Freedom from sex

Af Astrid Haugaard Eriksen

I have always, since I knew about sex and sexuality, been drawn to the concepts and the processes of sexual freedom and sexual liberation. Partly because I’ve never understood how it can be such a big issue who people are attracted to and with whom and how people choose to have consensual sex. Partly because I’ve never felt like I fit the dominant norms of sex and sexuality. But even though I’m not heterosexual, even though I’m interested in more than one gender, even though I’m not entirely sure I’m cisgender, and even though I support the right to act out your gender and sexuality, I have never felt that the fight for sexual freedom was my fight.

Firstly, I do not long after the freedom to act out my sexuality. I am asexual and sex has never been something I’ve striven towards or have had a drive to achieve. Instead, I long for freedom from. Freedom from sex. Freedom from the expectations that I want to have sex and strive to have an exceedingly excellent sex life. Freedom from having to deal with other people’s sexual desire for me. Freedom from the sexual game at parties, as much I’ve taught myself to navigate in and to, partly, thrive in these situations. Kisses and cuddles that are just kisses and cuddles without being read as the possibility of sexual foreplay. Freedom from the norms that sex is a crucial part of a happy life. Freedom from the thought that sex confirms love. I sometimes dream of a big, red button which I can push to make it all go away.

Secondly, I’m afraid to undermine the struggle for sexual liberation. I’m afraid my desire for freedom from sex can be read as an attempt to work against the sexual liberation. I’m afraid my wish for freedom from sex is written off as unimportant, as I can just choose to “not have sex”. As if it’s that easy to be free from sex… not to mention it’s an unsympathetic way to individualize the problem.

I guess I feel a little lost in the fight for sexual freedom. I want to be part of the fight because it’s of immense importance – both culturally, politically, and individually. And I dream of finding a way to make it my fight as well. A fight which, in a wide sense, is about the individual right to sexual autonomy – acted out or not. A fight which doesn’t emphasize whenyou want to have sex, but if you want to have sex.  A fight which ends the expectation that we are all sexually driven individuals.


Learn more about asexuality on the Asexual Association Denmark’s website.

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