A Guide to Understanding Asexuality

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By Ozy

Do asexuals read romance novels? Watch pornography? Read stories with oversexualized, click-bait headlines? These are the kinds of mysteries that even a devoted fan of the famously sexless Sherlock Holmes would love to have investigated. And though it may not be elementary, dear Reader, thanks to a decade’s worth of new research into asexuality, we no longer need a Sherlock Holmes to deduce the answers.

In a new review article and in his recent book Understanding Asexuality, Anthony Bogaert, a psychology professor at Brock University and a leading authority on asexuality, goes over some of the key insights scientists recently have learned on the subject, including why asexuality is so important for understanding the broader spectrum of human sexual behavior. Bogaert defines asexuality simply as “a lack of sexual attraction” or “lustful inclinations” toward others, and estimates:

Do asexuals read romance novels? Watch pornography? Read stories with oversexualized, click-bait headlines? These are the kinds of mysteries that even a devoted fan of the famously sexless Sherlock Holmes would love to have investigated. And though it may not be elementary, dear Reader, thanks to a decade’s worth of new research into asexuality, we no longer need a Sherlock Holmes to deduce the answers.

In a new review article and in his recent book Understanding Asexuality, Anthony Bogaert, a psychology professor at Brock University and a leading authority on asexuality, goes over some of the key insights scientists recently have learned on the subject, including why asexuality is so important for understanding the broader spectrum of human sexual behavior. Bogaert defines asexuality simply as “a lack of sexual attraction” or “lustful inclinations” toward others, and estimates:

About

1%

of the general population is asexual. By way of comparison, about

1.6%

of Americans identify as gay or lesbian, according to one recent survey.

And humans are hardly alone in the animal kingdom when it comes to sexual variability: Researchers, for example, often classify lab rodents as being “studs” or “duds” according to their levels of sexual interest.

“Duds,” however, is a serious misnomer when it comes to asexuals. Their equipment works just as well as anyone else’s does. They do, however, demonstrate lower levels of sexual desire. “As one might expect,” Bogaert tells OZY, “asexual people fantasize at a lower rate than sexual people. Indeed, a significant percentage have never fantasized.”

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