Asexual Person: 10 Famous Asexual Figures from History
10 Famous Asexual Figures from History

10 Famous Asexual Figures from History

D.G. Hewitt - April 11, 2018

10 Famous Asexual Figures from History
Chopin had legions of female fans, but he simply wasn’t interested in any of them. Smithsonian Magazine.

Frederic Chopin

At the peak of his fame and powers, Frederic Chopin was treated more like a modern-day rock star than a classical composer: outside Paris concert halls, for example, female fans would wait to meet him, and everywhere he went he was the toast of the town, praised for his innovative and stirring compositions. Unlike the typical rock star, however, Chopin didn’t make the most of his fame in this sense. Indeed, throughout his life, he showed little to no interest in members of the opposite sex, or of the same sex for that matter. So was the great composer asexual before the world came to recognize this space on the great spectrum of human sexuality?

Several of Chopin’s biographers certainly believe that the composer was “fundamentally asexual”, even if he was linked with several women and even had a seven-year relationship with the French writer George Sand. Suffice to say, theirs was not a conventional partnership. By all accounts, it remained unconsummated; while Sand had had several past lovers and even had children, some historians believe Chopin imposed celibacy on his older partner. For the pianist and composer, it has been argued, the partnership was more one of curiosity and convenience than one of physical attraction.

According to some of his biographer’s, Chopin’s aversion to sex and intimacy had its roots in his adolescence. As a teen, he became infatuated with a female opera singer by the name of Maria Wodzinska. The pair were engaged to be married, and Chopin wrote several pieces of music for his beloved. However, Maria’s father was against the match, worrying that his prospective son-in-law was too sickly for his daughter. So distraught was he by the ending of the engagement that Chopin lost all interest in love and sex.

It could well be that Chopin led a long life of self-imposed celibacy. Alternatively, those biographers may have been right: he was asexual all along, just that after the heartbreak he experienced as a young man ended his interest in romance, too.

10 Famous Asexual Figures from History
His paintings may have been scandalous, even erotic, but there’s no suggestion Dali liked sex himself. Biography.com.

Salvador Dali

While his contemporary Pablo Picasso might have been a notorious womanizer, Salvador Dali was far more complicated sexually. The Spanish artist once famously confessed: “I have tried sex once with a woman and it was (with his wife) Gala. It was overrated. I tried sex once with a man and that man was the famous juggler Frederico Garcia Lorca. It was very painful.” Thus, despite evidently displaying a keen interest in the theme of sex and sexuality from an artistic point of view, many of Dali’s biographers have concluded that the great man himself was asexual.

In his 1942 autobiography The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, the artist is notably coy on the issue of sex and his own sexuality. Curiously, while topics like religion, war and politics, as well as his own beliefs and upbringing, are discussed, Dali declined to give any insights into his love life – or lack of it. This is despite the fact that Dali, who was born in the city of Figueres, Spain, in 1904, was a married man for much of his life. He first met Gala, a Russian immigrant almost a decade his senior, in 1929, though at the time, she was married to the French poet Paul Eluard. However, the couple soon got together and they finally married in a secret ceremony in 1934, following this up with a religious ceremony in a Catholic church a year later.

The union between Dali and Gala was far from a conventional relationship. Again, the artist himself revealed that the marriage was only consummated on a single, disappointing occasion. Other than that, he showed no interest in sex, though his wife was highly sexual and continued to take many lovers outside of the marital bed. Some Dali scholars theorize that this asexuality was rooted in his childhood. He himself admitted that, from an early age, he feared his penis was small and underdeveloped and that he was bound to disappoint women sexually. What’s more, while he did find pleasure in his own company, even this caused him great distress, even into later life.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

The Conversation – Why Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights Is A Cult Classic

The Guardian – The Strange Cult Of Emily Brontë And The ‘Hot Mess’ Of Wuthering Heights

“The Emily Bronte mystery”. The Irish Times, August 1998.

The Guardian – Revealed: The Secret Marriage Of Lawrence Of Arabia, The Lonely Romantic

“The Posthumous Pornification of H.P. Lovecraft”. Philip Eil, Vice.com, August 2015.

“T.E. Lawrence ‘made up’ sex attack by Turk troops”. Elizabeth Day, The Daily Telegraph, May 2006.

“Florence Nightingale: A new biography sheds light on the Lady with the Lamp”. Suzi Feay, The Independent, September 2008.

Huff Post – Isaac Newton Died A Virgin And 9 Other Facts About The Brilliant, Bizarre Physicist

New York Time Magazine – Isaac Newton Revival Seeks Clues to Tortured Scientist’s Genius

“Isaac Newton’s Personal Life”. The Newton Project, University of Oxford.

“The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla”. Richard Gunderman, Smithsonian Magazine, January 2018.

Ranker – Some Historians Think These Historical Figures Died As Virgins

Ranker – 16 Famous People Who Probably Died as Virgins

“A troubled genius: The truth about Chopin”. Michael Church, The Independent, December 2009.

The Guardian – Chopin’s Interest In Men Airbrushed From History, Programme Claims

The Paris Review – When Your Muse Is Also a Demonic Dominatrix

“Salvador Dali disliked sex and was unlikely to have fathered a child in an affair”. Troy Lennon, The Daily Telegraph, June 2017.

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