We live in a culture which is saturated with sex in all aspects, ranging from our music, entertainment and advertising to our conversations, thoughts and motivations. The vast majority of people experience sexual desire of some kind and are able to thrive in this environment. However, for the approximately one percent of the population who identify as asexual and do not experience sexual attraction to any gender, living in a sexualized world can be confusing and frustrating. Asexuals face unique struggles in that we don’t face outright persecution or hate, which groups such as racial minorities have to deal with. Rather, our struggles stem from the fact that our sexuality is unknown by most people and virtually ignored by society.
I am just a regular college student — I’m active in my fraternity, I’m a lifelong Longhorn and I love studying on the 40 Acres. However, there is one thing that differentiates me from my peers. Growing up, I simply never felt attraction to anybody, which led to years of me feeling confused and broken, until I finally discovered asexuality and found the Asexual Visibility and Education Network — an online community of asexuals. Since then, I have grown to accept myself for who I am and I realize that there is nothing wrong with me; I was simply made differently than most people.
The issues faced by asexuals are exacerbated on a college campus, where it seems like most people are obsessed with sex and cannot comprehend how asexuality as an orientation could exist. When I confide in people about my asexuality, more often than not I am met with reactions ranging from disgust and misunderstanding to confusion and outright denial. Asexuality has virtually no media representation beyond serial killers and psychopaths such as Dexter Morgan and is never discussed in the media besides a few articles, the total of which I can count on my hands. This lack of visibility has led to a nearly complete lack of awareness, which than leads to one percent of the population being left feeling alone, vulnerable and misunderstood by the rest of the world.
Being asexual in a fraternity where I am constantly surrounded by overt sexuality and nonstop talk of sex can be a lonely experience. While I am thankful for the connections provided by my fraternity brothers, which I would otherwise not have in my life, it hurts to know that when it comes down to it, a majority of them would not accept my asexuality as valid or see me in the same way as when they assumed I was straight. My hope in writing this is that I can spread awareness in any way I can, so that future generations of asexuals don’t have to deal with the same struggles that I face on a daily basis. With the immense progress made as a society in recent years on issues such as gay rights, I am confident that this dream will one day become a reality.