'I, of course, have never loved' - it's a mild misquote from Holmes - and a lie. Watson falls in love with - and later marries Mary Morstan, who we meet in The Sign of Four - despite Watson thinking himself inadequate (old and a retired army doctor on half pay). The point is this - at the time of writing there were a lot of people that chose to live alone - and no one cared. Holmes has the perfect batchelor life - he lives in central London, knows everybody, works for himself - and, given his love of narcotics - is blessed to have a doctor as his best mate.
Have been asking myself the same question just recently. Fact is that Watson tells us that Holmes was never romantically interested in a woman, with the possible exception of Irene Adler.
I think it's fair to conclude from that, that Holmes was aromantic, but if he was asexual too is hard to say, just because Watson never mentions any romantic urges (read: sexual) doesn't mean they may not have been had in some way or other.
Sherlock Holmes was not in any means asexual at all.
Let me take it that way
Wer die Relativität des SEINS verlässt, nähert sich der letzten Wahrheit Der Auflösung des Dualismusses.
The One who has left the relativity of his beeing , is coming closer to the final truth. The divestiture of Dualism.
Sherlock Holmes ( Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ) got to that point, that is the reason why he needed mainly an intelectual beeing on the same level. If XX and XY mate we come to a very specific conclusion which does not mean in any obligatory means that IT must come to the Act ITself. Holmes was interested in women. But mating was something tantric spiritual for him and if the understanding of beeing ONE is not in the XX Chromosom the smart XY is very carefull with whom he should mate. Holmes was no exception belonging the knowledge about this matter.
I think not. In my opinion his appreciation of women is concentrated on the intellectual level. The only women he could speak of in an admiring manner was Irene Adler, and that was a woman with huge intellect, almost or even totally on par with his own. He probably just could not fall in love with a woman who was not in his own league, intellectually. As Sherlock Holmes was supposed to be of genius intellect, that would make it probably very few eligibly women, and he probably just did not meet the right one, nor was he inclined to devote too much time searching, when solving crimes was so satisfying to him.
While doing background research for my Victorian crime novels, I came across several articles discussing Sherlock Holmes potentially being asexual. As per definition, an asexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Today I had a long discussion with David Jay, founder of the Asexuality Network (www.asexuality.org) on asexuality, Sherlock Holmes and his relationship with Watson, his view of Victorian women, as well as the great difference in perception of sexuality between the Victorian era and today. To say that my horizon got broadened, would be an understatement. But I would like to know what avid readers and Sherlock Holmes fans think about that. Could Sherlock Holmes be described as asexual or not?