Asexual Awareness Week and Why You Should Care

The liberation of those that identify outside of the sexual mainstream is a driving force in the modern world. However, most people do not appreciate the suffering endured by the less visible sexual minorities in the LGBTUA spectrum. That is why this week has been so important. Today is the last day of the Asexual Awareness Week and I wanted to take the opportunity to give it some publicity as it draws to a close. If you don't understand the nature of asexuality then you are by no means the only one. Many asexuals do not understand it as they grow up, which makes it a difficult orientation to come to terms with. This is why we need to improve tolerance of it in society so that asexuality loses its taboo and people feel more comfortable living their lives in the way that feels natural.

Basically, asexuality is an orientation where people do not experience sexual attraction or only feel it under certain circumstances. It is a sexual spectrum and asexuals experience attraction, love and sex in a different way. They may form stable, loving and relationships with other asexuals or with people that do experience sexuality in the mainstream sense. They often detach attraction and romance from sex. People can identify as grey asexuals where they experience sexuality rarely. A further label is demisexual, where people only feel sexual attraction once they have developed a deep emotional connection with a person. Fundamentally, these labels need to be a force for freeing people's emotions rather than a constraint. Therefore, they are free to use them when they are appropriate. It is best to discard them when they no longer fit the complex patterns of emotions, romantic feelings and attractions that people feel.

The problem is that we are socialised into believing that sexual attraction is a normal experience. There must be a medical problem with someone that does not follow that same path. Nonetheless, a significant proportion of the population do not fit these narrow expectations. The sexualised nature of the media and society is an uncomfortable environment in which to find themselves. One of the most challenging periods of their life is in adolescence when we all know that young people tend to become hyper-sexual. Not being able to understand the experience of our peers is an alienating experience in any situation. With something as fundamental as sexuality, it is an extremely alienating experience. Therefore, asexuality needs a greater level of awareness so that people's attitudes can change. When opening up about their sexual orientation, asexuals face a range of misconceptions and damaging prejudices. People wrongly assume that they have suffered some trauma in life, cannot enjoy relationships, cannot have sexual thoughts or actions.

Asexuality tends to be grouped in the LGBTUA community because they face many similar challenges. They may be attracted to people of the same sex and define as homoromantic, biromantic or heteroromantic. This can lead to the similar prejudices faced by homosexuals, bisexuals or others that experience same-sex attraction. When this is coupled with a lack of sexual attraction, it can expose prejudice from both the LGBTUA community and the rest of the world. Indeed, it needs more awareness since this community tends to be dominated by the louder voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Nevertheless, it is extremely important for these people to get the support they need to live their lives in a natural and fulfilled way. We have to do two things to empower that. The first is to raise awareness and shape people's attitudes so that asexual people do not face a wall of disbelief and prejudice when they grow up and come to terms with their sexuality. Secondly, they need a community of like-minded people to convince them that they are not alone or abnormal and give them mutual support. For example, the most prominent group of this kind is the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) which offers online support and resources. This is one of the many sexual taboos that still exist in society. Breaking it will change the lives of many people weighed down by a society that struggles to understand romance without sexuality.
Asexual Awareness Week and Why You Should Care Asexual Awareness Week and Why You Should Care Reviewed by Ciaran McCormick on 22:19 Rating: 5

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