Guest Column: Asexuals often misconstrued

Phil Johnson

It sounds so simple.

Imagine going through life without ever wanting sex. You still like forging relationships, and you may even enjoy hugging and kissing, but sex never enters the realm of desire.

Think of all the time that clears on the schedule. You would never experience all of the pain and complications of unrequited love. You would be the dream human of the current Republican field.

Alas, this could certainly never happen. Because that happens to be the nature of man; sexuality, it is “the format.”

However, for what researchers believe to be 1 percent of the population, desired relationships are completely sex-free.

Asexuality, the sexual orientation that allows no desire for sex, exists. And it can be just as problematic, if not more so, than homo- or heterosexuality.

The nascent field of asexual study reports that asexuality occurs equally among men and women. The only other “knowns” in research are that asexual people are more likely to be left-handed and more likely to have older brothers.

Due to the lack of danger related to asexuality, as opposed to the risk of HIV for homosexuals, sex researchers struggle to acquire grants to further explore this largely unknown form of sexuality.

This does not mean asexuality is not problematic or nearly as ideal as imagined above.

Asexual people say it can be just as difficult, if not more, to come out as asexual to parents as it is to come out as homosexual.

For one, blood grandchildren are out of the picture. Also, while some parents may be fine with homosexual children, the unknown air of asexuality can stress parents and lead to unintentionally offensive solutions to the “problem.”

Maybe you’re sexually repressed. Perhaps you just haven’t figured yourself out yet. Have you met Angelica? She’s a pretty girl. Take her on a date and see what you think after.

The same stigmas and non sequiturs that muddle understanding of queer sexualities often apply to asexuality.

It is not a choice; asexuality is an internal feeling. Asexuality does not equate impotence or celibacy. Celibacy is a choice, and impotence is a condition.

The problems expand when asexuals attempt to make loving relationships. Seriously, could you spend the rest of your life with someone who loves you, cares about you and would do anything for you except fulfill your sexual desires? Amplify that internal “no” 99 times and you hear the loneliness asexuals often feel.

And ponder this: How often do you talk with your friends about sexual topics? To asexuals, there is no such thing as a sexy guy or girl. Shared tales from last weekend just don’t excite asexuals. Where most friends are annoyed listening to you babble on and on about dancing at Joe’s with Hot Scott, asexuals are simply lost.

That is why websites like and exist.

The awareness of asexuality is growing but remains in the early stages. Still unsure of what asexuality is? Think of it this way.

A person with zero interest in religion identifies as apatheistic. A person with zero interest in sex identifies as asexual. Apatheism is a religious stance. Asexuality is a sexual orientation.

Got it?

Empathy to minority sexualities could very well be one of our generation’s legacies, and just as diametric opposition to homosexuality is unacceptable, apathy to asexuality should be as well.

Daily Illini, U. Illinois via UWIRE.