I believe that not wanting sex - "asexuality" - isn't a newly discovered phenomenon. It's just that social programming in the Western world, in connection with sex (also with not wanting to have children or to partner with someone), is so prominent that people feel awkward if they don't want it.
My experience in Russia was that, as Khrushchev once said, there was no sex in the USSR. What he meant, I think, was that there was no social/state agenda to coerce people to have sex, or to make them feel awkward about not wanting it. I knew many couples in the former USSR, especially those from the older generation (people who due to their advanced years are not insecure), who didn't have sex on regular basis and never spoke about it. In fact, it wasn't a point of conversation, or even a consideration. It just wasn't interesting in other people's private feelings and functions. Things changed when along with all other expressions of consumerism and marketing, obsession with sex came to a newly collapsed Russia.
The regime was gone, consumerism/capitalism moved in. Soviets craved freedom. What they didn't realize is that the freedom they wanted was the freedom to obtain goods. All other expressions of liberty in post-soviet Russia faded away, disappeared and were never a cause for concern. Along with Snickers candy bars came glossy magazines with advice on sexual attractiveness. If you never thought of sex or your sexual appeal, you were now told that you had a problem - the magazine together with other media told you so. I haven't been in Russia for many years and things didn't get better there. I physically can't watch Russian mainstream TV, so repellent it became. The woman is undressed and stripped of personality. Freedom indeed.
I see "asexuality" more as a person being freed of social programming and conditioning. Thus I would call myself "unprogrammed." And I believe there is way more unprogrammed people out there than we can imagine. They are simply silent. They are either shy to speak about it or fear being ridiculed and shunned.
Examples of social programming in regard to sexual activity
- so called "marital obligation", "consummated marriage"
- obsession with man's external reproductive organs and their size
- obligatory sex scenes in films
- woman being portrayed as nothing but sexual objects in nearly all American media and in other countries
- tonnes and tonnes of books on the subject of how to please your man/woman
- woman's magazines with endless tips on how to be attractive for your man
- the whole woman's clothing/fashion industry aims at exposing woman's body, cripples her, makes her ready for sex
- beauty contests to define the "ideal"
- societal assumption that a person should use services of a sex therapist to resolve her/his lack of desire