1. So What Exactly is Asexuality?
Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction. There are many different types of asexuals, but one thing that they all have in common is that their sexual attraction is less than that of a sexual person. An asexual can be male or female, trans*, cis, intersex, gay, straight, bi, polyamorous; they can be any gender and they can be attracted to whomever or whatever. The difference between being asexual and being sexual is simply that you don’t feel the need or urge to have sex.
Asexuality doesn’t mean that one doesn’t feel romantic urges. Many asexual people seek long term relationships.
Many people also use the term “ace” to describe being asexual. Ex. “Mary identifies with the ace community” or “Tommy is ace”.
Asexuals even have a flag, which is the picture on this article!
2. What Makes Asexuality Different from Celibacy or Abstinence?
Celibacy and abstinence are both choices that one makes, typically for religious reasons, to remain a virgin. Asexuality, however, is a sexual orientation. It isn’t any more of a choice than being gay is. In fact, not all ace people refrain from having sex.
3. You Can Be Asexual and Still Have Sex?
Asexual people can still feel sexual pleasure, even if they don’t feel the attraction. Sex is all about friction and bundles of nerves: it’s meant to feel good! Being attracted to someone, being able to feel sexual pleasure, and wanting to have sex are three different things
4. Asexual Relationships
Many people seem to think that asexual people will only ever date other asexuals, and this isn’t really the case. Asexual people can date anyone that they want to, but sometimes it does get a bit tricky when the relationship becomes sexual. If an asexual is dating a sexual, there are a couple of ways that it could go. If the asexual is comfortable having sex, they may have sex. If the sexual has a low sex-drive they just may not have as much sex as two sexual people.
I personally identify as a sexual person, but I have been in an asexual relationship. Sometimes love is enough for two people in a relationship, and sex isn’t an important part of it. My partner identified as a grey-ace, and we dated for about four years without having sex at all. It’s different for everyone, but it’s important to know that sex, even in a committed relationship, must always be consensual. If you are asexual and your partner is not, you are never required to engage in sexual activities and are in no place to be pressured into doing so.
5. Types of Asexuality
As stated before, there are varying levels and types of asexuality. A few of them being:
Demi-sexual: One who doesn’t feel sexual attraction unless they form a strong connection with their partner(s)
Grey-ace (Gray-ace): Someone who only sometimes feels sexual attraction. They commonly have a low sex drive and don’t always feel the need to act on sexual urges.
Basically you need to remember: sexual attraction isn’t black and white, there can always be a bit of grey!
6. Why Should You Care About Asexuality?
Maybe while reading this, you realized that maybe you might be asexual. Maybe while reading this, you realized that this is nothing like you. If you’re thinking of the latter, you may also be considering what this article may mean to you.
Basically it’s this: the asexual community constantly needs to educate people. Asexuality is an orientation that many people haven’t heard of or don’t understand, and in a world that is so sexualized today it’s easy for asexuals to feel different, weird, alone, or even “broken”.
7. What You Can Do To Spread Awareness
Awareness starts at the source. One of the best things that you can do is help people who are coming out as or considering that they may be ace understand that what they’re feeling is completely normal. They aren’t alone. They aren’t broken.
Know the right questions to ask. For example, it’s inappropriate to ask if an asexual person masturbates (and it’s a question that gets asked a lot). If you wouldn’t ask someone who’s sexual your question, you probably shouldn’t ask someone who is ace.
Don’t complain about the use of the term “asexual”. Most people know that it’s a scientific word for something that reproduces by itself, but the word has been adopted to mean something different. Gay technically means happy or elated. Bisexual technically means having both a penis and a vagina. Lesbian technically means someone who comes from the island of Lesbos.
Don’t assume that an asexual just hasn’t “had good sex”. You don’t need to have sex to know who you’re attracted to or if you are sexually attracted to anyone at all. You wouldn’t assume that a straight man just hasn’t had good sex with another man yet, and asexuality is no different.
Along those lines, if you’re feeling “forever alone” and bitter about it, it’s not appropriate to say that you’re just going to be asexual. Asexuality is never a choice, and it’s very offensive to say that you’re choosing to be ace just because you’re single.
I originally wrote this for another blog; you should check it out!