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时尚性概念:第四性——无性恋

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核心提示:Sex is what life is all about. Every high street is dominated by shops selling clothes to make you sexier, beauty products to make you more attractive, cars to make you stand out, books promising you wit at the turn of a page. If you really look at


Sex is what life is all about. Every high street is dominated by shops selling clothes to make you sexier, beauty products to make you more attractive, cars to make you stand out, books promising you wit at the turn of a page. If you really look at life with a cynical eye, it’s all about being better than the next person, top of the heap, the alpha male/female, the most sexually appealing. So, if you really don’t want sex, is the world just not your sort of place? Not straight, bisexual or gay, Fyne Times takes a look at the fourth option.

“Being asexual is not being celibate” says Greg immediately, as if to set the record straight before we go any further, “I don’t choose not to have sex, I just don’t want it!” Greg is 32, perfectly healthy in every way and certainly not unattractive. But for the past six years, he has opted out of sex altogether, something any psychologist would probably worry about! Yet Greg is convinced that far from having a problem, he is simply following his own natural born sexuality. “The difference between celibacy and asexuality is simply the desire. If you are celibate, you are making the effort not to do something that you really want to do. I don’t want to do it in the first place!”

Like many LGBT’s, it was in his teenage years that Greg discovered he was different to other kids his age. “At about the age of fourteen, my mates started to cover themselves in deodorant, slick their hair down and start to get really loud and boastful when any girls were around. It’s not that I was scruffy or didn’t care how I looked, but when I combed my hair I was doing it for me, not to attract a girl.” By the time Greg was 18, he still hadn’t lost his virginity. Although not really desiring it, the peer pressure he was under made him feel as though sex was something he needed to do to be considered ‘human’. “I eventually got a girlfriend who was an admin assistant in the factory where I worked. The actual sex thing wasn’t much to write home about, but I loved the feeling the next day when I walked into work knowing I was at last part of the real world”.

For a few years, Greg carried on having girlfriends, but something was still amiss. While his sex life was certainly very healthy, his motivation to go out and find a girl was starting to dwindle. “I was in my local pub one night with all my other mates and there was a girl who was looking at me all night. I just thought to myself, ‘why am I going to go over and talk to her? What do I really want?’ I thought a bit more about it and realised that I wanted sex because it made me feel needed, not because I actually enjoyed it. As long as I was having sex, I was ‘normal’.” Over a period of a few months, Greg decided not to seek a partner and to simply do the things he wanted to do. When he met a man who labelled himself ‘asexual’, Greg realised that he was too.

Asexuality is a fast growing sexual preference. In a world that is screaming out that sex should be everybody’s raison d’etre, a large number of males, females, gays, bisexuals and heterosexuals are deciding that for them, sex just isn’t that big a deal. Figures prove that more people are becoming asexual, even if they don’t realise what it is! In surveys on sexual orientation, the number of people who ticked the ‘not interested in either gender’ box has risen from 1% in 1994 to 3% today. At that rate of growth, it won’t be long before there are as many asexual people in the UK as there are homosexual.

There is a correlation between the emergence of this new fourth sexuality and that of the gay movement some sixty years earlier. Whilst not on the same level as the suffering of the early gay rights advocates, prejudice is still very much a part of an asexual’s life. “My mates think I have got a problem and often suggest viagra! My parents are let down at the idea of no grandchildren. Sex is like chocolate; when you meet somebody who doesn’t like it, you go ‘what? No, you must like it! Everybody likes it!’” Some religious leaders have also spoken out against fourth sexuality. A US Christian organisation recently stated that ‘sexuality is a gift from God thus a fundamental part of human existence’. The remarks came in the annual magazine of the National Religious Vocation Conference and even suggested that an asexual was simply ‘not a person’.

Scientifically, asexuality has mostly been discussed in relation to plants, worms and other creatures that don’t need to have sex to replicate themselves. While the academic community are obsessed with who finds who sexually attractive and why, the concept of not finding anybody attractive seems to have passed most scientists by. But there are a few studies about asexuality out there. In the 1990’s a study of sheep in Idaho showed that about 10% of rams weren’t interested in ewes at all. Any dairy farmer will also note the rather unimpressed reaction of cows when a bull is introduced to the herd! In the animal kingdom, asexuality definitely exists.

But aren’t asexuals setting themselves up for a very lonely life? Greg disagrees. “There is no reason why I can’t have a girlfriend and even get married. If I wanted to, I’m sure I could have kids. It would only mean doing it once or twice, which isn’t too much of a stress! To be honest, what I want from life is a close companion, like the sort older widows and widowers have, somebody to share your life with, comfort and respect but not necessarily sleep with. Whether it is a man or a woman doesn’t really matter either. When I find somebody who feels like the other half of me, then I will stick by them and be committed, whoever they are. It’s actually not restrictive at all if you think about it. Any person of any age or any sex could be the person I spend the rest of my life with!”

To those whose lives do not have to include sex, the new asexual movement has opened up a whole new community. AVEN is a web forum devoted specifically to asexuals and is one of the first ‘community’ based organisations. On their site, other asexuals can discuss their condition and celebrate who they are, again mirroring the valuable outlet for the gay community that the worldwide web provides. In one such forum, a group in the USA have even speculated about the idea of setting up an ‘asexual bar’ where like minded people can mix freely and meet other people just like themselves. How long before there is an asexual pride? Greg smiles at the question. “Not long, I am sure. Everyone should have the right to shout what they are from the rooftops, let the world know that they exist and demand tolerance. Sexuality is no longer about whom you sleep with, but also who you don’t!”

性是生命的所有意义。主宰着每条繁华街道的店家,总是在向你推销着让你更性感的衣服,让你更吸引人的化妆品,让你更出位的香车,保证让你立马变聪明的书籍。如果你用愤世嫉俗的眼光来看待生活,其意义全在于超越身边的人,出类拔萃,成为人中龙凤,最具性感魅力的人。所以,当你真的不想要性,是否这世界不是适合你的地方呢?不是异性恋,也不是双性恋或者同性恋,菲莫时代带你领略“第四种选择”的世界。

“无性恋者并不等于独身主义者”,在访谈开始前,格雷格马上跟我们澄清了这个定义,“我并没有选择不性交,我只是不想性交!”

格雷格三十二岁,从任何方面来讲都非常健康,绝非不吸引人。六年来,却自愿选择放弃所有性生活,这在任何心理医生听来大概都有问题!而格雷格却自信自己只是在遵从自己天生的性倾向,绝非有什么问题。“独身主义和无性恋的区别只是在于欲望。如果你是独身主义者,你只是努力避免去做一件你很想做的事,而我打从一开始就压根不想要这么做!”

就像很多LGBT(指性少数派,包括L女同性恋G男同性恋B双性恋T变性人),格雷格在青少年时代就发现自己与同龄人不同。“大概十四岁时,我的伙伴们开始把自己的满身喷满除臭剂,把头法抿的服服帖帖,只要女孩子一来,就开始大声的自夸起来。倒不是说我很邋遢或者不注意自我仪表,但我梳头就只是为了我自己,而并非为了吸引女孩子。”直至十八岁,格雷格尚且还是处男之身。虽然并非自愿,来自周围人的压力还是他觉得非要行此大礼方才能被当成“人”看。“最终我还是找了一个女朋友,她在我工作的工厂做行政助理。真正的性事并不值得大书特书,但我很享受第二天我去上班时,那种终于融入社会的感觉。”

曾经有几年,格雷格不断地结交女朋友,但总有些不顺心。虽然他的性生活完全正常健康,促使他出去找个女孩的动机却开始衰退。“有一次我跟我的哥们去我家附近的酒吧,那儿有一个女孩整晚都在盯着我看。我却在自我反思:我为什么要过去跟她打招呼呢?我真正想要的是什么?越想得多我渐渐就发现,我需要性只是因为它使我觉得自己被需要,而我自己却并不乐于此事。但只要我有性生活,我就是正常人。”有几个月,格雷格决定不再去寻找伴侣,而去做自己想做的事。当他遇到了一个自我标榜为无性恋的男人时,格雷格意识到他自己也是。

无性恋是一种正在快速增涨的性倾向。在一个无时无刻不在向人们宣称性是人生的终极意义的世界里,一部分为数甚众的男男女女,同性恋双性恋或异性恋开始觉得性对他们来说不再是什么了不起的事。数据证明越来越多的人正在成为无性恋,甚至在完全不了解这个概念的情况下!在关于性倾向的调查中,勾选“对任何性别都不感兴趣”的人数从1994年的1%增加至现在的3%。以此增速,不久之后,英国就会有跟同性恋数目同样众多的无性恋者。这股新崛起的第四性潮流跟六十多年前的同性恋运动有关。虽不至于遭受早期同志权利提倡者的磨难,但是偏见仍然是无性恋者生活的一部分。“我的哥们们认为我有问题,常常向我推荐伟哥!我的父母因为没有孙子孙女而失望。性就好比是巧克力,当你遇到有人说他不喜欢巧克力,你就会说“什么?!不,你怎么会不喜欢!人人都喜欢!”一些宗教领袖也公开表示反对第四性。一个美国基督教组织最近开始宣称“性是上帝赐予的礼物,是人类存在的基本要素。”一篇发表于全国宗教职业会年刊的文章甚至说无性恋者根本就“不是人”。

科学意义上讲,无性通常涉及的是一些植物,蠕虫以及其他不需要性来实现繁殖的生物。当学术团体沉迷于“谁觉得谁有性吸引力和为什么”,大部分科学家都忽视了“不觉得任何人有性吸引力”这个概念。但也确实有一些发表了的关于无性恋的研究。九十年代,一份爱达荷州的调查表显示有大概10%的公羊对母羊完全不感兴趣。任何职业牧民也会注意到当公牛被引入牛群时,母牛那种相当漠视的反应。在动物王国中,无性恋绝对存在。

但是难道无性恋者们不会打算终身孤独吗?格雷格并不同意,“完全没有理由否定我将会找一个女朋友甚至结婚。如果我愿意的话,我相信我一定会有小孩。但那意味着性只是偶尔为之,而不会形成压力。说实话,我真正想要的生活是有一个亲密的伴侣,有点像那些老鳏夫和寡妇之间的关系。与之共享此生,彼此安慰,尊重,但不一定要上床,是男是女也并不重要。当我找到了我的另一半,我会寸步不离的陪伴着他/她,并忠心不二,不管他/她是谁。如果你想想看的话,这完全没有限制。任何年龄的任何人都可能成为我愿意共度余生的另一半!”

对于那些生活中不想有性的人来说,这种新的无性恋运动为他们打开了一个全新的圈子。AVEN(the Asexual Visibility and Education Network无性恋曝光度和教育网)是一个专门面向无性恋的网络论坛,并且是第一个基于“(无性恋)圈子”的组织之一。在其站点上,无性恋者可以交换彼此的感受,并为自己引以为豪。同时也反衬出同志群体在世界范围网络上极高的曝光度。一个来自美国的团体甚至考虑要建立一个“无性恋酒吧”,在那里想法一致的人们可以自由交往并且遇到跟自己相同的人。离举行一场“无性恋大游行”还有多远呢?听到这个问题时,格雷格笑了:“不会很久了,我敢说。每个人都有站在楼顶大声喊出自己是谁的权力,让世界知道他们的存在,并宽容以待。性倾向不再是只关于你跟谁上床,也同样关于跟谁你也不上床!”

 

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关键词: 时尚性 概念 无性恋
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