According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, "An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction.
Unlike celibacy, which a person can choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are’" (Asexual Visibility and Education Network, 2009, p. 1). The Asexual Visibility and Education Network, founded in 2001, has 35,000 members worldwide, about 60% of whom are women in their teens through 30s. A national probability study of 18,000 people in Britain found that 1% of those surveyed said they were asexual (Bogaert, 2004).
Most asexual men and women have been asexual throughout their lives. Although they lack sexual attraction toward others, they vary in their interests in friendships, affection, romance, and partnerships, including marriage (DeLuzio, 2011; L. Harris, 2010). Another study found that the majority of the respondents did not feel distressed about their asexuality. Seventy-three percent of individuals who identified themselves as asexual had never engaged in sexual intercourse and felt no interest in partnered sexual expression. However, most respondents (80% of males and 77% of females) did masturbate (Knudson et al., 2007). Further evidence that asexuality is usually not related to a lack of sexual response was found in a small study involving women who self-identified as asexual, bisexual, lesbian, and heterosexual. While watching erotic audiovisual material, the asexual women experienced subjective and physiological sexual arousal similar to that of the other groups of women (Brotto & Yule, 2011).