Absexual is a neologism introduced by Carol Queen (cofounder of San Franciscoâ€™s Center for Sex and Culture) for consideration for inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V - fifth edition) (currently under development, postulated for 2013); it is not currently an official psychiatric term. Based on its prefix ab-, it describes a form of sexuality where someone is stimulated by moving away from sexuality. An example would be a person who promotes abstinence fervently while getting excited by that, or also through contradictory behaviour where they act in the opposite way in private, contrary to what they promote publicly. In this way, absexuality can be described as a sex-related subset of reaction formation.
The term was first used in Queen's "Dirty Pictures, Heavy Breathing, Moral Outrage, and the New Absexuality," which appears in her Real Live Nude Girl anthology:
|â€œ||These disparate anti-porn, anti-gay activists unite in the particular form their relationship to sexuality takes.â€¦ Their voyeuristic, judgemental peeping on other forms of sex is, in fact, these peoples' sexual orientation.||â€|
The term has also been used to refer to feminism in the 1980s, calling it a "neo-Victorian absexual orthodoxy" and criticizing its association of pornography with social ills including abuse, addiction, and hate speech.
- What's â€˜normalâ€™ sex? Shrinks seek definition. Controversy erupts over creation of psychiatric rule book's new edition by Brian Alexander of MSNBC. May 22, 2008.
- Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-positive Culture. Carol Queen, Cleis Press 2007.
- An interview with the Mother of Masturbation, Betty Dodson by Diane Walsh of Xtra! in Vancouver. Monday, April 30, 2007
- Darrell Y. Hamamoto, Sandra Liu, Countervisions, Temple University Press, 2000, p. 79-81.
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