Free From Desire: Asexual in the City of Love

Free From Desire: Asexual in the City of Love

FREE FROM DESIRE: ASEXUAL IN THE CITY OF LOVE is the story of Aline, 34, who has never been attracted to anyone - neither sexually nor romantically. They retrace their steps through the trials and tribulations of an adolescence steeped in supercharged pop culture messaging and explores how difficult it was to realize and accept their asexuality and aromantism in a society that only talks about exactly that: love and sex. This acceptance eventually leads them to the next chapter of their adult life: having a child on their own via IVF, and redefining what family means to them. In the words of the Tribeca Audio Storytelling Competition jury, who awarded the show its top prize, “this compelling personal story has lessons and insights for anyone with a body.”


April 25, 2023 1 min
For years, Aline thought “it will eventually come.” They'd even put themselves in uncomfortable situations to try and force it to happen. It never did. They felt isolated, excluded, and ashamed. What is life without experiencing sexual or romantic desire — from a one-night stand to a coupled relationship? At 20, they finally started to find answers.
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Aline thinks back to their childhood and teenage years and remembers how their lack of interest in boys and sex made them an outcast. By the time they were in business school, their absence of sexual desire was astonishing to others, with coworkers giving them unwarranted advice on how to lose their virginity. With the help of Megan Carroll, a sociology professor who realized she was asexual at the age of 30, and Angela Chen, autho...

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June 14, 2023 23 mins

Aline loses their virginity, in an effort to be like everyone else and because they want to be “liberated." In this episode, Aline looks back on that first time, and all the subsequent times. They try to understand why they forced themself into sexual encounters when they didn’t desire sex. With the help of Kate Wood, Australian asexual activist and Megan Carroll, Aline tries to dissect the mechanisms behind this self-inflicted vio...

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June 21, 2023 16 mins

Aline is afraid of failing in a relationship, so they go to a therapist to make sure they’re not repressing any trauma that “blocks” their sexuality. Aline explores the misconstruction of asexuality by medical and therapeutic communities and how it affect the mental and physical health of asexual people. Angela Chen, Kate Wood, and David Jay, a legendary asexual activist, all explain that asexuality is still widely perceived, not a...

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June 28, 2023 20 mins

When Aline discovers the concept of asexuality, they are relieved...and scared. They experience  phases of doubt and denial before they can truly understand this term and make it their own. In this episode, they look back on the birth of the concept and of the asexual community, thanks to the AVEN website created by David Jay. Aline explains why words are important tools and how they have helped them.

This episode features excerpts ...

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July 5, 2023 18 mins

In this episode, Aline talks to us about the sex life of asexual people (including their own!). Since accepting their asexuality, they have had to rethink their relationship with intimacy and sexual attraction. They’ve also wrestled with and reconfigured their interpretations of relationships and desire. Aline questions the way coupled relationships are normally perceived by talking to other asexual people and listening to their st...

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July 12, 2023 20 mins

Free From Desire is a finalist for a Signal Award. If you like our podcast please vote HERE.

In this episode, Aline realizes they are a-romantic, which brings another big revelation — they don’t want to wait for a romantic partner to start a family. Aline explores different kinds of families and co-parenting options, only to realize that romance plays a role in almost all of them. With this in mind, Aline decides they’ll become a pa...

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July 19, 2023 17 mins

Free From Desire is a finalist for a Signal Award. If you liked our podcast please vote HERE.

Aline always knew they wanted a child. As a teenager, they imagined adopting, having a child with friends, and being a single parent — as if their subconscious already knew that married life was not for them. But, getting a sperm donation in France as a single parent was illegal at the time. Aline had to get “creative” and find the right do...

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