What is Asexuality? | Being.LGBT What is Asexuality? - Being.LGBT
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What is Asexuality?

Find out more about asexuality.

Added to Library, on 19 July, 2015

What is Asexuality?

For non-Asexual people, asexuality might – at first sight – appear confusing or perhaps even contradictory. But that’s because asexuality, much like any other Queer identity, is surrounded by myths and non-asexual opinion and theory. Taking the time to understand Asexuality, and Asexual people, is important.

Put simply: an asexual person is an individual who does not experience sexual attraction.

The first big thing to understand is that asexuality is not the same as being celibate: celibacy is the act of choosing to live a non-sexual lifestyle, where as Asexuality is not a choice any more than being Queer in any other sexuality or gender identity is a choice. Asexual people are asexual because – well, because they simply are.

It may be difficult for non-Asexual people to understand what it’s like to not have a sexual orientation; indeed, for many Asexual individuals, coming to terms with Asexuality can be like any other Queer individual coming to terms with their gender or sexuality. There is incredible diversity within Asexuality: it’s not simply a case of ‘one label fits all’, and as a result, asexual relationships, attraction and sexual arousal – much like in any other individual – vary.

Asexual individuals may still experience romantic attractions. In these cases, an asexual individual (who may identify as ace), may specify a romantic orientation instead; for example, they may be heteroromantic, biromantic, homoromantic, panromantic etc. Other individuals may also be aromantic, where they lack a romantic orientation as well.

Asexual people can still fall in love, and can still manage to create and maintain loving, successful and intimate relationships. Some asexual individuals (who may label themselves ‘grey asexuals‘) may even experience sexual arousal occasionally, rarely, or under specific circumstances. Within asexuality too, is demisexuality, in which an individual may have the capability of experiencing a sexual attraction only once a close emotional bond has been developed; some asexuals engage, enjoy and become aroused in sex with their partners. Others don’t.

Despite a lack of sexual attraction, many asexuals form and maintain close, intimate relationships, the same way many other individuals do – it may simply be that sex does not play a major role within that relationship. In couples involving a sexual and an asexual person, other acts of intimacy may play a bigger role than sex, whilst some asexual people may engage in sexual activities with their partner in order to please them or to have children. Some asexuals masturbate, some asexuals don’t. As with any other successful intimate relationship, it revolves around communication and finding out what works for the parties involved.

There is such diversity within the asexual spectrum that it is really impossible to draw a “prerequisite checklist” for an asexual person; but put simply, an asexual person is simply an individual who does not experience sexual attraction – nothing else. Everything else is determined by the individual themselves.

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What is Asexuality?