All Things in Moderation. Except That!

Emily Jenkins in Salon writes on sexual moderates, people who like sex just fine but don’t obsess over it, don’t feel the need to define every aspect of their lives in relation to sex — and the way our culture marginalizes what is probably a pretty normal attitude about sex as weird, dysfunctional, frigid, etc.:

People in our culture wonder about people who don’t have sex: Are they strung out? Anorexic? Fanatically religious? Or are they in some way neuter, cut off from their urges because of some childhood trauma or deep personal failing? As Abbott writes, sexuality is equated with normalcy in this post-sexual-revolution age, and abstinence is “tantamount to being branded as an emotional deviant, an errant soul in a world where adult sexuality is a mark of mental health and a measure of social adjustment.” Therapists, she notes, even try to restore the fearful or asexual to a state of sexual interest, rather than affirm celibacy as an acceptable way of living. In any case, to be celibate is to be called into question; it is not, in this day and age, normal.

Given the tremendous pressure our society puts on us to be full-time consumers of sex — the commercials, the magazines, the billboards, the “girl-talk”, the locker-room bonding, the sit-coms, the Viagra and Cialis and birth control and condoms, the spam — it’s no surprise that, for many, sex has become less a pleasure and more a duty. In the face of this pressure, more and more folks are turning away from sex altogether (or, rather, going public with their indifference to it), and even wearing their asexuality proudly as a slap in the face to our consumerist culture.

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