No matter how you look at it, one thing is a fact, we live in a sexual world. Whether you say it’s a primitive instict or the media’s fault, sex is a critical aspect of our lives. Some people even use sex as a way to measure if a relationship is healthy or not. So, what happens when you don’t enjoy sex? Well, if you turn to society’s standards, then something is wrong with you.
Thanks to the all-equal movement, people are educating themselves on the wide range of sexual-inclinations out there. One missing? Asexuality. Although only one percent of the world’s population identifies as asexual, the numbers might be higher.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others. Someone who says they’re asexual might have low or even a non-existent interest in sexual activity. Asexuality is a heterogeneous group, including people of all sexual orientations or lack thereof. However, similar to other sexual groups, asexuality has a spectrum. To some, the thought of sex is repulsive, while to others, sex can be an unusual activity they might want to explore. Either way, in their daily lives, asexual people don’t think about sex as the rest of the population does.
The Orgasm Gap
Most of the conversations around asexuality happen amongst women. Particularly, millennial women. It turns out, a vast majority of millennial women don’t find their sex lives exciting and often dislike the idea of sex altogether. I’m not talking about finding boring sexual partners or falling into a sex-less routine. The issue grows more complicated than that, and it might start with sexual education.
In sex-ed, the focus on preventing disease takes over talking about pleasure. While preventing STDs is essential, the pleasure conversation often revolves around men, and most women are left to wonder what sexual pleasure should even feel like. To prove my point, a recent study in the 21st century, found that half of the men surveyed couldn’t identify the vagina on a diagram — I’ll repeat that half of the men couldn’t find it.
Thus, by the time they reach their mid-20s, women are starting to feel as if something is off and start questioning their sexual confidence, when in reality, they never had an idea of what sexual confidence should be. Some reports believe that most women report fewer orgasms than men.
The orgasm gap leads women to a sex therapist and other low sex drive remedies in the hopes of finding their desire. Can they be asexual without knowing it? Are they being pressured to enjoy sex by society when they don’t? Unfortunately, the lack of evidence leaves women with more questions than answers.
Low Desire or Asexual?
Some women might not be asexual. Instead, they might be experiencing hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Women with HSDD enjoy intimacy, but they do struggle with an overall deficiency or absence of sexual desire. It only becomes an issue when their lack of sexual desire becomes a disruptive feeling in their lifestyle that might lead to depression, self-image issues, and more.
Recently, the FDA approved the first prescription drug to help women with HSDD. Often known as the “female-viagra,” the drug helps women feel happier and aroused. Unlike men, women’s sexual desire depends on more than physiological or biological factors—lifestyle, stress, intimacy, relationships, and more affect how a woman’s sexual desire sparks.
The problem is in figuring out the difference between low sexual desire issue triggered by a medical condition and someone who’s asexual. We need more research to understand how sexual desire affects women, in particular, as research for men’s sexual dysfunctions is more extensive.
A Note from GR8NESS
Whether you realize you’re asexual or that you’re having low sexual desire issues, please know, there’s nothing wrong with you. If you believe your asexuality or low desire is impacting your mental health, reach out to a sex therapist to discuss your symptoms. There’s no shame in seeking help for sexual health. Just as with talking to your doctor about high blood pressure, discussing your sexual health should be a part of the conversation as well.