SEXUAL DESIRES ARE A-OK…and if that statement still confuses you, check out our article here that explores the concept of 'Sex Positivity'. If you haven’t picked up, the sex positive movement is a liberating concept that normalizes ALL inherent sexual inclinations and behavioral, choice-based sexual activity, which take place safely and with consent.
For many, this is a contradictory idea that challenges the boxes and labels our society has indoctrinated in us. Labels that define what is good and what is not, thus taking away our freedom of choice and ostracizing those who intrinsically 'don’t fall within the pre-defined four walls.' But we’re beyond that. So, what if I told you, just as sexual desires are A-OK, so are A LACK OF sexual desires. Yup, you read that right: not feeling any or low sexual attraction/desire is also OK. Confused yet? Read on!
Asexuality is an innate sexual orientation where in a person feels little or no want/need for sex. In some cases, individuals don't feel emotions of sexual attraction to others. (Feelings which, by the way, aren't something we choose - just like we never choose to feel happy or sad!) Asexuality is simply an intrinsic part of a person, not a choice. As with each of our own very individual sexual identities, asexual people may/may not find others aesthetically attractive, may/may not feel the need for romantic relationships and may/may not engage in other forms of physical contact. Our individual experiences of sexuality doesn’t nor should it have generalized rules for each unique being.
Often, many people who are naturally asexual, are left feeling 'abnormal' or 'sick', because of a haze of misinformation surrounding it, propagated by popular culture. So let’s clear the air first:
- Asexuality is NOT, a choice. Like any other sexual orientation, it’s simply a characteristic that defines who/what we are inclined towards.
- Asexuality is not the same as sexual dysfunction. Many see a lack of sexual drive as a symptom of a disorder, an abnormality. Typically for asexual people they face much distress NOT from their lack of sex drive, but from the 'dysfunctional label' our society has slapped on them. At the end of the day, as long as sexual avoidance is not a choice you make due to trauma/fear and a lack of sex drive is a non-issue that you’re okay with it…No one else should make you feel “abnormal”!
- Asexuality is not the same as celibacy. Though contradictory to mainstream thought, this is a pretty logical statement (if you think about it!) Celibacy = You have a sex drive, but choose to not indulge in sexual interaction. It is a behavioral choice to abstain from marriage/emotional or romantic relationships as to avoid sex, even though celibates have sexual desires.
- Asexuality=intuitive preference, a feeling we don’t control and not a behavioral choice. The lack of a sex drive is simply a part of us.
- Asexuality, like any orientation, cannot practically adhere to strict, pre-defined characteristics that everyone can naturally follow, nor is there a set of 'rules' one should follow. As long as you are not harming yourself or others, no one should tell you how to live your life - “YOLO”
So what was the point of throwing these significant but thesis-worthy facts at you? To highlight that asexuality is essentially not the weird dysfunction mainstream media has made it out to be! If people can like penises, vaginas, men, women, transgenders, and every sexual preference in between; Why can’t people NOT like anything too!
Sex Positivity celebrates the choice to have sex as well as the choice not to have sex. Why? Because it’s not the kind of sex we’re celebrating, but it’s the freedom of choice (free from ostracizing judgment) that we’re celebrating!
Sex positivity is all about owning our sexual desires – however much or less they are present. To embrace a more liberated, responsible and Sex Positive sexual culture it’s time we recognise that sexual desires are a-ok as are a lack of them. What it comes down is that: whether you identify as heterosexual, homosexual, asexual; whether you are biologically a man who has chosen the female gender or vice versa; whether you’re into BDSM or dressing up; whether you’re a single woman having frequent sex, or a single man who rarely has sex- the idea is that as long as your choices are SAFE, CONSENSUAL and most importantly – YOUR CHOICE, no one should stop you from owning your sexual identity with pride.
So, honour yourself, embrace the liberation, shed oppressive and dictated 'rules' and… you keep doing you with unapologetic satisfaction!
Written by Nidhi Gopalan. Nidhi studied Acting at NYU and is currently finishing her degree in Social Work in Bangalore. Nidhi loves cooking, meeting new people and changing her hair colour once in a while. She writes awesome blogs and makes sure the Lovetreats team gets enough vitamins and antioxidants.