Asexuality and other misunderstood “conditions.”

Once in a while (not all that often) I get someone who wonders if they are asexual. These are people who usually do not experience sexual attraction to anyone (male, female or other) and most notably, feel fine with that. In other words, it’s not like they are feeling sadness or loss about not feeling sexual. They have never felt sexual and that feels just about “right” to them. As with everything else sexual, there is so much we don’t know or understand about people who live in the margins, who don’t feel or act like the majority of us. And there is always a tendency to judge these people and say that “there is something wrong with them.”

A lecturer from Stanford University is trying to change that. Karli Cerankowski and her co-editor, Megan Milks, recently published Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, the first collection of essays on asexuality – and the second book ever to be written on the topic.

Cerankowski says that “if we recognize the diversity of human sexuality, then we can understand that there are some people who just don’t experience sexual attraction or have a lower sex drive or have less sex, and that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them.”

I don’t pretend to know a great deal about asexuality. Really none of us do. But Cerankowski is trying to understand it, categorize it (there may be a number of types of asexuals) and appreciate the pleasures that may work as a substitute for sex in certain individuals. To read more:

There is no question in my mind that just as we, as a society, became aware that homsexuality is not a dysfunction but rather a personal experience, over time we will come to understand the underpinnings and value of asexuality.

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