Monday, April 30, 2012

Depictions of asexuality

Ace Up Your Sleeve has a wonderful post on media imagery of asexuality.  It's a real shame that it's on tumblr, where it is unlikely to get saved for posterity.  Priceless teaser quote:
What I learned: asexual people are ethereal, wan, and nude.
I feel a bit scooped, because I also have been collecting a few media images of asexuality.   I used to keep an eye on these (via Google) for use in presentations.  But after seeing a lot of them, I find them hilariously bad.  I wouldn't use most of these in a presentation except as examples of terribleness.  Here are a few of the images I've collected that were not in Ace Up Your Sleeve's collection.

I can't help but notice the heads are removed!  I think that's because faces humanize the subject and humanization = sexy.  Distances smaller than two feet are also too sexy for asexuality.  Taken from Bering in Mind, a psych blog.

The Asexual Sexologist found this in a sexuality textbook, so you know the depiction has got to be objective and accurate.  This is a 100% objective and accurate depiction of two asexuals who are... um, what are they doing exactly?  Waiting for a bus?  Everyone looks demure when they're waiting for a bus.

I guess all anyone ever thinks about asexuals are their pants, and how they're not getting into them because they added these cheap locks.  The bastards!  From Salon.

This is a college newspaper cartoonist's depiction.  In fact, that's exactly what it looks like whenever I go out for a walk.  Except that this is Berkeley, so there are fewer gogo dancers and more hipsters.  Also, I usually go out with my boyfriend, holding hands, standing two feet away from him, with our heads cut off by the edge of the frame.

Did I mention that cutting off asexual's heads was a thing?  Taken from a story which also featured the images below:

The caption on the left image says they're talking about the other kind of asexuality.  The caption on the right image says that many asexuals pursue romantic relationships.  It's nice, for a change, to see a news story that admits the images are inaccurate and irrelevant.

Note that positive depictions are possible.  I love the professional photo shoots of actual asexuals (as seen on Ace Up Your Sleeve).  You can also go the route of Pride parade photos or asexual-made images, though these can have problems as well.