In a society where people meet their significant others on dating apps, “Hook-Up Culture” is prevalent amongst college-aged individuals, and the phrase “Let’s keep things casual” defines many relationships. Although I am a firm believer in people expressing their sexualities freely, I do think we need to acknowledge that not all people experience intimacy in the same way we do.
Not everyone experiences sexual attraction, and if they do, it isn’t always as one would stereotypically picture it. People who are Asexual for example, experience little to no sexual attraction to other people.
According to Merriam-Webster, Asexuality is defined as:
An individual who does not have sexual feelings towards others, or doesn’t experience sexual attraction or desire.
Although Asexual individuals do not experience “sexual attraction” towards others, that doesn’t mean that are incapable of experiencing love by any means. Often times our society ties romance with sex, making both terms mutually exclusive which does a disservice to people who identify as Asexual. These individuals can still experience romantic feelings towards a person, but just not wish to engage in sexual activities with their potential partner.
Since our sexuality is known to be fluid in nature, there are certainly different “types” of Asexuality, and people who identify with certain aspects of sexuality but not others.
People who identify as Demi-Sexual, do not develop a sexual attraction towards someone unless they have formed a strong emotional bond with another person.
In contrast to this people who identify as Aromantic have no interest or desire for romantic relationships.
There are a dozens of other variations, and I encourage you to research them in your free time. I was surprised at how much I didn’t know and I’m sure there is a lot I have yet to come across.
College Culture, Movies, Televisions Shows, and Social Media have a habit of hypersexualizing relationships. I think it’s great that LGBTQ+ individuals are being represented more in television shows, etc, I think we should also think about those individuals who don’t enjoy sex- because they do exist and are a part of our society.
There are several tv shows that have represented asexuality through their characters, but I still think we could talk about it more. It’s something that doesn’t have to stop once we see it represented on our tv screens. It’s something we can choose to discuss more in class discussions or something to be mindful about when talking amongst friends.
Although I personally do not identify as Asexual, I do believe that intimacy comes in many different forms. Some of us may express love their sexual attraction, whilst others devote themselves to their partners without the use of physical touch. I think it’s important for us as individuals, especially with most of us being in college, to be aware of identities other than our own. It’s something that I myself have learned to be more accountable of and that I encourage others to be as well.