Since asexuality is rather unknown, it is subject to a lot of misinformation and ignorance. Many of these misconceptions can be offensive and hurtful. All of these are things that people have actually said to or about asexual people. It’s time to set the record straight.
Asexuals don’t exist.
I’m asexual. I wrote this. You’re reading this. Therefore this exists, therefore I exist, therefore asexuals exist.
Asexuality is the same as celibacy.
Asexuality describes someone’s sexual orientation, that is, that they do not experience sexual attraction to anyone. Celibacy describes someone’s behavior, that is, that they do not have sex with anyone. Orientation is not behavior, attraction is not action. Celibacy and asexuality are neither mutually exclusive nor mutually linked. It is possible for an asexual person to not have sex and be celibate, and it’s also possible for an asexual to have sex and not be celibate.
I do consider myself to be celibate, as I have not engaged in any sexual activity with anyone else in over nine years.
Asexuality is a choice.
Asexuality is not a choice. It is a sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality, and like those orientations, it cannot be turned on or off on a whim.
I never woke up one morning, thinking, “You know, I’m tired of being turned on by people. I think I’m going to stop that now.” I’ve always been this way.
Asexual people can’t fall in love.
Many asexuals can feel the full range of romantic emotions, from a slight crush to true love. It’s just devoid of a sexual component. Asexuals are not limited to platonic love, either. When an ace feels love, it can be every bit as complex and deep as the romantic love that anyone else feels.
There is a concept of romantic (or affectional) orientation, which describes who a person is romantically attracted to. Romantic orientation is separate from sexual orientation, although in many people, their romantic and sexual orientations do happen to coincide. Common romantic orientations include heteroromantic (romantic attraction toward the opposite gender), homoromantic (romantic attraction toward the same gender), bi/panromantic (romantic attraction toward both/all genders), and aromantic (romantic attraction toward no gender).
Asexual people don’t/can’t have sex.
Most asexual people can have sex, and some of them do. I have. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, not a lack of sexual ability. Asexuals are physically and physiologically indistinguishable from other people, in other words, in most cases, the equipment is all there and in working order. If an asexual person is incapable of having sex, it is usually due to some other condition, and not necessarily related to their asexuality.
Asexuality is just a phase that you’ll grow out of.
I’m 32 and have never been sexually attracted to anyone, not even a naked woman standing in front of me, touching my junk and inviting me to reciprocate. How exactly can that be considered a “phase”? When am I going to grow out of it?
It’s just a hormone problem.
Most asexuals have hormones within normal ranges. Asexuals who have started taking hormone supplements for some reason have reported no change in their orientation.
That’s not what “asexual” means.
And “gay” only means “happy” and “straight” only means “not curved”. Words in the English language can have multiple meanings and can change over time. Deal with it.
Getting laid will fix that.
First of all, there’s nothing to fix because we’re not broken. Secondly, no, no it won’t. I was asexual before I had sex and I’m still asexual now. Many other aces who’ve had sex have had the same experience. Sex wasn’t some super-awesome life-changing milestone that upended my worldview.
The corollary to this misconception is “Getting laid by me will fix that”, which ranks somewhere up around “Know what’d look good on you? Me.” on the list of dumbest ideas ever for pickup lines.
You can’t know for sure unless you’ve had sex.
You don’t have to have sex to know what your sexual orientation is. Most people, when they proceed into puberty (and in some cases, even before then), will naturally start to feel attracted to other people without having to engage in any kind of sexual activity at all. They’ll know that they’re straight or gay or bi or what have you and they typically don’t have to hold try-outs to know which team they play for. Asexual people are the same way. They’ll know that they don’t feel that spark of sexual attraction, that they’re somehow not quite straight or not quite gay, that they’re different from everyone else, and they don’t need to have sex to confirm it.
I’m virtually certain that had I known what asexuality was before I had sex, I would have identified that way without needing sex to be certain. As it was, I didn’t learn about asexuality for years after I had sex, but I knew that I was different.
Asexual people don’t/can’t masturbate.
In general, asexuals can masturbate and many do. Asexuals generally don’t have impaired genital function, which means the parts typically work, and when the parts work, they can feel good to use. Aces who masturbate will do so for reasons ranging from relieving tension to wanting the pleasure of an orgasm. Of course, masturbation is a personal choice, and while many asexual people will masturbate, many do not.
I masturbate fairly regularly.
All asexuals are virgins.
Nope, sorry. I had my v-card punched years ago. Many other asexuals have also had sex. Some have regular sexual partners, some are parents. There’s no virginity requirement for being asexual, just as there’s no loss of virginity requirement for being heterosexual.
Asexuals are hermaphrodites.
Being intersex is completely unrelated to asexuality. The various conditions grouped under the umbrella of “intersex” are all physical conditions. Asexuality is not physical. However, it is possible for an intersex person to be asexual.
(By the way, the word “hermaphrodite” is generally considered offensive, so don’t say that.)
Asexuality is the same as being a transsexual or transgender.
Asexuality is not a gender identity issue. Most aces are cis-gendered, but some are trans, others are agendered, genderfluid, or what have you. Asexuality only describes who someone is sexually attracted to (namely, no one), and has nothing to do with the gender they are.
I happen to be a cis-gendered male.
Asexuals just haven’t met the right person yet.
This assertion offends many asexuals. They’ve seen thousands upon thousands of people in their life and have not been sexually attracted to any of them. This claim acts to invalidate and deny a part of their core identity. It’s a bit like going up to a heterosexual male and saying “You could really be gay, you know. Maybe you just haven’t met the right man yet. Keep trying, you’ll find him someday.”
Everyone feels like that sometimes.
I know that non-asexual people don’t walk around in an endless horny cloud of lust all day, every day, and that everyone feels like this sometimes. But I feel like this all the time. I’ve never found anyone attractive. I don’t know what it’s like to think that someone’s hot. I’ve never passed a woman on the street and had my mind start turning through all the things I’d like to do with her in bed. I don’t relate to the manifestations of sexual attraction that I see around me every day.
And that’s what makes me different. That’s what makes me asexual.
Asexuals are really just gays in denial.
Homosexual people are sexually attracted toward people of the same sex. Asexual people are sexually attracted to neither sex. Asexual people are not hiding their attraction, they simply do not have any attraction to hide.
I have never felt any attraction, sexual or romantic, toward other men.
Asexual people are just afraid of sex or are disgusted by sex.
Some asexuals are afraid of or are disgusted by sex. Some non-asexual people are, too. Such feelings are not tied to one’s sexual orientation. There are also many asexuals who are sex positive. They’ve had sex or are open to the idea of having sex in the right situation. I’m in this latter group. I’ve done it before and I’d be willing to do it again in the right situation.
Asexual people are victims of some sexual trauma in their past.
The vast majority of asexual people have never had any kind of sexual trauma. Most asexuals will be highly offended by someone trying to pin their lack of sexual attraction on some sort of unspoken, possibly repressed event. And if they are victims of some past trauma, they’re generally not going to appreciate it when you bring it up and try to use it to invalidate their identity.
They have a pill that’ll fix that.
They have pills that’ll fix physical ailments, such as hormonal imbalances or blood flow issues. Asexuality is not a physical ailment. There’s no pill that’ll make an asexual start experiencing sexual attraction. It would be like there being a pill that would turn a gay person straight.
Asexuality is caused by a brain tumor.
Hour-long medical procedural TV shows should not be considered reliable sources regarding sexual orientations. Moving on…
Asexuals don’t/can’t have orgasms.
The majority of asexuals have normal, fully functioning sexual organs. This means that the majority of asexuals have the capacity to orgasm. Many asexuals do have orgasms, and often enjoy them. Certainly not all asexuals have had orgasms, and some do not have fully functioning sexual organs, however, those cases are not due to asexuality. Asexuality is only a description of sexual orientation, and in no way attempts to describe sexual ability.
I do have orgasms and I like them.
Asexuals are all homophobes.
This is categorically false. The vast majority of asexuals are LGBT+ friendly. There is absolutely nothing inherent in asexuality that minimizes, dismisses, invalidates, passes judgment on, or attacks homosexuality in any way. Asexuality is another sexual orientation that coexists alongside every other sexual orientation.
Asexuals are all super-religious and against sex.
Asexuality has nothing to do with one’s religious beliefs. Asexuality is not a form of abstinence, it’s not the result of a purity pledge, and it’s not that we’re “saving ourselves”. It’s equally possible for an asexual person to be a hardcore born-again no-sex-til-marriage brand of Christian as it is for an asexual person to be an atheist who enjoys casual sex with strangers on the weekends.
Asexuals all hate sex and everyone who has sex.
Asexuality should not be confused with antisexuality. Most asexuals have no problem with sex. Some don’t like the idea of sex when it comes to themselves, but are typically indifferent when it comes to other people. Some even enjoy having sex. Asexuality is merely a sexual orientation, it doesn’t have any effect one’s opinion on sexual activity.
I actually kinda liked sex. It was a bit boring, but at least it felt good.
Asexuals are naïve and don’t know anything about sex.
Asexuality is not somehow a function of a lack of information about sex. There are plenty of people out there who know very little about sex besides what goes where, and they’re not all asexual. Conversely, there are plenty of asexuals who know quite a bit about sex and sexual practices, even though they’re not necessarily all that interested in trying them out.
I happen to have a rather sizable library on the various facets of human sexuality, from textbooks and research papers to illustrated sex manuals. I have a bit of an anthropological curiosity on the subject, probably from my repeated attempts to figure out where I fit.
Asexuals are just faking it for attention.
How is someone who’s in the closet and agonizing over their identity “faking it for attention”? Most aces are in the closet or not very open about it precisely because they fear the sort of attention they’ll get. All of these things in this list are actual things that people have said to asexual people.
Certainly, there are some people who will claim to be asexual because it’s trendy. But there are also people who pretend to be gay for some reason, and no one tries to use them as evidence that disproves the existence of homosexuality in its entirety.
In real life, I hardly ever mention that I’m asexual, as it’s not typically relevant to the day-to-day experience of a software engineer. The most attention I’ve gotten from it have been a few awkward (yet positive) conversations with my parents and a guy at work saying “Yeah, we all kinda figured that.” So clearly, that’s what I’m going for with this.
There are no asexual men.
There aren’t? Man, and I was so sure that I existed, too… Do I have to take back my “QED”?
Asexual men do exist, contrary to the stereotypes. I’m one of them. David Jay is, as well. He’s one of the most prominent asexual visibility activists around. He founded AVEN, the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, the largest asexual community on the Internet. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
And we’re far from the only two around.
Asexuality is a moral stand against sex.
Asexuality is nothing more than a sexual orientation. It’s not inherently for or against sex or people who have sex. When an asexual says something like “I don’t look at people that way” or “I don’t understand why people think sex is so important”, it’s not a value judgment, it’s not an attack. It’s just a statement of fact. They literally don’t feel that way, they don’t understand it.
It’s also worth repeating that asexuality is not a choice, so it can’t be a decision that one makes to stand against anything.
Asexuality is evolution’s response to overpopulation.
I’ve seen this idea come up several times. There are so many things wrong with this idea that I don’t know where to begin… The concept of “overpopulation” is one of sustainability, not of actual, physical, overpopulation. I have plenty to eat and plenty of space to live in, as did my parents when I was born. Evolution didn’t come by one day and say “Well, there’s famine thousands of miles away in Africa right now and if you project out the current growth rates and consumption trends, there’s gonna be problems everywhere in about a hundred years, so, you know what? I think I’m gonna make you not be interested in women.” That’s just not how evolution works. There’s the whole bit where advantageous traits are passed along throughout the generations, because they assist in successful reproduction, even if indirectly. If there’s a trait that makes an organism not interested in reproduction, then that trait doesn’t get passed on, so it can’t become common within a population. (On top of that, it doesn’t really matter if something was done to lower my effective fertility, since there’s plenty of people with reality TV shows that are more than making up for me.)
If evolution actually were responding to overpopulation, it would probably just make us smaller so we consume less. Evolution typically doesn’t get much of a chance to respond to overpopulation, though, because famine and disease are far more effective instruments of population control which can eliminate the problem in a single generation.
Asexuals are all just confused teenage girls.
My driver’s license disagrees with this statement on multiple counts. Many asexuals are not teenagers. Many asexuals are not girls. And even those asexuals who are teenage girls tend not to be confused. Most people who identify as asexual do not do so on a whim or because we somehow just can’t recognize what sexual attraction is. An asexual person generally examines their life very carefully before coming out, so you can be fairly certain that when someone says “I’m asexual”, the last thing they are is confused about how they feel.
You’re just single and looking for an excuse for why you’re afraid to date.
Except for those asexuals who aren’t single, or who genuinely don’t care about dating, or who really wouldn’t mind dating if the right person came along…
Asexuals hate their gender.
Asexuality has nothing to do with gender identity. There are male asexuals and female asexuals and transgender asexuals and cisgender asexuals and agender asexuals and genderqueer asexuals and neutrois asexuals and all sorts of other gender asexuals that I haven’t mentioned here. Some of them dislike their gender, some of them are happy with it, and some of them don’t care. And none of them are the gender they are because they’re asexual and none of them are asexual because of the gender they are.
Great post! I think it’s one of the best worded articles on ace misconceptions that i’ve read. I only picked up on one mistake –
“Homosexual people are sexually attracted toward people of the opposite sex.”
Otherwise, it was great!
Nice catch! Thanks for pointing that out.
How can an asexual understand what sexual attraction is if he is incapable of experiencing it?
Well…we don’t, at least I don’t, not entirely, I get the vague concept of it (hey I’d like to fuck that). But beyond that no, no not really
No, heterosexual people are attracted to the opposite sex. Homosexual people are attracted to the same sex.
Thank you so much for this post. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone, and it’s given me some ammunition to answer people who might ask me questions about my asexuality further on down the road.
I found this page while searching for answers about why I can find someone attractive, but not feel the urge to want to have sex with them. I also am in a relationship, have no sexual urges for my boyfriend either. This is frustrating for him obviously. So, I just have a question: How do I know if asexuality is what is causing me to feel this way, or if it’s a symptom of my bipolar and depression? I’m sorry if this is a dumb question. :/
This comment is a like a year old but I wanna respond anyway. There is many types of attraction. For example there’s aesthetic attraction (which I think you might be feeling), romantic attraction and sexual attraction. While these attractions might overlap, they are not the same thing. I’m asexual and find people hot all the time, but never feel the desire to sleep with them. I might have the desire to date or kiss someone but sexual desire just doesn’t happen. So maybe the reason you’re finding people attractive but not having sexual urges is becuase it isn’t sexual attraction?
And asexuality isn’t a symptom but it’s own thing. And while not feeling like having sex anymore (or have you never felt like having it at all?) could be a symptom, I’m not gonna say it is or isn’t since I don’t think I’m educated enough about those topics to tell you.
I’m 15 right now and I’m a virgin so I don’t know if I can say for sure whether or not I’m asexual or not. All I know is that whenever my friends are talking about guys and how hot they are, all I can say is “meh.” I haven’t even been kissed yet. I don’t want to presume I’m asexual just based in that because it’s rude and rather naive of me, but I just want someone to sit down and explain me- to me. When I started looking into asexuality, a couple of my friends say that because I can get off or turned on by reading like a really hot novel, it’s impossible for me to be asexual because I’m attracted to the people doing it. But I know that I find the act hot and not the idea of people doing it hot. Then they tell me that finding sex hot makes me not asexual. But whenever I try to imagine me in that sex scene, it’s not appealing at all. I understand that being aromantic is different from being asexual and getting off doesn’t make me sexual, but I don’t know if who I am now is asexual because I’m completely inexperienced with sex.
Reading this article helped a lot though. Even if it’s to prove a point about asexuality, it was comforting to learn more about it, as a kid that’s really really lost.
Hello! Sorry this response is a little late. I am aromantic & asexual, which means I don’t experience sexual desire or desire for romance of any kind. By the way, I’m a 39 year old virgin.
I feel like you literally just described me. I’m a 17y/o virgin, also never been kissed, and never actually liked anyone, although im quite sure im not aromantic. my friends talk about actors that they find attractive and how they would go to bed with them, but if i imagine myself in the same situation i feel repulsed by the idea of having sex with them, even tho i find them aesthetically attractive. i dont necessarily find sex itself repulsive, its just the idea of me actually doing it with another person i dont like. also, ive tried masturbation and didnt like it. i get turned on by reading smut/errotic fiction, but like you said, its not the people doing it that i like rather the act itself.
these articles are really helpful, im just glad to know im not the only one whos confused.
Sounds like autochorissexuality. Google it, it’s really interesting.
I really enjoyed this read. I think you could have been a little less defensive.
I really thought something was wrong with me. I always found sex to be a chore.
I am just discovering this about myself. I’ve always known there’s something different about myself but never WHAT was different. I started hanging out with a lot of LGBT people and I felt like I fit in, so I knew something was clicking somewhere. I come from a super religious family so none of this could ever be talked about, but for years my mom has always said why aren’t you married! I said “guys yuck! eww!” She’s like “You a lesbian?” “No mom, just, no, I don’t want to be married, I like being single, ok?” I’ve dated and was engaged once but sex was dreaded and I would just try to put my body out of it and sleep while he did whatever he wanted… I hated every minute of it! I have now been single since 2005 and I am so happy! I don’t want to be fixed up or married or whatever…now that I found your website I finally can have some answers of why I am who I am! thanks!
Many of these myths are ridiculously funny! Being asexual myself it seems correct.
You sir are my hero :) I love how real and honest you are and how straightforward this is written. You are absolutely incredible! <3
I just found out about asexuality a few weeks ago, and all the lights just came on. All though my growing up years I knew I was different but everyone said “You’ll find him someday….” or “God’s just protecting you until the right time….” Or they just laughed, and basically said, “How cute. She still thinks she’ll never get married.” It’s nice to know asexuality is normal, real, and that I don’t HAVE to be interested in sex. I’t’s nice to know there are other people like me out there.
Thank you so much for a post that explains so proficiently the differences between asexuality and celibacy, and all the other things it is mistaken for. After telling my family about it just a few days ago, I have already been asked almost all of these questions, and it will be nice to be able to give a full and complete answer. Your post!
P.S. You’re a guy! Yay! Mother said asexual guys are a myth, like dragons and unicorns! You’re my hero! Proof! :)
Haha! Like dragons & unicorns. . . . Yes! All of us in the ace world are unique. Like dragons & unicorns! I love that. We all exist!
I found this article very helpful. I have been romantically attracted to mostly men, but I’ve never felt physical attraction to them. I can admire the way they look, but in the same way I can admire a painting. I feel like I have to fake sexual attraction to get the kind of romantic involvement I want, even though I do enjoy sex.
I feel like I’m missing out on something. Like I’m colorblind or tone deaf.
I’m only 17 but i’ve struggled with having a high sex drive most of my teenage years, I’ve never really been attracted to anyone or wanted to date someone, Keep in mind I’m far from a virgin, but I just constantly feel incomplete but I can never feel attraction towards anyone.
I enjoyed this though, I read through and realized how much I fit the profile.
I have always known I was DIFFERENT, but was never able to define what it was that made me so. At last I know YEEHaa. I married had children and lived as a faithful wife for decades, but always felt I was being dishonest. Not to any one else, but to me. It is a blessed thing to discover a truth that has been with me for so long. My childhood and later years make so much more sense now. It’s an intensely personal and private journey, but I look forward to the rest of my life with this new understanding of my self like a blazon over my head. HERE I AM. LIKE IT OR NOT. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Cheers Friends LOL LOL
Like you i’ve been married, a couple times, had a child, been a beloved daughter, a “pretty girl” and unfortunately a man-magnet. I did what was expected of me and I never let on. After my second husband died people started trying to ‘set me up’ because they thought I must need sexual companionship. I haven’t been sexual for more than 15 years, but my husband only died 6years ago. Family and friends couldn’t and wouldn’t accept that I am an a-gender asexual, though because I stopped trying to fit in I was accused of being a lesbian…and I do mean ‘accused’ as though that was some horror, (asexuality seemingly is too far from the usual to be readily understood.) I am not attracted to women any more than I am to men. Men just have pursued and persuaded more often. And I acquiesced because that was what I was expected to do. I thought I would become a woman, through courtship, marriage and motherhood. In actuality, all these physical states of being appalled and repelled me. Added to that, I don’t and have never known what the phrase “feel like a woman” actually feels like. I accept my gender as a fact, I AM genetically female, but it does seem strange to me that my identity and life path is taken as a given based on random reproductive organs. I’m not intersex, not a lesbian, transgender or any other designation. I enjoy sex, with a skilled and thorough practitioner, but I also enjoy swimming and a good meal, all of which for me are about satiation and physical elation. I am not attracted to people for their looks, sex, whatever, though I have been completely attracted to their thoughts, ideas, honor, kindness and generosity. And I used to have sex based on those criteria, when that was what the other person desired and when I wanted the interface to continue. With my husbands I never said ‘no’ unless I were ill or injured, because it was part of their perception of marriage. I liked and admired both of them, but hurt and disappointed them both by hiding and not understanding that I would never, never desire more physical contact than I did as a child, that of being protected, comforted and nurtured. I’m not a narcissist, a socio-path nor a “man-hater,” though I’ve been called all and worse by persons who desired me, but for whom I had no interest. And please don’t think I don’t get lonely, need a cuddle or a hand to steer me now and then, but finding that person who will take me as I am has so far been next to impossible.
I often feel like a puzzle piece with nowhere to fit. Sometimes I even consider “passing for normal” just not to feel so alone.
Hello to my ace friends! I understand what you’re saying. I found out that I’m asexual 15 years ago. I find myself looking back on memories, finally understanding why I have always been so different. And for a while I even believed that I was the only one. It’s so nice to know that there are others like me out there on planet ace. Now I have been keeping a journal of all of my “ace moments”. Or all those awkward moments I’ve had over the years that I could never really explain until now. By the way, I’m 39 years old now.
I haven’t known I was asexual for a long time but it made so much sense when I found out. I found out I was asexual (or at least found out there was a name for what I was feeling) about 2 to 3 weeks after I got my first boyfriend at 16, and it was the shock of my life when he told me he knew before I did! It blew my mind. It makes me happy to see this post, maybe when I am ready I can show this to my family when I finally tell them I’m asexual.
Thank you for this post! My sister Lorjn really didn’t know anything about Asexuality when I told her I was Asexual, so I’ve been looking for a list like this because if I tried to tell her myself, it’d be a jumbled mess of words and stutters, hahaha!
In fact, my whole family was confused and just found some of these myths and asked me about them. I explained myself (before showing them this later on), but it left them more confused.
I have been with my husband 14 years and through out our years he has felt like I was not attracted him that I don’t love him because I don’t want to have sex with him all the time so he got this thought in his head that I was “Gay” and that I am more attracted to woman. To be honest. I have never been attracted to either sex. I enjoy having sex with both sexes and its fun. But like you guys I can’t walk down the street and say WOW that guy is hots I want to bang him or WOW that girl is amazingly pretty I would love to see her naked. I could care less. I know thats weird. But I don’t care. I like to get to know someone before I am per say “ATTRACTED TO THEM” to where I want to have sex with them. I know its weird. But thats how I decide if I want to have sex with them or not. I love whenI am making my guy/girl happy. Thats what makes me happy. I could care less if I get off. I know thats weird. But thats how I am. Ever so often I want to get off. I don’t hit on my guy often enough as he would like. I don’t know I am confused as I enjoy sex but I am really not attracted to anyone. I never have been since I could remember :( :( maybe thats why I have never fit in.
I feel the same way! My boyfriend of 3 years knew I was asexual before I did, since I’d never been in a relationship before him and I’d had no idea what was “normal”. I only have sex to make him happy, because seeing him happy makes me happy; if I do want to have sex, it’s because I want to spend time with him, not because I want to get off.
This was helpful. I have dated my boyfriend for almost 4 years and I kept thinking it was me or maybe he is cheating or I just don’t do it for him. Even thought maybe something was wrong, so to the doctors we went and he was healthy as a horse. I have cried and begged him to fix this and now I know he can’t because it isn’t broken. I love him and I want to stand by him and not do as many have done to him in the past. He is such a good man and a loving person. He is the complete package except for our sex life. I was asked would I rather have great sex or a caring person? My answer was both. I choose a caring person now because I refuse to let go of my best friend.
Thank you so much for this post, all my life I wondered what was wrong with me, if I had a traumatic sexual experience that I just couldn’t remember because I couldn’t understand why this was how i am but you have really given me alot of clarity and now I can explain this to me husband. Thank you
Great post! I was a little confused on the meaning but one of my asexual friends said that they could still have sex and partners and I was very confused. This cleared everything up and got all my questions answered! Thank you.
I cried while reading this post. I think I finally found the reason for all my struggles. I always had feelings for both genders and am generally somene who happends to fall in love here and there. I also love kissing, cuddlig and beeing touched, but just not in that way. I do’t really get aroused or anything, at least not when other people are involved. Masturbating always went well, but the rest… I just thought something was terribly wrong with me and I would never find anyone who felt the same, but you changed my mind. Thanks for that. :)
Thanks so much! My friends and I had an hour long conversation about understanding asexuality. This was great to hear from someone who is asexual and can confront some of the misconceptions most people have.
Thank you SO MUCH for this clear and concise article! I am asexual and I recently signed up to a non-asexual website and got umpteen questions about asexuality. So I have put a link to this page, to save having to explain what it is over and over again.
This was great reading. I’m a high schooler whose best friend is also ace. It was so confusing to be surrounded by everything so sexual and i began to wonder what was wrong… This did lead to me getting sexually assaulted by my ex boyfriend who constantly asked what was wrong with me. My friend figured out we were, as we say, a pair of aces. Its great to know that I’m fine how i am and happy and not alone
This has been very informative but I was wondering if anyone could help me find a word for what I feel; I am attracted to both men and women, but I have no interest in anything sexual. Is that just bisexuality or is it something different?
Hey Slinkers, I believe the term for what you are feeling is biromantic asexuality. There is this new classification system now involving romantic feelings toward genders and its on a spectrum just like normal sexuality. Like myself, I am heteroromantic demisexual. I am attracted to the opposite sex and only develop sexual desires after a strong emotional bond has been made. This new spectrum is rather complicated as the sexuality spectrum but all points on the spectrum are normal for their individual. Though with bisexuality itself there has been a new sexuality introduced called pansexuality. So you possibly may be panromantic asexual, because it is hard to find the point where something isn’t bisexual anymore but pansexual. It’s a complex dance and some people say that pansexuality doesn’t exist, but people also say asexuals are ‘just a bunch of virgins who need get laid’. Explore your sexuality to find for yourself what it is, there are resources out there and you can choose to put labels on it or not, that’s up to you. I hope this helped, if not I’m sorry I couldn’t help more.
Sounds to me like biromantic & asexuality. Bi is how you feel romantically, but asexual is how you feel sexually. The prefix “a” means without. All of us here are without sexual desire, but can have romance of any kind. I myself am aromantic, which means without romance.
I know this is a very old post, but I just want to express how happy I am that it exists. Until the last few days, I’ve always thought there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t find anyone to relate to sexually, and as it turns out, it’s simply because I was looking for answers among sexual people.
I’ve had a lot of sex, but never once because I desired the person. Sometimes because it was just what everyone else was doing, sometimes to see if I could get into it if I tried it in a different way, sometimes to make my current partner happy. Mostly, just found it very dull and boring and didn’t get what the big deal was, no matter what kinky new thing I tried. Sometimes, I can enjoy it, but only because I love my guy and like making him happy.
I thought I couldn’t possibly be asexual, because I masturbate, for one. I feel arousal, just not from people. And I even fantasize, I’m just not in my fantasies, and nor are any real people. I thought, though, that I couldn’t possible be asexual if I still felt arousal and such, and didn’t understand that sexual attraction is different.
These types of articles aren’t just important for helping sexual people become aware, but also in helping asexual people not feel like freaking weirdos, you know?
It all makes sense now, though. I get why I’ve never looked at a person and been like “Oh, I want to have sex with them”. I mean, I find people pretty sometimes, but just like I find a painting pretty. That was difficult for my boyfriend to understand, because I’d insist that I was attracted to him, and he would say that couldn’t be the case, because I didn’t lust for him. Now we can understand the disconnect that I have, and it’s really nice, it’s already improving our relationship. It’s like a tension has been lifted. Other things too, like he thought since I only really dig sex for his benefit, that it meant I didn’t enjoy it at all, which made him feel weird having sex with me, so we stopped doing it. I could take it or leave it, really. I mean, I’d rather leave it. There’s a million things I’d rather do, but I also don’t want him to feel unloved, and for him, physical and sexual affection is very important to how he views himself. Or sometimes he feared it was personal, that it was just him I didn’t dig, and that I’d go off and sleep with someone else. Now that we understand why all these things are how they are, we can improve.
It’s also nice to know that romantic feelings and sexual orientation aren’t necessarily linked. Pansexual never felt okay to say for some reason, and now I understand it’s because I’m panromantic, asexual.
I mean, I can’t really explain how happy I am to have learned about asexuality. I feel so much more comfortable with myself, and I feel like finally I can end the confusion my boyfriend and I have suffered. Really, this discovery has changed my life and a million questions I’ve always had are all being answered now. Where I used to feel I couldn’t relate to anyone sexually, suddenly it seems everybody is stealing direct quotes from my mouth! Suddenly, I’m not alone, and it feels awesome.
Thank you so much!
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Thank you so much for this post. A surprising number of these questions are things people have asked me, and I could not understand my discomfort or how to say my answer. But your answers put them into words for me and it made me cry to finally understand and know I am not alone.
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve never desired sex. Ever. I’ve been in a serious relationship for 2 1/2 years now and I hate sex. It feels like a chore. My boyfriend is very sweet and understands and never tries to force it on me, but I’ve always wanted an explanation. Now that I know I’m not alone and understand I’m not broken or crazy, I feel so much better about myself. Thank you so much for this.
Thank you for this! I’m a freshman in high school & I’ve been questioning for around a year now. I recently discovered asexuality & your post has helped me understand it more. I can think a guy’s hot, but in an “oh, I’d totally tap that” way. I’m a fangirl (yes as in those crazy people who obsess over certain book series, tv shows, movies, & bands), so I’ve read smut fanfics, among other things, which makes me know a bit about what happens during sex. And it’s enough to know that it’s not something I’d find fun. Maybe it’s for other people, but not for me- I honestly don’t understand why it is fun for other people though. I don’t know if im asexual or something else, but maybe I won’t know until I have sex (I know you’ve said it’s a myth, but how else can I be sure?)
Hey there! I’m a sophomore in high school!
I’m basically in the same boat, I’ve been questioning my sexuality for a while now… I would always talk to my fellow girl friends and they’d discuss “looking around the room and thinking about who you would lay” and I never did that, which made me feel alienated. I also thought smut in books and movies is just unnecessary and uncomfortable, and I never thought about having sex with someone and getting turned on by it or anything…
I can relate… and I dont feel so alone anymore.
Thanks so much for making this post! Before this, all my friends thought I just made it up. I finally feel like at least we have some important information out to the public. I couldn’t thank you enough!
So glad I found this article and this site. I’m a 35 yr old female, have had multiple sexual partners, but have never been attracted sexually to anyone or anything. I have spent so many years thinking something is wrong with me and having sex with boyfriends because I figured that’s just what you do in relationships, but it was always a chore and left me feeling indifferent. I didn’t know asexuality was a thing until recently and “coming out” (to myself, anyway) has been such a relief.
I have a question. I am a non-binary person and the only person I am sexually attracted to and would want sexual relations with is my girlfriend but I am usually always aroused. She says I am somewhat asexual. Is she right?
You’re probably Demi-sexual if I remember the terms correctly. It’s means you can live your life until the sun goes down not liking anyone much until you really get to know someone. That person you get to know intimately is the person you feel sexually attracted to.
I’ve never really experienced any ace hate or curious-yet-insulting questions, though I’m not the most socially active person ever. I’m an incredibly happy virgin and a pan-r ace (or pancakes as my friend playfully commented once) because I don’t really think to myself ‘Oh, I think women are the ones I like’ or ‘Dating a man would be pretty sexy’. I’ve seen a man who’s interested in video games and thought to myself ‘If this guy is single and I date him, then marry him, I’ll have a video game player 2 living in my house! Score! I wonder if he likes Fallout?’ But then I think to myself about how I’ve lived my life so far in the company of 3 female family members and we’re an incredibly affectionate bunch, even in public. (If I couldn’t squeeze the life out of my sisters in a big hug or give them a peck them on the cheek whenever I see them/get one in return, I’d probably die) So if I dated a women I’d probably be more comfortable with those affectionate displays since I’m not really used to having men hug me. That’s literally the only difference I see in the sexes, and that’s not even a deal-breaker. So, I see myself as pan-romantic. Whoever wants to suffer my hugs and cuddles gets to be my player 2 and I their player 2.
Can someone be sexually attracted then be asexual as time goes on? I was sexually attracted to women in the past the thought of a girl would turn me on in a whim. 4 years back I noticed I’ve been losing interest in bed with women I’d lose my erection easily, my harmones level is fine but I feel like I’m not sexuallly attracted to the person. I see tons of hot girls and I simply don’t get turned on by them. I masterbate regurlarly so I know I have the capability of being erect and having an orgasm. I’m just lost because I find girls that I’m romantically attracted to but when it comes time to have sex on their account I’m not ready to have sex with them, I do engage in sex but only on my terms, not naturally like others do.
here is some personal coming out experience.
Growing up I would confess to close friends and don’t feel particularly obsessed toward any of them. I have many friends and when asked who I’d date during teenage years, I used to list every friend I enjoyed spending time with, up to 20+ names. People called me a player and I laughed it off. However I dated no one and simply enjoyed their presence.
Into high school most people were dating different or same sex around me. I adored the couples but never understood the bonds.
I have a strong desire for partnership but never had ANY initial spark toward anyone. I have many “attractive” friends according to others. But I never get it when people were flirting or correctly detect hidden/obvious crushes. What I have felt is emotional bonding on a deep level and I would confess to the person; that usually happens way later than when they had flirted with me. And the bond I’m after is something very different from the couples around me. Apparently how I approach the matter makes me an outsider and has taken a toll on me finding a partner. However I am practically romantic inside.
I am physically a girl but can only fully be myself when I violently declared myself a boy at 9 (after 5 suppressed years and) and joined in boys sport activities to compete. I admire girls who are girly but don’t understand things they compete each other for. Girl friends rely on me from time to time and we are friendly. It was not until I had my first crush on a straight guy that I tried to nurture the feminine side in myself. I don’t emotionally bond like girls even though I never stopped trying. I am much more bonded with guy until we entered puberty and dynamics changed on their side.
In short, I found out I was asexual due to years of discord in my “romantic ventures”. Have had two boy friends who were disappointed in how I was not as girly as my appearance. Plus my lack of initiation in sex. I don’t actively date people but when I do… there is no sexual attraction to help me narrow down the pool and “find the right one”. I do fall in love. Regardless of my birth sex, I require a different type of bonding contrary to common straight couples or lesbian couples (I don’t know how gay couples bond; physically not competent). Hence causing lots of confusions to my potential dates, and myself whenever I join and then leave my friends on related topics.
In my mid 20s and not dating. Have many awesome friends who confessed but I’m confused. I don’t relate to nor enjoy crushes.
First crush on a straight guy…. wasn’t a crush or sexual attraction. It was after 4 years of closely friendly and competing relationship that I found out I didn’t want to live without him.
My mom usually accepts that I am asexual. She’s usually understanding when I talk to her. But she still believes some of the myths. I’m bummed. She still seems to think that heterosexuality is the only “right” orientation. She even said that she believes that everyone else who is not heterosexual has been effected from environmental poisonous toxins that changed our DNA. That’s harsh! Please don’t believe this. Please don’t spread this myth around.
Thank you so much! I can now give people educated answers to their questions, without feeling I am alone in the world. This has given me courage to not be afraid of who I am.
I’m sixteen (almost seventeen) and this website describes me perfectly. I’m romantically and aesthetically attracted to people, but I just don’t understand the concept of sexual attraction. I don’t think about other people in terms of them being ‘hot’, I wouldn’t date someone for physical reasons and it really annoys me when a romantic book/movie just turns into a bunch of erotic scenes one after the other. I’ve told people I’m bisexual (I’m actually biromantic) because I was scared that otherwise they’d assume that I’m incapable of falling in love, which is very very far from the truth. However, my parents think that it’s just an age thing and I’m too young/inexperienced to understand sexual attraction. Is it possible they’re right? Also, how do I stop people from assuming I’m aromantic if I tell them they’re asexual?
I’d really appreciate it if anyone could answer these questions or offer some advice, especially on explaining to people the difference between my sexual and romantic orientation. Thanks! :)
It will probably take a very long time for most people to know the difference between aromantic and asexual. The easiest way to break it down when explaining it to people is that you can fall in love, but sex isn’t something that factors into the equation.
I have questions. Like SO many questions. See I’m not sexually attracted to people. Like I don’t see someone and think, ‘Oh damn, I’d hit that.’ But I do say ‘Oh hes cute!’ etc. etc.
I am a 25 year old straight female…I think. The only classifications I’ve ever heard of are Straight, bi, and gay. It kind of freaks me out that I might be anything else other than straight (No offense to those who are…) I am that pure, wait til marriage Christian you spoke of so I have never had sex but I’ve also never masturbated. I don’t think I ever want to do either of those things. I’ve only had one relationship and it was for 3 months before he claimed to have blue balls and we ended it.
Part of me really wants to be married but if I could be married without ever having sex that would be pretty amazing.
So here’s my question. After all that, can I still feel physically turned on when someone touches me? Does that make me just a strange virgin instead of asexual? When I told my boyfriend I didn’t want to have sex, he basically was like, “Aren’t you turned on?” And the answer is, ‘well yes but I still don’t want to have sex.’
yup! asexuality is all about attraction (well, the lack of it), it has nothing to do with arousal or libido or enjoying sex or whatever. some asexual people love sex! some hate it. some are pretty ambivalent about it.
so yes, you can get turned on and still be asexual!
I’m currently struggling between the love of a friend and the love of a significant other. I have never craved anything from another living being and the idea of anyone touching me is mildly disgusting. For now, I can hide my differences from society beneath a mask of abstinence, but I fear the day I will have to explain myself to those ignorant to my feelings.
I’m trying to grasp the differences between platonic and romantic love, but they elude me. I don’t think I have ever been romantically attracted to anyone. When I tried dating, I made a quiet bet that it wouldn’t last a week. It didn’t.
I wasn’t sad when it ended. I didn’t feel anything for them. I was actually proud of myself for not caring, for guessing so well, and for not falling in love.
Now, a friend who is very dear to me and who I have loved for a long time has expressed a romantic interest in me, while I am confused over how I feel. I don’t feel sexual attraction towards them, but they are very dear to me. I worry I will hurt them without making a choice.
I’m trying to understand, but I just don’t get it. They say that there are different types of love. How do I distinguish them when I don’t understand the ever subtle differences? I’m growing frustrated with the world and with myself. I was proud of my asexuality from the minute it clicked. I owed it from the second I learned about it because it was me. I never called anyone hot and while I have a vague idea that people feel desire for intercourse, I don’t know how that feels. I don’t hate sexual things or sexual people. They’re actually easier for me to understand because they feel emotions largely different than my own. Its the romantic love that I fail to grasp. I don’t understand how it relates to platonic love. I always fell in love very strongly with close friends and due to the lack of sexual attraction, I always believed it was platonic. But now, faced with a situation where I must draw the line, I do not know where it belongs.
In this world where love means sex, how can an asexual tell the difference?
Nice article that prooves society still consists of so much outdated stereotype BS..but not from answer but myth POV. I guess it is true what Hollywood movies say “some people only see what they want to see not how the world really works.”
Also you should add one more point.: Practicing asexuality does not mean you are MGTOW or Feminist. Some people become sex controllers in their behaviour because they actually care about opposite sex|gender. It is possible to lust&care about persons at same time. As long as you stay honest about your feelings.
Thank you so much for this! I’ve known I’m ace for about two years, and my boyfriend’s ace as well. We both came out to our parents in the last two months (me on my 15th birthday) and they all took it ok, but were confused and basically said just “wait and try it before you decide” and it was so difficult to explain that I don’t need to “try” it, nor want to at all. I feel out of place at school since everyone’s at an age where sex is all they can think about, but reading this just felt like everything clicked, and I felt normal. I’m strongly atheist, and I like the point about evolution, because I’ve genuinely worried that I’m simply a non-functioning human, but now that was very logical
Do asexual people have biological kids?
Thank you for the post and comments.
The main arguments I come across are “Well you just haven’t met the right person yet” and “Try it before you decide”. And then I hesitate. But I don’t want to try it and do not want to have children either, so why should I? At 21, I have never felt attraction towards a person romantic or sexual, even though as you say– ‘the parts do function’. When I was in middle school I faked a crush once. Someone also asked me if I was lesbian because I never dated anyone. Trying to ‘date’ someone never ‘fixed’ that. In fact, I was relieved when I tried one long distance relationship, as then I didn’t have to worry about any sexual interactions. When I said that I didn’t want to have sex, their response was to breakdown and ask “but then how do I know that you love me?”. The truth is that I didn’t love them, not once, even though it was fun to talk to them. Being in a relationship didn’t make me feel anything sexual let alone romantic, and I scarcely enjoy the idea of typical dating norms such as cuddling or sappy words of affection.
Sometimes being asexual does feel contradictory to me. For example, I experience arousal around my period (but not towards any person) and read many romance novels and erotica (gay and hetero). Once again, this website has cleared things up.
It makes me feel better about choosing not to try sex. Sometimes things are simpler than you think. You think that there will be some surprise that you didn’t know until you experienced it yourself, some hidden side that you couldn’t see. But when you do it, you realize…”Oh, this is exactly what I expected it to be”. And I see that some of the people here have the same thoughts; an “Oh, meh. It’s okay, I guess,” even after trying sex. If there is no sexual attraction, even if the sex was pleasurable, it seems very pointless to me. A lot less fun than an in-depth conversation about moss or the state of the world, and, naturally, eating cake.
Haha, I still can’t feel completely certain, but much closer. Heck, the majority of the time I don’t even care about a relationship or whether or not I have sex! Just once in a blue moon like today. Or you know, when your parents or family asks if you’re dating or to give it a try…when your parent says, “I would just feel a lot better if you found someone.”
I just want to raise bunnies and pursue my hobbies with borderline obsession. A couple of close friends or family I can talk to is good enough for me be content.
I agree with you. Only my family & a few friends know that I am ace. I feel like that’s enough to come out of the closet. And I am totally content with that.
If I was asexual and got really in love with someone, then I got engaged and married to that person. If they wanted to have children, could I do that as a asexual or would I be classed as something else
If I was asexual and fell in love with somebody who was opposite of my gender, and we got engaged and then married but was never sexually attracted to that person. If they wanted to have sex for the purpose of having children, Would that still come under asexuality or something else
Yes, asexual people can get married and have children. I never have.
I know some asexual people get married and have children, but I never have. I’m aroace.
The myths about us being super religious is odd to me. I grew up, not with a religious family, but most of my family and relatives believed they were Christians. None of them took their faith seriously. Adultery, drugs & drinking. . . . Sex. I didn’t ever desire any of this. Not because I am super religious, but I do have common sense & control over what l choose to put in my body. It’s not just me, I’ve read other ace’s stories who have experienced this same thing.
Good article. I am an ace and I only had 2 girlfriends in my life and was in peer pressure when I dated them. I have a son with the first one. So us aces can have sex and fall in love. I got a little sick when I had sex. and I also got sick watching porn. The only thing I like is to cuddle.
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