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    What You Already Understand About Asexuality

    Asexuality is defined as experiencing little to no sexual attraction. It is an umbrella term because asexuality encompasses a spectrum from, for example feeling no sexual attraction (asexual) to experiencing sexual attraction rarely (gray-asexual), or only experiencing sexual attraction once a close emotional bond has been formed (demisexual). Here is what asexuality *isn't*

    As asexuals, we often come across people who accuse us of ‘faking’ our sexuality because of certain actions we choose to take. So, here are a few things that asexual people can do that does not invalidate our sexuality:

    1. Have Sex

    2. Feel Aroused without being Sexually Attracted to Someone

    3. Not Experience Sexual Attraction

    4. Be Sex-Indifferent or Sex-Favourable

    Assume you're perfectly indifferent to this person; they neither attract nor repel you sexually, and you have either an indifferent or positive relationship otherwise. Given safe conditions and no relational consequences, how would you feel about having sex with them?

    @Rach_Lois / Via twitter.com

    We have already established that asexual people can have sex and it doesn’t impact their sexuality. You should also know that, not only do some asexual people have sex, but some asexual people enjoy it!

    Sex-indifferent asexuals have no strong feelings regarding sex, and are therefore neutral when it comes to the idea of having sex. Meanwhile sex-favourable asexuals have positive feelings regarding sex and enjoy the act and concept. There are also sex-averse and sex-repulsed asexuals who do not wish to have sex/are actively repulsed by the concept of themselves having sex.

    This is a lot of information to understand, but you can actually apply it yourselves, courtesy of twitter user @rach_lois. Imagine a person you are not sexually attracted to: given safe and consensual conditions, how would you feel about having sex with them?

    If you would feel okay or neutral about the idea, that is sex-indifference. If you think that having sex with that person sounds great (maybe because you like the physical aspects of intimacy, or you think sex feels good) then you understand what it is to be sex-favourable.

    5. Take Medication

    6. Have relationships

    In conclusion...

    As you can see, people who identify under the umbrella of asexuality can get invalidated in numerous ways for things people understand and even accept in allosexual people. Many asexual people are too busy having to re-explain their own sexuality instead of being able to engage in substantive conversations about our community. Conversations that include discrimination that leads to poor mental health (according to the 2017 UK National LGBT Survey), pathologizing our sexuality in mental health and medical settings (the description of our sexuality was removed off of the DSM in 2013), un-inclusive sex education that leaves many of us feeling ‘broken’ for years, and even increased chances of sexual assault and corrective rape.

    This Asexual Awareness Week, do yourselves (and us) a favour by taking time to truly listen to and accept us.