am asexual, though some don't like that description, but I do fit the definition. I have no interest in sex what so ever.

I do though have a reasonably good idea of the cause. My testosterone levels are shot to bits because of long term morphine use. I think there is more to it than that, but there is an explanation.

I have talked to many other asexuals, and causal asexuality is pretty common. With many people asexuality is a part of other conditions.

Now before you sharpen your pitch forks, I am not saying that all asexuals are just people with an illness where a lack of sexual desire is a symptom, I am simply saying that SOME are, and I accept that there is a difference between people like myself who has no sexual desire because I have no libido what so ever, and those that do have a healthy libido and no desire for partnered sex. But here's the thing that many people get quite cross about. The end result is the same.

In my opinion though, the only real need to separate those who are asexual, and it is causal, versus those where it is similar in definition to a sexuality is to try and legitimise asexuality as simply a type of sexuality. After all, one cannot become gay after experiencing hormone issues caused my long term painkiller usage.. I know many people who will not publicly acknowledge their own circumstances for fear of being ostracised by the asexual community at large.

Any way.. there is a long winded way of saying "yeah, there are people out there with disabilities who call themselves (rightly or wrongly) asexual).

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KAGU143
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby KAGU143 » 15 Mar 2017, 11:07

You won't get any argument from me, and certainly no pitchforks.
I have long maintained that there are at least two kinds of asexuality, although I termed the acquired kind "functional" asexuality. Those posts are around here someplace, but they're a few years old. In any case, functional asexuality is just as real as innate asexuality.

I tried to describe it by comparing the lack of sexual attraction to the lack of sight. If a person can't see then they are blind, period, and it doesn't matter how they got that way.
The ones who try to invalidate asexuals who weren't born that way are, in effect, saying that a person who once had vision can never be truly blind.

I have always thought that there are some inherent problems with the idea that asexuality is solely a sexual orientation. I can see why it has been portrayed that way, and I actually agree with the reasons, but nonetheless there are some instances where it just doesn't fit the definition.
Calling it a sexual orientation is a simplistic way to try to make it understandable to the masses and to get it some much-needed recognition, and I'm all for that, but the reality of asexuality is a lot more complex.
I believe that the invalidation and dismissal of asexuals who were not always asexual is primarily fear-based, because many of those who don't experience sexual attraction are terrified that they might be labeled as sick or broken. It feels much safer to identify as a sexual minority. I can understand the reasons for their fear, but I don't think it's a legitimate reason to ostracize those who should realistically be welcomed as asexual compatriots.
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flergalwit
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby flergalwit » 01 Jun 2017, 05:00

I think asexuality is a sexual orientation, but sexual orientations don't have to be life long. They can be caused by external events in some circumstances. Maybe sexual orientations are *usually* life long, but in the end things can change. If you don't experiene sexual attraction, you are asexual by the usual definition - whether or not you used to experience sexual attraction, or whether or not the loss of sexual attraction can be traced to some external event.

martinicus
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby martinicus » 04 Jul 2017, 05:53

I'm 37 and I could be considered "legally blind". Here in my country we don't use such a term - we have three disability categories and each of those have specific social benefits. I have been in group two since childhood, but then I got a job and they moved me to the lowest group three. Not because my vision had improved but because they decided that I shouldn't receive some social benefits after I turned out to be capable of finding a job. I'm a programmer, I can read books and use a computer, but I won't be able to get a driver's licence.

My vision problems seem to be just a tip of an iceberg. I only recently discovered that my symptoms (nystagmus, astigmatism and near-sightedness caused by retina issues) could be caused by any of two genetic problems - ocular albinism or optical nerve hypoplasia. I'm not sure which one I have because I seem to have side effects of both of them - not only bad vision, but also somewhat underdeveloped body (173cm tall but only 54kg), general anxiety (not acquired - I have been that way as far as I can remember), and that also caused me to get hiatal hernia while I was working hard in our family farm hoping to get some muscles...

I thought that maybe my sexual issues also have medical causes, but my hormone tests were all right in the middle of reference interval.

So, I'm near-sighted, weak, on diet and getting bald. And also I'm a gray-ace. Gray - because I have homoromantic attraction (I have some sexual reactions and "wet dreams" but no desire for sex) to older men with really specific looks and behavior, which reduces my chances to find somebody I actually would want to be physically close. Even if I find one, he usually turns out to be heterosexual and we become just friends, but in our culture even the closest friends don't cuddle and don't spend nights together. All these factors combined noticeably reduce my chances of finding a longterm partner. Another option would be an asexual woman - I have had a few romantic and emotional crushes on girls, but unfortunately I did not experience any physical attraction. So I'm not yet sure - from one hand I've lost hope for finding homo-slightly-sexual relationship and am considering hetero-romantic asexual relationship but one the other hand, I'm afraid that if later some day I happen to meet the right guy I might suffer or make my current partner suffer, and I would really want to avoid that.

So, yeah, I'm kinda letting my life flow and see where it goes. No any goals whatsoever.

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Ciri
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Re: Disability and asexual ?

Postby Ciri » 04 Jul 2017, 09:21

Asexuality, to me, is a more long term thought and feeling than Disability. It's a lot more deep set than illness.

Basically, by putting the spin of Disability into the mix, one is at risk of pathologising asexuality and that isn't something I want to promote.
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