“It’s sort of like I’m surrounded by a huge feast with everything I could want to eat but I am not hungry”
If you recognize where the above line is from, Congratulations! You just forfeited your internet privileges.
And if you did not recognize it, Congratulations to you too!! You live under a rock.
All jokes aside, this article will aim at educating the reader about the A-word. A word that is rarely spoken. A word that, for the longest time, was not in the dictionary. A word that is brushed off as “stupid and fake”. A word that was once regarded as a mental disorder. All this rich history for a mere word, but what is the A- word?
The word we are talking about here is- Asexual. Asexuality is when a person has little to no sexual feelings, towards anyone. The physical aspect of love is a foreign concept to them. “Sex just doesn’t do it for them”.
Just like with any other sexuality, Asexuality is on a spectrum too. There are a lot of asexual people who choose to engage in sexual intercourse with their partner. There are a lot of asexual people who want nothing to do with sex but want to fall in love and have a pure romantic relationship. Asexuality has a lot of nuances. There is, as such, no right or wrong way to be asexual.
However, it is vital to understand the main difference between celibacy and asexuality (the two are often interchanged and used as synonyms when they are very different).
Celibacy is a CHOICE, asexuality is not.
One chooses to practice celibacy, one cannot choose to become asexual. To equate the two is simply incorrect and frankly is a tight slap on the face to asexual people. We are talking about a sexuality here that was regarded as a mental disorder up till 2013. Moreover, asexual people have always been pushed to the side when it came to their sexuality, even by their own community.
While the LGBTQIA+ community has made strides in educating the general public about homosexuality and transgender people, it has done very little for asexuality. In the community which has somewhat become a monolithic structure, Gay men handle the steering wheel, Lesbians act as the co-driver, Transgender and Bisexual people act as passengers and asexual people are still waiting in the scorching heat on the sidewalk by the road, waiting for somebody to give them a lift.
It is not just a lack of representation that is the problem. It is the stigma surrounding the topic. We, sadly, still live in a world where there are people who proudly profess their hate for gay people and think being transgender is the devil’s work.
When one doesn’t understand something, they naturally start disliking it. Representation goes a long way and acts as a springboard for providing a platform to talk about difficult topics such as sexualities. Shows like ‘Sex Education’ (The quotes used are from the same) have done a wonderful job depicting sexualities other than just the “norm” that has been in place for hundreds of years and have also accurately depicted asexuality.
Asexuality is not a new fad, it is not a trend that people follow just because they want to- it is a reality for so many people who have been in the dark for way too long.
Asexuals have always gone to bed alone, it is now time that they go to bed with other people.
That is, in a completely non- romantic, platonic way.
This post has been written by Dhruv, IInd year