Asexuality is on the move. Read More
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
As mutations go, it's relatively harmless and won't affect the gene pool much in any event.
Technically almost everyone is a mutant. We all have different DNA (even identical twins have differences). There is no 'normal' genome that everyone else should be compared to.
Asexuality doesn't mean people don't have sex at all. Some won't. Some will have sex early on in the relationship (because they feel they should?) and then, as time moves on, there will be less. Asexual people certainly do have children.
The harm is caused when an an asexual enters into a relationship with someone who isn't. I'm baffled why they do. . .is it because they PRESUME that most people are as asexual as they are? Or because they want all the benefits of marriage/co-habitation, possibly including children? A mixture of these things? I do think that someone who is AWARE that they are asexual should be very honest about it with prospective partners, anything else is dishonest and unkind.
Not all asexuals know they are asexual. It's not common knowledge. Even if they do know they're asexual, asexuals make up approximately 1% of the population. Chances of meeting another asexual just out and about is slim and even then, the chances of you both being compatible and interested in each other is even slimmer. This leaves many asexuals dating non-asexuals. I'm not sure what makes you think asexuals are hiding their asexuality from their partners.
Some people totally lose sexual interest with age. One common scenario is a woman who had a normal libido in her 20's, but experienced significant and permanent declines in libido with each childbirth, and then lost it completely as menopause approached, and hasn't been able to experience even the slightest interest in 20 years even after having hormones checked and going through sex therapy with her husband.
This is not an uncommon scenario, unfortunately. And I was about to ask, is this asexuality? Until I read the point in the article:
"7. It is not known definitively whether asexuality is life-long or acquired."
So we don't know. Or perhaps it's really just a matter of definition.
that point from the article is listed under Con Orientation, so this is a point used to doubt or disprove asexuality. it is not necessarily a fact since these ideas about asexuality are not proven, they're just theories that doubt asexuality.
Unfortunately, in their haste to marry, some young women end up with "pretenders" - men who are actually asexual, but fake it during the early, highly charged romantic phase. Once they settle in...poof...no interest in sex with you or anyone else (not even porn).
Maybe if there was more awareness about this people could catch it early, get help, and/or exercise their options with less guilt.
When I met my husband, I don't think I had ever heard the word "asexual." Yes, I think he belongs in this category. And the almost total lack of libido seems to go (in his case, at least) with other things: not being physically demonstrative at all, not being emotionally articulate and, as mentioned above, liking control in a general sense. I've come to believe he is on the autistic spectrum, and I suspect his parents (also controlling, also undemonstrative) are too.
As for catching it early and getting help, I have never got the impression that he WANTS help: he doesn't seem to perceive his asexuality to be a problem. (And I don't really believe that you CAN change something like this, it runs too deep.) If he were married to someone equally asexual, it wouldn't be a problem. As it is, it is a very lonely experience, being in a supposed relationship with someone like this.
Why did we get together? Broadly and simply, I didn't realise that there was a problem. Nor, I suspect, did he. Now that it is beginning to be talked of more, I hope fewer people will be mismatched in this way.
Based on that list of characteristics, it sounds more like people who have simply given up.
I'd like to know what data was used to reach the conclusion that asexuals, in general, have those characteristics.
Where on earth did they come up with that list of characteristics? Only 2 of them describes me... I'm a woman, and a healthy weight below the national average (though would still probably be considered "plus size" by glossy magazines). I don't think they describe any of the other asexual people I've met either.
I personally describe myself as Asexual- never being attracted(sexually or otherwise) to anyone and in some parts I feel a bit offended, especially during the 'Cons'. Yes I suppose it is unavoidable- people will have their opinions, but still.
Other then that, saying that it's "a life-enduring characteristic", then contradicting it just a few lines down is unnecessary and might I add- a bit annoying.
Re: Asexual people and social anxiety and / or depression... We must please not forget that it is highly difficult to be "different" in this society, and "asexuality" is different. For example, you go to a social function and everyone else has their "significant other" with them. You dare not say hello to a guy, or his wife will assume you are "after her man." If you are a guy, I suppose it would be assumed you are either gay, or an evil pervert of some kind. You must watch what you say, or people misunderstand constantly. So-called friends constantly make nasty commentary on your single-tude, and constantly try to "fix your life" for you without your consent: I have been called up on the phone at 1:00 a.m., "I have this really great guy for you! And he's free! I know that he's free, because he just got out of jail -- " My address has been given out to a "dating club" without my permission and took me years to get my name out of their system. When you go out with friends they see some guy and point out his butt and go on and on and on about, "Isn't he sooooo cute!" And then they go on and on about their "personal life." As an asexual female, I'd like to point out that I am: Not uneducated (I have three college degrees & I am a published author); I do not suffer from poor health (I am a black belt, I jog, take vitamins, and take very good care of myself, also), my socio-economic status is "possibly average" (not living out of my car / employed / not in debt), my weight is average, I'm somewhat religious but I don't go to confession often, as I "have nothing to confess." SO... !!! People, please, if you have a friend who is asexual, kindly stop trying to fix this person's life, and we don't need to hear "all about your personal life" all day long. You can talk about other things, too, can't you? Like, cats or maybe Star Trek? Thank you for reading this.
Anonymous, you describe a lot of people being very disrespectful about someone's nature and about their choices. If someone has made it clear that they are asexual, that should be the end of the matter. If they are single people, it is absolutely no-one else's business.
My concern, though, is when people (like my husband, it would appear) who are asexual enter into marriage presuming that their asexuality will not be (or should not be) an issue. Unless they know they are marrying a fellow-asexual, of course that will become an issue! Respect has to cut both ways. You write of people ignoring your asexual status, or sneering at it. For my own part, I find it difficult to read comments (not by you) along the lines of "Sex is disgusting and over-rated, why don't you just grow up?" For many of us, sex is absolutely crucial to our emotional wellbeing on a fundamental level.
But I'm not sure why you mention your degrees and your socio-economic status. Why are either of those things germane to the discussion?
I mentioned my "degress & socio-economic" because there was some "study" that showed that asexual people were poorly educated & of low economic status, plus in poor physical health... so I had to mention those things.
I do not often inform people that I am asexual, people in my area (where I live / not online) are not that well educated, I'm afraid to say, in the area where I live, only 20 % of people have education beyond high school. I imagine they will say, "aye-sex-shall? What's that?" Also, I communicate with other asexual people & know of a few who were physically attacked because of it.
And by the way, I am truly sorry for the state of your marriage.
Perhaps the person you are married to did not know he was asexual when he got married? Some people don't, you know. It's not a widely known "thing." Most people think that people are either straight, gay, or bi, and don't know "asexual" exists. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you... As an asexual person myself, I find it hard to understand the importance of sex in people's lives. But I guess for most people, it's like a "major thing." I often have a hard time understanding what drives a lot of people, really. It's like, I can't see their point of view, and they can't see mine.
I guess it's a mis-match, like you said. Well, good luck. Just remember, it doesn't mean he doesn't love you or care for you. It's just that for asexual people, they don't "get" why sex is so important for a lot of people. I think marriages like this happen a lot more than people realize.
A long time ago, a man asked me to marry him. I'm glad I turned him down. We'd probably end up divorced. Besides my lack of sex drive, he wanted me to quit college and quit my job and stay home and be "a housewife." He was very controlling and verbally abusive. He had issues with women, I think. I was only 19 then, but I'm glad I knew better and stayed in college. It really would never have worked out.
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Stephen J. Betchen, D.S.W., is the author of the book Magnetic Partners.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?