“I’ve already got a friendship that feels a lot like my ideal relationship. We have a ton of common interests…We laugh, we think the same, we never fight or cause any burdens to each other…That’s all I want, just great friendship. I don’t need attraction or anything physical.”
Scherrer isn’t the first to explore asexuality, however.
Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the realm of human sexuality research, did not pay too much attention to asexuality, but there was an acknowledgement that it existed (even thought it didn’t fit on the Kinsey Scale.)
In “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female,” he explored the idea of asexuality and identified the category as people who “do not respond erotically to either heterosexual or homosexual stimuli, and do not have overt physical encounters with individuals of either sex in which there is evidence of any response.”
In other words, some people just don’t like sex.
So, does this extend to cuddling with someone, romancing another person, or masturbating? Some say yes, some say no.
Another participant in Scherrer’s study had the following to say about masturbation:
“I do not have any desire to have sex with another person. I masturbate at times but I don’t connect it with anything sexual. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but it’s just something I do every now and then.”
Some stated that they enjoyed cuddling and being romantic, while others had no desire for that, either. It seems as though asexuals are as rich and varied a community as the heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual communities, as well.
While asexuality may seem unnatural to some, it probably only feel that way because it challenges what we assume to be shared experiences by us all. By showing that there are a large group of people who do not feel any sort of sexual attraction conflicts with our shared notion that sexuality is a given and what defines our humanness.
By expanding our definition of what it means to be in a romantic relationship, we can expand our minds and open our hearts to the idea that there are many ways to love, many ways to live, and many ways to experience intimacy that don’t involve getting sweaty between the sheets.
Natalie Bencivenga explores the world of love and relationships on twodaymag.com.