What is Asexuality?
Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction. That’s it.
Okay so aces can’t have sex or anything to do with sex?
Nope, that’s not what I said.
Sexual behavior does not determine sexual orientation or lack thereof.
– Have a sex drive (libido)
– Watch porn
– Have dirty minds
– Bake cookies
– Have sex
– Have children
– Get married
– Play sports
– Fall in love
…Or they can have zero interest in any of these things, and none of this has anything to do with their status of being asexual.
Wait, if they can have sex then how are they asexual?!
Asexuals can have sex for lots of reasons. Some want to be close to their partner, or want to have kids, some don’t know they are asexual and have sex just because they think that’s what everyone is supposed to do, some get pressured into sex, some have a libido and have sex purely as a way to get off, but still don’t feel any sexual attraction. Some never have sex, never masturbate, and never understand the point of it.
Every asexual experience is different. Aces can range from sex-repulsed, to completely indifferent, to very sex positive! What all aces have in common is that they don’t feel sexual attraction, or very rarely ever feel sexual attraction.
How do you know if you’ve felt sexual attraction or not?
For some, there is never any doubt they are asexual. For others, sexual attraction can get confused with platonic, aesthetic, romantic, or even sensual attraction. Ultimately, it comes down to the individual to decide whether the asexual label suits them or not.
(Note: Platonic attraction is basically wanting to be friends with someone, Aesthetic attraction is finding someone beautiful (not necessarily ‘standard’ beauty, whatever is beautiful to you), Romantic is wanting to date someone and that can mean different things to different people, Sensual is wanting to have non-sexual contact with someone like kissing, touching, cuddling, and Sexual attraction is wanting to have sexual contact with someone.)
I don’t understand any of this!
It is absolutely okay to not understand asexuality! Trust me, asexuals don’t understand non-aces either. Just remember that even if it’s hard for you to understand, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real! (I don’t understand calculus, but it’s still real!)
How can I be a good ally?
– Educate yourself, read more about it, ask an ace if it’s okay to ask them questions! Odds are, you probably already know a bunch of people who are asexual even if you think you don’t.
– If you have asexual friends, ask them what they are comfortable with in regards to even talking and joking about sex, and then do your best to respect that. Some have dirtier minds than anybody, some are indifferent either way, but others might not be comfortable around any kind of sex talk. Just ask!
– Don’t make acephobic comments. Stuff like, “but everybody wants sex, it’s just natural”, “are you even human?”, “have you seen a doctor/therapist?”, “you’ll change your mind when you meet the right person”, “you’re too young to know”, “you just want attention”, “you must think you’re better than everyone else”, “you can’t be asexual because (I think I know your life better than you)”, “you’re just a prude/frigid/naive”, “you’re never going to have a happy relationship”, “if you don’t have sex with your partner, you don’t really love them”, “how do you know if you’ve never tried it?”, “asexual? so you think you’re a plant/sponge?”, “asexuality isn’t real”, “acephobia isn’t real”… etc and so on, are dehumanizing and just plain ignorant, even if you think you mean well. If you wouldn’t want someone saying that to you, don’t say it to us!
– Don’t erase us. Don’t invalidate us. It’s that simple. Even if you can’t understand asexuality, it’s 100% okay to say, “I don’t understand your experience, but I still support you.”
We aren’t weird, we aren’t trying to be special. Asexuality has always existed, it isn’t new, but lately we’re finally able to say, “Hey, by the way, we exist” and have pride in ourselves. All you need to do is say, “Okay, cool.” Respect it, and carry on. That’s it.