Firstly: I voted in Starbucks today. That was my polling place. Serious.
Secondly: Thanks for all the affirmations of my loveability. While I promise that an ego-boost wasn't what I was going for, who could resist? At any rate, friends and readers, you've proved to be a progressive bunch. Consider my hat eaten.
Thirdly: Let's talk about sensuality. It's not something I've ever thought much about. According to an article on Suite101.com,
"Frigid? Ugly? Boring? A plant?
These were the responses I got when I tossed out, "So, hey, what do you think an asexual is?" (Alright, so my friends aren't too smart.)"
(Damn straight they aren't. Where did you find these people?) Anyway, I would probably assume that a large number of people (of course, that do not read this blog), if asked whether asexuals can be just as sensual-- if not more so-- as sexual people, would answer "no".
Well, prepare for a little myth-busting.
While at The Great SF Book Swap, I picked up a book called The Psychologist's Book of Self-Tests. I do love to be quizzed, as long as I'm not being graded. So, I took a test called "How Sensual Are You?" which was created by a student for his honors thesis in psychology. Anyway, my results placed me solidly in the 50th percentile, which means I'm about as sensual as 50% of the population. The book's author, in an extremely pompous afterward to his student's test, states:
Our research did find that this scale was able to predict several elements of sexual behavior. Scores on this scale, for instance, are related to the age at which one has sex for the first time, the frequency with which one has sex, how long one's average sexual encounter lasts, and how much one enjoys touching and caressing. Nothing surprising about any of that.
--Louis Janda, PH.D.
Janda might have a PH.D., but he failed to tell us how exactly these things are related. Are we just supposed to assume that there's a positive correlation between sexuality and sensuality? For sexual people, maybe there is. But for asexuals, there definitely isn't such a correlation, which makes me think that the correlation for sexual people might be tenuous as well. For pop culture examples of sensual asexuals, take the hedonistic characters of the film Withnail and I. Or, recall Amelie, from the film of the same name, whose (a)sexuality has been debated on AVEN more than once. In one scene, Amelie describes the sensual pleasure she derives from running her hand through a bucket of lentils. At A-Team meetups, we'll joke about the fact that so many of us love to cook and eat. In fact, chocolate cake seems to have become asexuality's unofficial mascot.
We might seem like ascetics because it's so hard for some people's friends to believe that we naturally lack a sex drive-- they must think we're fighting off our urges by force of will. Not so. We enjoy the pleasures of the flesh as much as anyone else, just not- ahem- those pleasures.