Friday, October 22, 2010

Being asexual

A few days back, Internet denizens and the world in general made "purple" statements in support of homosexual and other youth living a bullied existence in our wonderful public school system.  The wake of numerous suicides due to bullying has focused a spotlight of great magnitude upon the subject.  For now anyway.  The same thing happened after the Columbine shootings (even though they really weren't related to bullying) and the light dimmed fairly quickly after that.  Of course homosexuals aren't the only ones at risk for taunting and bullying, there can be any number of factors that could set someone up for it.  Among them is being transgendered, or feeling as if you've been trapped inside the wrong sex. 
This got me thinking.  How many true asexuals might there be out there?  Not just youth, but people in general who legitimately have no interest in sex?  It would make sense that we've grown at least a fractional population of such humans.  These people would serve as automatic population controls, so it would make sense from an evolutionary perspective. They probably should have thought about this in Logan's Run instead of the cockamamie scheme they came up with.  After a bit of digging around, I found this site, The Asexual Visibility and Education Network. 
This is an organization formed to both support asexuals and to educate the public at-large about just what it means to be asexual.  As taken from their web site:

"An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research."

In other words, asexuals are not aberrations in nature.  They are pretty much just like anyone with the exception that they don't feel the need for sexual expression.  You might be surprised to read this, but I don't think that's such a bad way to be.  I especially gave this thought during those years of teen angst when I felt ugly and unlovable, yet was urged on by hormonal drives to perpetuate the species and therefore destined to get rejected over and over again.
Heterosexual men tend to think about sex a lot (perhaps homosexuals do too, I don't know.)  It's just something that nature has us wired up to do.  Those of us that have depression, Tourette's,  or other such mental afflictions, also have the added benefit of an unregulated brain chemistry.  This brings about not just sadness but at times a libido that is in hyperdrive.  Now and then I wonder what would happen if that aspect of us could be switched off.  With greater mental bandwidth available, imagine the focus we could have and the things that could be accomplished?
So I wonder what happens to truly asexual youth in our schools.  With so much pressure for sexual status, with a media that blitzes sex into their eyeballs all hours of the day, with pharmaceutical companies promising "there's a pill for that," they probably feel like there's something wrong with them...when in fact there isn't.  I can only imagine the inner turmoil and the set-up for conflict.  In time, we may see more and more social issues surrounding asexuals and I wonder if we're prepared to adequately deal with them.

Speaking of pills, when can I get one for super creativity?

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