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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.