Asexual Kinksters

We often say that BDSM isn’t always about sex. Asexual kinksters are sometimes an example of this. There are folks on the asexuality spectrum who enjoy diverse expressions of sex and kink with folks of every gender and orientation across the whole sexuality spectrum.

Quick 101 catch-up for those of you who aren’t familiar with asexuality: Asexuality is an orientation in which people experience limited to no sexual attractions. Sexual attraction is defined as the emotional response people feel where they find people sexually appealing, and this often results in a desire for sexual contact with people. You don’t necessarily need to be attracted to people to engage in and enjoy sexual activity, BDSM or kink. The asexuality spectrum is diverse and for some, fluid. Some folks on the asexuality spectrum are sex-repulsed, meaning they find the idea and/or act of sex revolting. Some asexuals have high sex drives. Some asexuals masturbate and watch pornography but don’t partake in acts of sex and kink with others. Some don’t masturbate or watch pornography. We need to make space for diverse expressions of sexuality and intimacy.

Asexuals can engage in kink and fetish play, and some folks separate sex and kink. You have sex-repulsed asexual kinksters. The takeaway here is that attraction, drive, kink, and sexual activity are all related in various ways, but expressions are as diverse as the experiences of those engaged. There is another spectrum- the romantic — aromantic spectrum — that we won’t get into here, but it exists and talks more about romantic/emotional attractions and bonds, but are outside the scope of this conversation.

While some asexuals are sex-repulsed, others enjoy kink and play parties. Rarely are those parties accessible to asexuals. Here are a few ways you can make the entire BDSM lifestyle more welcoming to asexuals, because some love kink and sex parties, too.

Compulsory sexuality refers to a “set of social attitudes, institutions, and practices which hold and enforce the belief that everyone should have or want to have frequent consensual sex.” While sexuality encompasses our internal wants and desires, compulsory sexuality is imposed from outside. Sexual and kink engagement should always be an intentional choice.

If you are curating a space where sex and/or kink are centered and celebrated, then consent should be at the forefront of all activity. Consent should be enthusiastic, and ongoing. Your presence at a sex or kink activity does not imply your consent to engage with others, and that goes for asexuals alike. Of course, your presence implies that you are aware of sexual and/or kinky activity, but any party worth their salt outlines expectations beforehand, opens said party with a consent class, and gives people the chance to discuss their triggers with organizers beforehand. Centering consent and acknowledging that we live in a world that mandates compulsory sexuality gives us the tools needed to help everyone curate an environment of intentionality.

Everyone at the event should be in agreement about the guidelines of engagement. That creates an environment of sex positivity, where sexual and kink diversity are celebrated, and the expectation that activity of a socially approved kind as mandatory is replaced with the enthusiastic consent and intention of all people in attendance. Asexuals are capable of maintaining a sex/kink positive attitude about sexual/BDSM activity and attitudes.

If we remember that asexuality is about attraction and that it has to do with self-identity, and not mandates for others, we can better understand one another. If we understand that we are all present to share the space, and that consent is the key for expression, the space becomes more inclusive. Once we stop holding the perception of asexuality as a monolithic, sex hating group, we can better make space for all diverse expressions of sexuality and kink. On a similar note, asexuals who attend sex and kink parties need to check their assumptions about those who experience sexual attraction at the door. Any shame they have surrounding sexuality should be deconstructed wherever possible, especially when entering spaces that center sex and kink diversity. The takeaway here is that sex negativity should be actively discouraged, no matter what your orientation may be.

Your guidelines also should talk about etiquette for engaging with people who are already involved in activities, because everyone has the right to be comfortable and on the same page in a vulnerable environment. In a related vein, voyeurism is a form of participation and should also be negotiated and consensual. While some attend sex and kink parties to play with those with whom they came, others attend because they enjoy being in a non-judgmental, sexually free, and body-positive environment. Some like to consensually watch others play. Some like to watch and play. There are asexual people with partners that like to watch their partners play.

Whether you curate or you attend kink and sex parties, you’re bound to meet asexual folks who might want to play. If you hold space for diverse expressions of kink and sexuality, please make space for aces at your events. They are more than their attractions. They are dynamic, fluid, and self-aware people, too. Adapted from an article at: bit.ly/3E6VBCN

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