Some people are not sexually attracted to anyone, and describe themselves as asexual. This may be viewed as a form of sexual orientation in itself, although it is sometimes claimed that it is a psycho-sexual problem.
Several religions or religious sects believe that asexuality is a spiritually superior condition. Some Christian religions, based on 1 Corinthians 7:9 ("1 Corinthians 7:9 (RSV) But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion. ") endorse sex only within marriage, and then only as a lesser choice than chastity or sexual abstinence. In the Catholic Church, chastity is one of the vows that one takes in order to become a nun or priest. See also celibacy. This idea that asexuality is the higher way is sometimes referred to as asexism.
In fiction, John Braine's novel The Jealous God (1964) is a good example of sex mainly seen as a sin. On the other hand, in his science fiction novel Distress (1995), Greg Egan imagines a world where "asex" is one out of five or seven acknowledged gender settings.
Asexuality is not to be confused with asexual reproduction.
See also: heteronormativity