The whole world seems to be obsessed with sex. It’s promoted everywhere – from ads to movies. However, there are people for whom it all seems very weird, as they have no interest in sex. These people are asexual. You might have heard this term recently but may not know what exactly it means. Asexual are those people who have zero sexual desire or have a very low sex drive. Since asexuals are in the minority (2-3% of men and women), a lot of myths and stereotypes circle around their otherness. It’s time to bust all the misconceptions and find out the truth about people who are not interested in sex.
Myth #1: Asexuality means celibacy.
The truth is these are two different notions. People who took a vow of celibacy have sexual desire, but they have to suppress it and abstain from intimacy for some religious or other reasons. Asexual people just don’t experience sexual attraction. Also, asexuality should not be confused with sexual abstinence, forced or voluntary conscious restriction of sexual activity. Staying virgin until marriage is a good example of it.
Myth #2: Asexuality is a physiological or psychological disorder.
No, it’s neither of that. In a culture where the absence of sexual activity is viewed as an alarming symptom and a cause for concern, asexuality is easily labeled as a disease. Is it a result of a childhood psychological trauma? Is it a consequence of a certain disease? Asexual people often hear such questions. Although asexuality is not a diagnose and it’s not on the international list of diseases, even some doctors have a stereotypical view on this matter.
Myth 3#: Asexual people are reserved and unfriendly.
A sexual orientation of a person doesn’t influence their individual traits of character. Like any other person, an asexual man or woman can be an extrovert or introvert and form their social circle according to the type of their temperament, character, and needs. In terms of socialization, there is no difference between asexual and prosexual people.
Myth #4: Asexual people are lonely and unable to love.
There isn’t an ounce of truth in this statement. The absence of sexual attraction is not connected to a person’s ability to have romantic feelings. Usually, asexuals are sensitive and emotional people. They can have profound romantic feelings for a person being totally indifferent to them in terms of sex. Yet they like to touch and caress their loved ones as well as receive tenderness in return. Most asexuals build relationships with the partners who are asexual too. They may have sex for the sake of procreation.
Myth #5: Asexuality is a modern trend.
The notion of asexuality is not new. There are a lot of famous people of the past who had an asexual way of life, though didn’t officially identify themselves as asexual (H. C. Andersen, I. Kant, I. Newton). The very term “asexuality” appeared relatively recently. The first studies of this phenomenon date back to the mid-20th century.