Asexuality: A life of Loneliness or Just Normalcy?

`Asexuality. Is it a real thing? If so, what does it actually mean?

In an article by David Jay in American Sexuality Magazine, he explains what asexuality is, and how a person can have a satisfying relationship while identifying as an asexual individual. Jay should know—he’s speaking from first hand experience.

“One of the quirks of being asexualâ€? Jay says, “is that classifying and prioritizing relationships becomes a mite tricky.â€? In his article, Jay explains how he sees himself as a bit of an ‘intimacy ho’. Unlike some asexuals who prefer a solitary lifestyle, Jay admits to desiring relationships (sans the sex) from many, many different people.

Upon learning early on that a meaningful relationship had to include sex, Jay rebelled. There had to be a way, he thought, to feel what he wanted to feel without the socially inflicted constraints.

“It wasn’t long before my close friendships started to look and act like dating, and it wasn’t much longer until they broke away from that and started to become something else entirelyâ€? he writes. “Relationships, I realized, can be fun, in much the same way that I imagine sex is fun for sexual folk. New types of pleasure started popping up all over, and it seemed like there would never be time to explore them all. They ran the gamut—from the intellectual to the physical, from the deeply empowering to the utterly frivolous.â€?

Jay makes a rather revolutionary argument about intimate relating when he states “when everything else works, sex just isn’t as importantâ€?, completely flying against everything we’ve come to learn about why we fall in love with certain people and are just friends with others. Considering how much we focus on sex in this country, I’m not sure I believe the argument he makes about its inconsequence, but I’m willing to listen, because it’s a statement you almost never hear—especially coming from a man.

On Jay’s website,, he tries to further educate the public about his rare sexual condition. Asexual people feel attraction, he writes, and what’s more, some even feel arousal.

“For some sexual arousal is a fairly regular occurrence, though it is not associated with a desire to find a sexual partner or partners. Some will occasionally masturbate, but feel no desire for partnered sexuality. Other asexual people experience little or no arousal.â€?

Jay is very nonchalant in both his personal article and website, seeming perfectly happy in his body and desires. I’m not sure what I imagined when I heard the word asexual, but the picture certainly didn’t include a happy-go-lucky personality. Because I’m decidedly not without sexual desire, the personality accompanying my imagined thoughts was depressed, confused, and for some reason, completely miserable. Obviously, Jay proves this isn’t the case. Most likely I was doing what any sexually charged Twenty-Something would do when urged to consider such an orientation: projecting my own feelings of sexual frustration onto a individual who’s never had to go through such torture.

I don’t think I’d ever want to trade places with David Jay, and I doubt he’d ever want to trade places with me. What you grow up feeling is who you are, who you’re comfortable with, and who you’ll always want to stay. Jay may never be able to understand the amazing feeling of being intimate with someone he cares about, but he’ll also never have to suffer the stupid mistakes a libido can cause.

Other than the sex thing, Jay and I don’t seem so different. We’re optimists, enjoy spending time with lots of different people, and don’t mind examining ourselves for the reading pleasure of others. Someday we’ll both fall in love, albeit differently, and the person we fall for is going to be okay with our character complications.

Hopefully you’ll find someone who doesn’t mind cuddling for hours and nothing more, Mr. Jay. Hopefully I’ll find someone who doesn’t mind my penchant for eating popsicles for dinner while watching horrible TV. Either way, I wish us both luck.

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