- Am I asexual?
- I don't find anyone sexually attractive. Does that mean I'm asexual?
- I can see that people are attractive, but I don't really feel the need to have sex with them. Where do I fit?
- I've only really been attracted to about three people my entire life, but when I was I wanted to have sex with them. Would I be sexual or asexual?
- I'm only really attracted to people after I get to know them. What does that mean?
- Some things turn me on, but they do not have anything to do with other people. I suppose I'm not asexual, then?
- I used to experience sexual attraction. Does this mean I'm not asexual?
- My sexuality comes in phases. Sometimes I'm sexual, other times I'm completely asexual. Do I have a place in your asexual community?
- I masturbate. What do you make of that?
- I have crushes on people. I think I sometimes fall in love. Does this mean I'm not asexual?
- I enjoy being sexual with my loving partner but I've never really felt driven to have sex with anyone else. Could I be asexual?
- I don't have crushes on people. I'm perfectly happy just having close friends. That means I'm very asexual, doesn't it?
- I find people attractive and I get horny, but I dislike sex and would never do it. Am I asexual?
- I'm a sexual person but I'm incapable of having sex. Some people call me asexual. Are they right?
- I identify as (straight/gay/bi/something else), but I still fit your definition of asexuality. Am I wrong?
- I think asexuality is inherently queer. Do you agree?
- Are asexual people more [sensible/clever/etc.] than sexual people?
- I'm so glad I found this community. People who have sex are so (annoying/stupid/wrong/evil), aren't they?
- Why would asexuals want or need to 'come out' anyway?
- Why do we need an asexual community?
- I really want to have sex with people I love but when I do I feel nothing and it's horrible, what's wrong with me?
- Does being asexual mean I'll always be lonely?
- What if it's a phase?
- I can't identify as asexual. What if I find the right person and start being sexual with them?
- Something must be terribly wrong with me. I'm broken. I think I can trace my asexuality to something that happened when I was a child. Do you think that's why I'm this way?
- I'm worried that I'm sexually repressed or just using this to distance myself from or hide from the real world. How can I be sure I'm really asexual?
- I don't like being asexual. I want to be normal like everyone else. What can I do?
- I could never tell people about this. They'd think I was a freak or laugh at me!
Asexual: Someone who does not experience sexual attraction.
Demisexual: Someone who can only experience sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. This bond does not have to be romantic in nature.
Gray-asexual (gray-a) or gray-sexual: Someone who identifies with the area between asexuality and sexuality, for example because they experience sexual attraction very rarely, only under specific circumstances, or of an intensity so low that it's ignorable.
Attraction: In this context, it refers to a mental or emotional force that draws people together. Asexuals do not experience sexual attraction, but some feel other types of attraction.
Aesthetic attraction: Attraction to someones appearance, without it being romantic or sexual.
Romantic attraction: Desire of being romantically involved with another person.
Sensual attraction: Desire to have physical non-sexual contact with someone else, like affectionate touching.
Sexual attraction: Desire to have sexual contact with someone else, to share our sexuality with them.
The definition of asexuality is "someone who does not experience sexual attraction." However, only you can decide which label best suits you. Reading this FAQ and the rest of the material on this site may help you decide whether or not you are asexual. If you find that the asexual label best describes you, you may choose to identify as asexual.
By the definition, yes. Again, only you can decide to use asexual as a label for yourself.
Asexuals may regard other people as aesthetically attractive without feeling sexual attraction to them. Some asexual people also experience the desire of being affectionate to other people without it being sexual. If you do not experience sexual attraction, you might identify as asexual.
Asexuality and sexuality are not necessarily black and white. There is a spectrum of sexuality, with sexual and asexual as the endpoints and a gray area in-between. Many people identify in this gray area under the identity of "gray-asexual," or "gray-a." Examples of gray-asexuality include an individual who does not normally experience sexual attraction but does experience it sometimes; experiences sexual attraction but has a low sex drive; experiences sexual attraction and drive but not strongly enough to want to act on them; and/or can enjoy and desire sex but only under very limited and specific circumstances. Even more, many gray-asexuals still identify as asexual because they may find it easier to explain, especially if the few instances in which they felt sexual attraction were brief and fleeting.
Furthermore, an asexual person can want or choose to engage in sex for several reasons. Some asexual people in relationships might choose or even want to have sex with their partner as a way of showing affection, and they might even enjoy it. Others may want to have sex in order to have children, or to satisfy a curiosity, or for other reasons.
It is also important to keep in mind that sexuality can be fluid. Sexual inclination and identity may, but does not always, change over a period of time. In the end, privately or publicly identifying as asexual or sexual is your choice. No one can force a label on you that you are not sure of or comfortable with yourself.
There are different forms of attraction. Many sexual people find that they need to get to know someone in order to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to them. In fact, some people identify as demisexual, which is a label used by people in the gray area when they can only feel sexual attraction after having a strong emotional bond with someone.
Many asexual people as well need to get to know someone before feeling romantically attracted to them. Some use the label demiromantic if they need a strong emotional bond (like friendship for example) before feeling romantic attraction. It is common for asexuals to be intellectually attracted to someone after getting to know them as a friend (although 'love at first conversation' is perfectly possible).
If you have a fetish that doesn't involve attraction to other people you may find it useful to identify as asexual. Many people who experience sexual arousal still identify as asexual. They just dont feel the need to share their sexuality with someone else.
People form identities around stuff that they need to figure out. People who identify as asexual tend to be trying to figure out how to live full emotionally complete lives without necessarily having to engage in sexual relationships with other people, how to live in a world that places a high premium on sexuality and sexual relationships. If this is something that you are struggling with in some way, then the asexual community is worth investigating.
Some asexuals have no sexual feelings at all (theyre called non-libidoists), but they eventually have a lot in common with those asexuals who have sexual feelings that do not involve people in any way. Both groups may feel alienated in a society that expects everyone to be sexually interested in other people.
Eventually, whether or not you choose to identify as asexual is up to you, if you find the label useful.
As previously mentioned, sexuality can be fluid, and it can change over a period of time for some people. If you find that you have little or no sexual attraction to other people now, then you can choose to identify as asexual.
Many asexual people were more sexually active during puberty or another period of their lives. However, at this moment they do not experience sexual attraction to others and identify as asexual.
If you experience a sudden decline in sexual interest or attraction, it may be linked to side effects of certain medications or illness. It is advisable to discuss sudden changes with your doctor.
This may be part of what is considered the gray area in between asexuality and sexuality, which also includes people who rarely experience sexual attraction. If you think yours is a phase, and you may experience sexual attraction again in the future, you may still find a lot in common with asexual people especially during your asexual moments, and AVEN also has a good number of gray-a members you could relate to. Some experiences you may have will be similar to the ones of other people in our community, such as explaining asexuality and gray-sexuality to your partner. You can always choose to identify with any labels you prefer, and youd still have a place in the community!
Most asexuals are physically capable of sex. Some masturbate and some do not. Since masturbation produces a pleasurable sensation, many asexuals choose to use it to take pleasure from their bodies. Some asexuals can only arouse themselves manually (by applying friction to sexual organs), while others can turn themselves on with thought or even outside stimulus, such as pornography or erotic literature.
There is an important distinction between sexual and asexual people when it comes to masturbation: while some asexuals don't think about anything specifically sexual during masturbation, if they do think about other people or view pornography, these interpersonal interactions are only fantasy. If an asexual were actually given the opportunity to be sexual with the fantasized person(s), there would be no sexual attraction, or the attraction would be so low as to be completely ignorable.
Some masturbating asexuals do not have a sex drive motivating them; they just do it because it's nice or to relieve stress. Other asexuals masturbate because they have a personal sex drive (libido) that they wish to take care of privately; they may experience arousal as a biological response to outside stimulus and wish to relieve themselves of it without a desire for partnered sex. Still more, some asexuals may be considered autosexual; they are sexually attracted to themselves and as such take sexual pleasure from their own bodies. The common factor is that all asexuals, masturbating or not, have little or no sexual attraction to other people.
A good proportion of asexuals get crushes on others and fall in love. Emotional and romantic attraction are separate from sexual attraction. For some people they go together, but they are not necessarily connected. Many asexuals talk about having a 'romance drive'. They need to be intimate with another special person, it's just that the intimacy they desire isn't sexual.
Just as sexual attraction can be directed at one (or more) gender(s) creating patterns of sexual orientations, romantic attraction can be considered the base of romantic orientations: some people call themselves hetero-romantic, homo-romantic, bi-romantic or pan-romantic, according to the gender(s) theyre attracted to. There are also people who do not experience romantic attraction, and theyre called aromantic. Lastly, just as theres a gray-area between sexuality and asexuality, there is one also between romanticism and aromanticism.
Most asexual people are physically capable of having sex. As with masturbation, some asexuals find the experience of sex pleasurable, even if they do not desire it in the way that someone who feels sexual attraction does. If you use sex in an effort to connect emotionally with your sexual partner, or to compromise their sexuality and your asexuality, rather than because of an innate desire to have sex with your partner, then that need not contradict an asexual identity.
Just as sexual people can form asexual relationships, asexual people can participate in sexual relationships for a variety of reasons. So long as you're comfortable and happy with that then it's cause for celebration rather than a reason to doubt your 'asexual purity.' Celibacy and asexuality need not go hand-in-hand.
Besides wishing to connect with a sexual partner, there are other reasons why some asexuals choose to participate in sexual activity. The motivation might be curiosity or experimentation (a good proportion of asexuals have tried sex at some point in the past). Certain aspects of sex might be sensual and enjoyable enough to be motivation for some people even without sexual attraction or drive. Even if it is not immediately desired, sexual release can certainly be pleasurable for an asexual; think of it as not being hungry but still enjoying an ice cream cone. In a loving relationship, some asexuals may enjoy giving sexual pleasure to their partner without the need for any sexual gratification in return. If sex makes their partner feel loved, then some asexuals may wish to take part in consensual sex acts if only because they desire their partner's happiness.
That being said, many asexual people have fantastic relationships with sexual partners that don't involve sex. When sex does happen in an asexual/sexual relationship it requires extensive communication. Consent without sexual attraction is complicated, and is not something that sexual partners are entitled to.
There are also asexual people who would like to meet their partners on their sexual needs but can't because they are repulsed by some or all sexual activities. There is nothing wrong with being repulsed as long as it's not causing you personal distress. Visiting our community may help you find people you can relate to and see how they approach relationships and/or sex in their life.
There are asexual people who experience romantic attraction (have crushes, desire having romantic relationships, etc), and there are asexual people who don't. While the former are "romantic", the latter are "aromantic" and generally speaking they prefer having close friends. This, however, doesn't make them 'more asexual' than those who desire a romantic relationship. Furthermore, aromanticism is not only something asexual people identify with: there are, in fact, also people of any sexual orientation who are aromantic.
The idea of being 'very asexual' is questionable. There is no hierarchy of asexuality. Asexuals with romance drives are not 'less asexual' than those without. Asexuals who are in sexual relationships with loving partners have as much value in the community as those who have never had a single sexual experience. This community is not about elitism; it's about people who share the common factor of having very little or absolutely no sexual attraction to other people.
Diversity is a good thing in any community. Everyone in this community has as much value as everyone else. If your experience differs from that which you see others expressing, please feel free to share it.
People who identify as asexual don't experience sexual attraction, if you don't share that experience you may still find it useful to participate in our community. Asexuality is about lack of attraction to other people, not about lack of activity. Asexuals do not get horny toward other people, most would feel completely satisfied if they never shared a single sexual experience for the rest of their lives.
If you are a sexual person who chooses not to have sex, this is called 'celibacy' or 'abstinence'. There are many reasons sexual people might choose to be celibate. It may be for religious or moral reasons, they may dislike the experience of sex, they may think that sex must only exist as part of a longterm committed relationship. The distinction between asexuality and celibacy or abstinence is that asexuality is not a choice. Asexual people can choose to have sex and still remain asexual.
You may find you have many things in common with asexuals and could benefit from participation in the asexual community. However, it may be the case that a group specifically catering for celibate people would be more useful for you. Try out our community and see if it works for you.
No, they're not. If you identify as a sexual person, then that’s what you are. Asexual people are fine not having sex; if you think that your lack of interest in sex is a problem then you should consult a doctor or therapist. There is no guarantee that they will be able to help you, but there is a good chance. If you can’t decide if you think it’s a problem then you owe it to yourself to gather as much information as possible to figure out what fits you best.
Asexual people may also be incapable of having sex, the distinction is that they are unlikely to feel particularly uncomfortable about this as long as they are otherwise healthy. If you want to have sex but can't then this may not be the community for you.
No you're not wrong. Many asexuals with 'romance drives' also have an orientation (they only fall for certain types of people). Some asexuals identify as heteroromantic, others as homoromantic or biromantic. Other asexuals identify as panromantic because their romantic attraction is not based upon gender. Asexuals might form unconventional relationships and therefore identify as polyamorous or queer.
There is no reason why you have to identify as just one thing. You could decide to identify as a bi asexual or as polyamorous and asexual or as an asexual polyamorous bi person... or you could make up your own entirely new identity. But remember, whether or not you fit the definition of asexuality, you're welcome in the asexual community.
This has been the subject of much debate and discussion. On the one hand 'queer' is 'anything that differs from the norm', especially the norm of sexuality, and there are asexuals that consider the relationships they form to be completely unconventional and therefore queer. Other asexuals consider their relationships to be entirely conventional and do not identify as queer in any way.
Asexuals are just as diverse as sexual people. Some of us may be sensible and intellectual, some of us are less so. You may not have noticed this, but the same is true of sexual people!
The myth is that asexual superiority comes from freedom from the 'distraction' of attraction, sex drive and sexuality. But sexual people are capable of thinking of other things too. Also, some of the greatest pieces of art, music and literature were motivated or inspired by sexual fantasy or activity. Asexuals are not better or worse than sexual people, we're just different.
Living in a society where everyone is assumed to be sexual and where the media, especially soaps and advertising, portray everyone as sexual and constantly tempted by sex, you might justifiably feel marginalized and ignored. You might find it deeply frustrating that the people around you can't conceive of your reality, that people are constantly assuming you have a sexuality. It's understandable that you might want to vent these frustrations by ranting about how much sexual people annoy you. This may not be the most reasonable way to react.
It's natural to feel frustrated at a culture that assumes that everyone needs sex to be happy, but don't take that frustration out on individual people who were raised in that culture.
If people are inconsiderate to you because they don't understand your sexuality, then try explaining it to them. As your friends realize the existence of asexuals, perhaps they'll start to be more considerate toward you and those like you. The more people out there who know that they're friends of an asexual, the more visibility we'll have. Eventually we might even be represented in the media.
If you tell someone you're asexual and they still continue to ignore you and assume you're sexual, then you can rant!
People who have sex aren't any more or less stupid than anyone else.
Sexuality itself can seem like a somewhat awkward and arbitrary activity, and it may be confusing that sexual people get so worked up over it. It's important to be as accepting of sexual people as you want them to be of you.
There is nothing wrong or evil about sex and people who have sex. Sex is a beautiful pleasurable thing for those consenting adults who enjoy it. If you're looking for asexual people who'll be anti-sexual with you, you'll probably be disappointed. Being asexual doesn't mean you hate sex, it just means that you're not driven to have it. If you grew up asexual in a sexual world you might hold some resentment about sex but, as an asexual, it's just as likely that you wouldn't think about it at all.
For some asexuals it really is the case that their asexuality is a complete non-issue, they never have any reason to mention sex and feel perfectly comfortable interacting with others.
Other asexuals find themselves in situations where they are expected to be sexual. They might feel pressured to fake sexual attractions in order to fit in and have an easy life. Many people find that those around them constantly bring up sexual attraction in conversations, be it sex talk in the office or "look at the legs on her". It might be easier to play along and pretend you have sexual thoughts and feelings, but in doing so you are effectively 'in the closet', whether to avoid shame or simply to make life easier for yourself.
Some asexuals have found it refreshing to come out as having no sexual attraction. They no longer have to fade into the background when sex comes into the conversation or fake sexual interest in order to fit in. They can be completely honest about who they are and what they feel.
Another reason to consider coming out is to increase visibility and acceptance of asexuals in our society. While you may feel perfectly comfortable with who you are, other asexuals feel broken or less than human. As more and more asexuals are visible in our society, the idea of asexuality as a valid part of human experience will become more widespread. Just one more openly asexual person increases the likelihood that other asexuals won't have to grow up feeling broken and ashamed.
Coming out is, of course, your own personal choice and no one will think less of you if you decide that it's not for you.
You might decide that an asexual community has no value to you, but other asexuals receive a great deal from sharing their experiences with each other.
There are many different things you could take from an asexual community. Some members wish to talk to others with similar experiences, some wish to explore the diversity of experience within the community. Some want to talk about finding romance, some enjoy discussing the vast possibilities for asexual relationships. Some people would like to learn how to be more comfortable with their asexuality, others are eager to celebrate what they are. Some want to make things better for future asexuals, some want to spread the word that asexuality exists and it's OK to be that way. Some asexuals want to discuss the theory of asexuality and sexuality, some just want to tell jokes or share poems and stories.
The asexual community might be for you, or it might not. If you think you might benefit from hearing the experiences of people with little or no sexual attraction to other people, then you should give it a try.
Doubts and Fears
If you don't enjoy sex or find it deeply disappointing this might be because you don't actually want sex, you want your idea of what sex is. If you've come to this site, you probably suspect or know that you're asexual, so it's unlikely that a sex drive is motivating you.
Think carefully. What does sex mean to you? What do you expect to get from sex? Do you think you're looking for extreme pleasure? Perhaps you want some amazing shared expression of your love. Maybe you want to make your partner happy and think that you should be satisfied with their pleasure. Could it be that you want to be as intimate and close as is possible to them?
Once you know what you're actually looking for from sex, you can look for other ways to achieve it. The important thing is to talk to your partner, figure out what you want, tell them what you're feeling and discuss each other's needs.
If rather than disappointing and/or non-satisfying you find that sex, or some sexual activities, disgust you, maybe you are one of those people who are repulsed by it. Even though we've said that asexual people can like sex, this is not true for everyone. Not even for all sexual people! Some people just feel repulsion to various degrees towards sex/sexual activities, or even just physical non sexual contact, or things like body fluids. It's important to understand where someone own's boundaries are and find someone who can respect them and find a compromise with us that makes us comfortable.
No, not at all! Asexuals can and do form many kinds of relationships, from close friendships to romantic couplings to other kinds of bonds which our society doesn't have words for.
It may be more difficult to find someone who is willing to enter into a conventional relationship with the knowledge that sex will not be involved, but remember, there are other people with low or no sex drive out there and many people who care more about love and companionship than they do about sex.
Don't give up hope!
What if it is? That doesn't stop you being asexual right now.
It may be tempting to hold back on accepting your asexuality in the hope that eventually you'll 'bloom' into a sexual person. I'm not saying that might not eventually happen, but consider this: do you want to spend your life thinking of yourself as an undeveloped person, living for the dreamed of day when you'll become whole? Might you feel more comfortable accepting who you are now as a whole complete valid person? Maybe one day you will “bloom”, and if and when you do, you won't have lost anything by being comfortable in the mean time.
There's no shame in identifying as one thing and then later identifying as another. Your identity isn't meant to limit you. If you've moved on or changed, then by all means describe yourself differently. If you fear you might be different in the future, that doesn't change which label is most useful to you in the present. There's nothing wrong with change.
If you have yet to meet a single person who has attracted you sexually it's pretty safe to say that you have low or no sexual attraction to others. You aren't losing anything by exploring your asexuality and talking to others with similar experiences. If one day you find that special someone, that would be wonderful!
Identifying as asexual isn't committing yourself to abstinence, it's recognizing how you work. You can have relationships and you can be sexual if you so choose.
We here at AVEN get along just fine without sex. In a world that places a high premium on sexuality it's easy to feel like you need sex to be happy. You don't. Asexuality is not a dysfunction, and there is no need to find a "cause" or a "cure."
As for traumas as a child, there are asexual people who are survivors of abuse, just like there are in any orientations. There are also asexual people who have had no experience of abuse or traumas; there havent been any studies that proved any connections.
That being said, asexual people have the same need for love and intimacy that sexual people do. If you have a difficult time being intimate with people and are unhappy as a result then it is probably a good idea to seek some sort of counseling. The important thing is to find a way to connect with people that works for you- maybe that way will involve sexuality and maybe it won't. If, instead, you feel repulsion towards physical and/or sexual contact but it doesn't make you unhappy nor distress you, then you won't likely need to seek any counseling, but just to find friends/partners who can understand and respect how you feel.
Only you can know if you're asexual or not. Do you experience sexual attraction toward other people? Are you making choices to not act upon urges or do you lack them entirely? If you are genuinely unsure of the answers, then the asexual community may be a good place to explore how you feel.
There are people who, consciously or otherwise, avoid sexuality because they wish to avoid things like intimacy. These people are, of course, welcome in the asexual community, though they generally find that whatever emotional issue they were trying to avoid is present here as well. Many issues cannot be effectively avoided by avoiding sexuality. Asexual people deal with all of the same complex challenges in relationships as everyone else.
I'm afraid that there's no evidence to show that it's possible to change someone's sexuality. You can choose to change the way you act upon your desires or lack of desires, but you can't change what your desires are. It is possible for someone's sexuality to drift and change in orientation and intensity with time but this doesn't happen intentionally and doesn't happen to everyone.
The best solution is to learn to be comfortable with who and what you are. You can't change your sexuality and you didn't choose it, but you can accept it. Visiting our community and talking to other people may be of some help or support.
In a world where sexuality is promoted as the norm, many asexuals grow up thinking that they're somehow sick, broken or deficient. It's natural to internalize these fears and believe that other people will think your asexuality is as big a deal as you always have. In fact, it's really not so terrible.
Most people are pretty accepting of asexuality once they understand it. You may find that coming out often needs to be followed by an explanation of what asexuality is and isn't. Be patient with people. It's likely that you initially had some trouble accepting your own asexuality and understanding what it meant, so it's not surprising that other people have the same problem when they first hear of its existence.
Do you have anything else to add?
Above all, remember that the only person who can know what's right for you is you. By all means listen to what others have to say, but in the end, the best thing you can do is think for yourself.
Labels and categories do not define you, they describe you. They're a shorthand for expressing the complexity of your identity to others and a springboard from which you can explore and understand yourself. If a label isn't working for you then you don't have to use it. If a group is telling you there's only one true way to be your kind of person, you don't have to listen to them!
There are many reasons to embrace an asexual identity or contribute to the asexual community, but if you find it's not right for you or that it's limiting you, don't be scared to speak up and say how you feel, and don't feel that you can't walk away.
You don't have to identify as asexual to find the experiences of asexuals useful to you. If you have issues with low or no sexual attraction to others but do not identify as asexual, you should still feel welcome to contribute your experiences to our community.