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Nayab Mahmood

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Asexuality

What is it?
In Modern Society
Biological Basis
Moving Forward
category x
lack of sexual attraction to any other individuals
minimal to no sexual activity
not the same as celibacy/abstinence!
considered by some as the 'fourth orientation'
1% of the worlds population*
Demisexuals: experience sexual attraction ONLY as a result of romantic attraction
the asexuality continuum
not a homogenous group of people
amount of sex, virginity
sex-positive, sex-neutral, sex-averse, anti-sex
boredom, stress relief, "cleaning the plumbing"
cuddling and other physical affection
emotional bonding
other facts
71% of asexuals are women*
in the animal world, 15% of rams are asexual
most people are heteromantic (31%)
followed by bi and aromantic (17.5% each)
*Boegart, 2004
*AVEN census, 2011
• "I just don't feel sexual attraction to people. I love the human form and can regard individuals as works of art and find people aesthetically pleasing, but I don't ever want to come into sexual contact with even the most beautiful of people."*
*Conger, 2012
Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)
founded 2001, David Jay
70,000 members online, 35 added daily
first formal organization
produce and distribute pamphlets, lead workshops, arrange meetings, and do PR with the media
The Asexuality Movement
first phase: early 2000's
marked by recognition of the term asexual
second phase: mobilization
Boegart's 2004 study, 1.5% of population
third phase: present day
"challenging mainstream notion of what constitutes a normal sex drive"
negative aspects
positive aspects
considered "animalistic and unrestrained"
prejudices from both the hetero/homo community
"“[The asexual community] doesn't need to march for that right. Just stay home and do nothing” --Dan Savage, queer activist
often threatened with corrective rape
legally protected class in NY and VT
Now finding more support in the LGBT community, whom have 'paved the way'
Many find community within religion, especially those in which sexual activity is looked down upon
More money being offered for research
Asexual Awareness Week (oct 20-26)
In social media: www.acebook.com
40% of the people not having sex in the past year considered themselves to be "very/extremely happy
Famous aces:
sheldon, "Big Bang Theory"
Alan Rickman
Salvador Dali
Isaac Newton
Ralph Nader
• "There are a lot of gay folks who get angry when we suggest asexual people belong [in the LGBT community]," said asexual blogger Julie Decker. "And that's primarily based on the supposition that asexual people do not experience oppression and that any prejudice, discrimination or discomfort we experience is not ‘as bad’ as theirs, which I think is odd because queerness is not -- or should not be -- defined by negative experiences."*
*HuffPost, "LGBT-asexual"
still compared to Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)
but since asexual relationships don't cause anxiety!
demedicalization of the lifestyle
studies found "normal subjective and physiological sexual arousal capacity in asexual women"
the good news
asexuals are becoming more accepted, and integrated into the sexual continuum
the internet has allowed asexuals to come together in a way that was previously impossible
most adolescents don't accept the asexual label until their 20's due to
lack of education
fear of being wrong in their sexual orientation
"late bloomer"
“But how do you know you’re not just a late bloomer?”
”How do you know you aren’t just confused about your sexuality?”
”You’re too young to know that.”
Nobody will tell a six-year-old boy he’s too young to know he’s straight, but an eighteen-year-old girl who has extensively researched and read and pondered and agonized before finally deciding to come out as asexual? Late bloomer. Confused. Too young to make that decision. Trying to be special.
adolescents are more likely to become depressed if they become romantically involved
this effect is even greater for homosexuals and asexuals
33.57% of asexuals have problems with self-esteem.
an ace's adolescent years are marked by:
confusion and frustration as peers become interested in sex
being ostracized
shame, self doubt
feeling as if there is something fundamentally wrong
ace biology
fraternal birth order: ace males are more likely to have older brothers
ace women more likely to be the earlier born

2.5x more likely to be left handed
no 2D:4D difference
significantly lower sexual desire and arousal
orgasmic function is lower

and reflexive orgasms are "meh"
ace women have a later onset of menarche
more likely to come from lower SES class
more likely to have adverse health issues
aces tend to be shorter and weigh less
"What I am invested in is that as more aces come out, a much larger percentage of the population will have access to the term 'asexual' than there is right now. I hope asexuality will be far more visible, with more out aces and asexual characters on TV shows and movies. I hope it becomes a part of the bigger world of sexuality." -David Jay
Fewer relationship problems
Fewer health risks / pregnancy risks
Less social pressure to find a suitable partner
More free time
Prause, 2005
Harder to establish a more intimate relationship
Dealing with feeling "broken"
Negative public perception
Missing out on the positive benefits of sex
Do you think aces should fall under the LGBT umbrella?
Ideas for studies that should be done?
What do you predict is the future of the ace movement?
Is sex a vital part of a relationship in order to establish intimacy?
What was the most surprising thing you learned?
asexual relationships
many romantic asexuals do get into relationships, and often these are asexual-asexual relationships
similar to a friendship, but with romantic attraction
after holding hands at a concert..."That evening ended with us agreeing that our friendship was an important thing. We wanted to commit for life. In the asexual community we don't form relationships lightly. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life with a person, there's no reason to make such a special commitment."
Wedding night scrabble party
Full transcript