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.

3 thoughts on “How Do I Tell If Someone Is Asexual?

  1. Honestly, my first thought upon reading this was, “Oh thank goodness.” Followed closely by: “Beautiful article.”

  2. Ok, so I am not asexual, but I think my boyfriend may be, would it be possible for me to speak to somebody about the signs more? I can’t have this kind of conversation with him because he just shuts down or changes the conversation when I try talking about us in a sexual way. I just want to know if it is possible that he is asexual, we have never had sex and he won’t even touch my breast, I have to initiate a kiss and most of the time he pulls away….

    • There’s a lot of other information on this site, but it’s important to understand that nothing presented here should be considered diagnostic criteria. Maybe he’s asexual, sure. But maybe he’s a germophobe, maybe he’s got performance anxiety, maybe he’s got a fear of unintended pregnancy, maybe he’s secretly religious, maybe he’s married and feeling guilty, maybe he’s just not ready, and a thousand other maybes. That’s why you have to talk to him about it. Ask him about it in a non-accusatory, non-judgemental way. Or say “Hey, I read this thing about asexuality, and I’m curious about what you think”.

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