december 13, 2005

The Fourth Alternative

Från en text av Iris B., engagerad i Nätverket för Asexuella. Iris deltog i seminariet under Pride och hennes berättelse mötte stor entusiasm och stort igenkännande från många där. Texten beskriver "Ace" (uttalet av engelsk plural för "A") som en fjärde kategori vid sidan om kategorierna H, B och T.

What? Do they exist?

We do, and we are the last outcasts. The ”explanations” for asexuality are the same as the ”explanations” once given for homosexuality; sickness and biochemical abnormality.

Back in the 1930’s in England when I was i child, bachelors and unmarried women, known as ”spinsters”, were not regarded as abnormal, although spinsters were pitied for not having ”made a catch”. A past unhappy love was the assumed explanation.

That the asexual can love is regarded as a contradiction in terms, but it is my 40 years’ long experience that what Shakespeare called ”The marriage of true minds” does not necessarily include a physical relationship. When I was young, I fell for a person’s mental, not physical, charisma. Once, at a commercial school, I was mistaken for a lesbian (a male invented label), and there was a general hullabaloo.

At the age of 37, totally inexperienced, it occured to me that my antipathy to ”standard” sex might be because I was homosexual, but it became clear quickly that I am asexual.

This way of life might be easier for women than for men. The nun in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem desires to be ”Out of the swing of the sea”, but the monastic life does not suit everybody.

There are other paths to peace and quiet, and some women, who may not be originally asexual in temperament, might come to choose it. Some men might find peace and quiet foreign to their natures, but the virility cult persecutes the underdeveloped male physique and there are other solutions for the despised than becoming a petty despot.

Asexual relationships are an alternative.


A true society for like treatment for everybody will outgrow subcultures and it will accept asexuality as a sexual preference.

I have always enjoyed the company of homosexuals, but if I am not to move among them under false colours, I must wear mine, which are white with a forget-me-not blue 4 in the centre, meaning don’t forget there is a fourth alternative.

The rainbow flag needs a white border. We are all ”queer” in the eyes of the right-wing heterosexual. Must asexuals be accounted more abnormal by just the groups where we so often find our friends?

Finally, the highest ideal is osmosis, a flowing into each other’s psyche. Asexuals do not seek it through physical co-ition and we have a right to seek it in our own way. Light-hearted play exists but it cannot lead. We have to be as serious as the opposition is.

As said, even those who are not asexual by nature may choose the security of an asexual home, either as permanent or as a safe post of return.

Freedom is flexible; autocratic rule is not, and dare not be.

Long live freedom!

September 2005,

/Iris B.

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