Nothingness And Everything – Asexuality Viewpoint
‘I often wonder about an existence across time and space. I often see nothingness and everything. I often wonder all about the stars and nothing about them. Perhaps that’s what makes it a random sweet dream’ – William Cullen Bryant (Philosopher, 18th Century).
All or nothing. This is a term we are all familiar with. Most often, we assume the term with sports. To win everything or to lose everything. Somewhere in between, we also see a possibility called ‘be nothing’. A moment in time, where you are just playing the game for the sake of fully enjoying it. This analogy is perhaps important in understanding the existential happiness of asexuality. The study of asexuality has always fascinated me. As men, we are often pushed to believe that our meaning of life is based on our most banal instinct, Sex.
Of course, Sex is just a driving force behind achieving the end goal of reproduction and lineage. When we look at it that way, reproduction seemingly is the only goal a man has in his life. That is the purpose of his existence and manhood, as far as the society and the world philosophy exists. But is it so? Is everything that a man does and becomes, a segue towards the eventual perpetuation of species. And if so, what does the alternate choice of asexuality, do to the established structure of manhood?
The Philosophy Of Sexuality – The Age Old Binding
When renowned philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, in his book, Ecce Homo, talks about the sex-driven life, he mentions a vivid derivative of manhood. He says that man is a ‘mating productive’ which means that man is meant to mate and everything he does is an act leading up to it. He showcases that in physical excellence, mental prowess’s, skilful artistry, eloquence in language, social acceptance, depth in talents, and jarring physical alterations, are mere feathers for a mating call.
Society has built the norms of how a man should be and behave so that he is most sexually attractive for his partner, either of the same gender or otherwise. Sex has always been the target position, the ultimate aspirational value. This was recognized by the capitalism-driven Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. Gone were the pure human inventions which helped humanity survive and prosper. Products, tools and mechanisms were created for man to showcase his physical prowess and sexual appeal. Art was thrown in the back seat of a vintage kerosene-fueled motor carriage. The man became sexually active, but not because of his own skill set, but because of a borrowed tool kit.
Owning a car, wearing a two-button suit, a clean-shaven chin, a gold plated watch, and many other accessories became a capitalistic man’s peacock feathers. Of course, the Industrial Man was abiding by Nietzsche’s thought process. In one way or the other. However, it also in more ways than one, started confusing the man. You see, the logic was simple. He was attractive yes, but was he truly unique? His accessories could be bought by anyone. A better car, a better suit, and diamond plated watch and more could quickly make him lose his identity. He wasn’t the most beautiful peacock with the most vibrant colours. He was just another peacock with the same vibrant colours.
Man forgot what was unique about him. His mind. That was the single most beautiful thing about him, and that was the most ignored one as well. Sexuality was just too demanding you see. It had to be compensated and offered everything, no thanks to the exploding population and the never-ending competition. Then came the concept of asexuality.
Asexuality – Righting The Wrong Concepts
Many of us understand the term of asexuality to represent a man or a woman or a person who has no sexual inclinations. Asexuality would seem is a synonym of being celibate. Well, it is perhaps the most inappropriate understanding of the term. Asexuality as a philosophy means abstaining to do, act, behave or ideate, in concurrence with a sexual achieving. It is a comprehensive way of living, without an end game, of attaining sex.
You behave in a certain manner before a woman, subconsciously thinking that she might notice you, befriend you, court you and perhaps even enter a sexual relationship with you. You replicate this behaviour with all aspects of your life. Asexuality opposes that. Asexuality allows you to dream, live, think and be yourself.
Easier said than done right? In a society that we live in, where everything that is around us has a sexual currency attached to it, where can you not be involved with sex? Often, we come across the word, Platonic. Platonic associations are relationships which do not involve sex. But the definition is poised and built on the meaning of ‘not’ having sex, but not on not being ‘sexual’.
Yes, Platonic does come to a step towards accepting the philosophy of asexuality but fails in capturing the essence of it. It still works towards sex. Asexuality is the direct opposite of that. The philosophy asks a man to be sexually relevant, but not driven. Philosophically, asexuality adheres to the vision of Übermensch, again a concept of Friedrich Nietzsche.
The Concept Of Ubermensch And Asexuality
We live in a society which is plagued by Toxic Masculinity, unadulterated patriarchy and gender bias. We do celebrate Feminism today, as it should be and strive towards equality of gender. In this scenario, it might take a better effort from a man’s perspective to understand the relevance of asexuality and Ubermensch, without getting unduly obnoxious. Asexuality professes that a man should attain an overall comprehension which allows him to behave with any gender and orientation without absolutely zero sexual relevance.
It showcases that, when a man can hold a woman’s hand for a considerable amount of time, in pure companionship and nothing else, then perhaps asexuality is achieved to an extent. Of course, we are all sexually deprived souls, gender and orientation irrelevant, and find ways to imagine, fantasize and attempt sexually active flirtations. And in a time when we are a group of lonely people, trying to be less lonely with each other, the concept of being Asexual is very hard to be applied to. However, this is where it needs to be applied.
I often wondered when a man and a woman will be equal. Perhaps it is when there will not exist anything and everything between either of them. When the whole world is driven by individualistic uniqueness and not society driven explorations. Till then maybe, asexuality will be a dormant concept which will have no relevance in the world we live in. The question is – can we ever truly be human enough to be a man or a woman. Maybe, maybe not.