Most cultures are still struggling to come to terms with homosexuality—never mind bisexuality, transgender issues, or the various shades of grey when it comes to defining what turns us on. But if all these identity issues are giving you a headache, there are new studies that examine a much simpler alternative lifestyle: asexuality. The allure of “just say no” for asexuals is not rooted in some kind of abstinence-related morality—although it would be curious to find out how many Catholic priests and nuns, for example, would identify as asexual—but rather a lack of arousal or response to any sexual stimulation. The question now is whether this so-called “fourth orientation” is a genetic disposition, one that’s dictated by environment (sexual abuse survivors, for example), or simply a case-by-case instance of limp libidos.
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