Asexuality On The Rise; Could You Live A Life Without Sex?

Even though we can’t turn on the TV or flip through a magazine or drive down the highway without being bombarded by sex, believe it or not, not everyone is doing it. And not everyone wants to be doing it. The asexual movement is growing, and whether it’s because people are rejecting our society’s obsession with sexuality or because they are truly just not that into it, “tens of thousands” of men and women are perfectly fine living a life without sex.

Self-proclaimed asexual, David Jay, says his life has never revolved around sex, according to a recent article in The Atlantic. Not even in high school when most boys’ hormones are raging out of control. That’s because, like approximately 1% of the population, Jay identifies as asexual. And there’s nothing wrong with that, he says. So much so that he’s now a popular asexual spokesperson, appearing on everything from The View to MTV, and even starting an online community which now reportedly attracts tens of thousands of other asexual people.

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is a site dedicated to raising awareness of asexuality and giving a sense of belonging to others who have felt alienated from the hypersexualized culture we live in today.

Asexual people are not the same as celibate people. Basically, asexuality is the absence of sexual attraction–it’s not necessarily a choice like celibacy is. As The Atlantic stated, some asexual people are married or in a relationship, some aren’t. Some are even sexually active just to please their partners, but admit they have no interest in sex. Some think sex is disgusting, some are indifferent, and some have never even kissed another person.

But it’s not because they are cold, unsociable people without a desire to have any relationships. They just don’t have a desire for a sexual relationship–like Jay (and thousands of others), even though he says for years he just assumed he was “broken”. But now he realizes it’s just who he is.

He also realizes that sex today has gotten so far away from what it should be:

It’s not that we talk about sex too much. It’s that we celebrate sex in a way that is inauthentic. If we were to have a widespread, accurate discussion of sexuality — all the things that it means and doesn’t mean to people — that would include a discussion of the fact that sex is not interesting to everyone at some points, and that’s okay, and sex is not interesting to some people all the time, and that’s okay. Instead, I think what we have is a dialogue that fetishizes and celebrates sexuality, and equates it with the sum of our value and relationships.

Mark Carrigan, a researcher at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom told the Atlantic that sexuality is different for every person–even if that means a lack of it. He calls it “the sexual assumption”–a notion that is embedded in our society “the idea that everyone has sexual attraction, that it’s this powerful force inside of you, and that it is experienced the same way by every person.”

But not everyone agrees that a life without sex is normal. On a blog by sex columnist Dan Savage, one commenter wrote:

People who are “asexual” are not the norm. Being not the norm most likely means there is something either mentally or physically wrong. Guilt, shame, hormones and physical deformity probably play major roles. Why else would somebody forego one of life’s most pleasent experiences? There is nothing wrong with sex.

Someone else commented:

The idea of there being NOTHING inside, no juice, no drives at all … well, to my mind that is the ULTIMATE FREAKINESS, the one eternally unfathomable kink.

Tell us what you think!

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

 

Photo: Thinkstock

 

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    • rah

      i could not go without masturbation. but sex, i could go without. i am fairly young and recently decided i hate the aspects of sex and really have no desire to have sex anymore, but i am engaged. i have “urges” but all i need is my finger or a vibrator and a release. i don’t even like to take my clothes off.

      my fiancee and I were really great platonic friends until one night we got drunk and had sex and a few months later we were engaged and now a year and a half later we are what we are. we don’t have sex often, once every week or every other week or so. i don’t know where we are going. the thought of having to be the ONLY pleasure of another person boggles my mind. honestly, i just wish we could go back to being friends who dont fuck cuz we are compatible life partners, but i dont know what else.

    • Wren

      “People who are “homosexual” are not the norm. Being not the norm most likely means there is something either mentally or physically wrong. Childhood trauma, mental illness and choice probably play major roles. Why would someone go against God like this? Love is between a man and woman”

      It sends the same message and it’s just as hurtful.

    • Jill

      “The idea of there being NOTHING inside, no juice, no drives at all … well, to my mind that is the ULTIMATE FREAKINESS, the one eternally unfathomable kink.”

      Why is it implied that asexuals have no drives at all? That isn’t true in the least & isn’t helping our case to be understood or taken seriously at all.

    • Eileen

      It’s funny, because acceptance of asexuality is one way that society has move drastically “backwards” in history. Asexuality used to be considered perfectly normal – hence, nuns, priests, etc. It’s only in today’s hypersexualized culture that we fail to accept that it can be perfectly normal not to want sex.

    • The Mommy Psychologist

      For anyone who has young children, you tend to be a bit asexual as you go through these years. You’re so tired that sleep looks more attractive than any orgasm ever could.

      “The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself.” http://www.themommypsychologist.com

    • Biromantic & Repulsed

      I’m rather disappointed with the people who stated nuns, priests, etc, as example of asexuality. Those groups abstain from sex as a lifestyle choice. They are not asexual. Also, asexuals can have sex for reasons other than to please a partner, and we can masturbate. Asexuality does not mean being unable to have sex, or be aroused, it means a lack of sexual attraction towards other people. We can still have romantic relationships and attraction, just not sexual attraction.

      Hey look! You all jusst learned something! :D

    • Lucy

      To: Biromantic and Repulsed

      What other reasons are there for asexuals to have sex other than to please their partner?

      I’ve been struggling with accepting my asexuality for a while now mostly because I’ve been having trouble understanding it.

      • Ellie

        A few reasons may be to have a child, out of curiosity, or in an attempt to be “normal”.

    • factchecker

      Children often masturbate behind the scenes without knowing what they are doing but it feels good, often they may fantasies but not the same
      as in typical relationships, its a hormone thing, but think about (taking the masturbation part out of it) when you are a child, maybe 8-10,
      sex and relationships were probably not on your mind, although sex does not equal a relationship, attraction to the opposite sex plays a background
      role in a relationship, folks talk about food, games, sports, technology,
      politics, etc

      Asexuality and the negative view of sex is nothing new, in greek cultures it was views this way (not all just certain kingdoms),

    • Baldheaded Fool

      I have always preferred to masturbate instead of engage in intercourse and thought there was something wrong with me for many years. But I am who I am and there’s nothing wrong with that. No, it is not normal statistically but most of us have free will. I tried marriage for ten years and eventually my wife sought a divorce because of our nearly sexless marriage – we do have a daughter together, which I adore. But i am now happier to be who i really am and just “jerk off” to internet images and videos. this may sound pathetic to some but i feel much more fulfilled and so does my ex who is dating again. so we both are happier. the advantages to solo sex are numerous – no melodrama, baggage, financial strain, losers, in-laws, awkward social engagements, etc. ironically, i am more content right now than my single and married friends who don’t understand how i can be so happy, lol.

    • agf

      To- The Mommy Psychologist
      Asexuality isn’t a phase, it is an orientation- a completely different thing.

    • Lin

      “People who are “asexual” are not the norm. Being not the norm most likely means there is something either mentally or physically wrong. Guilt, shame, hormones and physical deformity probably play major roles. Why else would somebody forego one of life’s most pleasent experiences? There is nothing wrong with sex.”

      replace asexual with homosexual, trans, bisexual, pansexual and then everyone and their mother would point out how wrong that is. There is nothing wrong with sex, but there is also nothing wrong with not wanting sex.

    • Stephanie

      What shoddy journalism. You quote a comment on a blog, and then put the author’s name in bold as if that person said it or endorsed it. This is extremely misleading. Come on.