Asexual? Or just projecting?

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people on the internet who describe themselves as “asexual”. While I am aware people are actually asexual, I feel its kind of overstated on the internet.

I’m wondering if a lot of people who claim to be asexual are actually just projecting feelings of sexual frustration. Maybe they have a hard time articulating their sexual feelings. Or they have a fear of rejection. Because some of these supposed asexuals write/draw/obsesss over some pretty sexually charged media. It makes me think they do have sexual feelings, just a difficulty with coming to grips with them.

Heck, I could buy that for some small segment of the population, sex simply has no appeal. Of course, it’s reasonable to be suspicious of self-reported asexuals, just like self-reported sufferers of Asperger’s, but if that’s what they want to call themselves, no big deal.

Oh, sometimes men love women,
and sometimes men love men.
Then there are asexuals,
though some just say they’re kidding themselves…

Well, just for laughs, let’s say there are 500 billion mammals on Earth (mostly rodents). I personally am only sexually attracted to ~0.006% of them. Therefore an asexual is just someone who is attracted to 0.006% fewer mammals than me.

It’s like atheism. There of thousands of gods a monotheist doesn’t believe in. The atheist just believes in one fewer.

Stuck-up, are we? :dubious:

Yes. I’m very particular.

And possibly my math is wrong. Either way…

I’d say your math needs revision. An asexual is attracted to 100% fewer mammals than you.

It’s just mostly all those guys (mostly guys, I assume) who can’t get any, and don’t have a clue, so in their lonliness and frustration they convince themselves there’s nothing interesting there in the first place, like that fox that decided the grapes were sour because he couldn’t get them. It’s called cognitive dissonance (see the very first example mentioned in the “Examples” sections – yes, it’s the fox and grapes). So they spend their lives sitting home alone staring at The Straight Dope Message Board and maybe the occasional pics at (NSFW) a lot of them do have Asperger Syndrome after all.

Well, let’s say the asexual is attracted to 0.006 fewer percentage points of mammals than me.


I hate to be “one of them”, but here I am. Being “one of them”.

I don’t know how to prove that I’m not projecting or that I’m in denial or whatever differential diagnosis you can come up with. If you care enough, you just have to take my word for it. I don’t know what else I can say. And personally, I don’t care if anyone believes me. Ya’ll are nice and all, but your opinions aren’t that important to me.

I’m not an unattractive person or a loser. I have had lots of opportunities to hook up with someone romantically. But I have just never wanted to. And I always feel guilty about it too, because it is hard always rejecting people.

It’s funny because I haven’t noticed very many people claiming asexuality. Indeed, I am always amazed how many people seem to have a girlfriend or boyfriend (or at least claim to), especially those who seem so socially inept. I used to frequent a message board targeted to weirdos who aren’t generally “supposed” to have a significant other, and most of the posters were in relationships or they had ex’s. It always confused me.

I have never met another person in real life who is like me. Every adult I know right now is either currently involved with someone or is actively seeking to be with someone. So I’m not trying to be like anyone since I don’t know anyone like me.

It is not an enviable thing to be. Who would want to always attend social or family functions alone, to never have racy stories to tell, to have everyone in your family know you’re a virgin (you never told them, but they know it anyway and aren’t afraid to crack jokes about it :(), to never be able to really relate to other people’s drama. To have people ask you, “Hey, why don’t you ever talk about guys? What’s the deal?” And you just have to laugh and come up with something that doesn’t make you look TOO weird. If there is a badge of honor or coolness associated with asexuality, I haven’t experienced it. Maybe for guys it’s different.

There are also a few people who are functionally asexual out of an exaggerated fastidious sense. Sex is messy! (If done right…) “I just washed those sheets!”

What about people who have a mild phobia about, say, saliva? They don’t like kissing. They may still be sexual; they may love the idea of kissing! (They might enjoy closed-mouth kissing…) Some people have the same phobia-like revulsion to sexual fluids. Shrug.

There are a lot of people. This pushes the extremes of the bell-curve WAY out!

Don’t you just hate the ambiguity…?

I wouldn’t (normally?) describe myself as asexual, but you’re at least on the right track with respect to my own point of view. Functionally I am a straight male, enjoying the appearance of adult women whose physical and emotional characteristics lie within normal parameters; nothing seems out of whack for me. But frankly, no, I don’t want to have sex. It’s a messy, sweaty, awkward business, placing its participants in vulnerable positions, offering a nontrivial probability of life-altering consequences. S’not for me.

Now: I’ve been in a relationship for nearly twelve years with a woman for whom I have a considerable amount of love and affection, so I dispute the common notion that (say) I merely resent being alone or something. And I’m baffled by the notion, put forth in a relatively recent thread, that any man who doesn’t have sex with his SO must be secretly gay — and stringing along his “beard”.

What you describe isn’t projecting. Projection isn’t just denying one’s true feelings, but attributing them to others. For instance, a guy who claimed to be asexual but also claimed that attractive women were constantly making sexual overtures towards him might be projecting.

I can believe that some people who’ve never had sexual feelings of their own might become obsessed with sexy media either out of curiosity about a world that’s mostly closed to them or as part of an attempt to awaken sexual feelings and become “normal”.

It’s certainly possible that there are a bunch of people who are lying about being asexual, but it seems kind of unlikely to me. I’d bet that a lot of people have either never heard of asexuality or don’t believe it’s real, so it’s not like claiming to be asexual is going to earn one much sympathy.

Since sexuality is the “default”, I’d be willing to bet that there are more “sexuals” in denial than asexuals.

Yes, they do.

The biological substance of human beings has a sexual drive as part of their existence.

The terms a-sexual or omni-sexual or pan-sexual or hetero-sexual or homo-sexual, are all social attitude labels that have nothing to do with reality, or biology.

This is just so much crap!

For more than a year, I had little to no appetite. It was horrible because every meal was a chore. The smallest morsel would fill me up. I would spend hours planning meals that didn’t make me sick just thinking about them. I’m glad my appetite is back, because my life was kind of depressing during that time period.

Hunger, too, is a biological drive. But this doesn’t mean one can’t live without it and that is it essential for being alive. It makes life a challenge, but it’s not the “substance” of life. Whatever the hell that means.

Can’t imagine lacking a sex drive? Take some anti-depressants for awhile. Then report back to class how that “biological substance” is working for you.

We are complex systems. We are not single-cell organisms. A sexual drive requires a whole lot of things coming together, working just right. If one of those things falls out, then you may get someone who doesn’t really have a libido. Or maybe they do, but it’s so diffuse that it can be diverted into non-sexual activities (like creativity). If we can imagine hypersexual people, then it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine the opposite extreme.

It seems like some of the posters in this thread are the ones who are projecting. “Sex comes naturally to me, thus it is so for everyone else, and those who say otherwise don’t know what the hell they are talking about!” Just use that big ole brain of yours and try to think outside of yourself for a change.

I’m not saying there are no people who have wrongly identified themselves, for a variety reasons, but “asexuals” are not the only ones who fit in this category. Lots of young people may think they are asexual or gay or straight or whatever, and then they have an experience that teaches them who they really are. That doesn’t mean they are in denial or lying or whatever. It just means they are still learning about themselves. Just like everyone else in this world.

Interesting. Do asexual people masturbate? Is it just the “other people” aspect that doesn’t work, or does orgasm not appeal?

We need to first define if we’re talking about people being asexual biologically, or as an identification of sexual orientation.

Sexual arousal is a biological function - the brain reacts to stimuli and we know certain brain chemicals are associated with arousal.

There are people whose bodies do not react to sexual stimuli.

There are people who do react to sexual stimuli, but decide not to partake in the act.

Are both categories above asexual?

Exactly what I was trying to get at in my post. It isn’t that such persons (and I’m another) don’t have the feelings, it’s just that we have other feelings too, and there can be conflicts.

Sorry to verge into TMI territory, but some people only masturbate in order to “clear the pipes.” I’ve learned that ejaculation will occur, and if I don’t take care of it manually, under controlled circumstances, then it will happen unexpectedly, in the form of wet dreams, requiring laundering of the sheets. For me, it’s like brushing my teeth: it’s an hygienic consideration, not particularly pleasurable.

To tell the truth, no, orgasm doesn’t appeal. (I know damn well I ain’t normal!)