This is a summary of some of the topics discussed in the “Asexuality Jokes and Memes” session at the 2017 SF Asexuality Unconference.
Some of the jokes/puns/comments mentioned:
I like my sex like I like my coffee: I don’t like coffee.
Of course, no discussion about asexuality and humor can leave out the chapter from the Bogaert book. In Understanding Asexuality, Anthony Bogaert devotes an entire chapter to talking about sex jokes and how asexual people are probably incapable of understanding them (not that he bothers to actually talk to any of us about it). Since we had a group of aces at the table, talking about jokes, we had to test his hypothesis. The chapter begins with a joke involving a dentist, a patient who is apparently immune to sedatives or anesthetics, and a dangerous off-label use of a prescription drug that would almost certainly lead to the dentist having their medical license revoked. The joke was told. There was, in fact, not much laughing at the joke. However, when someone remarked “I’ve had sex that hasn’t lasted as long as the setup for that joke”, the table erupted.
So yeah, asexuals can laugh at sex jokes sometimes.
Some people mentioned that they didn’t like jokes that infantilized asexuals. Others mentioned they didn’t like jokes based on the stereotype that asexuals don’t understand sex.
It was mentioned that asexual jokes can be important, because it can be a good way to spread visibility. Non-ace people might not care about educational information about asexuality, so they’ll ignore it. But they might laugh at a joke and share it with others. The next day, this idea proved itself, when one of the parade marcher’s “Asexuals Don’t Give A Fuck” signs made the rounds of social media, with many non-aces sharing the image.
Humor also can be used as a signal of approachability. As in, “I’m comfortable enough to laugh about this, so you should be comfortable to talk to me about it.”