Yes, that was alluded to when the author described Jenni as heteroromantic, and mentioned aromantic vs. romantic asexuals. (Feck off, Firefox, asexuals is totally a word. :grump: )
Many asexuals that I've met through AVEN do want a partner, and some don't. Famously, at least if you're an AVEN member, the AVEN site founder (David Jay) is aromantic. He has sometimes come up to Vancouver to present a talk on asexuality with a fellow AVENite who lives here (originally from California, like DJ). There is usually a part of their slide-based presentation where the two of them argue about romantic vs. aromantic asexuals and which is better. She talks about the importance and challenge of finding a partner; he talks about community-based relationships and being "like a third partner" to couples with whom he shares intimate emotional relationships with no physical component.
As with sexuals, there are heteroromantics, homoromantics, biromantics, and panromantics in the asexy population. Many asexuals do in fact partner with sexuals, and many of those are okay with having sex with their partners. I've heard from many people about this, with all sorts of feelings about it:
- "I like it, but only with [partner]. I don't want to do it with anyone else."
- "it's fine because I know that it's important to [partner], even if I could totally do without it."
- "It's just something I am willing to do to keep our marriage together."
There are also people who just really aren't down with it. Some parts of what we call the asexual community are pointedly anti-sex, claiming that sex itself is a blight on humanity and should be eradicated, or else that asexuals are more pure than everyone else. (The official policy of AVEN is that sex is fantastic if you want to have it, but none for us thanks.) I haven't met any anti-sex people in our local group, but I have heard things that are different from what I've quoted above:
- "I was okay with it, but it felt like I needed to ignore part of myself to go through with it. I got to a point where I couldn't do that anymore."
- "No. It feels like violation, and I won't put myself through that anymore."
(The last quote is in fact my own.
In other words, asexuality is probably as complicated as sexuality, except it's not something everyone knows about. And everyone doesn't really need to know all about it, but it would be nice if enough people knew enough about it. Ya know?/sorry for the book report. I'll pipe down now.