We all know the myth: Latinas are ultrasexy women who can get pregnant just by staring at a man. While most people know that the latter is not actually possible, they still believe that our perceived hypersexuality is inherent. It’s not, and stereotypes like this one are actually really damaging to asexual Latinas.
Asexuality is a sexual orientation that describes people who do not experience sexual attraction. There are variations. For instance, some asexuals are repulsed by sex, others just don’t have any interest in sexual intimacy and some experience sexual desire in only very specific circumstances. Unlike celibacy or abstinence, which are choices, asexuality is innate – it’s a part of who a person is. That’s why the tired myth that Latinas are excessively sensual and always aroused is so frustrating and harmful. It literally contradicts an asexual Latinas’ full identities. It’s saying, “I, preserver of racial, ethnic and sexist stereotypes, know you more than you know yourself,” and that’s insulting.
Here are some of the most horrible things Latinas are often told about their sexual orientation. If you don’t want to be a hurtful and offensive human being (and we hope you don’t!), here are some comments you shouldn’t be making to asexual Latinas.
1. You’re not a real Latina.
CREDIT: Glee / Fox
The essence of a Latina doesn’t lie in her sexuality. I’m a woman who comes, or whose family originates, from a Latin American or Spanish Caribbean country. That’s what makes me Latina, not your racialized sexist stereotypes about what I do, or don’t do, in my bed.
2. What a waste!
CREDIT: Love And Hip Hop / VH1
How does my being asexual make me a waste? My value doesn’t come from my genitals but from my character — my mental and moral qualities.
3. So why are you dressed like that?
CREDIT: American Idol / Fox
If you can be a shitty person without wearing actual excrement on your head, I can show as much or as little skin and still be asexual.
4. But how are you supposed to have that big Latino family?
CREDIT: American Idol / Fox
First, not all Latinos have five-plus children. Second, not all Latinas want to be mothers. Third, if I wanted to have a baby, I can adopt, get in-vitro fertilization or use more traditional methods — just because I don’t have an interest in sex doesn’t mean I’ve lost my reproductive abilities. Fourth, none of this is your business.
5. Stop being so full of yourself. You’re not even that bad.
CREDIT: OITNB / Netflix
Say what?! I’m not “conceited” or “gassed” and I don’t have a “stick up my butt” because I turned down your sexual advances, but you are for thinking that anyone you spit game to will get busy with you. Also, I am that bad. Quit it.
6. You just haven’t found the right person to settle down with.
CREDIT: Becky G México / Youtube
Why would you think that? There are many asexual people who have wonderful romantic relationships with other asexual and even sexual people. There are also aromantic asexuals, who don’t have any interest in marriage or partners like this at all.
7. Challenge accepted.
I’m not a dare or a contest. You can’t “turn me out,” and thinking you can is dangerous. Corrective rape — raping to “cure” someone of their sexual orientation — is a reality for many people who come out as asexual. What you erroneously perceive as a “challenge” sounds like a threat to me.