Sexless and Proud


David Jay has had plenty of girlfriends. But despite the 23-year-old Californian's success in dating, he's a virgin -- and he plans to stay that way. He's not joining the priesthood or taking any vow of celibacy; he said he simply has no interest in having sex -- ever.

"I'm sure that life is really, really great when it's all about sex. But life is also really, really great when it's not about sex," he told "20/20's" JuJu Chang.

Keith Walker of Texas was married for four years, but said he had sex only a handful of times. "I really had no real interest or desire for sex. It was certainly nothing that I would ever think to do."

Nancy Mulligan, a divorcee from Washington state, said her seven-year marriage was never consummated. "We did other things. We'd watch out for each other. We were affectionate with each other," she said.

Victoria Glancy and Karl Hodgetts are preparing for that sort of marriage with their summer wedding. They're prepared to live happily but sexlessly ever after.

"I don't really see any difference between our relationship and other people's relationships, except you know, we don't have sex," Glancy said.

No Libido -- No Problem

Who are these people? From different ages and walks of life, they share one thing in common -- not low libido -- no libido. They call themselves "asexual" and they proclaim that they are not attracted to men or women.

David Jay said his lack of libido is nothing new. He said he's never experienced attraction -- to either sex. "I realized that I was asexual because when I was young, all of my friends started being attracted to people, and I had no idea what they were talking about," he said.

It was the same way for Nancy Mulligan, who felt isolated for years. "I thought I was the only one in the world. I had just kind of settled into the rut that I was different and decided to do the best I could with it," she said.

But now asexuals are building a community through a Web site -- It has chat rooms, sells T-shirts and claims it has 6,000-plus members worldwide.

Jay is the Web site's founder, and the leader of what some call a new asexuality movement. He explains what's behind the group. "We're told that you need sex to be happy. We're told that the rules are that if you have a relationship, sex has to fit into it this way. And it's kind of fun to break that rule," he said.

Asexuality Is 'Not a Choice'

But some experts question if asexuality even exists. There's been virtually no research on the subject. Psychologists disagree on how to define it. And there's no certainty on what might influence it. Do hormones, genetics, personal experiences play a part? With no clinical or scientific conclusions on the subject, asexuals create their own definition.

And that definition is a far cry from celibacy, Jay pointed out. "It's not a choice. Celibacy is a choice, whereas asexuality is just the way that you are. Much like being gay is not a choice, or being straight or being right-handed," he said.

Some studies show that asexual behavior does exist in the animal world. Dr. Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario, who has conducted one of the few studies of human asexuality said he found as much as 1 percent of the population may be asexual.

"They may still have physiological arousal experiences, vaginal lubrication, erections, but they may not be able to, or [connect] that arousal to men, women or both," Bogaert said.

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