Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Monday, April 03, 2006

Not tonight, please. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that...

Where the Internet provides those with the most obscure, distasteful or strange kinks with a chance to interact with others who share their perversion, one online group eschews sex entirely. Asexuals – people who do not experience sexual attraction – have an online community at Asexuality.org. The group was created in 2001 with the goals of “creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an asexual community. Since that time we have grown to host the world’s largest asexual community, serving as an informational resource for people who are asexual and questioning, their friends and families, academic researchers and the press.” The site has been very successful in spreading the word about the 1% of the population who has never felt sexual attraction, garnering press on Salon.com and comment by sex columnist Dan Savage.

There is considerable depth to Asexuality.org. In addition to educational articles, there is a substantial message board covering a broad range of topics such as the challenges of asexual relationships, advice for the romantic partners of asexuals, an exploration of the linkage between asexuality and autism, and the educational background of participants.

The site even offers advice on how to come out as asexual. It even provides snappy comebacks to the most common replies. For the response, you are a lesbian, not an asexual (two thirds of the site’s participants are women), SwankIvy – an active contributor to the site - notes “For some reason people can understand that I'm not interested in penises, but only if they can project my hypothetical feelings onto a buried desire for vaginas. Being gay is fairly acceptable these days--actually, much more so than being nonsexual--so I venture to say if I WAS a lesbian I'd come out. It just isn't the case.” If somebody wonders whether she’s asexual because she hasn’t met the right man yet, SwankIvy replies “Maybe I haven't. But it's not fair to assume that there is one, or that my life won't be complete unless I do meet him.” When someone suggests she’s sworn off sex because she was in a bad relationship, SwankIvy is clear, “That's the most common suggestion--I've obviously been hurt, scarred by a bad experience, and have sworn off men as a result. No.”

The internet provides a place for people seeking every imaginable sexual interest or proclivity. From those who want to do it lying in the missionary position, to those who want to do it swinging from a trapeze. And for those who don't want to do it at all, the internet provides a nice, lust-free place for them too.