Your friends are absolutely losing their minds over their crush, over whether or not to lose their v-cards, over the weirdness of oral sex. Meanwhile, you’re just sitting around, twiddling your thumbs and giving absolutely zero damns about any of that. You’re just not sexually attracted to anyone and don’t remember ever being sexually attracted anyone. Congrats, girl, you might be asexual!
Don’t worry, you’re not a freak, even if your friends and family might treat you like one and the media pretends as if you don’t exist. Asexuality is an incredibly misunderstood identity and has its fair share of wacky misconceptions and myths. Well, we’re going to squash those myths right here right now. Whether you know you’re asexual, think you might be asexual, know someone who is asexual or you just want your curiosity piqued, here’s absolutely everything you need to know about asexuality.
What is asexuality?
An asexual is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction. You know that swooping sensation when you’re near your crush? That desire to slide your hands up and down Avan Jogia’s body? That urge to make out with Beyonce? That fantasy you have involving Zayn Malik and whipped cream? Yeah, asexual people aren’t really on that level of thirst. In fact, they don’t feel that kind of thirst whatsoever.
Isn’t that just celibacy?
Nah, celibacy is the active choice that a sexual person makes to abstain from sexual contact. Asexual people aren’t deciding when to be sexual and when to not be. They just don’t feel sexual attraction, period.
So, they’re never attracted to anyone…ever?
Not so fast. It’s possible for asexual people to experience attraction. Asexuals just don’t experience sexual attraction. Some asexual people, however, experience romantic attraction to others. Of course, for sexual people, sexual attraction and romantic attraction can go hand in hand…but not always, right? People are sexually attracted to and have sex with people they don’t want to be romantically involved with all the time. So it shouldn’t be too hard to understand that it can work the other way around too: Someone wanting a romantic connection but not necessarily a sexual one.
Some asexual people identify as asexual as well as hetero-romantic, homo-romantic, bi-romantic, etc. Asexuals who don’t experience romantic attraction, however, identify as aromantic.
What about relationships?
Just because you’re asexual doesn’t mean that you can’t have relationships with people! You’re probably friends with someone who is asexual and your friendship definitely counts as a relationship. Folks who are asexual aren’t these weird beings that emerged from the sludge of the earth and have zero people skills. They can and do value friendships, familial relations and other interactions. And like I said above, some asexuals do participate in romantic relationships with others. Some even participate in sexual relations even if they don’t get much out of it. But in general, relationships are just as important to asexual people as they are to sexual people.
Is this a sexual defect or something?
Nope, this isn’t a sexual dysfunction. This isn’t about the body’s physical ability to get turned on. It might be hard to understand, but some people just don’t experience sexual attraction to people. That’s it.
Do asexual people experience arousal?
Sure they can. Those tingly feelings in the genitals feels good for just about everyone, asexual people included. Some asexuals even masturbate. If you’re confused think of it this way: It’s possible to be sexually aroused without a desire to find a sexual partner. That’s the case for asexual folks.
Can you have sex if you’re asexual?
Physically, sure. But it’s just not something that asexual people find all that alluring or arousing. But there are plenty of asexual people who have had sex for whatever reason.
Okay, so are asexual people just sexually repressed or victims of sexual abuse?
There are surely asexual people who have been victims of sexual abuse, but to assume that that has had any impact in their sexual identity is a stretch. In fact, it’s a stretch–and pretty offensive–to assume that of any kind of sexual identity.
If I’ve never been sexually attracted to someone or if I’m very rarely sexually attracted to people, does that mean that I’m asexual?
Potentially, but it all comes down to how you personally wish to identify. Some people feel as if they exist in a realm between sexuality and asexuality; they usually identify as gray-asexual (or a gray-a). Others can only feel sexual attraction to someone that they have a strong emotional bond with. Some like to call this demisexuality, but the point is that sexuality works differently for everyone. There are no hard set guidelines to these things, but if you generally just don’t feel sexual attraction to others, you may very well be asexual.
How do I know if I’m asexual or not?
There’s no test for this kind of thing. Sexuality is weird and random, y’all. But if you’ve read the above descriptions of asexuality and believe that this identity reflects your life and personal experiences, they you’re totally free to identify as asexual. But only you can make that decision, nobody else.
What if asexuals just haven’t met the right person yet?
It’s certainly possible that that is the case for some people who identify as asexual, but it’s condescending to assume that the majority of asexual people just haven’t boned the right person yet.
Most people who are comfortable in their asexuality are comfortable with their lack of sexual relations with others. They have plenty of other important relationships in their life that they prioritize.
Are asexual people considered queer under the LGBTQ umbrella?
That’s a pretty controversial subject in the LGBTQ community. Some asexuals identify as queer. Others in the LGBTQ community only consider folks who asexual but not hetero-romantic to be queer. There are also plenty of people who believe that it is problematic to include asexuality in general under the LGBTQ umbrella due to a lack of shared prejudices and discrimination. So really, it depends on who you ask.
So, I think I’m asexual. What do I do?
Live your life, girl! You might feel a little left out from your friends’ sexual escapades, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re a freak just because you’re asexual.
For more information, you should definitely check out the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network.
Are you asexual? When did you start identifying asexual? Do you think you’re asexual but aren’t sure? Tell us in the comments!