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Asexuality. Cole Brown and David Jay. Is sexuality universal?. “We are all sexual. We are sexual from the day we are born until the day we die.” –Planned Parenthood Website. Outline. Defining Asexuality The Asexual Community Relationships Research Asexuality and the LGBT Community.

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Cole Brown and David Jay

Is sexuality universal
Is sexuality universal?

“We are all sexual. We are sexual from the day we are born until the day we die.” –Planned Parenthood Website


  • Defining Asexuality

  • The Asexual Community

  • Relationships

  • Research

  • Asexuality and the LGBT Community

What is asexuality
What is asexuality?

  • Orientation:

    • Lacking interest in or desire for sex.

    • A lack of sexual attraction.

  • Identity:

    • Anyone who identifies as asexual is asexual.

    • Identity is a tool not a label.

The cake analogy1
The Cake Analogy

  • Three major groups

    • Sexual people

    • People with preconditions

    • Asexual people

  • The grey areas

    • Demisexuals, Grey-As

    • Antisexuals

Asexuality vs celibacy
Asexuality vs. Celibacy

  • Asexuality:

    • A lack of sexual attraction.

  • Celibacy:

    • Abstinence from sexual intercourse.

  • Asexuality is an internal orientation, whereas celibacy is a choice.

  • There can be overlap, but they are not the same.


  • Now:

    • ~45,000 members internationally

    • Visibility, Validation and Procrastination

    • Managed by volunteers

    • Used to organize local meet-ups and visibility work

Romantic orientation
Romantic Orientation

  • Some asexual individuals identify with a romantic orientation

    • Hetero-, homo-, bi-romantic

    • Aromantic: someone who does not desire a romantic relationship

  • Higher prevalence of non-hetero-romantic identities

  • “I’m attracted to the same personality traits, regardless of gender.”


  • Partner-based relationships can be formed several ways:

    • Asexual/Sexual

    • Asexual/Asexual

    • Romantic/Aromantic

  • Community-based relationships are less strictly defined.

    • Involve a group of people with which emotional needs can be met.

  • Compromises are made in both.

    • Sex

    • Distance

    • Time

Changing definitions
Changing Definitions

  • Lack of sexual orientation (Storms, 1980)

  • Lack of sexual behaviour (Rothblum & Brehony, 1993)

  • Lack of sexual attraction (Bogaert, 2004)

  • Low excitatory processes (Prause & Graham, 2007)

Kinsey scale
Kinsey Scale

Percent shown as “X” have no socio-sexual contacts or reactions.

The storms s model
The Storms’s Model

  • 1979: Michael D. Storms publishes a two-dimensional model of human sexuality.

  • Based off the Kinsey model, with the addition of asexuality.

Anthony bogaert 2004
Anthony Bogaert (2004)

  • First study to explicitly address and explore asexuality.

  • National probability sample (N>18,000).

  • Approximately 1% (n=195) are asexual.

  • “I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all.”

Recent research
Recent Research

  • Rothblum and Brehony (1993)

    • Characterized asexuals as individuals who engaged in few or no sexual behaviours.

  • Prause and Graham (2007)

    • Based on qualitative interviews and a standardized questionnaire (41 self-identified asexuals).

    • Asexuals rated below average on scales of sexual desire and arousability.

    • There was little or no difference in sexual inhibition scales.

Recent research1
Recent Research

  • Lori Brotto (2006-)

    • Two studies on asexuality

      • Asexuality: A Mixed-Methods Approach (2009)

      • First physiopsychological study on asexuality (2010?)

    • Expert on Hyposexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)

      • Actively working with the DSM-V on an updated definition for HSDD.

Asexuality and the lgbt community1
Asexuality and the LGBT Community

  • Relatively invisible

    • LGBT, LGBQTTI, queer

    • Primary orientation may be romantic orientation

  • Goals differ from LGBT goals

    • LGBT community fighting for rights

    • Asexual community fighting for visibility

  • Not as controversial

    • “If you’re not having sex, what’s there to talk about?”

Asexuality and vancouver
Asexuality and Vancouver

  • Pride UBC

    • Increasing education with resources

  • Positive Space Campaign

    • Awareness to a larger, primarily heterosexual audience

  • Local meets and events

    • Monthly meet ups

    • Best attended: 14

    • Two documentaries, several articles

  • CSIS at UBC