I just finished watching my fifth (and final) documentary for the week, a strange little gem called (A)Sexual. It’s really got me thinking, though mostly because the idea of being asexual is a tangle of conflicting definitions and flexible emotional boundaries, as evidenced in the movie. Let’s just put this on the table: I have very little interest in sex, and that disinterest seems to be shocking to most people I know in person, though through the internet I know that there are lots of other men and women out there just like me. I’ve read a lot about sex and desire and intimacy and relationship balance, because I love to read and it’s a subject that obviously has great personal interest to me. For awhile I wondered if I could be asexual, and I checked out AVEN, the group that also happens to be the subject of this movie. I quickly realized that even with my fleeting touches of desire, I’m possibly oversexed in relation to those who self identify as asexual. What I’ve got is a hormone imbalance, stress, and more important things to do. What they’ve got is a complete lack of sexual attraction to anyone at any time, and a really hard time from a lot of assholes on this planet who think that not having sex makes you some kind of freak.
The movie manages to encapsulate a lot of different views and opinions on asexuality through interviewing asexual people as well as others who identify as straight, gay, bi, extremely sexual, more casually sexual, etc. There are interviews with people who know nothing of asexuality and are asked for opinions on a variety of basic questions to set a kind of opinion “control group.” There are also interviews with scientists, therapists, and other specialists who talk about the study of asexuality and links (or lack of) to other health and/or mental issues. I wasn’t surprised to learn that there might be a link between asexuality and Asperger’s, and will probably be researching this further, since I’m always interested to learn about issues arising from Autism Spectrum Disorders. After the movie, I also found this really interesting review by author Stephen Elliott. I thought you might like to read it, too.