Asexuality is the invisible orientation. It’s generally assumed that “everyone” wants sex, that “everyone” understands what it means to be sexually attracted to other people, that “everyone” wants to date and mate. But that’s where asexual people are left out: they describe themselves as not sexually attracted to other people, or may say they find sex uninteresting. If and when they say so, they are very rarely treated as though that’s okay.
When an asexual person comes out, alarming reactions often follow: loved ones fear that an asexual person is sick, or psychologically warped, or suffering from abuse. Dismissive people confront asexual people with accusations of following a fad, hiding homosexuality, or making excuses for romantic failures. And all of this contributes to a discouraging master narrative: there is no such thing as “asexual.” Being asexual is a lie or an illness, and it needs to be fixed.
With an estimated 1% of adults feeling “no attraction either to males or females” (based on a large survey from Britain in 2004), that’s a lot of asexual people floundering in a confusing world. Hit repeatedly with messages that they are either broken or nonexistent, asexual people can experience high levels of stress and despair, looking for an answer to the mystery of why they don’t feel attracted to others the way society says they should.
With this book, I intend to take a look at asexuality in an authentic way by covering the questions and issues that both asexual and non-asexual people might have about asexuality. It’s designed to cover what asexuality is and isn’t, discuss the types of asexuality and how asexual people’s relationships look, examine the asexual community and its relationship with the queer community, and counter/address the many misleading and damaging messages that society perpetuates about asexuality.