poxic wrote:If asexuality were very common, we'd have a lot of words available to explain exactly what flavour of "A" a person is.
I don't think anyone is arguing that it's very common. General consensus appears to be a 1% or less of the human race identifies as asexual, though there appear to be certain groups that attract a higher number of asexuals. Perhaps this is because people who aren't interested in sex have more time to devote to other subjects that interest them, like math or science or literature or Star Trek.
The asexual community describes various stripes of asexual, since by it's nature it's more varied than 'I like to have sex with people of the opposite sex' or 'I like to have sex with people of the same sex'. Some of the ones that I've encountered personally:
1) Is not interested in sex at all, experiences arousal as a purely biological function or does not experience it, may masturbate to relieve tension or may never masturbate, and does not ever experience a desire to have sex with other people.
2) Finds sex disgusting and the idea of having sex with another person completely distasteful. May experience arousal or may not, may masturbate or may not, but will always find the idea of partnered sex disgusting.
3) Is capable of interest in sex, but usually not enough to act on it, kind of like most people's interest in some other mildly entertaining form of pastime. Can take or leave sex or masturbation without feeling strongly one way or another and does not actively seek out sex.
4) Is uninterested in sex, but will have sex with a partner they love and may enjoy it. They view sex purely on bonding terms with a person they love, and if the sex ended, would not particularly care if they could still be with that person they love. May experience some sexual desire for the person they love, but not for anyone else. (This is generally considered a more fuzzy area, but I don't think some sexual desire coming after love completely discounts a person - it's the stripe I am, and it doesn't quite feel right to define myself as straight because I've had some degree of sexual desire for a single man I'm very much in love with, especially as that desire is all bound up with a desire to bond with him and the fact that he is sexual. I've never had what I suppose is sexual desire for another person in my life.)
Then there are the asexual romantics, who may experience nonsexual attraction to either or both or all genders, and asexual aromantics who are uninterested in relationships with anyone, except the asexual aromantics who like to have a long-term nonsexual, nonromantic partner with partners of either or both or all genders. Or for asexuals who merely have a very low sex drive, they may be sexually attracted primarily to males or females or both or not care at all, just like with most people, but they will very rarely act on it.
So... yeah. Asexuality is very likely as confusing from the outside as the much more common sexual desire is from the inside. Like I've always wondered how most people go through life, but most of the sexuals I know can't really give me a very good description of what it feels like to be one. Like, do sexual people see a person of their usual 'type' and think about having sex with that person, or think after talking with a person that they might enjoy sex with them?