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Asexuality

Asexuality

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Encyclopedia
Asexuality in its broadest sense, is the lack of sexual attraction
Sexual attraction
Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal refers to an individual's ability to attract the sexual or erotic interest of another person, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context...

 and, in some cases, the lack of interest in sex
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

. Sometimes, it is considered a lack of a sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

. One commonly cited study placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1%.

Asexuality is distinct from abstention from sexual activity
Sexual abstinence
Sexual abstinence is the practice of refraining from some or all aspects of sexual activity for medical, psychological, legal, social, philosophical or religious reasons.Common reasons for practicing sexual abstinence include:*poor health - medical celibacy...

 and from celibacy
Celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

, which are behavioral and generally motivated by an individual's religious (or other) beliefs; sexual orientation, unlike sexual behavior, is believed to be "enduring". Some asexuals do engage in sexual activity despite lacking a desire for sex or sexual attraction, due to a variety of reasons, such as a desire to please romantic partners.

Only recently has asexuality become a field of scientific research. However, there is a growing body of research on asexuality from both sociological and psychological perspectives.

Romantic relationships


Asexuals, while typically lacking in sexual desire for any gender, may engage in purely emotional romantic relationships. Terms concerning this:
  • aromantic: lack of romantic attraction towards anyone
  • biromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of two different genders
  • heteroromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of a different gender
  • homoromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of the same gender
  • panromantic (also omniromantic): romantic attraction towards person(s) of any gender or lack of gender, including persons of nonbinary gender
  • transromantic: romantic attraction towards person(s) of variant or ambiguous gender
  • polyromantic: romantic attraction towards more than one person at any given time (the term does not express the gender of these persons)
  • demiromantic
    Demisexuality
    Demisexuality is the lack of sexual attraction outside of strong emotional connection. It is distinct from, but related to, asexuality, the complete lack of sexual attraction. The term comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual...

    : romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand (the term does not express the gender of these persons)

Prevalence


In the mid-twentieth century, Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Charles Kinsey was an American biologist and professor of entomology and zoology, who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, now known as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, as well as producing the Kinsey Reports and the Kinsey...

 rated individuals from 0 to 6 according to their sexual orientation from heterosexual to homosexual, known as the Kinsey scale
Kinsey scale
The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of his or her sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual...

. He also included a category he called "X" for individuals with "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions". He labeled 1.5% of the adult male population as X. In Kinsey's second book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, he reported this breakdown of individuals who are X: unmarried females = 14–19%, married females = 1–3%, previously married females = 5–8%, unmarried males = 3–4%, married males = 0%, and previously married males = 1–2%.

Further empirical data about an asexual demographic appeared in 1994, when a research team in the United Kingdom carried out a comprehensive survey of 18,876 British residents, spurred by the need for sexual information in the wake of the AIDS pandemic
AIDS pandemic
The acquired immune deficiency syndrome pandemic is a widespread disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus .Since AIDS was first recognized in 1981, it has led to the deaths of more than 25 million people, making it one of the most destructive diseases in recorded history.Despite recent...

. The survey included a question on sexual attraction, to which 1.05% of the respondents replied that they had "never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all." This study of this phenomenon was continued by the Canadian sexuality researcher Dr. Anthony Bogaert in 2004, who explored the asexual demographic in a series of studies. Bogaert believed that the 1% figure was not an accurate reflection of the likely much larger percentage of the population that could be identified as asexual, noting that in the initial survey 30% of people contacted chose not to participate in the survey. Since less sexually experienced people are more likely to refuse to participate in studies about sexuality, and asexuals tend to be less sexually experienced than sexuals, it is likely that asexuals were over-represented in the 30% who did not participate, compared to the 70% who did. The same study found the number of homosexuals and bisexuals combined to be about 1.1% of the population, which is much smaller than other studies indicate. However, Bogaert's sexuality research has been scrutinized in the past, since he was involved in studies that linked race to sexual behaviors as if they had an evolutionary basis. This study was highly debated by the scientific community as potentially constituting a case of scientific racism.

Research


The Kinsey Institute sponsored another small survey on the topic in 2007, which found that self-identified asexuals "reported significantly less desire for sex with a partner, lower sexual arousability, and lower sexual excitation but did not differ consistently from non-asexuals in their sexual inhibition scores or their desire to masturbate".

A 1977 paper entitled Asexual and Autoerotic Women: Two Invisible Groups, by Myra T. Johnson, may be the first paper explicitly devoted to asexuality in humans. Johnson defines asexuals as those men and women "who, regardless of physical or emotional condition, actual sexual history, and marital status or ideological orientation, seem to prefer not to engage in sexual activity." She contrasts autoerotic women with asexual women: "The asexual woman [...] has no sexual desires at all [but] the autoerotic woman [...] recognizes such desires but prefers to satisfy them alone." Johnson's evidence is mostly letters to the editor found in women's magazines written by asexual/autoerotic women. She portrays them as invisible, "oppressed by a consensus that they are nonexistent," and left behind by both the sexual revolution and the feminist movement. Society either ignores or denies their existence or insists they must be ascetic for religious reasons, neurotic, or asexual for political reasons.

In a study published in 1979 in Advances in the Study of Affect, vol. 5, and in another article using the same data and published in 1980 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Michael D. Storms of the University of Kansas outlined his own reimagining of the Kinsey scale. Whereas Kinsey measured sexual orientation based on a combination of actual sexual behavior and fantasizing and eroticism, Storms only used fantasizing and eroticism. Storms, however, placed hetero-eroticism and homo-eroticism on separate axes rather than at two ends of a single scale; this allows for a distinction between bisexuality (exhibiting both hetero- and homo-eroticism in degrees comparable to hetero- or homosexuals, respectively) and asexuality (exhibiting a level of homo-eroticism comparable to a heterosexual and a level of hetero-eroticism comparable to a homosexual, namely, little to none). Storms conjectured that many researchers following Kinsey's model could be mis-categorizing asexual subjects as bisexual, because both were simply defined by a lack of preference for gender in sexual partners.

The first study that gave empirical data about asexuals was published in 1983 by Paula Nurius, concerning the relationship between sexual orientation and mental health. Unlike previous studies on the subject, she used the above-mentioned two-dimensional model for sexual orientation. Six hundred eighty-nine subjects—most of whom were students at various universities in the United States taking psychology or sociology classes—were given several surveys, including four clinical well-being scales and a survey asking how frequently they engaged in various sexual activities and how often they would like to engage in those activities. Based on the results, respondents were given a score ranging from 0 to 100 for hetero-eroticism and from 0 to 100 for homo-eroticism. Respondents who scored lower than 10 on both were labeled "asexual." This consisted of 5% of the males and 10% of the females. Results showed that asexuals were more likely to have low self-esteem and more likely to be depressed than members of other sexual orientations; 25.88% of heterosexuals, 26.54% bisexuals (called "ambisexuals"), 29.88% of homosexuals, and 33.57% of asexuals were reported to have problems with self-esteem. A similar trend existed for depression. Nurius did not believe that firm conclusions can be drawn from this for a variety of reasons. Asexuals also reported much lower frequency and desired frequency of a variety of sexual activities including having multiple partners, anal sexual activities, having sexual encounters in a variety of locations, and autoerotic activities.

Though comparisons with non-human sexuality are problematic, a series of studies done on ram mating preferences at the United States Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho
Dubois, Idaho
Dubois is a city in Clark County, Idaho, United States. The population was 647 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Clark County.The city was named for U.S. Senator Fred Dubois....

, starting in 2001 found that about 2–3% of the animals being studied had no apparent interest in mating with either sex; the researchers classified these animals as asexual, but found them to be otherwise healthy with no recorded differences in hormone
Hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...

 levels.

Asexuality is most comparable to hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), in the sense that both imply a general lack of sexual attraction to anyone. In the present, asexuality is not considered a disorder, because being asexual does not necessarily define someone as having problems relating to others socially. Asexuality also does not imply that lacking sexual attraction causes anxiety. The absence of sexual attraction is a life-enduring characteristic of asexuality.

A more recent paper written by Karli June Cerankowski and Megan Milks, entitled New Orientations: Asexuality and Its Implications for Theory and Practice, suggests that asexuality may be somewhat of a question in itself for these studies of gender and sexuality. Cerankowski and Milks have found that asexuality, by means of feminist and queer studies, raises many more questions than it resolves, such as how a person could abstain from having sex which is generally accepted by society to be the most basic of instincts. The article also states that society has either deemed "[LGBT and] female sexuality as empowered or repressed. The asexual movement challenges that assumption by challenging many of the basic tenants of pro-sex feminism already defined as repressive or anti-sex sexualities." AVEN has formulated asexuality as a biologically determined orientation. This formula, if dissected scientifically and proven, would support researcher Simon LaVey's conclusive blind study of the hypothalamus in gay men, women, and 'straight' men, which found that there is a biological difference between 'straight' men and gay men.

Sexual orientation and etiology


There is great debate over whether asexuality is a sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 or not. Some scholars claim that it is not a meaningful category to add to the continuum of orientations, and say that it is instead the lack of a sexual orientation or sexuality. Others state that it is the denial of one's natural sexuality, and that it is a disorder caused by shame of sexuality or anxiety. However, many other scholars assert that asexuality is a sexual orientation, as there are variations of sexual preferences, and this ought to be included.


Etiology in this context is without implication of disease, disorder, or abnormality. Research on the etiology of sexual orientation when applied to asexuality has the definitional problem that sexual orientation is not consistently defined by all research investigators as including asexuality. Sexual orientation being "enduring" and resistant to change ("[s]exual orientation has proved to be generally impervious to interventions intended to change it") and asexuality being a sexual orientation, asexuality is enduring and resistant to change.

While heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are usually, but not always, determined during the early years of preadolescent life, it is not known when asexuality is determined. "It is unclear whether these characteristics [viz., "lacking interest in or desire for sex"] are thought to be lifelong, or if they may be acquired."

Nonmeasurement in some areas of sexual orientation is accepted by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers: "[S]imply to document that a phenomenon occurs, case studies and nonprobability samples are often adequate. . . . Some groups are sufficiently few in number – relative to the entire population – that locating them with probability sampling is extremely expensive or practically impossible. In the latter cases, the use of nonprobability samples is often appropriate." In determining etiologies, when asexuals are a small percentage of a large society, asexuals with a given etiology will compose an even smaller percentage, so that etiological information is available only from some individuals, generally not randomly selected.

Community


A community of self-identified asexuals coalesced in the early 21st century, aided by the popularity of online communities
Virtual community
A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals...

.

Dr. Elizabeth Abbot, author of A History of Celibacy, acknowledges a difference between asexuality and celibacy and posits that there has always been an asexual element in the population but that asexual people kept a low profile. While failure to consummate marriage was seen as "an insult to the sacrament of marriage" in medieval Europe, asexuality, unlike homosexuality, has never been illegal, and asexual people have been able to "fly under the radar". However, in the 21st century the anonymity of online communication and general popularity of social network
Social network
A social network is a social structure made up of individuals called "nodes", which are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.Social...

ing online has facilitated the formation of a community built around a common asexual identity.

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network
Asexual Visibility and Education Network
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network was founded in 2001 by David Jay with two distinct goals: creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an asexual community...

 (AVEN) was founded in 2001 by David Jay
David Jay
David Jay is an American asexual activist. Jay is the founder and webmaster of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network . While a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Jay came out as asexual and launched AVEN's website...

 with two primary goals: to create public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and to facilitate the growth of an asexual community. Since that time, it has grown to host the world’s largest online asexual community, serving as an informational resource and meeting place for people who are asexual and questioning, their friends and families, academic researchers, and the press. The network has additional satellite communities in ten languages. Members of AVEN have been involved in media coverage spanning television, print, and radio and participate in lectures, conferences, and Pride events around the world.

Asexual communities such as AVEN can be beneficial to those in search of answers to solve a crisis of identity. In many cases of asexuality, an individual goes through a series of emotional processes that end with that person identifying with the asexual community. The individual first realizes their sexual atractions differ from the majority of society. This individual difference leads to questioning whether the way they feel is acceptable, and possible reasons why they feel this way. Pathological beliefs tend to follow where, in some cases, a person may seek medical help because they feel they have a disease. Self-understanding is usually reached when the individual searching for clarity finds a definition that matches their feelings. Asexuality communities provide support and information that allows newly identified asexuals to move from self-clarification to identifying on a communal level, which can be empowering, because they now have something to associate with, which gives normality to this overall socially-isolating situation.

As an emerging identity with a broad definition, there is an enormous amount of variation among people who identify as asexual. Some asexuals may masturbate
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

 as a solitary form of release, while others do not feel a need to. The need or desire for masturbation is commonly referred to as a "sex drive" and is disassociated from sexual attraction; asexuals who masturbate generally consider it to be a normal product of the human body and not a sign of latent sexuality. Asexuals also differ in their feelings towards performing sex acts: some are indifferent and may even have sex for the benefit of a partner, while others are more strongly averse to the idea although they don’t necessarily dislike the other people for having sex as long as it doesn’t involve them .

At this time, asexual organizations and other internet resources play a key role in informing people about asexuality. Not enough research has been done on this topic, making it difficult for doctors to understand the causation. Most people who say they are asexual have diagnosed themselves. This can be a problem when asexuality is mistaken for intimacy or relationship issues, or other symptoms that don’t define asexuality. There is also a significant population that either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t believe in asexuality, which adds to the importance of these organizations to inform the general population.

Legal protections


Currently the U.S. states of Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

 and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 have labeled asexuals as a protected class
Protected class
Protected class is a term used in United States anti-discrimination law. The term describes characteristics or factors which can not be targeted for discrimination and harassment...

.

Asexuality does not typically attract attention of the public or major scrutiny. Thus it has not been subject of legislation as other sexual orientations have.

Religious views


In some branches of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 it has been considered a spiritual discipline to refrain from all sexual activity and desire. The justification for this has been Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' statement: "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it" (Matthew 19:12, KJV). Others have noted Jesus' words: "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mark 10:6-9, KJV; cf. Matthew 19:1-10). It is pointed out that the context of Jesus' statements concerns divorce in which he confronts the prevalent idea of divorce for any reason. It is maintained that the intent concerned the importance of marital responsibilities rather than spiritual discipline.

In the religion of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, asexuality is acknowledged but was not given a specific name. It makes an appearance in the ruling of marriage where it is said, "One should not marry if he does not possess the means to maintain a wife and future family or if he has no sex drive or if he dislikes children, or if he feels marriage will seriously affect his religious obligations. If a person knows for certain that he or she cannot fulfill the duties required in marriage, and there is no fear of his/her falling into sin, then it becomes haram
Haram
The Arabic term has a meaning of "sanctuary" or "holy site" in Islam.-Etymology:The Arabic language has two separate words, and , both derived from the same triliteral Semitic root . Both of these words can mean "forbidden" and/or "sacred" in a general way, but each has also developed some...

 for such a person to get married. Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 forbids its followers from doing injustice to another person; this would definitely be the case if one were to neglect his/her spousal duties." Where spousal duties also mean being available for their partner when they have desire, and if one knows they can never have desire (i.e. asexual) then it would almost be a sin to get married because you would be unable to do justice to your partner's sexual desires, and you would be unable to do justice onto yourself. One can get married though if one finds a partner who they can support and be with without having sex.

In the religion of Satanism
Satanism
Satanism is a group of religions that is composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared feature include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and...

, The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Bible
The Satanic Bible is a collection of essays, observations, and rituals published by Anton LaVey in 1969. It contains the core principles of LaVeyan Satanism, and is considered the foundation of its philosophy and dogma. It has been described as the most important document to influence contemporary...

 is one of the few texts that acknowledges asexuality by name. Some of the passages from that text include "In many cases of sexual sublimination (or asexuality), any attempt to emancipate himself sexually would prove devastating to the asexual."(Pg. 69) It is also asserted that, "Asexuals are invariably sexually sublimated by their jobs or hobbies. All the energy and driving interest which would normally be devoted to sexual activity is channeled into other pastimes or into their chosen occupations. If a person favors other interests over sexual activity, it is his right, and no one is justified in condemning him for it." (Pg. 70)

Symbols


Asexuals have no one fixed symbol, and none has ever officially been declared as the primary symbol of the community; however, some have through the years become more prominent and important than others.

One of the symbols most easily associated with the asexual community is the asexual triangle also known as the AVEN triangle due to its origins on the AVEN
Asexual Visibility and Education Network
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network was founded in 2001 by David Jay with two distinct goals: creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an asexual community...

 forum. David Jay
David Jay
David Jay is an American asexual activist. Jay is the founder and webmaster of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network . While a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Jay came out as asexual and launched AVEN's website...

, the founder of AVEN, based the asexual triangle on the gay pride pink triangle
Pink triangle
The pink triangle was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify male prisoners who were sent there because of their homosexuality. Every prisoner had to wear a downward-pointing triangle on his or her jacket, the colour of which was to categorise him or her by "kind"...

 when he was first starting the forum and before the AVEN community, or any asexual community outside of AVEN had started up properly. The top line of the triangle represents the Kinsey Scale
Kinsey scale
The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, attempts to describe a person's sexual history or episodes of his or her sexual activity at a given time. It uses a scale from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual...

 with the third point representing the other dimension of how strongly one is sexually attracted to people. The triangle and the gradient thus depicts the fade between sexual and asexual. However, the triangle is now used more as a metaphor than as an accurate diagram of human sexuality and the asexual community's place in it. It has, at times, been adapted to a gradient filled heart or spade, but the triangle version is by far the more common version.
Other common symbols are the Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
At least in English-speaking countries, the ace of spades is traditionally seen as the highest card in the deck of playing cards, although the actual value of the card varies from game to game...

 or the Ace
Ace
An ace is a playing card. In the standard French deck, an ace has a single suit symbol located in the middle of the card, sometimes large and decorated, especially in the case of the Ace of Spades...

 of Hearts playing on words, with 'Ace' also being a shortened word for asexual. There is no fixed choice between which one works better though it has been suggested that the Ace of Hearts works for the romantic
Affectional orientation
Affectional orientation is used both alternatively and side-by-side with sexual orientation. It is based on the perspective that sexual attraction is but a single component of a larger dynamic. To holders of this view, one's orientation is defined by whom one is predisposed to fall in love with,...

 asexuals and the Ace of Spades for the aromantic
Affectional orientation
Affectional orientation is used both alternatively and side-by-side with sexual orientation. It is based on the perspective that sexual attraction is but a single component of a larger dynamic. To holders of this view, one's orientation is defined by whom one is predisposed to fall in love with,...

 asexuals. This however is not a strict rule by any means nor accepted by all asexuals.

Another common symbol for asexuality is cake
Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

, or rather a slice of it. Coming from the idea that 'cake is better than sex' and also as a general feel good welcome, comfort or congratulatory gesture. It has been worn on shirts when AVEN members have marched during Pride along with a mash up of the AVEN triangle and the Ace of Spades.

Some asexuals wear a black ring on the middle finger of their right hand.

In August 2010, after a process of trying to get the word out, even outside AVEN and non-English speaking areas a flag was eventually voted on in a non-AVEN site and then elected. It has since been seen used on tumblr
Tumblr
Tumblr is a website and microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service emphasizes ease of use. The site ranks as the 10th...

 and various LGBTQetc areas in the 'real' world
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 including Prides in multiple countries, and in everyday life as badges and bracelets etc. Even prior to formal election it could be seen alongside other Sexual Orientations flags in some spaces. The black stripe represents asexuality, the grey stripe grey-asexuality (those falling somewhere on the spectrum between sexuality and asexuality, or questioning) and the demisexuals
Demisexuality
Demisexuality is the lack of sexual attraction outside of strong emotional connection. It is distinct from, but related to, asexuality, the complete lack of sexual attraction. The term comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual...

, the white stripe sexuality and the purple stripe community.

Notable asexuals


  • Edward Gorey
    Edward Gorey
    Edward St. John Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his macabre illustrated books.-Early life:...

    , writer and illustrator. Gorey never married or had any known romantic relationships and responded to an interviewer's questioning of his sexual orientation with, "I'm neither one thing nor the other particularly ... I am apparently reasonably undersexed or something." He agreed with the interviewer's suggestion that the "sexlessness" of his books was "a product of his asexuality".
  • Keri Hulme
    Keri Hulme
    Keri Hulme is a New Zealand writer, best known for The Bone People, her only novel.-Early life:Hulme was born in Christchurch, in New Zealand's South Island. The daughter of a carpenter and a credit manager, she was the eldest of six children. Her parents were of English, Scottish, and Māori ...

    , author of The Bone People
    The Bone People
    The Bone People is a Booker Prize-winning 1984 novel by New Zealand author Keri Hulme. Hulme was turned down by many publishing houses before she found a small publishing house in New Zealand called Spiral...

    , winner of the 1985 Booker Prize
    Man Booker Prize
    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and...

    , discussed asexuality and her involvement with AVEN
    Aven
    Aven AVEN may refer to:* Asexual Visibility and Education Network, an Internet-based community to promote awareness of asexual orientation* Aven River in Brittany, France* Aven , a fictional bird race in Magic: The Gathering...

     in a 2007 interview.
  • Bradford Cox, an American musician, leader of the bands Deerhunter
    Deerhunter
    Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...

     and Atlas Sound.
  • Emilie Autumn
    Emilie Autumn
    Emilie Autumn Liddell , better known by her stage name Emilie Autumn, is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist. Autumn draws influence for her music—the style of which she has alternatively labeled as "Victoriandustrial" and glam rock—from plays, novels, and history, particularly the...

    , an American singer-songwriter, poet, and violinist who is best known for her wide range of musical styles and her usage of theatrics.
  • Tim Gunn
    Tim Gunn
    Timothy M. "Tim" Gunn is an American fashion consultant and television personality. He was on the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design from 1982 to 2007 and was chair of fashion design at the school from August 2000 to March 2007, after which he joined Liz Claiborne as its chief creative...

    , an American fashion consultant and television personality. He is a homoromantic asexual.
  • Janeane Garofalo
    Janeane Garofalo
    Janeane Garofalo is an American stand-up comedian, actress, political activist and writer. She is the former co-host on the now defunct Air America Radio's The Majority Report. Garofalo continues to circulate regularly within New York City's local comedy and performance art scene.-Early...

    , an American stand-up comedian, actress, political activist and writer. During her filmed stand-up show in Seattle, she brought up her ten-year asexual relationship with her boyfriend, describing herself as having no interest in sex whatsoever.
  • Mike Skinner, UK garage artist of The Streets
    The Streets
    The Streets were a British rap/garage project from Birmingham, United Kingdom, led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Skinner and has included a myriad of other contributors most notably drummer Johnny Drum Machine, vocalist Kevin Mark Trail and the Italian-American beatmaker Leroy.The...

  • J. M. Barrie
    J. M. Barrie
    Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright...

    , author of Peter Pan
    Peter and Wendy
    Peter and Wendy, published in 1911, is the novelisation by J. M. Barrie of his most famous play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up...

  • Kenji Miyazawa
    Kenji Miyazawa
    was a Japanese poet and author of children's literature in the early Shōwa period of Japan. He was also known as a devout Buddhist, vegetarian and social activist.-Early life:...

    , Japanese poet and novelist


Fictional characters and persons
  • Sheldon Cooper
    Sheldon Cooper
    Sheldon Lee Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D. is a fictional character from Texas on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Jim Parsons...

    , character from The Big Bang Theory
  • Red Grant from the James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     novel From Russia, With Love
  • Poppy, character from Huge
    Huge (TV series)
    Huge is a short lived American drama series that aired on the ABC Family television network. The series is based on the young-adult novel of the same name by Sasha Paley. The hour-long drama series revolves around eight teens sent to a summer weight-loss camp called Camp Victory...

  • Gerald Tippett
    Gerald Tippett
    Gerald Heathcliff Tippett is a fictional character in the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was played by Harry McNaughton from his first appearance in September 2007 up until his final appearance in September 2010.-2007-2008:...

    , character from the New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     drama
    Drama
    Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

     series
    Television program
    A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

     Shortland Street
    Shortland Street
    Shortland Street is a New Zealand prime-time soap opera, first broadcast on Television New Zealand's TV2 on 25 May 1992. It is the country's longest-running drama and soap opera, being broadcast continuously for over 4500 episodes and 19 years, and is one of the most watched television programs in...

    .
  • Rudy Waltz from Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

     novel Deadeye Dick
    Deadeye Dick
    Deadeye Dick is a novel by Kurt Vonnegut originally published in 1982.- Plot summary :The novel's main character, Rudy Waltz, nicknamed Deadeye Dick, commits accidental manslaughter as a child and lives his whole life feeling guilty and seeking forgiveness for it...

  • Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

     as portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch
    Benedict Cumberbatch
    Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch is an English film, television, and theatre actor. His most acclaimed roles include Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama Hawking ; William Pitt in the historical film Amazing Grace ; the protagonist Stephen Ezard in the miniseries thriller The Last Enemy ; Paul...

     in the BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     television show Sherlock
  • Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes
    Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

     in the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


See also


  • Androgyny
    Androgyny
    Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ- and γυνή , referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics...

    : the mixing of masculine
    Masculinity
    Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

     and feminine
    Femininity
    Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Though socially constructed, femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors...

     characteristics, personality, fashion, or culture
  • Antisexualism
    Antisexualism
    Antisexualism is opposition or hostility towards sexual behavior and sexuality. In pre-modern times, antisexual social movements were usually expressed in religious terms, but they now often have a secular social reform agenda...

    : the views of someone who is antagonistic towards sexuality
  • Affectional orientation
    Affectional orientation
    Affectional orientation is used both alternatively and side-by-side with sexual orientation. It is based on the perspective that sexual attraction is but a single component of a larger dynamic. To holders of this view, one's orientation is defined by whom one is predisposed to fall in love with,...

    : alternative views on attraction not based on sexuality, but more on purely romantic relationships
  • Erotophobia
    Erotophobia
    Erotophobia is a term coined by a number of researchers in the late 1970s and early 1980s to describe one pole on a continuum of attitudes and beliefs about sexuality...

    : psychological fear of sexual intercourse and sexual feelings in general
  • Genophobia
    Genophobia
    Genophobia is the physical or psychological fear of sexual relations or sexual intercourse. The word comes from the Greek terms genos, meaning “offspring,” and phobos, meaning “fear.” Genophobia can also be called coitophobia...

    : the fear of sexual intercourse
  • Hypersexuality
    Hypersexuality
    Hypersexuality is extremely frequent or suddenly increased sexual urges or sexual activity. Hypersexuality is typically associated with lowered sexual inhibitions. Although hypersexuality can be caused by some medical conditions or medications, in most cases the cause is unknown...

  • Platonic love
    Platonic love
    Platonic love is a chaste and strong type of love that is non-sexual.-Amor Platonicus:The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th century by the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino. Platonic love in this original sense of the term is examined in Plato's dialogue the Symposium, which has...

    : a nonsexual affectionate relationship
  • Sexless marriage
    Sexless marriage
    A sexless marriage is a marriage in which little or no sex occurs between the two partners. The US National Health and Social Life Survey in 1994 found that 2 percent of the married respondents reported no sexual intimacy in the past year...

    : a marriage in which little or no sex is performed throughout the marriage
  • Sexual anorexia
    Sexual anorexia
    Sexual anorexia is a term used to describe a loss of "appetite" for romantic-sexual interaction. However, the term is used broadly and can be better defined as a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sex with emotional content i.e. in an intimate relationship....


External links