The Healing Power of (Hetero)Sexual Love: How Sheldon Cooper Was Cured of Asexuality
When Gayle Rubin first created her taxonomy of sexual behaviors that either belong in the ‘charmed circle’ or are relegated to the ’outer limits’ of what is ‘normal’0 in the realm of sexuality, she did not find an appropriate place for asexuality (2008 : 153). It is perhaps not surprising that monogamous and promiscuous straight and gay people, practitioners of BDSM, masturbators, and fetishists were all assigned a place on Rubin’s wheel of sexuality, yet people who are not attracted to others sexually were nowhere to be seen. While the line between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ has been slowly shifting since 1984 when the article was written, as e.g. gays and lesbians in stable monogamous relationships and practitioners of BDSM have begun to gain access to the ‘charmed circle’, asexuals remain stigmatized for the most part. In recent years the asexual community has been questioning compulsory sexuality of the Western liberal cultures by drawing attention to the marginalizing assumptions that lie at its core and its discriminatory consequences for those who do not fit the sexual norm. The claim that all people are naturally sexual and that sex makes a person happy and healthy leads to the perception of asexuals and people who prefer not to have sex for other reasons as repressed, sick, or traumatized, all diagnoses that suggest the need for therapy.