Episode 15: Asexuality!

After fixing a problem with garbled audio, we’re back!

Greetings, listeners! It’s been a while—a family emergency called Franklin away, but we’re back with a new episode, just (barely) in time for Asexuality Month!

In this episode, we talk about the many flavors of asexuality. We chat with Kitty about the broad range of attitudes, drives, and behaviors that fall under the asexuality spectrum, which, when you get down into the weeds, is really more a three-dimensional graph than anything else. Turns out asexuality is complicated; who knew?

Transcript below.

Franklin: Welcome back to The Skeptical Pervert, where we take a rational, evidence-based look at sex! I’m your host, part-time mad scientist, and this show’s spontaneous-libido representative, Franklin! 

Joreth: I’m your kinky, sopo, grey-ace, chicana, feminist Renaissance cat cohost, Joreth! My gender identity is “tomboy”, and my pronouns are she/her but you may address me as “Grand Empress Of The Region Of Myagencia, Joreth, first of her name”.

Eunice: I’m Eunice, your friendly neighborhood queer, kinky, bisexual, solopoly, ace-spec woman, bringing an East Asian British genteelness to a sometimes filthy podcast. (Lies, all lies, I’m just as filthy as the rest.)

Kitty: And I’m Kitty Bound, a part time neko, teller of tall tales, demisexual poly cat. My pronouns are she/her, and you can call me Kitty.

Franklin: Today we’re talking about asexuality, but before we get there, Eunice made an observation about premises we’ve taken for granted in this podcast but we’ve never made explicit. 

Eunice: OK, so if you’re the type of person to listen to a podcast about sex and skepticism this will probably seem very very basic and fundamental to you, but we forgot to lay this out at the beginning so that’s exactly why we wanted to say this: axiom number one, objective truth and reality exists. Axiom number two, that we can find out what this objective truth is, even if we, as in the human race as well as individuals, don’t have that information right now. And axiom number three, that this is an inherently good thing to do.

Joreth:  There’s so much to discuss about the premises of science and skepticism, so many things that are just fundamental to the process that it’s easy to not realize that we haven’t stated it explicitly.  So we’re going to state this explicitly and we’re going to explore it more on our Patreon, and it will be one of our free Patreon episodes so anyone can listen to it.  So go check out our Patreon page, linked from our website at skepticalpervert.com!

Franklin:  So, back to Asexuality! What is it? What does it mean? Do ace people hate sex? Can you be horny and still be ace? 

Eunice: Well firstly, AVEN, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, defines an asexual as: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction or an intrinsic desire to have sexual relationships (or the adjective describing a person as such). 

Kitty:  Wikipedia defines asexuality as “Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.”

Joreth:  Those definitions only open up the floor for more definitions.  Everyone seems to have their own ideas on what each of those words means, and many people have a lot of assumptions that others share those ideas.

Eunice: It does feel a bit lacking, doesn’t it, even just for the personal experience of the people in this conversation!

Joreth:  So if the definition of asexuality is “someone who does not experience sexual attraction”, that leads us to the question of “what is sexual attraction” then?  Wikipedia defines it as “attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest”.

Franklin: And that leads us to “how are sexual attraction and sexual arousal different?” And “can you feel attraction without arousal? Can you feel arousal without attraction?” I think a lot of folks assume if you’re asexual, you have no sexual desire or interest at all, which isn’t what I’ve observed from people who self-identify as ace.

Eunice: Actually, maybe that’s a good place to start. Who here identifies as somewhere on the asexuality spectrum? And how does that work for you?

Kitty: I realized several years ago that I’m demisexual, which is considered to be on the ace spectrum. And once I figured out that I *could* feel sexual desire *for another person*, and the circumstances where that was likely to happen, it works pretty well.

Franklin:  Huh. I had no idea demisexuality is part of the spectrum. That surprises me a bit, to be honest.

Kitty: I think the reason why the prefix “demi” was chosen was because while we do feel sexual attraction and desire for other people, it’s rare and pretty much never based on the same criteria other people use. At least, from what I gather from talking to allosexual people.

Franklin: I feel kind of conflicted about that. On the one hand, I don’t generally find people sexually attractive until I get to know them. On the other, it seems pretty weird to think of myself being anywhere on the asexuality spectrum, given that I have such a strong spontaneous libido that being horny is part of my background emotional state, especially when Joreth and Eunice have me on a schedule of daily edgings. When I try out the label of asexual, it doesn’t seem to fit.

Kitty: I also have a strong spontaneous libido, and a high sex drive. Which was reeeeealy frustrating for me growing up because there was nobody I wanted to act on those urges with. And I think that’s what separates asexuals from allosexuals. As a demisexual, an emotional bond is a must for me to feel attraction, but not every strong bond results in that attraction. Does that make sense?

Joreth:  I’m not sure the emotional bond is the defining element for asexuality, but it does seem to be the defining element for demisexuality.  I have been tentatively identifying as “on the ace spectrum” or “grey ace” for a little while now.  I’m still trying it on, seeing how it fits, and if it’s really separate from my identity as someone with a responsive libido, which we discussed in episode 6 on Responsive Libido or Responsive Desire.  The short version, for those who are just joining us, is that I do not experience physical sexual arousal spontaneously.  Sexual activity of some sort has to start happening first, and then my body, like, “remembers” that we like this and becomes aroused.  

But I also have a hormonal cycle where, at different times of the month or year, I am more or less responsive to said sexual activity.  Sometimes, no matter how pleasant the activity is, I just do not experience the physical sexual arousal state of lubrication, increased blood flow to the genitals, ability to orgasm, nerve sensitivity, etc.

And just to make shit even more complicated, I am totally not “demisexual”.  I can experience sexual attraction (although without an arousal state) for people without having any kind of emotional connection to them at all.  My newest boyfriend, for example.  We had seen each other at parties for years, but thanks to the pandemic, I have been off the social scene for several years now.  I went to one of my first post-pandemic (are we really post-pandemic?  Maybe peri-pandemic?), anyway, I went to a party, saw him from across the room, and BAM! I was hit with an instant sexual attraction.  But no arousal state.

Eunice: And I’m an interesting mix of demisexual, which in my case means the thought of someone being a potential sexual partner doesn’t even occur to me until I’ve already gotten to know someone, plus I have a responsive libido, plus I have a low libido. Which combination means that if I don’t deliberately set out to go have sex every so often, my body forgets that sex is even an option. I actually have had sex sometimes when I don’t really feel aroused or interested just to get to the point where the next time I have sex, I will actually be aroused before we get too far into the sex.

Joreth:  I do that!  I keep telling my partners that a whole bunch of quickies is better for me than marathon sex, because I might not be into the sex the first time, but having had sex at least once, I will be more into the sex the next time.  So doing it, like, half a dozen times over a weekend is much better than doing it for 7 hours in one night (true example).

Kitty: The idea of just looking at someone and finding them sexually attractive is *so weird* to me. I find a lot of people physically and aesthetically attractive. But the thought of smashing squishy bits together never crosses my mind.

So, going forward, I think we need to distinguish between asexuals who have low sexual *attraction* (like myself and Franklin), and those with low sexual *arousal* (like Joreth and Eunice.)

Eunice: That’s a great point! I like to think of it on a point graph, with the sexual attraction on one axis and sexual arousal on the other axis. And where we sit on that graph can vary day by day, hour by hour, or even moment by moment.

Joreth:  I like the idea of two axes.  I tend to think of most elements of humanity, particularly of human sexuality, as less of a spectrum and more of a color wheel.  I think that’s fairly compatible with the X and Y axes … maybe I should create a combined graph like this?

Franklin: I have been thinking about this since we first started talking about this episode, so I’ve started working on a multi-axis asexuality wheel. Maybe it’ll be done by the time this episode airs?

Eunice: If it is, we’ll link to it from the show notes. Actually, before we continue maybe we should take a few big steps back and go back to a question Franklin asked earlier. How are we even defining sexual attraction and sexual arousal here?

Joreth:  This is very tricky, and we may need to come up with definitions *for the purpose of this discussion*, knowing that other people may use the terms differently, and that certainly research will be defining these terms in a variety of ways.  It’s interesting, because as we talked about what the axes should be and what they are called, I think we revealed more about our own personal sexuality based on our assumptions about those labels.

Eunice: So we’ve come up with some definitions that we’re using in the context of this discussion. This will undoubtedly be infuriatingly incorrect to many, many people, don’t @ us, just run with it for now, ok? 

Kitty: Firstly, sexual arousal: here we’re talking just about the purely physiological readiness for sex – how horny you are, basically, disconnected from the person (if any) it’s directed at. 

Eunice: And if you’re strongly responsive-libido like I am, that statement probably sounded as weird to you as it did to me. Next up, we have sexual attraction, which is the desire to want sex with someone. This isn’t the same thing as being physiologically ready for sex, but sometimes you just need to tell someone to get started without you and you’ll join in once the old engines start firing, you know? Think of this as the mental readiness counterpart to the previous definition.

Franklin: Emotional distance, for this purpose, is the extent to which you need to feel an emotional engagement with someone before you find them sexually desirable. High emotional distance means you can shag someone without knowing them or feeling emotionally connected with them, or perhaps might need to not even know them at all; low emotional distance means you need that emotional connection before you hop into bed (or onto the kitchen table or wherever—we aren’t judging). With only one or two exceptions in my life, I don’t have sex until after there’s some kind of engagement on an emotional level. If I don’t know you, if you’re a stranger to me, I don’t want to have sex with you. I might find you aesthetically attractive, maybe, but I’m still not likely to be attracted to you, if that makes sense. For most of my life, the average length of time between when I met someone and when we became lovers was a bit over three and a half years; nowadays, it’s longer. I don’t have sex with strangers, and in fact have turned down opportunities for sex with people I don’t know well, because that emotional connection wasn’t there.

Joreth:  Yeah, how important is feeling connected on an emotional or interpersonal level to one’s sexuality?  My emotional connections are completely separated from either my attraction or my arousal state – as in, they might overlap, but they often do not and are therefore independent variables, which I think is kind of a confusing concept for some of my cohosts to grok.  I love that, as we continue to talk about how we experience these three criteria (and what those criteria are), we continue to discover that we are all each in our own categories.  We have some things in common, but none of us are the same labels.

Eunice: Oh, that’s cool, we all share each of our labels with at least one other person, but it’s a different person for each label. So anyway, to wrap up the definitions, for the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to consider asexuality to be any time a person is at the low end of any of those three axes.

Joreth:  So, like, I would be low arousal, moderate distance, and bimodal low-high attraction, perhaps?  I like sex, I frequently want sex but also just as frequently don’t notice I haven’t had sex, I can have diverse sexual partners with connection or with emotional distance, but I just can’t. get. aroused. without a lot of work.

Kitty: And I am high-arousal, low emotional distance, low attraction. I can be turned on by a stray thought and a stiff breeze, but there are very few people I want to have sex with, and the one thing all of them have in common is that I have a deep emotional connection with them.

Franklin: I’m like Kitty: I get aroused if the wind blows, if the sun shines, if the moon rises. Sex? I’m horny pretty much all the time. But there aren’t a lot of people I want to have sex with. I think the difference is I can be attracted to people without that connection, though of course that doesn’t necessarily mean I fancy a shag.

Eunice: And I would be…low arousal, low attraction, low distance. I’m not going to be up for sex, mentally or physically, unless I’m emotionally very connected already. Oh damn, three for three, I’m kinda screwed for the whole sex thing, aren’t I? And not even in the fun way.

Joreth:  So that would put us all on the asexuality spectrum somewhere, which may surprise a lot of people.  I know that many of my friends and followers are surprised to think of me as ace because of how often I talk about sex or how often I *seem* to have sex, and I know Franklin was surprised to think of himself as possibly ace because of how often and easily he is aroused.  So what are some other myths about asexuality?

Franklin: Defining asexuality along the three axes we’re talking about, the most obvious myth is “asexual people don’t feel sexual arousal,” I think.

Kitty: Followed closely by “asexual people never have sex.”

Joreth:  How about “all asexual people are actively disgusted by sex”?

Kitty: I’ve heard that one, too!

Eunice: Yeah, this is such a powerful one—I still struggled to think of myself as ‘actually’ ace for a long time because I’m not sex repulsed, and I enjoy sex when I do get around to having it. But I’m definitely demisexual, and strongly so. It’s just that for a long time, I bought into the societal myth that all women naturally don’t want sex except with people they’re emotionally connected to, so I was just quote-unquote ‘normal’ in my lack of sexual attraction. Learning that my experience of sexual attraction was pretty far outside the bell curve was a real surprise.

Joreth:  I think the fact that we are struggling to accept the label “asexual” for ourselves only shows that these myths are pervasive and effective.  Somewhere, in our own brains, resides the kernel that “true asexuality” requires an active “a”, an active not-sex whether that’s not feeling physical arousal, choosing not to have sex, or being repulsed by sex – which ARE all forms of asexuality but not the ONLY forms.

Franklin: Also, that asexuality is not one thing, or even a spectrum. It’s a fuzzy cloud in three-dimensional space, with soft and vaguely-defined boundaries. There’s a lot of different traits and experiences that might reasonably be put under the fuzzy umbrella of ‘asexuality.’ I personally still feel a little weird applying that label to myself, though I think one might be able to make an argument that it can, in some ways, fit.

Kitty: And on that note, if any of our listeners think they fall on the low end of any of these criteria we’re using, but don’t want to identify as asexual–you don’t have to! Like a lot of other labels, this one can be handy, but it’s not mandatory.

Joreth:  So this brings up a related issue, which we are planning on discussing in a future episode – the subject of kink and sex!  Some people insist that kink and sex are either literally the same thing or inextricably intertwined, and others (like myself) see them as categorically different things and therefore able to be done separately.  So, in this context, that means that there are kinky asexuals.

Kitty: A lot of kinky asexuals! A good portion of my local kink community identifies somewhere on the ace spectrum.

Eunice: Honestly, most of the asexuals I know have the filthiest minds and the kinkiest desires. Definitely not calling out anyone in this chat, riiiiight?

Kitty:I have no idea what you’re talking about! Yes, that was totally sarcastic.

Franklin: I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. There is something kind of ironic about ace people having the best sex. Though I suppose it’s kind of fitting: if sex isn’t something you need, like an itch you constantly have to scratch or you can’t function, then perhaps you can plan it out better, make a real production of it?

Eunice: Well, all of my initial experiences of kink were nonsexual. A fact which blows the minds of many an allosexual person. Wait, did we explain what the term allosexual means? Just means ‘not-asexual’, FYI.

Kitty:  Sex becomes so much more than “Tab A into Slot B.”

Franklin: “It puts the tab in the slot or else it gets the hose again.” 

Joreth:  Well now I have conflicting wants.

Eunice: Both? Both. Both is good. Hey, I’m bisexual, making me choose is biphobic.

Joreth:  If I could choose between things, I wouldn’t be poly.

Kitty: Amen.

Eunice: I know you meant that as “I wouldn’t be a poly person if I knew how to choose” but my brain legit heard that as “I wouldn’t choose to be poly” at first and my world almost flipped 180 for a moment. Phew. That was almost a weird place. Didn’t like it.

Joreth:  I wouldn’t be poly if I could choose between things is definitely the meaning I intended.  (yes, I said “things”, kinda like how I refer to my kink partners as “toys”, as in “if you break your toys, you can’t play with them again”).

Franklin:  It puts the tab in the slot if it wants the hose again. But seriously, when you say “nonsexual,” what does that mean? I hear people talk about nonsexual kink, by which they mean penises and/or vaginas don’t necessarily play a starring role in the shenanigans, but it’s still a sexual experience. So do you mean non-sexual in the vanilla, “oral isn’t really sex” way, or non-sexual in the sense of no sexual component to the experience?

Joreth:  And that’s the real question, isn’t it?  What is sex?  This is a question that trips up … well basically everyone.

Eunice: Including us, sometimes, hence our hesitation about applying the term ‘asexual’ to ourselves. If you don’t have a good sense of what ‘sexual’ means, how do you know when you’re ‘asexual’?

Kitty:If I get wet and horny being tied up, does that mean bondage was sexual? Or since nobody’s genitals were involved, was it a nonsexual activity?

Franklin: Speaking personally, I think the answer is ‘yes.’ You don’t necessarily need to put a tab anywhere near a slot for something to be sex. A lot of folks who engage in semantic hairsplitting about how to define ‘sex’ seem…unnaturally fixated on that which is betwixt their nethers, and so lost the forest for–oh, look, squirrel!

Joreth:  Yeah, most of my kink is … I was going to say non-sexual but I think … non-arousing? Is the better word for it?  That whole “I’m grey-ace” thing.  When I top someone, I can mix sex and kink because it’s for them, but pain shuts off my pleasure centers so I can’t experience pain and arousal simultaneously, and topping requires a lot of thought for me so that shuts down my sexual arousal as well, although I will be emotionally and intellectually “aroused”, or really into what I’m doing.  Although I do have a couple of kinks that are explicitly sexual, like my consensual non-consent kink and my used-and-ignored kink.  But a lot of what people *think* of as “kink” or see at the dungeons – flogging, impact play, etc. – is not sexually arousing to me in the slightest.

Franklin: Mm, now THERE’S a semantic can of worms. If we do something, Joreth, and it gets me hot but doesn’t get you hot, is it sexual or non-sexual? Or sexual for one of us but not for the other? And honestly, I’ve many times had what is clearly and unambiguously tab-in-slot sex when I haven’t been aroused…is that then not sex? Is arousal a defining characteristic of sex?

Eunice: I certainly hope not! Given the number of times I’ve had sex when not actually physiologically aroused, but still enjoyed it, because it was fun and playful and connective. Mind you, I differentiate between sexual and sensual. They’re both about pleasure, but in very different ways. 

Franklin: And just to add even more weird ambiguity, I’ve had plenty of sex—often with you lot!—where I wasn’t aroused and didn’t Type 1 enjoy it at the time, it’s Type 2 or Type 3 fun. And I would still call that sex. (Side note, you are all terrible people.)

Eunice: You’re welcome!

Kitty: It’s a mix for me. Most of my kinks make me want to fuck like a mink–can I say that? But lately I’ve been topping for a number of activities that are very satisfying and absorbing, and yes, arousing in a non-sexual way.

Joreth:  And that, I think, is why it’s totally not a contradiction at all to be both kinky and asexual, even the actively turned-off kind of asexual – because of this wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey sort of separation but interconnectedness? between physiological arousal, “sexual” acts, and “kink” acts.

Eunice: For me, I can be non-aroused physically, and also not thinking about sex, but very focused and present—in the mindful sense—during kink. Especially when I’m topping or domming. That experience of being very present and in the moment, aware of my own self and my surroundings, conscious of the direction of my attention and thoughts, and the sensations in my body, but not interested in sexual activity, that’s what I think of when I’m talking about it being non-sexual.

Joreth:  Same.  There’s a thing called “subspace” that most people familiar with kink have heard about, which is sort of a floaty, internally-focused mental state that some people who are receiving some form of kink activity experience.  But I find that I go more into, like, a meditative state of hyperawareness of myself, my partner, and the moment – of being present and aware like when I meditate, which is the same state I am in when I dance, interestingly enough.  And that’s also what I mean when I say that I am “intellectually or emotionally aroused” – I am focused and intent on the moment, the activity, and the participants.

Franklin: Since this is the skeptical pervert rather than the other kind of pervert, we should look at the research!

According to the Williams Institute, 1.7% of adults self-identify as asexual. An overwhelming majority of ace-identifying people in their survey, 87%, were assigned female at birth, and there’s a strong correlation between identifying as ace and identifying as non-binary—72% of self-identified asexuals they surveyed identify as non-binary.

The study doesn’t attempt to define “asexuality” but looks at people who self-identify as asexual, and the study’s authors hypothesize that more women than men self-identify as ace at least in part because men are socialized to have and seek sex, so there’s greater social stigma for ace men than ace women.

Joreth:  So, in our previous episode on libido / arousal, we discussed how there is a difference between a person with a responsive libido, with *low* libido, and a person with a sexual *dysfunction*.  Since we are discussing how responsive libido may include one on the asexual spectrum, we should look at asexuality and sexual dysfunction – are asexuals just people with a sexual dysfunction?

Franklin: I like this quote from a study on asexuality:

Asexuality isn’t a complex. It’s not a sickness. It’s not an automatic sign of trauma. It’s not a behavior. It’s not the result of a decision. It’s not a chastity vow or an expression that we are ‘saving ourselves’. We aren’t by definition religious. We aren’t calling ourselves asexual as a statement of purity or moral superiority. We’re not amoebas or plants. We aren’t automatically gender confused, anti-gay, anti-straight, anti-any-sexual orientation, anti-woman, anti-man, anti-any-gender or anti sex. We aren’t automatically going through a phase, following a trend, or trying to rebel. We aren’t defined by prudishness. We aren’t calling ourselves asexual because we failed to find a suitable partner. We aren’t necessarily afraid of intimacy. And we aren’t asking for anyone to ‘fix’ us. (Decker, 2015, p. 3)

It’s way too easy to pathologize any sort of sexual behavior outside the middle of the bell curve as ‘dysfunction,’ even if it doesn’t cause harm or distress.

Eunice: And that’s the main thing the study highlights, right? The presence, or lack, of distress is what differentiates between asexuality and sexual dysfunction. If the person isn’t distressed, then there’s nothing wrong with their low or non-existent or different relationship with sexual desire and attraction. Of course, now I’m remembering that we came across Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which included the distress of the partner at not getting sex as one of the criteria, and quite frankly, I’m still angry at that. 

Kitty: I would be too! I don’t think there’s any other disorder that’s defined even in part by how *other people feel about it.*

Joreth:  There’s another study that I looked at that compared 2 types of people – 42 self-identified asexual people and 25 heterosexual women with Sexual Interest / Arousal Disorder (SIAD) – and how they responded to 3 different components – 1) visual attention to erotic cues, 2) implicit appraisals of sexual words, and 3) explicit appraisals of sex.  It’s a small study, probably counts as preliminary, but it seems to indicate that the women with SIAD respond differently to visual cues and appraisals of sex, indicating that there is a cognitive difference between asexuals and people with sexual dysfunction.

Eunice: I’m really curious to know how I would respond now.

Franklin: I’d love to know your implicit appraisals of sexual words, Eunice, considering that you,err, write porn.

Joreth:  Same, I’d like to know how I would respond too!  According to the study, people who experience desire naturally, and people who feel as though they *should* experience desire, basically, someone with a *disorder* who does not experience desire but feels as though they *should*, both respond similarly to the various activities that tend to instigate arousal – looking at porn, for example.  Asexual people – those who feel a lack of desire as a “natural” part of their existence, do not tend to be interested in things associated with sex, such as images or words, indicating that, regardless of level of physiological arousal, allosexuals with a disorder have a sexual *attraction* while asexual people do not experience sexual *attraction*.  And Grey-Aces kinda confused their results.  Which is consistent, I think, with our subjective observations of asexuality.

So, that means that attraction and arousal are separate things, and it’s only a disorder if you feel that something is wrong with your lack of desire, like maybe a sexual version of body dysmorphia – you lack the arousal because you maintain the attraction, so the lack of arousal feels *wrong* to you somehow.  If that lack of attraction does not feel “wrong”, if it just feels like what it means to be you, then it’s not a disorder, it’s somewhere on the asexuality, er, cloud.
Franklin: Speaking of the asexuality cloud, we took a stab at representing asexuality on that three-dimensional graph we mentioned earlier, which you can find on the Web site at the skeptical pervert dot com. Asexuality covers a broad range of different sexual behaviors, which we plotted along axes of arousal, attraction, and emotional distance. Asexuality may occur when sexual attraction is low, sexual arousal is low, and/or sexual distance needs to be low.

Blank asexuality graph to put yourself on the chart (without 0-point markers):

Joreth’s placement on the chart (low arousal, moderate distance, and bimodal low-high attraction):

Franklin’s placement on the chart (high-arousal, low emotional distance, mid-low attraction):

Eunice’s placement on the chart (low arousal, low attraction, low distance):

Kitty’s placement on the chart (high-arousal, low emotional distance, low attraction):

Franklin: So, the takeaways from this episode:

  • Asexuality is a wide umbrella. There’s tremendous diversity in the people who call themselves asexual.
  • Asexuals aren’t broken. Asexuality isn’t a disorder.
  • Asexuality doesn’t necessarily mean being sex averse. While some asexuals are sex averse, many are not.
  • Asexuality doesn’t necessarily mean you never have or want sex.
  • Asexuality is not chastity. Chastity is primarily about sexuality activity, asexuality is primarily about sexual desire.
  • Asexuality is a continuum with a lot of shades.
  • Attraction (the interest in having sex or wanting to want sex) and physiological arousal (the physical state of readiness for sex) are separate, but often connected, things.
  • Some asexuals have sex. Sometimes kinky sex!

Joreth:  If you feel that you have a lower interest or attraction or desire for sex than others around you, you may want to check out the vast universe of asexuality to see if one of those labels feels good to you.

Eunice: Also, and I know that as a grey-ace therapist myself I’m obviously biased, I would really suggest that if you are distressed about your lack of interest or attraction or desire for sex, find a decent therapist, specifically one who is aware of and acknowledges the difference between asexuality and sexual disorder. It’s worth the effort, I assure you!

Kitty:A therapist who understands the difference will be more effective at helping you find the right therapy for your situation.

Eunice: Good advice that applies in many other areas too.

Franklin:  So that’s this episode! The Skeptical Pervert is copyright Franklin, Joreth, Eunice, and Kitty. Find us on the Web at skepticalpervert.com. If you’d like to hear us talk about something, email us at contact@skepticalpervert.com. Editing is done by Joreth, and site maintenance by Franklin. And if you like what you hear, spread the love! We also have a Patreon, which you can find linked to from the website.

Kitty:  And remember, being asexual, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy torturing Franklin!

Eunice: Is there a queue? Should we invite folks to take a number? Are we instigating some kind of system is what I’m asking.

Joreth:  As long as I’m in that line somewhere … first could be fun, but so could going last … hmm, should we create a logarithmic calculator of some sort to organize the queue?

Eunice: I think there’s probably an equation out there somewhere for the position in the queue that will bring one the most benefit. Enjoyment? Satisfaction?

Joreth:  And bring Franklin the most … experience?

Eunice: Hey Franklin, I need help finding an equation!

Franklin: I suck at maths. And besides, you lot are terrible people.

Eunice: You’re welcome!

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