Asexuality is complicated.
No, strike that. People are complicated.
It seems to me, based on things that keep popping up on my dash, that the ace community isn’t particularly good on including everybody. I think that, particularly when trying to do visibility work and Asexuality 101, we tend to make generalizations that inevitably leave someone out, which is why we have people going, “I’m being erased!” all over the place.
(This is not a criticism of people who feel erased, or who say so. I think that’s a legitimate concern. However, the fact that we have so many people saying it clearly indicates a problem in our community.)
We have aromantics who are tired of hearing, “But aces can fall in love, too!” and we have romantics who are tired of everyone assuming they’ll be alone for the rest of their lives. People who masturbate are tired of hearing that that makes them not ace, and people who don’t are tired of hearing about everyone else masturbating. Non-celibate people are tired of hearing that liking or tolerating sex makes them not ace, and celibate people are tired of hearing about sex. And while it’s understandable to want to fight the idea that all aces are somehow “damaged,” these discussions tend to shove a lot of disabled people under the metaphorical rug.
The problem is, I believe, that we’re going overboard trying to combat stereotypes. Stereotypes that all aces are aromantic, that they don’t have sex or masturbate, that they’re “broken” are vehemently denied. Which then erases people who do happen to fit the stereotype, and those people rise up and say, “We’re here too,” and are seen as perpetuating stereotypes, and it’s all a big mess.
The only thing all asexuals have in common is not experiencing sexual attraction. And even that is problematic, because it leaves out demis and grey-aces. You cannot make blanket statements about the ace community. You cannot make blanket statements about any community.
So the next time someone asks about whether aces do or don’t do such-and-such, the only really correct answer is, “I do, but some people don’t,” or “I don’t, but some people do.” “None of your business,” is also a perfectly valid response to those highly personal questions.
This is the only half-way feasible way I can think of to have any discussions at all without erasing someone.