Asexual people are those who do not experience physical, sexual attraction to other people. It is different from being celibate because celibates choose to abstain from sex, even though they may be sexually attracted to others.
It is estimated that about 1 percent of the world's population is asexual, although some feel that the number may be as high as 3 to 5 percent. As knowledge grows and more studies are done on asexuals, the current number of asexuals will also probably increase.
Not surprisingly, there are many famous people from history and today's world that are either listed as asexual or who openly identify themselves as asexuals. This is no small step, because there is a lot of confusion as to what an asexual actually is.
Many people do not understand how a person can not be interested in sex. The answer is that there are many reasons why people have become asexuals. It could have been born out of a sexually abusive past, a complete mental lack of interest, or even individuals finding things they consider to be far more important than bumping uglies. Whatever their personal reasons, people who are coming out as asexuals are truly brave in their decision to be open about their lifestyles in an overly sexual world.
15 Janeane Garofalo
Comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo has something to say to just about everything, whether it’s politics, racism, intelligence (or the lack of intelligence), or sex. She has publicly come out as being uninterested in relationships and calls herself asexual. Even in her comedy routines, she has often come out as being uninterested in having sex. Ironically, she is well known for her role in the cult status movie, Wet Hot American Summer.
14 Emilie Autumn
Singer, songwriter, composer, author, and violinist, Emilie Autumn is the mistress of many artistic trades, but she is also asexual. As a victim of abuse, she, like many women who have suffered at the hands of others, turned her energy elsewhere. In 2012, Autumn tweeted, “Press asked if I still consider myself asexual. Shared revelation: Wasn't that I disliked sex, just nevr been w/ any1 who was any good @ it.”
13 Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla once said, “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.” True to his word, the famous inventor never married and it is believed that he may have died a virgin. His true love was in the act of creation and has said that, “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” He is considered by many to have been asexual.
12 Steven Patrick Morrissey
Singer Morrissey’s sexuality has often been the subject of debate, with many people believing that he is gay. In 2013, he came out in his autobiography as being humasexual, saying, “I am attracted to humans. But, of course … not many.” Morrissey says that he is celibate and that he was never attracted to girls as a teenager, although he has considered the idea of having children with a woman. Morrissey is listed as asexual in numerous online reports.
11 Paula Poundstone
Stand-up comedian, author, and the voice of Forgetter Paula in Inside Out (2015), Paula Poundstone is a well known asexual. On sex, she has said, "I don't have sex because I don't like it.” She has also joked that she would have to marry a Mormon because the other wives would be able to take care of the bedroom side of a relationship.
10 Florence Nightingale
Because of Florence Nightingale's selfless, heroic efforts, she and her team of nurses helped save the lives of numerous soldiers during the Crimean War. She practiced a whole body approach to nursing that included improving the sanitation conditions of the hospital, establishing a laundry for patient’s sheets, and she provided her patients with stimulating reading materials. After the war, she was rewarded by the Queen for her unending efforts and compassion. Soon after, Nightingale helped fund St. Thomas’ Hospital and opened the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Having devoted so much time to helping others, Nightingale never married and is believed to have been asexual.
9 Richey Edwards
The former rhythm guitarist in a Welsh band, Manic Street Preachers (1988 to 1995) and lyricist, Richard James Edwards went missing in 1995 and is desperately missed by his sister, Rachel Elias. The story of his disappearance and the effects it has had on the people who love him is incredibly heart wrenching. His car was found abandoned and it was assumed that he had committed suicide, although no body has been found. Pronounced legally dead in 2008, his sister continues with the hope of finding out what happened to her brother. As for his sexuality, he is reported to have said that he doesn’t like sex and is quoted as saying, “I was celibate until the age of 21. I stayed in my bedroom reading Camus and Nietzsche.” He disappeared at the age of 27.
8 H.P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft is one of the most quietly celebrated horror writers in the history of the genre. His tales of demonism and dark, ancient horrors influenced many of the horror writers we know of today. H.P. Lovecraft, however, was uncomfortable on the subject of sex. Being very Victorian and prudent, he was a virgin when he married his wife. His wife, Sonia, admits that Lovecraft had to read books on what was expected of a husband in the bedroom, but he was far from enthusiastic about the ordeal. Sonia stated that, “Of course, I did not expect him to be an ample provider but I did harbour some secret expectations that he might, after all, prove to be normal as a husband and lover. I felt however, that his inhibitions were provoked more or less by his severe Puritanical bringing up.”
7 Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was one of the greatest scientists of the world. A physicist and mathematician, he was the leading founder of calculus, physics, and optics. His extreme self studies into the sciences is probably why he had no time for relationships and he is commonly listed as being asexual. In fact, it is believed that this genius died a virgin. About his work, he is quoted as having said, “If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.”
6 Keri Hulme
Winner of the Booker Prize and author of The Bone People, Keri Hulme is very open to questions about her asexuality. In an interview on the NZ Herald News, she tells us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being asexual. When asked about common misconceptions surrounding asexuality, she said, “The idea that asexual people can be cured. I am not sick, I am not deficient; I may not be normal but I am thoroughly natural. And I don't want to be any different from the way I am.” She also talks about the feelings of isolation many asexual people feel and how the AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network) forum is helping asexuals discover that they are not alone.
5 Morgan Bell
Australian short story author of Sniggerless Boundations and other interesting titles, Morgan Bell is making her name as a writer who stands solid with people off all sexual orientations. Loved by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities, Morgan Bell has publicly come out as being asexual. In an interview on Author Alliance, Bell tells us that, “I am a triple-A human being: Atheist, Asexual, Australian.”
4 Caitlyn Jenner
When Bruce Jenner made the brave decision to begin living life as a woman, the world was abuzz with gossip. Now known as Caitlyn, she has been the subject of a lot of rumors. However, she has told Diane Sawyer in an interview that, no, she is not gay and that she has never been with a man. When pressed about her sexuality, she came right out and said: “I’m asexual.” She went on to say that, “Sexuality is who you personally are attracted to — who turns you on — male or female. But gender identity has to do with who you are as a person and your soul, and who you identify with inside, OK?"
3 T.E. Lawrence
As is often the case, any man or woman of history who was never married or had children is called out as being gay. Such was the case for Thomas Edward Lawrence who had no known loves in his life. Commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia, he is known to have been captured by the Ottoman Turks and suffered repeated torture and humiliation at their hands. Biographers believe that Lawrence was a virgin at the time of his capture and that the events that followed left Lawrence bereft of any known sexual desires.
2 Sherlock Holmes
The most celebrated and loved detective of all times, Sherlock Holmes is a literary figure whose sexuality has often been questioned. His lack of interest in the opposite sex is obvious throughout all the short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and has raised questions as to whether or not Sherlock Holmes was actually gay. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the new BBC series outed Mr. Holmes as being asexual. Cumberbatch said of Holmes, "He's asexual for a purpose. Not because he doesn't have a sex drive, but because it's suppressed to do his work. Cold showers, looking at a lot of dead bodies... that'll do it for you."
1 Edward Gorey
Intriguing, morbid, and humorous are the words that often describe the works of the late illustrator and author, Edward Gorey. This fascinating man created epic works of nonsense and dived straight into the macabre. His works influenced such greats as Tim Burton and his books, such as The Curious Sofa, has left multitudes of readers both perplexed and amused. Gorey never married or had any children. He considered himself asexual, saying, when asked about his sexuality, “I am fortunate in that I am apparently reasonably undersexed or something … I’ve never said that I was gay and I’ve never said that I wasn’t … what I’m trying to say is that I am a person before I am anything else.”