Asexuality

Originally Published: February 22, 2008 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: September 29, 2009
Share this
Dear Alice,

I would like to see your site at least mention asexuality (just once!). I submitted a question on this about a month ago which was not answered.

Dear Reader,

Thanks for asking about this topic, which as you are probably aware, is frequently overlooked. Asexuality is a lack of interest in sex or a lack of sexual attraction to others. About one percent of the population may be asexual, however scientific research is limited. By definition, people who are asexual do not experience sexual attraction and have no desire for sexual intimacy. They may have been sexual at some point in their lives, and may still have sexual urges (such as masturbation), but do not desire having sex with other people. However, asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is a conscious choice to abstain from sex.

Although people who are asexual do not wish to have sex, this does not mean they abstain from relationships. They still have emotional needs and may still form romantic relationships with partners, both asexual and not. It is important to note that although they may not experience sexual attraction, they may still experience romantic attraction and a desire to be in a relationship.

Many people who are asexual do date and form romantic partnerships both with other people who are asexual and people who are not. As long as there is an understanding between partners, these relationships can work. Just like any relationship, there may be compromises both partners make and communication is key. For example, in a "mixed" relationship where one partner identifies as asexual and the other does not, they may engage in some sexual activity or may find other ways to meet each other's emotional and sexual needs. Many people who are asexual experience successful partnerships, both long term and casual.

There is some debate in the scientific community about whether asexuality is related to underlying medical causes such as a lack of certain hormones, or is a genuine phenomenon. If you're curious, there are many online resources that can tell you more about asexuality, including the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

Hope this helps!

Alice