About 1% of people in Germany are asexual. There are enough cliches about it. Some asexual people also feel lust or have relationships.
Evelyn Ashwanden has been waiting for years. About the fact that she finally started – infatuation and desire for sex. Deeply feeling herself, she searched for butterflies in her stomach. But it was quiet there. Evelyn Ashwandin asexual and aromatic. But what exactly does asexuality mean?
How asexuality can feel
What’s wrong with me? That’s what Evelyn Ashwanden herself asked when she saw her school friends take the first steps toward romantic love. How they had a crush on their hair.
Evelyn Ashwanden thought that was overkill, but she wanted to belong. And then there was this boy. “We were fifteen years old,” she says. “He loved me.” Her friends pushed her and the two became a couple. “I thought it was cool,” Evelyne Aschwanden recalls. “But this feeling did not come from within.” Soon she felt that she could not give the boy what he wanted. I broke up – and I felt liberated.
She is now 26 years old. She had several dates, but they were never in a relationship. Aschwanden didn’t try to have sex either. She says nothing is wrong with her. “My aversion to sex and romance is a deeply ingrained feeling. It belongs to me.”
Also interesting: what happens in a woman’s body if she does not have sex for a long time?
Asexuality is linked to many preconceived notions
Asexuality – a subject loaded with prejudice. “You just have to meet the right person”, “It is a disorder, let yourself be treated”, “You are just frustrated and cannot find a partner” – these are the sentences that Evelyn Ashwandin finds on “Instagram”, where she speaks frankly about herself. She says: “None of this is true.”
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There is no universal definition
Irina Bruning says that finding a universal definition of asexuality is difficult. She is on the board of AktivistA, an association that wants to make the asexual spectrum visible. One could say that asexuality is a sexual orientation based on nothing.
Meanwhile, two definitions have been drawn up. “A lot of people say they don’t feel sexually attracted to others,” Browning says. “Others prefer to express it as not wanting sexual interaction.”
No sex doesn’t mean no feelings
But even this covers only a small part. Because asexuality can look very different. “Some people feel aversion to intercourse, but they like to be hugged or kissed,” Browning says. “Some masturbate or just don’t care about sex.” But they all have one thing in common: they don’t need sexual intercourse to express love.
Asexuality is not a disorder
But where does the lack of sexual interest in others come from? There is no explanation for this, says Professor Johannes Voss, director of the Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Sex Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
However, it is important that asexuality is not a disorder and does not require treatment. “Because of their orientation, asexuals generally do not feel any psychological pressure. And where there is no suffering, there is no need to treat it,” says the psychiatrist and psychotherapist. The disorder tends to lie in the environment, which often still knows very little about asexuality and often stigmatizes affected people or puts them under stress.
Sharing with other asexual people is important
According to estimates, about one percent of Germans feel they belong on the asexual spectrum — and the level of education is correspondingly low, says Irina Bruning of ActiVest A. She desires more visibility so that young people in particular can find explanations and communicate with other asexual people.
Advice and exchange can be found in the WhatsApp-based “Anteaters – Asexual and Asexual Spectrum Community” community. It can be found on the attached Facebook page of the same name. Aspec*german is also a point of contact for those interested, as is the AktivistA Association.
Also interesting: what happens in a man’s body if he does not have sex for a long time?
Enlightenment: Talk more about pleasure and displeasure
“With proper sex education, we can make it easier for young people to find themselves,” says Johannes Focke. One possibility is to talk about pleasure and displeasure as part of sex education lessons.
Asexuality in a relationship
Of course, a relationship without sex can also cause difficulties, says Irina Bruning of AktivistA. “If one person wants it and the other doesn’t, you have to find a way.” Many asexual people who are romantic tend to find compromises in their relationships. Or: you were looking for a partner who was also asexual but romantic from the start.
Asexuality and child planning
Planning children – this is also a topic that asexual women frequently encounter, says Irina Bruning. “Just because people aren’t sexually attracted to others, they can still have a family.” This is the case, for example, with asexual people who have a relationship and have sex in order to plan a family.
With material from dpa