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#FanstRA: Whatta we gonna tell our friends when they say "ooh-la-la"?

Today’s Tag Teams: Last, but definitely not least! Freeform: Agzy shares with us her favorite Armitage paper doll • Ana Cris examines Lucas North’s tattoos through Maori tattoo culture • Jas Rangoon premieres her new John Bateman fanvid • In fandom, jazzbaby1 thinks RA fandom is just groovy! • C.S. Winchester asks “naughty or nice?” in a picspam • Mrs. E.B. Darcy thinks about Armitage’s future after TH to wrap up the Hobbit chainJo Ann offers the last King Richard Armitage post, on Richard III and the Tudors • In fanfic, Maria Grazia reviews and compares works by the authors she’s interviewed • Gratiana Lovelace wraps up the event with a guest post by Melissa the Mouse! • Links to all FanstRA 3 posts appear here at the end of the event!

This post is not inspired or based on anything in particular, but it’s my last actual discussion topic of F3.

I have had a thought for a while now, after reading in various online newspapers about asexuality, which is finally getting some press. We all seem to be so very fascinated to talk about if Richard Armitage is straight or gay. (Hey, what if he’s bi?) What if that isn’t the question? It’s technically quite presumptious of us to assume he likes one gender or the other, even though that is the norm.

What if the answer is “neither”? Ever considered that?

It’s still true that you can be gay or straight or bi even if you’re asexual, and you can be anywhere on the scale too with how interested you are in sexual and romantic relationships. But yeah, what if we go around assuming he has an average sexual interest and he in fact isn’t all that bothered? How would that make you feel? Would it make a difference at all, to you as a fan? If it would, how come? Would it be any different than if we found out he was gay? If you’re one of the many fans who say him coming out wouldn’t change anything, I hope you’d still say the same if he came out as asexual, or else you’re going to sound a wee bit hypocritical. 😛

I don’t think – wishful thinking alert – he’s aromantic (lacking a romance drive, have no need/desire to fall in love). In fact, I hope he’s very romantic, because how awesome would it be to be wooed by him? Oh, my eyes glaze over by the mere thought.

But we’ve never really stopped to consider that he could be asexual, and isn’t interested in sex off-screen – even though he knows how to act it on camera. If he was, maybe he finds it hilarious that we keep referring to him as some kind of a sex symbol. If only we knew, eh?

For that matter, while we’re at it, he could just have a low sex drive, which would still mean he’d be welcome on the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) discussion board. It could be medical (not uncommon in hypothyroidism), or just a general “well, that’s just the way I am”.

I think that would be pretty amazing if he was asexual. Think of the contrast: desired by so many, yet without feeling the desire himself (or not as much desire as most people). Also, it would make for a very interesting discussion and how much easier it would be to have a conversation without the “I’m a woman and you’re a man” cloud hanging over your head. No need to be all self-conscious then, because he wouldn’t fancy you in that way regardless. I like that idea.

Please note I’m deliberately staying away from starting a “what if he can’t get it up?” discussion, so please don’t start that in the comments. That’s where I draw the line. To a certain degree, I would say that this post has gone too far … Then again, why should it be worse to discuss if he’s asexual than it is to discuss if he’s gay? Kinda the same level.

Anyway. Let me point out: NONE OF THIS IS BASED ON ANYTHING AT ALL. I don’t have a hunch or a gut feeling, and I haven’t read or seen anything anywhere to make me think “ohh, I wonder”, and I certainly haven’t heard any rumours. It’s simply taken out of thin air, purely for the purposes of having a philosophical discussion about it, because I thought it’d be such an intriguing twist to the whole sexuality discussion if it were true. (“Is he gay or straight? Neither! He’s asexual! Hah, you didn’t see that one coming!”)

And discussing the man’s sexuality is something us fans are obviously very interested in having, judging by the number of comments I’ve got on the topic before. If anything, I feel quite sorry for the man that we’re so terribly preoccupied with his sex life. In addition to that, I think I’m starting to get rather bored by the subject of Richard Armitage’s sexual preferences now, and won’t bring it up again. Unless something happened, because that would be news and worth talking about.

I just hope he’s at peace in his own body and that he has a long and happy life, regardless of if he wants to spend it with Eve or with Steve or with no one at all. After all, it’s really none of our business.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

33 thoughts on “#FanstRA: Whatta we gonna tell our friends when they say "ooh-la-la"?

  1. I brought up the idea of “asexual” as a possibility on another blog not so long ago, not because I though Richard might be asexual, but as another option to the “is he gay or straight” conversation that comes up occasionally.

    I have been a fan of RA for over 12 years now and it wouldn’t matter to me how he chooses to deal with sexuality in his private life.

    I have been a fan of English singer, Sir Cliff Richard, for 50 years. Cliff is another person who has had to deal with people wondering about his sexuality all his life (he’s now 71 and still single); Cliff simply doesn’t answer the question if it’s asked or implied in interviews. Once very long ago, he mentioned that he just wasn’t as interested in sex as he might be.

    Like Richard, Cliff is an inveterate flirt – you should see how he flirts with his audience when he’s on stage! But, as far as the world knows, he doesn’t live with anyone

    I think Richard has a right to keep his private life private if he so wishes. I sincerely hope he finds happiness in whatever form it takes.

  2. I don’t know if Richard is gay or straight or asexual, if he is in a relationship he prefers to keep out of the limelight or so preoccupied with his career and immersing himself into his characters that he is not particularly interested in a relationship right now, but he will almost certainly be considered gay by several people. If he doesn’t get caught with a woman in the months after the Hobbit premier the case will be regarded as sealed. And even if, question remains if it has all been arranged for the paparazzi. I’m not saying that I personally believe that at all, but that is how gay rumours work and there is no escaping it. It is not accepted that someone is single and/or prefers to keep his private life under wraps, it is seen as a clear sign that someone is gay. Almost as good has coming out. If he were asexual or came out as asexual it would be seen as an excuse to hide he is gay.

  3. It is for sure that if soemone is single and not a serial dater, then the concensus is that s/he is gay. We live in a couple-world. Many single people are taken to task about their status or choice.

    Sexual orientation is an integral part of one’s identity and I would hope that whatever that is for RA that he live it authentically and not made to feel like he must “hide” anything. That also means not hiding a woman.

    At some level i would understand hiding a gay relationship, especially when your career depends on public perception and their ability to envision you in a variety of role that may include romantic leading man. But what would be the purpose of hiding a woman when that would fall in the acceptable range. Privacy? Stalkish fans? But to the point of not giving a name or making any public appearances as a confirmed couple? Which I belive that RA has done in the past. This behavior leads to speculation.

    Not every couple is tabloid fodder. And stalkish fans will just have to deal that the celebrity they love has the right to love too. Even though I would be green with jealousy of any woman or man RA dated. lol

    Just my two cents.

  4. We also live in world that suspects everyone to be gay, a lot more actors get gay gossip that statistically are likely to be gay. Problem is, no-one has a chance in this game unless they out themselves as gay. Everything else will be regarded as a lie, just because potentially they have a reason to lie. Actually being married or publicly dating women doesn’t help either.

  5. @Jane. You are so right about everyone is suspect of being gay. Even if married. Hugh Jackman is an example. I would hope that one day it will not be used to try to humilate, accuse, hurt or call someone a liar.

  6. I think it would be a shame if he is asexual. I hope that SOMEONE is getting to have sex with this guy.

  7. On this blog and on RAFrenzy everyone commented that it wouldn’t matter but in the greater scheme of things it still matters to many people, otherwise no actor would feel the need to stay in the closet and no fan would wonder if an actor told the truth if he said he dates women. With Hugh Jackman people wonder if his marriage is real because he has been married “too long” for Hollywood standards and because his wife is older and less attractive than him. On the other hand, if someone dates a different starlet every few months, people wonder as well. Whatever a guy does, people wonder! They say they don’t have chemistry with they respective partners or a kiss was faked for the paparazzi or whatever.

    According to this site, RA is 61% gay, sounds a lot, but actually the average celebrity is 69% gay: http://gay-or-straight.com/Richard%20Armitage

    Now that doesn’t tell us anything about him, but a lot about how eager people are to suspect a celeb to be gay! The percentage of gay people may or may not be higher than average among artists and actors, but I doubt it is 69%!

  8. BTW you asked, what if he’s bi? Same as with asexual – no-one would believe it. By the logic of gay gossip any real relationship with a woman would be regarded as a cover up, especially if there is some evidence for relationships with men.

  9. Ah ha, Jane…do you you know something you haven’t shared? I’m referring to your comment “especially if there is some evidence for relaltionships with men” – please explain.

  10. thanks, uk expat, I was nervous about posting it. I was trying to be humorous and hoped that no one would misinterpret.

    Glad I was able to make you smile!

  11. No, I was speaking in general, not about RA. As far as I’m aware there is no evidence for relationships with anyone, except what he said himself about girlfriends, and if everyone would believe that, we wouldn’t have this discussion. But the actor himself saying he’s straight never counts in this discussion.

    With some others that say they are bi or experimented when they were younger but are with women now, it is often not believed.

  12. this comment is to address the topic rather than the SPECULATIONS. what exactly is the purpose of this discussion?
    we are fans of people because of their talent, of how they make us feel when they perform. especially in a well written, etc story.
    yes alot are reeealy attractive, and alot have good personalities – but that’s a bonus. we started loving them from the screen(doing their jobs). why do we have to go sooo deep into their private lives? speculating or otherwise?
    it’s fun having a camaraderie with so manymany many; talking about what we like about our celebs but we ought to be careful that we don’t confuse our preciouses – we place them high on pedestals and then start to jiggle the base.
    we shower/storm them with praises resulting in them feeling blessed and confident? or unsure of how to behave in public lest they do something to hurt the image that WE have (or would like to have) of them? maybe no wonder why so many are paranoid/secretive/do weird things to remain attractive.
    yes we love him and we put him in our fantasy world and do our will with him but we should leave reality alone it’s not ours.

  13. or if i’m typing biohazardous crap please let me know. i’d love to hear opinions. i’m a virgin (fan blog?) writer so this is all new to me…
    talking to you guys is a bonus to being a RA fan…

  14. i don’t know why my user name is coming up as ch shoud be mommbsta – trying to figure it out…

  15. Hi Mommbsta –

    I’ve only seen a very, very narrow selection of RA’s work, but what I’ve seen has been compelling, though not enough to make me want to see everything (or even, most of what) he’s done.

    I check in here because I really enjoy the individual creative talents and writings of this community (even more than the output of the actor). As a result, I think that individual bloggers should be allowed to publish whatever it is they’d like, and have it be left at that, with no long term goal or ‘purpose’ assigned to their post.

    I think we should all be allowed ‘to wonder’ about anything we’d like without censor … and I think that Traxy is pretty explicit in this post to put in bold print that nothing she says is based on anything except perhaps her own ironic wonderings of a ‘what if’ nature.

    I did not know enough about RA to know there was even speculation around his personal life or sexual preferences. I was alerted a few weeks ago in a post by RAFrenzy which referred to a post by Traxy – and my response at the time was, ‘sounds kind of like what actor Kevin Spacey has to go through’ and left it at that, since I also find Kevin Spacey’s work compelling, but don’t think much upon his life outside of it.

    I actually really enjoyed this post. It seemed to take the discussion in a new area and I took it much more generically than to apply to RA specifically (even though her post does use RA as an example). With all my travel for work, I sometimes feel a bit asexual myself, and find myself just content in general without being in a relationship – so I was much more drawn to the TOPIC Traxy wrote about, rather than any attachment of the topic to RA.

    This is just my 2 cents. Or, should I say, my 2 pence? 🙂

  16. Yes, thank you! I couldn’t remember where I saw it or who said it, but that’s what reminded me that the thought had crossed my mind before, which inspired this post. 🙂

    You’re so right about Cliff Richard, there are rumours abound with him. Whatever he’s doing or not doing, it seems to be working for him. You’d never think he’s as old as he is!

  17. Spot on. I can understand the privacy thing – he’s obviously a very private person, and I admire him for that. I mean, goodness knows we’ve heard about Katie Price and her partners to a ridiculous degree, even those of us who wouldn’t touch a gossip rag! There’s so much crap going around those magazines, not to mention the tabloids, and if he had a non-celeb partner, I can fully sympathise with wanting to keep that partner out of the limelight. If I was that person, I’d probably lay low too!

    I just feel really sorry for him either way, because this is something he just can’t seem to win. He might just not like public appearances very much, and it would be sad if he eventually felt forced to attend just to make a statement about his relationships. For what it’s worth, I hope he doesn’t give a crap about what people think he does in his own home, including his fans.

  18. Bisexual? Best of both worlds. 😉 But why would that even be an issue? You have to be one or the other, you can’t be both at the same time? 🙁

  19. Personally, I have no reason to believe he’s lying about having had girlfriends before, and that he broke up with the last one (?) because he was away a lot. That can wreak havoc on a relationship, after all.

  20. No, don’t worry, I love different opinions. 🙂 I’ve just not been able to respond yet as I’m very busy with work at the moment and only have a few mins here and there to try and respond to comments. Still not gone through all of the F3 posts yet!

  21. You’ve hit the nail right on the head, there. Yes, what IS the point of this discussion? That’s why I’m fed up with it – surely there are more important things in life than what a celebrity does in his own home? Why do we need to know? “We don’t” is the answer. And yet, we don’t seem to be able to leave the topic alone. Says more about us than it does him, doesn’t it, really?

    As long as he’s happy, I couldn’t care less, to be honest. And I’m so tempted to write a post to really underline how silly the speculations are. I mean, WHAT IF HE WAS ACTUALLY A WOMAN??? 😉

  22. With all due respect and I really, really do not want to get people upset so please be kind if you decide to respond.

    I do not believe there is a problem with speculating about a celebrity’s life provided that it is not done maliciously or with intent to hurt. I understand that once on the net, it is there forever and therefore I can see how it can get out of hand. I also think we as fans do have a responsibility not to promote behavior that can be hurtful or damaging to the celebrity or to each other. But doesn’t speculation lead to discussions that have the potential for debate, review, analyze and sensitize people in general. When we absorb an author or a poet’s work do we not sometimes look to their personal life to get answers for how it was possible that they were able to produce a work of art? The fact that some artists were able to create in spite of or even because of mental illness (a taboo if there was ever one) provides me with a more profound appreciation for their work. The fact that celebrities have been forthcoming about their sexuality has led there to be more of an acceptance of different sexual orientations. I appreciate the courage it must have taken.

    I know people say that a celebrity’s private life does not matter but for me it does to a certain extend. After learning of Mel Gibson’s behavior, I have difficulty supporting his work. I cannot help but be impressed by George Clooney who says he will not marry or have children (also very uncommon) and the fact that he was arrested to bring attention to Darfur. When I read a RA interview and hear the humor or sweetness, I am impressed. Maybe I should compartmentalize more and I think I do to some extent. But yeah, I wonder if a celebrity who is really skinny is anorexia or perhaps struggling with an addiction. I will not buy mags but it would be fun to hear others’ opinion and perhaps learn something in the process with said celebrity as a trigger for discussion.

    Geez, I had a lot to say. Sorry for the long post.

  23. The original (“what if he was gay?”) post was made as a response to the speculations I had heard about regarding his sexuality, and I just wanted to point out that if he is (or isn’t), it’s really none of our business, and so what if he is? Some of the responses (one in particular) made me revisit the topic a year later, because I feel very strongly about so-called “fans” who switch allegiances at the drop of a hat for no real reason, because I don’t count coming out as a real reason. If you have a problem with homosexuals for whatever reason, that’s not a reason to chuck away your DVDs just because an actor has said he’s gay. It doesn’t change the fact that a good production is a good production, and surely that’s what we’re admiring – how he acts on screen. What he does off-screen is immaterial.

    I can see why e.g. Gary Glitter fans would want to reconsider their loyalty, but if you’ve loved his music for forty-odd years (or whatever, I don’t know how long he’s been around), does it suddenly become anathema to your ears and would you throw away your old, beloved records?

    I mean, goodness sake, Dieter Bohlen (to name an example I can actually relate to) is certainly no saint and you don’t have to dig deep to get an idea of why, but I still love his music. But then again, his sexual liaisons have not been under-aged. (To my knowledge.)

    Agree that the discussion could be applied to any celebrity, but in this instance, it happened to be RA. It’s just something that people never seem to consider, even though it’s a perfectly valid option. (Fun fact: Still waiting for someone to ask if this post is in any way related to the one I posted two days earlier, inspired by Between the Sheets …)

  24. thank you soo much for the tactful responses (i was worried for a while). you all have very interesting and convincing points and being a completely new blogger this may be a lesson for me.
    first of all, my comment was made in reference to past free range but wild speculations being made all over about anybody in the public eye, it just happened to come out here. the topic is irrelevant really although the topic “gay, asexual etc” is very provocative and does deserve more discussion…
    is there a border/line to the extent of our speculations or may we go on into oblivion? speaking not just for ourselves but for others who may not be of the same considerate minds. stepping into a celebrity shoe (only one foot) – because we are adored – would we appreciate so much magnification/scrutiny into our own private lives? ( i would feel like i was walking on about to be hatched Tweety Bird eggs across a busy street).
    my comment is meant for all who prefers to have their private lives private. i do not want to be the fuel that drives paparrazo and the likes to make more private more news.
    the case of people (celebs) breaking laws or embarassing themselves may be food for another post i think.
    i have no doubt as to Traxy’s lively and enthusiastic blogs and of course i never meant to disagree or promote negativity. i quite enjoy her squeess – maybe i’m just an over sensitive and fussy newborn fan… if so, give me time i’ll grow

  25. I think i mentioned that on Twitter once, just to jig thing sup a bit (I have no reason to suspect, but everyone does like their labels, so I threw another label into the mix).

    To be honest, i think the reason so many people want to know if someone is gay or straight is because if they are gay, the possibility of them ever loving you is zero (assuming said fan is a woman and object of their desire is a man).

    Of course, if you have any experience of gay men, you know that’s bollocks. They might not be sexually attracted to you, but that’s lust, not love. They can certainly love you, they just don’t want to have sex with you. I love a lot of people whom i would never ever want to have sex with.

    I suppose unless you’ve spent some time around gay men though, they are kind of “othered” and unknown. You forget that their friends can mean as much to them as our friends. You forget that deep down, just as most of us do, they just want to be loved and accepted for who they are and again, I’m not talking about sexual relationships.

    There are many gay men who have been closer to their friends (women or men) than to many of their partners. Think about it, dont you have friends who have stuck around longer than many of your boyfriends?

    I really wish that people would stop equating love with sex. Sure, romantic love is fab, but there are so many other, and arguably stronger kinds of love than just that. Think of the love that many a mother has for her child; that bond is really hard to sever. Think of siblings. I once knew a teenage girl who shaved her head when her sister had chemo because she didn’t want her to feel alone.

    So no, asexuality also doesn’t bother me at all. What’s “down there” and what you do with it has nothing to do with love. it’s what goes on outside of the bedroom, the other 99% of your life that counts.

    I don’t know if the people who are bothered by him being gay will feel the same as me about asexuality though.

    But bigots, please remember that even if you do meet RA, he’s never going to fall in love with you, gay or not. You have more chance of winning the lottery twice then you do of a star falling in love with you, 1 because you’re probably not going to be able to chat to him long enough for him to fall in love and 2 that’s just the lottery life. I cant tell you how many people I’ve had a crush on that haven’t reciprocated my feelings, or how many people I didn’t like who have tried to chat me up.

    FYI, i also think thats why so many people want to know if stars are smokers or not. Smoking is a “deal breaker” for many people these days and finding out that their idol smokes (or they do and said idol doesn’t) can put a crimp in your happily-ever-after dreams.

    PS, i always seem compelled to write an essay when I come to your blog! Sorry.

  26. sooo sorry Traxy, my comment IS for the SPECULATIONS, not the discussion about “gay or asexual preferences” of which i have noo qualms about.
    i am only worried that in searching too deeply into people’s lives (with TOO much speculations) are we not possibly making them a little (or maybe more) nervous?
    please forgive my previous over – worded and maybe misleading comment…
    i know that we all adore RA and would never do anything delieberately to cause harm…

  27. Never, ever, apologise for posting a long comment! I love reading them! 🙂 (And short ones too, of course, but long ones can be savoured for longer because they take longer to read!)

    As for the points you make, all I can say is … I totally agree! With discussions, I think it’s important to discuss lots of different topics, because even if they’re controversial or unpleasant. From what I’ve heard, certain topics are no-no on the RA fanforums, for instance, but I don’t see why it should be off-limits if the tone isn’t insulting or exploitative (e.g. posting addresses and such). Freedom of speech is important. 🙂

  28. I love reading what you have to say, so don’t worry, be happy! 🙂 Sorry for not responding sooner, but March has been silly busy, and it’s carrying over into April too, so very limited time to respond to comments. And to write posts, but I try to get one in when I can!

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