Asexual Orientations

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Written by: Tucker Culbertson

April 10 was rough on me.  A certain performer – whose work I find nearly wholly reprehensible – stepped up, spoke out, and seriously represented.

Worse still, she represented me.

Lady Gaga told London’s Daily Mail:

“[I]t’s OK not to have sex, it’s OK to get to know people. I’m celibate, celibacy’s fine… Something I do want to celebrate with my fans is that it’s OK to be whomever it is that you want to be. You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself… I remember the cool girls when I was growing up. Everyone started to have sex. But it’s not really cool any more to have sex all the time…”


I’ve found nearly perfect pleasure dissecting and dissing every bit of Gaga’s game.

I’ve gotten much mileage comparing her to the worst of high finance: making a fortune selling folks the derivative of a derivative [in her case, The Derivative™, a.k.a. Madonna.]

I’ve foamed at the mouth over her simple equation of desire and abuse.

But now all that is over.  Because Gaga’s come out celibate.  And it doesn’t matter that she attributes it to her busy schedule.  Nor does it matter that her alleged celibacy strategically immunizes her eroticish spectacles from substantive critique.  Not to me, at least.  Because I’m celibate too.

I’m a queer celibate with multiple life partners.  This confuses folks.  This the tax code can’t compute.  But this, for me and many others, is life just like we want it.

So thank you, Gaga. [Dang.]

As we collectively and individually proceed to combat heterosexist marriage regimes, benefits schemes, and so forth and so on, I hope we – I hope you, dear Reader – will remember those like Ga and me, whose asexual orientations are not aided by liberating state-sanctioned forms of sex-based kinship from traditional heterosexual parameters.

There are so so very many of us whose takes on sex and kinship are always already excluded from political consideration, from dinner conversation, and even from our own peers’ leftish imaginations.  Folks think everybody does, or wants to, have some kind of partner.  Folks think everybody is, or wants to be, having some kind of sex.  And folks think everybody does, or wants to, have some kind of partner with whom they have some kind of sex.

But no.  All things are, because folks are, so so much queerer than that.

Let me be clear: I am not asexual.  My orientation is.  Celibacy for me involves a deep sexual relationship with myself.  But my orientation toward the world, toward my relations with others, is decidedly a- [not anti-] sexual.  And I’m super into it.

For many of us, it would just take too much work to make sex a pleasure.  The haunting traumas, power dynamics, destructive compulsions, and challenges resolving ethics with desire are reason enough [to quote a former First and truly gaga Lady]:

Just Say No

… praying mainstream advocates of sexual minorities will see we’re in their midst.