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Non Amour: A Day In France Devoted To Asexuals

20 MINUTES, MARIE CLAIRE, LA DEPECHE (France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS - This doesn't sound very French.

A group has declared Friday "Asexuality Day" in France. Organized by the AVA (Association for Asexual Visibility), the goal of the celebration is to inform the public about this little-known category of sexual identity of those people who do not like sex, reports the Paris-based daily 20 Minutes.

Like straight or gay people, asexual people are attracted to men or women (or both), fall in love and marry -- but unlike most people, do not feel sexual desire. Most of them have tried sex, but just don't like it, even though some do experience pleasure from the act.

Contrary to abstinence, asexuality is not a choice, and asexuals are therefore often misunderstood. Many have difficulties in finding partners, reports Marie Claire.

“We want asexuality to be recognized as a fully fledged sexual orientation," said an AVA spokesman who gave his name as Paul.

Asexual Pride flag

Thus on Friday, all those who identify with this orientation are encouraged to participate in some kind of public way, through a Facebook post, or by wearing a black and mauve shirt, or even just talking about it with friends. The association's tumbler account is collecting testimonies, poems, pictures and more.

Asexuality remains largely unknown to the general public. The only serious academic study was conducted by psychology professor Anthony Bogaert , who concluded that 1% of the population was indeed asexual, notes La Dépêche. No doubt, new awareness would be needed in France, a country with particular pride in its 99%.

The first-ever French Asexuality Day coincidentally arrives the same week that France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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