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A is for
Having looked into the categories of Questioning/Queer and Intersex, we’re now up to the letter A. And, as most people know, A is for Asexual. On the surface, asexual simply means lack of sexual attraction to anyone or anything - a complete absence of sexual desire not because of a temporary decrease in sex drive, but as a permanent, lifelong state. If your lack of desire is merely a brief thing, you may well find that gay massage is sufficient to rekindle this aspect of your existence. It’s a great therapy with a number of benefits, and the reinvigoration of your sensuality is just one of them. However, if you’re actually asexual, then there may be no need whatsoever to perceive this as a problem in need of correction. Of course, that doesn’t mean gay massage can’t still be a wonderfully relaxing experience for you.

The inclusion of asexual under the LGBT+ banner is not without controversy. Why, some ask, does a group of people who’ve never been persecuted by laws or legal amendments or human rights restrictions, need to mobilise? After all, it has never been illegal, on the basis of your asexuality, to get married. There have never been cultural climates in which asexuals were pursued relentlessly by the police and locked up. Nowhere on earth is it punishable by death if you wish to live a life without sex. Asexuals may be a minority, but it is hard to argue that they have ever been a persecuted one. Therefore, some argue, it makes a mockery of (and belittles) the very real struggles faced by some of the other people in the LGBT+ rainbow. Had Oscar Wilde been asexual, he would not have been imprisoned or died as a public outcast. Had Alan Turing, the famous code-cracker, been asexual, he would not have been chemically castrated by order of the British courts. Had James Baldwin, the gay, American writer, been asexual, he would not have been hounded by the police before seeking refuge in France.

But let’s try to see the other side. What, after all, is the harm in being open-minded and expanding the confines of LGBT+ so that asexual people can be welcomed in with open arms? They’re not hurting anyone, are they? Furthermore, some asexual people still have rich, profound romantic lives, forming life-long partnerships no less worthy of respect than anyone else’s. And while it’s true that there have never been laws that singled out asexual people by name as targets for any sort of persecution whatsoever, they do have to grapple with - if not bigotry - then certainly occasional, gentle misunderstanding from friends, acquaintances and family, should they take the step of announcing their asexuality. Therefore, the LGBT+ spectrum offers them a harbour, something to belong to and a bit of a shoulder.