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No Sex?


I had the same reaction as Amanda Marcotte to this Salon article on asexuality.

In the reporter’s attempts to get “both sides” of the story and also the freak show atmosphere struck me as really unfair to people who identify as asexual. The author dredged up all sorts of psychologists and various other experts who suggested that asexuality is likely a mental illness with some deep down cause that should be examined with lots and lots of expensive therapy. Besides the self-interested motivations going on with them I have to ask and very sincerely why it matters.

The lack of desire for sex on the part of some strikes me as possibly the least pressing difficulty facing the Republic, and ought, in my mind, to be treated wholly as a matter of personal taste. As Marcus Licinius Crassus notes:

Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat oysters?
Antoninus: When I have them, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you eat snails?
Antoninus: No, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral and the eating of snails to be immoral?
Antoninus: No, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: Of course not. It is all a matter of taste, isn’t it?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals.
Antoninus: It could be argued so, master.
Marcus Licinius Crassus: My robe, Antoninus. My taste includes both snails and oysters.

Some don’t care for either snails or oysters. It is no more a question of psychlogical deviance or mental illness than it is of morality.

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