ASEXUALITY

Asexual-Flag-1499704064.jpg

Sex without love exists

So why can't

Love without sex

Exist too?

A Misunderstood Orientation

Many people hear the word “asexual” and make assumptions about what it means.  They think of single-celled organisms in a petri dish.  They think of a morman; celibate until marriage.  They think of 'bitter virgins' who are 'too ugly to get laid'. They think of a genderless robot from outer space.  For many people, their sexual and romantic orientations are aligned, so people tend not to think about them being separate concepts. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction. Aromanticism is the lack of romantic attraction. Asexuals can and do fall in love and are perfectly capable of maintaining strong, loving relationships.

What is
Asexuality?

An asexual ("ace") person is simply someone who does not experience sexual attraction towards others, and has low or absent desire to engage in sexual activity.

(HOVER OVER ME)

My Coming Out Story

When people hear the words "coming out", their minds jump to someone who is coming out as gay or bisexual.

I identify as 'hetroromantic asexual' and I came out as such in 2015 during my final weeks at secondary school, after a long year of self discovery.

My sexuality was not something I ever thought about. I identified as straight and that was that. However, I was late to the dating game and when I first developed feelings for and became involved with a boy when I was 16/17, I realised that something was missing. I was not feeling things I was 'supposed' to be feeling. I was suddenly faced with all these questions that forced me to confront everything I thought I knew about myself...

Coming to terms with your sexuality is confusing enough, but when it's a sexuality that is extremely misunderstood, judged and generally lesser known, it is all the more nerve wracking.

3 years ago I made a video where I rambled on for 20 minutes about my very own sexuality self discovery. While my love life has changed dramatically since then and my own understanding of asexuality has improved greatly (all things I plan on addressing in a future video), it is still an honest account of the positives and negatives I experienced at that time. 

Common Misconceptions

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like homosexuality or heterosexuality.  And like being straight or being gay, it’s about what someone feels, not what someone does.  Dating, having sex, masturbating, falling in love, getting married, or having children do not conflict with asexuality in any way.  There are many reasons why an asexual person might do these things that do not require sexual attraction to be present.

Common misconceptions surrounding Asexuality are:

 

  • Asexuality is not a synonym for celibacy

    • Celibacy is a choice, asexuality is not

  • Asexuality is not a disorder.

  • Asexuality is not a result of sexual trauma

    • although there are some aces who have experienced sexual abuse

  • Asexuality is not a hormone imbalance

    • although there may be aces with hormone issues

  • Asexuality is not a fear of sex

    • although there are aces who are 'sex repulsed'

  • Asexuality does not mean a person doesn't want a relationship

    • Asexuals can fall in love just as easy if not easier than non-aces. Aromatics do not feel romantic attraction but may feel sexual ​attraction

'Gray Ace' Areas

Some people hesitate as asexual because they've experienced sexual attraction and/or had sex once (with or without attraction present) and therefore believe they are excluded from the Ace community.  THIS IS NOT TRUE. Like any other sexuality, Asexuality is fluid. People have a hard time with that word...fluid...they hear that and think a person is just being 'greedy' or 'going through a phase' or just 'trying to be trendy'. A bisexual woman, for example, may have had 20 sexual partners in her life. Now this could mean 19 women and only 1 man. Similarly she could have slept with 10 men and 10 women. It could mean 16 and 4, 8 and 12 or even 20 and 0. You wouldn't disregard a person's bisexuality because of percentages so why would you do so with asexuality?

Gray-asexual people fall in between asexuality and non-asexuality. That is, they strongly identify with being asexual, except for a few limited or infrequent experiences of sexual attraction. Demisexual people are only capable of feeling sexual attraction after developing a strong emotional bond with someone. Demisexuality and gray-asexuality fall within what’s called the “asexual spectrum”.

Many questions people have about asexuality can be answered with the same phrase: “Some Do, Some Don’t.”  Do asexuals date? Some do, some don’t.  Do asexuals fall in love? Some do, some don’t.  Do asexuals have sex? Some do, some don’t.  Do asexuals masturbate? Some do, some don’t.

Romantic orientations are given names that parallel sexual orientations.  For instance, a heteroromantic person is someone who experiences romantic attraction toward a different gender, homoromantic  toward the same gender, and so on.  A significant number of asexuals also identify as aromantic, which means that they do not experience romantic attraction. Separating romantic and sexual attraction is not strictly limited to asexual people, however.  For instance, it is possible for someone to be an aromantic heterosexual, or any other combination.

An

'ABC'

Guide to Asexuality

Am I Asexual?

There's no formula to self discovery. It sound cheesy but you just have to listen to your gut. I didn't do this when I was figuring out my own asexuality. I spent a long time trying to force myself to feel things that my body simply wasn't feeling. As a result, this lack of feeling anything made me feel something even worse...disgust. I felt like I was betraying myself and I hated myself for a long time for giving up moments that were so important to me. From my experience there are a lot of people who will not take the time to get to know the person underneath the label. They would hear the word 'asexual' and have preconceived ideas of what the word really meant. However most of this judgement is not malicious, it's born out of a lack of awareness.

The moment I began to feel at peace with who I was, was the moment that I refused to compromise myself any more. Asexuality is just as real and valid as any other sexuality. It's estimated that only `1% of the population is asexual, however there is also a very real possibility that this number is far higher and, it's just that the majority of other asexuals are either too afraid/ashamed to make themselves known, or that they aren't even aware that's what they are.

When I was first coming to terms with my asexuality I was in the dark for a long time about what the word actually meant. Like many others, all I knew of it was what I had learnt about single cell reproduction in GCSE biology. It took months of research for me to even begin to understand the mess inside my head. I wish I had stumbled upon a checklist that could have helped me figure things out quicker. 

  • Are you generally disinterested in sex?

  • Do you feel left out or confused when others discuss sex?

  • If you had sex, did you think it was dull or boring, and not the amazing experience other people made it out to be?

  • Have you ever had to pretend to be interested in someone in order to fit in?

  • Have you ever felt “broken” because you don’t experience sexual feelings like those around you?

  • Have you ever felt that you were straight “by default” or that you were bi or pan because you were equally (dis)interested in all genders? 

  • Have you ever gone out with someone or had sex because you felt “that’s what you’re supposed to do?”