When There’s Zero Sex­ual At­trac­tion… to Any­body

Sex drives vary; but some have no de­sire to get down and dirty with any­one – ever.

CLEO (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

It’s been said that men think about sex ev­ery seven sec­onds, and that while women don’t think about it as much, we aren’t too far off. While this might be a gross ex­ag­ger­a­tion (a study by Ohio Univer­sity found that men think about sex 19 times a day, and women, about half of that), it’s still clear that sex is a big part of our lives. How­ever, there are some who never ex­pe­ri­ence sex­ual at­trac­tion to any­one.

Know­ing all the signs

The lack of sex­ual at­trac­tion is known as asex­u­al­ity. And it’s very rare. Dr Martha Lee, a clin­i­cal sex­ol­o­gist and re­la­tion­ship coach at Eros Coach­ing, notes that ac­cord­ing to sev­eral med­i­cal jour­nals, only one per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion fall into this cat­e­gory. Also, asex­u­al­ity can be tricky to iden­tify.

“If you’re try­ing to  ig­ure out if you’re asex­ual, there are a few signs too look out for: you don’t think about sex, you don’t feel any urge to have sex re­gard­less of who it is, and you don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple give so much im­por­tance to sex,” she says.

Dr Lee stresses that all three signs have to be present for some­one to qual­ify as asex­ual. Ev­ery­one’s sex drives are dif­fer­ent, so you shouldn’t as­sume that you’re asex­ual just be­cause you, say, don’t  ind sex im­por­tant.

“Usu­ally, once I ex­plain its de ini­tion, most peo­ple [who think they might be asex­ual] re­alise that they’re ac­tu­ally not,” she adds.

It’s not a “prob­lem”

A com­mon mis­con­cep­tion is that asex­u­al­ity is a health prob­lem. “It’s not a dis­or­der or dis­ease,” says Dr Lee. She em­pha­sises that a low sex drive is not the same as asex­u­al­ity, so as long as you’ve felt sex­ual de­sire be­fore, been sex­u­ally at­tracted to some­one, or fan­ta­sised about sex, you’re not asex­ual, even if you no longer ex­pe­ri­ence those things.

She also says that some peo­ple might feel con­fused about their sex­u­al­ity af­ter go­ing through a dif icult time in their life, like a breakup, death in the fam­ily or even mov­ing out.

And while sev­eral on­line ar­ti­cles state that there are dif­fer­ent asex­ual types, and that asex­u­als can have asex­ual sub-iden­ti­ties, Dr Lee says, “They can iden­tify them­selves as any­thing they want, but th­ese are unof icial terms.”

How to deal with it

But just be­cause some­one is asex­ual doesn’t mean they are not able to have sex (which can hap­pen if they want to please their part­ners) or tend to shy away from ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships.

“They just don’t feel like hav­ing sex, not once in a while or ever. But they may be at­tracted to a per­son emo­tion­ally or men­tally,” says Dr Lee. This is sup­ported by the Asex­ual Vis­bil­ity & Ed­u­ca­tion Net­work, the world’s largest on­line asex­ual com­mu­nity, which points out that asex­u­als have the same emo­tional needs as ev­ery­body else and that they’re just as ca­pable of form­ing in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships.

In fact, a quick trawl through rel­e­vant on­line fo­rums sug­gests that there are plenty of asex­u­als in happy re­la­tion­ships with part­ners with “nor­mal” sex drives.

If you think you might be asex­ual and have some con­cerns, Dr Lee rec­om­mends mak­ing an ap­point­ment with a trained sex­ol­o­gist or ther­a­pist. But what’s most im­por­tant is you ac­cept your­self for who you are.

Only one per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion falls into this cat­e­gory.

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