The New Stigma: Asexuality

In hypersexual West, 'no sex' can be biggest taboo of all

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 26, 2012 8:45 AM CST

(Newser) – With all the debates over homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, and just plain sex, it's hard to believe any group could be left out. But there is one—the asexuals. People with no interest in any sort of sex are estimated to be 1% of the population, but thanks to the Internet this is another group that is finding its voice and beginning to organize, reports the Guardian. "Theoretically the absence of sexual desire shouldn't be a problem," says one sex researcher. "But ours is a media which suggests hypersexuality is the norm. Potentially, asexuality has become a 'problem' as it became more visible, and in a sense it's become the new stigma."

An asexual online group, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, now has more than 50,000 members. Asexual advocates point out that even though people are uninterested in sex, they still can have typical emotional and relationship needs. "Living in a world that holds the romantic and the sexual as the highest ideals possible is difficult," says a 20-year-old biology student. "The most pervasive effect on my life at the moment is how many conversations revolve around sex and the sexual attractiveness of certain people that I just don't really want to join in with."

Increasingly, people who lack sexual desire are saying there is nothing wrong with them, it is just another sexual orientation.
Increasingly, people who lack sexual desire are saying there is nothing wrong with them, it is just another sexual orientation.   (Shutterstock)
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