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Article: Asexuality: everything you need to know about this sexual orientation

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Asexuality: everything you need to know about this sexual orientation

Asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by an absence of need to have sexual relations with a partner. We tell you more.

Asexuality: what is it?

We speak of asexuality when a person feels no (or little) sexual attraction to others. Far from clichés, asexuality is not an illness but a sexual orientation.

No distaste for sex for asexual people, also called Aces. They may feel desire, more or less rare, without wanting to satisfy it, satisfy it from time to time or practice masturbation . The spectrum of asexuality is quite broad.

Asexuality is different from abstinence. The latter is in fact a choice and not an absence of desire. We also distinguish aromantism, which can be combined with asexuality but consists of not feeling romantic attraction for others.

An injunction to sex?

Sex is omnipresent in our society. Whether we no longer even pay attention to it or whether we combat hints of sexism, we find it in advertisements, in films, in music videos, in our conversations with our friends around a glass of wine … Difficult to cut it. So it's not always easy to find your place if you don't recognize yourself in this pattern.

Sex is seen as a rite of passage, the loss of virginity frequently comes up in discussions. And if you have little or no sex, people quickly try to understand what's "wrong": trauma, overly strict upbringing, prudish side... Aces have heard it all.

Freer speech

Today, the debate is gradually opening up and the Aces are speaking out. This involves in particular the work of activists like that of Aline Laurent-Mayard, who talks about the liberation that her asexuality brought her in the podcast Free From Désire . 

Interviewed by the media Nylon, she discusses the difficulties that Aces can encounter: “ asexual people suffer enormously, the suicide rate is the second highest after trans people. There is no visibility, but repeated injunctions and attacks, punitive treatments for those who defy the normative dimension of the couple and the libido. »

We also talk about asexuality in the documentary on Arte, La vie en face . Many people tell their stories and testify about what sex means to them. For example, we discover the story of Jérémy and Coralie, a couple who flourish in a relationship without any sexual relations. “ What I find strange is that we can conceive of sex without love but we cannot conceive of love without sex ,” notes Jérémy in the show.

On the celebrity side, Drew Barrymore recently shared her story on her blog , confessing that she hasn't had sex since her divorce in 2016. The actress clarifies that she doesn't hate sex but that it's simply not not her priority in her life as a single mother. “ So I’m not a person who needs sex and needs to go out and meet people that way. Relationships with men haven't been my priority for a very long time. Some people may exit a marriage or relationship and jump back into another relationship at short notice. There's nothing wrong with that! Not at all. I do not judge ! I salute their journey! Indeed, for some people it really works. It didn’t work for me,” she wrote.

What if we suffer from it?

If you suffer from this lack of desire or, on the contrary, from the way society views it, it is possible to seek help from a psychologist.

Indeed, if asexuality is not an illness, as soon as the person suffers from this situation and would like to have relationships without power, it is important not to lock oneself into solitude.

And if you do not suffer from your asexuality but from the prejudices that others may have on this subject, psychological follow-up can also be liberating to gain perspective on how people see you. Nothing is more intimate and personal than your sexuality, and only you can know what suits you!

Nina Ristori

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