It’s a pretty scene. Two young lovers enjoying an embrace without a care in the world. They look wonderfully happy… and fertile.
From the outside it’s a dream match up. Unfortunately this relationship is hiding a dark and nasty secret within. When it reveals itself, it may damage their lives irreparably and forever.
One of them is asexual.
What is asexual?
In loose terms: A person who is not sexual, that is, someone who has no interest in sex.
This does not mean that an asexual doesn’t want to have a relationship. The desire to connect with others is still there. It’s just that those connections of the physical kind are not required… at all.
It makes for an interesting conundrum. What happens when we shed our childhood skin for our adulthood one? In books, we read about relationships all the time. A boy meets a girl. The two fall in love and get married. They have children and live happily everafter. At no point does the story go: One of them is asexual but the two of them suffer trying to living to an allosexual ideal. (I’ve purposely left the word heterosexual out of this paragraph)
There aren’t too many examples of asexuality in this world in which to measure this kind of relationship. Steamy love scenes are normal content. Romance from the rafters is commonplace. Even gay lifestyles are having their moment in the sun. There are far more stories on offer about gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transexual lifestyles that’d it’d be easy to research sex on any sexual type. What about those who don’t need anyone at any point?
About one percent of community is asexual. That’s about equal to same-sex relationships. Given that there is little asexual awareness, it’s possible that the asexual statistic is higher, often misinterpreted as a low libido or a poor sex drive. Few people would raise their hand and admit that sex isn’t for them at all, especially if they’re already in a marriage or a relationship of some sort.
And then there are the knockers, those who disbelieve asexuals. They say the problem stems from a bad sexual encounter or not finding the right lover to have good quality sex with. It parrots the criticism allosexuals used to give to same-sex couples a decade or two ago. It puts blame on someone or something else, rather than accepting a truth. That truth is: some people are born NOT to have sex. It’s shocking to say it’s so… but it’s absolutely true. We must be prepared for it. Ignoring it doesn’t help hetero or asexuals.
And so how does a young fertile woman or man cope with asexuality knowing nothing of it? They enter a relationship believing that sex should be normal and therefore functional and complete. They see images of couples acting out scenes of sexual attraction and mimic what they know. What they don’t know is not everyone likes or needs sex.
Asexuality has been spoken about on my blog before. That’s because the SEETHINGS narrative depends on it to sustain the tension within the book. It relies on three key factors: 1. A belief that asexuality doesn’t exist, 2. Heterosexuality is normal and part of the perfect marriage model, 3. Upholding the boy/girl stereotypes at-all-costs.
-Michael Forman (Author of SEETHINGS)
‘Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.’ – Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’