Are people having more or less sex these days? Is too much stress in the office and work in general putting pressure on men to perform? So, to get the details out of the way, asexuality is a thing. It is a sexual orientation, in so much as you are defining a negative. Of course there are multiple ways to define asexuality. Wikipedia, the most trusted source of information on the internet, does a pretty decent job of summarizing it, however, as a lack of sexual attraction to anyone or an absent or low interest in sexual activity. Asexuals, or Aces as some prefer, have been fighting for visibility since the early 21st century, mostly aided by the internet. The main resource for asexual individuals is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, or AVEN, which can be found at asexuality.org.
The Huffington Post recently did a series on asexuality, but it was all a bit more academic. Of course, that tends to happen when you try to describe a negative. As one ace mentioned, it is a little bit like trying to explain color to a blind man. So rather than beat you over the head with erudite nonsense, we’re going to give you a much more personal look at what life is like when you take sex out of the equation.
The biggest thing I think most people would want a look into is how you date when you identify as asexual. It sort of doesn’t make sense, does it? Because is it really a relationship without sex? Most aces I spoke with would say yes. When asked about how she dealt with being in a relationship, Danielle, a sophomore in college, replied “I’m actually sort of in a relationship with a sexual person right now. We were really good friends for years before that and he told me he had liked me in that way for a while, and I sort of had a squish on him for a few years so I thought it might be good to try it out. We’ve run into a few problems and are actually taking a break right now due to the fact that I think I might actually be aromantic… oops…” Which, if your only real problem in a romantic relationship is whether or not you actually like the guy, it isn’t too far off from normal.
Telling your partner, or potential date, that you are an asexual is apparently a difficult task, but not for the reasons you would think. Highschooler Hayden, who describes himself as a heteroromantic asexual, says “So if I am telling a girl that I am ace, I will usually start with the long definitions and stuff. But if they don’t get it I basically say, you’re cute but if you were naked that would make me uncomfortable.” Leigha’s problem, however, wasn’t in telling people that she was asexual, it was that they kept thinking she was sleeping with her friends. “Apparently I emit this aura that radiates sex, or act completely sexual,” she explained. “People actually think that I’ve slept with certain guys. I never knew why, and still don’t. Apparently, it’s how I act. It’s causing problems because it’s hurting our friendships and I think that my friends that people think I’ve slept with are getting the wrong idea because of how I act. I don’t want to reject them and lose my friendships, but whatever these sexual actions are are completely unintentional and mostly because my lack of sexual attraction has made me not understand what’s sexual and what’s not. Even more annoying is the fact that some things that people consider sexual I do just because it’s comfortable. Like snuggling or resting my head on someone’s shoulder. I’m tired and I deserve to rest my head against your shoulder if I want to. Why does everyone have to take the slightest bit of physical contact sexually? I don’t understand that. Can’t I do something because I feel like it? No other motives other than because I wanted to?”
Read more: Want to lose your life savings? Invest in a Nasdaq listed company
The saddest thing to come across in the asexual community is just how often the people there had started out their adult lives feeling broken. They thought that something was wrong with them because they didn’t feel the way the world was telling them they should. It is hard to define a lack of something, especially if you don’t know what having it feels like. And with the asexual community being such a small minority, only now just starting to see real visibility in the world, people can go most of their lives without finding acceptance. This year marked the first time asexuals marched in a New York Pride parade. You won’t find many medical, psychological, or sociological studies on asexuals. So when people find places like AVEN, the stories are typically worth a laugh. Tom, who used to think of himself as “straight but not interested,” found out about asexuality through a random youtube comment. Take a moment to think that over. He was browsing the youtube comment section, and amid the impotent rage and the homophobic and racist slurs, he found the word “asexual” and decided to run a google search. And then there is the question of being out. Sure, being “out” is great for visibility, but it really takes effort to make it stick. It isn’t often that you go around shouting your sexual orientation from the rooftops if your orientation is really more of a lack of an orientation. So some aces don’t even bother. Georgia, one partially-out ace, explained it this way “I would like to be, just because it would be easier to raise awareness, and I feel like a bit of a coward feeling so afraid of other people’s reactions.”
But the absolute best story I ran across was Silver’s story about asexual sex dreams. “One thing I often joke about with my friends is that I’ve had a couple sex dreams in my life which were totally asexual in nature, and made me laugh a lot when I woke up” they confided.
Read more: Failed extortion, fake Swedish virgin fled America in disgrace
The story follows, exactly as it was told to me:
“I’ve only had a few, and they were far in between. Except for one dream, it was never me having sex with someone else: I would be in a place where two adults were having sex, see them, and just stare. Like a voyeur. I didn’t masturbate to it or anything, I just liked watching them. It’s a bit creepy, isn’t it? I’m glad I would never do something like that in real life. I respect people’s privacy.
“The one exception I mentioned above was a dream in which I was, somehow, a 50-year-old man (I’m actually 20). Then Marilyn Monroe appeared in front of me, and she apparently had the hots for me. She was domineering and grabbed my shirt. I was completely indifferent to whatever she was doing. Then she raped me. Even then, I was completely indifferent.
Two minutes into the sex thing, I start thinking: “So is this what sex is all about? How boring!”
Then I somehow free myself from Marilyn’s grip, I teleport myself somewhere far from her, return to my actual physical appearance and take a walk in the nearby woods. The end.
“Anti-climatic, I know. It made me laugh so hard when I woke up.”