Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex-Free

While watching an old episode of 20/20 late last night, the topic turned to sexuality, or rather... a lack there of.

Apparently, there is a movement "Asexuality.Org" that works to help people with NO sexual drive to understand themselves and the world around them.

These people claim that they have no interest in any form of sexuality, and they are just fine with it. Some asexual people are married to other asexual people, some are married to sexual people, and some worry about their loneliness.

And while I consider myself open minded, and I have no issues with sexual orientation whether it differs from my or not, I have trouble understanding this particular circumstance.

How can a person, be asexual?
Is it not repressed desires that one may be afraid of coming out?
Are the "relationships" they find themselves in contingent on the other person's sex? Or would an asexual female date another asexual female without giving it a second thought?

I wonder if it's a hormone imbalance, or a choice rather than an orientation.... one based on a fear of true intimacy rather than a lacking sexual urge.

But, maybe I'm wrong.

So what do you think, are asexual people beginning a real movement, or just going through a phase?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

maybe that person has been hurt bad enough in the past that they've given up and just don't feel like taking the chance of going through that again, be it for better or for worse.

Chrissie said...

maybe you're right anon... but isn't that a choice rather than an orientation?

and would that make them "asexual" or just fear-based individuals?

being hurt, and not wanting to go through the same thing again can't change your sexual desires... it can only change your reaction to those desires.

"asexual people" don't consider themselves celibate, that's the "choice not to have sex," which is what i think you're referring to here.

asexual people say they are devoid of sexual desires, it's not that they are not acting on them, they simply don't have them at all.

so while i understand your point of view, and agree that people may experience something similar, i don't think their choice not to have sex makes them "asexual."

jovial_cynic said...

Like most things in life, sexuality (or the drive, anyway) sits on a gradient, and you have everything from people who have a constant intense desire for sex to people who have none. I believe most of it is hormone related.

I think what you're seeing is simply a product of network culture, where people who happen to be on the same side of the gradient are able to chat with each other about it and build a web-based community around it. I don't think it's a *movement,* per se. It's just the natural organization that happens when you give a lot of different people the ability to talk with one another.

Chrissie said...

I tend to agree with your comment JC, about it being the product of natural organization...

However, my idea that it may or may not be a movement comes from the Asexual website itself, where there is an entire written piece on whether or not their goals can be considered a movement.

There in response to the idea that sex is "necessary" it said...

It’s a lie that we asexuals recognized the moment we arrived on the forum. We looked around and saw so much evidence to the contrary we wanted to cry (and many of us did). We’re told all our lives that we were destined to be miserable, and suddenly here are 1366 registered users telling us it just ain’t so. So now our mission, our movement, is to expose that lie by showing ourselves to the world.

The whole piece is found HERE.

jovial_cynic said...

Well, I think the term "movement" might be loosely applied here. I don't think that this organization has any sort of agenda except perhaps to increase awareness of their circumstances, and to make one another feel welcome. There's no attempt to create legislation to add them to some kind of protected status or anything, you know?

So... in the most literal use of the word, sure -- it's a movement. But I don't think that people generally use the term that way; what we see here is merely an awareness campaign. They're not marching on Capital Hill or anything.

Chrissie said...

Regardless of whether it's a movement or not, I think the most interesting aspect of their 'cause' for organization is that fact that they claim to be completely asexual...

And whether it's hormonal or not, many of them say, "Even if there was a way to "fix" it, I wouldn't do try it."

They seem to be happy in a world without sex, I just wonder how realistic that is...

jovial_cynic said...

Ah... I see what you're saying.

I know of women who feel that sex is entirely a duty to their husbands, and that if their husbands never wanted it, they'd never have sex. So I think it's realistic; not having the drive seems perfectly within the bounds of reasonable living.

You seem to come from the perspective that sex is very important. Some of that might be based on your beliefs about what sex is and about what it does for people.

Personally, I don't relate sex to intimacy. Not on a personal level. I know that my wife does, so I understand it... but I don't view it that way. So I don't believe that a lack of sex drive has much to do with fear of intimacy or other emotional issues.

Anonymous said...

As a 37 year old female that doesn't have a single interest in sex, and haven't HAD sex (in any way, shape, or form) in almost 5 years, I have been over this with some drop-jawwed friends that are astounded at the length of time I've gone without and don't understand how I can be JUST FINE WITH IT.

Several factors are involved in my NON-COMPLIANCE with the norm
1. Poor body-image
2. Single mom who doesn't need one more stress in my life.
3. Poor energy levels...ties in with poor self-image...just way out of shape.

(I can't imagine going through the dating gamut and all the energy it requires when I'll spend the whole night wondering if my thighs will stick to the chair when I finally stand up.)

4. Having a cheating-ass husband who caused me to have to go in and ask my ob/gyn to run all SORTS of tests to see what diseases I might of contracted, because, not only did he cheat,repeatedly, but he didn't wear a condom. One of his paramours told me, "Oh, it's okay, I'm on the pill." Like a pregnancy was the worst thing I worried about, which made it clear that I had to worry about all HER partners, too.

When HIV/AIDS is a very real thing. And you have to go through that scare... it truly does something to you...

God is good. I was VERY lucky in that respect.

When you put it all out there for a marriage/relationship only to get your heart smashed to smithereens, trust is hard to come by. Add that to every flaw you have and then try to work up the energy to find a mate.

Because isn't that what sexuality is for?
We humans are animals. We MATE to procreate.
We're like the duck that mates for life.
But, different from ducks, one mate can choose to leave the nest and go elsewhere.
But I'm that lone duck. That mates for life and my mate took off.
Procreation? Been there, done that, got the stretch-marks (see poor body-image ABOVE). Why am I the freak of nature for not wanting to mate outside my mate-for-life coupling?

Actually, nature is on my side. And the 60's, feel good, do whatever it takes to feel good generation is almost 50 years old!

At this point, it would take a full-on pursuit to make me even consider getting on that rollercoaster again. Oh, and a good trainer.

I am TOTALLY fine without having sex. Do I miss it? Like I miss riding my bike with the gang of kids I grew up with, like I miss summer vacations, I remember them fondly but that's it.

Anonymous said...

I have been married to an asexual woman for more than 30 years. I never realized she was asexaual until a few days ago. I never even knew that such a "condition" existed. I've tried professional counseling because of the blame I've always placed on myself. Nothing ever seemed to work. I haven't even told her that I now know why she is the way she is. I can't help resenting her for not telling me. It's depressing.

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