If you’re anything like me, finding the definition of asexuality can be difficult. There are so many misunderstandings and jokes, and that can make it so hard to figure out what it actually means.
This is because the definition of asexual varies depending on the person. Not the answer you were hoping for, right? Actually, this is the same story as every other orientation and identity. While it may not be the easy answer, it’s the most realistic. After all, there is no “one-size-fits-all” label!
If you are looking for a simple and boiled-down answer, here is the general definition:
Asexual: a person who does not experience sexual attraction or experiences very little sexual attraction.
While this can be helpful, the definition doesn’t cover every aspect of asexuality. Being asexual can mean different things to each person.
Here are a few of the basics and a few extra tips that you may find helpful.
Some Asexual People Don’t Experience Any Sexual Attraction
Some people aren’t interested in sex at all, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t experience any other kinds of attraction.
They may also experience:
- Romantic Attraction: wanting a romantic relationship with someone.
- Aesthetic Attraction: appreciating someone’s appearance or beauty.
- Sensual Attraction: desiring to hold, touch, or cuddle with someone.
- Platonic Attraction: wanting to be friends with someone.
- Emotional Attraction: desiring an emotional connection with someone.
Asexual people can experience any of these forms of attraction, whether it be all of them or just one. Each of these kinds of attractions is completely valid (and so is not experiencing attraction!)
Some Asexual People Experience Sexual Attraction Under Certain Circumstances
These people may identify as demisexual or grey-asexual. The label that people choose depends on how often they experience sexual attraction and who they feel sexual attraction for.
Demisexual: people that experience sexual attraction only when they have a deep connection with a person.
Grey-asexual: people that experience sexual attraction very rarely.
Asexuality Is Not Celibacy or Abstinence
This is a common mistake, but it is not an accurate assumption. Abstinence means deciding not to have sex for a certain amount of time. Celibacy is about abstaining from sex entirely.
On the other hand, asexuality is about not experiencing sexual attraction. Those who practice abstinence or celibacy may still experience sexual attraction. In addition to this, asexual people may still choose to have sex.
Asexuality is not:
- Fear of intimacy
- Lack of libido
- Sexual repression
- Sexual dysfunction
Some Asexual People Want and Have Romantic Relationships
While an asexual person doesn’t experience sexual attraction, they can still experience romantic attraction. As a result, they may want and have romantic relationships.
Some people choose to have a romantic relationship with another asexual person and others will have relationships with people who aren’t asexual. This depends on what the individual is comfortable with and what their boundaries are.
Some Asexual People Want and Have Non-Romantic Relationships
This kind of relationship is often called queerplatonic. A queerplatonic relationship is used by the asexual and aromatic community. This refers to a very close non-romantic relationship.
I like to think of it as somewhere between friendship and romance. The relationship may be deeper and more intimate than a friendship but doesn’t necessarily have the characteristics of a romantic relationship. Just like other types of relationships, it depends on what the people involved are comfortable with and what kind of relationship they are interested in having.
At the end of the day, only you can decide and know what feels best for you. The way that you define your sexuality, orientation, or identity is completely up to you!
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