song against sex


Can you date someone who is poorly-read?
July 10, 2010, 3:06 pm
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It’s Not You, it’s Your Books” by Rachel Donadio
The New York Times, March 30th, 2008

“We’ve all been there. Or some of us have. Anyone who cares about books has at some point confronted the Pushkin problem: when a missed–or misguided–literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast. At least since Dante’s Paolo and Francesca fell in love over tales of Lancelot, literary taste has been a good shorthand for gauging compatibility.”

Stuff White People Like examines the issue: Can you date someone who is not well read?

Yes:

Dating someone who is not as well read as you is a good idea since these type of people are more easily manipulated in terms of both actions and future taste in books. The ability to entirely craft the literary tastes of your partner is highly desirable as it reinforces your own impeccable taste and allows you to play a litery version of Henry Higgins.

No:

In social situations there is a good chance that a poorly read person will admit to not having read Nabokov beyond Lolita or that they are unfamiliar with Umberto Eco’s essays on reading. Of course, there is the off-chance that tey might commit intellectual and social suicide by asking your friends if they “loved The Da Vinci Code as much as I did?” This is extremely embarrassing and reflects poorly on them. Ultimately, their actions are more of a statement about you and your inability to date someone of adequate literary experience.

Final Call:

It is recommended that you date and then subsequently dump someone who is considered “poorly read,” simply for the story. It will show your commitment to the importance of books and reading. But beyond that singular experience it is unacceptable to seriously date anyone who has not read the right books.


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“Asexual Dating Vs. Just Friends – Defining the Difference to a Sexual World”
April 8, 2010, 1:12 am
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Asking sexual people to understand asexual dating resembles asking fish to understand breathing air: after amazing mental contortions, ultimate rejection. Sexual thinking insists asexual dating equals Just Friends. By that logic, sexual romantic relationships equal Friends with Benefits, an equivalence sexual people reject. That is, similarities in physical expression provide thin cover for vast differences in other key relationship factors, as in asexual dating vs. Just Friends.

Factors common to good relationships, according to Crookes & Baur in Our Sexuality, include trust, togetherness, expressiveness, staying power, security, laughter, support, physical affection, personal growth, and respect. Sexual dating encompasses more than sexual intimacy, as asexual dating encompasses more than avoiding it. Convincing sexual minds to view relationships sex-neutrally differentiates asexual dating from Just Friends based on these factors.

Trust: Asexual dating requires a level of trust far exceeding Just Friends. Asexuals desire partners with whom to share themselves completely, while tolerating lower levels of trustworthiness amongst Just Friends. Sharing something as ‘weird’ as not desiring sex necessitates ultimate trust in asexual dating.

Togetherness: Asexual dating stems from a wish to pair up; to be part of a socially accepted duo. Just Friends find this almost impossible, lacking the necessary exclusivity.

Expressiveness: Asexual dating renders partners freer to express their needs, wants, and desires to each other. Just Friends reserve full expressiveness for romantic partners.

Staying Power: Just Friends cannot match asexual dating in terms of staying power simply due to their less exclusive nature. Staying power requires commitment levels which Just Friends reserve for romantic relationships; in asexual dating, this is the romantic relationship

Support: Mutual support offers assurance someone’s on your side. Asexual dating fosters this more than other relationship types due to society’s lack of acceptance and the cultural message that something is ‘wrong’ with not desiring sex.

Physical Affection: Note that Crooks & Baur did not phrase it “sexual intimacy”. Asexual dating often includes physical affection such as cuddling, massages, handholding, and other non-sexual touch. Though sex is universally undesired, many in asexual dating situations find non-sexual touch fulfilling.

Personal Growth: While Just Friends allows multiple relationships diluting the effect, asexual dating’s typically limited to one. Each partner benefits from the other’s undivided attention, facilitating the personal growth of both.

Laughter, Security, and Respect: All relationships require equivalent levels of each. Whether sexual dating, asexual dating, or Just Friends, people must respect boundaries and avoid taking each other for granted; must feel the relationship will last; and must use humor to keep perspective.

So, is sexuality so all-powerful it defines relationships single-handedly? Equating asexual dating with Just Friends demeans emotional factors solely in favor of physical acts. Naming asexual dating “Just Friends” is pejorative. It translates: “less important simply because it lacks sex.” Consequently, Just Friends is an inaccurate assessment of asexual partners’ importance to one another. Sexual intimacy fails as the sole deciding factor in a romantic relationship’s legitimacy.

Resources:

Relationship Factors, University of San Diego

The Top Ten Responses to Asexuality, Asexual Visibility & Education Network

Crooks, R. & Baur, K. (2005) Our Sexuality. 9th edition, Wadsworth.

[viaby Judith Culpepper]

Well, that’s just lovely and all, but personally I don’t think it’s complicated enough to warrant an article like this. (That’s not to say it isn’t needed!) Why wouldn’t we be able to fall in love or experience romantic attraction?