I am Asexual. Yes, That's a Thing.
I'm Asexual. Yes, I know, I know. There is the gender parade tromping around in 2021 and uptight, confused people are mocking the myriad genders coming out.
I'm ignoring those people. If you haven't had a cursory study of Alfred Kinsey's Work, you have no business discussing gender and sexuality.
Yes, Kinsey made mistakes and his scale definitely needed to be improved—but in 2021, who will take up the mantle? Who is willing to take a scientific perspective to watching people bang? Oprah? Nah. Maybe Eddie Izzard. But he doesn't have a PhD.
OH! Let's enlist Neil deGrasse Tyson to be the next Kinsey. I can see him now, sitting in a deep, soft chair, obscured by shadow in the corner, while two people bang on the bed. Tyson sips his tea and writes in his notebook. The two people moan. Tyson scribbles something. It's over. Shame sweeps through the room. Neil deGrasse Tyson lifts himself from the chair, nods to the two naked, sweaty people on the bed, then disappears without a trace. Gone. Poof. Back to his lab to do SCIENCE!
ahem I got distracted there.
Back to topic.
I am Asexual. This does not mean I procreate through parthenogenesis.
No, all it means is that I do not experience sexual attraction.
That's what Asexuality means:
Asexuality is defined as having the absence of sexual attraction.
It's not celibacy because celibacy is a choice. Being Asexual is a sexuality, like homosexuality or heterosexuality. It is a legitimate sexuality. It's often called the “hidden alignment” because, well, who goes around to bars and parties saying, “I'm not sexually attracted to anyone! Yeah! Is that hot?”
That's not to say that we Asexuals do not like sex. There are many Asexuals who enjoy sex. They're defined as sex positive Asexuals.
Then there are sex indifferent, and sex repulsed Asexuals. Along with so many variations of gray, I won't be able to list it all here.
The main POINT of all this is that Asexuals are real and are a recognized sexuality. Even Kinsey put us on his scale (in a way):
According to Dr. Kinsey, approximately 1.5 percent of his adult male subjects fell into the “X” category, meaning that they expressed “no socio-sexual contacts or reactions.” In his 1953 follow-up, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, he estimated that between one and four percent of male interviewees, and from one to 19 percent of female interviewees, were Asexual.
I mean, Asexuals were defined as “X”, but we had a category.
From 2019 to the present, gender studies and identification has exploded. You can see this on social media—mainly with young people—defining their own sexuality. Sometimes these sexualities become nonsense terms created by the individual. Nothing recognized by scientific research or sexologists. Just social media blather.
But I find it fascinating that sexuality has exploded this way. Especially since I came out as Asexual 4 years ago.
I had no clue what it was or how to define it. Most research I did led to nonsense Tumblr pages and ramblings of teenagers trying to be “unique.” I was starting to think maybe I'm just broken. Maybe there is no Asexuality, maybe I'm just a broken human being.
Then I found AVEN. A site that took this sexuality seriously. That included scientific discussion and recognized Asexuals as real, not broken.
I read papers from the Kinsey Institute discussing Asexuality, further reinforcing that it was an actual sexuality and not some internet bullshit trend.
I found myself. And it was enlightening.
But then the loneliness sets in.
Does anyone remember high school? It's kind of a dream for me, like it happened but it was a different reality.
Do you remember in high school getting that huge crush on a person and obsessing over them? Walking by their locker, hoping they'll be there so you can give a quick smile. Driving by their house like some freaky stalker. Calling their phone—and this was the 90s, so no cell phones; only corded phones—and hanging up when their dad answered the phone.
That feeling of a crush, of exhilaration around a certain person. It's not geared towards sex. It's more attuned to the excitement of getting to know a person you really like and, hopefully, having them get to know you.
The story of a person is more exhilarating than any one night stand.
Being Asexual does not mean we don't enjoy sex. Some Asexuals love sex. They have it all the time. Some Asexuals are indifferent to sex. We just don't care. You want to do it? Sure, ok, whatever.
And some Asexuals are sex-repulsed. That is, sex is disgusting to them and they want nothing to do with it.
All are valid. All are recognized.
To make things even more confusing, there is another sexuality on the Asexuality spectrum: Demisexuality.
(Yes, I know there are tons of other sexualities on the spectrum, but most of them are not recognized by experts and exist mainly as made up sexualities, or as micro-sexualities. I'm not demeaning them, I'm just not discussing terms that are not recognized by experts. You can flame me all you want).
I'll let the University of Wisconsin help define Demisexuality:
Demisexuality is pertaining to an individual who does not experience sexual attraction unless the individual feels a strong emotional connection with another individual. Individuals who identify as being demisexual, usually are not sexually attracted to anyone of a particular gender.
I know what you're thinking. Isn't that just someone who is particularly picky in choosing a partner? Isn't it basically everyone?
Remember that high school crush feeling? The butterflies? Well, for a Demisexual, those butterflies, that feeling of euphoria and lust towards another human being, only occurs when a strong emotional bond is formed.
Demisexuals don't sleep around. One night stands are vapor for them. Random hookups never happen.
It's that one special individual who sparks the sexual attraction.
I read an analogy describing various sexualities that I think helps explain Asexuality. It goes like this:
- Heterosexuality: The door swings inward
- Homosexuality: The door swings outward
- Bisexuality: The door swings both ways
- Demisexuality: The door is locked and only one person has the key
- Asexuality: The door is barred
I wanted to bring some light to Asexuality. Many people think it's just celibacy or people not wanting to have sex. But it is an actual, recognized, studied sexuality. The LGBTQA+ has even included us (the “A” causes a lot of controversy though; some say it's for Asexual; some say it's for Ally). In fact, Asexual individuals may represent about one percent of the population in America.
Asexual people face a lot of loneliness and rejection. With most people wanting to hook up and have sex as the end result of a relationship, Asexuals are typically relegated to (ugh, I hate this term) the friend zone.
But most of the Asexuals I know are passionate, romantic, loyal, extremely kind, and will treat their partner with respect and love. It's just that thorny sex issue.
Asexuals are not broken.
Asexuals are not a Tumblr sexuality.
Asexuals exist and we're out here.
Humans are weird. We're a weird species that does crazy things.
But that's the beauty of being human. We're all experiencing this life, this world, on an individual level. And it gets lonely.
So we seek out others to be by our side as we walk through life. And we find happiness and hurt and betrayal and love.
Humans with love. Whomever came up with that combination needs to be smacked.
Love is such a mysterious emotion. It creates such wonderful, beautiful things. But then seconds later, it can destroy an entire world.
Love is dangerous. But it's necessary.
And sex is not love. It never was. Sex is just the physical expression of love—albeit, the ultimate physical expression.
But it's not love.