As she said goodbye to him that night, the man tried to kiss her. When she rejected his advance, he started to lick her face “like a dog,” she said.
“‘I just want to help you,’ he called out to me as I walked away from his car,” she explained. “He was basically saying that I was somehow broken and that he could repair me with his tongue and, theoretically, with his penis. It was totally frustrating and quite scary.”
Sexual harassment and violence, including so-called “corrective” rape, is disturbingly common in the ace community, says Decker, who has received death threats and has been told by several online commenters that she just needs a “good raping.”
“When people hear that you’re asexual, some take that as a challenge,” said Decker, who is currently working on a book about asexuality. “We are perceived as not being fully human because sexual attraction and sexual relationships are seen as something alive, healthy people do. They think that you really want sex but just don’t know it yet. For people who perform corrective rape, they believe that they’re just waking us up and that we’ll thank them for it later.”
In April, a heated debate sparked online when an asexual Tumblr blogger wrote about corrective rape.
“There is a real fear even among the asexual community that people who identify as anything other than heterosexual will be harassed and assaulted,” wrote “Angela,” a self-identified aromantic ace. “They have a reason to be upset and a reason to be afraid, it has happened to many people before.”
In response to the post, an anonymous user wrote, “[A]sexuality is not a thing. You are just ugly and no one wanted to date you, so you made up a thing to cuddle your lonely self as you cry into your pillow. Also, I hope you get raped. It has a dual benefit, you’ll get laid finally AND put you into your place as well.”