The site was set up in the US in 2001 by David Jay to share his experiences and to create a public dialogue on asexuality.It now has a global membership of more than 80,000, and Jay has been working along with other activists to promote a greater understanding of asexuality as a sexual orientation.
Jenni believes a lack of understanding about asexuality leads to the poor treatment of many asexual women.
‘I know plenty of asexuals who have had their hormones checked because there’s this idea that not being interested in sex is something that needs to be fixed.’ ‘Five or six years ago, many in the medical profession considered asexuality a sexual disorder, much like erectile dysfunction or even a reaction to childhood sexual abuse, neither of which are the case,’ adds sexologist Bogaert.
‘The most common misconception is that I simply have a low libido,’ explained Kate when I admitted that I was struggling to understand the concept of a life without sex that wasn’t connected to religious or health issues. It’s not that I find sex repulsive, I’ve just never enjoyed it and I find it mind-numbingly boring and repetitive.’ Sexologist Anthony Bogaert, a professor at Brock University in Ontario and author of , offers this definition: ‘Broadly speaking, asexuality applies to anyone who has an enduring lack of sexual attraction towards others.
Some may have a level of sexual interest that’s not connected to other people, so they may still masturbate.
She went on to tell me that the hot Italian man she’d recently been seeing had been an experiment of sorts, her chance to confirm once and for all that she didn’t feel sexual attraction. Research suggests that one per cent of the global population is asexual.
That’s 70 million people who have no interest in the physical aspect of relationships, yet asexuality is still largely misunderstood.
For Kate, a PR executive with elfin good looks and a weakness for 50s dresses, art galleries and margaritas, there is no objection to someone potentially sharing her life, just not her bed.
Imagine a profile with the disclaimer ‘No sex required’ and you’ll get an idea of how tough dating as an asexual can be.
Thirteen years on, there are a number of asexual dating and social networks, including Acebook, Asexualitic, Asexual Pals and UK-based Platonic Partners, which boasts 6,000 members, aged 18 to 80. Strip away the coy sexual innuendo and it somehow feels more real than other dating sites.