hexaquark

A history of asexuality

18 posts in this topic

So I started to write a history of things relating to asexuality, and I’m posting it since it is as good as it is going to get without input from others. If you see inaccuracies or think there is something notable that I missed, details that need adding, typos, etc.… please say something. I especially love: links to references. And any other suggestions, really.

This is done in sections so it is easier, to my mind anyway, to skip the parts you don’t care about. Still somewhat chronological though. Small parts of it are cribbed from AVENwiki because that is what this was originally intended for, but I checked facts through other venues.

Enjoy?

EDIT: a slightly edited version of this is on the wiki now.

Early research relating to asexuality

For a more detailed history of asexuality in research see research relating to asexuality.

In the 1948 and 1953 Kinsey Reports, written by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, asexuality was mentioned and added to the Kinsey scale under the category “X”.1,2,3 The two-dimensional model of erotic orientation, proposed by Michael Storms in 1979, also included asexuality, this time as the low end of the two separate axes of hetero- and homo-eroticism.4,5

In a study published in 1983, Paula Nurius examined the relationship between mental health and sexual orientation by surveying a non-random sample of 689 people, primarily college students.6 The study focused on heterosexuality and homosexuality, but also included bisexuality and asexuality as sexual orientations. The results of the questionaires showed that the asexuals surveyed had a comparatively lower actual frequency and desired frequency of sexual activity. Nurius also found that, within this sample, asexuals were slightly more prone to have problems with depression, low self-esteem, and sexual discord.

Emergence of asexual communities

Until the development of the internet, asexuals seldom had ways to connect with each other and share their experiences. In the early and mid 90s, asexuals would occasionally post on sexuality-related newsgroups expressing their disidentification with sexuality, but search functions were not effective enough, making it difficult to locate like-minded people. Additionally, common vocabulary and definitions for discussing asexuality had not yet developed, so a variety of words, including antisexuality, asexuality, celibacy, and nonsexuality, were being used to describe the asexual identity.7

The first online asexual community may be the comments section of an article titled “My life as an amoeba” by Zoe O'Reilly published by StarNet Dispatches on May 30, 1997.8

On October 12, 2000, a Yahoo group for asexuals, Haven for the Human Amoeba (HHA), was founded. The group was structured as an email list and in August of 2001, there were enough regular members that activity increased to several messages everyday. It was at this time that a member of the group, in hopes of starting an asexual web-ring, contacted David Jay, who had by this time created the main page for AVEN, and he joined the discussion on Haven for the Human Amoeba. Various members created their own websites as part of the web-ring.9

David Jay had created a page on his university webspace in March 2001. It was initially to be called the Human Asexual Visibility and Education Network (HAVEN), but this was later shortened to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). At this time, it was a page giving a definition of asexuality and asking for email from those who identified with the definition.10

As membership and activity in the Haven for the Human Amoeba increased, the email-based structure of Haven for the Human Amoeba became cumbersome. Every comment made was emailed to the whole group, with no possible way of forming separate threads. There was demand for a website on asexuality with a better community structure, and several websites emerged with differing ideologies and definitions of asexuality.

Some communities formed at that time catered to antisexual views. This included a LiveJournal community using the term 'asexual', the Asexuals Community, which was founded in July 2001 and was targeted at sexual people who were celibate by choice or who thought “sex is terribly overrated and pointless unless of course it has meaning.”11

Other online communities held that the only real definition of asexuality was nonlibidoism, maintaining that an asexual could not have a sex drive. This included the now inactive “Official Asexual Society”. This website was founded by Geraldin Levi Joosten-van Vilsteren, another member of Haven for the Human Amoeba, and to participate there was a test administered by the site-founder. It was renamed ‘the Official Nonlibidoist Society’ by the end of December 2004, due to the increasing popularity of an alternate, broader definition of asexuality.12

Another Livejournal group, the LiveJournal Asexuality Community, was created on the 28th of April 2002 by 36/Nat aka AVEN member Paranoid Gynandroid in response to sex-negative posts on the Livejournal Asexuals Community. Nat had become involved in discussions of asexuality as an orientation through the early genderqueer/third gender community, in particular a mailing list called Sphere, and had founded the LiveJournal Asexuality Community independently of Haven for the Human Amoeba and AVEN. Pre-dating the creation of the AVEN forum by a month, this was the first explicitly sex-positive asexual discussion community. Designed to be inclusive, descriptions such as 'little or no sex drive' and 'living without sexuality' were used on this group, and Nat defined asexuality in terms of sexual orientation.13

AVEN was reconstructed in the hopes of becoming a more inclusive option, based in sex-neutrality and the belief that anyone who identifies as asexual is validly asexual, regardless of sex drive or other factors. On May 29, 2002, the AVEN forum was started and a day later AVEN was moved to a new domain name, asexuality.org. Jay contacted Nat in May 2002, and soon the LiveJournal Asexuality Community linked to AVEN on its profile. In July and August, working with Jay, Nat wrote the original AVEN FAQ to be an inclusive and sex-positive outline of asexuality and was involved in the formation of the early AVEN forum community. This FAQ is still the basis for the General FAQ today.

Recent research on asexuality

For a more detailed history of asexuality in research see research relating to asexuality. For a bibliography of papers relating to asexuality, see Asexual Explorations.

In 1994, a survey of 18,876 British residents found that 1% of the respondents “never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all”.14 Based on the data collected in this survey, Dr. Anthony Bogaert investigated the asexual demographic and went on to write several papers starting in 2004.15,16,17 Since Bogaert’s 2004 paper there has been an increase in research, such as the work of Dr. Lori Brotto18,19 but discussion of asexuality remains relatively rare in literature.

Development of AVEN

Moderator Elections

The second AVEN forum administrator was instated in July 2002 because Jay was travelling to Ghana in the fall. The forum at this point had about 100 members. Later, elections were held to select moderators for the site, and this practice continues to the present.

Visibility products

Jay first organized the production and distribution of t-shirts to promote asexual awareness in February 2003.20 On Mar 21, 2004 the first AVEN store on CafePress was opened to supply visibility materials such as t-shirts.21 This store was not intended to make a profit, and is still maintained today.

AVEN Project Team

The AVEN Project Team was proposed by Jay on June 6, 2006 to aid in the organization of visibility projects, and in expanding and improving AVEN.22

AVENues

The first issue of the AVENues newsletter was published on September 27, 2006 and continued to be produced until mid 2009. When Hallucigenia, the original editor of the newsletter, did not run for re-election for the AVEN Project Team in September 2009, AVENues went on hiatus as the new Project Team did not get enough submissions to continue publishing. After the next Project Team elections in 2010, Arielle successfully re-launched AVENues in a magazine-style format in starting that October.

AVEN TOSed by Bluehost

At the end of October 2006, AVEN's hosting provider, Bluehost, changed its terms of service to prohibit discussion of “anything related to human sexuality” and suspended service to AVEN with no warning on November 4th.23 A temporary board, AVENites Unite!, was established by AVEN moderators, and members of the community notified others of this board through various methods, including IM messages and an announcement on Wikipedia.24 The administrators created a temporary main page on asexuality.org which contained static content and directed users to the AVENites Unite! forum. AVEN was then transferred to a dedicated server with a different host, bocacom.net, and the forums were restored as of November 11th.25,26,27

Language expansion on AVEN

As discussion of asexuality has become more widespread, many forums for the discussion of asexuality in other languages have been created.

The German AVEN website and subforum, AVENde, was formed on January 18, 2005 and has since grown to include more extensive static content, over 7000 users, as well as a German language wiki, Asex-Wiki. In May 2005 AVENfr, the French AVEN subforum, was created, and this site later grew to include static content as well. The French forum now has over 2700 members. AVENit, the Italian AVEN subforum was also linked from AVEN in May 2005 and now has over 1300 members. October 2005 saw the creationg of the Aseksueel Voorlichtings- en Educatie Netwerk, the Dutch AVEN and the Spanish subforum, AVENes, was created in mid July 2006. AVENes was expanded at the end of 2010 to include static content on a home page and presently has over 1600 members registered. A Swedish asexual forum was created in April 2009 and linked from AVEN’s alternate language subforum in June 2010. Other alternate language forums created include Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Slovenian.

Participation in Pride Parades

In 2009, AVEN members participated in the first asexual entry into an American pride parade when they walked in the San Francisco Pride Parade.28 They also entered the 2010 parade, and plan to be at San Francisco Pride in 2011. The UK contingent of AVEN has also been involved in various Pride parades for several years starting in 2009.29

Media interest in asexuality

Bogaert’s 2004 study and the increasing popularity of AVEN led to a rising media interest in discussing asexuality in the mid-2000s. In particular, the New Scientist published an asexuality feature, “Glad to be asexual”, on October 14, 2004, after which numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and later television programs would follow.

Television programs

Starting in 2006, there were a number of television broadcasts featuring asexuals from AVEN, including

(15 January 2006),
(21 March 2006),
(27 March 2006),
(3 April 2006),
(5 April 2006), Montel Williams Show (04 January 07), and MTV News “Young And Asexual” (5 April 2007).

Later broadcasts include shows on

,
, and
(19 March 2009) and France24 (10 September 2010).

Asexuals in fiction

Though fans have speculated on the possible asexuality of many characters, such as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who, it is rare to encounter explicitly asexual characters in fiction.30 Shortland Street, the New Zealand soap opera, featured a story arc in July 2008 about Gerald Tippett, a character who had come to the realization that he was asexual.31 In "Guardian of the Dead", a 2010 novel by Karen Healey, one of the characters, Kevin, comes out as asexual to the main character.

Development of asexual symbols

One of the longest standing symbols associated with asexuality is the AVEN triangle, a simplified model of sexual orientation representing the Kinsey scale along its top edge as a line from homosexual to bisexual to heterosexual, with asexuality at the lower point of the triangle. It was also intended as a reference to the pink triangle used as a pride symbol in the queer community.32 The AVEN triangle was included in a description of the definition of asexuality on AVEN in 2001.33 It was originally developed by David Jay, and did not include a gradient; instead, the lower portion of the triangle was black (the double-triangle AVEN symbol). By 2002, Jay was considering abandoning the triangle, as it was based on a binary model of gender and did not take romantic orientation into account, but the triangle was retained as a symbol of AVEN rather than a complete model of orientation.34 In May 2005, AVEN underwent a major site redesign, and the triangle was modified to include a gradient to represent the grey area between asexuality and sexuality.35

The AVEN forum has a long tradition of welcoming new members with cake. The cake emoticon was first suggested on June 23rd, 2004, and drawn on the same day by Live R Perfect.36 The tradition and popularity of cake on AVEN had been around for some time before then. Cake is also given for congratulations, comfort, or when a poster does something particularly asexy. This has lead to cake being an unofficial asexual symbol, which is often explained to newcomers on AVEN by the notion that many asexuals would prefer cake to sex. The ace of spades and the ace of hearts also have a history of being used as asexual symbols, as ‘ace’ has developed into an informal word for an asexual within the community.37,38

On June 17, 2005, Shockwave suggested a black ring in an AVEN thread about showing asexual pride.39 Wearing a black ring on the middle finger of the right hand has since been adopted by many individuals as an unofficial symbol of their asexuality.

In July 2010, several AVENites took the initiative to push for serious discussion of the development of a flag to represent asexuality as a sexual orientation and for use as a visibility tool. This lead to outreach to asexual communities beyond AVEN for input on the flag design, and in August a flag with four horizontal stripes of equal size was voted in on a surveying site. The black stripe represents asexuality, the grey stripe grey-asexuality and demisexuality, the white stripe sexuality, and the purple stripe community.40

Asexuality and HSDD in the DSM

For a more extensive history of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) there is a post on Asexual Explorations.

In June 2008, Jay met with Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, who suggested that the asexual community consider contacting the committee discussing changes in the sexual disorders section of the DSM-V.41 Jay recruited Mandrewliter, and later a small group of other AVENites to help promote dialogue with the DSM sexual dysfunction workgroup in hopes of amending the definition of Hyposexual Desire Disorder to be more accommodating of asexuality as an orientation.42

Asexual communities beyond AVEN

New forums

In late 2006, the Official Nonlibidoist Society website closed and the AVEN forums experienced an influx of antisexual and elitist viewpoints in 2007. Karl (aka Live R Perfect on AVEN) started Apositive in early January 2008 as a community for sex-positive discourse with a very low tolerance for antisexual comments. Originally, Apositive included a forum as well as a knowledge base of studies related to asexuality, and it focused on discussing asexuality as part of a sexual society. As of October 2009, Karl transferred ownership of Apositive to Nancy and Keith (KAGU143 and KAW143). The knowledge base is no longer active, but the forum is still maintained and differs from the AVEN forum because it includes a subforum for the discussion of sexuality, in addition to the asexuality subforum.

The A-sylum was started in early 2007 by Derp, another member of AVEN, as a place for more “off-the-wall” asexual discussion. Late 2010 saw a proliferation of asexuality-related forums, including The Asexy Place, Cakegasm, Knights of the Shaded Triangle, Aromantic Asexuals, and the TransYada forum.

Asexual blogs

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of asexual blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. The blog carnival, A Carnival of Aces, was started in May 2011 to promote discussion of various perspectives on asexuality. Hot Pieces of Ace, which focuses on helping the asexual community, was the first of several asexual YouTube collaboration channels created in 2010 and 2011. Others include Deck of Aces and the Dapper Ace. There is also a large asexual community presence on tumblr.

References

1. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. W.B. Saunders. ISBN 0-253-33412-8.

2. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. W.B. Saunders. ISBN 0-253-33412-8.

3. Kinsey, Alfred C. (1953). Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. W. B. Saunders ISBN 025333411X,

4. Storms, Michael D. (1979). "Sexual Orientation and Self-Perception." ed. Pliner, Patricia et al. Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect. Volume 5: Perception of Emotion is Self and Others Plenum Press.

5. Storms, Michael D. (1980). "Theories of Sexual Orientation". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 38: 783-792.

6. Nurius, Paula. (1983). "Mental Health Implications of Sexual Orientation" The Journal of Sex Research 19 (2) pp.119-136.

7. Jay, David. (2003). The Computer in the Closet – Online Collective Identity Formation http://web.archive.org/web/20040712040017/http://www.asexuality.org/AVENpaper.pdf

8. O'Reilly, Zoe. (199)7. My life as an amoeba. StarNet Dispatches. http://www.asexualove.net/library/97/0530.html

9. Haven for the Human Amoeba. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenforthehumanamoeba/

10. Early AVEN Internet Archive Capture, March 2002 http://web.archive.org/web/20020324180619/http://djay.web.wesleyan.edu/

11. Asexuals LiveJournal Community. http://community.livejournal.com/asexuals/profile

12. Official Nonlibidoism Society. Internet Archive Capture, January 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050117085923/http://www.theofficialasexualsociety.com/

13. Apositive discussion. (2010). History: nonlibidoism society http://apositive.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=448&start=0#p4535

14. Wellings, K. (1994). Sexual Behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. Penguin Books.

15. Bogaert A.F. (2004) Asexuality: Its Prevalence and Associated Factors in a National Probability Sample. Journal of Sex Research, 41, 279-287.

16. Bogaert A. F. (2006). Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Asexuality. Review of General Psychology, 10, 241-250.

17. Bogaert, A. F. (2008). Asexuality: Dysfunction or variation. in J. M Caroll & M. K. Alena (eds). Psychological Sexual Dysfunctions. New York: Nova Biomedical Books. pp. 9-13.

18. Brotto, L. A., Knudson, G., Inskip, J., Rhodes, K., & Erskine, Y. (2010). Asexuality: A mixed methods approach. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 599-618.

19. Brotto, L. A., & Yule, M. A. (2010). Physiological and Subjective Sexual Arousal in Self-Identified Asexual Women, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI: 10.1007/s10508-010-9671-7.

20. AVEN discussion. (2003). Buy T-shirts!! http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/398-buy-t-shirts/

21. AVEN discussion. (2004). AVEN online store open for business http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/2758-aven-online-store-open-for-business/

22. AVEN discussion. (June 2006). Proposal for General Review: AVEN Project Team http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/16670-proposal-for-general-review-aven-project-team/

23. Heaton, M. (October 25, 2006). Adult hosting… Bluehost Blog. http://www.mattheaton.com/?p=58

24. Asexuality article on Wikipedia. (November 5, 2006). http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Asexuality&diff=85794108&oldid=85781371

25. AVENues. (November, 2006). News from November. Issue 3. http://www.asexuality.org/avenues/2006_11_25.pdf

26. Lecorchick, A. (November, 2006). That which does not kill us. AVENues, Issue 3.

27. Various AVENites Unite! discussions. (November, 2006). http://avenitesunite.proboards.com/index.cgi?

28. Rufus, A. (June 22, 2009). Asexuals at the Pride Parade. Psychology Today: Stuck. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stuck/200906/asexuals-the-pride-parade

29. AVEN discussion. (2009). LONDON PRIDE PARADE. http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/41531-london-pride-parade/

30. Asexuality on TV tropes.org. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Asexuality

31. Clips of Shortland Street, Asexuality Arc. http://www.youtube.com/user/sootmouthnz

32. Jay, D. (2001). Re: Asexual Symbol, Chat Reminder http://groups.yahoo.com/group/havenforthehumanamoeba/message/119

33. Early AVEN Internet Archive Capture, June 2002 http://web.archive.org/web/20020601164243/http://www.asexuality.org/Theory/asexuality.htm

34. AVEN discussion. (2002). Ranges of asexuality. http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/142-ranges-of-asexuality/

35. AVEN discussion. (2005). The symbol http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/8486-the-symbol/

36. AVEN discussion. (2004). What AVEN needs most http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?showtopic=3513

37. The BBC’s h2g2. (2005). Asexuality. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A4455263

38. AVEN discussion. (2004). One-Sylable Word for Asexuals? http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/5689-one-sylable-word-for-asexuals/

39. AVEN discussion. (2005). show your pride http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/9175-show-your-pride/

40. AVEN discussion. (2010). Asexual Flag: And the winner is..... http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/53435-asexual-flag-and-the-winner-is/

41. Jay, D. (June 06, 2008). At the table. Love from the Asexual Underground. http://asexualunderground.blogspot.com/2008/06/la-mesa.html

42. AVEN discussion. (2008). DSM Fireside Chat: Video update of the DSM Taskforce http://www.asexuality.org/en/index.php?/topic/36841-dsm-fireside-chat/

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Well done you :D

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im going to read this soon

it looks impressive and informational.

why did you decide to do this?

*leaves tab open*

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The research is good and all, but we still need more visibility.

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I think it looks good, and it covers a lot of ground, including things that I don't think anyone has covered before in discussions of asexual history.

Here are some of the thoughts that I had for possible improvement:

-I’m not really comfortable with using the phrase “expressing their disidentification with sexuality” to describe early posts here and there on the internet (I personally haven’t read these, and I’m not really sure how to go about searching.)

-The placement of "Asexual" on LJ makes it sound like it was an offshoot of HHA, and should be moved to before LJ Asexuality.

Some thoughts for future things that you might consider looking into:

-When AVEN was created, what forums where there? Which ones were added later, when, and why?

I don't know much about this beyond what I've learned in piecing together the history of the Project Team, including the now-defunct Project Team forum. (For a while, there was a public PT forum that only people on the PT could post on. Then people decided to let anyone post on it, and then it just got merged with the already existing Vis/Ed forum, which the PT were then made moderators. At least, that's what I recall reading, though my memory is fallible.)

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Nice! :cake:

I think you should add a brief note on the history of AVENwiki itself.

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Well done you :D

Yay you get cake. :cake:

Well done; that was a good read. :D

Thanks!

The research is good and all, but we still need more visibility.

Hahaha no disagreement there. But think how far things have come in just ten years. When AVEN & HHA were first created, there was essentially nothing out there. Now we have a community (despite the fact it usually only reaches those who seek it out), we have support, and we are starting to gain recognition by researchers. What will the next ten years bring?

I think it looks good, and it covers a lot of ground, including things that I don't think anyone has covered before in discussions of asexual history.

Thanks for the thoughts, I need the criticism. Sometimes it is not obvious to me that I’m implying things erroneously, like the Asexuals LJ thing, until it is pointed out.

That sounds like what I’ve learned about the Project Team too. Would you be interested in writing something about the PT? I was really burnt out by the time I wrote that section. That might be obvious by the way it is one sentence long. Also, is the bit about the DSM taskforce ok? That past stressed me out, because it is possibly the most important thing for people who are asexual to address in the future, so I didn’t say much.

-I’m not really comfortable with using the phrase “expressing their disidentification with sexuality” to describe early posts here and there on the internet (I personally haven’t read these, and I’m not really sure how to go about searching.)

Ooh you caught me there, that is one of the few things I took AVENwiki’s word on because I also have no idea how to check. If those mentions of asexuality were hard to find at the time, just think of searching for them now. The Internet Archive’s Wayback machine is useful, but there are limits. Not sure how to rephrase, because I'm not sure exactly what they were saying either. Here is a woman describing her experience as heteroplatonic and "99 percent asexual and 1 percent heterosexual" in the Boston Globe and a response to that experience. I wish I had more, or any from the early internet for that matter. Do you still have these?

Nice! :cake:

I think you should add a brief note on the history of AVENwiki itself.

I had notes on that somewhere; the current wiki is something like the second or third iteration of AVENwiki, due to various technical failures, if memory serves correctly. It kind of has a sad history!

why did you decide to do this?

I have not really thought about until you asked. I suppose I thought it would be good to have a more complete record, as most of the histories I’ve read are – while better written – either limited to earlier years, or focusing on a specific element of asexual history.

Also, the oft-quoted/now-clichéd “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” come to mind. The trend that I noticed for communities that remained active are that they were founded with the idea of being accepting and sex-positive. I think it is interesting (I didn’t include this because it is just my speculation off of things said in HHA) that David Jay started out with just his personal experience of asexuality, but had the flexibility to see there was more diversity in a group of asexuals than some people were willing to allow for. For example, it doesn’t seem like he experienced a gender preference, but when he found that other self-identified asexuals did, it caused him to question his conceptualization of asexuality. As I understand it, the one of the original points of the AVEN triangle was that as you near the asexual region, gender preference became irrelevant and so the triangle converges. At present, the concept of romantic orientation is an important one to many asexuals. Without the willingness to say, “ok there are many ways to experience asexuality, let's explore that” I doubt AVEN would have come very far. On the other hand, if we had gone with the broader definition of “experiences little to no sexual attraction”, would we even have the concept of grey-asexuality? However, I have a suspicion this question is not my original thought, but something I internalized from something I read…

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-I’m not really comfortable with using the phrase “expressing their disidentification with sexuality” to describe early posts here and there on the internet (I personally haven’t read these, and I’m not really sure how to go about searching.)

Ooh you caught me there, that is one of the few things I took AVENwiki’s word on because I also have no idea how to check. If those mentions of asexuality were hard to find at the time, just think of searching for them now.

Oh, I have thought about it, and I have no idea how to do it. Part of the problem is that the person who I am pretty sure is responsible for that part of the wiki is a fantastic activist, but not necessarily a very good historian.

heteroplatonic and "99 percent asexual and 1 percent heterosexual" in the Boston Globe and a response to that experience. I wish I had more, or any from the early internet for that matter. Do you still have these?

I have seen those two articles (I stumbled onto them while trying to find if anyone had ever used the term "heteroplatonic"), and I no longer have my photocopies of the other two. There were sort of interested, but not anything that's really necessary to look into. Basically, in the 70s they had a mayor of NY who didn't seem to be interested in sex. They thought he might be gay, so they had him followed around by a PI, and it turns out that there wasn't anything dirty to dig up. But I don't know that much about the historical context, so (to me) it was just some sort of interesting little random finding.

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Hahaha that PI was probably bored out of his mind.

Well, I just found a link to the previously elusive comments section of Zoe O'Reilly’s My life as an amoeba. In case it doesn’t work, because the wayback machine is fickle, the comments are pasted under the spoiler. I tried to give them approximate dates based on the dates when they were captured after.

Peter Vokac remarks:

Your instinctive "asexual" role has a Big Picture aspect. It is one of the ways that our species regulates over-population. The mystery though is, just exactly HOW does it work upon individuals in an over-populated society? Are we NOT so autonomous as we think we are? Is "predestination" more than a fundamentalist religious theory?

Call me "Pat" too remarks:

Thank you, Zoe! I am an asexual, androgynous Tucsonan. Thank you for giving our concerns a voice! Although there are days when I wish there was a closet I could hide in, I am proud to be what I am. And I have been "this way" for as long as I can remember. Now, where's *my* TV special and lapel ribbon ?

Reality remarks:

Peter ... come in, Peter ... hello, Peter?

Human Foible remarks:

Zoe's asexual? Damn, Damn, Damn! Now I feel like I'm running out of time, and out of breath and closing down...

Bill remarks:

Zoe, you have no idea how happy you've made me . For a long time I have been concerned as to what the tribe was going to do when the next sacrafice offering came due. Thanks to your announcement , you have saved the tribe an you've made KING KONG,satisfied for another 100 year's.

brat remarks:

brat remarks:

Sponge remarks:

UH......o.k. Your articles prove to be more and more interesting as time goes on,Zoe.

the asexual friend remarks:

Hey Zoe!! I got emntioned in your article!!! Cool!! Unless it was someone else who emailed you the same thing I did... I ahve one other point to add to the asexual trend... as I get older, I realize that things revolve around sex more and more. TV shows, web sites, music, everything seems to have sexual undertones. By proclaiming myself asexual, it is therefore the utmost rebllion against a society that seems to be faltering, not propsering. There should be less people. Therefore, less procreation. I also live in denial, so make of my proclamation what you wish. I suppose I would reform from my asexual ways if someone were worthy enough. But no one is, so here I remain.

Mike remarks:

You forgot one primary Asexual being. Morrissey. Okay, I memorized all my cure lyrics, etc. etc. Life's more entertaining that way. But damnit, Morrissey(sp?) is the one who started it. Give 'im a little credit. After all, nobody knows which way he goes. Anyhow, starnet does itself a good service by having people with a sense of humor like you two on there. Thanks Mike

After June 1997______________________________________________

Chloë remarks:

Zoe, I'm here in Los Angeles visiting my boyfriend, and I must say that sex in its whole broad sense and implications is often more trouble than it's worth. Congratulations on your orientation. See you back in sexless Tucson.

After January 1998______________________________________________

Gary remarks:

Hey, Zoe! Cool! I found someone else who is asexual! I've thought for so many years now that I was the only one; I've never found another, anywhere. Physically, I'm male, but there's nothing inside to tell me what I am, no drive.

onelobby@worldnet.att.net remarks:

My name is Wes Syms and recently I started writing about my own asexuality. I have great difficulty finding others who are seriously interested in this subject. I also have a new website at http://home.att.net/~onelobby/index.html My website is still very much under construction and it's mostly devoted to expressing my ideas on advanced nurturance for the human mind. Thanks for inviting the following comments of mine on asexuality. Remember the "Sexual Revolution?" Well, there never was an "Asexual Revolution." History records sexual repression but it virtually never refers to asexual repression. In this document I will attempt to explain my experiences and interpretations of sexuality, more specifically of human asexuality as I have experienced and continue to experience it. Sexuality and asexuality co-exist in each person, though people are extremely susceptible to images, the media, social mores, social pressures, cultural biasses in general, and modern culture strongly emphasizes people's very sexual natures while virtually ignoring everyone's asexual needs. Modern society, more and more these days, takes great pride in pursuing sexual enlightenment, but a large part of understanding sexuality is in understanding its counterpart, asexuality. I suggest that the two never exist apart from each other and that they are both used by everyone to widely varying degrees. My life has included a series of overcompensatory efforts to effect an emotional balance within myself--a kind of balance of which my society seems oblivious to and actively subverts. When I was younger and resisted the social pressures to identify as heterosexual, I soon found a more comfortable identity for myself in bisexuality. But that did not satisfy me for long because my intimate relationships are based on meaningfulness only, not on sexual expectations or sex roles or even sex acts. Physically speaking, my genuine intimacies have always stayed within a range of affectionate touching. Sexual assertiveness with others always leads me to wonder both how I am being perceived by them and what my body means to them. That is why, sexually speaking, I am totally passive, or, to be more precise, uninterested and uninvolved. Now, it has taken me a long time to understand what I now understand about my own asexuality. The confusion has come from my own interest in my own physical masturbation, which had me wondering for years whether my sexual interests were somehow stronger than they seemed to be. I now see that all those many masturbation sessions derive from boredom, not from genuine sexual interest in my own body. During those times when my ever-hungry mind is thoroughly stimulated, I lose all interest in masturbation. To me this means that my own physical masturbation is not an act derived from genuine sexual interest but is instead an act of desperation for immediate pleasure, immediate stimulation via the never fully satisfying medium of physical sensationalism. In other words, for me masturbation is always a last resort, never a first choice. I realize now that my first choices never involve any kind of sexual activity at all, and it is on this basis that I now identify much more thoroughly with the label "poly-bi-intimate asexual." Several years ago I identified myself as a "poly-bi-intimate autosexual," but that implies that I have a sexual preference and that sexual preference would necessarily be myself. My new identity as an asexual clarifies my stance on my own sexuality and writes off any masturbation in which I might still partake from time to time as not genuine. I know what my masturbation means to me. No one else can know what feelings are being expressed when I masturbate, so that is why my private masturbation is far more meaningful to me than any sexual activity I would have with one or more people. So, even though masturbation is far preferable to me than sexuality activity with other persons, it is still far from satisfying and not something I look forward to. Sexuality activity, of any kind, has no inherent meaning or value to me. It has never been the least bit fulfilling to me. By "sexual activity," I'm specifically referring to any physical act done to enhance sexual arousal, regardless of whether an orgasm is the goal. I love to touch people, but only if I know or suspect that it means something nurturing, meaningful, supportive to them. I do not consider sexual activity to be nurturing, meaningful or supportive in any way. That isn't to say that I think any people would be better off to deny themselves of sexual activities when they feel those activities are needed, but for me and others like me, if there are any, trying to instill meaningfulness into our own sexual activities is a pointless, frustrating and definitely self- abusive effort. People like myself are extremely "idea" oriented, that is, whatever is meaningful to us is created by us, not by some social myth or physical sensation. For us the quality of intimacy is based totally on our abilities and efforts to communicate meaningfully, nurturingly and without any role-playing or behavioral expectations. People like me can just be ourselves with each other. We don't need to take on any persona at any time in order to please or satisfy someone else's hopes. Our intimacies are of the rawest, intellectual kind, reaching ever deeper into our minds to reveal ever more vulnerable, more delicate, more exquisite parts of ourselves. We naturally and healthily do not identify with our own bodies. This is what is natural for us though it may not be that way for you. Yes, I do seek a social support system for myself, like any sensitive person would, but much as homosexuals have been and are still often told that they are not homosexual and are just repressing heterosexuality, I have been told that I am not asexual and that I am repressing homosexuality. The homosexual "community" too has a great deal to learn about understanding and nurturance. I hope and I work to help bring all of the different types of persons together to understand and develop nurturance for us all, for everyone in the world! My asexuality directly relates to my compassion for all the different kinds of people all over the world.----- Earlier I mentioned that all people are both sexual and asexual. If I have a sexual side, and I probably do, it has not yet been awakened. I don't exactly know how it would manifest, but I know that if such a thing were to happen, I would know deny it or repress it. The fact that society itself pressures people so much to identify as very sexual beings causes me to step away from any sexuality that might otherwise manifest within me. In other words, if society didn't try to "blind" me with sexual pressures, I might be able to notice genuine but subtle sexual feelings of my own. If I could create a social environment totally devoid of sexual pressures, then maybe I could know with more certainty whether I have any genuine sexual interests. But, if I do have such interests, those interests are still very minor because I have never frustrated about not having sex. I have never missed it and I have never felt that I need sexual activity for anything. My frustrations with sexuality comes from not finding others who feel as I do, not from any absence of enough meaningful sex. I thoroughly enjoy who and what I am, and I'm very eager to share everything within me and about me so that I may transform, evolve, and help others who also want that to do that. I have so much more to offer in a relationship than anything which I perceive sexual activity can offer. I want to show how beneficent selfishness can be a wonderful key to understanding and developing skills in nurturance. I believe in being as selfish as possible about one's own healthy needs, and that there is no such thing as a healthy need to inhibit or presume upon someone else.-----

Dani remarks:

I guess my name is adrogynous as I am but I've known for a long time I was different. Since I look like a girl I've dated guys but the idea of sex disgusts me. I'm so glad to know that there is a name for people like me and others. Anyone know where I could get some Asexuality buttons or bumper stickers. I don't suppose they isolated a gene for it or anything. We get no respect.

rlynne remarks:

Finally asexuals are speaking out hooray!!Here's another website dedicated to (female) asexuals (leather spinsters) but males are highly welcomed. Check it out!!!

http://www.leatherspinsters.com

Joseph remarks:

I am a virgin and have been an asexual man for all 34 years of my life and have been led to believe that there was something wrong with me for not being gay or straight or wanting to have sex. How refreshing to hear Zoe's comments and to know that there are others out there like me in a world where everything seems to be centered around having sex. I like who and what I am and am happy for the asexuality that I have been (for the lack of a better word) blessed with. I am so glad to hear that it's ok to not want sex just for the sake of not wanting sex.

kara remarks:

zoe YOU GO GIRL...... i have no doubt there are lots out there, just not confident enough to acknowledge it.............thanks

Arielle remarks:

Dear Zoe, I've been struggling to discover my sexual orientation for a really long time and I think that I'm asexual. But I have been reading some of your comments and I can't say that I relate or identify with the asexual people writing in to you. How can you really tell if you really are asexual? I am horny and I feel extremely lonely, and deprived- I want to be in love with someone, but nobody else seems to understand my sexuality and me being myself- my natural sexuality- doesn't turn anyone on! Noone understands my sexuality. I don't know if I am asexual or bisexual or straight or a lesbian- and I am going crazy! All I know is I want to be in love with someone and I feel so alone! Help!

After December 1998______________________________________________

nicole remarks:

what is this some kind of joke?

mofo remarks:

this is a very sexual page and i like it a lot!

kimonifer remarks:

al righty than

anonymous remarks:

I'm an 18 year old female and I believe I might be asexual. When I reached puberty I kept waiting for those "feelings" to come. They never. I decided they were slow to develop. When they were still absent at age 14 I worried I might by gay. However I realize now I feel nothing for women either. Not only am I not attracted to either sex, I am disgusted by the idea of sex People sense my difference and I have been harassed because of it. I'm so glad there are others like me.Emotionally I am dead. I feel nothing.

Alley remarks:

I've been dealing with the question of my sexuality for a while. I've explored my sexual territory and ended up somewhere between lesbian and asexual. I figured there was someone else out there (there always is) who shares my disinterest in sex and I'm glad to see there are plenty of folks around. Now all we need is a good marketing ploy and a couple of catchy icons.

shannon remarks:

i dont know if i am a lesbian or if i am asexual...i dont really have a lot of sexual feelings and when i do on the rare occasion, they are directed at females. i am only 17!!! i dont know what to do someone help!!!!!!!

captain crunch remarks:

And I thought I must have been the only 19 yr old virgin in Southern Ca. All of my more sexually experienced friends look at me as sort of an innocent. Their little friend completely ignorant in all fields of sexuality. They make jokes about the sexless sesame street bubble i live in. Actually, I think I'm better and smarter off for it. first off,I don't think sex is sacred anymore in this day & age. In fact, to put it harshly,it seems really dirty....like two dogs humping...or something. Just the idea pretty much sickens me. Not that I don't like affection. I love cuddling w/friends & getting kisses on the cheek as much as the next girl,I'm human & I need to be loved...just not phucked. I see alot of young people in sexual relationships & it just doesn't seem worth it. they worry about disease, pregnancy, partners being faithful...it makes people stupid. Emotion is good, let it spill out,but good lord, don't tell me the gritty details of the guy who humped you last night & then cry because you got herpes. I learned my values from trashy talk shows. These trailer trash types on Jerry springer show all have one thing in common. sex is their weakness.

Jeremy remarks:

I feel funny writing this. I am a 27 year old man and my family and friends are wondering why I don't date. There's no way to explain to them that I have no interest in sex. When I was younger I did, but it went away. Now they can't understand why I am still single. I live in Utah and around here if you're not married by the time you're 22 you're wierd (for women it's 19). I'm glad somebody understands the lack of desire.

David remarks:

It is so exciting to discover such a cross-section of people who fall under the category of asexuals - I've felt alone in my lack of natural sexual desire for a long time, and people in my family and workplaces have found it odd that I do not approach women, or flirt with them, and that I do not dive head first into the dating (and mating) process. I've been approached by some women on a romantic basis over the years, and on several occasions I gave in to societal pressure and entered into some sexual experimentation - it was difficult to "get my body working" in this manner, but with some effort on the part of the women, my body responded and the sex act took its course, but I found it unpleasant at best and deeply offensive at worst. These experiences have left me sure that I am asexual, but I am also a warm person who loves my friends and I'm sick of being stereotyped as a freak or someone who has no feelings at all. I'm fortunate to have some open-minded, caring friends, and, of course, it is a great relief to learn of other people in the world who fall within the range of ot this "lack of orientation." Thanks for providing a forum for us to share our viewpoints.

adi efal remarks:

asexuality is a subject which is very interesting for me . i think i would like to know more about it . maybe you have some reading recomendations ?

After October 1999______________________________________________

Ambrose remarks:

If you want to read some wild info on antisex,go to this web site: http://www.ambrosian.org It actually promotes the celibate way of life. What strange people on the net, ha. Oh by the way, I'm a celibate and an antisex person and I know exactly why. Check out the web site and see!!

Martin Poulter remarks:

Nice article, and it's great to see all the comments from people who feel the same. I recommend the Celibate FAQ (well I would- I'm the author). It's at http://mail.bris.ac.uk/~plmlp/celibate.html . I'd be seriously interested in a celibate ribbon or emblem that we can wear. Pity all the colours of ribbon are taken. 8-(

jdollak@hotmail.com remarks:

I am not asexual, I am a very sexual guy, but I don't feel a need to participate in any sexual acts. I've become interested in a girl, who went through some rediscovery in the last year or so, and I told her I was interested. I defined that our relationship would not be something that sexual at all, more romantic based, the most physical stuff would be prolonged holding (or something like that). She seemed to be good about this, explained that she wasn't at all interested in any traditional relationships, and it sounded as if we could have had a decent building off of that. I finally confronted her a couple days ago because I really needed some assurance that I wasn't just building up in my mind that we would eventually become something, and she presented me with this asexual explaination. She says she's not interested in this at all...but how can someone not be interested in being loved? Rather than confusing love with sex, is this confusing sex with love? (either way you phrase it, the point is still the same)

Edward remarks:

I am in my mid-40's and have never been on a date. I believe sublimation is a major factor in my non-existant libido. If certain things are more important in one's life, others become much less so, or insignificant. I've heard of this situation developing with married couples, where one or both spouses is so pre-occupied with their careers, for example, sex is no longer important or desired. The struggle for survival in a global economy and the resulting stress also leaves many too fatigued to be interested in sex. I would suggest that sleep takes priority over sex in these situations. As the planet's population contiues to increase and people find themselves living in closer proximity to each other, stess is a very real result. This has been demonstrated repeatedly in experiments with animals and humans alike. Stress is also known to lessen resistance to a myriad of life threatening diseases., and can as a result shorten one's lifespan. Could asexual dormancy be nature's way of limiting population explosion where other "reducers" such as famine, epidemic disease, war, or natural disaster have failed?

Epic Doubt remarks:

I don't know if I'm asexual. I'm 20 and only a week ago did I finally kiss someone. Well it was more like they kissed me. It was another girl and it wasn't exciting at all. I've always been nervous around guys, especially if I know they're attracted to me. Even if they just talk to me about it, I get really nervous and start to shake. Just the thought of someone touching my body disgusts me. It's worse with guys though. I'd love to talk to anyone who feels similar to what I do.

rhadd@hotmail.com remarks:

What is sex after all?

Viewed dispassionately, it is merely the build-up of pleasurable tension and its inevitable release. It is rather odd how people are obsessed - even tormented - by their sexual desires but they rarely consider the option of celibacy. How sad to go through all of one's life never exploring the subtle treasures of sexual abstinence. When the sex centre 'cools down' after even a short period of voluntary celibacy, one becomes less perplexed emotionally and with that a tremendous clarity comes. Soon you can view the most attractive of people without that automatic response of pained desire in the body. Sex desire is something most people are consciously switching on all the time just to feel the pleasure of it. Sex just gives people a temporary transcendence of the mind while they are slamming away mechanically during coupling (quaint word that but I like it!)But LUST ISN'T A MUST! Anyway, lust is insatiable right up until death but why should we allow ourselves to be the mere pawns of our own lustful desires? What a waste of - wait for it - fucking time it is!

Rozi remarks:

I am a heterosexual female, but sometimes I feel that I have asexual leanings. I have a hard time getting close to guys that I like romantically, but I have no problem being the "buddy." Sometimes I'd rather be single without anyone rather than be part of a couple. I think marriage and sex are overrated. I don't have any desire to get married; and I could probably live without sex, though I don't dislike it (as long as it is an expression of love and commitment). I wish there was more information out there on asexuality. Most people don't realize that there are really asexual people out there. They only know that people are either straight, gay, or bisexual.

Adam remarks:

Sexuality is confusing.I think that maybe I want to think I am asexual to deal with the embarrasment and shame that comes with being a 20 year old virgin.All human beings need affection,but I don't think it is sexual affection that i desire. I am most turned on by a persons heart, intellect,and ability to conceive and engineer ideals that are not mainstream such as anarchism and other leftist politics.

Susan remarks:

Hi, I'm Susan, and I'm a 23 (going on 24) year old virgin. In my first year of University, I tried to present myself as someone very sexual, even to my parents. I tried to build up a whole image for myself. It was all about having something to prove. I had a boyfriend in first year who I didn't like at all, but with whom I tried (non-successfully) to have sex. Now I'm not interested in sex at all. Part of it is the whole issue of admitting to other people that I'm a virgin, which is part of the bigger issue of expressing myself fully, or finding my sense of self.

Frustated remarks:

Zoe, it's nice to know you are an asexual and have provided a place like this were others can relate and not feel so alone. I'd like to know though if asexuality is related to spiritual morality in others or is it simply a lack of physical attraction and desire?

Cecelia Johnson remarks:

When you limit yourself to a belief system (which asexuality is) you limit your growth as a human being. We try very hard to seperate ourselves from animals and nature. It's psychological. I thought I was asexual for years because I was just a young girl and didn't want to have sex. Now I (still a virgin) believe that by convincing myself I'm asexual I have limited my growth. The only thing to do on this earth is grow. That's it--no matter what we convince ourselves. I want to grow in all areas of my life. I will remain a virgin until I know it feels right, but then-- I will willingly engage in one of the most amazing things about living. It's not just about sex, but it's about love, intimacy, relationships, creation, the species-- yes species. We are animals-- homo sapiens. We have worked so hard to break out connection with nature. Why? What are we gaining?

After June 2000______________________________________________

Laura remarks:

Wow. I was doubting that there were others of my kind. Sadly, I haven't met any other asexual humans here on my college campus, and I do feel alone. I want a colored ribbon, too! Yay for Zoe!

After October 2000______________________________________________

Jill remarks:

Yeah! Asexuals of the world unite and take over!! Its good to see others out there. I was beginning to think I was the only person who considered myself asexual. When I tell people that I'm asexual they either laugh and say that its impossible or ask "So does that mean you just masturbate alot??". I've never have been interested in sex. Maybe on day it'll happen, but til then, it just me.

After December 2000______________________________________________

David remarks:

I have to thank you Zoe. Although I am just finding this article, it has been very beneficial to me. I have been questioning my own sexuality for a couple of years now. I have been openly gay since I was a teen (now 36) and have had more sex, parnters and drugs then I care to admit to.

But in the past year and a half I have reached a point in my life where I am so fed up with sex and all the emphasis placed on sex. I have become very comfortable with "self gratification" and have no desire for the physical touch from anyone.

Unfortunately, I'm also in a relationship with someone who I love very deeply, but who is not understanding of my "problem" what so ever. He is "VERY" sexual and that is causing even more problems. He seems to more concerned with his sexual needs then my lack of sexual needs.

Anyway, maybe I have said to much. Jusst nice to know I'm not alone in this world. Thank you again, Zoe and all the others who left comments.

After February 2001______________________________________________

PlatonicPimp remarks:

This Is quite enlightening. I have had an Asexual Friend for a long time now, and I often envy Him. I am less Sexual than most, but still By nature A breeder. I have had many a conversation on this topic and I'm Glad to hear that my friend is not alone in his nature. The only problem is that Asexuals seem to be in many way superior to other people (less violent, more Thoughtfull and Logical, Not thinking with their hormones), yet they don't contribute to the gene pool. I think that's a shame, because If anyone should Have their genetics passed on it's my friend. Ah well, There's always cloning.

BloodyRedCommie remarks:

Don't be too flattering, platonic pimp. I'm an asexual college student who's been doing some research/work online trying to organize some sort of asexual community. If you liked this article you'll probably find my site (http://djay.web.wesleyan.edu) of interest. I think that it makes sense that asexuality is just now emerging, because I think that it is difficult to figure out without the idea of sexual orientation, which has really still becoming an open part of the dialogue in our society. People who want to discuss asexuality feel free to E-mail me djay@wesleyan.edu

-David Jay Asexual Visbility and Education Network http://djay.web.wesleyan.edu

Ben from the UK remarks:

I had no idea there was such thing as asexuality in humans! I was just curious about it so had a look round the net, didn't find much though!

Karen remarks:

I am always open to discussing asexuality because it feels so natural to be an asexual being. Check out my website: saintkaren.com or email

RapidDreamer@aol.com remarks:

Wow, Zoe, I must say this was an awesome article. Really really really really good. And I agree with everything you said, very much. I think it's time for us asexuals to make ourselves known.

Alex remarks:

I'm so glad that there are other asexual people out there. For a while it was getting frustrating to have to repeat the same conversations with people over and over:

"I'm asexual." "What does that mean?" "It's the opposite of bisexual." "Are you gay?" "No." "So you're stright?" "No." "...bi?" "Have you been listening to me? I'm asexual." "What does that mean?" "I already told you it's the opposite of bisexual - in other words, you do't go for boys, and you don't go for girls." "Why!?" "Because you have no sex drive." "Why?" "Same reason a heterosexual man wouldn't want to have sex with another man." "Yeah but... you have to have *some* sex." "No you don't." "Yes you do! It's like... essential for the species to stay alive." "I hardly think the absence of one or two children is going of affect the population of the plantet in a dramatic way." "You're weird." "That's your problem. Now bugger off."

I'm sure all other asexuals know how annoying that conversation can get. It's very frustrating when everybody automatically thinks that someone who isn't stright must therefore be gay. I'm a 15 year old girl and I've been asexual for nearly 2 years now, and I plan to stay so for the rest of my life. There may be an exception, one day, but I'll just have to wait and see what happens. A lot of people probably think that I'm just confused about my sexuality and I'm really gay or not interested in boys as of yet. I'd just like to say, I KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO!

Darwin remarks:

Well I was just informed of this form of "sexuality". I am a little confused about the idea. First off how can it be a sexuality, are you saying that you aren't attracted to anyone or are you saying that you aren't attracted to your opposite sex. Second i question the validity of this info. I can understand not being sexualy attracted to someone but i think it has something to do wiht psycology not sexuality. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with asexual individuals, I'm just saying it seems to be a chemical imbalance. Now you may ask why would i say that? Well if you bring human existance down to the basics, we are part of the animal kingdom and our species lives to procreate. You have mentioned that society revolves around sex well yes of course it does. Sure the world is overpopulated but that's where Darwinism (the fit survive) comes in not asexuality. I am an openminded person so i will leave room in my mind to believe that this is evolution at its finest, what i mean by that is that our species has evolved and created asexuals to regulate population. But i must stress that i'm only leaving a small percentage of possibility. Please contact me. My interest in this subject comes from the fact that a good friend has revealed his asexuality to me.

Amy remarks:

Zoe, THANK GOD!!! I honestly thought that my total lack of desire for either sex was a psychological abnormality. I can't tell you how relieved that there are other people who feel the same way. I heard something years ago in HS about Morrissey being asexual (not attracted to either sex), but in my searches since then have only been able to find references to plant and animal asexual reproduction. Nothing about human sexual preference. You can't imagine what a relief it is. I have to admit I am still "in the closet" about it though. No one would understand. I have not had a single date in almost 3 years and I am only 24. I am already getting a lot of questions about why I don't date and don't seem interested in getting married (apparently that should be my number one goal right now). I just tell people I am too busy to date. I don't know when (if ever) I will tell everyone my true feelings. Maybe when there is more out there about us. As society is right now, I don't think people see asexuality as a 'legit' preference. They assume something is wrong with you or something happened to cause you to feel that way. I am glad to have found this little group. I feel so much better.

Amy remarks:

Darwin, I understand that the basic biological goal of the species is to procreate, but that doesn't mean that there are no "abnormal" people. The majority of the population is heterosexual, therefore allowing the continuation of the species. A small percentage are homosexual, who do not (by their nature) procreate, yet you don't believe they don't exist, do you? Then why would you doubt that asexuals exist (who aren't attracted to either sex)? We just haven't been heard yet.

Jyrgen remarks:

Being a 27-year old man, it still feels a bit frustrating to see the sexuality being almost forcedly pushed to people from everywhere: Media, acquaintances and even friends or family. I've had some relationships with sexual people and yes, I have gone through the usual questioning by myself and others whether I am gay or bisexual or hetero, but never find out anything and even gone through some psychotherapy for finding out what were a problems with my sexuality, but nothing was found so far. I did not even know there is such thing as asexuality until I was 25.. Could you believe it really confused me, until I found out that was really me? Now I'm finally getting it managed by myself, but it still is non-understandable and even unbearable to some of my people to approve the fact that I have no interest in sex.

empfindsamer stil remarks:

I was very pleased to find this website. Like all the rest of the people on the message board, I am not interested in sex. I'm not going to go into great detail about my sexual history because it is very similar to the other people's experiences I have read. There was the typical "first kiss at sixteen" just like in storybooks which was very uneventful (even disgusting), and giving into peer pressure with a failed attempt at sex once while I was in college. I even dated a girl once thinking I might be gay, but after I found this site, I now know that there are more options besides being gay or straight. I didn't know I was abnormal until I learned that my thirteen year old sister is undergoing a great deal of sexual frustration and has a very strong libido. It's all she thinks about and she even has sexual dreams (something I've never experienced). My mother thinks there's something severely wrong with me and thinks I should see a shrink or get some other type of treatment. Personally, I think that the absence of sex in my life is incredibly liberating and it frees up my time considerably. I don't want "treatment" because I don't think there's anything wrong with being asexual. In fact, my lack of sex drive will facilitate my pursuit of a PhD. I can concentrate on my work without unnecessary distractions. Like many others, I am perfectly capable of loving another person and I do get lonely often, but I tend to push intimate relationships away out of instinct because I can sense that most men have a tendency to view women solely as sexual objects. I find that to be disconcerting. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me. We need our voice to be heard.

Moody Blues remarks:

You're right, everybody. The media is too packed with sexual innuendoes and blatant exploitation. I just watched K-PAX recently and I thought that Kevin Spacey's character had the ideal life. Sex is not pleasurable, thus the stress caused by sexual frustration does not interfere with one's daily routine. The meaning of life consists of a love of learning rather than a need to procreate. What a wonderful place Earth would be if we only took a few tips from K-Paxians!

Andrew Israel remarks:

I have been recruited to write an article on asexuality by my campus's Queer group. Not being Asexual myself, I have been seeking statements from asexuals. I was wondering if I might have permission to quote this article in my own. If you could email me, It would be appreciated

And for anyone who hasn't found it yet, Check out Yahoo clubs Haven for the Human ameoba. I think you may like it.

Michelle remarks:

After discovering a little bit about my sexuality, and then finding a name for it. I've decided it's probably asexuality! Thanks for making it more well known. I'm glad to be a member of this community.

After February 2002 ______________________________________________

anonymous remarks:

Another "Thank you, thank you; I thought I was the only one!" Somehow, having a label makes me feel better. At first I thought maybe I was a late bloomer. But puberty was over ten years ago (I'm 24) and I still have no desire to pair off with anyone. I have a rich and full life. It just doesn't include dating or sex. The way I see it, sexuality is like a bell curve. If there are extremely horny people (and there are), then some people have to be on the other extreme.

somebody remarks:

way to go... thanks

Athena remarks:

You're wonderful!!! I applaud and admire you. You dare to come out of the closet to your friends and family and by yourself while I'm still in hiding......

Medbh remarks:

I did enjoy your article, Zoe. But in response to the discussion, here... Um. I fully support asexuality as a state of being and celibacy as a choice, but I think one can assert such a neutral orientation without being hurtful towards those who Do find fulfilment in sexual activities, or who find beauty in that sort of romance. I do realise that asexuality is just beginning its journey towards being recognised, and that one should feel free to express one's opinions, but calling sexuality dirty is a little cruel, especially considering the amount of people who feel guilty about having strong romantic feelings for someone.

dia remarks:

i'm glad i found this site. i have always felt uncomfortable about sex..personally i find it disgusting and unnecessary..no sexual attraction to anyone ...male or female...thanx for being there..and letting me knowthat this is not part of a mental illness.

Jerrel remarks:

I don't understand how asexuality can have evolved (oh, that last word has been so abused!). Darwin's theory is not about survival of the FITTEST, people, it's quite literally about survival of those who can reproduce. If you don't live to reproduce, you can't pass on your genes. Therefore it is impossible that asexuality can have anything to do with Darwinism or evolution. Geez.

Tania remarks:

Im soo happy I found your article. Although I have been married for many years now, I have always felt as a asexual person. I never had a desire for sex, nor did I enjoy it when I allowed it. I really would LOVE to get in contact with other women who feel this way.

After June 2002______________________________________________

Jacqueline remarks:

I would classify myself as being asexual to some degree. I find both men and women attractive at times. However, I am only wildly attracted (in a hormonal way) to a very limited number of guys of which usualy turn out to be gay. Fat chance at them since I am a girl. I just ended the longest relationship of my life. That was a whopping 2 months. I had planned to wait until I was married, but I thought things were serious so I let him try to get me excited. He couldn't even get it in, not to mention his trying was just making me sore and tired. I was very excited about getting him turned on, but there was very little he could do to turn me on. I thought he was cute and nice, but that's it. I thought I could marry him, have his kids, and raise a family and I would have, but only because I've accepted the fact that I typically don't get hot and bothered. I think I am somewhat asexual because of that. I get bothered sometimes, but very rarely...say twice a year. That's not normal.

Frank Rodriguez remarks:

First of all, I just want to say that I admire you assexuals. Although, I am heterosexual, I wish that I could be free from my desire for sex and sexual relationships. I have two friends who are assexual, and I envy them. You're right when you say that you are free from all of the problems that a sex drive brings. You are free from heart break, free from longing for another, free from jealous quarrels with rivals who want the same person you do. Free from the financial concerns that people in relationships have. Free from becoming a nuissance to another human being. The only hope that I have is that some day, I will live to be so old, that I will no longer desire women. You have this ability now. Don't take it for granted. Live life, and love life.

David Jay remarks:

To all you who happen to be coming across this site, there's an online asexual community brewing at http://www.asexuality.org. Come by and check us out...

Lorraine remarks:

This was a really good article. In a way, I envy Zoe and other asexuals, for they are free of the burdens of love and sex and a lot of the pain that can go along with these strong emotions. While I am primarily heterosexual, there are times I feel rather asexual. Mostly now since my most recent boyfriend who clained that I had a "very high sex drive" (only because I was in love)recently left me with a broken heart, so now I feel nothing which is fine with me since I have other things to occupy my time with. I recently just found the site on Asexuality called "AVEN" Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which is very informative. There is a diagram which includes people who are straight, gay, bisexual, and asexual and it even shows the level of sex drive any of them can have. There is a comparison of music volume: Some people blast their music very loud, some sing and dance along with it, some turn it down and keep it in the background, and some turn it into static, which makes it uninteresting. A good analogy of degrees of sex drive, no matter what the orientation. I think that probably makes me a heterosexual with a low (or perhaps very selected) sex drive :) I'm glad that asexuals are finally getting acknowledged. I always knew there had to be people out there who didn't care much about sex. In today's screwed up, overly sexual society, they are truly the fortunate ones.

After August 2002______________________________________________

Janet remarks:

As a believer in the free world. I think every body has a right to do whatever they want irrespective of whether they are sexual or not. What we don't have the right to do is criticise other people's sexuality/lifestyle. If Asexuality is the best avenue in which to express you self then please knock yourself out but to go ahead and blame sexuality for every thing that's wrong in society is plain stupid. If someone wasn't sexual enough to make love and carry you in her womb for nine-months you won't be here in the first place to put up your website. True, love and sex are very strong emotions that you learn to deal with. "Learn" being the operative word. If asexuality is the means by which you avoid putting the effort into learning this, then don't blame other people who risk heartache and pain in the process of trying to learn. As far as I'm concerned the opinions of most of those who have written to this website are tending towards the selfish; wanting to live life free of responsibility for others but themselves. Your body is the greatest gift you have been given and to share it with someone truly worthy has the greatest results if you go about it the right way.

There is too much sex on TV? Yeah? Turn the darned thing off. It don't bite.

irene remarks:

i'm female, 21, a senior in college, and i always feel so lost when people talk about relationships, desires, etc. the second anyone says, "oh, he's hot," i start to get nervous because i don't know how to handle the conversation that i KNOW is coming. i usually chime in with noncommital nods, but eventually someone will say, "who do YOU have a crush on? you must want SOMEONE" and i have to make something up. i've never been in a romantic relationship (yup, 21 and never been kissed), and right now that upsets me a lot, because i feel so abnormal. i never feel attraction to anyone. right now i'm in a play where i have to be flirtatious, and i can go through the motions (giggle, wink, hip wiggle)but it's hard for me to understand why my character is acting the way she is. but i'm not entirely SURE that i'm asexual-- maybe i'm just repressed. (??) in any case i won't come out as asexual any time in the near future. my friends would label me as weird (well, they already have...) and my superconservative parents would take me to a shrink to try to "straighten" (ha ha) me out. i'm SO glad that there are others out there who don't experience sexual attraction... and i'm glad that this comment board is here so i can FINALLY express my feelings, even if it is only to strangers. :)

asexualapatheticagnostic remarks:

I love the little bit of information I can find online about asexuality because its so limited that its great to find someone else a part of this minority. Ive been claiming asexual for a long time and personally I love it.

Dan remarks:

I'm tripping on 5 grams of mushrooms. I don't know how i ended up here, reading every single post. All I know is this. You guys are even sketchier then my drugged up ass. I love the vagina. And the penis. I am asexual in the 4 seconds that follow a phatty orgasm. You guys are awesome. Best wishes to everyone here. Great article Zoe. I think it's what sucked me in to this great world that i know less than nothing about.

After October 2002______________________________________________

Kate remarks:

I just read every single comment.. I think the internet is so amazing because ten years ago never in your wildest dreams could you have found a community of people who were just like you including this topic.. I am sooo glad I am growing up in the Internet age, I'll tell you that much!

Irene - I would really love to talk to you. I can relate to you so much, that could have been ME talking!! I am soo excited but at the same time nervous (about what this could mean for me) to find out that there are people who are like me. I've never really felt attracted to either sex either, I've never been in a romantic relationship - and I always feel SO inferior when girls my age particularly my roommates say "He's hot!" *over* and *over* and *over* again. I watch Gilmore Girls for the clever ping pong verbal battles between mother and daughter-my roommates and half the rest of the dorm who happens to be there Tuesday nights watches it for the boy-girl relationships and oohs and aahs for 60 mins. I've felt so abnormal all my life because of this, it has always made me feel so different from everyone else!

Irene if you see this or any other person preferably teenage girls around my age (18) who wants to talk about this, email me.

After December 2002______________________________________________

Bex remarks:

Walk in the city. Sit down against a building. Watch all the bodies go by. "Striking shoulders. Ripe butt. Lovely hair. So masculine. So feminine". In bed at home. "I'd like to be in heart pounding situations with him... or is it her?" In a bedroom not my own. Being touched. Finding no reason to touch. A foreign language to me. "Your hunger is simply not in me." I fantasise. Yet, when sexual situations become reality at "worst" I do not recognise them, and at "best" I do not want them.

Rachel remarks:

It's been said many a time but I'll chime in with a "me too" just to be counted. I'm 22 and I've been married for just over a year now. I like sex, I like orgasm, but what turns me on is the touching and physical display of love between my hubby and I, not because I get horny or because I just look at him and get moist. There's no sexual attraction there. Thankfully, he's just about as asexual as I am, so he understands why I don't want sex very often (neither does he, so it works out). I've gone through so much stress from reading magazines like Cosmopolitan and watching TV, seeing billboard ads, etc., and understanding that I was supposed to find the model sexually attractive and therefore want to buy the product, but none of the models were sexually attractive to me. (Capitalism is another rant.) And I stressed out from friends commenting on how hot so-and-so is, and making lists of celebrities and other people who they could have guilt-free sex with if they ever met, or just who was most attractive, or building photo archives of their crush-of-the-moment. I felt so excluded because nobody they mentioned was attractive to me, and I couldn't think of anyone who was. I see some bodies as more aesthetically beautiful than others, but I don't want to have sex with any of them. I don't understand one-night-stands or drunken sex. I feel so excluded from society. I'm glad to find other people who are the same way, though it's difficult to be active and talk about something which by definition I don't care about. It would be like having a ribbon for apathy. But as someone already said, all the colors are taken anyway. ;)

remarks:

I have a really hard time beliveing all this nonsense about not wanting or needing human contact with the opposite sex. Is the fact you cannot bond or are not open to an honest and open realtionship with the opposite sex that you now create a new term asexuality. I find this extremely confusing that as humans we cannot open ourselves to having an intimate relationship. You know what - life is short have fun and stop analysing why you cannot find what you're looking for.

After March 2003______________________________________________

The Not-So-Average WoMBaT remarks:

...WOW. I just want to say...wow. I'm a 20 year old male and in all my life, I had no idea there were others out there like this. I thought I was alone in my lack of sexual interest in anything that was living. But I'm not sure if i'm purely asexual. I have a fetish (a weird but kinda cute one to boot) that get sexual stimulation from...but it dosent involve anything that is living. So what am I? I still don't have any interest in girls or guys (execpt for the relationship/beauty/romance aspect). It's weird. I would still think that I'm asexual. But I am strangely compelled to have a female partner, even though I am not sexual compelled to do so. I also want children eventually. Not because of the sexual implications, just because I really would like to have children. Does anyone else feel like this? Maybe it is just the "norm" that I grew up with in my mind that is compelling me to want to have a really good female friend and children. I dunno. Still not sure about myself. However, thanks to your article, I feel a bit better about who I am. It's about time somebody said something. Thanx Zoe!

I'll be honest, I have only skimmed them.

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Alot of this stuff I didn't even know about until now, Thanks Well done! :D

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What a great read and the comments from that article were mostly great, while the other's were a little frustrating. Haven't met anyone like that yet, but I hope I'm prepared to defend myself and of my asexuality from the people who think there's something wrong with me.

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Hello Hexaquark.

Thanks for an interesting and informative read!

Since you asked for feedback, I think a visual summary such as a timeline enhance your article. I understand that creating such a graphic is time consuming.

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Alot of this stuff I didn't even know about until now, Thanks Well done! :D

What a great read and the comments from that article were mostly great, while the other's were a little frustrating. Haven't met anyone like that yet, but I hope I'm prepared to defend myself and of my asexuality from the people who think there's something wrong with me.

Thanks!

Yeah the comments were interesting, this is back when everyone was a newbie to the asexual community!

Since you asked for feedback, I think a visual summary such as a timeline enhance your article. I understand that creating such a graphic is time consuming.

I'll bite:

brief.png

hahaha I don't even.

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Thank you for that. I learned a lot!

As for visibility, I was thinking as I read through it, that it would be nice to see an article like that in a newspaper or magazine or something. I have no idea how to make that happen, but it would be nice if it could!

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Wow! This is FANTASTIC! You deserve lots of :cake::cake::cake:!

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