A Bit of the Other

I got a message from a guy. Looking for no-strings-attached 'fun' from a likeminded, openminded man.

I sometimes get messages like it, and sometimes I follow up on them, and sometimes we meet for sex. It might be blow-and-go. It might be tea and, erm, crumpet. Occasionally it's a long chat followed by a lot of cuddling in a nice warm bed.

But this message had something slightly different about it. He's in his forties, a little overweight, versatile, considers himself gay...and asexual.

An asexual man would like to have sex with me. Which means either I've missed something important about asexuality...or he has.

The notion of asexuality makes sense to me. If Donald Rumsfeld says there are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknows, then it seems reasonable to ask if there are unknown knowns - things we know but don't know that we know. And in several senses the answer is yes.

Likewise if there are people who like men but not women, women but not men, or men and women, then the forth side of the square would be people who just aren't into sex - with anyone.

But the trouble is, there's a lot of people out there who wish they were asexual, and convince themselves they are - compare with lipstick lesbians and straight pretend bisexuals. Think Brett Anderson in the 90s, David Bowie in the 70s, or any of the student types now who adamantly refuse to define their sexuality - while having a steady girlfriend and never trying a homosexual experience.

There's no shortage of blogs written by mainly young people who've been seriously put off sex - by abuse, religious indoctrination, or just a really bad relationship - who want sex...but don't want to want it.

My emailer though presumably isn't like that - unless his notion of sex is of a billclintonian, asymmetrical kind, where someone can have sex with him without him having sex with them.

Again, it's not without precedent - or president. The notion of the gay top is both recent and western - if you travel back fifty years or east three thousand miles, you'll be in a place where gay men are thought of as the ones and receive, and straight men as the ones who give, usually to women but sometimes to men. Role is more important than gender.

But I don't think my emailer is like that - he's 'versatile', so at least likes the idea of not being the receptacle of another man's, um, attention.

Maybe he thinks of himself as biologically male, sexually homo, but mentally neither male nor female. If there are men trapped in women's bodies and vice versa - and I know there are because the closest I've come to sex with a women is almostgoing home with a M2F post-op transsexual - then perhaps there are neithers trapped in an either's body.

I'm tempted to respond just so I can ask him. But maybe that's not the right reason to have sex with someone.


  1. blow-and-go...

    Great name for a hair salon.

  2. Asexuality, as used by humans, is defined by a lack of sexual attraction - not a lack of sex drive, but of sexual attraction. Both are fairly nebulous concepts when you try to define them, but the primary difference seems to be (from someone who has neither) in how they are experienced. Sex drive is the feeling or compulsion to engage one's genitalia in some kind of activity usually coded sexual, usually for the purpose of orgasm, whereas sexual attraction is a desire to do that because you are attracted to someone; the former does not at all depend on the latter, and a lot of asexual people still masturbate, but without ever connecting that action (or the feeling that leads to it) with other people.

    So asexuals who have a romantic orientation, who are attracted to people emotionally/romantically but not sexually, and who have a sex drive may see fit to combine the two - it still doesn't mean that they're sexually attracted to their sexual partners, but if they have some kind of attraction, and they have a "sex drive," then it may be more practical to deal with them together, even if they aren't doing it because they were specifically sexually attracted to those with whom they're doing it.

    And even besides that, asexuality has nothing to do with gender identity, as you seem to think might be a possibility. Those who feel themselves neither male nor female (nor a mix, or some halfway point, etc. - there are a lot of non-binary identities) generally call themselves agender or genderless. Those who want to be/feel they should be "sexless" are generally called neutrois.

  3. Ho!... cxu mi povas havi sekson kun vi ankaux? Via blogo estas seksalloga.

  4. Mi ne faris sekson kun esperantisto jam multaj jaroj. Sed mi cxiam havas la volon miksi la du plejbona aferoj kiu ni povas fari uzanta niaj langoj.

    Malbone, mi ne apliki la universalan lingvon ofte. Oni neniam diras ke mia blogo kreas sekan pensoj!

  5. Just kidding. I'm not actually an Esperantist. I learned the basics of the language years ago but my vortaro remained small. Still, I remain a non-exclusive sympathiser of the Esperantist movement.

    I've been following your blog a few months and I really like you, or, at least I like your pen personality. Don't remember how I came to the blog, but see we check many blogs in common (NERS, ScienceBlogs and Language Log, have I ever seen you at John Well's?).

    I'm really gay too, in a non-asexual way. And while you look pretty in the tiny profile pic, I'm South American so there is no much chance for any actual sex for us (but if you pay me a flight to England I'll be your sex slave any time!).

  6. Ah, in that case it's nice to meet another eterna komenculo. I spent most of my twenties involved in conlang and auxlang discussions - where there are also rather a lot of gay folks.

    I had no idea I had any silent followers, still less from readers of much better blogs than mine, like Orac and Language Log - where I do remember seeing you. I didn't know John Wells had a blog - I'll have a look.

    The pretty (and, erm, underage) boy in the pic is actually a still from Derek Jarman's film, Wittgenstein. My real face and real name are kept from the internet, though anyone with a little ingenuity could find who I am.

    I'm more likely to be flown to South America than be able to afford anyone else's air fare over here. If there's any decent language schools left to do it.

    Your profile is invisible - do you blog too?

  7. That's not you? Oh, that's a disappointment. I was going to say you have beautiful nostrils. I should have seen that film. I've only seen a couple of films by Derek Jarman ("Caravaggio" is pretty good) so far, looking for the actor Spencer Leigh, who I first saw in a Morse episode and liked the voice and accent he used for his character. Sadly, his roles in Jarman's films were silent.

    I don't think I could easily track you name from what I've read so far, but I don't really care. Your meatspace name wouldn't be any more real than "Kapitano" for me, as I don't expect we will ever meet in person.

    I don't follow Orac, but I visit Greg Laden's and Pharyngula occasionally (though I'm not liking the latter very much these days) and some other blogs from ScienceBlogs, like Tetrapod Zoology (the best, for my taste). I'm astonished to read you remember me from Language Log, I didn't remember having commented there at all!!

    My profile was not invisible, but actually non-existent. I've created it now, just for you to see. It pissed me that Blogger puts your zodiac sign, good to see they have made it optional now. I don't have a blog because I don't think I could make an interesting one, but I have a place were I upload some doodles. I won't link it here where Google can find it next to my name, I'll email you the URI.