A few things:subtlefuge said:I'm still unconvinced that asexuality is a valid sexual orientation, largely because it's the only one based on a negative statement (or lack of). I definitely am open and accepting of anyone regardless of preference, orientation, or lack of orientation, but I'm not convinced that never experiencing sexual arousal isn't symptomatic of a disease or defect of some kind.
The fact that 6% of people on this poll self-identify as asexual really makes it into a kind of joke. Heck, half the posts say "I'm hetero/homosexual, but might as well be asexual." If people can choose it, it can't fall under the same umbrella.
I still will treat anyone with the respect that I would expect, but I've never heard a convincing or passionate argument from an asexual person that makes me believe it's an orientation instead of a state of being, disability, mental illness, or lifestyle choice.
1) Being asexual has little to do with libido or how much sex a person wants or needs, and more to do with with whom they're attracted to. Asexuals aren't attracted to any gender when it comes to sexual relationships. Can they fall in love, or become infatuated with others? Yes, but it's guaranteed it won't be for sexual reasons. The human brain is much more complex than the concept of orientation can provide for.
2) Some people are, in fact, young, and as an old asexual acquaintance of mine used to say, they won't be necessarily lifelong asexuals. I'm old enough and have experimented enough to say with some certainty that I have no desire for a sexual relationship with any gender; no gender in particular interests me, and I would rather be reading, writing, drawing, or cycling than have or pursue sex. That's just how I am. I'm mentally and physically healthy, given my circumstances and profession, and sure as hell didn't choose this (I've made the mistake of trying to force myself to be otherwise in the past, it doesn't work, and I won't go into detail; I'm sure any gay or bi person who has tried the same will know what I am talking about). Being what I am indeed bothered me in the past, as I am analytical and understand the implications and possible hazards of living what might become a solitary life, but that's not going to change much. I can't say I've come to terms with it fully yet, but I'm much more comfortable than I used to be.
The whole concept of orientation is bunk to me, however. Human sexuality is much more complex than just with whom one wants to fuck, after all. These orientation labels are just convenient words that we use so we don't have to go into long tirades about who or what we want or don't want to mash our private parts together with: the old human instinct to throw things into boxes so the brain doesn't have to think as hard when it might need to react to a more pressing concern, such as a predator, the need for food, etc.
3) 5.8% or so isn't much, especially on a forum like this one, and even more so when the overwhelming majority are straight people at 68.6%. Most people need some form of social interaction, even the most asocial of us, and asexuals are less likely to congregate in typical places and wooing grounds, e.g. bars. It's not surprising at all to see a small bunch on a gaming forum.