Here at Doctor Wellgood we’re often talking about sex and how it’s a normal part of growing up. This isn’t the case for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with not having sex. Some people make the conscious decision not to for many reasons, from waiting for the right person or circumstance to waiting until their married. This can be for a variety of personal and even religious reasons. There are other people who do not experience sexual attraction – it’s not the same as celibacy because it’s not a choice, it’s something intrinsic like your sexuality.
1% of people in the UK identify themselves as being asexual and a study in the eighties found that 70% of asexual people were women. Some people define asexuality as a sexual orientation while others define it as being a lack of orientation.
Just because asexual people don’t have the desire to have sex it doesn’t mean that there is no desire to have a relationship. Some asexual people don’t feel the need to date and are happy on their own or with a close group of friends while others do seek long term romantic partners.
While asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction many experience romantic attraction for which most have a gender preference. Sex isn’t the only thing that differentiates love from friendship. Think about it, there are romantic couples who are abstinent and there are people who have sex without any romantic involvement. Sex and romantic love are different and both can exist without one another.
Having a relationship with someone who isn’t asexual could be hard but it does happen and as the saying goes, you can’t help who you fall in love with.
Asexuals like all people are different and have different experiences. Some asexuals have sex drive while others don’t. Having a sex drive or experiencing sexual arousal isn’t the same as experiencing sexual attraction or sexual desire towards other people. Others don’t experience sexual arousal and unlike sexual people don’t see it as a problem that needs to be corrected.
Some people think that without having sex first there’s no way you can know that you’re asexual. In general straight people don’t need to have sex with someone of the opposite sex to confirm their sexual orientation and the same goes for gay people. Some people may realise that they are asexual after having a sexual encounter but everyone’s experience is different.
Many people who don’t have any sexual desire do not know about asexuality which can lead them feeling lonely – particularly in our sexualised society. If you want know more about asexuality the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) has loads of resources as well as hosing the world’s largest online community. The more we know about and understand asexuality the less likely it is for asexual people to feel marginalised and lonely.