Asexuality is having little or no interest in sexual relationships. There is some debate as to whether asexuality is a sexual orientation–groups advocating for the rights of asexual people emphasize that asexuality is a sexual orientation similar to homosexuality or heterosexuality.
What is Asexuality?
As with other sexual orientations, there are a range of ways people express their asexuality. Some asexuals have romantic relationships that do not include sex, while others prefer to avoid intimate relationships altogether and instead focus on friendship and family. Some asexual people feel that they have always known they were asexual, while others find that their sexual orientation dawned on them over time. Some people might be asexual for a brief time and then begin sexual relations.
Asexuality and Mental Health
Asexuality is part of a complex range of behaviors and orientations and is not a mental illness. It should be differentiated from fear of sex or fear of intimacy, although some people have argued that asexuality results from trauma or sexual abuse; there is no evidence that this is actually the case.
Asexuality and Popular Culture
Asexuality has become increasingly visible in recent years, due largely to the Internet. Asexual people are now better able to network with others and to lobby for their own interests and support one another. Asexuality is still a relatively rare sexual orientation, with only about 1% of people identifying as asexual at some point during their lives. Some media commentators have argued that asexuality is increasing in prevalence and that it might even be a trend, but others have argued that it is simply more visible now. There are several organizations dedicated to lobbying on behalf of asexuals, including The Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
- Asexuality. (n.d.). The Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Retrieved from http://www.asexuality.org/home/
- Smith, S. (2012, August 21). Asexuality always existed, you just didn’t notice it. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/21/asexuality-always-existed-asexual
Last Updated: 08-4-2015
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JenniferOctober 21st, 2015 at 2:36 PM
Asexual people do not desire either sex, they are not necessarily people who don’t want to be in a sexual relationship. Sex-aversive asexuals don’t have sexual relationships. Some asexual people don’t mind sex, and will do it for their partner, they just don’t care about it. There is no sexual attraction, but sex can be enjoyed; I wouldn’t expect an asexual to ever initiate sex.
ChainaSeptember 16th, 2018 at 3:08 PM
I have been friends with a man who is not interested in any kind of intimacy with me. While i have been very attracted to him for a while now & we have become close..hanging out together for days on end, even in hugs goodbye he avoids our bodies connecting, refusing that surge of dopamine that hits ones brain and sends out pleasure signals. I’m not sure what all this means. He is very kind and good to me. It sucks though as i become more into him & i fear I’m falling in love. Any idea what all this is about? He makes lots of sexual comments & has told me that he masturbates often!?!?
WNMarch 7th, 2021 at 3:12 PM
It is complicated to me, to explain. But at ages 4, 16, 17, and 24 I experienced rapes. I feel I did not really get a choice of what or who I liked. And I lived during a time when being gay was looked down upon. I was already living in a restricted world, surrounded by bigotry and racism. Any thoughts or feelings I had I kept them to myself, to survive. I heard how folks talked, I saw what they did. Times were hard. I was a loner. When I got married, it was something expected of two heterosexuals who where in a relationship. Skipping ahead, I had 3 daughter, and too many failed relationships. Most of them I would end if sex was brought into it. In about my 30’s to 40’s I had one relationship that lasted, because we were not sexual. I did not know there was a term for not wanting sex. I would have attractions but they would fade if sex was brought into it. I have been supportive of LGBTQ… for more than 40 years. I am romantic sometimes, but it is not a BIG thing in my life. As soon as sex even looks like it is coming into a discussion, I bail out. I am 61 and have not been in a relationship since 2003 it was sexless, and I do not have the ‘needs’ everyone talks about. I am happy without it. I would like a relationship, but do not look, because I am put off by sex, and do not know how to explain myself. Am I Asexual? Thanks for the forum.
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