The Definition Debate

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The Definition Debate refers to how to define asexuality. Since the earliest days of the asexual community, there have been debates within it over how to define asexuality.

The earliest large asexual community was Haven for the Human Amoeba, which had factions of members with opposing definitions of asexuality. Several sites emerged from it, with differing ideologies and definitions. Some early communities that labeled themselves as asexual, such as the Asexuals LiveJournal group, originated as being more about celibacy than asexuality itself. However, the definition debates within the asexual community were mainly over whether asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, or lack of libido, and whether can ever have been sexually active and be asexual.

The earliest definitions AVEN used were "A person who is attracted to neither gender", which was later changed to avoid assuming a gender binary; "No or very little sexual attraction to others" [1], and "A person who does not experience sexual attraction". [2]

The Official Asexual Society was another early asexual site to emerge, and defined asexuality as the lack of libido. Along with this, members of the OAS generally believed that asexuals also can't have ever had sex. As AVEN's definition became more recognized, the OAS changed its name to the Official Non-libidoism Society in 2004.[3]


  1. Asexual Explorations. Asexuality: the History of a Definition (page 2):
  2. Asexuality Visibility and Education Network FAQ. (2002).
  3. Apositive. (2010). History: Asexuality & the Nonlibidoism society: