A Parent’s Guide To Asexuality

First Things First

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like being straight or gay.  When someone is straight, they’re interested in people of a different gender.  When someone is gay, they’re into the same gender.  But when someone is asexual, or “ace” as it’s called, they’re not really into anyone in that way.  They simply don’t experience sexual attraction.  Asexuality isn’t something that needs to be “fixed” or “cured”, it’s just a part of who they are.

You’ve probably never heard of asexuality until your child mentioned it to you.  You’re probably a little bit confused and a little bit concerned.  That’s understandable!  This probably wasn’t a conversation you were expecting to have when you woke up this morning.  This guide aims to help explain what you need to know about asexuality, and what it means for you and your child.

It’s a good idea to let go of whatever preconceptions you might have about asexuality.  When people hear the word “asexual”, it conjures up a lot of images and ideas, and most of those are wrong.

Asexuality is not a problem that you need to solve.  It’s not a disease.  It’s not a disorder.  It’s not an Internet fad.  It’s not a cult.  It’s not a fancy word for celibacy.  It’s not a gender identity.  It’s not a choice.  It’s not some tree-hugging hippy liberal idea.  It’s not some conservative purity movement.  It doesn’t involve spores or splitting in two or anything like that.  It’s not some excuse to get out of dating. Asexuality is a sexual orientation.  That’s all.

Now, you’re probably wondering why, if it’s a real sexual orientation, you’ve never heard of it before.  That’s because the word used to describe it is relatively new.  Although it’s been around for decades, it really only started picking up popularity in the early 2000s.  But the concept is much older.  There have been asexual people for as long as there have been people.  They just didn’t have a word to describe themselves.  The age of a word used to describe a concept does not make that concept invalid.  After all, “heterosexual” wasn’t used until 1892, although there were certainly heterosexual people in the Middle Ages and in Ancient Greece and even earlier.

The current best estimate is that at least 1% of people are asexual.  This figure comes from Dr. Anthony Bogaert, a scientist who was among the first to explicitly study asexuality.  He wasn’t the first to notice it, though.  The famous researcher Alfred Kinsey, when he was working on the “Kinsey Scale”, realized that some people simply didn’t fit on his chart, so he labeled them as “Group X”.  Many people today believe that this Group X described asexual people.

If at least one out of every hundred people is asexual, this means you probably know someone else who might be asexual.  Think about the people in your life.  Is there a bachelor uncle or spinster aunt who never showed an interest in anyone else?  Is there a friend who always stays out of the sex talk?  Is there a cousin who got married a couple of times, but never had any kids?  Was there a college roommate who was more interested in books than hookups?  Those people might be asexual, too.  They might not even know of the word.

 

What This Means For You

This means that you have a child who is asexual.

No, really, that’s all it means.  Nothing in your life or your child’s life has changed. This is simply a revealing of what was already there.  It’s one of many things your child will come across as they live their life and discover who they are.

 

Why Is My Child Asexual?

Like any other sexual orientation, the cause of asexuality is unclear, and for the most part, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that your child is asexual.  It’s part of who they are.

Your child likely did not start using the word “asexual” lightly.  This isn’t something they’re saying on a whim.  They thought about it a lot, probably even agonizing over why they weren’t like everyone else.  For many people, the discovery of the word “asexual” is actually a liberating moment.  Finally, they become aware that they’re not alone, that there are other people like them.  They are sure this is who they are.

You didn’t do anything to turn your kid asexual.  They didn’t end up asexual because you scared them off of sex or didn’t hug them enough or anything like that.  Asexuality is not the result of poor parenting.  There is nothing you could have done differently that would have changed anything.

 

What Should I Do?

  • Listen to your child.  They know more about this than you do.
  • Try to understand.  It doesn’t all have to make sense right away, but what’s important is that you make an effort to understand.
  • Do research.  If you don’t understand something, or have questions you don’t feel comfortable asking your child, or if you simply want to know more, then spend some time and look up what you want to know.
  • Treat asexuality with respect.  Asexuality is not imaginary, it’s not a “teenage thing”, it’s not a punchline.  It’s an integral part of your child’s identity.  If you disrespect asexuality, you’re disrespecting your child.
  • Accept them.  This is important to them, and it’s important for them to know you care.
  • And most importantly:  Love them.

 

 What Shouldn’t I Do?

  • Don’t get angry.  There’s nothing to get angry about.  Asexuality isn’t a choice, it’s part of who they are.  Getting angry over your child being asexual is like getting angry that your child wears size 9 shoes or has brown eyes.
  • Don’t try to “fix” it.  There’s nothing to “fix”.  The APA recognizes asexuality as a valid orientation in the DSM-5. Sending your child to a therapist to “cure” their asexuality would, at best, be a complete waste of money, and, at worst, be a horrifying, traumatic experience.
  • Don’t try to convince them that they’re wrong.  Trust that your child knows how they feel and what they’re thinking.
  • Don’t dismiss it.  If your child says that they’re asexual, that means it’s important to them.  Brushing it off will tell your child that you don’t care.
  • Don’t “forget” about it.  If your child has to remind you that they’re asexual at some point down the line, it shows them that you’re not interested in their life.  You don’t have to remember all the terminology and all the specific details, but you do have to remember that they are asexual and what that means.
  • Don’t tell anyone else without your child’s permission.  Your child has trusted you with this information.  There may be other people that they do not trust with this information.  Don’t betray your child’s trust by telling other people about it.
  • Don’t say anything in the “What Not To Say” section below.  That section is a collection of hurtful and invalidating statements that should be avoided when talking to your child about asexuality.

 

What Not To Say

“What about grandchildren?” Many parents are concerned that they will never become grandparents after a child comes out as asexual.  First, you need to recognize that your children are under no obligation to produce grandchildren for you.  The decision to have or not have children is a personal one, and there was no guarantee that your child would have wanted to have children of their own, even if they were heterosexual.  However, nothing about being asexual prevents your child from having kids, if that’s what they want.  There are many asexuals who want kids and there are many who have kids.  Asexual people can become parents the same way anyone else can:  Adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination, even through natural conception.

“But you dated someone!” Past dating history is not evidence that someone is not asexual.  Even current relationship status is not evidence that someone is not asexual.  Maybe your child went out with that person because they felt that they had to conform to social expectations.  Maybe your child went out with that person because they were experimenting with their own feelings, and that’s what led them to realize that they are asexual.  Maybe your child went out with that person because they were in love.  Dating someone has no bearing on whether or not a person is asexual.

“I was like that, too.  You’ll change!” When someone tells you that they are asexual, they’re not looking for reassurance that someday they’ll be “normal”.  They already are normal.  They’re looking for acceptance and understanding.  They’re looking for recognition of who they are.  By saying that you “used to be the same way”, you’re not helping them at all.  You’re dismissing them.  Asexuality is not some sort of teenage fashion trend that they’ll be over in a week.

“You’re too young to know.” If your child came to you and said “Hey, I’m straight”, would you think that they’re too young to know?  If they said “Hey, I’m gay”, would you think that they’re too young to know?  If you think they’re old enough to know that they’re gay or straight, then they’re old enough to know that they’re asexual.

“I don’t approve.” You do not get to disapprove of this.  You have no say in the matter.  When your child tells you that they are asexual, it is a statement of fact.  It’s not a matter that is open for debate.  You can’t talk them out of it and you can’t convince them to change, because it wasn’t a choice that they made.  There is nothing to talk them out of and there is nothing that they can change.  They are asexual and that’s that.  Your disapproval will only hurt your child.

“I’m fine with it.  Just don’t tell anyone about it.” If you want to silence your child, then you’re not actually fine with it.  It is not your place to decide who your child tells.  Are you embarrassed by it?  Are you worried what other people will think?  That is not your role as a parent.  Your job is to defend your child’s right to be who they are without fear.

“No one will go out with you if you say that.” There are several problems with this sort of statement.  First, you’re telling your child to hide who they are for the sake of finding a partner, instead of telling them to value themselves and find someone who will love them for who they are.  Second, you’re making the assumption that your child is actually interested in going out with someone.  They might not be.  A significant number of asexual people are also aromantic or are otherwise not interested in dating.  And finally, you’re saying that sex is the only important thing in a relationship.

“Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone someday.” Asexuality is not a synonym for single.  It’s not a temporary state that’ll just evaporate the moment the right person comes along.  When your child told you that they were asexual, they weren’t complaining about the lack of a suitable partner.  They were telling you what their sexual orientation is.  Certainly, they may meet someone someday.  And if they do, your child will still be asexual.

“I don’t want you to limit yourself.” The word “asexual” is a description, it’s not a self-imposed limitation.  Your child is not using it to shut themselves off from experiences they’re afraid of or aren’t ready for.  They’re not suppressing some part of their personality to fit this word, they’re using the word because it fits their personality.  An asexual person is no more limited by asexuality than a straight person is limited by heterosexuality.

“But I heard that sexuality is fluid.  Maybe you’ll change someday!” Maybe they will.  Maybe they won’t.  That’s not the point.  They are asexual today, and that’s what matters.  When you say something like this, what you’re really saying is that you don’t like the current state of things and wish they were different, and that you won’t accept your child until they change into something more acceptable to you.  Besides, this argument can easily be turned around:  If sexuality is fluid, maybe you’ll become asexual someday.

“We’ll take you to a doctor to fix this.” Asexuality is not something that can be fixed or cured.  You might be thinking that having no interest in sex is a symptom of something like a hormone imbalance or a brain tumor or something else.  While it’s true that a lower libido or disinterest in sex can be a symptom of a number of medical conditions, it’s rarely the only sign.  It’s natural to be concerned, but unless your child is showing other symptoms or there has been a sudden drop in their sexual interest, there’s likely no reason to involve a doctor.  Many asexuals have had their hormone levels checked, and often will find that the levels are within the expected ranges.  Some asexuals have even been on hormone therapy for various reasons, and they typically report no changes.

“God doesn’t approve.” Since the people who raise this objection are most often Christian, here are a couple of verses to take a look at:  1 Corinthians 7:6-9 and Matthew 19:10-12.  Many other religions have similar statements of acceptance.  I am unaware of any religion that specifically condemns asexuality.

“You’re going out with someone now.  I knew you weren’t asexual after all!” Dating someone is not proof that your child is not asexual.  There are many reasons your child might have for going out with someone, and sexual attraction doesn’t have to be one of them.  Saying something like this indicates that you never believed your child in the first place and were always looking for some evidence to “prove” that they were wrong.

“That must be so hard on your partner.” If your child is in a relationship when they tell you that they’re asexual, you might assume asexuality mean there’s no sex, and no sex means that there must be relationship strife.  However, neither one of those assumptions is necessarily true.  Asexuality doesn’t prevent someone from having sex, it’s just that asexual people generally aren’t very inclined towards it or enthusiastic about it.  Some asexual people do have sexual relationships with their partners for various reasons.  On the second assumption, being in a sexless relationship does not guarantee relationship troubles any more than being in a sex-filled relationship guarantees eternal happiness.  You do not know what is going on in their relationship.  You don’t know what arrangements, agreements, or accommodations they have made in their relationship.  It’s even possible that their partner is asexual, too!  If they are not sharing any of this with you, that is because it is none of your business.

If you’ve said any of these things: You’re probably reading this after your child came out, and if that’s the case, there’s a chance you may have already said some of these things (or something similar).  If that’s the case, then talk to your child and apologize.  Let them know that you now understand that you may have said something hurtful.  You can’t take back what you’ve said, but you can try to undo some of the damage it might have caused.

 

What Else Should I Know?

A single page cannot tell you everything you might need to know about asexuality, and I encourage you to do further research on your own.  The following is a very rough look at a few other topics which may come up when your child talks about asexuality.

The Ace Spectrum:  Your child might tell you that they are demisexual or are gray-asexual.  These categories fall along what’s called the “Ace Spectrum”, which means they’re somewhere in the middle ground between being asexual and not being asexual.  A gray-asexual person rarely feels sexual attraction, isn’t quite sure if what they’ve felt would be considered sexual attraction, or, for some other reason, doesn’t quite feel like the term “asexual” fits them right, even though it’s close.  A demisexual person does not experience sexual attraction until after they’ve gotten to know someone very well.  (Note that this is not the same thing as being unwilling to sleep with a stranger.  This is about never being attracted to someone unless they know them well first.  And before you say “Well, that’s just how everyone is”, consider that there are entire industries that revolve around people feeling sexually attracted to strangers.)  Both gray-asexuality and demisexuality are real and are perfectly normal ways to be.

Romantic Attraction:  Romantic attraction is separate from sexual attraction.  Although an asexual person lacks sexual attraction, they may still experience romantic attraction.  At the risk of oversimplification, if sexual attraction is about wanting to have sex with someone, then romantic attraction is about wanting to have romance with someone.  Romantic attraction, like sexual attraction, can be directed toward a gender or genders.  For instance, a man who experiences romantic attraction toward women would be described as “heteroromantic”, while a woman who is romantically interested in men and women would be “biromantic”, and so on.  Someone who does not experience romantic attraction would be called “aromantic”.  Although sexual orientation and romantic orientation are typically aligned (For instance, a homosexual person is often homoromantic, as well), it’s possible for a person to have any combination of these orientations.  That means someone can be an aromantic heterosexual or a panromantic asexual or any other or whatever else.

Gender Identity:  Gender identity is the perception of one’s own gender.  In other words, it’s how a person sees themselves as a man or a woman (or, in some cases, both or neither, or a combination, etc.).  Gender is separate from physical sex.  One way to think of it is that gender is in your head, while sex is in your pants.  Someone whose gender identity matches their physical sex (for example, a woman who happens to have a vagina) is said to be “cisgender”, while someone whose gender and sex at birth are not the same (for example, a woman who happens to have a penis) are called “transgender”.  Often, the concept of “preferred pronouns” will come up in a discussion of gender identity.  Preferred pronouns are how someone would like to be addressed.  For example, one person might want to be called “he”, someone else might want to be called “she”, and a third person might want the word “they” to be used.  It is important to note that asexuality is not a gender identity.  Asexuals can be any gender or any sex.

41 thoughts on “A Parent’s Guide To Asexuality

  1. This is handy not only for parents, but those parents who didn’t have this information around when they were younger, thought there was something ‘wrong’ with them, but didn’t know what. I wonder if the many people in the past who have been dismissed as ‘frigid’ have actually been asexual but didn’t realise it. I’m married with three children but a few months ago realised that I was asexual and it was confirmed in my mind when I read your original blogs about this. I think my eldest daughter suspects that she is too because she’s been reading about this over the past few months and is very clued up. When I was younger I used to fancy boys/men, but if there was ever the slightest thought that they also fancied me I’d go off them instantly. I always thought I was weird in that respect, but my daughter tells me I’m not and it’s part of the ace spectrum. Thank goodness I’m not mad!

    • You are probably hetero-lithrosexual in that case! Hetero- straight, unless you also felt the same about women. Lithro- you feel sexual attraction but the attraction fades once reciprocated, or you do not care if it is reciprocated. And, if you fancied them romantically, then change -sexual to -romantic. I hope this is the term you were looking for!

      • I’m not sure of the difference between fancying someone romantically or sexually. Sex is not and never has been something which I’ve been interested in. I’ve managed to evade it in my marriage for about 18 months so far! However I’m not romantic either. Thinking back I really should never have got married. We became friends first and everything else followed on, and I suppose I felt that it was ‘normal’ to get married and have children.

      • This is a very interesting concept. I also fancy guys but i dont want sex or i dont need to be reciprocated. I feel ok with it, but some other people dont. I usually dont tell people i am asexual, so they usually take more attention on me that i would like. i dont like that.
        Being openly asexual drag attentions on me and already been in situations where people thought i was lesbian, which im not, or ill in some way and tried to fix. I hate all the attention people pay when they notice i am diferent, i just want people to give me peace and leave me alone…

  2. Thanks for writing this! =) I’ve identified as Asexual for a few months now, and have come out to both of my parents, who were more accepting than I could have asked for them to be, and are both willing to talk to me about it. I’m thinking of sending this article to them not because I feel that they need to read it, but because I feel that it is a good article and deserves to be shared, and does have some things in it that I don’t think they knew about. Hopefully, other parents whose kids have come out to them will read this and be as accepting!

  3. Thank you so much. As an asexual teen, this is a rather good article. Thank you for this. I am sending this to my parents immediately.

  4. I don’t know that I’m ready yet, but thank you for writing this, this will definitely be super helpful when I feel more comfortable and confident telling my mom :)

  5. Loved this page! Thoughtful and well laid out. Actually, my very Christan mother is thrilled I’m asexual and not a lesbian, like I’ve identified as for the last few year–even if i still identify as homoromantic. I appreciated the Bible texts especially since they are still applicable. Having Paul explain it that way in Corinthians validates my experience for her and is helpful to have in this guide for parents.

  6. I’m planning on making a Prezi for when I come out to my parents, and this will help a lot! Thank you for making this (´∀`)

  7. This page was really helpful. I just told mum about being asexual yesterday and it was frustrating to explain it to her but I sent her the link to this page and now we can talk about it

  8. Well, this is a pretty handy parent’s guide to asexuality. I’m asexual myself (18 years old) but I am sure my parents won’t approve if I come out to them. We are muslims, and my parents are very religious. They had talked to me before about how they want me to provide them with grandchildren. Here you say that they don’t have the right to choose wether I should have kids or not, but they don’t believe in this. They believe that they actually have the right to have grandchildren and that I must not refuse (Im thier only son). As the local customs here state, my parents must choose a bride for me at age 20, and as I am aromantic I don’t want that, especially that the bride that my mother will choose (without my approval of course) will have the same mentality as her, which scares me. There is no law here to condemn force marriage or whatsoever, so I really need advice how could I come out to my parents.

    • Why not show it to them? They might be more understanding than you think. As I’ve said in a previous post I wish I’d known about this when I was younger because it would have made a lot of sense to me about how I felt and that I wasn’t ‘strange’. You’re so lucky these days having this information readily available.

      This morning my eldest daughter told me that another of her male friends had ‘come out’ as gay the other day. I mentioned that I it’s a shame that more people don’t come out as asexual and I told her that I identify as asexual and she told me that she did too. I told her that I’d suspected for a long time that she was once I’d found out what ‘it’ was! Apparently one of her other friends had ‘come out’ as asexual at school at few years ago. Your parents love you so will accept you as you are. It might be difficult to explain what you mean as they might not have heard of it, so why not show them this blog? All the best.

  9. I’m going to message this to my mom, at school tomorrow. But I’m not going to tell my siblings. My brothers like “Everyone gets crushes” so I’d rather not tell him right away. I’ve known I was asexual for at least four months, but I’m still afraid to come out, even though I will get mostly good responses.

  10. Pingback: Asexual Awareness Week - A Primer on Aces - The Black Pomegranate

  11. Ahh, I need some subtle way of showing this to my mom. I tried to come out as asexual a while ago- emphasis on ‘tried’. She got extremely worked up over it, telling me pretty much everything you’re NOT supposed to say. Lol. Examples; “I felt that way when I was your age; you’re not SUPPOSED to be sexually attracted to anyone when you’re this young”, “I don’t want you missing out on something because of some silly little post you saw online! You’ve always had an aversion to sex, and I think that this is your intellectual hiding-spot”.
    Not to mention that she went on to associate the fact that I’ve never liked the fact that I’m growing up with my asexuality (in actuality, I’m just a transgender boy who is now too scared to come out to his mother. Yay!). In fact, she even got pretty verbally abusive; even though I knew her intentions were nothing but good, what she was saying erased it from meaning.
    Anyway, long story short, if she decides to have an open mind, I think your article is going to help me a hell of a lot!!

  12. This is an excellent article and i’d love to show it to my parents, but they don’t speak English well enough to understand it to the fullest i think..
    Hence the question: would you mind if i translate this article into Russian for my parents as well as for Russian ace community?

  13. Pretty sure my beautiful smart daughter is ACE. I discovered my own asexuality within this site, and eventually recognized the same characteristics in my daughter, a sophomore in college, who at age 20 has never once expressed an interest in sex. Never dated, or seemed interested, never been kissed and absolutely certain she’s still a virgin. How weird is that? Mother and daughter both in the 1% that describe the term asexual.

    I’ve talked to her about it, not mentioning my own orientation, and she agrees that this definition describes her. How likely is that? I’m worried that I’m attaching a lable to her that reflects my own orientation rather than hers. I want her to be “normal”
    HELP

    • I discovered my own asexuality from this site too, and realised that my daughter, who is now 19, is also more than likely asexual. I mentioned the term to her and told her I was asexual, and she started to research it herself. Recently I mentioned it to her again and she said that after researching she has realised she is also asexual. She has also never had a boyfriend or shown any interest in them. One of her friends came out as asexual whilst still at school. I think realising that there’s nothing ‘odd’ about yourself makes life a lot easier.

  14. I’m pretty young (16) And for a while now I’ve been thinking and doing research on sexuality and all of the different things out there. I have mostly come to the conclusion that I am asexual. I have been in one relationship and still am in one. All that it consists of is very loving attention (talking, cuddling, some kissing). My boyfriend is demisexual I believe. He is not currently interested in sex, but says that he might be in the future. Anyway I have kind of known without knowing the name of it for a while that I was what I was. I never wanted kids, or found sex at all interesting. I only crave a relationship for the companionship and closeness. I had never shown interest in dating till my current partner and if we ever break up I probably wont be interested in being in another. To the main point of my comment. My mom doesn’t seem to understand that I just am not interested in sex, and that I probably won’t be in the future. She is quite strict about how and when my boyfriend can hang out together and it is quite frustrating. She feels as though something will happen if we are left alone for a while just cuddling. I think I’ll send this article to her, though I don’t feel as though it will change her view much. She says that it is weird and unnatural for one to not have sexual urges but I just don’t have them.

  15. I’m pretty sure my 19 year old son is asexuall He has never shown any interest in girls or boys and gets really annoyed when I try and talk to him about it. I appreciate he may want to keep this private but I am worried he may not realise asexuallity exists and is stuggling with the fact he is different to his friends. Whenever we are at parties or family gatherings and people ask about who he is dating I can see the sheer panic and embarrissment on his face. He is such a good boy he is so funny and kind, I just want him to know whatever he is feeling or not feeling is Ok that he is not on his own and is still my beautiful boy who I would not change for the world. Should I talk to him about this or just leave him to find his own way and let him confide in me when he is ready?

    • Why not give him the link to this website? I did that with my daughter. She was also confused but after reading it has said she believes she is asexual. It might be just the answer he’s looking for.

  16. I hope that other people don’t have a hard time coming out to their parents! I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my sexual orientation to my father, but my mother, step-father, and sisters all just heard me say it and were like “Okay, then. It was pretty obvious, you cutie-pie.” I’ve never been all that interested in boys or girls, even when my friends in high school would start talking about ‘sexy’, ‘half-naked’ actors right next to me. (Meh. If they don’t want to catch a cold, they’d better put on a shirt, already.) My mother did say the “it might just be a phase” and “maybe don’t say it on a first meeting, the boys might not want to date you” but I don’t think she was being cynical about it or anything. And both of those statements seemed to come out of the blue just to never show up again. After I started saying how I’m ace, my 2 older sisters came out individually as pan and bi respectively, so I like to make the joke that the sexual attraction drained out of the family genetics. ;)

  17. Thanks so much for this , it really helps alot i identity as ace and growing up Puerto rican and african American my families views were so compatible with the idea
    Needless to say bieng 17 and coming out to my mother ( ironically i havent came out to my more accepting father yet) went alittle like
    ” Your too young to know -give it until your 25″
    “You just havent had the little boys whisper in your ears yet”
    “I DONT think your asexual”
    “It’ll pass”
    “If you are asexual then every 17 year old needs to be ” – implying that asexuality is a choice or form of religious celibacy
    Those are just some of the comments
    And i couldn’t get angry with her because she honestly didnt know nor understand the concept of asexuality no matter how many bible scriptures i showed her or little visuals or things to help her understand
    But i am certain this will clear it up
    My mom is a social worker so i guessed i just completely relied on that for her to understand but i shouldve kept that in mind before coming out
    Concerning my friends EVERYONE is talking about sex more than ever and it hurts to rven sit in these conversations because i simply cannot relate !
    I feel almost left out but i cannot change who i am and it hurts so much
    But this has helped at least getting my mother to understand and that was my goal so thank you so much

  18. To all those parents out there who are reading this post, suspecting their child might be ace and wondering whether they should initiate a conversation with them about it: please do so! There must be a reason for you to be suspecting, and reaching out to your child with an open heart and mind might be the biggest favor you do them.

    If you are right, there is a chance your kid is already aware about it themselves and struggling with how to come out to you. If they are not aware, however, by sending them this article you might help them to finally discover their true selves and the fact that they are not broken, weird or alone in this world. This is what happened to me last year when my father sent me an article about asexuality. It is not easy being ace (or even realizing you are one) and support from our parents means a lot.

    And even if you prove to be wrong and your child tells you this does not apply to them – allowing them to read this article and decide for themselves will not hurt anyone, right?

  19. What will they come with next? Sounds confusing, and scary, and a lot like lack of a decision. Sounds like celibacy by choice. Sounds like being young and inexperienced. Using “they” or ” their” a plural pronoun is incorrect English. Why do you need or want a label? You want to fit in…. Everyone does. So you created your own label. My fear is that you have created a reason to be excluded, not included; not your intended goal. Why not live your life?

    • It appears that you do not understand asexuality. Would it help if I directed you to a website full of information on the topic? Maybe a page devoted specifically to parents, since you say that you’re a mother of three?

      There’s a section on this page up above that reads “What should I do?” I feel compelled to point out that you did not do a single one of those here. You’ve also done several of the things listed in the “What shouldn’t I do?” section. Likewise, you have said several of the “What not to say”s. I would strongly recommend reading the page that you so obviously scrolled past to get down here, as you are likely to find some of it valuable.

      Asexuality can be confusing and scary, but it is far more confusing and scary when you don’t have a word for it. When you don’t know what’s going on. When you think you’re alone. When people dismiss and minimize your feelings and criticize you without even listening to what you have to say.

      Asexuality is not a “lack of decision”. Did you decide your sexual orientation? “After careful consideration and weighing all the options, I have decided that I will be joining Team Heterosexual for the 2017 season. I have tested out several other possibilities and am confident that this is the right decision for me.” (I hope you got a signing bonus.) That’s ridiculous. It’s not something you “decide”, it’s just something that is. I’m not into women. I’m not into men. What is there for me to “decide” here?

      Asexuality is not “celibacy by choice”. I tried the whole sex thing. Wasn’t my deal. Why would I bother with that?

      Asexuality is not being “young and inexperienced”. Late thirties. Pretty sure it ain’t gonna change, lady. (Furthermore, that’s one of those “What not to say” thingies up above that perhaps you should have read before commenting.)

      I do not give a single damn about what your “fear” is. Before I discovered what asexuality was, I was excluded every day. I was excluded by commercials telling me that I needed to be sexually interested in women or I should take pills. I was excluded by love scenes in movies. I was excluded by coworkers who commented on the attractiveness of the waitress. I was excluded by family who wondered when I was going to find someone. It wasn’t until I found asexuality that I felt included somewhere.

      You might not need this word, but I do. If one of your three children sent you to this page, then they need this word, too. I need this label, because before I had the word “asexual”, the word I used was “broken“.

      I am not broken anymore.

    • Normally, I delete comments like this, because I don’t need this kind of ignorant negativity on my website. But you need to hear this.

    • Beyond all of that…

      Using “they” or “their” a plural pronoun is incorrect English.

      Wait a sec…  You’re trying to say that “they” isn’t plural?  I’m assuming you just fumbled your preposterous argument that language strictly follows an unchanging, unambiguous, hard-and-fast set of rules, but if that’s not the case, what plural pronouns do you use?

      Anyway, since I’m pretty sure you got things backwards (Or simply don’t know the difference between plural or singular), here’s my response to that:

      If thou complaineth about the changing nature of thy language, I shall demand henceforth that thou shalt speakest as if thee liv’d in the age of Shakespeare.

      Oh, but wait a second, Shakespeare used a singular “they”.

      So I’m sorry, where were you going with that bit about “incorrect English”?

    • I’m also a mum of 3, but I always felt ‘different’. I always thought there was something wrong wondering what all the hype about sex was. It’s not a choice any more than being hetero- or homosexual is a choice. It’s taken me until I’m in my early 50s to realise that I’m actually normal, and there’s a word to describe my sexuality. I have a daughter who is the same and me, and luckily there was this website I could direct her to so that she didn’t spend her whole life wondering what was ‘wrong’ with her.

  20. HI, I’m ace and my parents are okay with that. However, they (who I have a good relationship with and we don’t generally quarrel) think that because I’m ace, I’m more likely to get, as Dad put it, “preyed on by sexual predators” on the Internet. I’m 15 and I’m quite sensitive so that idea scares me.
    What should I do? (Don’t say, “tell them”, I did, but Mum just said that I was more likely again)

    • Have you tried to ask them what made them think so? Might turn out they don’t have an explanation, or that their opinion is based on some misconception about asexuality. Or they might just tell you “just because”, but then you can insist they defend their opinion with real arguments. In any case, it might initiate a conversation on the topic :)

    • Well, it’s a small possibility that you might, but probably not. I mean, if you say you’re ace and people know what it means, surely they wouldn’t even try?

      Sorry, I don’t know much about this topic. I recently learned about what being ace is and realized, “that’s me, omi” I’m currently 12 years old and I know that’s a small age to decide your sexuality but I stay far away from that stuff. I recently thought about what I would do if someone asked me on a date and thought I would just say “I’m not ready for dating yet.”

      I haven’t told my parents yet because I don’t think they’d care much. They’d probably just accept the fact I’m ace because there’s nothing wrong with it.

  21. I’m asexual and I keep trying to come out to my mum but every time I do she keeps saying stuff like ‘you just haven’t met the right person yet’ or that I should she a doctor because I might have polysistic ovary syndrome. I just really want her to hear me. We have a great relationship which is why I don’t understand why she isn’t understanding what I’m saying.

    • Asexuals can and many do masturbate. Polysistic ovary syndrome is loss of like, the want to do masturbation according to the definition. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction when you meet someone, so no you don’t have polysistic ovary syndrome. You don’t need to see a doctor either, and you can still meet the right person and feel the exact way as before. I think she doesn’t understand what it means to be asexual, and you should show her this website.

  22. My son just came out as being on the ace spectrum, of course, I’ve heard I of asexuality before, but haven’t met anyone who used that term to describe them self. I am happy that I didn’t say anything on the what not to say list, I just hugged him, and said I’m glad that we talked, he went to his fencing group, and I came online to Google the shit out of asexuality. Thanks for this! It’s really well written!

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