Asexuality: the first ‘internet orientation’

http://bust.com/sex/14324-no-sex-please-i-m-asexual.html 

“Asexuality has been called the first ‘Internet orientation’ because so many people discover asexuality and connect with the community online, but there’s also a strong network of meet-up groups in different cities.”

The term “internet orientation” sounds interesting – many (if not most?) people first learn about asexuality online. Sexual attraction is a very personal thing – it’s difficult to talk about why you’re attracted to certain people and not others, or even not at all. Perhaps it’s also a product of our culture – specifically, advertisers selling products by using sex, because (apparently) everyone wants it. As a result, asexuals often feel “broken” or “wrong” because they’re not interested in sex or romance, or they’re not attracted to someone they’re “supposed” to be attracted to. Not to mention the classic line “you just haven’t found the right person yet.”

It’s not too difficult to find examples of gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals throughout history, but how often will you find someone who’s asexual? With the internet’s capability to spread information and connect people from around the world, it becomes much easier to find people who share similar interests and qualities. It helps people find others like them.

I don’t really have much else to say that would be relevant to gender/media, but the term “internet orientation” really stuck with me.

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Asexuality: the first ‘internet orientation’

2 thoughts on “Asexuality: the first ‘internet orientation’

  1. I agree that it’s an interesting term! I think another thing that has become extremely popular is the practice of labelling everything- a friend of mine goes by agender panromantic asexual, for example. Today there are so many terms to define what we are that I wonder what we did before we had such labels- were we looser with how we defined ourselves, or were we just struggling to find the right name for how we felt? Not to be that hipster, but “I’m not into labels”- i.e, I feel that by putting a name to what I am, I limit my possibilities. Do you think that “internet orientations” are a product of many “labelless” people finding each other online and discovering that they belong to a group? Do you think that being on the vast Internet has made us want to have a group (i.e. a label) more?

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    1. I think people in general like belonging to groups, especially if the trait (like asexuality) that connects the group is something that is often belittled or disregarded. People like validation, and belonging to a group is already pretty validating, and maybe even comforting because they know they’re not alone. And it’s a good way to meet other people/potential friends, starting from some commonality.

      I can definitely understand why many people don’t like labels, and perhaps we’ve become so obsessed with nit-picking and specifying that we lose unity within “the human race” as a whole. But I think we can understand that we’re more than just the words we define ourselves as – no matter how many signifiers there are, I don’t think any label can capture the real essence of me or anyone else.

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