A very (a)sexy awakening: The New England Aces to kick off Boston’s first Asexual Awareness Week

From left, Hannah Hussey, M. Leclerc, Faith Karklin and Lev Makhlis. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
From left, Hannah Hussey, M. Leclerc, Faith Karklin and Lev Makhlis.
PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

To help the libido-fueled public understand a seldom discussed and often misunderstood sexual orientation, a group of locals who do not experience sexual attraction on any level will kick off the Boston-area’s first Asexual Awareness Week.

Formed three years ago, the New England Aces have more than 200 members who correspond online and regularly meet in Cambridge to have fun without the pressure or expectation of sex.

“Asexuality is something that not a lot of people are aware of. Even among the asexual community, there wasn’t a world out there or a community people could go to if they felt they were different, and didn’t know how to deal with (their asexuality),” said Julie Schwartz, an asexual and assistant organizer of NEA.

“Part of the group is just to socialize with other people. Sometimes we discuss our experiences and (asexuality) issues, and sometimes we are just hanging out and chatting,” said Schwartz.

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, which hosts the world’s largest online asexual community, an asexual is defined simply as someone who does not experience sexual attraction. According to Schwartz, many individuals who identify as asexual often face scrutiny.

“Life can be difficult for people who are asexual,” said Schwartz. “A lot of women are seen as prudish, and men are seen as being weird or broken… People are being told they haven’t had the right person, or that they don’t know themselves. There is a lack of respect.”

Often confused with celibacy, most asexuals regard asexuality as a sexual orientation, and have as diverse a spectrum of emotional needs and intimate relationships as sexuals.

The Boston awareness week begins Sunday night at Harvard University with a screening of the 2011 documentary “(A)sexual,” which examines the emergence of the asexual community.

The group on Wednesday night will attend a workshop on asexual inclusion within campus LGBT groups at Northeastern University Student Center.

“Not all asexuals identify as queer, but even though I do, I often didn’t feel welcome in LGBT spaces during college,” said Queenie, an assistant organizer who preferred not to use her last name.

“I would have benefitted from more awareness that not everyone experiences sexual attraction and more spaces for asexual students to seek support, so I’m excited to be able to offer resources to students and staff members trying to make their campuses more inclusive.”

To top off the week’s events, the group will field questions at MIT Thursday night during a panel discussion called Asexuality 101.

More information on NEA and next week’s events is available at facebook.com/aawboston.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…