London: It’s called the fourth sexual orientation — men and women who are just not interested in having sex because they feel absolutely no physical attraction to other people.
The community of such people — called Asexual — is growing, with increasing demands that they be recognised as the fourth sexual orientation. Latest estimates put the community at 1% of the population.
In 2001, for the first time, the asexuals began the process of organising themselves when a website was launched, which was soon joined by over 50,000 followers from across the world. Since then, the community has become the focus of increasing attention. In July, the first non-academic conference to discuss asexuality was held at Southbank University, London.
Michael Dore, organizer of the World Pride conference, said: “We want asexuality to be recognized as a valid sexual orientation, rather than a disorder or something people have to hide.” Anthony Bogaert , a Canadian professor, defines asexuality as a complete lack of sexual attraction , and has just written a book on the subject, titled ‘Understanding Asexuality’ , according to The Independent. He says: “There are two forms: people who have sex drive, but don’t direct this drive toward others (so they may masturbate); and other people who have no sex drive.”
The books argues that a growing number of people consider themselves asexual.
He believes asexual people are “an under-studied population” who can feel excluded from our “very sexualized culture” . He says our society “can place expectations on both sexual and asexual people , but particularly asexual people” . The Independent reported that the asexual community is made up of people who define themselves as hetero-romantic , meaning they feel romantic feelings towards the opposite sex, though no sexual desire, homo-romantic , meaning they feel affection for the same sex, and bi-romantic.