I don’t live in the fantasia I created to house the gay quad of my stories, but I do enjoy spending time in the world of my imagination. An enriching escapism is how I view it.
I don’t imagine myself in the action. No ‘me’. No ‘ego’. Third person sexual and romantic fantasies only. Personal involvement never. There’s a label, of course: aegosexuality. Literally, sex without self. (Perhaps the prefix should be ‘an’ — anego — but currently, more usually, the prefix is ‘a’ — aego.)
My understanding of the relevant academia isn’t great, so I might struggle a little here. The aegosexual label taps in to the issue of asexuality. (Ace, for short.) The ace spectrum is a broad one, spanning an enormous range of responses to sex and romance. It does not equate to ‘frigid’. On the contrary, you can have a high libido and still be ace. Aegosexuality is the small section of the ace spectrum that rings a bell with me.
I could perhaps describe myself as ‘autochorissexual’. The term was first used, I believe, by Anthony Bogaert in a paper in 2012. He stated that ‘target-oriented paraphilias’ might occur, an example in some asexual people being a disconnection (my italics) between their identity and a sexual/target object. Effectively, ‘identity-less’ sexuality: the body responds to sexual stimuli or sexual fantasy without being attracted to the subject of the fantasy. He termed this physiological response “autochorissexuality”. (Chori: from Greek for ‘apart’)
There’s a problem with his definition – the word ‘paraphilia’. Is it pejorative? It can imply abnormal sexual desires that typically involve extreme or dangerous activities. Well, I might fantasise about extreme activities. In fact, Keith John Glaeske, reviewing my novel Badge of Loyalty for Out in Print, wrote that it was too brutal for most erotica. (The ending is brutal. The rest of the story isn’t, though.) But ‘abnormal’? No. On the contrary, very normal if ‘normal’ means the same as ‘common’. For a start, extreme fantasies aren’t confined to asexuals: orientation is irrelevant. (It’s well-documented that ace is an orientation.) For example, in an on-line study of 533 women published in 2017, Yule et al found that both 32% of ace women and 32% of sexual women fantasised about BDSM. To me, and more interesting, was the fact that both groups were equally likely to fantasise about homosexuality (16.39 and 14.29% respectively). I always fantasise about homosexuality. I have never done otherwise. To me visualising sex is fine – when body parts are not like mine. (My prose is better than my poetry, I hope.)
I’m female by birth and by identification, but I don’t read about fictional women indulging in romance or sex, and when I write about women their roles are treated cursorily. There’s certainly no sex. That’s because I can never imagine women having sex. Neither with a man, nor with another woman. In fact, I can’t really imagine any sort of action involving a female protagonist. It would be too much like being present myself. It’s Bogaert’s ‘disconnect’ again. So I write solely about men, and as women are excluded, if romance or sex are included, then my men, by default, are gay.
Writing about gay men raises questions. Obviously, I haven’t been there/ done it etc. So I might get some of the physical details wrong…. and I know that can be extremely irritating. In a sense, though, I’m not distressed about it. The focus of the stories isn’t sex. Sex is there, but being poly doesn’t mean that my four men are in and out of each other’s arses every minute of the day. The focus is the way they respond as individuals and as a quad to events that affect their lives. A four-man group lends itself to some interesting dynamics. I’ve tried to write about the way their alternative, non hetero-normative lifestyle affects their thoughts and actions and I don’t see that my being female hinders me from doing that. Lewis Carroll never went down a rabbit hole but he wrote a good yarn about somebody who did.
I’m not for one moment suggesting that every female who enjoys the M/M genre is aegosexual or asexual! (There’s that 14.29% for a start.) Nor that M/M is only written by women. Gosh! No! But I think that being an aegoace woman helps to explain my personal interest and enjoyment. I write about men for the simple reason that I cannot write about women.
If you want to read about the men, the details of the books are below.
The next post will be, I think, about the ethics involved in writing fictional stories. (My conscience keeps playing me up.) Either that or turbidites.
Polyamory on Trial (tbp August 2018) and Badge of Loyalty (pub. February 2018) are both available from Rowanvale Books at http://www.rowanvalebooks.com and all the usual distributors. See Badge of Loyalty review in Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews, April 2018 at https://outinprintblog.wordpress.com/
AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, hosts a friendly forum and provides many resources. Note – it’s not a dating site. It’s online at https://www.asexuality.org
Yule, Brotto and Gorzalka, . Sexual fantasy and masturbating among asexual individuals downloadable from https://researchgate.net. Various updates to this. e.g. 2017
The abstract for Anthony F. Bogaert’s paper on asexuality and autochorissexuality is at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. The full paper is available (at a cost if uni affiliation is unavailable) from https://link.springer.com within Archives of Sexual Behaviour Dec 2012, Vol 41, Issue 6.