In Bed with Susie Bright, #207: Baby Chicks!
(Here's something new: I've uploaded a five minute audio clip of this show! It's a .ram file that you can listen to on RealPlayer. If you like these clips, I'll try to include them regularly).
An amoeba is the web-inspired nickname for someone who doesn't have a sex drive and doesn't want to apologize for it any longer.
The difference in the amoeba identity from people who choose celibacy, is that amoebas don't feel like they're making a sacrifice... they just don't feel lust. Their sexual desire is low to zero, and they don't feel like that's the end of the world.
Amoebas dispute accusations that they're closet cases, trauma victims, misanthropes, etc. They want to get on with their busy social and intellectual lives and not be stigmatized any longer. They love their friends/family and want to be at peace with platonia.
I'm not sure what I think of this yet. So I want to hear from you!
Do you identify with amoebas yourself?
Have you ever been close to someone who did?
How do you know that you're a person with low sex drive, as opposed to a person who is shut down in some unconscious way?
I agree, it is cruel to accuse people of being blind to their own hangups, or to say, in essence, "All you need is a good fuck." But there's a grain of truth to these suspicions. We all know people who thought for years they had low sex drives until they finally discovered something that turned them on— something that was hidden to their conscious mind in the past. You do find people who "come out of the closet," you see people who go through therapy and find their sex drive, you have people who process trauma and find erotic rejuvenation on the other side. But didn't they feel like amoebas for years?
It all seems so subjective to me. I tend to think of sex drive like appetite.. it can be suppressed, but it's always there.
There is something to hormone chemistry influencing your drive. But even that can be influenced by what you do with your time. If I just sat around waiting for something unbelievably sexy to happen to me, I could twiddle my thumbs all day. Lots of times I come to a sexual situation with nothing by willingness, or curiosity... I don't start feeling desire until I start doing something that I know will lead me there.
Another question I have about amoebas is the subject of masturbation. Some do, and some don't. None of them are getting hairy palms, of course, but for those who do, I would say, "Yes, you have a sex drive. You just aren't partner-oriented. Maybe you're just fed up with couplism/the dating scene/the demands of intimate relationships. Maybe you really have had a lot of mediocre sex with a partner and are too impatient to pretend like you're interested!"
Some of the women's amoeba sites I've visited remind me of early feminist statements, although they do not use that "f-word" at all. But they are women who are sick of guys coming on to them and then being incredulous that the gal isn't interested. These women don't want to be peppered with accusations that they are unfulfilled, frigid, a dyke, or just waiting in stasis for the right guy to come along... The men they describe hassling them are right out of the Classic Male Chauvinist Pig manual.
I'd prefer a more nuanced approach, since I already am entirely sympathetic to the idea that sexual harassment by boors is no one's idea of a good time.
What about the pain of craving affection, but not sex? What happens if you have serious romantic feelings about a loved one, but are repulsed by the idea of having sex with them? What do you do with people who you care about, as opposed to random strangers?
What happens to the creativity inspired by sexuality when you don't have a sex drive? A lot of the joy of singing, dancing, writing, making things, etc., comes from a sexual place.
These questions are why amoebas puzzle me. I know that people can go years without partner sex, their whole lives, even, but I know that they are sexual human beings. But I have a hard time wrapping my objective mind around the notion that sex drive is ABSENT in an individual.
Please do chime in!
Also in this episode of In Bed I take another look at the sex questions I got asked by a high school class in a small California town— which I first listed on this blog.
When the first anonymous student note I read out-loud was, "Why do some boys have that funky smell when you give them head?" I had to keep on my toes! Actually, that question was the perfect icebreaker, because we all collapsed in laughter, and had a good discussion about whether the answer is:
a) basic hygiene problem
b) freaky disease; you should call 911
c) maybe the smell of semen is just not your bag
Finally, the last of my show is about a Kansas judge who publicly apologizes for looking at porn sites at work, claiming he accidentally stumbled upon them while researching "baby chicks" for his poultry-raising business. Then, in the "Try This At Home" mailbag, a listener discovers "classic" porn films and is completely amazed. Remember, you can mail me any of your questions for sex advice and the like to firstname.lastname@example.org.