193. Following (II)
After transsexuality, what next? Conservatives, in an attempt at rhetorical manipulation, often say paedophilia—just as they said human-animal marriage for gay marriage in the 2000s. These are possible, but both are really rhetorical scare tactics. No, I suspect that the next progressive social issue will be “asexuality”. I first came across asexuality in 2004; I was about seventeen and, at that time, asexuality consisted of a few homespun websites of the type that have now almost disappeared. These websites—probably less than a dozen—were mostly headquartered in San Francisco, and this is no surprise—SF must be the home of “identity”, particularly ambiguous sexual identity.
For a while, I considered asexuality; why? Teenagers naturally seek for an identity, and here was an identity that was exotic; since most teenagers are interested in sex, it was, as the contemporary jargon goes, a counter-signal—everyone wants to get laid, but he is asexual; he must be high status, he disdains what everyone considers to be self-evidently high status. The unadmitted attraction was that the identity could provide a useful crutch for not making a fool of myself approaching girls—no need to suffer rejection, I’m asexual. As it turned out, I concluded sex looked like far too much fun and so never adopted the identity—besides, I reasoned, with cold logic, I stared at far too many chests to be “asexual”.
Asexuality remains a marginal but growing identity—it is much more than a handful of websites now. It is not so large as transsexuality, but it has the potential to be much larger—its demands are less radical, and so, in principle, almost anyone could adopt it with ease; and it neatly dovetails with leftist concerns about climate change, population control, and white guilt. As with transsexuality, asexuality is a perversion of a genuine sacred position. Transsexualism inverts shamanic hermaphroditism, asexuality inverts celibacy and chastity; although humans are sexual beings, they also—even teenagers—have a certain desire for chastity, celibacy, and freedom from desire.
The West is hypersexualised, but sex has now achieved a Pareto distribution—perfected through Tinder—and many struggle to lose their virginity. The great unsexed will need a rationalisation for their problems—asexuality will provide it. Further, Covid-19 has disrupted normal socialisation for the younger generations, now relegated to Zoom life. This accelerates an already existent technological dependency—a dependency much more severe than 2004, when I sat in a room and read a website I half agreed with; though I would soon go to the pub and forget all that. There will be communities and slick videos to convince a teenager not to take the plunge with the opposite sex—all underlined by the delicious sensation that they are special for doing so, a vivid justification for the human desire to slink away from the pain of sexual adventure.
It might be thought that our pornographised societies would make asexuality untenable. I doubt it. Asexuality is an intellectual position; and I am sure that asexuals will emerge who stubbornly maintain that they are: “Aroused by images, but, actually, images are not real people—my asexuality only expresses itself near physical girls.” The existence of mass pornography will make asexuality endurable; just as vegans tend to cheat—except genuine yogis—asexuals will slake their desire with pornography.
As usual, the progressive points will be half-true—pornographic images are not actual women—and there will be experts who will cheer the movement on and confirm the illusion. Conservatives will impotently fume: “But you’re masturbating, how can you be asexual? Are you an amoeba? No, look at this biology textbook! The science is clear: humans do not reproduce asexually.” They will never scratch the surface, because, as with transsexuality, the issue is not the science: the issue with transsexuality is intellectualised male ambivalence towards their own femininity; and the issue with asexuality will be intellectualised reluctance for a person to expose themselves to the pain of rejection in a ruthless sexual marketplace.