Is The Atlantic Right About There Being a Third Phase of the Asexuality Movement?

A recent Atlantic article suggested that the Asexual movement is moving into the third phase. It did not clearly specify what those first two phases were, although they were coalescing and spreading awareness about the condition. The idea of a third phase was found in the words of David Jay, the founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. According to Jay, the new phase is getting people to rethink what it means to have a normal sex drive and a normal sex life.

The article does not make it clear whether the idea of phases are the idea of the author, the ideas of the sociologist they quoted, or the idea of Jay, but the basic premise is simple. The first two phases were that people had to realize that their experiences regarding sex and sexuality were different than others, and they had to form communities to overcome the notion that they suffered from an illness or a dysfunction.

Although the outsider may consider this to be a third phase of the Asexual movement, it is not even subtly missing the point. Challenging deeply held notions about sex and sexuality has always been part of the Asexual movement. The fact that AVEN exists at all means that a sizable portion of the population does not accept that free sexual expression means that everyone is interested in sex.  

Suggesting that this is another may be an attempt to understand what has happened, but the phases within the movement proceed a little differently. The first phase would be as the author of the Atlantic article suggests. People notice that they are different and start to talk about their experiences. The second phase, which Asexuals still face, is overcoming the notions of deeply held people. Challenging people to think about what normal relationships and normal sex drives are is part of this step. The third step should be Aces starting to worry about issues that will affect different segments of their own population.


Life Without Sex: The Third Phase of the Asexuality Movement


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