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We Asked Asexual And Aromantic Folks What They'd Wish People Would Stop Saying To Them — Here's What They Said

"My asexuality is not something that needs to be 'fixed.'"

A little while back, I asked the asexual and aromantic readers in the BuzzFeed Community to share what they wished people would stop saying to them. I want to thank all of the folks who submitted such generous, open, and informative responses. Their willingness to share their experiences and perspectives benefits all of us, whether we're in the LGBTQIA+ community or not.

Here's a quick glossary of terms for those who are new to this conversation. 

Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction ("ace" for short). 

Aromantic: A person who does not experience romantic attraction ("aro" for short). 

Note: A person who is asexual is not necessarily also aromantic, and vice versa. 

Demisexual: A person who only experiences sexual attraction after forming a strong emotional bond with someone. 

If you're interested in learning more, The Trevor Project or The Asexual Visibility & Education Network are both great resources. 

Here are 37 responses from our readers.

Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

1. "I'm sure a lot of folks will say this, but some version of 'you'll get over it/meet the right person' or 'it's just a phase.' Also, 'You're just not grown up enough.' I was told that when I was 20, when I'd been an early bloomer for basically everything my entire life. I've known that I am asexual for 10-ish years now, and while I've questioned/changed how I identify romantically, I'm still comfortably ace. Also, I'm tired of being told that I'm not part of the LGBT+ community, that I'm a prude (I'm sex-positive for other people, just not for myself), or that it's just because I'm introverted. Ace & Queer, 25, she/her pronouns."


2. "I'm demisexual, and the number of times that I have tried to explain not feeling sexual attraction without an emotional connection — so if I'm not interested in someone, the sexual desire isn't there — only to be answered with things like 'I admire your willpower' is way too high. I literally just told you it's not using willpower to resist urges. The urges aren't there."


a black triangle pointing right over white purple and grey stripes

3. "'I just want you to find someone so you won’t be lonely.'"

—Anonymous, 26, Denmark

4. "Being asexual doesn’t mean that relationships aren’t fulfilling or that I can’t date someone who is not asexual. There are ways to make it work if you try, like, an open sexual relationship. It just takes an understanding partner. I love my husband and our life together, and so does he. We just don’t have a huge sexual component to our relationship; that comes from external people. Don’t shame open relationships, because you don’t know the reason why people might have them. Not everyone wants to share that they’re asexual with the world."

—Anonymous, 26, Pennsylvania

5. "I’m sick of hearing, ‘You just haven’t met the right person yet.' I’ve met people I love. I just don’t find them sexually attractive!"


6. "Some ace ones: The idea that we're going to meet someone and magically be sexually attracted to them. My mum did this when I was in the early stages of trying to come out to her (I hadn't used any words like ace at that point). I haven't tried again."

"That we're lying about it. I can't count the amount of times I've been asked 'Really? Never?' Even long after I've told the person.

That we all hate sex. Not true, some people are sex positive, and there's sex indifference, too."

—Anonymous, 18, United Kingdom 

7. "That asexuality/aromanticism isn't queer. Being told your whole life that finding your straight life partner is the be-all, end-all of human experience, and going through the difficult process of realizing that you just can't do that, is queer. This is the same between gay, pan, bi, etc. people and ace/aro people. Anybody who wants to make the queer community smaller either doesn't understand what it is to be queer, or wants to make us weaker."


two flags on the grass

8. "I'm married and asexual. I'm not sex-repulsed or anything, I do enjoy sex on occasion. However, there's no sexual attraction whatsoever. I will forget sex exists if someone doesn't remind me. I love romantic stuff, though. Which is why, when I mention I'm asexual, it really ticks me off that people immediately ask, 'Is your husband?' And when I say no, they go on a rampage about how abusive that is. They just assume I am withholding sex from him, which is 'a very important need,' and this is abuse that I do this to him. I don't do that. Just like any marriage, you do things for your partner if it's important to them. I can't say it's, like, the only thing he thinks about and is the most important thing on his list, but when he asks, I am a wife who is happy to help him. Because you know, I love him. Please stop assuming you know what goes on in other people's relationships!"


9. "I’ll share the way I experience human interactions and dating and friends will claim that my account is 'robotic' or 'inhuman.' While sure, being demisexual makes me see the world differently, I can confirm that I’m still a human."

—Anonymous, 23, Ireland

10. "'You're never wanted to sleep with anyone? Like even your favorite celebs?' Nope."


11. "As an aromantic and asexual person, I'm tired of people telling me that they 'felt the same way' when they were my age and that I'm just a 'late-bloomer.' If someone really felt the way I feel about sexuality and romanticism, then they wouldn't want to engage in sexual and romantic relationships. It's clear to me that most people just really don't understand what I mean when I say I'm asexual and aromantic. I don't just mean I'm not interested in sex or romance; I mean that I don't experience sexual and romantic attraction in the most fundamental way, not just in passing, or as a product of my youthfulness, or as a 'lifestyle choice.'"

—Anonymous, 22, Maryland

12. "Please stop telling me I'm not 'really queer,' that 'most people are like that,' or that I'll 'find the one eventually.' Whether or not I decide to have sex does not make me less asexual. Being mostly aromantic does not negate the fact that I still experience attraction occasionally, and that it's NOT just attraction to men. Sexuality is complicated and fluid and that seems to be understood for everyone except aro and ace folks. It's different from person to person, but no matter how you experience it, if the label is one that feels like it fits you, you can own it and consider yourself a part of the community. And if it ends up changing down the line, that's totally okay too!"

—Anonymous, 28, Massachusetts

13. "I am tired of making sex jokes and then people saying, 'You're asexual!' Just because I am asexual does not mean I don’t find sex jokes funny, or am not allowed to make them."

Riley MacDonald

14. "Stop with the whole 'Oh, like a plant?!' BS. Not funny, not accurate. I'm a real, whole person, just like anyone else. I'm asexual, but I'm not a prude and I'm not stuck-up or holier-than-thou. I want to find love and be in a relationship. I just don't experience the same attraction that allosexual people do."

—Anonymous, 33, Massachusetts

a cartoon character saying, i think i'm asexual

15. "Not all asexual people are grossed out by sexual topics. We can still have an intellectual curiosity or interest in seeing it in media. We can still believe in and fight to defend the freedoms and autonomy of other sexual minorities. Asexual people aren't naive and don't need lessons on how the world works. Aromantic people don't need to 'meet the right person' or 'get their shit together' to feel complete as a person. Aphobia primarily manifests as a dismissal of authenticity, which silences aro/ace people from speaking about our perspectives and experiences, like we're not real people with real things to say. This is an endless loop of, 'You don't exist because we don't hear you, and you can't be oppressed if you don't exist.' We are hilarious and can be very fun at parties if the party is good enough for us."

—Anonymous, 39, Canada

16. "Stop using virginity as a way of insulting and shaming others. Not having sex shouldn't be the greatest character flaw or biggest joke. There are tons of ways to be intimate. Sex is just one of them."


17. "I’ve heard people say that asexuality is a fake identity label made up for attention, or just an excuse for 'unattractive' people to not be in successful sexual relationships. Upon coming out, I’ve been told that I just 'haven’t met the right person' and that once I get older or meet more people, I might find someone attractive. That’s not how asexuality works; the entire point is that I don’t feel sexual attraction at all! (Disclaimer: If someone is demisexual rather than completely asexual, it’s a different story, of course)."

"These reactions show a general lack of understanding of asexuality, which is why we need more representation of asexuality in media and discussions of asexuality during conversations about LGBTQ+ people. It’s a sexual orientation, just like being gay, straight, etc., but instead of being sexually attracted to the same/opposite gender, we’re not sexually attracted to any gender. And yes, it is considered to be a queer or part of LGBTQ+ identity, because it’s outside of the heterosexual norm." 


18. "I hate it when people think I'm just repressing my sexual desires. What I'm comfortable doing or not doing with a person may change over time, but that doesn't mean I'm any less asexual, or that I was repressed before."

—Anonymous, 26, Pennsylvania

19. "My asexuality is not something that needs to be 'fixed.' It is not because of trauma or a hormone imbalance, neither of which I have, or because I haven't met 'the right person' yet (my spouse would have a few things to say about that!). It is just part of how I exist in and experience the world. Also, it is not 'a waste' for me not to desire partnered sex, since my value as a human being doesn't come from other people having sex with me."

—Anonymous, 30, Wisconsin

20. "I'm aromantic and I am tired of people assuming I'm also asexual. I understand grouping us together for simple explanations, and I don't have a problem with this survey covering both, but being one does not automatically mean you're the other. My sexual and romantic desires are completely unrelated; I do not need to have romantic attraction to feel sexual attraction or the other way around. I currently have a partner, who I care for dearly, but I struggle to feel romantic thoughts. Sure helps with my active sex drive though. I'm sure people will hit me with 'that's just friends with benefits,' and yeah, that's what works best for me. I crave benefits, not romantic feelings."

—Anonymous, 32, Minnesota 

a striped flag with green, light green, white, gray, and black

21. "I'm tired of being treated like a child, and that my disinterest in sex is a sign of me being an innocent, immature little kid."

—Anonymous, 25, California

22. "No, I don't just need to find the right one. No, I didn't just have bad experiences. No, it's not just a phase. No, I don't need to have sex to be SURE. If you're heterosexual, did you need to have sex with the opposite sex to find that out? If you're a man sexually attracted to women, did you need to have sex with a man to find out you're not gay or bi? So why do we need to have sex to find out we don't want it? BELIEVE US. Trust us when we tell you we are ace and aro, because we know us best."

—Anonymous, 38, Germany

23. "I'm sick and tired of people assuming that sexual orientation, including ours, is a choice. We don't choose not to experience sexual attraction. Those of us who are demisexual don't choose not to experience sexual attraction unless they become attracted to the person themselves. Aromantic folk like me don't choose not to experience romantic attraction. None of this has anything to do with virginity, slut shaming, victim-blaming, celibacy, or anything like that. We just don't experience those forms of attraction and if we do, it's under very specific circumstances."

"Plenty of gay folks slept with people of differing genders before they figured it out, and some of us took a very similar path. It's not about action, it's about attraction. It has literally nothing to do with whether or not we have sex, our libidos, or anything like that. Some aces actually have a high libido! Some are hypersexual! They still don't experience attraction. I don't get the confusion around this, and I likely never will."


24. "'It's your antidepressants.' 'It's your birth control.' 'It's your antidepressants AND your birth control.' It's none of those things. I know both meds can decrease libido and I don't care, because I was already asexual before I was taking them. Going off those meds could give me a sex drive, but it's not going to make me sexually attracted to other people — it's just going to make me an anxious wreck with debilitating period pain who just happens to still be asexual."


close up of birth control pills

25. "Coming out to my friends and my younger sister was easy, and I’ve never gotten any flack from any of them for being on the asexual spectrum. The rest of my immediate family was a different story. My older sister and my parents don’t seem to be able to wrap their heads around me not being attracted sexually to anyone. My older sister has said before that having sex is what makes us human and that I could 'have sex with a lamp' if I wanted, but to not have sex at all is weird and unnatural. My mom has asked me countless times if I’m sure I’m not 'just a lesbian.' For context, I’m trans masc and use he/they pronouns, and have been out to my family as trans masc the same amount of time as I’ve been out as asexual."

"Neither of them listen or seem to absorb the information I give them, that asexuality is just a lack of sexual attraction. Lots of people on the asexual spectrum have sex and enjoy it, it’s just that the attraction isn’t there. Regardless of how much I try to tell them, they just don’t seem to get it. It’s really frustrating when all you want is for your family to love you and accept you, but your mom asks, 'Why is it so important to you that I accept this part of you?' I wouldn’t be getting these reactions if I wasn’t asexual."

—Anonymous, Oregon, 25

26. "For me, it's that I'm tired of people telling me that I'm selfish. I am happily married and my wife and I have never had sex. For some reason, people think that's their business and they constantly try to tell me that I should just suck it up and have sex for her sake. My wife knew I was asexual before we even started dating and she has never had a problem with it or with us not having sex."


27. "That all asexuals are sex-repulsed. Asexuality is a spectrum, and everyone on it differs. Personally, I don't mind sex, and sometimes enjoy it, but I'm usually not the one initiating. Also, that asexuality just means low libido. They're two different things. Libido is interest in sex, while asexuality is sexual attraction. You can have sex with someone, enjoy it, and not be attracted to them."


28. "Being a person who has not told anybody, I'm sick and tired of people constantly trying to set me up on dates with people. Or better yet, telling me I'm going to die alone and regret it later. I do find people hot, yes, but anything beyond a hug just feels gross to me."


29. "Asexuality is such a broad spectrum of people. It’s not all people grossed out at the thought of sex or people who’ve never been intimate with other people. Sexual attraction, libido, and physical attraction are different things and someone can have one but not the other two. That’s why it’s so important to have strong asexual representation: it allows allosexual people to feel the validity of asexual experience and allows for more ease in self-identification for asexual youth."

—Anonymous, 20, Colorado

30. "I hate being told that I’m missing out. No, I’m not. It’s kind of the whole point of being a sex-repulsed asexual."


31. "'Why do you want a relationship if you don't want sex? Just make better friends,' is ignorant and insulting. I'm treated constantly as if I don't deserve love and intimacy because I don't feel attraction. Ace folks can have sex, and they can still want a life partner and romance."

—Anonymous, 41, Pennsylvania

32. "People think being asexual automatically means I don't want or can't have biological children. Of course I can. You don't need to have traditional sex to have a baby. But when I tell people that, they fall over themselves trying to figure out how my husband and I are trying to conceive. Why is it's anyone's business how we try and have a baby when you didn't care five minutes ago because you thought we were doing it the 'normal' way? My husband and I are going to build our family the way that is best for us, whether biologically or through foster care, and it should be no one's business how it happens."


33. "Constantly being told 'you just haven’t found the right person,' 'you’ll change your mind,' or 'how do you know if you haven’t had sex?' I’ve had people turn round me and tell me that I’m frigid and that asexuality doesn’t exist. It’s so frustrating."


34. "I’m sick of people saying that a relationship won’t work without sex. That’s complete BS. There are a lot of people out there in relationships who don’t have sex and they’re still happy and love each other a lot. Sex isn’t the only way to be intimate."


35. "'Don’t knock it till you try it,' 'you just need to find the right person,' 'you’re just scared of intimacy,' 'no, you’re not.' It’s all along the lines of invalidating asexuality. I want to experience a relationship, but not the sex part. Why is that so weird?"


people getting married and putting on the rings

36. "As an aromantic, I get tired of people pitying or looking down on me for being single. My life is very fulfilling without being defined by a relationship. I'm not waiting for the right person to suddenly give my life meaning."


37. And finally: "I'd really like people to stop saying they feel sorry for me for not experiencing sexual attraction, and not having sex. I don't need you to feel sorry for me, because that would imply there's something wrong. There isn't. I'm perfectly fine the way I am, and I'm also happy the way I am. You go live your life, and I'll live mine."

—Anonymous, 31, Europe

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experience on the asexual or aromantic spectrum? Let us know in the comments or in this anonymous Google form.

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2022.