ï»¿Obedient again, I closed the door and crossed my arms. But hearing theclick of the child’s lock sent me into panic mode again. I flung myself against the locked door and screamed, “Let me out! Let me out!” over and over, until I was too exhausted to yell anymore, then rested my head against Stephen’s shoulder and momentarily nodded off. Sex and gender are complex constructs, but they are useful in understanding asexuality. Gender differences in asexuality seem to parallel gender differences in sexuality (e.g., masturbation). We do not know whether asexual people conform to traditional gender roles, although I speculate that asexual people are, on average, less conforming (e.g., asexual women have less object-of-desire self-consciousness). There is a strong suggestion in the current literature that many asexual people do not identify as male or female. The degree to which gender roles and gender identity play a causal role in the sexuality of asexual people is unknown, as is the degree to which asexuality plays a causal role in their gender roles and identities. Finally, I hope you see how exploring asexuality helps us to understand, or at least consider, the complexity of sexuality and the different ways it plays out in men and women. For example, we learn more about that mystery of mysteries—the nature of women’s sexuality, particularly the purpose of their non-category-specific responses—by including asexual women in the mix. And who knows—perhaps soon we may even be able to answer Freud’s famous query on the nature of women’s desires. However, even if we aren’t able toanswer this question, there is a still a wealth of knowledge to be discovered by exploring the intersection of sex, gender, and asexuality. The second observation is the carbohydrate craving associated with obesity. Here the metabolic background of hunger is established by chronic hyperinsulinemia rather than the immediate insulin secretion during a carbohydrate-rich meal. In both cases the insulin induces hunger or prevents satiety. In the case of hyperinsulinemia and obesity, however, this happens even between meals, when the cells should be living off a fuel mixture of predominantly fatty acids. Instead, the insulin traps the fat in the fat tissue, and it signals the cells to burn glucose. As far as the body is concerned, the elevated insulin is the indication that we’ve just eaten—“high levels of insulin herald the ‘fed’ state,” as George Cahill put it—and the signal that carbohydrates are available to be burned. But in this case, they’re not. Now the homeostatic system that evolved to maintain blood sugar in a healthy range establishes an internal environment in which the cells are primed to burn glucose for fuel, and only glucose can satisfy that demand, yet there’s no expendable glucose in the system. High insulin levels even prevent the liver from releasing the glucose that’s stored there as glycogen. As a result, it’s glucose that we crave. Even if we eat fat and protein—our cheese slices, for instance—the hyperinsulinemia will work to store these nutrients rather than allow them to be used for fuel. Van Itallie, T. B. 1980a.“Dietary Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity.” In Stunkard, ed., 1980, 249–61.