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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

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