Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Asexuality: The First Internet Orientation

The nature of asexuality has made it a fairly unknown orientation throughout history. I mean, look at the things it has going against it!

1) According to most sources, only about 1% of the population is asexual.
2) It's defined by the lack of sexuality, not an openly "different" sexuality.
3) In many, if not most, historical cultures, love has been a secondary matter in marriage and sex. As such, asexuals would not have found anything unusual about not being attracted to their partners.
4) It's likely that asexuals would have taken the "just suck it up" approach to sex.
5) Like homosexuality, it would have historically been considered a problem, psychological, medical, or other (demons have stolen your sex drive, or whatever tripe medieval and puritan people would have used).

I'd say all of these are major factors today as well (with the possible exception of #3). So it's no wonder that asexuality hasn't become apparent until the last few years. Even though asexuality is gaining visibility online, it is still lacking in real-world visibility.

I think this is the biggest issue with asexuality right now. It can't continue to exist as an "Internet orientation". Even if asexuals don't particularly want to "come out" to friends and family, there should be some more effort to show up at meetups and the like. Community-building is crucial, because the more visible you make the community, the less chance you give the rest of the world to dismiss asexuality because of its nature or its beginnings.

Unfortunately, I live in a rural area for college and don't have the same large population to pull from for meetups. Thankfully I have two close asexual friends at home in Texas. However, I'll soon be starting my own personal campaign of asexual community-building in my college. Even if only 1% of the population is asexual, I have numbers on my side: in a college of 1500, with most living on-campus, about 15 should be asexual. That's more than almost any meetup I've heard of, and that's just on a small college campus. There's hope left for community building, even in rural areas. And maybe I'll take my chances and drive to Philadelphia for the Pennsylvania meetup--but a 3 1/2 hour drive might be a bit much!


  1. Oh, come now. You've driven all the way to NYC before. Phillie should be fine.

    XP <3

  2. I didn't drive there, I took the train >.>

  3. Ooh, a new asexy blog! I added you to my blogroll, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    It is interesting to think of asexuality as an "internet orientation." I agree that we need more real-world community building. It would be great if you could organize something on your campus.

  4. Thank you very much! I went ahead and added you too!

  5. Hello, I just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it so far! As for the 1% figure that study's author believes it to be low. (But you wouldn't know that because science reporting isn't known for accuracy.)

    Regarding #3, I think that in addition to many asexuals having to take the "just suck it up" approach, in predominantly Catholic areas, many asexuals may have chosen to become priests, monks, or nuns.