Asexuals negotiate the 'onslaught of the heteronormative' (2021)
Although theorising and research about asexuality have increased in the past decade, there has been minimal attention given to the emotional impact that living in a hetero- and amatonormative cultural context has on those who identify as asexual. In this paper, I address this research gap through an exploration of the ‘work that emotions do (Sara Ahmed) in the everyday lives of asexuals. The study is based on 15 individual interviews with self-identified asexuals living in Aotearoa New Zealand. One participant in the study used the phrase, ‘the onslaught of the heteronormative’ to describe how he experienced living as an aromantic identified asexual in a hetero- and amato-normative society. In this paper I consider what it means and feels like to experience aspects of everyday life as an ‘onslaught’. In particular, I look at some participants’ talk about experiencing sadness, loss, anger and/or shame as responses to/effects of hetero- and amato-normativity. However, I suggest that these are not only ‘negative’ emotional responses but that they might also be productive in terms of rethinking and disrupting hetero- and amato-normativity.
CitationVares T (2021). Asexuals negotiate the 'onslaught of the heteronormative'. Sexualities.
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