Showing posts with label Asexual. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asexual. Show all posts

June 6, 2016

1% of British Society is Asexual


josh-coty-3
For 25-year-old Josh Coty, being part of the one percent is not all it’s cracked up to be. At least, when it comes to being part of that one percent… You know, the percentage of the population that identifies as asexual, or “someone who does not experience sexual attraction,” as defined by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. {queerty}
                                                                          




 Though you refer to yourself as celibate, celibacy is a behavior a person chooses – a decision to fight off the urges most people have to hop on another person and do the humpus-rumpus. What you have is a feeling – a longing for sex on a par with the enthusiasm of a guest at a trendy cocktail party being offered a slightly squirming sushi appetizer: “Uh, thanks, but don’t mind if I don’t.”
Assuming you’ve been checked out by a doctor for any possible medical issues, chances are you’re “ace” – as people who are asexual like to call themselves. Asexuality is a sexual orientation -- that of a person who, as social psychologist Anthony Bogaert puts it, has “a lack of sexual attraction or desire for others.”
Asexuality is pretty uncommon. According to a survey that Bogaert did in the U.K., maybe 1 percent of the population has an asexual orientation. (This estimate may be on the low side, as it was done in 2004, long before the varieties of sexuality and gender began rivaling the choices in the salad bar at Souplantation.)
Asexuality plays out in varied ways. Some asexuals lack any interest in sex, finding it about as appealing as having another person stick a finger up their nose repeatedly (while panting, moaning, and shrieking in ecstasy). Others sometimes have urges for sexual release; they just have no desire to expand their dating pool beyond their hand. So while sexual attraction involves noticing another person and wanting to do all sorts of sex things with them, asexuals might find a person aesthetically pleasing but are generally as sexually interested in them as most of us would be in an adding machine or a potato.
There are those who contend that asexuality is a physical or psychological disorder. And sure, some people probably use asexuality as a cover for unresolved issues or for shock value – like my (decidedly straight) sister did in coming home from college freshman year and announcing to my conservative Republican mother, “I think I’m a lesbian.” My mother handled this perfectly: “That’s nice; please put out the plates for dinner.”
Clinical psychologist Lori Brotto explains that asexuality doesn’t meet the psychiatric bible’s criteria for an arousal disorder – physiological impairment or distress at the lack of attraction to others. Research by Brotto and others also finds that asexuals, in general, don’t seem any crazier than the rest of us and have normal hormone levels and normal arousability, reflected in erectile function and vaginal lubrication. As one asexual put it: “I did, you know, test the equipment … and everything works fine, pleasurable and all; it’s just not actually attracted to anything.’’
Some asexuals get into relationships with other people because they want a partner and/or a family. (They’re asexual, not aloving.) The problem comes if they don’t disclose that their sexual orientation is “Do you mind if I read while you do that?”
As for your situation, if you don’t feel there’s anything missing from your life, well, yay for you. But consider the “self-expansion” model for romantic relationships, by psychologist Arthur Aron and his colleagues. It confirms what many of us intuitively understand: In addition to the ways a relationship challenges people emotionally, it expands who they are as individuals through exposure to their partner’s ideas, identity, possessions, and social circle.
You might be able to have that sort of partnership – with a girlfriend who likes the same hot stuff you probably do in bed (microwaved Chinese food). You can connect with like-minded individuals on the big forum for asexuals – AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (Asexuality.org). You might make some friends, and who knows … you might even meet the woman of your dreams – one who can’t wait to go home with you for a long night of meaningless Scrabble.
Amy Alkon

November 23, 2015

Asexual is an Identity and You should know it


                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                  

The reason for this site is help our readers to remain educated on certain current and sometimes historical issues that everyone should know. I try to do things differently and that sometimes is a ‘gas’ and sometimes ‘no gas’. I can explain if you would like me to.

It is somehow queer that I have known about Asexual’s and understood it better than being gay since my early days in church. The women which we called sisters (not related to catholic nuns) were very eager to quietly discuss issues of wife beatings, infidelity  and asexuality,  which was given a different name I can not remember. Homosexuality was usually not touched in these circles. 

At the time (about 14) I could not imagine how bad that most have been and I wish I never got that disease. As I became older I understood better.  Why should you know about Asexual's?
Because they are also your friends and you don’t know it.  [ Adam]

The following excerpts are from The Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research. 

Relationships
Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other.

Sexual or nonsexual, all relationships are made up of the same basic stuff. Communication, closeness, fun, humor, excitement and trust all happen just as much in sexual relationships as in nonsexual ones. Unlike sexual people, asexual people are given few expectations about the way that our intimate relationships will work. Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in nonsexual relationships can be challenging, but free of sexual expectations we can form relationships in ways that are grounded in our individual needs and desires.

Attraction
Many asexual people experience attraction, but we feel no need to act out that attraction sexually. Instead we feel a desire to get to know someone, to get close to them in whatever way works best for us. Asexual people who experience attraction will often be attracted to a particular gender, and will identify as lesbian, gay, bi, or straight.

Arousal
For some sexual arousal is a fairly regular occurrence, though it is not associated with a desire to find a sexual partner or partners. Some will occasionally masturbate, but feel no desire for partnered sexuality. Other asexual people experience little or no arousal. Because we don’t care about sex, asexual people generally do not see a lack of sexual arousal as a problem to be corrected, and focus their energy on enjoying other types of arousal and pleasure.

Note: People do not need sexual arousal to be healthy, but in a minority of cases a lack of arousal can be the symptom of a more serious medical condition. If you do not experience sexual arousal or if you suddenly lose interest in sex you should probably check with a doctor just to be safe.

Identity
Most people on AVEN have been asexual for our entire lives. Just as people will rarely and unexpectedly go from being straight to gay, asexual people will rarely and unexpectedly become sexual or vice versa. Another small minority will think of themselves as asexual for a brief period of time while exploring and questioning their own sexuality. 

There is no litmus test to determine if someone is asexual. Asexuality is like any other identity- at its core, it’s just a word that people use to help figure themselves out. If at any point someone finds the word asexual useful to describe themselves, we encourage them to use it for as long as it makes sense to do so.

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