Around one percent of adults have absolutely no interest in sex, a surprisingly high figure that is not far from the estimated three percent of the population who are gay, according to a study reported in next Saturday's New Scientist.
The analysis looked at responses made among 18,000 people in Britain who were interviewed about their sexual practices.
One percent said they agreed with the statement: "I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all."
That study, conducted by Anthony Bogaert, a psychologist and human sexuality expert at Brock University in St. Catherines, Canada, is published in the latest issue of The Journal of Sex Research. The British survey was carried out in 1994 as part of a study into sexual practices.
"If asexuality is indeed a form of sexual orientation, perhaps it will not be long before the issue of 'A' pride starts attracting more attention," New Scientist says.
Plucky activists have already started campaigning to promote awareness and acceptance of asexuality, it reports.
One such group, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) has an online store selling T-shirts bearing such slogans as "Asexuality: it's not just for amoebas anymore".
It also sells a thong that reads: "It's only underwear. Get over it."