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  • (A)Sexuality is here linked to reproduction. The four P in sexuality: procreation, play, pleasure, parallelism (agreement in direction and tendency)

Asexuality2011 Asexuality2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Asexuality Olivier Cormier-Ota ño October 2011
  • About me
    • Integrative and relational counsellor and psychosexual therapist
    • MBACP accred.,
    • AASMT with Pink Therapy.
    • 99.9% of my clients are GSM
    • French, Spanish and UK tax payer
    • Interest in Gender Identity and sexuality
    • A non pathologising approach to GSM
  • Certificate in Sexual Minority Therapy in 2008-2009
  • Huh?
  • What is asexuality?
    • Not chastity
    • Not celibacy
    • Not frigidity
    • Not hypoactive sexual desire disorder
    • Not a pathology
  • A definition
    • DSM IV (2000)
    • Deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity marking distress and difficulty.
  • Questionnaire
    • 310 asexuals,
    • 48% female and 52% male
    • Average age 37
    • 61% never experienced sexual intercourse
    • 76% decided or realised in their mid-teens
  • Asexual orientation?
    • Who are you attracted to?
    • Female Male
    • opposite 41% 25%
    • same 7% 26%
    • both 18% 23%
    • neither 33% 26%
    • both and neither 1%
  • Relationships
    • Not in a romantic or amorous relationship
    • Female 59% Male 53%
    • Never had been in an asexual relationship
    • Female 61% Male 70%
  • Relationships
    • In a romantic/amorous relationship
    • Female 41% Male 46%
    • 40% partner not asexual
    • 85% open relationship
  • Where it hurts:
    • 71% feel their choice is generating curiosity
    • 64% feel pressured to justify/explain their choice
    • 74% feel people do not respect their choice
    • 78% found their sexual orientation was not accepted
    • 79% experienced oppression or discrimination because of their sexual choice
    • 64% feel nobody support them or their choices
    • 2% find support from AVEN (on line community and forum) but 17% have very negative views about it
  • Some difficulties
    • 16 cases of rape (more?)
    • Keeping secret to keep safe.
    • Hiding behind the relationship, work, faith, age.
    • Where do you find a partner?
    • How to negociate your asexuality with a partner?
    • How to have children (adoption…)?
    • Is any sexuality more acceptable?
    • No interest in asexuality from caring profession (nor understanding )
  • Some voices part 1
    • hiv + from sole sexual experience. Fears passing on virus.
    • I didn't choose to be asexual I simply am.
    • Asexuality should be brought out in the open so people don't feel oppressed.
    • Asexual should campaign like gay movements.
    • I hope you understand me, nobody else does.
    • Please publish a paper that says I am not mentally ill, I beg of you.
    • I am very normal.
    • Roman catholic priest, I have more problems with the whiskey than thinking about sex.
    • Always hated sex, now a respectable widow, I am able to be myself and it's wonderful.
  • Some voices part 2
    • How do you tell a woman you want a sexless relationship? I don't want to go to therapy.
    • How do you say you find sex revolting to people? I can't be the only one?
    • I don't like being touched, but would like to meet…
    • Pressure from parents, had 10 shots of ECT
    • I might not be asexual forever.
    • Doctor says I am a deviant, Priest says it's a holy Union, pressure to have children, my wife pretends she is barren.
    • I am very lonely and would love a partner, been called a freak, thrown out of gay bars.
    • We are not lesbians. My girlfriend…
  • Some voices part 3
    • My counsellor says I am questioning my sexuality but what if I don't have one? What do I do then? I hate being like this. I think there must be something wrong with me.
    • Thank you for taking me seriously and not thinking I am a psychiatric case. Longing for relationship. A touch is electrical and can be very erotic.
    • People think something must have happened, sex seems to be the reference these days.
    • Rejected form gay community: it's not very open minded and seems very sex orientated.
    • Beaten up by boyfriends for not sleeping with them. Never heard of asexuality, is it recognised as valid sexuality or am I a deviant in some way? I am afraid to ask my doctor.
  • Some voices part 4
    • It will never be acceptable until it remains clouded in secrecy.
    • I do not want people to know I am not normal, how can I be accepted when doctor says I am not normal. I am very disappointed I have let my family down.
    • Psychotherapist, I am not sure if I hate my partner for having sex, or needing sex or if I hate myself for not being able to fulfill his needs.
    • I think it is fantastic that someone is interested in asexuality. It makes me feel I am not alone. Do you know how good that makes me feel? You will never know.
  • Onanism
    • What about masturbation: not a sexual behaviour.
    • An experience to have but boring.
    • 2% of asexuals masturbate (Prause & Graham, 2005).
  • Puzzlement
    • Invisibility
    • Community
    • No vocabulary
    • Relationship values
    • Sexual identity
    • Culture, faith (Kenya, Maouris, American Indians, Muslim, Free Chuch)…
  • In the absence of sex…
    • Some negative messages
    • Not normal
    • Couples need sex
    • Something wrong, let’s fix it.
  • In the absence of sex…
    • Some positive ideas
    • Communication in the couple.
    • Intimacy, choice, values, commitment.
    • Sex is not love / Love is not sex.
  • Resources
    • Boston Marriages by Rothblum, E. and Brehony, K. (1993) University of Massachusetts Press.
    • No sex: avoir envie de ne pas faire l’amour by Sastre, P. (2010) Musardine
    • No sex last year : la vie sans sexe by Fontaine, D. (2006) Arte
    • La révolution asexuelle by de Tonnac, J.P. (2006) Albin Michel
  • More resources
    • Prause and Graham (2007) Asexuality: classification and characterization: Springer Science+Business Media
    • Scherrer (2008) Coming to an Asexual Identity: Negotiating Identity, Negotiating Desire. www.sagepublications.com
    • Sherrer (2010) Asexual Relationships in Understanding non-monogamies by Barker and Langdridge. London Routledge
    • Irwin, R. (2002) Psychosexual Nursing. London, Whurr
    • Aven 13 different languages forums : http://www.asexuality.org/home/
    • http://www.apositive.org /
    • [email_address]