Asexuality

I apologise if there’s another thread on this, but I can’t find it.

Is asexuality (having no desire to have marital relations, though you know what I mean if they’re not married though it’s a sin) a disorder like homosexuality? Or, is it a sign from God that you are meant to live chaste and celibate, maybe such as a Priest or Religious?

God Bless :signofcross::byzsoc::

When you write “asexuality,” I assume you mean someone with a sex drive is is non-existent, or virtually so. They are not repulsed by sex (which might be considered disordered) but simply have no interest in having sex.

Is this correct? Or are you referring to persons who reproduce via mitosis? :wink:

I refer to having no sex drive! I will correct that in my post! Thanks :slight_smile:

Homosexual desires are disordered because they tempt the individual to do something that in inherently sinful. Asexuality does not share this feature and is not disordered in the same way homosexual desires are. The lack of sexual desire is not a sin. I would agree that such persons are simply called to celibacy, because that is what they instinctively lean towards.

Bump: I’m really interested

Ideally, sexual behaviors and attractions should only play a very subsidiary role in life. For one thing, they are appropriate only within the context of an already existing marriage, so that (1) every sexual attraction experienced by an unmarried person is disordered and (2) every sexual attraction experienced by a married person for someone who is not his or her spouse is disordered. So already we could say that most sexual attractions are disordered in one way or another. But even within a marriage, many of the attractions one experiences for a spouse are disordered because they occur at the wrong time or place or because they are stronger than they ought to be. (For example, it is obviously wrong while at work to think about sleeping with one’s spouse.) In short then, I would say asexuality is much less disordered than even heterosexuality, let alone homosexuality or bisexuality.

That’s actually the most negative, anti-sexuality text I have ever read.
No offense intended to you, but things like this are the reason a lot of people dislike the Church - because they think we perceive sex as some great evil that should be avoided unless absolutely necessary and even then it’s only for procreation and shouldn’t be enjoyed as a pleasure.

No sexual desire? You lucky dog. No, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anything against asexuality. In fact, not only is it not wrong, it seems that it is the ideal that everyone should aim for.

The vast majority of saints are celibates. Of the few married saints most seem to either have given up sex later in life or to have only had sex when procreation was possible and directly intended.

I recall that I either heard Mother Angelica state on an episode of Mother Angelica Live–or possibly I read it in her biography by Raymond Arroyo-- that she never really struggled much with this particular temptation (sexual temptation, temptation toward sexual sin). I recall that she mentioned it in her rather casual way, in the context of chastity, and seemed grateful that she was not plagued with this particular temptation.

IMHO, it would seem a blessing for a celibate to not be plagued with temptation to sexual sin–although having strong sexual temptations and truly overcoming them is surely a sign of a great victory through the grace of God.

As a married person, though, one has to put their lack of desire to the wayside and do their marital duty, and, if they choose, work and pray hard to try to rekindle such desires toward their spouse.

For persons who are not in a relationship, or who do not desire to be in a relationship, the lack of sexual desire would be a blessing. It would remove much of the burden of chastity.

However, sexual desire can have an important unitive function for couples, and as such is a good thing.

The absence of sexual desire in one person, but not in their partner, would be a hardship for both, I think. And in that sense, asexuality could be considered disordered… not for the individual in question, but for the sake of the marriage.

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when everyone was pressured to marry (and to marry young.) I think it would be healthy for society, and certainly for the individuals involved, to recognize that asexuals exist and that these persons may want to be very careful about choosing a spouse, if they choose to marry at all.

If asexuality was bad, then that would basically mean that being single is a sin. And that’s just silly.

Where did this come from? What I wrote was simply a corollary to the premise that any attraction which is either contrary to reason or else not under its control is disordered. Isn’t that what the Church teaches?

Hi Chrystostim,

Sorry you felt a little attacked by the previous post.

So, you basically stated that the Church teaches that it is disordered/sinful to experience sexual attraction outside of marriage, and that it is disordered for married persons to experience sexual attraction to people other than their spouses.

I think the one important distinction that must be made is that sexual attraction in itself is a biological response, but in the case of sexual attraction outside of marriage, or extramaritally, it is also a temptation, that once entertained–by allowing oneself to have impure thoughts and/or actions based on this attraction–becomes disordered and can be gravely sinful. This is a fine and dangerous line, the crossing of which can happen very quickly.

I found a brief Q&A on a EWTN.com, in which Father Robert J. Levis addresses this matter. Here is an excerpt from Fr. Levis:

*Of course, every man finds every woman attractive. And I suppose most if not every women also finds every man attractive. Here we have the God-established mutual attraction of the sexes. Sin enters when sexual pleasure (emphasis added) is a factor. So if a man continues his attenti0n on a subject once sexuality becomes active, he sins. The degree of the sin depends on the degree of sexual pleasure indulged in. *

Here is the link to the entire Q&A:
ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=518783&Pg=Forum6&Pgnu=3&recnu=68

I’d also like to add that St. Francis de Sales, in his amazing work Introduction to the Devout Life further distinguishes between 1) the temptation to sin, 2) delighting in the idea of the sin/temptation, and 3) completely surrendering to the temptation.

This is my example, not one St. Francis directly proposes: A man sees a woman who he finds extremely sexually attractive. He does not want to fall into sin by entertaining lustful thoughts about her, but for a moment, before he turns his attentions elsewhere and cuts off the blossoming lust, he “delights” in the idea of that lust/sin/temptation.

Once we truly come to love the Lord to the point where we hate anything that offends him, even that moment of “delight,” according to St. Francis, will no longer occur. Instead, we will be repulsed by, rather than enjoying, the mere idea of the sin (in this case, the example being lust).

This has been a helpful way for me to try to “monitor” my own rooting out of certain sins. There was a time when I knew watching a morally offensive (primetime) TV program was sinful. It contained adultery, theft, promiscuity, lying, homosexual acts, every imaginable kind of sin, and I knew it just wasn’t making God happy for me to sit there enjoying it every week.

So I decided to stop. BUT, there was a time when I still really wanted to watch it…that was the period in which I had stopped consenting/surrendering to the sin by not actually watching the show, but I still delighted in the temptation–imagining what might be happening in the upcoming episodes that I was missing, wishing I could watch it.

Today, I’ve conquered the “delight” stage, and the thought of the show, and how incredibly offensive it must be to Our Lord, simply disgusts me.

I included this little digression into St. Francis’s explanation of “delighting” in the idea of the sin because I think that, in the case of lust, many people–men and women-- try to exist in that gray area of “delighting” in the idea of sexual sin–not fully consenting to out and out lustful imaginings and actions, but still failing to exercise proper authority over their eyes and imaginations–letting themselves enjoy the temptation a bit before turning away completely. This is something that we can overcome with God’s grace.

Hi Madeline616,

Thanks for the very kind, patient post. Let me just clarify a little bit what I was getting at.

In your reply, you identify a non-causal series of events that can be schematized as follows: sexual attraction --> sexual thoughts --> sexual acts. The claim seems to be that the first step in the chain is never disordered (its sinfulness was never in question) provided only that it is heterosexual, but that the other steps are disordered if they are about anyone but one’s spouse. However, it still seems reasonable to me to regard the first step as disordered if it isn’t (so to speak) about one’s spouse.

The reason is extremely simple: when it isn’t about a person who is, right here and now, one’s spouse, a sexual attraction leads to, or inclines toward, sin and temptation, viz., sexual thoughts or actions. But since sexual thoughts that aren’t about someone who is one’s spouse right here and now are disordered, whatever even leads to them must also be disordered.

So far as I know, there’s only one way to try and keep these non-spousal sexual attractions from being branded “disordered.” As you say, beings such as us are biologically hardwired to have these attractions, and it’s perfectly normal to experience them. Neither objection is particularly compelling, since most of us seem hardwired to eat too much, and it’s perfectly normal to love one’s friends and hate one’s enemies. So if these objections are no good, I wonder if you can find any others.

In any case, to prevent one final bit of confusion, let me invoke another distinction from St. Francis de Sales’ book. While sexual attractions are (by and large, but certainly not all the time) disordered, I would say they aren’t sinful in any meaningful sense of the word. Their presence, when they are disordered, would be indicative only of what St. Francis called imperfection and not actual sin. He discusses the distinction early on in his Introduction.

Anyway, I hope this clears everything up. It’s easy to understand how the idea that many involuntary sexual attractions are disordered could be counter-intuitive or upsetting, but how the idea might make us feel has nothing to do with its merit.

We have made some great points regarding when and what sexual acts or desires are sinful or disordered, bt we have swung utterly off topic :o I am really interested in more peoples opinion on wether asexuality is disordered or not, though the general concensus is NO, and I agree.:slight_smile:

God Bless :signofcross::byzsoc:

Well, sex is mainly due to the biological drive to reproduce.

So I don’t tend to see sex as ‘sacred’ or anything.

How is something that can create a whole new person not sacred?

Well, because all the animals do it too! (except of course they create their own kind not people)

I think it is a bit strange to call a simple biological drive just like eating or sleeping - ‘holy’.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not a prude, I don’t think sex is bad but I think calling it sacred or holy is a bit to far.

True, but we create human beings with souls -and human beings are sacred in a way. That’s why it is a sin to kill a person but not (usually) and animal.

Yes, because humans have human offspring and animals don’t :wink:

And anyway there’s no sex or biological gender in heaven as Jesus himself said so it can’t be that sacred otherwise we’d be having it in heaven - sex is a biological drive particular to this world.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.