Asexuality: an orientation, not a trouble!

Asexuality may seem suspicious all the more in our time of sexual liberation. Contrary to abstinence which is a choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation like the others. Zoom on the asexuals and the desire not to make love, with the investigation carried out by the Doctor in philosophy Peggy Sastre

Asexual robot portrait

"Asexuality is not a choice!" Supports Peggy Sastre 1, determined to remove the confusion between this community and the abstinents who position themselves against a hyper-sexualized society. In the same way as heterosexuality, homosexuality, or even bisexuality, asexuality would indeed be a sexual orientation in its own right. An affirmation that validates the site AVEN 2, the mutual aid network of asexuals.

Asexuality, between science and culture

Asexuals do not deprive themselves! "They do not feel the need or the desire to have sex with others, and do not suffer," explains Peggy Sastre, after his investigation. That does not prevent them from falling in love, of course, nor to be couple. Not experiencing sexual desire does not necessarily mean that their sexuality is nil, only that they can do without it. However authorizing it is not so simple, in doubt one of the reasons why as few people are identified asexual. The investigator recalls that according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), asexuality is a sexual dysfunction between hypoactive sexual desire disorder and impairment or absence of imaginative sexual fantasy. The pressure of the entourage, also, starting with the spouse who does not see a very good eye with such a weak libido, is real, causing many simulations.

More than a quest for the reasons behind this disinterest, Peggy Sastre attempted rather to identify some traits in common. "Asexuality can be coupled with a kind of contact phobia" according to her. For some, in fact, physical intimacy and the body as a whole are surrounded by a real disinterest. As Nicole 17 years: "I always felt very embarrassed with physical contact". As for the sexual relations, Nicole always wonders when it will end. Another trait common to asexuals is the feeling of forcing themselves when they are in a couple to please the other or for fear of being rejected as abnormal. It is the case of Oriane 20 years, who although she has sexual intercourse with his spouse for "that it does not have to undergo its absence of desire". The a-phantasmagoric dimension is also often present in asexuals. "They report having little or no sexual fantasy, as a kind of" empty box, "noted Peggy Sastre during his interviews.

To summarize, the investigator pointed to the non-voluntary dimension of an inclination that is there, but it is not clear where it comes from. And if there is choice, it is indeed that of not forcing oneself to leave on a path that does not attract them.

While the scientific evidence to determine the origin of this behavior remains very deficient, history shows that asexuality has always existed. Except that she had not seen so much shielding up until then. The fault is undoubtedly the sexual climate that has taken place since the 1970s as a "period of general excitement", pointing at those who would not be part of this sexual revolution.
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Be that as it may, from a psychological point of view and from human behavior, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New York Leonore Tiefer 3 states that "sex is a cultural and historical phenomenon, There is no normality of reference on which to universally define a disorder ". As such, the emergence of this current, more than the expression of a profound change in our society, raises the question of the obligation to have a desire to make love ... or not. Code>


1 - No sex. To desire not to make love., De Peggy Sastre, Ed. (Beneath the veneer: the disorder of the past and future of sexual medicine (2007) The Musardine, 200 pages, Price: 13 euros, 2 - The Asexual Visibility and education network