Is fantasy and masturbation acceptable in Islam

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Asexuals often encounter incomprehension and have to justify themselves. Image: Raisa Durandi

Nobody speaks of asexuality. How come And wouldn't it be important to establish asexuality just as it is finally happening with homosexuality?

Asexuality is indeed a major taboo. There are many reasons for this. On the one hand, it is still a little-researched phenomenon that has only received increasing attention within the scientific community in recent years. That is why it is difficult to do educational work here. In addition, it contradicts the hypersexualized ethos of our society today. In a social structure in which sex is so glorified, it is difficult, especially for those affected, to make themselves heard and accepted.

The definitions of what exactly is asexuality vary. Basically, asexuality refers to the absence of sexual attraction or lack of desire to have sex. The experts disagree as to whether this is a sexual orientation or an extreme form of listlessness. The latter, however, contradicts the fact that those affected do not suffer from reduced sexual desire and do not see it as a problem in need of treatment. It is a distinct form of sexual abstinence that, in contrast to the conscious decision to abstain from sex, is an intrinsic part of a person. Statistical surveys on dissemination are very rare. In a large-scale British study, however, around 1 percent said that “they have never felt sexually attracted to anyone”. Studies on the possible reasons are similarly sparse. The currently postulated theories make use of psychosocial explanatory models such as sex-related shame or fear, previous abuse or biological factors such as prenatal hormone exposure. In my opinion, however, these hypotheses are premature and should be interpreted with caution.

Contrary to popular belief, many asexuals still have sex; not for pleasure, but for other reasons. But honestly. This is often the case with non-asexuals. Sex to create closeness and intimacy, to please the partner or to reproduce is not uncommon - this is also the case with asexuals. The need for emotional closeness and attachment is just as often present, but it also varies within the asexual community. Some prefer to be alone or just want to date, while others long for deep, lasting relationships - which unfortunately is often not easy to find when sex is missing. In addition to clarifying that it is not a misinterpreted listlessness due to an illness or drug side effects, the focus for me is on strengthening those affected. Reduce the level of suffering that those affected suffer due to marginalization and strengthen them in their being, because asexuals often encounter incomprehension and have to justify not wanting something “so beautiful and natural”.

Sexologist Andrea Burri answers a reader question on the subject of sexuality and love on Fridays. This will be treated confidentially and published without naming any name. Write to us at [email protected]

After studying clinical psychology at the University of Zurich, Andrea Burri conducted research in England at King’s College and in Turku, Finland. Since July she has been an assistant professor at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.