Asexuality and sexualities that prioritize objects or imaginary partners rather than ‘real’ human partners, are largely pathologised. People (not) practising sex in these ways may find themselves stigmatised and subject to educative interventions intended to bring them to a ‘healthy’, that is to say human partner-oriented, sexuality. Here, we use Gayle Rubin’s ‘charmed circle’ as a theoretical base to explore ways in which research into autistic accounts of sexuality may serve to confirm and perpetuate the hierarchies and definitions of ‘good, real and healthy’ sex. We consider this more particularly in relation to narratives of non-sociable sexualities (sexual expressions that do not involve a human partner or where another human is not the primary sexual object) and asexuality among autistic people on two online discussion forums, one based in the United States of America, the other in Sweden. In analysing these forums, we do not ultimately seek to better understand autistic sexual experience, but rather to explore how different meanings of non-sociable sexualities and asexuality are being used by autistic people to (re)negotiate meanings of autistic sexualities. We use our analyses of those narratives to deconstruct (NT) normative assumptions of couple (hetero)sexuality which dominate meanings of sociable sex. In doing so, we challenge how sociable sex is taken for granted, naturalized, and used to exclude alternative sexual expressions from domains of “healthy”, “good” and “real” sexuality.
|Publication status||Published - 18 May 2018|
|Event||Intimate Lives) Autism, Sex/uality, Gender, and Identity - Birmingham Umiversity, Birmingham, United Kingdom|
Duration: 18 May 2018 → …
|Conference||Intimate Lives) Autism, Sex/uality, Gender, and Identity|
|Period||18/05/2018 → …|