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Am I Asexual?
By Lisa Angelettie MSW
There is a huge sexual movement going on. It's not about gay pride. It's not about sex among the elderly. It's not even a hidden Viagra agenda I'm speaking of. Today, it's all about the asexual a.k.a. the person who has no interest in having sex. Does this sound like you?
*Monica is 24-year-old woman who lives a healthy and vibrant life. She has a satisfying job as a registered nurse, loves to swim, and is in a new 8-month relationship.
What's unique about her relationship is that neither she or her boyfriend are interested in having sex with each other or anyone else for that matter. They are what they describe as "asexuals", and where many physicians and psychologists would call this a problem that needs to be addressed - Monica and her boyfriend feel it is a just a part of who they are and there is nothing wrong with it.
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with us. Me and *Jim have just never experienced sexual attraction. It's not like I'm a woman who use to enjoy sex and now I don't. That could very well be hormonal. In my case, I have never had a sexual attraction for anyone - male or female. I enjoy snuggling with my boyfriend, going out with him, and all the other non-sexual things couples do."
Interestingly enough, it seems as if Monica and her boyfriend are not alone. What was once something that many people kept to themselves is now coming out of the closet and members are happy to finally be able to find each other and to define themselves as asexual. Asexuality is emerging as a new sexual orientation.
"I'm kind of glad there is a name for this. I didn't feel broken, just different, and I didn't know what to call it. Now slowly but surely I'm finding others who are just like me. Like this guy who started this website - http://www.asexuality.org/home/ - for people like us."
The Growing Debate
Of course there is growing debate in the mental health and medical community about the term asexual. Some professionals believe that people who do not care about sex at all are either experiencing a physical, emotional, or hormonal problem. There are many who define humans as "sexual beings" who should normally desire a sexual relationship with their partners.
People who are asexual feel that this is incorrect, and that is just the effort of medical professionals to tell them what is wrong with them in order to fix them. Or it is just out of ignorance that many professionals don't know about this community of people. But slowly things are beginning to change. Concrete research is something most professionals will accept as proof of recognition.
In a study conducted last year (2004) by Anthony Bogaert, a psychologist and human sexuality expert at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario-- results concluded that 1 in 100 adults were asexual. That can be defined as 1% of the population which is not too far behind the 3% of the population who are gay.
Celibate or Asexual?
People who are asexual want it to be known that there is a concrete difference between celibacy and asexuality. Someone who is celibate is someone who has chosen to abstain from sex - Asexuals have not made that choice. Just as the heterosexual didn't choose to be attracted to the opposite sex or the homosexual didn't choose to be attracted to the same gender - neither has the asexual made a choice - it's just the way they have always been.
Is this a new thing?
The only thing new about asexuality is the fact is that there is finally some scholarly study and research beginning on the topic and therefore it is receiving more media and therefore public attention.
"There is quite a bit of circumstantial proof that people who have lived decades, even centuries, ago were asexual. This is nothing new - its just getting its fair share of publicity - finally!"
Learn more about asexuality: http://www.asexuality.org/home/
Find an asexual support group in your area: http://asexuality.meetup.com/
The next United Asexuality Meetup Day is on September 3rd.
Sir Issac Newton: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
H.P. Lovecraft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.P._Lovecraft
About The Author
Lisa Angelettie, M.S.W., is a psychotherapist, author, and an online advice expert. She has been helping people make smarter life choices since 1998.
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