The Asexual is an independent platform elevating discourse on (a)sexuality, gender, and attraction.

Vol. 3, Issue 2: BDSM / Kink

Vol. 3, Issue 2: BDSM / Kink

In “Ace of (BDSM) clubs: Building asexual relationships through BDSM practice,” Lorca Jolene Sloan comments on the relationship between asexuality and BDSM. Along with interviewing 15 asexual individuals involved in the BDSM / Kink subculture, Sloan also poses and addresses numerous questions relevant to the theme of Vol. 3, Issue 2:

The prospect that asexual individuals form intimate partnerships through BDSM contradicts the dominant interpretation of scholars and activists that BDSM practitioners derive sexual arousal and pleasure from exchanges of pain and control. How can asexual individuals form relationships through the practices of a subculture traditionally associated with sexual expression? How do they manage the possibility that their behavior might be interpreted as a wish to be sexually aroused or take pleasure from anticipating, fantasizing, or having sex?How do they negotiate the sexual desires and expectations of non-asexual partners?

Sloan conveys how kinky asexual people’s participation within the BDSM / Kink subculture “helps them form partnerships based on attractions they do feel and fantasies they do wish to realize.” Sloan concludes that this is because “BDSM negotiation provides a reliable space for them [kinky aces] to set physical boundaries and proactively dispel partners’ expectations for them to desire or have sex” due to the embedded nature of communication necessary in the establishment of play. Sloan also recognizes that kinky aces may “use BDSM discourses to foreground reasons for arousing or having sex with their partners that do not invalidate their asexual identities. These discourses outline motivations for having sex that diverge from conventional narratives of consummating sexual desire and attaining sexual pleasure, and enable informants to communicate the anxiety that sex may involve.“

Vol. 3, Issue 2 is primarily a journal issue for those in the BDSM / kink community who are also ace / aro. It seeks to address questions such as: Does your practice of BDSM / kink counter dominant perceptions of the subculture? How do you navigate the relationship between societal ideas of sex, sexual arousal, attraction, and play as they relate to BDSM / kink? How does BDSM / kink relate to asexuality?

Deadline: July 20th, 2019

Artwork by Michael Paramo

The Emergence of Asexual Identity

The Emergence of Asexual Identity

Vol. 3, Issue 1: Discovering Identity

Vol. 3, Issue 1: Discovering Identity