Asexuality is still a mystery to many

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Three-quarters of people can’t define asexuality, according to a survey. The poll asked British people how confident, if at all, they would be in defining asexuality. Of the 1,119 people questioned, 53% said they were confident in explaining the term. However, when they were put to the test 75´% were either wrong or did not know that asexual people do experience a sex drive.

An estimated 1% of the population are asexual. According to Stonewall, an asexual person is defined as someone who does not experience sexual attraction. However, there is a large amount of diversity among the asexual community, as there is among all groups under the queer umbrella.

Each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction and arousal differently and asexuality is a word that asexual people use to help identify and describe themselves.

What is asexuality?

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (ASEN), asexuality is an intrinsic part of who a person is, like any other sexual orientation. The organisation describes an asexual person as someone who “does not experience sexual attraction”, meaning they are not drawn to people sexually and “do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.”

A lack of information about asexuality means there are lots of misconceptions about it. AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) explains: “Unlike celibacy, which is a choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation. Asexual people have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships.”

Dr Michael Yates, clinical psychologist specialising in sexual health, said: “Sexual attraction is a motivation to engage in sexual activities with another person. It is possible to still have a sexual drive, but for that not to be directed at another person. For some asexual people, they may still have sexual feelings, they may masturbate, but that won’t be associated with fantasy or a desire to have sex with somebody else.”

Brave Man

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A compelling music video from artist Will Young follows a transgender man as he strips down in a British pub and walks naked through a seaside town.

“Through tough times embracing myself as someone ‘different’ allowed me to embrace all differences in others, to embrace their vulnerability and their struggles as well as their inner strength and determination to be their true authentic selves. When I wrote the song, this is what I was referring to  — the determination in modern life to be my authentic self. In this video we see a man determined to be himself in the face of all adversity from inside and outside.”

Alan Turing named most iconic figure of 20th century in UK

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The BBC named Alan Turing the most ‘iconic’ figure of the 20th Century on Tuesday. Turing was instrumental in cracking Nazi codes during World War II. But he was later chemically castrated for being gay and committed suicide. He’s commonly known as the founding father of computer science.

Broadcaster Chris Packham gave an inspiring and heartwarming speech commemorating his life:

To win the accolade, Turing beat figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali.

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing for his 1952 conviction for having sex with another man. Some 49,000 gay men were convicted for homosexuality. They include poet, wit and playwright Oscar Wilde.

UK ban on “fetish porn” overturned

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The words “UK Government” and “porn” rarely ever are part of a headline announcing good news but here we go: Porn depicting a number of previously banned sex acts has been made legal in England after a review of their ridiculous obscenity laws.

Essentially, sex acts that are not illegal in another context can now be shown in pornography. Certain types of violent porn are now permitted so long as the sex acts are consensual (focusing on ‘full and freely exercised consent’) and do not cause serious harm to participants.

Not illegal in the UK anymore (video by Helix Studios)

The UK government first stated fetish pornography would be outlawed under the Obscene Publications Act. This included any form of BDSM and other pretty tame subjects like face-sitting, fisting and female ejaculation.

This was seen as a major blow to British porn producers. Many protested this change as censorship. ‘Distributing’ obscene material can simply mean sending a video via private message and can be punished with time in prison.

But even if you can watch fetish porn, you will still have to prove your age. New porn laws, officially coming in April, will mean Brits will have to input credit card details if they want to view a site that is at least one-third pornographic.

Obviously this opens the door for credit card data being intercepted by a third party or saved in an unsafe manner by website owners. The  habits of people looking at porn could also be tracked by the government.

 

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Sex Education

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Sex Education is a new comedy series on Netflix that promises to make you “laugh, cry and cringe.” The series debuted this week and as evidenced by the title, is all about sex.

Unlike recent YA originals on Netflix — see To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeDumplin’ and Sierra Burgess is a Loser — these high schoolers are doing more than dancing around the romantic idea of sex. They’re hungry for it, and they’re having it.

The series that casts Asa Butterfield as Otis , a sweet, unassuming 16-year-old outcast whose single, free-loving sex-therapist mum Jean (Gillian Anderson!) is always embarrassing him with her lack of boundaries. After watching him give some surprisingly great sex advice to a fellow student, Otis’ rebellious crush Maeve persuades him to set up his own informal therapy practice on campus and cut her in on the profits.

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