How Old Do You Have To Be To Know You’re Asexual?

Old enough to say “I’m asexual”.

There’s no minimum age for asexuality, just like there’s no minimum age for any other sexual orientation.  You never hear anyone say “Well, you’re only 15, so just to be safe, you might want to give it a few more years to see before you rule out bisexuality.  You never know when some hot guy might catch your eye!”  That would be ridiculous.

Presumably, by the time someone is at the point where they’re comfortable with identifying as asexual, they’ve spent some time thinking about it.  They’ve gone through the process of realizing that they’re different from their friends and wondering why they’re not as interested in sex as everyone else around them.  They’ve spent long hard hours questioning themselves, trying to figure out who they are.

Is “Asexual” Another Way To Say “Celibate”?

Celibacy and asexuality are not the same thing.

Celibacy is a behavior, it describes one’s actions.  A celibate person does not have sex.

Asexuality is an orientation, it describes one’s attractions.  An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction.

It’s possible for a celibate person to experience sexual attraction and simply not act on it.  It’s possible for an asexual person to have sex, even though they don’t feel any attraction to do so.  And it’s possible for a person to be both celibate and asexual, where they don’t have sex, nor do they experience sexual attraction.

I explore more of the differences in this post.

How Do I Tell If Someone Is Asexual?

You ask them.

There are no physical indicators of asexuality.  We don’t all have extra ribs or pointy ears or stretchy rubber arms or glow under a UV lamp or anything like that.  There’s no secret dress code for asexuals.  We don’t all have black rings on our right middle fingers, black-grey-white-purple friendship bracelets, shirts that say “This is what an asexual looks like”, or ace flag bumper stickers on our cars.  We don’t have a specific rhythm to our step.  We don’t have a particular manner of speaking.

You can’t look at the way someone behaves, either.  Asexuals act the same as everyone else.  You can’t say “That person doesn’t have sex, so they must be asexual”, because being asexual doesn’t necessarily mean that someone doesn’t have sex, and not having sex doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is asexual.

The only way to know for sure if someone is actually asexual is to talk to them about it.

Can Asexuals Fall In Love?

Although asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, that does not necessarily mean that they do not experience romantic emotions.  As most people know, love does not equal sex, so it’s possible to fall in love with someone and not be interested in having sex with them.

I’ve written about my personal experience with love, as well as a more general overview of the types of attraction, including romantic attraction and orientation.

 

Can Asexuals Have Children?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation and it has nothing to do with fertility.  Asexual people are just as fertile and capable of producing offspring as non-asexual people.  It still takes two, though.  We’re not capable of mitosis or budding or parthenogenesis or anything like that.

Can Asexual Men Get Erections?

Asexuality is not a physical condition.  It’s not a synonym for erectile dysfunction or impotence.  Most asexual males have a fully operational penis that is capable of erection (as well as all of the other things the phrase “fully operational penis” implies).

Can Asexuals Masturbate?

For the most part, yes.  Most asexual people have working parts downstairs, and that typically means that they are capable of self-stimulation and orgasm.  There is nothing about asexuality that somehow prevents masturbation, and someone who masturbates is not somehow “disqualified” from being asexual.

Read this post for more information.

Can Asexuals Have Sex?

In general, yes, asexuals are physically capable of having sex.  Asexuality is a sexual orientation and has no bearing on sexual ability. There are no physical characteristics inherent in asexuality.  Asexual people typically have functioning genitalia which is indistinguishable from that of a non-asexual person.  It is possible that an asexual person is physically unable to have sex, but if that is the case, then it is the result of some other condition and not the result of asexuality.

Now, that’s not to say that asexual people necessarily want to have sex.  Physical ability and willingness are two very different concepts.  Many asexuals, despite having functioning genitalia, have no interest in using that genitalia with anyone else.