Asexuality: The 4th Sexual Orientation?
What if sexuality was removed from the equation?
I remember being 13-years old, standing in a garden at sunset while being kissed by a boy I liked for the first time. I had butterflies in my stomach and a sudden wave of dizziness washed over me. Lightheaded, giddy, overheated…I was definitely experiencing the first moments of what it felt like to be in love. Well, what I thought was love. It was more like puppy love (or a 13 year old’’s version of good old-fashioned lust.)
We’ve all felt that rush. Well, we assume we have all felt that at one point or another. Whether you identify as gay, straight, or bisexual, we surmise that everyone has felt physical attraction towards another person at some point in their lives. Yet, according to some scientists, there is a fourth sexual orientation in humans, asexuality, which debunks the myths that we are all sexual creatures and that sexuality is fundamental to being human.
“Asexuals are people who do not experience sexual attraction… Asexuality is an intrinsic part of who they are and is not a choice”, according to AVEN, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.
In order to explain the basics of asexuality, Kristen Scherrer published an article about asexuality in the journal, Sexualities, in 2008. Utlizing AVEN, Scherrer was able to secure 102 asexuals who agreed to answer open-ended questions about their sexual orientation and how it relates to different aspects of their lives.
Many participants in Scherrer’s study stated that they did not experience sexual desire or attraction. One woman said this:
“I am sexually attracted to men but have no desire or need to engage in sexual or even non-sexual activity (cuddling, hand-holding, etc.)”