You’ll probably think I’m messing with you, but I swear I’m not. I am a man who has no desire to have sex. I was married, but after my wife got pregnant with our second (planned) child, we never had sex again. I just had – and have – no desire to do anything sexually with another person. I have now been divorced for 11 years and celibate for almost 21. Since my divorce, I have never hooked up or even gone on a date. I don’t want to. Sometimes I have an urge to masturbate, but I have no desire to involve anybody else. I simply don’t get why there is all this kerfuffle about sex. I see no reason to ever have sex again. – Curious As To Your Reaction
Assuming you’ve been checked out by a doctor for any possible medical issues, chances are you’re “ace” – as people who are asexual like to call themselves. Asexuality is a sexual orientation – that of a person who, as social psychologist Anthony Bogaert puts it, has “a lack of sexual attraction or desire for others.”
Asexuality is pretty uncommon. According to a survey that Bogaert did in the U.K., maybe 1 percent of the population has an asexual orientation. (This estimate may be on the low side, as it was done in 2004.)
Asexuality plays out in varied ways. Some asexuals lack any interest in sex, finding it about as appealing as having another person stick a finger up their nose repeatedly (while panting, moaning and shrieking in ecstasy). Others sometimes have urges for sexual release; they just have no desire to expand their dating pool beyond their hand. So, while sexual attraction involves noticing another person and wanting to do all sorts of sex things with them, asexuals might find a person aesthetically pleasing but are generally as sexually interested in them as most of us would be in an adding machine or a potato.
There are those who contend that asexuality is a physical or psychological disorder. And sure, some people probably use asexuality as a cover for unresolved issues or for shock value – like my (decidedly straight) sister did in coming home from college freshman year and announcing to my conservative Republican mother, “I think I’m a lesbian.”
Clinical psychologist Lori Brotto explains that asexuality doesn’t meet the psychiatric bible’s criteria for an arousal disorder – physiological impairment or distress at the lack of attraction to others. Research by Brotto and others also finds that asexuals, in general, don’t seem any crazier than the rest of us and have normal hormone levels and normal arousability, reflected in erectile function and vaginal lubrication. As one asexual put it: “I did, you know, test the equipment … and everything works fine, pleasurable and all; it’s just not actually attracted to anything.’’
Some asexuals get into relationships with other people because they want a partner and/or a family.
You might be able to have that sort of partnership. You can connect with like-minded individuals on the big forum for asexuals – AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (http://asexuality.org).
© 2016, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon