Asexuality is Not Celibacy – It’s a Sexual Orientation that Must Be Respected and Explored

Sexuality is a gray area. Why can’t a girl prefer the touch of another woman; why must she only enjoy the charms a man hides beneath his clothes? Sure. It seems logical – the girl has a space there and the guy has a peg. Nature obviously meant for those two parts to work together somehow. But as humanity grows more civilized, we also learn that we don’t have to follow “human nature.” We can rise above it.

We’ve already begun to accept that homosexuality isn’t a choice someone makes. It’s part of their biology and part of their pyschology. Just as a heterosexual man is hormone-drawn to women, a homosexual man’s chemicals tell him, “Hey! Look at that cute guy over there!”

And we’re also willing to accept that transgendered individuals aren’t just people with really confusing childhoods. Perhaps they truly do belong in different physical forms. As spirituality grows in global popularity, more than ever humanity can see that it’s true nature of a person that matters and not what’s between their legs. As time passes society’s view of sexuality is slowly becoming more undefined.

So in this evolving world of understanding and compassion for individuals of all sexual preference, I would like to inform you all about another kind of sexual orientation: None at all.

Clearly not enough media is being made for asexual individuals. Many campuses have a GSA (Gay-Straight-Alliance), but I’d never heard of asexuality as a valid sexuality “option” until I happened to stumble across a website one day: The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN).

What exactly does it mean to be “asexual”? Ironically, I was asexual for years and just assumed that I was broken or somehow psychologically scarred. The thought of being truly asexual didn’t occur to me. “Maybe I’m just a lesbian,” I thought and tried to date girls. “Maybe I need medicine to give my hormones a kick.”

Just as years ago – and to some extent even today – members of the homosexual or transgender community were treated as “broken” and needing to be fixed medically, I assumed I needed a doctor’s help. I couldn’t comprehend that a person could truly lack a sex drive. More education and awareness must be raised for the asexual preference, if even members of that community cannot recognize it in themselves.

Asexuals do not desire sex. Rather, they date for purely the emotional, mental, and spiritual stimulation of a relationship. In my case, I come across as bisexual, as either gender is fine for me. What should I care what physical “parts” a person has if I don’t intend on using them anyways? Many, but not all, asexuals share this viewpoint.

Asexuals, like all individuals, have a variety of perspectives about sex, with one similarity: They don’t want it. Some think sex is disgusting and foul; others simply have no desire for sexual contact. Asexuals range from being non-sexually physical, such as enjoying hand-holding and cuddling, to have no desire for physical contact at all. Many asexuals feel that sex “takes away” from the true joy and love in a relationship by shifting the focus away from the emotional and onto the physical. However, some asexuals simply do not enjoy sex and don’t get the chemical and hormonal rush that most people experience during sex.

I went so far as to attempt to get drugs to “treat” my condition. I’d heard of being homosexual or bisexual, but never asexual. Nobody, I assumed, just doesn’t want sex. However, when I ran across the AVEN website and learned that I was not alone, I cried with relief. I’m not broken.

Let’s make sure we’re clear here. Asexuality is a sexual orientation. It’s not a result of a traumatic childhood or of a mixed up religious decision to be celibate. It’s certainly not a result of lots and lots of bad sexual experiences. Just as a man does not become gay by having relationships with too many women who lacked skill in bed, an individual does not become asexual.

So in this world of gray areas surrounding sexual orientation, I’d like to throw one more into the mix: Asexuality. More awareness must be raised about this form of non-sexuality as well. Groups like the GSA help build and protect the social identities of people with the minority of sexual orientations. We must protect and accept asexuality as well.

You want to help make Asexuality as visible and protected an orientation as any other? Write to your local GSA and get them involved! Or visit the AVEN website and see what kind of opportunities they have available.

Because the next time some prick says to me, “Baby, if you don’t like sex, you just haven’t gotten hooked up with the right person yet” I’m going to scream.

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