Assailing myself

Reading Coyote’s post “When Being Asexual Is What Makes You Assailable” gave me a revelation. I’ve gotten the implication from other people (never stated completely explicitly, so far) that my opinion on certain things isn’t valid because I’m ace, but I’ve mostly held that attitude toward myself.

When I started this blog, I felt the need to tag some of my posts “ace-influenced(?)” as a kind of disclaimer, a way to say, “Being asexual might be impacting my thinking on this, so my opinion may not be fully valid.”

I’ve wondered if I’m sex-negative just because of my personal aversion to sex, if that aversion is actually the only reason I think of and agree with criticisms of sex and its role in society and relationships.

And when I say things like “romantic relationships don’t have to include sex” or “a romantic/sexual relationship isn’t necessarily the best kind of relationship”, I have this inner inkling of doubt, this feeling that I don’t have a right to speak on these subjects—because I’ve never experienced sexual attraction, and so can never have a fully valid opinion on the importance of sex in other people’s lives.

I see now, though, that those questions and caveats come from internalized heteronormativity; that I’ve absorbed the idea that any perspective not coming from a heterosexual isn’t “normal” or is automatically biased in a way that means it shouldn’t be taken entirely seriously. I don’t want to feel that way, and I don’t think I should. Being ace is just as legitimate as being straight—or gay, or bi, or pan. If allo people don’t have to preface their thoughts with disclaimers noting that their orientations may be influencing them, then neither do I.

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