Antisexualism is a belief that sexuality is wrong or should be avoided. It is distinct from asexuality in that it is a belief, whereas asexuality is a sexual orientation. It should also be noted that not all asexuals are antisexual, and not all antisexuals are asexual.
Most asexuals on AVEN, far from being antisexual, take the viewpoint that sex (provided it is undergone safely and consensually) is a fine and dandy thing for other people to do, and they simply don't want to have to get involved with it themselves.
Reasons for Antisexualism
Some of the arguments given for the antisexual position include:
- Sexuality can complicate relationships.
- Sex may be incompatible with intimacy.
- Sexual desire can cause people to place primitive instinct ahead of intellect (for example, people who have unsafe casual sex despite their awareness of the dangers of STDs).
- Sexuality asserts itself in the human mind by releasing neurochemicals comparable to addictive drugs into the brain.
- Sexual desire can cause people to lie and cheat in the pursuit of sexual relationships.
- Sexuality can lead to discrimination, based on perceptions of sexual immorality and intolerance of certain sexual preferences.
- Sexual desires could be false assumptions that are foisted on by society, hence one may need to look at how one's sexuality is ideologically and institutionally constructed.
- Sexuality is complicated compared to its supposed purpose. The variety of orientations and execution of sexual relationships can be too bewildering to be practical.
- Some antisexualists make no distinction between consent and coercion, seeing sex as a means of oppression.
- Some antisexualists see a link between unrestricted reproduction, resource depletion and environmental decay. This is a position ideologically connected to deep ecology and what some call ecofascism.
- Some antisexualists argue motherhood is a construct used to subjugate women, hence they oppose procreation. This is also an argument with pro-celibacy advocates.
- The relentless pursuit of sex is nihilistic.
Arguments Against Antisexualism
Some of the arguments against the antisexual position include:
- Sexuality is still the easiest way for humans to reproduce
- Most people have strong drives to express themselves sexually. Expecting them to abandon all sexuality may be an unreasonable or even harmful thing, similar to expecting an asexual to have sex when they do not want to, or a homosexual to become straight
- Many people experience strong emotions during sex that make them feel closer to their partners, especially when sex is undergone safely and thoughtfully and with connections to commitment
- Although bad things (such as lies and violence) are sometimes done in the name of sex, the same things are also done for other reasons (such as power or the pursuit of monetary gain); therefore, sex is not at fault here
- Discrimination based on sexual preference is not caused by sexuality itself, but by the social constructs around it
- Demonizing natural sexuality leads to more sexual discrimination rather than less
- Far from seeing sex and procreation as a means of oppression, many feminists see restrictions on sex and procreation as a means of oppression, since many women desire sex
Antisexualism and AVEN History
AVEN was founded, in part, due to a schism in the early asexual community between sex-positive asexuals and antisexuals. During its founding, AVEN distinguished itself from groups such as the Antisexual Stronghold which held sway in the early asexual community located at the Haven for the Human Amoeba. Much of AVEN's leadership maintains a strong stance against antisexualism even today. Antisexualism remains a major presence in the Russian asexual community, and prompted the migration of much of that community to Russian-language forums hosted on AVEN.