What if you’re not into men or women?by Nick Sirianno, guest writer
Although it may seem like an unconventional topic for a college campus filled with post-pubescent hormones, asexuality shouldn’t be taken lightly. For most young adults, “sex sells” and this phrase certainly seems to apply to a majority of consumers. But what about the minority for whom sex is not enough?
When you live in an environment with the intense sexual charge of a small, insular college, it’s hard to believe that there are individuals for whom sex does not sell. By definition, asexuals are people who are not sexually attracted to others and lack the desire to engage in sexual activity. According to American biologist and founder of the Institute for Research in Sex, Alfred Kinsey, less than 5 percent of the world’s population is asexual. Considering the biological necessity of reproduction, it makes sense that this percentage is so low. Studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report that only 2.9 percent of adults reported not having sexual intercourse in five years or more. The lack of intercourse, however, does not necessarily equal asexuality. The people who considered themselves asexual did report being aroused by things and even people, but did not have any physical or sexual attraction.
So how do you know? Those of you who, throughout your young adulthoods, preferred to stay home and re-read Narnia or think of interesting words to spell using only numeric and periodic symbols might have discovered the definition of asexuality in your Scientific American and wondered if it might refer to you. But if you discovered your sex type by sacrificing a win in a game of Mario Kart by choosing Princess Peach or Donkey Kong solely because of your physical attraction to them, you’re not asexual—you’re just a nerd. For some of you, discovering your sexuality was as simple as falling in love after your first kiss. For most of us, however, it is more complicated. For those of you who are still wondering whether you like sex or not, you may just be waiting for the right person. But, while most of us are aware of the struggle to challenge expectations of heterosexuality, the difficulty of accepting a lack of sexual attraction altogether is rare and far less appreciated.
This is a time in college students’ lives when we have the chance to experiment. One aspect of college should be discovering what you want in your relationships. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to “knock boots” with every willing person we meet, but it does give us the opportunity to discover whether we have a sexual or nonsexual attraction to others and respect each other’s preferences. So, whether you’re homosexual, heterosexual, asexual, or confused, go out and picture your crushes naked, if only to understand more about yourself. If you’re caught staring down that special someone from your class, simply respond with, “I am doing a biology experiment, would you be interested in helping me with some research?” ∼