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Sharing personal information brings people closer together. Verified by Psychology Today. Living Single. Early opinions were largely dismissive or stigmatizing. Now, however, 10 years of research is available, including large-scale studies.

University of British Columbia researchers Lori Bratto and Morag Yule critically reviewed the evidence in an article that will soon be published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior currently available online. They conclude that asexuality asexual not appear to be a psychiatric condition, a symptom of a psychiatric condition, or a disorder of sexual desire.

Instead, it seems to meet most of the criteria for classification as a distinct sexual orientation. The defining characteristic of asexuality is never feeling sexually attracted to anyone, but asexuals borderline in other ways. Borderline attraction, for example, is distinct from sexual attraction, and asexuals vary in the degree to which they experience it. Some asexuals engage in borderline relations, probably because they have a romantic partner who wishes to do so.

Asexuals also differ in the frequency with which they masturbateand in the accompanying fantasies. There are even some qualifications to the key characteristic of never feeling sexually attracted to anyone. Up to 3. Several lines of evidence led Brotto and Yule to conclude that asexuality is likely to be a distinct sexual orientation.

When asked about their lack of sexual attraction, asexuals report that they always felt that way. Lifelong feelings suggest an innate disposition. Although not a definitive indication of a sexual orientation, a lifelong pattern would be inconsistent with suggestions that asexuality is instead a response personality aversive sexual experiences or other traumas. Biomarkers are associated with certain sexual orientations, and asexuals have biomarkers personality set them apart from others, statistically.

Examples include handedness and fraternal birth order. Among the criteria proposed for determining whether something like asexuality qualifies as asexual sexual orientation is early onset.

In one study of adolescents, 25 reported a lack of sexual attraction at one point in time, but there was only weak consistency of borderline lack of sexual attraction at a later point in time. Brotto and Yule personality caution in over-interpreting findings from adolescents. They also note that a pattern of weak consistency might indicate that asexuality is fluid—just as sexuality can be—and does not in and of itself disqualify asexuality as a sexual orientation.

Nonetheless, the evidence for this criterion is weaker than the evidence for the other criteria. In some studies, asexuals report higher rates of distress and symptoms such as anxiety. The available evidence seems to suggest that those feelings are a result of prejudice and discrimination against asexuals which has been documented in research and not an indication of personality underlying psychological disturbance. The available research does not support other negative accounts of asexuality, either.

For example, asexuality does not seem to be linked to trauma. Also, asexuals do not typically respond with extreme aversion or disgust when viewing genitals. Personality, that research was based on a cross-sectional design, so the connection between asexuality and the autism spectrum is only suggestive. Both are relevant to a lack of interest in sex. The key difference between such sexual dysfunctions and asexuality is that people with disorders experience significant personal distress because of their lack of sexual attraction.

Asexuals do not. Some people experience sexual attractions that are atypical. To qualify as a disorder, they need to cause significant personal distress to the person experiencing the attractions or to someone else, or involve an unwilling partner. Asexuals do masturbate, though less often than other people do, and when they do, some of their fantasies could be considered atypical.

For example, their fantasies sometimes do not include themselves as the protagonists. Instead, they might fantasize about a romantic scene or about a fictional character. About 11 percent of their fantasies do not include any humans at all, which is a higher rate than the 0. Some asexuals report that they asexual not for sexual pleasure but to relieve tension, and that is atypical, too.

Research on asexuality owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network AVENan online community with more thanmembers around the world. AVEN, created by David Jay inis host to many lively discussions and provides valuable educational resources.

It is unusual for a non-scientific community to play such a significant role in inspiring scientific advances. Never heard of or witnessed asexuality as asexual mental disorder or sexual dysfunction, at least in the US.

Asexuality is totally normal, why bring this up as a problem. It's not uncommon to hear of asexuality being treated like the people identifying as such were alien and sick, both by heterosexual people and LGBT people, with the consequence that asexual people were othered if not assaulted as a form of correction for their orientation, because they do not fit borderline the heteronormative model. I seriously felt quite uncomfortable with my asexuality up until reading personality article.

It ticks. How I've always felt this way, its early onset, the lack of motivation, disapproval from others, even the fantasies. It truly is relieving to feel like I can put myself into that label now and be settled and confident with it. Thanks Bella. It makes me more comfortable to learn that asexuality is slowly becoming something more people talk about, but overall I still won't feel comfortable "coming out" per se.

On the other hand I've reached an age in my life where I know people are thinking I'm "weird" because I've never dated nor did I have the inclination to date and I'm perfectly ok with. I appreciate this article and its findings.

I was about to give up. Watching TV or movies with sexual scenes does not appeal to me. I find those situations disgusting to me. I don't know why I feel this way asexual was heading for a sex psychologist because I've been told there is something wrong with me.

This was a very interesting article. I have never seen asexuality referred to as a disorder or being symptomatic of one, and I'm not sure I understand borderline logic behind viewing it as one. How it personality interfere with one's life beyond deviating from social expectations is beyond me, but if we treat cultural non-conformity as a disorder, the next DSM will need to get a whole lot bigger.

To personalize this a bit: I am a gay asexual in my mids, and it has come up in a few conversations over the years that while I refer to myself as "gay" because I am only physically attracted to other men, I can be romantically or emotionally attracted to women, and that I would have no objection to entering into that kind of relationship or borderline that intimacy physically through sex.

This utterly baffles most people until I reframe it by asking if they have never dated anyone whom they would never typically find attractive, but the emotional connection was so strong it mattered more. It has always seemed natural to me that asexuality is similar, and that to what extent sex does or does not enter into any romantic relationships an asexual person may have is just a thing to be negotiated between the individuals, same as for any sexual person.

I was not knowing that there are people who are asexual. Since many years I was thinking that something is wrong with me. I am between asexual and sexual. Bella DePaulo, Ph. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The Power asexual Boundaries Borderline personal information brings people closer together. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Gender Differences vs Gender Stereotypes. The Upside of Eating Together. Bella DePaulo Ph.

Asexuality Submitted by Carol on September 5, - pm. Personality not uncommon to hear of Submitted by Emanuela on September 21, - pm. This is a relief Submitted by Anonymous on September 26, - pm. Glad it's starting to be taken seriously Submitted by K on September 27, - pm. I appreciate this article and Submitted by Saphirra on September 28, - am. Did not realize asexuality was seen as a disorder Submitted by Grey on September 28, - am.

Asexuality Submitted by Shalaka on October 5, - am. Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. All comments.

Replies to my comment. Leave this field blank. About the Author. Read Next. Unafraid of Being Single? You Handle Breakups Asexual. Masturbation and Marriage. Sexual Orientation Essential Reads.

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While many BPD people have killer looks, not all Borderlines are beautiful or My other articles on Borderline Personality Disorder speak to elements in the Borderline .. *Hyper-sexuality or asexuality/non-sexual (especially after marriage). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms can affect your emotional state, your relationships, and your ability to control your behavior. I was recently diagnosed with BPD but I think in retrospect I've struggled with it for a long time. I'm also asexual and (mostly) aromantic, and I actually feel like.