Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. It may also be an umbrella term used to categorize a broader spectrum of various asexual sub-identities. (Gray Sexuality, Demisexuality)
Asexuality is distinct from abstention from sexual activity and from celibacy, which are behavioural and generally motivated by factors such as an individual’s personal or religious beliefs. Sexual orientation, unlike sexual behaviour, is believed to be “enduring”. Some asexual people engage in sexual activity despite lacking sexual attraction or a desire for sex, due to a variety of reasons, such as a desire to pleasure themselves or romantic partners, or a desire to have children.
Acceptance of asexuality as a sexual orientation and field of scientific research is still relatively new, as a growing body of research from both sociological and psychological perspectives has begun to develop. While some researchers assert that asexuality is a sexual orientation, other researchers disagree.
Various asexual communities have started to form since the advent of the World Wide Web and social media. The most prolific and well-known of these communities is the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), which was founded in 2001 by David Jay.