Contrary to popular belief, asexuals are not repressed homosexuals, products of sexual trauma or people with physical disabilities around performance or sex, but absolutely normal individuals who experience little, or no sexual attraction to other people. They are also a part of the sexuality spectrum, even though they happen to be the least spoken about. However, that does not exclude them from being misunderstood and the silence around the subject doesn’t help demystify what the world believes them to be. Here are some of the common myths surrounding them:
It’s nothing but a choice!
For the nth time, Asexuality (ASE) is NOT a choice. Just like homosexuality or bisexuality is not a choice, asexuality too is something one is born with or feels deep within as an integral part of themselves.
It can neither be chosen nor be changed.
They know nothing of love. They are incapable of it
Wrong again! They are very much capable of it. There are a good number of asexual people who may indulge in sex or physical intimacy. Barring that part, everything about their lives is as normal as anyone else’s. Romance is very much a part of asexual existence. It’s only the sex bit of it that they don’t give themselves to.
So, is it celibacy then?
The most important part of being celibate is abstinence. Which means there is a ‘choice’ factor involved. Celibate people are also the kind of people who are very much capable of having sex, or maybe feel like having sex. But because of religious reasons, or say certain ideological demands, they may choose not to do it. But with asexuals, that’s not the case. They just don’t feel like having sex. That’s all.
Some say, they are the scared lot of the Closet Cases
Well, if they had to remain in the closet, they would not come out as ‘asexuals’. They are not scared to admit their orientation as asexuals. Just like gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders exist, asexuals too are very much real. There aren’t second thoughts about it.
Related reading: Why intimacy is as important as the act itself
Then, they could be victims of sexual abuse?
Some think that asexuals could be victims of sexual abuse, because it’s assumed that they hate sex or are absolutely averse to it. But that’s not the case. Asexual people are not averse to sex, or in any way repulsed by it, but they aren’t interested in indulging in it, for they cannot feel it. While anyone could be a victim of sexual abuse, assuming that asexuals are disinterested in sex because they are victims of sexual abuse is nothing but a poor misconception.
It’s a phase that will go away, or otherwise can be fixed
Parents of such people, much like the parents of gays, lesbians and trans people, may like to assume that it’s probably a passing phase. There might be some other reason for which the disinterest towards sex seems to exist – physical or psychological. If it doesn’t go away, then it can be fixed like any other ailment at a doctor’s place. But unfortunately that’s not what asexuality is in reality. It’s a very permanent trait of one’s identity and sexual orientation.
It doesn’t fade away or improve. For there is nothing to fade away or improve.
It remains the way it is, and requires no fixing!
Something causes it
Even people at the mental health department may try to decipher that asexuality may be caused by something else. They cannot take it at face value, that it may exist as a natural part of the sexuality spectrum. But it’s high time that professionals respect such choices and not probe further into changing these people into interested individuals. It’s nothing but an outright violation of their life choices.
At the end it’s about “They can’t have SEX”
Like all other people, asexuals too have fully functional genitalia. Their physiology and anatomy is intact. Therefore they are capable of achieving orgasm and are capable of being intimate in bed. Everything is in order for them and they can have sex very well. In fact, some of them do try. It is to be remembered that being asexual is only the lack of sexual attraction and has got nothing to do with their sexual ability.