Imagine as you are growing up and going through puberty that you don’t experience sexual attraction along with your peers. Would you lie about it and feel like something is wrong with you?
Many people experience this feeling and have no idea that it has a name or is okay to feel. This feeling is called “asexuality” and those who identify with this are considered “aces.”
Asexuality has two definitions, the first being a lack of sexual attraction to others. The second definition is the person has the sexual drive but it is not directed towards others.
Aces may identify with other orientations like being gay, straight or bisexual. Asexuality is not black and white. There are many other terms that help define a way a person may feel.
The first being the term “Grey-A,” which is when you identify somewhere in the middle of sexual and asexual. Another term is “demisexual” which means a person may not be sexually attracted to others until creating a strong emotional bond with their partner.
Lastly, the term “aromantic,” which refers to those who do not feel romantic attraction to others. Aromantics can experience sexual attraction without experiencing romantic attraction. And of course asexuals can also be aromantic.
As a society, we feel a need to label people and label ourselves.
There are many misconceptions about asexuality, the first being that they can not love. In our society love is often confused with sex. Sex does not define love, aces love their partners and often do want to have a family with them.
Asexuals also do not identify this way due to relationship issues they have experienced. Aces often times want to have and be in a relationship with others. Aces can look at others and find them attractive. They may find others attractive but not be sexually attracted to them.
When asexuals begin a relationship there may be a talk about what they feel comfortable doing. If a person who is asexual is in a relationship with someone who is not, they may agree to engage in sexual activities for their partner’s benefit.
They may also decide not to engage in sexual activities; this is more of a personal choice and dependent on the relationship. Aces can enjoy kissing or hugging others.
Just because a person does not feel sexually attracted to others, does not mean they physically do not have the functioning parts to be aroused, making it possible for some to feel the need to masturbate, though they do not have a fantasy about a person.
Studies have shown despite not feeling sexually attracted themselves that 73% of aces are sex positive.
Asexuality is also not due to a fear of engaging in intimate encounters with others. They also do not become this way due to bad relationship experiences. This orientation is not because they lack or cannot find a partner.
They do not become this way period, it is something that is internally felt. They have simply never felt that attraction to others in that way.
Asexuality is not the same thing as abstinence. When a person is deciding to be abstinent they are doing just that, deciding.
Someone who identifies as being asexual does not decide to be this way; it is an orientation. It is something they have grown up their whole lives feeling. Often times aces discover they identify with this orientation during puberty because they are not feeling sexually attracted along with their peers.
As time has progressed we have begun being more open and aware of orientations. There are couples who have been together for years and do not feel the need to label their encounters, meaning we as a society should not feel the need to label ourselves.
In the end, you do not need to answer to anyone and you should beat to your own drum.
Social Media Coordinator