Is It Possible To Be Asexual?

Yesterday I read an advice column letter about a man who doesn't like sex. Dear Prudence
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I found this really interesting and confusing at the same time. After all, who doesn't like sex? More pointedly, what man doesn't like sex? I guess when we see how, um, hormonal some men can get, it's hard to imagine. :) However, I guess it is possible to be 'asexual'. I think this is worth mentioning because a lot of people will worry about their teenagers (or themselves) if they haven't expressed interest in or had a relationship with the opposite sex. I've experienced this firsthand, albeit not from my parents. While I don't think there is any reason to worry, others may disagree. Plus, I just found it interesting.

First, let me give some definitions. When I say 'asexual', I'm not talking about someone who has another reason not to want to have sex. For instance, monks and priests will take a vow of celibacy because of their commitment to their religion. I have a sorority sister who feels she is 'called to be single' in the same way the apostle Paul speaks about being able to focus on his missionary work because he's not distracted by anything else. This is because celibacy is a behavior, not an orientation.

I'm also not talking about someone who doesn't want sex because they've had some sort of trauma. Judging from the ones I know, it seems that many rape victims go one of two directions-they either don't want anything to do with sex or they do it like it's nothing. They may still feel desire, but their past experience either scares them or takes any possible appeal out of it. I can't say I blame them.

On a lighter note, I'm also not talking about a guy who hasn't had a girlfriend in a while and says he's 'asexual' so people will stop thinking he's gay. This was my stepbrother in high school. We've been out of school for a good while now, and he still gets that sometimes. I don't know about his 'desires' and, frankly, I don't want to know. There's not enough 'brain bleach' in the world to get that stain out. :)

I'm talking about people who have no sexual desire at all, or will only develop it after first making an emotional connection. I've also heard of asexual people who experience desire, but it's not often enough to make a difference or strong enough to want to act on it.

I found it interesting to see that asexuality doesn't necessarily mean that they are perpetually single. Like the gentleman in the letter above, asexual people can definitely form romantic connections. In fact, I think it might actually be easier for them to do this because they can focus more on the emotional aspects. I've known people (mostly men) who stayed in a relationship with someone they actually couldn't stand simply because that person was good in the sack. I know from experience how painful it can be when we mistake a sexual connection for an emotional one.

Like others who don't have kids 'by a certain age', some asexual people are thought to be 'disordered' because they don't have the urge to procreate that everyone thinks they should have. This isn't true; some people, like the sorority sister I mention above, simply don't care. It's not a defense mechanism because she's never had sex or a relationship to defend herself from; she just doesn't think about it.

If this post has piqued your interest, check out this article. Personally, I just like to see how other people live.

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