Justice

The Perfect Response to People Who Doubt Asexuality

October 22nd 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Asexuals face their own unique set of challenges, and many asexuals are doubted by outsiders—something advocates want to stress during Asexuality Awareness Week.

RELATED: What Is Asexuality?

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) defines asexual as "someone who does not experience sexual attraction."

Some say asexuals just haven't met "the one" yet, but popular Facebook page Asexual Aces destroys this logic in a new meme for Asexuality Awareness Week:

Asexuality

Asexuals aren't the only ones to have their sexuality reduced to a "phase." As ATTN: has observed, this is often applied to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals as well. Anwen Hayward, a 20-year-old asexual who spoke with the Telegraph in 2012, has been doubted and questioned for her sexuality. Because the asexuality community is small to begin with, such treatment is especially harmful to those in it.

"'You’ll grow out of it, it’s just a hormonal thing, you never know until you try, how do you know, you just haven’t found what you like yet…' are all very common things to be told,'" she said.

These were annoying things for Hayward to hear, so imagine how frustrated Jean Wilson, an asexual sales assistant in her 60s, must have felt to weather this kind of doubt and skepticism so late in life.

"I let it slip one time at work that I’m an asexual aromantic [an asexual who is also not interested in making romantic attachments], and they think it’s absolutely hysterical," Wilson told the publication. "One of the women I work with said, 'I don’t think you’ve met the right man yet.' I said: 'Trish, I’m 63. If I haven’t met him by now I don’t think I’m going to.'"

Wilson said that she got married and had sex for the first time at age 28. She wasn't into sex, but she did it as a "chore" to eventually have kids. Her lack of interest in sex, however, opened her up to a lot of shaming and criticism.

"I was [told I was] just frigid," she said. "That was a dreadful thing to hear as a woman."

Misconceptions surrounding asexuality

One in 100 people are asexual, and with the majority of asexuals being female, according to a 2004 study in the Journal of Sex Research. Academics also say it's possible that some people don't realize they are asexual either.

Because asexuality is fairly uncommon, many have misconceptions about it. A major misconception is that asexuals don't want relationships, and while research shows that a lot of asexuals remain single, many also try to form relationships. Some asexuals want relationships, they just don't necessarily want the sexual activity often associated with relationships.

Three years ago, Maxtremist Films made a documentary about asexuality and how today's hyper-sexualized culture can pose unique challenges for asexuals. The video below includes an interview with self-described asexual, Shannon Kelly, who said she is interested in having a relationship despite her lack of interest in sex.


"I have no sex drive," she said. "I still want to be in relationships, but there's no desire for sex. I still want the emotional closeness that comes with a relationship, being able to talk to someone, share secrets, but I don't have any sexual urge. I don't want to be with them in a physical way."

If you think you may be asexual or someone you know may be asexual and would like more information on asexuality, visit the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) wesbite.