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Yes, You Can Be Disabled and Asexual

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I want to talk about the sex-positive movement that is happening in the disability community. I don’t like it.

Before you all come at me with pitchforks, let me just say I think it’s great that people are more able to express their sexuality. I know disabled people are often thought of as unworthy of sex or asexual, and that’s not fair. I’m proud of you for speaking out for yourself and your needs. However, some disabled people’s voices are being left out of this movement.

I’m chronically ill. I am also asexual. I have no libido, nor do I want one. But when I recently came out to a loved one, they replied, “You’ve had a lot of trauma in the past few years. It’s no surprise that you’ve repressed that.”

I’ve only been ill for two years. I’ve never been sexually attracted to anyone. Another person, a doctor, suggested I was asexual because of some kind of hormonal issue, which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t exist. I think I’ve always been asexual, I’ve just recently learned what the term “asexual” means.

We have two problems here. The first is the idea that my chronic illness is assumed to have caused my asexuality. This is a problem nearly all chronically ill / disabled people struggle with. The second is the belief that a chronically ill person can’t really be asexual; her lack of sexuality is because of repressed emotions or medical problems. Asexuality is a symptom. This is something I and many other aces (asexuals) struggle with. Am I ace because I’m sick? Even if I was, would that make me any less of an asexual?

Regardless of the reason, I’m asexual and I like it. I’m not sick because I’m asexual, and I’m not asexual because I’m sick. I’m sick because my body is a jerk, and it really doesn’t matter why I’m ace.

The sex-positive movement is great and necessary, but it fails to include actual asexual disabled people. It fails to say that asexuality is not always a symptom. Yes, disability does not equal asexuality. But that doesn’t mean they’re mutually exclusive. A person can be sick and independently asexual.

Please continue fighting to fulfill your needs! I will support you in it. But please remember that my asexuality does not impede your allosexuality.

Getty image by bestdesigns.

Originally published: February 6, 2018
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