Chasing Aces: Asexuality, Misinformation and the Challenges of Identity


  • Adrienne Colborne Dalhousie University


Asexuality, LGBTQ , identity, information


Asexuality is a deeply misunderstood and little-known sexual orientation. This is partly due to misconceptions and marginalization of asexual people, and partly by a lack of information about the orientation. This paper outlines the misconceptions of the ‘causes‘ of asexuality, namely Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), abuse, and religious abstinence. These causes are shown to be invalid due to the key element of self-identification in determining an orientation.; nevertheless, they persist in society because little is known about the nature of asexuality. The facets of the asexual orientation are then discussed: levels of sexual attraction, sexual desire, and romantic orientation, displaying the complex attempt to define asexuality, made even more difficult by a lack of sources concerning these facets.. Finally, the tension between the LGBTQ+ community and asexuals is discussed in terms of the debate about including asexuals in this community, with the groups often speaking at cross-purposes. It becomes clear that being asexual requires a complex navigation of territory, and this problem is exacerbated at every step by a lack of information. It is therefore crucial that this informational gap is addressed at each of these three critical areas in order to build a more complete societal grasp of asexuality, and to create a vibrant, open community for those who identify as asexual.

Author Biography

Adrienne Colborne, Dalhousie University

Adrienne Colborne attended the University of King‘s College, earning a combined honours B.A. in Contemporary Studies and Creative Writing. She is in her first year of the Master‘s of Library and Information Studies Program


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