Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Are You Asexual?

I am 26 years old, have never had sex, and frankly am just not interested. People insist there is something wrong with me, but I feel happy and healthy this way. What's your view?

Answer (Published 5/29/2012)

Not very much is known scientifically about asexuality, although thanks to the internet we're learning more about the men and women who describe themselves as asexual. These individuals maintain that they have no interest in sex, feel no sexual desire, have no sexual fantasies or dreams, and appear happy to be that way. The sparse research on this topic does include an analysis of data gathered by questionnaire from Britain, which showed that of the more than 18,000 men and women who participated in the survey, one percent identified themselves as asexual (three percent identified themselves as homosexual). The analysis found that 44 percent of the self-described asexuals were married, living with partners or had been in the past. Asexual respondents were more likely to be women than men in the British study, but in more recent research among college-aged, self-identified asexuals, the gender breakdown was fairly equal.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

Based on what I've read, there is a big difference between asexuality, which is lack of interest in sex, and celibacy, which is a choice not to engage in sex. Asexuals say that they're not attracted to men or women and have no desire to have sex with either gender.

So far, no hormonal abnormalities have been associated with asexuality, and low sex drive or hypoactive sexual desire disorder does not appear to play a role. (People who seek treatment for this disorder are generally pretty unhappy about it.) Some people have an aversion to sex because of a childhood trauma, but as far as we know, that's not typically the case here. Other than their lack of interest in sex, asexuals seem to be normal and healthy, with no underlying genetic glitch that might explain their lack of desire.

While some asexuals claim to desire romantic relationships, they say they're simply not interested in the sexual aspect but might engage in sex to satisfy their partners. I've also read that some asexuals masturbate but claim not to arouse themselves via sexual fantasy and not to derive pleasure from the act, which raises the question, "Why bother?"

Most of what we know about asexuality comes from the stories of the men and women who define themselves that way. What appears to have changed in recent years is the ability of these people to connect via the internet and websites that provide forums for discussion and (non-sexual) connections. Clearly, this is an area that is ripe for research. Lacking evidence, it is hard to say whether asexuality is a fourth sexual orientation (after hetero-, homo-, and bisexuality) or something else.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here