Asexuality is a sexual orientation in which human beings lack sexual attraction to any gender.
Non-asexual human beings occasionally mistake Asexuality as a scientific circumstance inclusive of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), a medical condition when one loses interest in sex and their libido (sex drive). Also, some non-asexual people believe that Asexuality is the same as Celibacy, which is false.
What is the difference?
Hypoactive Sex Drive (HSDD)
Let us begin with Hypoactive Sex Drive and other medical conditions that are similar. HSDD is when the individual has had sexual desires and has been engaging to participate in sexual activities with their partner but loses it due to issues like stress and tiredness. It can also occur from a lack of Testosterone for men and when women are closer to starting the menopause stage. There are therapy and medical solutions to curing HSDD which is one main difference that separates it from Asexuality.
Celibacy, often because of a religious conviction, is a temporary decision for a person not to participate in any sexual relationships or be married. Religions that believe in Celibacy are Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity, to name a few. In these religions, it is said that marriage is a gift from God and that when the person is not married, it is a sin to take part in sexual practices.
Of course, Celibacy doesn’t apply to only religious reasons, some people decide to become Celibate after breakups or they have more important things to do before they consider starting a relationship with someone.
So now we know that HSDD is a Sexual Disorder which could be to do with hormonal imbalances or stress and Celibacy is a choice or religious thing. Asexuality is not a choice, just like being homosexual or bisexual isn’t a choice. Asexual people still have functional hormones, they simply lack interest in sexual activities and do not find any gender sexually attractive.
What is being Asexual like?
I for one, am Asexual. Being Asexual has its ups and downs in society since we see the world as oversexualized. I would get anxious if someone who I did not know fire pick up lines at me and quickly think of a way to turn them down harshly but kindly. Many find sex repugnant and are repulsed by it. They also hate seeing sexual things on TV and listening to songs with sexual lyrics.
Now, this doesn’t apply to all Asexuals. Some are neutral to the idea of sex and do it to please their partner, however, they never have a want for it themselves.
I found out I was Asexual after a series of self-doubts, not knowing what I was. I once believed I was Bisexual because I had no preference for gender. A few years later, I realized I had no sexual interest in boys or girls.
I researched about a lack of sexual attraction and learned I was an Asexual. I was scared to take part in sex education at school, which was an obvious sign. In high school, when everybody was talking about sex 24/7, I wanted to talk about video games and TV shows.
The Ace Spectrum
Ace is what we call ourselves since it is a shorter version of Asexual. Now there are different varieties in the Asexual world which we call THE ACE SPECTRUM:
Asexual: Person lacking sexual attraction to any gender. Can still form romantic relationships.
Demisexual: Person lacking sexual attraction but will grow sexual feelings towards another person after creating a strong emotional bond
Greysexual: Person who sometimes feel sexual attraction on a day to day basis.
Aromantic: Person who lacks romantic attraction.
AroAce: Person who lacks both sexual or romantic attraction
Aegosexuality: A disconnection between oneself and a sexual target/object of arousal; may involve sexual fantasies, or arousal in response to erotica or pornography, but lacking any desire to be a participant in the sexual activities therein.
A hatred towards Asexuals is called Aphobia.
Asexuals are subjected to corrective rape to “fix” them and participate in sexual intercourse. Conversion Therapy is provided by churches and practitioners, the same as homosexuality (which I hope will be banned very soon).
Aphobes demand us to visit a shrink because we are “mentally sick” and sometimes people within the LGBTQ+ community agree. Some people say that we have not met the “right person yet”. What if our right person was Asexual too?
Sara Beth Brooks and AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network) founder David Jay, worked together to create an annual event to support Aces around the globe called Asexual Awareness week. It launched in October 2010 and has been ongoing since.
Where to look for more information
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network is a great source to learn more about the sexual orientation. There is a subreddit called r/asexuality where you can engage with other Asexuals. There are biographies and stories about Asexuality that can be ordered online too.