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'An asexual is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction,’ is how Jay defines it.

But, he says, someone who has lost interest in sex, for instance, probably wouldn’t define themselves as asexual because they used to be interested in sex and probably will be again.

For Anwen Hayward, a 20-year-old student at Aberystwyth University, it was when her twin sister got her first boyfriend at 17 that she thought, 'Hang on, I’m a bit different here.’ She explains: 'When you’re in school and university, everyone’s really focused on relationships.

I never wanted that at all.’ At first she thought she was a slow developer, or a lesbian, but then she heard about the global online community for asexuality, AVEN (the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network).

'It was just so wonderful and liberating that there were other people who felt as I did, and [to know I wasn’t] a freak anymore.

She hasn’t masturbated for about 10 years – having only ever tried it out of curiosity.

Today, she sleeps with her husband every fortnight to keep him satisfied.

Clare Green, 37, has been married for 10 years and has a seven-year-old daughter.

Although she has had normal sexual relationships (and now a marriage), she says she doesn’t understand what it means to be aroused: 'My sister talks about having an itch or something like a need; the word “horny”.

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