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Uploaded:2013-09-18
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In which Lindsey delivers her 5 favorite Asexuality experiences.

You can ask Lindsey Questions at:
https://www.facebook.com/sexplanations
http://twitter.com/elleteedee
http://tumblingdoe.tumblr.com

Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe
http://www.youtube.com/sexplanations

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins
http://www.youtube.com/thelonelydirector

Titles: Michael Aranda
http://www.youtube.com/michaelaranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
http://www.youtube.com/hankschannel

Music Used In This Episode: Mining by Moonlight by Kevin MacLeod
http://www.incompetech.com
I promised you an asexuality video by summer’s end and it's four days till fall!

There are so many resources on-line about asexuality: videos and articles and websites that explain what asexuality is and whether or not you may be asexual. I don't want to get into that, you already got it. What I want to share with you are my top five experiences with asexuality.

Number one: completely unsubstantiated by research is my experience of “sexual sonar”. My first experience with asexuality was in my doctorate program. After lunch I walked into the class and realized that there was someone in the room I hadn't recognized before – that is after he introduced himself as a member of the asexuality community. It wasn't until this time that I realized how much sexual energy I was sharing with people! I would essentially send out this echo device of libido and see whether or not and how it would bounce off of other people in my space. This instance of so called “sexual sonar” just went through him. I didn't even recognize that he was in the room because no energy was exchanged at all!

This person is David Jay. He is the founder of the asexuality visibility and education network asexuality.org. He probably doesn't know this story I just told you but he has played a huge role in how I understand my sexuality and ask questions to get answered later.

Two: the smartest shirt on the planet! After learning about asexuality in my doctorate program I was so excited to bring it back to Missoula, Montana and teach my students. I did a lot of research about it, came across what is the smartest shirt on the planet! A simple shirt that says “ineffable” on the front and “effin' ineffable” on the back. It's referring to ineffable meaning in “you're not effin'”. And than it also refers to the actual meaning of ineffable which is inability to describe something, inability to put it into words – because it's so great! And on the back, in case the person isn't hip on vocabulary, it's got “effin' ineffable”.

Three: the search for panel members. Asexuality was really difficult to describe at the beginning of its visibility. The community was just starting to come out from underground because they were afraid. They were closeted because people didn't really understand and they kept trying to change them, saying things like “Oh maybe you just haven't had sex with the right person!” or “The sex wasn't good!” or “You need to try it with me...”. I get this, I've seen it, I've ask people to come and speak on a panel for sexual orientation, people that represent the asexuality community and ten years ago they were not having it, it was very unsafe for them. But you've got 10 years from then and we have people e-mailing me, asking, begging to be the representative of the asexuality community.

Four: pathologizing sexuality. We have this tendency to pathologize, diagnose, somehow look for how we are going to fix a problem if we don't feel within, if we are marginalized somehow. And this has happened with people who experience low or no low sexual drive. It gets marked with hyposexuality disorder meaning a low or no sexual drive problem. When I teach about this, I show two images similar to these, one of a happy couple and one of an unhappy couple. They both might experience the same thing, the low sexual drive. But one of them has the perspective that this is asexuality the way that it is and not problematic for them as a couple at all, and the other might experience it as a trouble spot, something they want to get help with because it's not the way they want their sexuality to be. One of the greatest things about sexuality, asexuality or not, is that you get to navigate whether or not you want this to change and how you are going to find the resources to do that, or you're gonna love on you just the way you are.

Five: clergy panel? My last favorite experience around asexuality comes from religious leaders. I invite them in to have a discussion as a clergy panel about sexuality. One time, a student asked them “Hey, what are your views on asexuality?” and the group was stumped. I think it's confusing for them because asexuality is an orientation, it's this person's experience of not experiencing sexual attraction which is different than celibacy where a person does experience sexual attraction but doesn't have sex. If these guys aren't experiencing sexual desire, maybe desire isn't a choice. It's not a choice to be with someone of the same sex, opposite sex, trans, etc., it's the way the person is naturally.

So, to the asexual community out there: high five for the sonar, high five for coming out of the closet, high five for stumping the clergy and thank you so much for how much you've taught us about human sexuality.