Better than Sex. . . Cake? On the Sweet Symbol of Asexuality

Photo_F82D020D-730B-1567-851E-7CB145802D96 2Is asexuality a sweet, delectable treat? Something to celebrate not just on birthdays (I’m born!) but when we are being naughty with a nighttime nibble? Licking the frosting caked with crumbs from our special friend’s lips or our own, smiling because of the rush you suddenly cannot distinguish whether it is coming from sugar or the conversation with them near the cool window in a late September winter?

Is asexuality, er, cake, dangerous? Being out and proud asexy: excessive and too indulgent?

I don’t really like cake if we are being literal (and I obviously wasn’t right then). And if you are trying to watch your weight and/or fight emotional eating, the symbol might not translate super well. But I do like my asexuality. And if my cake is my asexuality, and if sex is sexual norms, then the metaphor can really take me places.

Society sort of has a contradicting stance towards cake, sugar, etc. if we want to pause here. I mean, to understand what the symbol is saying, we have to look at it on its literal level first. On the one hand, there are whole stores dedicated to designing fancy and delicious cakes, but of course you can buy one for almost any price you want. They are the expected staple for many important events. Visions of them scream happiness, fun, pretty, color.

On the other hand, society sort of shuns cake as well. Doctors say sugar is killing us. Cake will make you fat, and we all know what the general consensus is on that. Sort of paradoxical. Sort of sounds like the paradoxical way that our world can treat sex (shaming/celebrating/making rules up). Which is right where asexuality comes in.

I don’t see asexuality as separate or different from sexuality (besides, this sentence doesn’t really make sense. Just like it wouldn’t make sense to say ‘I don’t see homosexuality as different from sexuality.’ Right? Because then you would have to ask “which sexuality?” In all actuality, if we let our creative and introspective selves discern our own preferences and fantasies, the diversity that already exists in our (everybody existing) intimate practices would burn an even brighter hue.

Asexuality has been a spectacle at times, on the news, on The View. It has been something that we don’t deserve. I don’t deserve love, romance, cuddling, intimacy, commitment, attention, etc. if I’m not willing to do certain things. Well, I want to keep my cake and eat it too. I want the best of both worlds which shouldn’t really be mutually exclusive – to have agency over my body, discern what I really want, and to have a close, intimate, significant relationships, that one special one if I can get it, or a community of people who don’t see me as a place holder until they get the thing that is what is supposedly ideal or better.

Symbols can be difficult to wrestle with unless you give them the flexibility and the play that metaphorical language was made for. I think only interpreting the cake symbol as “I’d rather” is a bit limiting, especially since “sex” begs to be broadened, and some asexuals are demi and quite enjoy sex after their conditions of emotional, etc. connection and time are experienced. And we aren’t really eating/liking cake, right? But if I were, I would NOT rather eat cake than be intimate, sensual, romantic, etc. yes, whatever I call sexual, with someone. I’m sure for me food could never replace what I get from people. Luckily, I don’t think this symbol has to say that.

What do you think?

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