If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, asexuals seem like brothers and sisters from a distant solar system.
Western societies are gradually growing accustomed -- with varying degrees of comfort -- to the initials in LGBT, but what about A? On our show today we explored the idea that some people have no sexual orientation -- not because of a hormonal deficiency or a position on the autism spectrum or some buried childhood sexual trauma -- but because they don't have a discernable sex drive.
We know some people have higher sex drives and lower sex drives, so why are we uncomfortable with the notion that some sex drives are so negligible as to represent no factor at all in the lives of their owners? Asexuals have formed organizations to promote visibility. They have a flag. They march in parades. But they're a long way from any kind of mainstream acceptance. Meet them today.
You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @wnprcolin.
David Jay - Wesleyan University graduate, founder of Asexual Visibility and Education Network
Kathy Way - Middletown resident
Tony Bogaert - Professor of Community Health Sciences and Psychology, Brock University/author of "Understanding Asexuality"
Julie Decker (@swankivy) - Asexuality awareness author and educator
"Among the Asexuals" - "It's estimated that 1% of the world's population is asexual, although research is limited. Annette and others like her have never and probably will never experience sexual attraction. She has been single her whole life, something she repeatedly says that she is more than happy about. In a developed-world country, especially one where Christianity casts a long shadow over politics and the government, it's hard to see why not wanting to have sex would be a problem. But Annette has spent her life feeling misunderstood while simultaneously failing to comprehend what motivates those around her."
"I Hope You Get Raped" - "When Julie Decker was 19, a male friend tried to "fix" her by sexually assaulting her. 'It had been a good night,' said Decker, now 35 and a prominent asexual activist and blogger. 'I had spoken extensively about my asexuality, and I thought he was listening to me, but I later realized that he had just been letting me talk.' As she said goodbye to him that night, the man tried to kiss her. When she rejected his advance, he started to lick her face 'like a dog,' she said. 'I just want to help you,' he called out to me as I walked away from his car,' she explained. 'He was basically saying that I was somehow broken and that he could repair me with his tongue and, theoretically, with his penis. It was totally frustrating and quite scary.'"