Saturday, June 17, 2006

#1- You don't wanna ML...

If you like, you can listen to an audio recording of this week's episode here.

Welcome to the first-ever episode of Love from the Asexual Underground, here with a perspective on love, sex and romance from the rapidly growing asexual community. Because this is our first show we’re going to go over some of the basics. Love, what is it and where does it come from?

My housemate, Eli, hates the phrase “making love.” If you say it around him he shudders in mock disgust rolling his eyes and declaring that this house is not the place for that kind of filth. The second a scene starts to get a little…sensual, the moment those violins start playing he’ll get up in a huff and exit the room. “Oh God.” He’ll say, “they’re totally gonna ML.”

So what exactly does it mean to… ML? If love, as the Care Bears taught me so long ago, is the most powerful force in the universe then how do you go about making it? Maybe it’s just me, but the very notion that each of us has the power within ourselves to make love seems completely preposterous. If each and every one of us can really make love then why does it seem to be in such short supply? There must be some catch. Does the process require some raw materials? Or is making love like printing money, which drops in value for every dollar you mint? I’m confused.

Let’s back up. Does everyone really have somewhere deep within themselves the power to make love? Well… no. Some people, like me, are asexual. Asexual people, according to common knowledge and most experts in the field, cannot ML. Love, it turns out, is manufactured through a sort of chemical process which engineers and people in the industry refer to as “sex.” Asexual people, for the most part, do not have sex, and therefore can not generate a steady supply of love.

As you can imagine, this has turned into quite a hot political issue in the asexual community. Love, as the Care Bears pointed out, is a major source of power in the world. Long before money was invented as a system to organize power, people were motivated to do things because of the relationships they had with one another. The ability to make love meant the difference between survival and comfort in a strong community and starvation out in the cold. As humans it was our ability to form relationships, our ability to make love, which allowed us to find strength in greater and greater numbers, create cultures, teach our young about the tools we had built, and eventually, some say, dominate the globe. Even though money allows us to organize, gather together and wield our power it is ultimately love which leads people to buy products, swear oaths, flee dangers and march in the streets. Even today those with the ability to make a great deal of love and distribute it on a massive scale wield a sort of power stronger and less tangible than those who can merely make money.

As an asexual person my inability to make love seems almost too daunting to comprehend. If the ability to ML has given human beings the power to define our world, if making love has for all intents and purposes made us human, than what does it mean to be without it?

According to my housemate Eli, many people who are not asexual are also unable to ML. This is because love is made, distributed and consumed in exclusively in a special place called a romantic relationship.

A romantic relationship is a structure, like a factory, a contract, or a legal system. People who are not asexual construct romantic relationships so that they can have a place to ML. Once they are able to successfully construct a romantic relationship, sexual people are able to manufacture love and truly become human. Though all sexual people have the capacity within them to make love, the creation of these structures is an expensive, difficult and hazardous process, requiring advanced training, very precise materials and a lot of dumb luck. For this reason many people, even people who are not asexual, often find themselves unable to make love, and will go without it for long stretches of time. Like many other practices of modern industry, modern love-making has left some with an overabundance and others with scarcity. Like scarcities of food, water or civil liberties, these scarcities and the systems which produce them often create discontent among members of the populace, like Eli.

Eli has a girlfriend named Ana. Together they have built a structure called a romantic relationship where they engage in the chemical process known as sex. Because they find it distasteful, however, Eli and Ana do not make love. And even though they do not make love, both of them report that love is produced in their relationship. Because Eli and Ana find the process of making love distasteful they have adapted, and discovered new ways to introduce love into their lives.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Making love without MLing? Surely there must be some alternative explanation for this freak instance. ….but no! Since the mid 70s, researchers around the globe have documented isolated cases of love being produced outside of the industrial ML process. In 1982, Georgi Papov discovered the first love-outputting reaction outside of the context of a romantic relationship in Nyovosebersk. In 1996, under controlled laboratory conditions, a team at the University of Indiana actually managed to produce a romantic structure which created love without the use of sexual chemistry.

The asexual community, which is unable to ML using standard industrial practices, has been at the forefront of research into alternative sources of love. As we speak, the top asexual minds from around the globe are engaged in around-the-clock research, testing alternative structures, distribution systems and chemical processes. Successful field-test are underway for romantic relationships which function entirely without sex. Clinical trials are currently being arranged on a type of love produced without sex or a romantic structure.

Given the importance of love-production to the economies of both the developed and the developing world, and with countries like the US in what many are calling a “love shortage”, the emergence of these alternatives could have far-reaching consequences.

Every week we’ll be tracking the latest developments in the global love industry, as well as posting breakthroughs and research updates from asexual researchers around the world.


Toiletman said...

nice,an asexual blog :p

Islander said...

Kindness s/he said
& sympathy/empathy s/he said
and- compassion.
All mammalian animals can feel & demonstrate these things (and, I deeply suspect, from experience, so can quite a few species that are no mammalian at all-

split said...

Interesting, interesting...

I'm definitely into trying out alternative structures. ;)

Anyway, would you say that the kind of love in a non-sexual relationship, or love outside of a romantic structure, is a different kind of love? Or is it just expressed differently?

Plur na mBan said...

I was pawing through an 1860s letter-writing manual and saw an advertisement for a book titled 'The Art of Making Love' . . . back then, that was romance, admiration, and, well, love.