An Asexual on Sex

A quick note before I begin: To all the asexuals out there: It’s okay to be a virgin and it’s fine to not be a virgin. It’s okay to be curious about sex and it’s fine to not be interested in it at all. It’s okay to enjoy sex and it’s fine to dislike it. It’s okay to not want to experience sexual pleasure and it’s fine if you want to orgasm by yourself or with someone else. It’s okay to have sex and it’s fine to not have sex. Your experience may be different than mine, and it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or your broken. It just means that you’re not me, and we’re each walking the path of our own lives.

All asexuals are virgins, right?

No, we’re not all virgins. Some of us are virgins. Some of us have had sex a few times (I’m in this group). And some of us have had a regular sexual relationship with a partner (or multiple partners).

How can you be asexual and have had sex?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, just like heterosexuality or homosexuality. Sexual orientations are not defined by who you’ve had sex with throughout your lifetime, they’re defined by who you’re sexually attracted to. Think of it this way: A heterosexual male is heterosexual because he’s sexually attracted to women, even if he’s still a virgin and hasn’t had sex with any women. And if there’s that one night in college where he was young and confused and really really drunk and he went a little bit too far with that guy from the party because it seemed like a good idea at the time, that doesn’t make him gay or bi, because his sexual orientation is defined by his attraction, not his youthful indiscretions.

An asexual who has had sex simply isn’t sexually attracted to the person they’ve had sex with.

But, um, how can you be asexual and have had sex? I mean, physically?

Physically, there is no inherent difference between an asexual person and someone who is not asexual. We’ve got the same parts and pieces in the same arrangement and angles as everyone else, and they’ll work the same way, too. The only difference is emotional: Who we feel an urge to use those parts and pieces with. A heterosexual person wants to use them with someone with different parts and pieces, a homosexual wants to use them with someone with matching parts and pieces, a bisexual or pansexual doesn’t really care, and an asexual doesn’t really feel an urge to use them with anyone else.

Asexual males can get erect and ejaculate, and the sperm is normal human male sperm, it’s not some sort of magic sperm that can grow into a clone of the father on its own under the right conditions.

Asexual females can get wet and engorged and can get pregnant, and a pregnancy requires a male contrubution, they’re not capable of parthenogenesis.

Asexuals of any sex are capable of orgasm.

So, uh, asexual women having sex, that I get. “Lie back and think of England” and all that. They don’t have to do anything. But asexual men… How does that work?

Blood fills the spongy tissue of the penis, causing an erection, and the erect penis is-

I know how it works, but how does that happen?

You mean, how can an asexual man get an erection without being sexually attracted to the person they’re with?

Yeah, what’s the deal with that?

Obviously, the ability to achieve erection and not be sexually attracted to the person the erection will be used with is not an isolated feature unique to asexuals. There are plenty of examples of gay men who have fathered children through natural insemination. There are also plenty of examples of men (gay, straight, or otherwise) who’ve left the bar at last call with whoever was willing to join them. A man clearly does not have to be sexually attracted to someone to be able to have sex with them.

I can only speak for myself here, as I’ve never run a survey of non-virgin asexual males regarding erectile capacity during intercourse, but here goes. Even though I’m not sexually attracted to anyone, my body can and does respond to sexual situations. It’s like downstairs says “Oh, hey, SEX! I know what that is. I’ll go get ready in case you need me.” It’ll react that way to some sex scenes in movies, or to porn, or to knowing that you and your girlfriend had planned on having sex for about a month and now she’s getting into bed with you. It may be a Pavlovian response, where I know that the situation may have the reward of sexual pleasure, so my body gets prepared. Additionally, an erection can be caused by physical stimulation, regardless of the source of that stimulation. Many men have gotten erections from tight underwear, loose underwear, driving on bumpy roads or getting a physical at the doctor, and none of those things are generally targets of sexual attraction. When I had sex, there was a decent period of touching and caressing prior to starting intercourse, all of which was arousing. In fact, immediately after putting on the condom, I required a bit of direct stimulation to make the erection usable.

Some people confuse an getting an erection with sexual attraction. It is very important to note that they are not the same thing. Certainly, an erection can be the result of sexual attraction, but there are many other ways to get one (Like the physical stimulation mentioned above), and most of those other ways will work the same way on an asexual’s penis as on a non-asexual’s penis. Hell, when I was in the 7th grade, I used to get an erection every day in math class. Now, I like math and all, but I don’t like it that much. Sometimes erections just happen and there’s no reason for it.

Oh, and, don’t forget: Despite what President Clinton may have claimed, sex doesn’t necessarily require a penis to be placed within a vagina. So it doesn’t require a functional penis to be involved. It doesn’t even require a penis at all. Hands, mouths, and various devices and implements that may or may not be battery-operated can all be used during sexual activity.

Why bother? I mean, if you hate sex, what’s the point?

As I noted in an earlier post, views on sex vary widely among asexuals. Many asexuals do not hate sex. There are many reasons that an asexual person might have sex. These reasons include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • To please their partner.
  • Because they’ve been told, “Try it, you’ll like it”.
  • To satisfy their libido.
  • Because they’re bored.
  • To find out what its like.
  • Because they want children.
  • To “fit in” with other people.
  • Because it feels good.
  • Because they want to.

I had sex because my girlfriend at the time wanted to have sex with me. She knew that I wasn’t all that interested in sex, but we figured that it was worth a shot because maybe I’d become more interested in it if I experienced it. Of course, I did want to know what it was like, since sex is supposed to be this super-amazing, mind-blowing, life-altering thing that everyone else seems to be relentlessly chasing. Something like that’s gotta be good, right? But most importantly, I did it because I wanted to do it. No amount of begging and pleading would’ve gotten me to do anything if I didn’t want to do it (Anyone who’s tried to get me to eat Thai food knows that). In the end, I wasn’t terribly impressed. It was okay, I guess, but nothing to get all worked up over. It just wasn’t my bag.

What do you do when you have sex?

You know all the different things non-asexuals might do that they’d consider to be sex? Yeah, asexuals might do any of those. It’s not like there’s some ace code of conduct that says asexual women must lie passively and asexual men must thrust in the missionary position and any deviations from these standards are punishable by no cake for a month. During sex, asexual people, regardless of gender, can be as active or as passive as they want to be, and engage in activities ranging from dull to kinky.

But can you feel anything?

We can. Nothing about asexuality prevents an asexual person from experiencing physical sexual pleasure, whether that pleasure comes from a kiss on the cheek or genital stimulation. An orgasm in an asexual is no different than an orgasm in someone who isn’t. Sexual response will vary from individual to individual, just like among non-asexual people. Many asexuals who have had sex have never experienced an orgasm or may experience pain during intercourse (particularly women), however, you’ll find the same issues among non-asexual people, as well.

As for me, do I feel anything? Hoo-boy howdy yeah! Um, I mean, yes, I found the act of intercourse to be quite pleasurable physically.

None of this makes any sense to me. Asexuals having sex. “Asexual” means “not sexual”, so it’s not possible for an asexual to do sexual things. Are you sure you’re ace?

I don’t like the description of asexuality as “non-sexual” or “not sexual”, as I feel those terms carry the implication that an asexual person has no sexual ability or is incapable of doing anything of a sexual nature or is impotent. That’s simply not the case. Asexuality alone has no bearing on physical and physiological attributes and functions. I’ve got a penis and a pair of testicles. I can get erections. I can masturbate, lubricate and ejaculate. I can experience the intense physical pleasure of an orgasm. I can father a child. All the parts down below are present and functional, just like in any other healthy factory-original male. The only difference is that I don’t have any burning interest in using those parts with anyone else, because I’m asexual. Not having any interest doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of doing so.

What was sex like, from your point of view?

Somewhat analytical and disconnected. I was far more into trying to figure out what actions I was supposed to be taking at the various points in the process. Am I supposed to kiss the breast or caress it now? Is the clitoral stimulation too fast or too slow? I distinctly remember being bored at one point, wishing that my orgasm would arrive so that I could stop. It wasn’t the epitome of all life experiences, as I’d been led to believe. But at the same time, it felt good, both physically and emotionally. The whole process felt different and in some ways better than masturbation, the warmth and the varying pressure being notable examples. And I very much enjoyed sharing the experience with the woman that I loved at the time.

Interestingly enough, I have a record of some emails I sent to my partner on the subject in the days following our get togethers. They’re a monument to aceness. Instead of things like “Oh baby, you were so hot last night” and “I just got hard again thinking about what we did”, these mails are full of more practical issues, like the application of lubricant, discussion of technique, and talking about how I wasn’t expecting to be thirsty after sex. Anyway, here’s some quotes from those mails:

“Anyway, yes, I did enjoy it. It was different than I had imagined. It took a lot longer than I was expecting (Must’ve gotten caught up in the rhythm and forgotten to orgasm…). And it felt different, too. The way people always talk, I was expecting more of an electric explosion type of ‘WowWowWOWOW!’ sort of feeling the entire time. Sure, it was nice, but I don’t see why it gets people acting stupid and ruining their lives and such.”

“At the beginning, it wasn’t that much different from masturbation and was fairly dull and repetitive, almost ‘Is that all there is?’ “

“Touching there, kissing here, rubbing there… It doesn’t make much difference. It all feels pretty much the same to me. Stroking your breast does about as much for me as stroking your shoulder.”

“Anyway, I will be willing to do it again sometime. It meets with my approval.”

Your honor, I would like to submit these letters as Exhibit A for the proof of the existence of asexuality…

Um… Yeah. Wow. So, uh… What should I know if I, as a non-asexual person, want to have sex with an asexual?

As I wrote above, asexual people can have sex and still be asexual. There’s nothing physically preventing most of us from doing so. However, just because someone can physically have sex doesn’t mean they will want to. Many aces do not want to have sex. They may be repulsed, they may not be with the right person, it might not be the right time for them, or they may simply not want to. Even those who are willing to have sex are generally less into it and won’t do it as frequently as a non-asexual partner might prefer. Trying to coerce or pressure or guilt an asexual into having sex with you is an officially uncool thing to do. “No” means NO.

Sometimes aces will be willing to work out a compromise situation when they’re in a relationship with a non-asexual person, but it’s important that such a compromise come from a place of respect and that the compromise be honored by both parties. The single most important thing to remember when dealing with a sexual relationship with an asexual person is that you need to talk to them. Communication. Tell them your wants and needs and listen to their wants and needs. And talk. Don’t accuse and don’t demand. Also, not all asexual people will be willing to compromise.

Understand that an asexual person probably sees sex in a very different way than you do. You might see it as the supreme expression of love, joining of two souls into a single blissful passion. They may see it as the rubbing of genitals against each other for a half hour or so. They may not find you sexually attractive, but that’s not a personal rejection of you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It doesn’t mean they think you’re fat or ugly or horrible to be around or they don’t love you anymore. Their minds just don’t work that way. You will need to learn to accept that.

One thing I’ve seen happen again and again is that the asexual person will gradually become less and less willing to have sex. There can be many reasons for this, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re falling out of love. They may have come to the realization that they can’t overcome their repulsion. They may have started feeling guilty that you’re clearly attracted to them and they can’t return the favor. They may be growing less and less comfortable in sexual situations. The novelty might be wearing off. Or they may simply not be as willing to do it anymore. You will never know what the reason is if you don’t talk to them about it.

And again, no means no. If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, then they don’t want to have sex with you. It doesn’t matter that they’re asexual. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had sex before, even if that sex was with you. No means no.

6 thoughts on “An Asexual on Sex

  1. Hello,

    I have a question thats been on my mind. I have a boyfriend that I love so much and want to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I am a virgin. But recently have discovered that I am asexual. My question is how do you feel when you kiss someone? does anyone get sparks? i dont feel anything when i kiss. which doesnt make sense because i am so in love with my boyfriend. this has to be an asexual trait no? also i hate passionate kissing, like making out. i like one kiss and then i am satisifed. do other asexuals experience this? when i try to explain this to my best friend she says its because my boyfriend is not the “right” person for me but I know 100 percent that he is. she says when i find the right person i will feel sparks when kissing. but i think this is an asexual trait i am experiencecing. am i right? very confused. shed some light, please!!!!!

    • Hello, I’m in my late teens and have a wonderful partner that knows and respects that I am asexual. I love them, but The “sparks” as you call them, don’t have anything to do at all with your sexuality or how much you love your boyfriend. It’s caused by a hormone that your body releases when you’re in love with somebody, this hormone is called dopamine. But not everybody feels these sparks. Most people have a slightly higher than normal body temperature or sweaty palms, those kinds of things. If you feel or don’t feel a sexual attraction isn’t associated with dopamine at all. To shorten the answer, no you simply don’t feel sparks because you literally don’t feel them. Simple as that. “Sparks” are an exaggerated reaction of your body to dopamine by romance authors. It will most likely feel great to kiss this person, make you really happy or giddy but you won’t feel a physical reaction that could pass as “sparks” or “fireworks”. But you WILL definitely feel a difference when you are kissing this person. If you don’t feel anything at all, he is most like not the right one. Is it more like kissing a moist wall?
      To answer your second question, everybody has different preferences on kissing. Personally, I don’t like kissing at all because in my head, all I hear is “what if they didn’t brush their teeth? What if they’re sick?” that kind of thing y’know? I’m a bit of a germaphobe :p, but for some reason I enjoy kissing my girlfriend once I’m at it, just the anticipation freaks me out I guess? You’re last question is basically a repeat of the first one. No, some asexuals may feel the same, but it’s not an “asexual trait”. Just like a male liking to wear make up isn’t a “gay trait” you get where I’m going with this? Your friend could be right, but they could be wrong too. When you kiss “the one” you certainly will feel an amazing feeling, but it won’t be “sparks”. You will understand once it happened, it’s not really a feeling that’s easy to explain. (Or maybe you have that feeling with your boyfriend?)Just like explaining a rainbow to a man who was born blind. I hope I was able to help you at all :) even though this was posted 2 yrs and a couple months ago, and you’ve probably already figured it out….oh well :)

  2. Hi, I’m a 21 year old asexual girl. I have a 22 year old boyfriend. The relationship is really hard for me sometimes because I like my boyfriend – I really do. However, I don’t feel the typical thing that most people do when they’re with someone. Like feeling the need to have sexual contact with them…

    We only started dating a couple months ago, so I don’t feel like we’re going to get married or anything (at least not yet), so I couldn’t tell you what it’s supposed to be like when you’re with “the one.” But I think saying that you’re supposed to get sparks from kissing your significant other is kind of strange. First of all, I’ve never gotten sparks from kissing anyone. The only think I feel when I kiss people are lips and saliva. Which sounds heartless, but really I’m kissing him for HIM. Besides, I do get sparks sometimes whenever we’re talking and laughing together – or just hugging. I think that yes, you could get “sparks” with that person when you find the right one, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be from kissing.

    Also, the whole sparks thing really just sounds like a rule made up by a fairy tale. Marriages in real life are not the equivalent of “happily ever after” and there’s no such thing as a Prince Charming. So, I think the way you know you’re with the right person is that you trust them with all your heart, and they give you a lot of support, joy, and comfort to you, even if though they’re not perfect. Also, that both of you are willing to commit to the other under any circumstances.

  3. I am 18, I want to know hat is wrong with me, when I kiss the guy who I love I feel nothing, not even we get to close like oral sex and all, Idk why I hate the concept of sex, I like long hugs, forehead kisses and neck kisses but when I have a lip kiss i cant keep my eyes close or feel the same passion the other person is feeling. can anyone help me with this

    • Hey, you sound a lot like my girlfriend. She loves to cuddle and doesn’t mind kisses hat are not on the lips.
      First off, I wouldn’t say there is anything “wrong” with you. Perhaps it’s a matter of being comfortable around your partner? Maybe you think about kissing and sex in a more mechanical manner, (and it does seem a lot more disgusting that way, haha) and you can change your views on it with time, affection, and emotion. Perhaps you just find it disgusting, and no matter how much you try you can’t shake the feeling? Only time and exploration will tell. I can’t speak for everyone. Not all sexual-asexual relationships work the same way, but the system I use with my girlfriend is to just let her get acquainted with me more and more. I never try to push her out of her boundaries. Instead, I let her get caught up in the moment and take a cautious next step, if she wants to. I sometimes accidentally make another small step without thinking, but it’s not a big deal because I know her boundaries, and I respect them. She may expand her boundaries to include sex and other sexual activities, she may not. Only time will tell.
      That’s just an example. From a non-asexual to an asexual (or maybe you don’t identify that way? My girlfriend doesn’t either, but it’s similar.), the best advice I can give you is to figure yourself out and do not compromise yourself. Don’t get pressured into doing anything, this will only make it harder for you to be comfortable in the future, and experience more, even if you want to. Human psychology is some potent stuff. Communication with your partner is vital, and trusting them, even more so. Work on other aspects of your relationship in the meantime. Work on intimacy without sexual contact, and maybe things will feel better to you. More bearable in the least, so if you feel like pleasing your partner is worth dealing with the negatives, maybe you can. You can compromise, but you just shouldn’t compromise yourself!

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