Saturday, October 29, 2011

Neither asexual nor celibate? And the Church . . .

So I'm uncomfortable with both asexual and celibate labels.  Why?

I feel more like I'm being practical than sacrificial. If you don't have to get mixed up in the morass of romantic/sexual relations, why on God's green earth would you? I think all people desire intimacy, but some of us just realize that sex doesn't have the market cornered on intimacy, and sexual relationships are not necessarily superior in the intimacy department. Unfortunately, a lot more people don't realize that, so relationships in the church are skewed from the ideal just as much (if in different ways) as those outside the church.

The church, the body of Christ, should be about real love (intimacy), but nowhere do people get as hysterical about the idea of intimate, chaste, male-female friendships as in the current church. It's unconscious and systemic. The book Singled Out picked up on it and painted kind of a beautiful picture but stopped before going nearly far enough with the analysis and suggestions. I hope the authors are working on a sequel.  (Does anyone know of any other books that explore this practical aspect further?)

The church should be the place where people are a family, one body, intimately involved with each other's lives and not so LASER-focused on spouses and children to the exclusion of any other intimate relationships.

Yeah, I said it.  It's pretty radical, I know, and it's hardly well-developed and well-thought out enough to write a book about. But when I look at what I know of the life and example of Jesus and the early church, I can't help but think that maybe it's true.

What do you think?

Asexual Awareness Week?

Did you know it was asexual awareness week?   Neither did I.  How did people become aware of things before the internet?

Since I am now aware that there's an official category and stuff, I did a bit of looking at definitions, and it seems that I actually don't really qualify for the asexual category if it is strictly defined as a lack of sexual orientation.  In real life, however, (on the discussion groups and forums), it seems that people who identify themselves as asexual are sometimes indicating a preference or choice to not participate in sexual activity (though some who identify as asexual do have sex usually for the sake of other people), so maybe I still qualify for the label.

Random fact from Wikipedia: "Currently the US states of Vermont[49] and New York[50] have labeled asexuals as a protected class."  Who knew?

Conclusion: Since I've had crushes on boys, I think I'm technically not asexual.  I guess celibacy is the word for me.

Thing is, I don't always feel comfortable with celibate, either, as the connotation is clearly of one who sets aside these desires for a religious purpose, and I don't really think that's what I'm doing.   Wikipedia separates asexuality from it for that reason: "distinct from abstention from sexual activity and from celibacy, which are behavioral and generally motivated by an individual's religious (or other) beliefs. . .."

Not a eunuch from birth and not a eunuch for the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:12).  Then what am I?  And what should I be (doing)?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Is asexuality getting popular? (No, really.)

I have discovered that I apparently have a label.  There are even graphics one can post to proclaim one's proud membership to this group.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Maybe now that they've taken my term, I'll have to switch to another.  I'd hate to be painted guilty by association. 

One might wonder how that would happen.  Well, you see, apparently, this category is part of a new term people are trying to popularize.  Back when I was in college, the GLBT acronym was thought to span the spectrum (outside of straight folks, who don't count because they're in the majority I guess).  Now there's this new-fangled one I ran across while reading up on a controversy in the Young Adult novel world: QUILTBAG.

(I would hereby like to suggest that this acronym be made plural to include straight folks in the name of the diversity the folks who came up with the term claim to value.)

"Nurul says: September 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

"Ooh, is that A in your QUILTBAG stands for asexual? Because if yes then thank goodness, someone remembers us! It seems like the world refuses to acknowledge that we exist."

And have a Facebook group to prove it.  So what are other folks in this strange group like?  Feel free to check out some of their sites.

"S.O. says: September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

"there’s a few discussion communities on this topic:"

So I'm part of an acronym that also contains labels for behaviors I do not condone.  What's a Christian girl to do?

I sometimes joke that the only thing worse than Christian young adults telling their parents that they're homosexual seems to be telling their parents that they're asexual.  In our culture (even in the church), being asexual is a kind of perversion reserved for the crazies and/or the most holy (monks, mystics, martyrs, and suchlike).  Mad people wired for self-sacrifice or self-destruction.  It's threatening to believers and non-believers alike for someone to look and say, "You know, this game you all play so intently holds no interest for me, so I'm just going to go do something else with my time and energy."

I'm not sure what I think about being in a QUILTBAG category.  In the church, we're taught that this lack of sexual desire is a spiritual gift, but spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to the Church to help us serve others, so where do a bunch of "secular" asexuals leave my theology?

Your thoughts?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finding Love This Summer and other things I didn't really do

In other news, I got an invitation to "find love this summer on" 

Now, I know I am a young fogey, but I am a celibate young fogey, and I have no interest in romance with a senior citizen even if we would likely move at abou the same speed, be interested in the same things, and have lots of pain complaints and stories to share. 

How do I get on these mailing lists?