Can you imagine a life without sex?
As someone who makes a living writing about, as well as discovering, sexually driven content, it's difficult to imagine a world where sex doesn't matter. I'm not saying such a world doesn't exist—it certainly does.
I eventually came to understand that life, for some, did not involve sex or the like. It was a completely foreign concept to me, of course, but the realization came to me when I went celibate two years ago.
Celibacy, though, is a different story — it's certainly not synonymous to asexuality. Asexuality is a sexual orientation along the same lines as bisexual, heterosexual, and homosexual. Celibacy is an act and a choice, and it can be measured in time. Celibacy definitely has a beginning and it usually has an end.
There is a simple reason behind this: asexuals can't turn their sex drive on, or off, for six months, like I did. But could a once-sexual being turn into an asexual one?
What IS asexuality, really?
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network's (AVEN) was created in 2001 to increase public acceptance and discourse around asexuality. What started with 100 members has grown into the tens of thousands, and there's now an asexual awareness week at the end of October in order to shed more light on — and celebrate — this non-sexual orientation.
They conducted a survey of 250 people who were asexual, and they found that 71 percent of them were female, while the rest identified as male.
I do occasionally ponder the thought of not having a sexual appetite, but the thought is fleeting, and therefore dismissed, each time. It's different than not wanting sex because of stress, children, or marital problems (which, admittedly, is common); it is never having a sex drive.
The breakthrough, through all of this, is perhaps the revolutionary realization that occurs to many: maybe their sexual orientation has never been what they thought it was.
Maybe those who once thought they had a sex drive never really did. And maybe, they can entertain the fact that sex was just a part of a relationship so you go through with the motions. But when it's not happening, for some people, it's not missed — not even desired.
Maybe this is something to think about — which might come as a shock if you've never suspected this or it's happened overtime.
The medical community might be partially to blame for this. Considering the way they feed into our fears around a lack of sexual desire, making it sound like it's a bad thing. From female sexual dysfunction to erectile issues, it seems there must be something wrong with us if we don't feel an urge for sex.
It doesn't have to be a bad thing; it just might be asexuality.
What I've learned in my research is that asexuality is not an issue, or a problem, that needs fixing. It is, like any other sexual orientation, something to accept and even celebrate.
For me, the reminder is a good one, the lesson well-needed. Sex isn't for everyone, nor should everyone be defined by sex.
Written by Jamye Waxman for The Stir.
This article was originally published at The Stir. Reprinted with permission from the author.