March 11, 2008

Interesting article on asexuality

Hey guys,

Check this out. I read it today in the London paper and I think it is useful for those interested in asexuality and in resources for asexuals. The text is below and the link is here as well if you click on the title of this post. :)


Asexual desire is just another kind of love

by Luke Tebbutt. Tuesday, 11 March 2008

When Paul Cox and Amanda, from Camden, married last year, they continued their celebrations in their honeymoon suite. But they had no desire for some "alone time".

Instead, they played Scrabble with friends who brought sleeping bags to spend the night with them. They didn't have sex before marriage, and didn't intend to start that night. Paul, 23, an MSc anthropology student and Amanda, 22, a freelance journalist, are asexual.

Asexuality is a self-styled label of choice for people who are celibate. While this is nothing new, what is novel is the idea that these people can form a community with an official network. Paul and Amanda are members of Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), a forum where everything from non-sexual dating to how to tell your friends and family are discussed.

AVEN was set up in 2001 by 18-year-old American David Jay, who spent years struggling with his asexuality. "I wanted to reach out to people and create discussion, because I didn't see it getting talked about openly," he says. There are London meet-ups, websites in 11 languages and a membership of around 18,000, a figure that Jay says is "steadily increasing all the time".

Paul and Amanda met through AVEN two years ago when they were both living in New York.

Paul had just arrived for the final term of his anthropology degree and met Amanda through the forum. She offered to show him around the city. Since then they have only shared hugs and kisses.

"As friends, we had a chemistry straight away," says Paul, although both say their first encounter wasn't a date. Still, after three months of spending most of their time together, they admitted their relationship had become serious.

Paul says this helped affirm their partnership. "It was more of a commitment, rather than just spending all our time together." From then on, "it was a rare night that we didn't stay together," says Paul.

By May last year they were engaged and on 30 December they married with more than 100 friends and family attending. "Our reasons for marriage were no different from a sexual couple," says Paul. "Sex can be an important part of the relationship that leads to getting married, but it's not the part you're attempting to fulfil by getting married."

Even though they are celibate they still plan to have children. "We like the idea of adopting," says Paul, who is hopeful that his children will grow up with a greater awareness of asexuality.

"Eventually kids will learn about asexuality like they learn about homosexuality and bisexuality," he says. "Today's generation of asexuals had to go through a lot of confusion, not having had that."

The next AVEN London two-monthly meet-up is on 7 April,


icarus said...

cool! thanks for posting! ;-)

Ily said...

"Asexuality is a self-styled label of choice for people who are celibate."

That's actually wrong (sorry Luke)...asexuality and celibacy are very different. Asexuals have no desire for sex, whereas celibate people may or may not. It's odd that he messed up on something so basic. But, thanks as well for posting!

LukeT said...

It's Luke here, who wrote the article. Just saw this post, and I'm flattered that somebody picked up on the story. The celibacy bit was added in during the editing process (not by me). I was really clear that they are very different in my original piece, but somebody shortened a sentence and the mistake was made. It's been changed on the web version of the article (but, alas, not in the paper).