Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Island Style

I hear this frequently: "I wish we had an asexual utopia."
Presumably, this means a place where aces can congregate and easily identify others of our kind.
When I think of an "asexual utopia", the first thing that pops into my mind is some kind of Jurassic Park-style island where a mythical group of asexuals will be lost to the mists of time.
I really need to stop that, because the asexual utopia can actually happen-- there will just not be any dinosaurs involved.
Look at San Francisco-- historically, this is the gay city. Gay folks flock here as tourists and residents alike, since this is a place where they can be accepted in a largely unaccepting world. I don't know why San Francisco came to be so gay, but I'm glad it is, and there isn't any other city quite like this. What we need is the asexual city. But we need to decide a few things first:

Do we pick a city decisively, all move there, and start inundating it with asexual community? Or do we wait for such a place to develop organically?

Who is actually making these decisions, and how will they get made?

If it's the latter, will we know it when we see it? How?

And most importantly, is there actually an interest in this beyond the theoretical? For example, if it was decided that Omaha (for example) was going to become the asexual city, would enough people move there to actually enable things to happen? Maybe saying "I wish there was an asexual utopia" is for most like my statement "I wish I could marry a billionare who was near death"-- something that might have interesting results, but a course I would never actually pursue. As usual, "mind-blindess", perhaps, trips me up. What in the world are other people thinking?

To get the pulse of the people on this issue, I made an unscientific poll on AVEN. I wrote in my post:

I think it would actually be somewhat realistic to designate a city as being a place for asexuals to congregate, much like San Francisco is "the gay city". While people seem to be into this idea in theory, I'm wondering if people would actually move to such a place, since it seems like that would need to happen if we were ever going to achieve a critical mass anywhere. I have no idea how we'd choose the place-- right now I'm just wondering if people would actually be interested in going there, if it did exist...

I asked, "Would you move to it?"

So far, 21 people responded.
5 said "Yes, wherever it was".
2 said "Yes, within my country".
2 said "Yes, hinging on another factor".
11 said "No"
1 said "Other"

For the record, the vision I was proposing wasn't exactly clear. From people's responses, it seemed like most were still envisioning a secret asexual society where no sexual people were allowed. The strange thing was this: while the secret asexual island wasn't, to my knowledge, implied in my post, people seemed to imply it on their own. (Like most aces, I'm close to many people who aren't asexual. I'd never propose an asexual-only society, even if it could actually happen.) What I was thinking was to have as many community-minded asexuals as possible congregate in the same city, which seems like it could be completely realistic...if there's an interest. I wonder how the poll will go with some more time.

I guess I just have a hankering for adventure...


gatto said...

Well, I don't think we can expect too much. Even if San Francisco is a "gay utopia", I'll wager that most San Franciscans aren't gay, and that only a tiny portion of gay people ever live there (or can afford to).

I think it would be cool if there were some sort of ace counterculture, I guess... not just in one city, but in every city. As much as I hate taking the train to Chicago (I'm in the suburbs, and I dislike crowds, noise and mayhem generally), I might go for that sort of counterculture. I don't know. Most of us don't really seem the type to organize into a counterculture, not even an underground, closet variety. So... in the meantime, I'll just hide out with my kitties.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd try out a convent first. Yeah, they're not all asexual there, but they're all willingly celibate. The only thing is, I'm agnostic and I always feel like I've got a glowing sign over my head saying, "Non-believer!" whenever I'm around devoutly religious people.

Aces are 10 times less common than gay people so I don't know that we could actually populate a city efficiently. Maybe a nice little village in England or something, with a pub that sells Shirley Temples.


Madeline said...

if it was a nice city, i would totally move there...i think it would be nice to live in a place where sex was not always on everyones minds

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear someone talk about that, I always start thinking about the...Shakers, I think it was. That religious group that were such great believers in celibacy that one could only convert to the religion, not actually be born into it. (They adopted a lot of orphans, so there's something to be said for that.)

Ily said...

Interesting comments, guys...
I've also thought that joining a nunnery might be...intriguing... but since I'm Jewish and happy with that, it can't be a realistic thing for me. But even more than my religion is the fact that I am NOT a morning person. A week of waking up at dawn for vespers and I would really be waiting for God to take me.

Interestingly, there's no emphasis on celibacy in Judaism. If I did become a rabbi, which I've actually thought about because I'm a huge religion nerd (see my excitement about Shakers, to follow, for further evidence of this), I'd probably be given a hard time for not marrying or marrying outside the religion.

I didn't know much about Shakers besides the fact that they were celibate and made chairs. So I just looked them up on Wikipedia. They were SO COOL! I'm so sad they died out! Maybe I'll have to take a trip to Maine and hang out with the 4 remaining ones...

edgeofeverywhere said...

Ily, you should totally organize an ace road trip to visit the four remaining shakers! :)

To answer your original question, if there were a city that was "the asexual city," I probably wouldn't move there unless it was the city I happen to already live in and be attached to, but I would definitely take special trips there.

Erin said...

Well... there would be the technical issue of... you know... sustaining a population. I suppose the most realistic thing would really be to make an analog to San Fransisco--a city that can sustain it with a majority population of "normal" (non-queer, I suppose...) people to keep it running, but with a disproportionately large enough proportion of a certain group to overlay the city with that mindset and culture.

I suggest Portland. Haven't been there myself, but the music sounds good enough for an asexy population. :D

And I'm 100% sure I couldn't join a nunnery. I'm too outspoken and heretical.

Ily said...

Thanks for the comment, Erin! I do like Portland, I've been 2 times.