Until recent years, many people assumed that everyone experienced sexual attraction to another person of one form or another. Actually, many people do not experience sexual attraction of any sort.
They have no interest in sex, irrespective of who it is with. This is where the concept of asexuality derives from.
The National LGBTQ Task Force have stated that asexuality is a form of sexual orientation where a person feels minimal or no sexual attraction towards other people.
This term is expansive, and holds many different meanings for different people. Some will experience it as a lack of sexual desire overall, while others will experience it as a lack of sexual desire FOR anyone.
Generally, being asexual is about how a person experiencing sexual attraction. It does not always mean anything specific about an individual’s sexual behavior.
Some people who are asexual will feel neutral when engaging in sexual activity, while others are repulsed by the idea of it. Some asexual people will also experience pleasure from sex, however, they simply do not experience any desire to have it.
The Asexuality Spectrum
Asexuality exists within a spectrum that ranges from “no interest” to “sex under specific circumstances”.
Some may feel far more comfortable when saying that they are on a spectrum of asexuality, as opposed to distinctly classifying themselves as being asexual. This leaves more room for manoeuvre within the spectrum itself.
What Are The Signs You May Be Asexual?
There are some key signs to consider in regard to being asexual. However, you should remember that asexuality can mean a variety of things for different individuals.
Not all of these signs will apply to every single person who is asexual.
- You are uninterested in sex.
If you have never had much interest in engaging in sexual activities, or you fail to get aroused when intimate with people, then you may be asexual.
- Other people do not turn you on.
Some people who are asexual will actually experience sexual desire and masturbate. However, they do not get turned on by other people. You may have feeling that someone is attractive without actually being sexually attracted to them.
- You do not relate to other’s sexual desires.
Asexual people will often feel isolate whenever the people around them discuss their sexual desires or feelings of a sexual nature. They do not tend to understand why those around them are so motivated by sexual desire.
- The identity resonates with you.
Ultimately, there is no specific test that determines whether you are asexual or not. Your asexuality will all depend on how you specifically feel. There is also ample variation within the spectrum. However, if you hear about asexuality and immediately identity, then you are probably asexual.
Terms That Are Related To Asexuality
There are two separate identities that are often considered to be situated on the asexual spectrum, or that are closely related to asexuality. These are graysexuality and demisexuality.
Those who are demisexual do not experience sexual attraction towards someone unless they have gotten to know them. Those who are demisexual will only experience sexual attraction in a way that centres emotions as opposed to lust.
Whereas, those who are graysexual are situated between asexual and sexual. If you are graysexual, you may experience sexual attraction on occasions, however, this is not always a given.
According to Anen Hodder-Shipp, gray sexuality can be broken down into different categories including: ambivalent, sex-interested, indifferent, and sex-repulsed.
Aromantic Vs. Asexual
It may be useful to separate sexual orientation from romantic orientation. A person who is aromantic is an individual who is not interested in having a romantic relationship.
They experience little or no desire for any form of romantic relationship whatsoever. An individual could be both aromantic and asexual, or they could be somewhere in between.
Again, there are no specific rules in regard to this as this identity exists on a spectrum.
Are Asexual People Able To Fall In Love?
An incredibly common misconception is that asexual people aren’t able to fall in love. However, this is a fallacy.
Sex is not equivalent to love. Thus, someone who does not tend to fall in love would probably define themselves as being aromantic.
Asexual people can get into romatic relationships with their partners, without desiring them sexually.
Can I Become Asexual?
While it is not always clear what makes an individual heterosexual, it is also not possible to determine what makes a person asexual.
Some may believe that they were born asexual, while others may determine that they have become asexual to do societal experiences or conventions. Your place on the spectrum can also change during the course of your life.
For instance, some women may begin to identify as being sexual around the time of the menopause. While some younger people may identify as asexual after not enjoying sex for a period of time.
Whenever an individual comes out as being asexual, it is because they feel as though they have found an identity that has been theirs for a long period of time.
To conclude, being asexual is incredibly normal. There is nothing wrong with you if you do not experience sexual desire towards another person. Some people may never feel the need to enhance their desire for sexual intimacy.
The best way to find acceptance is to source a partner who understands your sexual orientation.
If you liked this article, then you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Know If You’re Bi’.