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16 Things Asexuals Want You To Know About Asexuality

"I'm perfectly happy this way."

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BuzzFeed reached out to a group of asexual individuals to ask what they would love for people to know about their identity, which is often misunderstood. Here are the things they told us:

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1. "Comparing asexual people with plants is a sure way to get smacked in the face."

"Asexuality is a valid orientation, and comparing asexual people with plants is a sure way to get smacked in the face." —Ashley, 20

2. "It's OK!"

"It's OK! Everybody is different, and whatever label suits you best is for you to decide. If that's asexual, then welcome to a great and growing community!" —Nina, 18

3. “[My time] is being used just as improperly as the time everyone else uses.”

"All the time I've 'gained' because I'm asexual is being used just as improperly as the time everyone else uses to goof off." —Gin, 34

4. "It may not be normative, but it's just as human as having any other sexuality."

"It's normal. It may not be normative, but it's just as human as having any other sexuality. It can be hard dealing with ignorance and invalidation, but identifying as asexual can also be liberating." —Shana, 18

5. "Finding a romantic relationship was difficult, yes, but finding someone who cares about me despite and because of my asexuality has made us even closer."

"I would love for people to know that I am not 'deprived' or 'lonely.' I see comments and posts everywhere about how my life must be so sad because I don't crave sex. It's not. My asexuality makes me free. Finding a romantic relationship was difficult, yes, but finding someone who cares about me despite and because of my asexuality has made us even closer." —Anonymous, 23

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6. "Asexuality sort of holds that fear of the unknown — so it's important for people to start opening their minds and be willing to listen."

"I don't mind you asking questions — in fact I would love to answer them — but don't be rude, please! I'm no alien, I'm just like you. Just show support and understanding, y'know? Many think asexuality means condemning sex and romance; it can be slightly rude to assume that everyone who is asexual revokes human interaction like a vampire with garlic. Some of us are aromantic, and some of us aren't. It takes time and understanding, but it's worth it. Asexuality sort of holds that fear of the unknown — so it's important for people to start opening their minds and be willing to listen." —Laina, 16

7. "We're still humans, we're just humans that don't feel sexual attraction."

"It's not like our lives are incomplete because we don't feel sexual attraction. So much of our world and our society functions on the assumption that everyone wants sex, so it's difficult to accept that some people just don't. We're just as happy as the next person. We're just as unhappy as the next person. We're still humans, we're just humans that don't feel sexual attraction." —Lladya, 19

8. "If you've been identifying as a different sexuality for a long time and then you realize you're asexual, that's OK."

"Everyone is different when it comes to asexuality, so that can make it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is and if you fit under that label. If you've been identifying as a different sexuality for a long time and then you realize you're asexual, that's OK. If you've had sex before, that's OK too. If you've enjoyed the sex that you had, then that's also OK! It does not invalidate you. And if you do find someone you're attracted to, then that's still OK. I cannot stress how important that is. You are not broken or invalid or confused. You are real and so is your sexuality." —Anonymous, 17

9. "Asexuality is not just a phase."

"I would love for people to understand that asexuality is not just a phase, and there's nothing wrong with identifying that way." —Jas, 16

10. "Sex is not a human survival need, and it's not weird or strange for people to not be interested in sex."

"Asexuals exist. We are real people. Sex is not a human survival need, and it's not weird or strange for people to not be interested in sex. We don't have hormone deficiencies, and we don't have mental illnesses. There is nothing wrong with us." —Rachel, 23

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11. "Our media representation is virtually nonexistent."

"Our media representation is virtually nonexistent. The vast majority of asexual characters that are in major media are not confirmed to be, and basically all of the officially ace [asexual] characters are either psychopathic or don't experience sexual attraction until they find The One. If you're going to have a bi person on your show, don't portray them as sex-crazed maniacs who can't establish a lasting relationship." —Colton, 15

12. "Even if we don't feel sexually attracted to people, we can still have a libido — [one that's] really strong, or none."

"Life can be perfect and amazing without having sex, and that there are other kinds of attractions. Even if we don't feel sexually attracted to people, we can still have a libido — [one that's] really strong, or none. Some people are sex-repulsed and some aren't." —Laura, 24

13. "Your love has the same validity!"

"You aren't broken if you don't feel sexual attraction! There's nothing wrong with you! Some people are like that, and that's fine.Your love has the same validity!" — Lana 17

14. "I'm happy being asexual; it's not some curse, and I wish people wouldn't treat it like it is."

"I'd want people to know that my sexuality is valid, that asexuals exist, and that not having sex is an option (something no one ever told me!). I'd want them to know that I'm perfectly happy this way, I'm not looking for attention or someone to come along and 'make it all better.' I'm happy being asexual — it's not some curse, and I wish people wouldn't treat it like it is." —Hannah, 18

15. "This is the way I was made, and I don't really feel like I'm missing out."

"I'd love for people to know that I'm not broken or need medication. Just because I don't experience sexual attraction, people have told me that I should get my hormones checked, go on medications, go to therapy, etc. I've been called names like 'prude' and some weirder ones like 'plant' and 'amoeba,' which probably stemmed from people completely misunderstanding the definition of asexuality. Anyway, I'm really happy about where I am in life, without experiencing sexual attraction. This is the way I was made, and I don't really feel like I'm missing out. So, don't tell me that I'm inhuman or broken, or anything like that." —Bay, 18

16. "However it manifests for you, your identity is valid and you're going to be OK."

"However it manifests for you, your identity is valid and you're going to be OK. I don't really know how to put it so that people who aren't ace will understand it better, but what everyone should take away from this is that asexuality, gray-asexuality, and demisexuality are all valid identities, and however you experience them is valid no matter who you are or what you've been through." —Elliot, 22

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