I’ve heard this idea a number of different places, that somehow, asexuals have so much free time (because, as the story goes, we don’t spend as much time thinking about, seeking, or engaging in sexual activities) that we should all be amazingly accomplished. According to some people, we should be building the unbuildable, solving the unsolvable, and conquering the impossible. Often, great works of art are mentioned. We should be painting masterpieces, composing exquisite symphonies, and writing novels would make Shakespeare and Hemingway rise from the grave to personally award us the Nobel Prize for Literature. Sometimes people demand technological leaps like flying cars or warp drives or great humanitarian feats like ending hunger or making world peace. But the thing we’re most expected to be doing with all our free time is finding a cure for cancer.
Because apparently, that’s how it works.
Free Time = Cure For Cancer.
BINGO! Just like that. That’s all it takes.
Let’s take a look at this claim, shall we?
First, on the face of it, it’s utterly preposterous. In my case, with my free time, I collect video games and occasionally dabble in stereophotography. Sometimes, I’ll even combine the two hobbies (as shown below). But I know nothing about cancer.
- Knowledge of Vintage Video Games — Immense.
- Knowledge of Stereophotography — Practical, but limited.
- Knowledge of Oncology — Nil.
You can see how that might be a bit of a problem when it comes to my ability to discover a cure for cancer… Unless it involves ColecoVision games, it ain’t happening.
Beyond that, what does that assertion say about people who aren’t asexual? Apparently, a cure for cancer is just out there, ripe for the picking, and all it’s going to take is for someone to stop thinking about sex long enough to find it. You’re telling me that there haven’t been ANY research scientists who’ve given it up for the cause? They’re all so selfish that they’re willing to condemn millions of people to death, just because they’re that obsessed with sex? “Well, I could find the cure if Rihanna weren’t so hot!”
Somehow, I don’t buy that.
Really, if all it took were devoting the time you’d normally spend thinking about sex toward finding a cure, cancer would’ve been cured long ago by some horny playboy who figured this out:
- Giving up sex for a while = Lots of free time
- Lots of free time = Cure for cancer
- Cure for cancer = Instant mega celebrity
- Instant mega celebrity = All the sex I want, when I want it, with pretty much whoever I want, for the rest of my life.
And yet, no one’s taken that deal?
Let’s dive further into this argument, shall we? Whenever someone tries to make this claim, it’s always the extra free time that leads to the magnificent accomplishments. It’s never some mystical power of celibacy or some side effect of freeing up neurons that are typically devoted to sexual fantasy. It’s simply having more time to work on the problem.
So, why is it always a lack of sex that has to provide all that extra free time? Why not something else? I’d be willing to wager that there are a number of things that people do on a daily basis that take more time than dealing with sex does. So, couldn’t non-asexual people drop one of those activities and have as much (if not more) free time than an asexual supposedly gets from being sexless? For many people, their daily commute probably takes up more time than sex does. If that’s the case, why doesn’t somebody keep the sex, work from home, and use all that spare time to cure cancer. Hell, just think about all the incredible and amazing things that unemployed people must be doing all day!
(Then again, maybe they’d just fill that extra time gained by working from home or skipping reruns of Pawn Stars or whatever with more sex, which would defeat the purpose… I’m asexual, so I don’t know how that all works.)
Clearly, everyone should be offended by the suggestion. Asexuals should be offended because it’s clearly a snide and dismissive insult. Non-asexuals should be offended because it implies that they’re all enslaved by what’s in their pants to the point that they can’t even resist it if it meant that they’d be able to cure cancer. It’s just a ridiculous notion all around.
Then again, I did write a book in my free time…