The Null Device


New studies have revealed that a significant minority of people may be asexual, i.e., lacking any interest in sex; some studies say that there may be as many asexuals as homosexuals.
That Jay "likes" girls is one of several intriguing facts I learn about asexual people as they discuss some of the most intimate details of their lives with me. There are asexuals, for example, who have never felt the need to get close to other people, not even in a non-sexual way, and describe themselves as loners. But others, like Jay, want to connect with males or females - some people would define it as an orientation - only it seems to be purely emotional.
The amazing degree of variation in the experiences of asexual people suggests that the underlying causes of their lack of sexual attraction are very different. Some asexuals might simply have extremely low sex drives in spite of an innate orientation towards males or females. Other asexuals might form a fourth category of sexual orientation in addition to the hetero-, homo- and bi-sexual ones, namely people who are attracted to neither gender, even if they have normal sex drives.

Asexuals, however, face barriers to acceptance; while homosexuality is seen by most modern people as a valid orientation, the lack of sexual drive or attraction is still considered pathological, being listed in DSM-IV as a disorder, and widely seen as sick or somehow less than wholly human:

A powerful example of how people react to the idea appears in an article titled "Eight myths about religious life," which appeared in Vision 2002, an annual magazine from the National Religious Vocation Conference in the US. It states: "Question: what do you call a person who is asexual? Answer: Not a person. Asexual people do not exist. Sexuality is a gift from God and thus a fundamental part of our human identity."

There are 4 comments on "Asexuality":

Posted by: evilpaul http:// Wed Oct 20 07:21:01 2004

This reminds me of the work of Greg Egan, in particular in the novel Distress. As well as making liberal use of the gender-neutral pronouns ve/vis/ver he introduces the idea of asexuality as a political decision. People choose to opt out of the gender war by becoming asexual in a tangible way. There is gender asex, which is like the nullo trend you may have seen on BME. There is neural asex, where the bits are kept, but the mind and glands are re-engineered to remove gender in a hormonal, neurological way. Plus there's gender-neural asex of course. He has 7 recognised genders alltogether.


Wiki article on asexuality mentioning Greg Egan:

Posted by: Graham Thu Oct 21 16:04:58 2004

Distress also has that bit about Professional Australians I never get tired of quoting. (Especially now.)

Posted by: Graham Thu Oct 21 16:05:28 2004

Err, that was kind of off-topic. Oh well.

Posted by: gene willis http:// Sat Sep 24 02:16:31 2005

why is this asexuality such a problem to accept?Were is it written that every creacher should be sexualy active and always having sex?Why do we assume that if differant then the norm,it must be distroyed or denied exsistance.Sex is not a right or a privilage,just biological in service to ones speicies.