If sex without love exists why can't people remember that love without sex exists too? ~ Unknown Click To Tweet
Sexual or nonsexual, all relationships are basically made up of the same stuff: communication, fun, humor, excitement and trust. Without these, any back-and-forth becomes hard to maintain. It seems that the only difference is what happens between the sheets.
Unlike sexual people, asexual folk are given few expectations with regards to the way our intimate relationships work. Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in a sexual relationship can be challenging, but free of sexual expectations it becomes possible to form relationships in different ways — ways that are grounded in our individual needs and desires.
Often confused with celibacy, which is a choice, asexuality is in fact defined as a sexual orientation—without the inclusion of sex of course.
Yes, many asexual people experience attraction, but feel no need to act out that attraction sexually. Instead, they feel a desire to get to know someone, and to get close to them in whatever way works best for them. Asexual people who experience attraction will often be attracted to a particular gender, and are sadly often forced to identify as gay, bisexual, or straight, due to the lack of visibility that exists. However, like any other identity, asexuality is just a word that people use to help figure out who they are.
And, with asexuality so often misunderstood it is important to bring awareness to an identity that is so often overlooked.
So to celebrate those that have bravely opened up with regards to their asexuality, here are 5 famous people who identify as asexual.
5. Janeane Garofalo
Actress, comedian, writer and political activist, Janeane Garofalo isn’t shy when it comes to her aversion to sex. Labeling herself an ‘asexual atheist’, Garofalo is obviously unafraid when it comes to discussing controversial subjects.
Declaring that she has no interest in relationships, let alone the act of making love, Garofalo has often outed herself with regards to her sexuality, especially in her stand up routines.
Regularly poking fun at religion, racism and sex, Garofalo claims, “I don’t have a fear of intimacy, I have sort of a genuine lack of interest”.
4. Nikola Tesla
Famed inventor, as well as a million other things, Nikola Tesla is best known for his contributions to electrical engineering. Heavily involved in the ‘war of the currents’, in which Tesla and Edison battled it out for electrical supremacy, Tesla quickly became known as the archetypal ‘mad scientist’.
However, with his work seemingly taking up the majority of his time, Edison’s personal life was often disregarded. Obviously indifferent to the idea of marriage, Tesla once stated:
“I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.”
Sticking by his word, Tesla never did tie the knot, focusing instead on his number one love — science itself. Although his sexuality was never certified, it has often been thought that Tesla was indeed asexual, due to his lifelong aversion to human contact and the affection of others, and that he may very well have died a virgin.
Stephen Patrick Morrissey, otherwise known as Morrissey, is probably one of the most famous asexual personalities around. Thought to have been gay for a number of years, it was later claimed that he was celibate, choosing not to partake in any sexual activity.
Adding fuel to the fire during the 1980s, Morrisey wrote an open letter declaring that he and his then girlfriend were both in fact bisexual, although he later added that he hated sex.
After a few non-sexual affairs with both genders, Morrissey later came out as “humansexual” in 2013, stating, “I am attracted to humans. But, of course… not many.”
2. Paula Poundstone
Author, actress, interviewer, commentator and comedian (is there anything this woman can’t do?) American Paula Poundstone is often listed as one of stand up’s best– as well as one of its worst.
However, after identifying herself as asexual a number of times, Poundstone has no problem in discussing the matter. Referring to her orientation, she stated simply: “I don’t have sex because I don’t like it.”
Often commenting on the perks that her lack of sex drive brings, Poundstone regularly brands asexuality as a ‘time saver’, confessing:
“I’m really lucky because I have no sex drive whatsoever. I swear to you that I consider that the greatest gift in the world, because I’m able to go about my business and get things done. I don’t know what I am and the whole point is that I don’t care.”
1. Sherlock Holmes
OK, so he’s not exactly a living breathing real person, but he is quite famous, and the only fictional character suspected of being asexual, or at least written with that in mind.
Thankfully, we now live in a time where representations of certain sexualities are becoming much more visible. Gay, bisexual and lesbian characters are appearing more and more on screen, giving those who are struggling something to identify with.
However, with asexuals seemingly getting lost in the mix, members of the asexual community have no real form of visibility, apart from… Sherlock Holmes.
In fact, Holmes was written to have no real interest in sex, let alone the opposite sex, with author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle readily avoiding the subject. Plus, with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, one of many who have played the notorious sleuth, recently outed Mr. Holmes as asexual, confessing:
“He’s asexual for a purpose. Not because he doesn’t have a sex drive, but because it’s suppressed to do his work. Cold showers, looking at a lot of dead bodies… that’ll do it for you.”
Cover Photo: Getty Images