Possible Signs of Asexuality – Part 3: About Others

This is the third post in a three part series on the possible signs of asexuality.  The items discussed here aren’t meant to be any kind of “Am I Ace?” checklist, so it’s okay if you don’t identify or agree with any of them.  They’re just experiences that I’ve seen pop up over and over when asexuals talk about their lives.

The first day was all about thoughts you may have had about yourself and your identity, the second day was all about thoughts on sex and sexual activity, and today is all about thoughts about other people and other things.

Links to the posts in this series:

You’ve never wanted to “jump someone’s bones”.  You’ve never thought “I’d hit that”.

This is one of the more common reasons people discover that they’re asexual.  At some point in their lives, they’ll look around and realize that other people say things like that and mean them.  That straight out of the blue, one person will look at another, often a complete stranger, and think, “I would like to have sex with that person”, and that, in some cases, this thought will drive people’s actions.

Some asexuals may even look at this and think that’s bizarre.  Why would anyone do that sort of thing?  The whole concept is so different from how they look at the same scenario that it may be impossible for them to process those actions into something that makes sense.  For some asexual people, the thought “I would like to have sex with that person” could seem as random and unexpected as “I would like to paint that person blue, cover them with twigs, and dance around them in a circle all night”.

You don’t feel that anyone is “hot”.  “Cute”, maybe, “pretty”, maybe, but not “hot”.

Some asexuals don’t connect with the word “hot” and other words describing someone’s sexual desirability.  We’re able to judge and rank subjective beauty on a scale from “ugly” to “pretty”, we may feel that some people are “cute”, but “hot” can be a word that some asexuals avoid.  It’s not that we don’t understand it.  We can usually point at someone and identify whether other people might classify them as “hot”.  It’s that we don’t feel it.  When other people use words like “hot”, we can sense that there’s some innate internal buzzer going off inside their mind, and that the word is not just some synonym or sub-category of words like “cute” or “pretty”.  The word means more to them than “visually appealing”.  There’s something behind it, some sense, some response that’s driving them to choose “hot” over “pretty”, and we don’t experience what that sense is.

Additionally, the word “sexy” is also not within your realm of understanding.

You thought that everyone else was just pretending to be interested in sex.

Many asexuals describe having a sort of “Emperor’s New Clothes” view of sex at some point in their lives:  That everyone else is just pretending to like it simply because everyone else seems to like it, and they don’t want to be the only one who speaks out and says “No, I’m not really into that.”  In this view, a sexually charged culture enforces conformity.

This view often comes about during the teenage years.  The asexual’s friends all start talking about boys or girls, but they don’t feel anything yet themselves.  Puberty strikes different people at different times and in different ways, so at first, they’ll just think they’re not there yet, but as time goes on, they’ll realize that they never started getting all that interested in boys or girls.  This may lead to thoughts like, “Well, I never got interested in sex, so maybe no one else really did, either.  Maybe they’re all just faking to fit in.”

Which brings us to…

You just pretended to be interested in sex.

Sometimes, some asexuals will feel pressured to pretend to be interested in sex in order to fit in.  All your friends get caught up in what they’d like to do and who they’d like to do it with, but you don’t feel that way about anyone.  So, you just smile and nod, until…

“So, who do YOU like?”

…and you sputter out something about Johnny or Sally, not because you’re actually interested in them, but because they seemed like acceptable options to use to hide how you really feel, because if you told your friends how you really feel, they’d just laugh at you and think you’re a freak.

And so, you lie and go along with it.  Eventually, you may even end up in a relationship and…

You pretended to like sex so your partner wouldn’t think you didn’t love them.

For many people, love and sex are inextricably linked.  A sexual rejection is taken as a rejection of the person as a whole, a sign that they’re unloved, rather than just an indication that their partner has an activity they’re not all that interested in.  This can pose a challenge for asexuals in a relationship.  They can be truly, madly, deeply, and endlessly in love, yet just not care for sex.  They fear that letting their partner know how they feel would mean that their love would be doubted and the relationship would be destroyed as a result.  “If you really loved me, you’d want sex with me.”

It’s even possible that the asexual partner does enjoy sex, but are afraid to let their partner know that they don’t find them sexually attractive.  And so, they put on an act of attraction and will say things like “You’re so hot” or “You turn me on so much” when that’s not actually the case.

Sex is not love, love is not sex.  It’s possible to love someone you’re not sexually attracted to.  It’s possible to have and even enjoy sex, even if you’re not sexually attracted to the person you’re involved with.

Conversations about sex aren’t interesting.

Friends and coworkers like to talk about sex.  They like to talk about what they’ve done, what they’d like to do, and what they’ve heard about other people doing.  They boast about bachelor(ette) parties or one night stands.  They discuss who’s hot, how hot they are, and what attributes make them hot.  They make suggestive comments about the delivery person or the receptionist or the wait staff at the restaurant.

And you couldn’t care less.

If they’re talking about other people, like how “hot” the waitress is or how “steamy” the delivery guy is, there’s a good chance that you didn’t even notice them.  If they’re talking about parties or one-night stands, there’s a good chance you don’t have any comparable experiences to discuss.  You just zone out when they start talking about these things, and let the conversation run its course.  Sometimes, people may notice that you’ve gone quiet and think that you’re offended by where the conversation has gone, but that’s not necessarily the case.  You’ve gone quiet because you’ve got no input, no commentary, no questions.

You often find sex scenes in books/TV/movies to be out of place or boring.

You’re watching a movie when suddenly the male and female leads start going at it for no reason:  [fast forward!]

You’re reading a book when suddenly it turns to “heaving bosoms” and “love’s juices”: [next chapter!]

Perhaps it’s a sense of “Ew, icky”, but it doesn’t have to be.  More often, it’s a sense of “Why are they doing that?  What’s the point?  Get back to the story!”  Half the time, the sexual encounter is unforgivably contrived.  Sometimes you can even imagine the writers meeting with their editor or producer and being told to “sex it up a bit, the ratings are off this year”, and the writers just randomly drawing character names from a hat to decide who should go at it.

Bad acting and lame stories in porn really bug you, because, after all, what’s the point in watching a movie if it’s no good?

“Oh, come on, if that sort of thing happened in real life, she’d have that doctor arrested.  That guy is a terrible actor, it’s like he never even bothered to look at the script.  And don’t even get me started on that set and how cheap it looks!  It’s supposed to be a doctor’s office, so where’s the blood pressure thingy and the jar of tongue depressors and the bed with the paper stuff?  I mean, that looks like a cheap Army surplus cot from the 50’s!  That can’t possibly be sterile!  What’s this now?  Why is she moaning?  He’s not anywhere near her!  What is supposed to be happening?  She keeps looking directly at the camera, too.  And that guy keeps getting in the way of the shot..  Didn’t the director plan out the scene with the actors ahead of time?  Why am I even watching this?

You feel like sex comes naturally to everyone else, but you have to work at it.

You look at other people, and they seem to instinctively understand sex, and how to play the game.  Your partner handles it effortlessly, while for you, sex ends up more like a poorly-choreographed attempt at a secret handshake that no one taught you than a spontaneous expression of intimacy.  It’s like everyone else went to some sort of intensive training camp and knows everything inside and out, while you have to pick it up on the job.  Even so, there’s some secret that everyone else seems to know, the key to understanding the whole thing, and you know that you will never learn that secret, no matter how hard you try.

If given the hypothetical chance of a no-strings, no-regrets, no-consequences sexual encounter, you’d have to think about it.

Usually, this comes in the form of a hypothetical situation:  “Random Hot Person X appears in front of you and says ‘Let’s get it on’.  Would you go for it?”  For many people, the response is an unequivocal and immediate, “Yes”.  For others, it’s “No, I can’t, my boyfriend wouldn’t let me”.  But for you, it’s something more like, “Well, I don’t know…  It’s Friday.  Fringe is on.  I guess I could record it, but I was looking forward to watching it all day.”

You never initiate sex.

It’s not that you dislike sex.  It’s not that your partner isn’t any good.  It’s that you just never think about it.  It’s never on your mind.  So, as a result, you never think, “Hey, I’d like to have sex right now.  I should go see if my partner is up for it.”

This, of course, can cause problems in relationships.  Your partner may end up feeling like they always do all the work and may even begin to think that your lack of initiative is an indication that you’re not really in love with them.

You don’t catch it when people are flirting, even when you’re the one doing the flirting.

I’ve seen this one pop up in asexual discussions a couple of times.  It’s happened to me, and I just thought I was completely oblivious.  I’ve been told that I’m good at flirting, even though I just thought I was having a normal conversation.  And whenever someone is flirting with me, I won’t notice.  (And probably wouldn’t know what to do, even if I did.)  Only hours later, when I think back on the conversation, will I realize that something was off.

I was once on vacation, in a park, taking 3D pictures with a homemade stereoscopic camera.  A woman called me over and started asking questions about the camera, and telling me how she was a photographer, too.  We spoke for a minute or two, then I continued wandering around the park.  On my way back to my car, I passed the bench, and she loudly lamented to her friend “Where are all the good men in this town?”.

I was literally in the next state when I realized that she probably wasn’t that interested in my camera.


I know that I didn’t discuss every possible indicator of ace-ness, and I’m sure there’s some of these that that you’ll have your own take on.  I’m even starting to come up with more things I should’ve written about, but I know that if I keep adding and adding, I’ll never actually get this out the door.

I sense a part 4 in the future…

Links to the posts in this series:

(BTW, in case you’ve been wondering about it this whole time, this is a XONOX.  It has absolutely no relation to anything else, I just needed a nonsense word and that’s what popped into my head, because that’s just the kind of nerd I am.)

141 thoughts on “Possible Signs of Asexuality – Part 3: About Others

  1. Pingback: Possible Signs of Asexuality – Part 1: About You | Asexuality Archive

  2. Pingback: Possible Signs of Asexuality – Part 2: About Sex | Asexuality Archive

  3. Never want to jump anyone, seems too impulsive. I will, however, hopefully get to that point in the relationship where she wouldn’t mind a smush once in a while :) Gotta love ‘em soft

    • Wow these 3 parts were written so well, and I too like many here felt like many of the points described myself perfectly.

      Until recently, I didn’t know asexuality exisited. I just thought I had a low libido because I never think about sex or want sex or enjoy it. I am 28 and have had various sexual relations with various men, but not once did I ever want it, enjoy it, seak it out or initiate it. I just did it because “that’s what people do with their boyfriend” it never occured to me that there were other people like me, so it feels really empoweing to read these comments.

      I do like companionship, having a close male friend, even making out from time to time, but sex just isn’t in my ideal situation. I hope to meet a similar minded, cool asexual guy one day to have a special relationship with. In the mean time, I’m totally cool with doing my thing, and now I feel more confident in where I’m coming from. Thanks everybody :)

      • Lea, you just described me and my relationships through my life.
        I ‘made love’ with someone I was in love with (I am Heteroromantic Asexual) because it was expected and it made me feel closer to them.
        However the only time I tried to ‘have sex’ with a partner who made it clear she just wanted sex with no emotional context all I felt was disgust at the act and myself for doing it.
        We still share our home and lives but have not had any intimacy of any kind for years since that incident.
        I love ‘being in love’ and being close to someone but it would be ideal if that could be with someone who did not want sex, sigh.
        I wish I had known this about myself 40 years ago

        • This is me too. I’m 66 a mother of 3 and married 34 yrs to a wonderful fella. I have never instigated sex ever. I have never felt sexy yet my husband always says he finds me sexy. I feel a little cheated sadly…

          • Yep, me too Rose! (Tho I think about sex much more now I realise I’m asexual! Luckily I rarely feel “randy”, so it’s not a problem!) : )
            Best Wishes x

  4. I laughed so hard at the the book/tv/movie bit. That is ME without question. Many people don’t believe me when I say I read paranormal romances for the plot but I do. Even if I am reading a scene its usually because it’s integral to the plot and even then I’m going “does it have to be that detailed? what the hell is she describing?”

    In response to your response on Part 2. Thanks for the other words. I went and looked them up and will be doing some more soul-searching. It feels like I fit into one of those, which would cause me much relieved stress. Also, the flirting thing…I sympathize and empathize with you. I’ve been told I’m a “good flirter” (whatever that means) but I’m just being myself. I also have a nonverbal learning disability so on top of me not recognizing flirting by other people, I usually have to ask individuals if what I think may have been flirting was indeed flirting.

    Thanks for taking the time to do these. I think it is a great help to incredible amounts of people. And I sense a Part 4 (but watch out for Never Ending Possible Signs….)

  5. I loved every single one of these three posts. Every part. I kept scrolling down thinking “that one described me PERFECTLY, how can it possibly get any more specific?” and as soon as I reach the heading of the next section, it’s “OH MY GOD, YES! EXACTLY!” all over again. Even as a virgin ace, I can identify with the parts that are directly sex-related from the one (awful) relationship I was in- even without the actual sex, anything heading in remotely the general direction garnered the same type of response.

    The one thing I would add from my personal experience in your book/tv/movie section is that, in writing, I do actually read those parts. Sometimes. Heck, I’ve gone out of my way to find a traditional “romance novel” a couple times (okay, I admit, it tends to be lemon-y fan fiction. sue me.) But it’s all morbid curiosity. The whole time I read, 90% of my brain is going “ew. ew. OH MY GOD SHE DID WHAT?” ew. EWWW.” but there’s that last 10% that’s just fascinated by the whole idea in a weird scientific/psychological sort of way.

  6. Well im more of the indifferent type of Ace , im actually Aromantic Asexual i dont feel the need for sexual or romantic relationships and im just indifferent towards sex and romance in general; ive grown up in such a overly sexual world where its always a priority , when i was i high school everyone was so into it and ogling at the guys or girls , its so obsessive that a few of the girls in my class graduated pregnant even and i was completely oblivious to everything , then in college i noticed the couples holding hands and kissing in the hallways i always though there was something off with me why i never was the typical hormonal teen or why in college i saw couples together and was like “oh ,ok cool good for you ” but never saw that for myself right now at this moment im 25 a virgin sexually speaking , never been kissed and im completely fine i recently found this place AVEN where literally all was answered , i didnt know Asexuality existed it was new to me and now i feel more at ease knowing im not the only one that feels this way. BTW another point i wanted to make is that even though im aromantic ace i can read and watch romantic movies and stories (im actually a fan of the twilight books, mostly cause of the friendships of Bella with Jacob and Alice lol ) i dont skip i just see it as part of the story , never been repulsed by it cause i understand its needed for others to procreate (i wouldnt be here if sex didnt exist lol) but its simply not for me ! lol i understand it i see its natural and right for a majority of people, im more interested in friendships , that is the relationship type i look for i would be fine living on my own , doing my own thing leading my own life with a few close friends by my side , my pets and a good job thats all i need !

    • I totally recognized myself from your post. Except that I do have had a boyfriend and made out but in truth I was actually never really into it and I didn’t even feel like I actually loved him. He just felt like some extra close friend. We also never had sex. I was never “in the mood” though I did think of doing it just because “that’s what normal people do”. It was stressful and, well, never got that far anyways so I’m a 26 years old virgin woman. I also totally recognized myself from your comments about movies and books. I’m like that too.
      Oh it does feel awesome to find other people like me.

      • I really loved reading all 3 of these posts too, and most of the comments. I relate to probably 75% of these things. I really feel like a lot of it resonates with me and I’m so grateful to now feel sure of my asexual identity and to understand how and why I’m different from others, but that I’m not alone at the same time. My boyfriend and I just broke up over not being sexually compatible, and we want to try to remain friends, though. My boyfriend told me he was in love with me and I said it back but never fully meant it, because I didn’t want to get too attached to a sexual guy while I was still discovering my sexuality and entertaining the possibility that I might be asexual. My boyfriend would ask me what would turn me on and I was like… uh… nothing? Sorry? He’d tell me his fantasies often revolved around ME feeling pleasure/totally into sex. I… never got there lol. I had no fantasies. We did do sexual stuff together, I don’t really feel like a virgin, but we also didn’t have intercourse, so if that’s sex, then yes, I’m a 23 year old virgin who plans to remain one for the rest of her life. :P

  7. Linked to this from the AVEN Facebook group, and just wanted to thank you for posting it! This just describes perfectly some things that I’ve never been able to put into coherent words, or even consider until now, and will definitely be useful for explaining things to friends/coworkers/sexuals in the future. It’s very well-written, too, and got me chuckling or outright laughing aloud- along with the odd epiphany (at least one per page!) The ‘accidental flirting’ bit is also, unfortunately, very true, and the cause of far too many misunderstandings between (what I think are just) friends.

    Though I’ve got to admit, the funniest part was when I followed the link to find out what a XONOX was- a ‘XONOX Double-Ender’? Really?! Accidental innuendo, or genuine genius?

    • Hi,
      Just found this site, so a few years late in a reply. to your post! Love your xonox research – made me smile
      Hope all is well for you x

  8. I so relate to the flirting thing. Usually it happens when others are around and they tell me later that the person was flirting with me. I’m like, “What? No.” and they’re like, “Yep, they were totally flirting with you.” Honestly, I can’t even tell. To me it feels like a normal conversation so how was I supposed to know the other person was flirtng?

    Books…I go through those scenes out of curiosity. It usually does end with “Why would they do that?” though.

  9. Thanks for this, it does make things a little clearer. I’ve been pretty confused about it all lately and don’t feel like I can really talk to anyone about it. My family all think I’m weird because I’m 20 and I’ve never gone out with anyone, kissed anyone etc or shown even the mildest interest in doing so. I’m one of those over analytic people who spend hours obsessing over conversations and it usually takes me ages to work out that someone might actually have been flirting with me. And then I always wonder why. I don’t really want to end up alone or anything but I’m afraid that I just can’t connect with people the way everyone else seems to be able to. Honestly I feel like another species from some distant planet hopelessly wandering around Earth and just trying to blend in. This gives me a bit of hope – maybe there are people like me out there after all!

    • I know exactly how you feel Katie. People think I´m so weird that when I´ve tried coming out , they just shake their heads and say… you´re just sad… you have low self-esteem, you´ll meet the right guy and feel differently. But I don´t… And you know what? It´s been great to finally understand

    • I have the same problems when I think people flirt with me. There is a certain girl I have become close to, and I’m not sure if she likes me or not. I’m completely oblivious to when women “hint” at wanting a relationship, and I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to keep a relationship lasting if I were to be in one. I also have situations where apparently I’m “too open.” Before I was trying to trip a friend, but I made it really obvious. He tried to push past my leg and I just grabbed his leg with both of mine and tried to pull it backwards. I didn’t realize how that action could’ve been taken until after he told me that I was being homosexual. This is just one of many situations like this that I have experienced. My vague point with this story though is that it just doesn’t make sense to me, and I feel alone many times because of this. I’m just glad that I’m not the only one.

    • Katie, dude, after reading your post…we could be best friends. I’ve been subjected to those misunderstandings, but I usually just laugh it off like it’s some inside joke that only I’m in on. As for feeling alien…well, maybe that’s why I think astronomy’s awesome.
      (Cue dramatic sting!)

  10. Wow after reading all three of these posts, It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I was begining to think I was some kind of warped sociopath. I know I’m not in to other women for sure, I guess I would be concidered stright because I have had crushes on guys before, but the thought of any sexual act disturbeds me and also makes me what to vomit, even kissing. I’m just like, I like you but don’t touch me. X)

  11. I feel like this a lot. I can almost never tell when a guy is flirting and when I can tell, I just find it weird. Why can´t he act like a normal person? I don´t need him to woo me. It´s annoying as hell, I can tell you that.
    People don´t really understand what asexuality is though. I can´t tell you how many times I´ve been told I “just need to meet the right guy”…. Sure… or that maybe I´m gay and don´t know it. Or the one that I get the most is that maybe I´m depressed. They don´t get that´s just not it. The truth is, sex bores me. It bores me. Conversations about sex are ok, but most of the time I feel people have these very strange theories about it. To each his or her own I guess.
    It´s been a relief to know that people like me exist. I thought I was alone too. Thanks, this was helpful.

  12. I am still incredibly confused. Half of these are spot on for me but the rest are kind of off. I have never had sex and I do find it strange when people talk about it. I do, however, admire the female body and love to see a hot girl. I have had fantasies in the past but it was more out of curiosity to see if it turned me on. Nope. I kind of liked the idea of sex but the thought of me doing it is just not right. I am sure I would enjoy it, but at the same time I know something would not be right in it. I hate all that sexy clothing and make up. To me, if a girl is hot she is wearing comfortable clothes, even if they are sweats and a baggy t shirt (which apparently, I found out before, is considered to be hideous). I think sex doesn’t belong in movies and if I see a naked girl, I admire her beauty, but I would much rather see her clothed. I do, however, understand sex to the point that I understand dirty jokes and think they are funny. I also never, and I mean NEVER, masturbate. I tried once. Yup once, and I got in five seconds and it felt disgusting and I couldn’t think of a single thing to get off to. So in my entire life I have masturbated for a total of five seconds and I refuse to ever do it again. I am slightly curious about sex since I have never had it and I know I might enjoy it, but at the same time, I know that if I had a girlfriend and she wanted to go at it, I would be confused and not know what to do. I have had fantasies before but they were just that. Fantasies. I knew that in all actuality I wouldn’t do those things. I don’t know. The more I write the more it seems like I AM asexual…

    • Have you tried looking into the definition of demisexual or “grey-Asexual”?? If I had to guess I would say either of those fit your situation better than asexual. I myself am a tad confused on where exactly to draw the line between demisexual/grey-A & Asexual, but I get the main gyst of them all. I think I know which one I ambut some of the stuff written has me slightly confused. :/

    • I must say that I identify with you Confused. Many of the posts sounded like me, but then there were others that were totally not me. I appreciate sexuality but it doesn’t make me want to have sex. I think I will need to do more research, but I’m beginning to think I may be a gray asexual.

  13. Well, that helped clarify a lot of things for me, especially the flirting section. There’s one person in one of my classes that according to my friends apparently likes me, and that may be because I was flirting without knowing it. To me, it was just a normal, if sarcastic and cynical conversation. Anyway, thank you so much for making these articles- they helped me a lot and I can now firmly say that I’m asexual.

  14. I always feel really strange when I think back on a conversation and realize I missed some flirting. The story about the stereoscopic camera sounds like something that would happen to me. I usually feel pretty bad about it or at least a little melancholy, hoping that I did alright just thinking that it was a friendly conversation and didn’t harm the other person’s ego or anything. I get a weird sense for a second that I missed an opportunity, but I quickly realize that I wouldn’t have done anything differently (a ghost from anxious high school years when I thought getting things to work out with a girl would be the solution to depression, even though I had zero interest in doing so).

  15. There are a few other things I noticed about my asexuality that weren’t on the three lists but I need to get some sleep so I’ll put this for now.

    I can still get aroused when reading stories with sex in it or when creating a sex scene in my head from my favorite tv show characters or something (but never feel interested in trying it out in real life myself) but just think “meh, nothing’s happening for me” whenever I try to imagin me or someone I know having sex .
    With this I believe that it can be the idea itself that’s arousing but not the acutual act of having sex.
    Even when reading a fan fiction and it has a sex scene (even if I get slightly aroused) in it I still seem to focus on the mechanics more often such as wheather they’re in character, analyzing the kinks and themes, wheather it’s consistent with the plot and not just random, how the thoughts, feelings, and actions are expressed, how it’s written, spelling, use of more complex words.

    I guess the best way to explain it is if you get aroused reading about certin kinks (say bondage) but don’t get aroused trying them out.

    • For a moment I thought I was the only person he could think of.
      I am comforted to know I’m not the only one excites with these stories, but not patient no interest in putting it into practice-

      • I think I am a bit similar to you. I started reading more graphical depiction of sex 2 years ago. Now I spend 6-12hrs a day reading rated m content. I have realized I don’t feel any sexual desire while reading it. I believe I read it for only relaxation just like how people play games and kill others for relaxation. Now with all this sexual content in my head I am please to say I can understand and fling back innuendos just like how I would fling back a sardonic joke. 2 yrs ago that would have been like doing mental handstands.

        • Jackpot–that is me right there. I can read smut the way people relax and watch tv to pass the time. I’m more into it for the characters I’m reading about but it isn’t for me. Or better yet, some kinks or interests I most certainly read about– I’d never do. I don’t get aroused by it, I don’t masturbate because I feel nothing and it becomes a chore so I stop. The one toy I bought I feel as if it was a waste of money. Whenever my boyfriend makes a sex joke or teasing comment about wanting it, I mostly want to shrug helplessly.

    • This sounds more like me. Except, I love reading sex scenes. I specifically, though, never imagine myself in the scenes. It’s easier to read scene with two guys. I mean, I don’t have to actually “be” in the scene for it to be arousing. If I were to imagine myself actually doing any of that…well, it would turn me off immediately. I didn’t read porn (or watch it) let alone masturbate for a long time because I couldn’t get over the “self-insertion” aspect of it. I feel like I masturbate most of the time because it physically feels good, not because I feel any sexual attraction. Like eating chocolate to feel better, even though you aren’t hungry or don’t need the extra pounds.
      When I read fanfiction I do the same thing. I keep thinking that it would be better if they just cuddled or, you know, acted in some vaguely realistic way. I can’t be sure what’s realistic, though. I mean, I can’t just use what I would do: “Uh, can you NOT put your tongue in my mouth, thanks.” “No, no, really, don’t touch my boobs, I’m good.” “Stop moaning, my God. And breathing heavily. It’s icky.”

      • This is me exactly. I get “turned on” by sexy scenes. But the “self insertion” part ruins it. Also honestly I th people making out is sexier than having sex.
        And I am very interested in bdsm, but it’s more the act of being tied up that interests me than the sex part. I’ve looked up bdsm fiction (not 50 shades) but once they started doing sex stuff I got bored and felt like they ruined it.

  16. I didn’t even realize I do many of the things you describe here before I read your posts. I have sex because my partner expects it, but I focus on motion instead of emotion. I am very interested in sex, but -just like you wrote- as an cultural phenomena, and probably people do sometimes think I’m way too open about fetishes and such. Until now I thought “I’d hit him/her” was a joke, not a real “I want to have sex with this person right now”. Masturbation to me is a way to release relaxing hormones and to ease stress, and I absolutely prefer it to actual sex.

    And I thought I’m bad at being a woman. Especially when lack of interest in sex is considered as a symptom of depression.

    Thank you for these posts! :)

    • I agree! Actually, I think I’m pretty obsessed with sex because it’s this THING that everyone is talking about, thinking about, doing, and I just don’t understand it. Intellectually, of course, I get it, but I don’t REALLY get it.
      I don’t necessarily avoid conversations about sex, I’m curious about what other people truly think of it. I just don’t want any of those questions directed my way. There’s only so many times I can reply: “Well, you haven’t had sex with a donkey, how do you know you wouldn’t like THAT?” to the classic “how do you know you don’t like sex/dating/boys/girls if you haven’t tried it?” question before I don’t want to be their friend anymore.
      Not having experienced sex myself, I still totally agree that masturbation is much better than sex. Or, I’m 99% certain anyway. Because, really, donkey sex may be great (it exists in the realm of possibility that it could be great fun), but I know I wouldn’t like it (or sex with any socially acceptable species/gender).

  17. I found these posts while desperately looking for information on asexuality, terrified that my fears would be confirmed; that I am asexual. And they have been: I read through these lists of indicators, some meant nothing to me, but most were just spot on.
    I have suspected that I am asexual for some time, but I haven’t had the courage to find out, too scared of what it might mean for my life. And I still am very scared, but the way you’ve written these posts is so open and friendly… I don’t feel so alone. Thank you.

    • The only worst thing about being asexual is not knowing or understanding what it is that is “different” from other people. The key thing about being asexual is to have people around you who love and respect you as you are. (These people sometimes take a while to find, but it’s worth the wait!) All will be well for you x

  18. I personally don’t care much about sexual things. Its not like I ever look at someone and think… I want to have sex with you. I mean I love reading about sex, but exotic sex like girl on girl mostly. Its not like I want sex with girls or guys. I just really would rather do something else than sex like a date rather than sex. The idea of sex I find kinda ewww… I just never got why when I was around guys why I never had sexual urges around them. My boyfriend can be butt naked around me, and I still have no sexual urges around him. Idk why though it makes me feel like something is wrong with me. Even with an ex-girlfriend of mine she kept talking sex, and I would just change the subject. I didn’t find her sexy or hot either. I mean I did sext her, and like that allowing me a glimpse into what other peoples obsession with sex might be. But its not like when she sent me the pic right away that I thought man do I want that… But considering it was new and exciting I think that is why I liked it. I am a person who’d rather have a romantic relationship, close compaionship, and a caring friendship than sex.

  19. My thoughts have always been, “Why would I need to do that? I can do it myself if i need to.” And I’ve never been attracted to anyone. But I’m still not really sure.

  20. The book/movie part described me perfectly. I’ll be reading a book and I’ll be like, “This book is so cool! There are freaking secret agents and explosions and stuff!” Then, I’ll get half way through and go, “Wait, what the heck is happening? Why are they flirting? Why aren’t they focusing on the mission?! No! Stop with the sex scenes! I thought these two characters hated each other, anyways! Where have all the ninjas and time-bombs gone?! How would you manage to accidentally walk in on somebody showering, anyways?! You should hear the SUPER LOUD running water!I HATE THIS BOOK!!!!!” Because of this, I’ve never managed to finish half of the books that I get on birthdays.

  21. I love you. Are you perhaps an angel? I’ve read about asexuality before and the way it was described, I didn’t think it fit me. But reading this, damn. This is my life story. Society had me thinking that something was missing in me, that I was stunted, failing to mature like my peers. That I was incomplete. Out of shame, I faked it for a long time, but now I understand that it’s okay and completely natural not to care, and I won’t torture myself any longer. I’ve wasted too much time focusing on sex, thinking I need it to be happy, and knowing I can just toss it to the wind is such a relief. Thank you so much.

  22. Waah, this whole issue is really confusing for me…
    I am in a relationship with somebody I really like, and we do have sex, and I find it enjoyable, and I’m pretty sure I don’t just go along with it to please them- although I do have a vague sense that I’m more interested in making them feel good than feeling good myself.

    However, I’m not really interested in sex, and feel like I could just as easily go without it; I find it enjoyable, but it doesn’t feel necessary. Whenever I read descriptions of sex in books or see it in movies, it doesn’t do anything for me (same with thinking of people as ‘hot'; I’ve never thought of anybody as ‘hot’, or had sexual desires about people, really…); and sometimes, when listening to people talk about sex, it actually makes me feel kind of upset, like ‘well, I never feel it’s something I ~need~, or anything particularly important, so why do so many other people seem to view it as such…?’ It makes me feel a little separated from other people.
    It’s something I genuinely don’t understand, I don’t get why it’s seen as such a big deal- I had a friend explain it to me in the past as being a ‘natural human desire’ that people need to live, like eating or drinking, but it’s never felt like that to me in the slighest.

    Before I was in a sexual relationship with somebody I was sure I was aesexual based on the above facts (my lack of interest/understanding of the hype around sex, with no desire to do anything about it), but since I am in a relationship with somebody and I do find it enjoyable I think maybe I’m not after all…? But I do feel like my views on sex are different from a other peoples’, so I don’t know……..

    I mean categorising it probably doesn’t matter overly much, in my case, so long as I’m happy, but I would like to know…

    Uh, I’m sorry the really long and pointless message, too…

    • Well, to me it sounds like you could be asexual. But do you feel when you get a kiss like you want to have sex? Or is it more a feeling of ‘I really like you’, and then your led to the bedroom?

      I was thinking about demisexuality, maybe…? When you get sexual attration after you have got to know them and become friends. But many things fit in on this post and how I myself feel (^ ^) so it’s difficult to say. And only you can decide~!

      (I love this post!!)

  23. This has made me feel so much better. I always thought it was super weird that I never wanted to have sex or ever thought it was enticing. I am never sexually attracted to anyone and I never feel like I am attracted enough to anyone, to have a relationship. I am afraid they would be bored because I just think of a relationship as going to the movies, going shopping, or doing outside activities. I never think of a sexual aspect to it. I’ve had a few people ask me if I was ace, and I’ve always said no because I figured I was just going through a phase and it would happen one day. Well, as a I got older I realized that it wouldn’t go away and that maybe I am ace. My best friend has been telling me for a year and a half that he thinks I’m ace. I’m starting to think he may be right. Again, this website has made me feel less weird and alienated than before. I don’t feel like a freak or a weirdo who has no desire to have sex. I feel like I am not alone and I feel accepted.

  24. Before reading this article i have always being wondering why i never felt sexually attracted to any woman ( I am 27 year old) so i guess now that’s due to the fact that i’ m asexual.

  25. PLEASE HELP! I’m like this about sex and stuff, but I don’t love people either. Never loved anyone. i think romance is completely alien. Never felt romantic or had a crush. I just don’t like anyone. I may not be asexual if I can’t feel love either. Is there a name for this? I don’t know. Am I crazy? Are other asexuals like this?

  26. I felt an obligation to thank you for these posts. I have been confused as to my orientation for a while. I’m a sophomore in high school, so sex has become more prominent than it was when I was younger. I always hear my friends say they felt like a new person after their first time, and I just thought “what’s so life-changing?” it even seems repulsive to me at times. I never identified as heterosexual simply because I never felt attracted to females. I ended up with bisexual because I didn’t care about the gender, but I didn’t really care about any of it at all. I have been doing research lately, because this whole thing has been bugging me. I related to almost all of these scenarios (except the ones involving the partaking of sexual activity) and after more research I have found that this is what I am. Sex has never appealed to me, whether it is regular, oral, etc. What confused me the most is how there is sex implied in almost EVERY SINGLE song I hear. I just find it disturbing to hear how they did indescribable things to a random chick they picked up in the club. I also found I had a lack of knowledge of the processes involved with sex. It just never added up to me. Sorry if this post irritated you in some way, I just needed to get this out and this seemed to be a good outlet. Thanks for the posts and help :D

  27. On a side note, I would like to know how this got a profile picture for me, since this is the one I have on skype ㅎ-ㅎ.

  28. Thanks so much for sharing your personal experience!!!
    As a result of reading articles such as yours, I develop a clearer concept of myself as an asexual woman. Don’t stop writing! You have a gift!

  29. I’m really thankful that you went through and explained all of this. It cleared a lot up. Not a whole lot of it sounds like me but on the other hand… My question though is that, yeah, i’ve thought about sex and such, and I think I want that kind of relationship, but when someone holds my hand or kisses me, I really don’t like it. And I have a big problem with most people touching me. (Although I’m fine hugging my friends and cuddling.) Is it just that I’m not attracted to that specific person (or haven’t found the right person) or is it me? And I’ve never had a crush on an actual person, fictional characters aside. (Side note…why does sexuality have to be confusing?)

  30. I’m an aromantic asexual myself (16/male/Mexico/INTJ, if anyone is interested), and to interact with many of my friends, I have to try to think sexually. Sometimes I come off as an accidental pervert because of the fact that I have no intuitive feeling of what is «normal» and what is «weird». And anyway, I’m one of that rare breed who factor large numbers for fun (I told a schoolmate that it’s my substitute for masturbation, so they could really grasp my asexuality), so…
    My friendships are mainly with the less popular students. I find that they can be quite a few orders of magnitude more interesting and multidimensional than the in-crowd, and that has earned me the stately respect and admiration of my peers. It can be a difficult matter, because I really don’t understand teenagers, but I can always open up to them.
    I’m a sapiophile, but definitely not in a sexual way. For me, it’s more like wanting to spend hours talking to intelligent people, to delve into the depths of their personalities and emerge having learnt something new, and I have a 133 IQ, so it’s hard for me to find a similar partner. (I know IQ is flawed, but I needed the comparison.) Being an asexual has its benefits and drawbacks, but it’s part of my identity, and I don’t think I’d like to be different.

  31. OMG the part about having to think about the no-strings, no-regrets, no-consequences sexual encounter “well, what day is it, I have things I usually do . . . ” I never even thought of that and I agree. Still working into this idea of asexuality but everything seems to be lining up for me, which both relieves and complicates things sadly ^^”

  32. Man…I am so asexual it isn’t even funny. I am what is called a “heteroromantic asexual”. Check it up on Wikipedia. I am a man, I like women, and want to marry a woman who I find aesthetically attractive and be with them forever. I want to sleep in the same bed as her, kiss her, cuddle with her, hold her hand, hug her, and even make out with her. No sex though. No nakedness. I find it repulsive. I have been like this my whole life. People told me that “going through a phase” bullcrap, but I am 23 now, and I am no different. Puberty is over for me forever.

    • I’m just like you, but a 23-year-old heteroromantic asexual female. I don’t personally like kissing, either- or at least not prolonged “making out” lol, probably would prefer to refrain from the kissing part at all – but all of the other stuff just describes me 100% perfectly. ;)

    • Yeah I’m with you as well! (and also 23 – that’s weird :P) For the past couple of years I have just constantly longed for a boyfriend. I have crushes all the time and it never really occurred to me that I might be asexual. I thought that I just had some intimacy issues and/or a bit of social anxiety in these situations and I should just get on with it as it means I can be close to a person I like. I’m still not sure I couldn’t enjoy it if I were given some time and the right person. But apparently that is not how a sexual person would view it? I mean, a lot of the points fit with me (I would not mind one bit if I could never have sex again) and another one that I’ve thought of is those instances where people seem unable to stop themselves from having sex – I guess there is something going on there. It just seems so difficult to pin point – I really want someone to share my life with and be close to (though I agree with luvtheheaven about kissing…) but is there an aspect ‘missing’. How important is that aspect? Would a sexual man be okay with my disinterest if I was still willing to participate as much as I could? I just want to find someone…

  33. Reading a lot of these make me want to shed a tear or something. I remember last year when I told the first person ever, my boyfriend at the time, that I suspected I was asexual. I got a lot of grief for awhile about that. That made it difficult, the fighting. He did end up being an angel, though. He decided I was much more important than sex. I broke up with him yesterday. For non-related reasons, though he did nothing wrong. I am a very romantic person, and I have fallen in love before- but ever since I was little sex disgusted and embarrassed me. I have had no sexual trauma or anything! When I was 7 I had a female friend (I am a girl, age 19) who was very perverted. She knew alllll the details, and she’d get me to play make-believe sexual games with her. We never actually DID anything that I remember, thank God, but now that I look back it seems very strange to me. When I was younger I really wanted to have sex for some reason. But, anyway, this post amazingly matches up with me, and it made me laugh. Sometimes I worry that when I start dating in college this fall that no one will want to be with me since…I really, really don’t want sex. I never notice “hot” guys, shirtless pictures mean nothing to me. I’m attracted to guys a lot, but only romantically. From what I’ve experienced of kissing, it’s kind of gross and it bores me. Cuddling’s awesome. I can get aroused but it takes a lot of work and fantasy. I literally hate sex, and nobody understands when I say this. I feel angry at sex sometimes, maybe because it’s what makes me different. I am not as different as sex makes me!

  34. Thank you for this site and especially for these lists. They made me finally accept that I am asexual, not just some “straight by default person who is not very good at this”. This thing has been bothering me for a long time so it’s nice to have some confirmation. I’m a 26 years old woman. Still a virgin. Only had one boyfriend. For the longest time I have thought I’d HAVE to have sex to be allowed to say I’m asexual but these articles made it clear that there’s many other ways to tell this too (and boy did I recognize myself from many of the examples here). This makes me feel relieved and boosted my self-confidence. The idea of “I have to do it because everyone else does even though it doesn’t interest me at all but yeesh, I’m almost 30 so I’ll have to or I’m a failure” is really uncomfortable and honestly kind of stupid. This site made me realize that I don’t have to pay heed to what the other “normal” people say or do. I don’t have to do these things because “everyone else does”. Thanks for that. I’m really feeling more comfortable now that I could actually pinpoint the reason and actually feel good about it, not take it as something to feel ashamed of :).

  35. My whole life I’ve felt out of step, out of touch with everyone around me. I wasn’t sure what made me different, made me feel different than everyone else. I’ve never been sexually attracted to anyone. Ever. My family thought I must have been a closeted homosexual, some even dropping hints about myself and my best friends maybe being more than friends. And I would get pissed off and tell them NO I AM NOT GAY. I just wasnt interested in anybody. By then the questions would start: Why aren’t you dating anyone? Are you seeing someone?
    They couldn’t understand that I wasn’t interested. At all. I didn’t understand it myself. I thought there was something wrong with me, something missing.
    But I have to now conclude that maybe I am asexual. Everything written in these articles I can absolutely relate to. Missed flirting, no sexual attraction to anyone, reading and speaking about sex is completely boring to me. Let alone participating. I have never had sex and I’ve never felt the need to. With anyone. I seriously don’t get what the whole fascination is with it. I’ve loved people but never had the urge to have sex with them. It is something of a relief to diagnose (if you will) what has been going on with me. It explains so much. Thank you.

  36. This is sort of true for me i guess. I have tried to create fantasies in my head, but all the desire that builds up diffuses when the actual act starts. The kissing, the tension in the air gets to me, but anything beyond that leaves a sick taste in my mouth.
    I’ve liked guys before but I wouldn’t want to have sex with them. Nd no, I’ve never found any guy, hot in any way. Nor have I been attracted to girls. Strange thing is, even if I was “into” someone, I wouldn’t want to make out with them, have sex etc. and I wouldn’t want the other person doing it with me either. I wouldn’t like being touched by him. For me, a perfect relationship would be strictly platonic.
    I also believe that for me, I don’t need to have sex. My life is just happy and fine without it. I’m fine with just touching myself. I don’t need someone else to do any of it for me.

  37. I think I may be asexual but I’m not sure. I like watching porn but only the reality ones and I always skip once I get to the part where they actually have sex. I enjoy reading about sex (but only gay). I think penises and vaginae are disgusting. I have had a few boyfriends but only in high school and college. I’ve never really been attracted to girls or boys and the thought of having sex scares me more than it disgusts me.

  38. Oh my God. This has been so helpful, and thank you so much for putting it up. I’m a 15 year old girl, and yeah, I fit into the ‘I must be straight, by default’ category. All my friends assume I’m straight, on the grounds that I attend a girls’ school and I’ve never shown any interest in anyone there, but… My best friend has a habit of falling in love with celebrities, and she’ll show me photographs and go ‘he’s so gorgeous. Why can’t I have him?!’ or, occasionally, just, ‘ovaries. Exploding.’ and I’ll look at them and, logically speaking, I can see that he or she is aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t think of them in terms of sex. Equally, I’ll be out with her and she’ll whisper to me, “did you see that guy we just walked past?” and I’ll have to just hum, because actually, no, I didn’t notice anyone. People speak of looking at each other and just WANTING, and… I don’t get that. I’ve been researching for a while and this has assuaged my last doubts, so thank you, you’ve been an enormous help :D

  39. the thing with me is i DO have sexual fantasies and masturbate, but im never in the fantasies, and they never seem to have any actual people. just like, nameless dudes having sex with no romantic tension or anything. also i DO feel sexually attracted sometimes, but not in a “i would have sex with that person” or even “i would date that person,” but more along the lines of “yes, good job” and “if the apocalypse came today i hope you survive so all of future humanity will have a great bod.” But at the same time, everything else describes me; i really dont care for sex scenes in anything, i actually rewrite it in my head like “and then she pushed him away, and ‘said what are you doing? Weirdo.'” And when i look at smut or porn, thats all i want to see.
    the fascination with sex is just really annoying! why cant they just jack off? when people tell me about their experiences i just cant fathom why. ive never really had a legit crush on anyone, and only wanted a boyfriend in a detached sort of way because that seems to be the normal thing to happen. ive never been in a sex situation before, so there’s still the possibility it could magically stop being gross when the hormones kick in, but i doubt it.

    • Yeah I’m exactly the same with fantasies and masturbation. And I’ve sort of ‘practised’ picturing myself and actual people, but it never does much for me.

  40. I think I have asexual tendencies. I don’t really look at people and think that I would like to have sex with them, even a celebrity that I find physically attractive, I am unable to imagine myself having sex with them. It just seems awkward and wrong. If I have a “sexy” dream, I immediately balk as soon as a penis shows up and the dream comes to a screeching halt. I won’t say that I never masturbate and hate it, it’s just incredibly difficult for me and takes a very long time. I never think of anything sexual while attempting anything either, it’s just a distraction more than anything else. I have also never found porn or sex scenes in books to be even remotely interesting or appealing.

    I’m married and I love my husband and sometimes the thought of having sex with him is enticing but once we start it’s just a chore. I have sex with him because I love him, but I am more interested in him romantically than sexually. If I do have a thought of being intimate with him or any sort of fantasy, it’s usually just lying there and snuggling a person just to enjoy their warmth and presence.

    Is there a sliding scale of asexuality where you mate with a person you love romantically because it helps to solidify a relationship between you but sex is not very important to you in general? If so then I’m likely asexual or have definite asexual leanings.

  41. While this 3-part article DID help to clear up some things for me, it also brought more confusion about myself. I’ve known about asexuality for a few years due to one of my best friend being ace, but only in the last 6-9 months have I heard about grey-A, pansexual, & demisexual. At first glimpse I would say that I’m a demisexual, but after doing more research & reading (& finding the lines more blurry than expected), now I’m not sure where exactly I fall on that scale or if I even know what a sexual attraction actually is. Seems to me like sexual attraction is actually different from physical attraction, but I had thought they were the same.

    I’ve been physically attracted to men, even to the point of wanting to engage in sensual activities (cuddling, kissing, holding hands), but everytime I’ve ever had a crush on someone, no matter how strong that crush/attraction was, I could never fantasize about being in bed with them. I could only ever go as far as fantasizing about kissing/cuddling, but whenever I’d try out thinking about having actual sex with them I’d feel wrong/weird about it. I DO however find SOME men “hot” – but to me I always assumed “hot” was just another description like “beautiful” or cute, but having a stronger physical appeal than those…so I’d say someone was hot occasionally, but if given the chance I’d still not want to have sex with them. In fact the ONLY time I think I’d ever feel comfortable about sex with anyone (fantasizing or real) is in a very serious committed relationship – and even then I’m not totally sure how I’d feelIin that situation, since I’ve NEVER been in a relationship with anyone.

    So I guess I’m asking for a bit of clarification about what a sexual attraction actually means/entails, because I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever had one, even towards serious crushes. The most I’ve ever felt towards a serious crush or romantic interest was a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest/stomach from looking at them, with or without a possible desire to kiss them (but not actually feel the urge to do so even when in close proximity). How would you classify that kind of physical reaction?? Is it sexual or just sensual? Or merely romantic attraction?? Simply looking at a person has never given me any urges, nor a desire beyond kissing, so I THINK that’s not really a sexual attraction. And since I have no experience of being in a romantic relationship to base it off of, I don’t know if I would ever actually develop a sexual attraction after a strong emotional connection has formed. I only assume I would but so far it hasn’t happened yet despite having serious crushes/romantic attractions.

    Maybe I just answered my own questions, but being so analytical about everything I’m not sure if I’m over-thinking it lol.

    And I TOTALLY relate to the whole flirting dilemma. I honestly can’t tell the difference when a person is flirting or if it’s just part of their personality, if they’re “just being nice”. o.0

  42. I was desperately searching the internet, trying to find out whether I was lesbian or not. I am 14, but I never had a crush on a guy. I was convinced that if I didn’t like guys, then by default, I’m sexually attracted to girls. But your post is so relatable, it basically describes my life.
    I find the concept of sex weird, interesting, and slightly disturbing. I like to find information on the internet about it, but only to find out how it works scientifically. I tune out of conversations when my friends talk about the ‘hot’ guys and girls at my school. It took me months to figure out what ‘that’s what she said’ meant.
    When I look into the future, I see myself successful, wealthy, happy, and with a adorable pet kitten. But I don’t see a husband, or any romantic happenings really. I don’t understand the need for sex scenes in movies or in books, and they don’t add anything to the storyline, even though they may sell better with that content.
    Apparently I flirt with guys a lot. But I never notice when I do it, except when people tell me. I just talk to them like I would with my any of my friends
    I guess its too early to tell whether I’m asexual or not. But I’ll keep it in mind. Plus, being asexual doesn’t sound that bad at all to me…

    • Cool, I was around 14 when I first considered being asexual, but I didn’t want to think about it (it wasn’t important, really); and then during the next years it would pop up in my head again, like “Can I be asexual? From the desciption I guess it fits me. No, it’s not time yet.” And I would think all those things mentioned in the post of being “straight by default” a.s.o.
      But I guess I’ve always known I am asexual… Yeah. And I like it, it’s (just) a part of me.

    • It’s not necessarily too early to know whether or not you are asexual. People know at your age, and even earlier, whether or not they are heterosexual or homosexual, so why not asexual? I wish I’d known about it when I was your age because there’s so much on this site which really rings true with me. I always thought there was something wrong with me when I was younger. I’m 51 now, married with three children and could happily never have sex again (I haven’t broached the subject with my husband though and don’t know if I can. I just avoid anything to do with it really). When I was your age and other people were having boy and girlfriends it never appealed to me. As I got older I could ‘fancy’ someone but the if there was any thought that they might reciprocate then I’d completely go off them. I have a feeling that my 17 year old daughter might be asexual too so I might broach the subject with her. A male friend of hers has just come out as gay, so I might ask her if asexuality was ever talked about in sex education at school, just to open the subject. I could of course be completely wrong about her, but it might be something she’s never even heard of. Anyway I hope you work things out for yourself soon. All the best.

  43. ”Well, I don’t know… It’s Friday. Fringe is on. I guess I could record it, but I was looking forward to watching it all day.” First of all: thumbs up for watching Fringe :D and this is totally how I react to pretty much every last minute invitation for a social event/coming over to a friends house etc. when I already have other things planned in my head :’) especially when it’s watching TV shows I don’t want to miss.

  44. a thousand times yes to the “sex is not love, love is not sex” bit…people seem to view sex between couples as the ultimate proof of love, and that not wanting to have sex with one’s significant other somehow makes one’s feelings for him/her less legitimate.

    couldn’t help but laugh a little when i read the part about being flirt-blind….would love to be able to recognize flirtation without the help of others! guessing it would help cut down on the outings-turned-surprise-dates as well.

  45. Definitely asexual. When I think about it, I have been like this since I was 12. During high school/ college, before I knew about asexuality, I attributed my apathy to always moving because of my parents job and never forging those deep connections or friendships.
    I always stop at “cute” when talking/ thinking about guys. I don’t get the whole “sexy” thing and it doesn’t help that I live in Scotland and it is perpetually baltic and people STILL go out half dressed. I have LIKED and considered dating (if he asked) one person since high school. And only because I liked talking to him, not because he was sexually attractive. I TOTALLY get thinking everyone else is pretending. Most of the time I just thought they were weird not me.
    Love your posts! Confirms a lot of my thoughts and feelings about this particular topic. Thanks!

  46. oh my gosh, this is me. this is so me. thank you very much for writing all of this down. i was always the one girl in class who never got what all the fuss with the kissing and the boyfriend/girlfriend thing was. i just confused the hell out of me. and when i ‘finally’ got a boyfriend in college i never felt anything more than friendship and i didn’t even want to ‘do the do’. i thought i was broken, that there was something wrong with me, what with never having the desire to connect with another person on a more intimate level. i don’t even have a need for someone else in my life, and my family sometimes asks me ‘when will you find the girl of your dreams?’, ‘don’t you want a relationship?’, ‘aren’t you lonely?’ and i always think to myself ‘no, not really. i’m perfectly content where i am. why would i need someone else who would mess with my independence and my routine?’
    thank you for making me feel as not so much like an outsider. thank you very much.

  47. I think this might be me. I actually do. I mean, I’ve been in love (I think it was what I felt anyway. Might be something else for other people) with both boys and girls, but I imagine holding hands and stroking their hair and talk openly about everything. I also think that kissing would be really nice to do with someone you liked, but the thought of having sex with them just seems … off. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Yeah, I can imagine other people having it, but myself? Eh, No. But I’m a bit in doubt, as I really enjoy romantic scenes in books. Not the having sex-part, but the being close and feeling safe together-part.
    But the flirting part … I didn’t even get your example, even though the title stated it. And I remember once that I read a comic where the characters was drawn so that it looked like they were naked, and in the last panel it got revealed that they were wearing shorts, and I was like “huh, they should have been a bit more careful when making this comic, somebody could think it was about sex or somethi… Oh.”
    I’d love to have a husband and have children with them, but I have never really thought about the sexual part. The only reason I would imagine having sex was if I wanted to have a child.
    The only thing that confuses me is the straight by default-thing, because as forementioned, I do fall in love, even with fictional characters and of both genders, but I just fantazise about hugging and the occasional kiss. This makes it quite clear for me that I’m asexual, but … Can you be bisexual and asexual at the same time?

    • You CAN in a sense – what you’re describing is being BI-ROMANTIC Asexual. Your romantic orientation is towards both gendersbut you’re not sexually attracted to either. Or you can also call it Pan-romantic (if you believe there’s more than 2 genders & you’d be romantically attracted to all of them). :)

  48. “Sex is not love, love is not sex.”
    I have had this conversation SO MANY times over the years and the other party just looks at me as though I am an alien!

    Having finally found the asexual community after being this way for 40-odd years it is good to know that I am not the only one.

    The flirting stuff is so spot-on, the times I have not realised for ages after that someone was flirting with me (and then felt bad because they were ‘nice’ and I probably hurt their feelings), the times when I DID realise and had to figure out a way to negate things because I just WAS NOT INTERESTED…

    Sigh, so complicated as I am definitely Hetero-Romantic, I adore being ‘in love’ but sex is just boring work not pleasure :/

  49. I am 32 and have only had one girlfriend. I have NEVER EVER had a satisfying sexual experience, though I have tried. I view masturbation as a bodily function that has to be taken care of so that I can get on with things. I have no clue how to ‘play the game’ and will never get it.

    I have been very confused for most of my life about this. I have felt like there was something wrong with me, like I was a pussy, undesirable, lame, etc etc. I even have hated women for this area never working out. I now realize that this will never work out.

    Fuck (no pun intended), I can’t even stay hard when I have had sex. It’s crazy. Its like once I get to the endzone I find that I lose interest very quickly and am done and want to go read a book. This is before the sex commences.

    It has been about 2 years now since I have had sex (another half hearted attempt to attain an ideal experience that didn’t happen – yet again). The funny thing is that I don’t really care all that much. In fact I feel relieved to not be concerned with this.

    Though I am shocked a bit upon looking into this, my gut is telling me that I may be asexual. I am going to ponder this before making any final conclusions. But one thing is sure – I would rather debate the merits of atheism and socialism on the internet than chase women.

    This is so bizarre but so familiar.

  50. Of these three posts, some of these aren’t applicable to me since I’ve never had sex/been in a relationship (I’m 18), but of the ones that are, maybe 25% is spot on, 25-35% is somewhat true, and the rest not at all. What does this mean? I’m so confused and sad and lonely. :( Do you think this will change as I get older? In other typical terms of puberty such as moodiness and things, I did find that I was a late bloomer/they just never happened to a great magnitude.

  51. I wish someone could tell me for sure what I am, so I could stop thinking about it and just be me. I often feel so alienated even in non-romance relationships because I’m thinking about what the other person is thinking/wanting when I’d rather just be reading a book by myself.
    I currently don’t even have friends because I find it too hard to maintain exhausting relationships, etc. I have zero interest in romance and am still never kissed another person, or had sex. I can easily flirt and make friends, but feels very fake and hard to maintain.
    I enjoy reading a lot and do have “feelings” when I read sex scenes, though I don’t actively search them out, I don’t avoid them either. When thinking of fictional characters I find it easier to understand and relate to, but when thinking of myself in a similar position or another person I know makes me feel scared and frankly a little sickened. Even hugging other people is awkward for me. Wish I could be normal.
    Thank you for this guide, it was helpful to me, though I still don’t know if I’m ‘ace’ since I do feel ‘turned on’ by fictional sex scenes and feel absolutely no cuddly feelings regarding others.

    • I read your post and thought of helping you (the best I can). ^ ^
      I consider myself an asexual. When I think of myself with someone I feel slightly scared and a little sickened, just like you do, and I don’t ever plan to have sex, unless it’s someone I really love and feel really right with then maybe. I don’t masturbate, tried once and it was like playing with worms in the dirt – really weird and not that pleasant (though I like worms, have nothing against them). But I do enjoy reading sex scenes with fictional characters. That is something I think have been influenced to me by everyone around me… I hope I don’t sound stupid, but I think that’s my form of “sex drive”.
      When I read about you I think you can be aromantic asexual. Heard of it? When you don’t want a relationship of basically any form with anyone.
      I like (okay, ‘like’ is not the right word, it’s more like it’s just something I am) being asexual. But I am also a little weird that way, because I have always liked being different. And not only different in a good way! It’s something I almost get a kick out of. (Almost.)
      Did I get everything on the checklist? … If not, just ask. ^ ^

  52. I am still a teenager so it is hard for me to tell exactly what, per-say, my orientation is and it doesn’t help that I tried to talk to my parents about the possibility of asexuality and they started screaming that it was impossible, which seems highly close minded for people who support gay marriage. Anyways, I have one specific “characteristic” that didn’t come up at all in the posts but to me is the most compelling for the possibility of asexuality. Whenever people ask me out or tell me that they like me I get exceedingly nauseous and I don’t think it is the “butterflies” that people always talk about. I am heaving in a trashcan nauseous and I end up avoiding the people forever afterwards. I always feel bad because I love them as friends and I don’t know why I get so nauseous. Some of my friends say it is because I actually like them, others say it is because I have a fear of emotional commitment. I personally feel like it is an irrational “phobia” because “what harm could a date really do?” but nevertheless I get sick. The reason, I believe, that I am having such trouble with identity is because I have OCD and I read that some people with OCD think that they are gay when they are not but I have absolutely no idea if this applies to asexuality too. I was just wondering if someone might be able to tell me if my romantically-linked sickness is a sign or just weird idk but any answers would help. Thanks!

    • Well it gets complicated because what it seems you’re reacting to is the possibility of romance, not sex. Only some asexuals are sex-repulsed, and only some asexuals consider themselves aromantic at all. I personally have never heard of aromantics being romance-repulsed, but I could see perhaps it being possible.

      It does sound to me that your underlying anxiety disorder – or possibly if you have more than one – is what is at play here. If you ever can be caused to feel that physically ill from something that is essentially non-physical, that sounds like something to talk to a mental health professional about.

      If you are asexual, and/or aromantic, that might be a small piece of the puzzle. Perhaps your sex or romance drive would overpower whatever uncomfortableness you feel when someone asks you out. I don’t know. And perhaps you having none is part of the problem.

  53. Okay but what if it’s more like you only ever experience arousal when reading a well-written sex scene? Like I’ve tried the whole actually doing sex thing and it just…I mean my body seemed to react at least slightly like it should have. But there was no deeper feeling to it or indication that the sensations would grow to the point they’re supposed to. But sometimes when I read a well-written scene the emotions of the characters turn me on and make me squirm.

    A lot of these three pages fits for me but that’s the main thing that led to me looking into what might be up with me sexually. Since hearing about asexuality never seemed to make sense in relation to me before. Anyway, has anyone else felt this particular way before?

    • Yes, I feel this way, and it is very confusing. I get aroused by erotica but never by actual human beings.

      There are other, nonsexual instances of this for some people: think about people who cry at movies and books but never really understand why people care about and are invested in “drama” in real life.

    • I feel exactly this way and am glad you said so. It’s very confusing to me–if I can get sexually aroused by certain abstract scenes but never by other actual human beings, does that make me asexual? I try to avoid the “you just haven’t found the right person yet” response because to me it frankly sounds like bullshit. There seems to b a great deal of stigma attached to asexuality and a pressure to talk and think about sex constantly. Many people I know would perceive asexuality as there being something wrong with me, instead of just a part of my orientation.

  54. I will read/watch thing with sex scenes but I look at them as more of a “wow look at this interaction of other people” in the same way that I look out the window at couples that are walking down the street.

  55. It sounds like most people are very relieved to see this and connect with it.

    Does anyone feel really sad? I feel really sad. I feel like everyone else got to a party before me and got to try something AMAZING that came out on a tray, but by the time I showed up they were all out. I feel like that happens to me every day.

    I read about sex and love all the time and for a long time I thought that what I felt was desire for people. It was not. It was, in fact, desire for desire (which TLP helpfully pointed out in narcissism posts, but which is still relevant here). And it wasn’t just desire: it was a cathartic burning want. I believed so thoroughly that there was a spectrum of joy associated with love and that once I met the right person I would get to feel some of those things.

    I’m not going to meet the right person, though. Because the common denominator isn’t “wrong people.” It’s me.

    • It might be nice to be able to ‘turn on the programming’ just once to be able to know what it actually felt like, but I wouldn’t want it permanently as it seems to control their lives – just like being a drug addict!
      It sounds like you are young, so at least you know early. I only discovered I was ace in my 50s so it is quite possible to live a full life as we are, don’t despair!

    • I’m very glad you expressed this viewpoint. I feel exactly the same way. For a long time, I had wondered if maybe I was asexual, because whenever people began to talk about sex I felt like I was missing out on something. The very idea of never being physically attracted to another person throughout my entire life is quite devastating to me. I’m a bit of a romantic myself, and reading romance novels or watching romance movies now depresses me because I know I’ll never experience that feeling. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me–like I’m somehow incomplete. I wish I wasn’t asexual so that I could be a join in this thing called sex which seems to bring so much meaning to other peoples’ lives, but at this point I feel fairly sure that I’ll never be a part of that. I know that sex and romantic love are two different things, but I fail to see how they are unrelated, and it’s difficult for me to envision asexuality as a positive trait within myself because I can only picture it as a cause for loneliness. I fear that we live in such a sex-driven society that I may never be in a fulfilling relationship. I’m glad I’m not the only one with these worries. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to die alone. It’s not a very cheerful thought.

      • I worry about being alone, too. But I try to remember that a) my friendships are fulfilling and b) many of the people I know in sexual relationships don’t feel happier because of it. So at least I’m not worse off than other people—I’m just worse off than I might be if I were sexual.

        Digitus1, were you able to have fulfilling romantic relationships without knowing you were ace? Or did you just not feel the lack of them? The lack is what bothers the most—wanting to want it and knowing you’re a degree removed from the desire.

        • I have had three romantic relationships in my time.

          My first when I was about 23-24 resulted in a marriage that lasted 15 years. For whatever reasons the love died and I became ‘restless’. I made love relatively often during the marriage as a way of keeping the emotional bond and closeness, not because it was anything more special than a nice meal.

          A lady from my past whom I had been attracted to came back into my life and she initiated a relationship which finished the marriage. I loved her intensely in a romantic way, but she had been trained by her previous relationship to think that love was highly dependent on sex and that it was very important – this doomed the relationship as I could not make myself be even remotely interested in that level of physical activity :P

          The lady I have been with for the last 14 years is a ‘sexual’ but not intensely so, possibly because of being an abuse victim. We had some difficulties with the relationship before I realised about myself, but when I ‘outed’ myself to her she seems to be OK with it. We have not been intimate for probably 3 years or more and probably will not be ever again but we rub along together reasonably well so…

          I always loved romance and being in love but it is a problem when the ‘other’ wants the physical manifestations of love too. Possibly it is easier to get away with this if you are female but it is almost impossible to pretend to desire when you are male!

          So, in summary, it IS possible to have long and close relationships as an ACE. Sacrifices and accommodations have to be made, but this is so in any relationship. Knowing your nature and being honest about it and it’s effects seems to help once a relationship IS forged – I don’t know how things would go if you outed before any emotional closeness was already established.

          Hope this ramble helps in some way :)

  56. I have to be perfectly honest. I kinda wandered onto this website by accident while looking for a proper definition of asexualism after reading about it in a book. I seem to have had a rather severe wake up call in the process. While reading these posts and the comments some people have posted I realised that there is a very real possibility that I’m asexual.
    It’s a bit shocking since I’ve never really considered the possibility before, but there seem to be too many similarities for it to be a coincidence. I’m a female turning 27 in a few days and I’ve only ever had one boyfriend and I’m still a virgin. We were never really intimate and in actual fact only ever made out once. I noticed previously that I’ve never been a physically expressive person but the kissing felt *gross*. We broke up shortly after and I didn’t even really care.
    I always believed that I was like this because my parents raised me and my brother to value ourselves, but I’ve always found other peoples fascination with sex and romance strange. I don’t really care if people find out I’ve never had sex before, but they always get that same weird look on their face like I’ve just grown a second head or something, and I always get the same question. ‘But don’t you ever feel the urge?’ I’ve always thought that I can’t miss what I’ve never had, but even then they still just stare. I’ve thought about it, but the thought of putting myself in that position actually grossed me out, but I thought there must be something to it that only those who’ve tried it feel and understand. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
    For the flirting, normally when someone starts talking to me about anything intimate or has sexual implications I tend to answer as vaguely as possible since it makes me uncomfortable and I don’t want to offend them by saying I *really* don’t see them that way. It took a solid seven years of this before I realised people thought I was flirting. And thats just the people who were very blunt about the way they phrased things, like the one guy who essentially asked me to be his ‘friend with benefits’.
    At one time I seriously considered whether I was gay or bi, but I realised that I could take note of what looks attractive, but theres no interest beyond that. I know what kind of physique is pleasing to the eye, but I’ve never just stopped to ‘watch the scenery’ as it were. I don’t think any of the people around me have ever noticed my complete lack of interest in anything sexual. The people at my job seem to talk about sex related things 90% of the time so I’ve learned to respond properly when involved in a discussion or when they try to tease me, but generally it just irritates me. Half the time I’ll be standing there wondering if I really work with such a bunch of idiots, the rest of the time I’ll be wondering if I remembered to water the plants, or thinking about that new book that I really want to read.
    I seem to be going on and on, but this is actually quite a big shock, especially since I don’t think anyone around me will actually properly understand or accept this if I actually am asexual. And this from someone with *really* understanding family and friends. I don’t even know who I can talk to about this since my closest relationship is with my mother. I’ve felt slightly concerned about my lack of interest a few times before once I realised it wasn’t normal, but I’ve always been told I just haven’t found the right person.
    I should actually be thanking you for this post. You expressed things clearly with a very open and friendly tone. If not for that I don’t think I would have been able to accept it as well as I have. I really hope you keep up the posts so that you can help other people just as confused about themselves as we are.

    • It looks like, from your post and others, that asexuality is going to be fighting for acceptance in the same way as homosexuality fought for. I wonder if people feel somehow threatened by people who just aren’t interested in sex at all? As a teenager/adult I’ve never ever been aware of whether or not anyone was showing interest in me, never recognised flirting, but was often accused of doing it myself(!). Someone once said to me “if someone made a pass a you, you probably wouldn’t notice would you?” and I had to agree. ‘Making a pass’ at someone is a phrase I’ve heard so often, but haven’t a clue even what it means! This website and the comments have really made things slot into place for me, and I realise now that I am and always have been asexual. I’ve just got to try and tell my husband :-(

  57. I’m only 15, so it was really confusing for me at first. I didn’t really think about it until I was thinking about the guy I liked and realised that I never wanted to ‘get it on’. I didn’t find him ‘fit’- in fact, I thought he was sort of ugly until I saw him acting, ad then I realised I am basically attracted to people based on personality/talents. It’s really hard though, because I knew that loads of guys in my year were having sex and that was pretty much all they thought about. But, even though quite a few of the girls are having sex, nobody really has a good answer for how much ‘normal’ teenage girls are supposed to think about that. Like, they could have just been pressured into it, but… And it’s quite a personal question to ask someone! Pretty sure I’m an ace, or maybe somewhere else under the umbrella. But nothing’s permanent, it could just be a ‘phase’, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. Sorry rant over I really should get some sleep :)

  58. I love reading romance novels, but you know how they tend to build up to the moment, the entire book avoids sex right until the end… I always find myself thinking, what’s wrong with these characters? they like each other, so just get on with it! but I realise now its about the build up of sexual tension which I’m sure many readers enjoy. But I don’t feel it, and so I get frustrated at the characters for always beating around the bush and messing with each other. I get it now, I’m just oblivious to the sexual emotions the book is trying to portray.

    • I totally understand you! Omg, I always end up shouting at the characters in a romance to actually do something, because GOD…! They are so indenial and making any excuse not to be together. But now I have trained (that sounds weird – but it’s true!) myself to read erotic stuff and it’s not really a problem anymore… so much… only a little… yeah…

  59. Reading these articles has really cleared some things up for me. Growing up, I never had crushes, never looked at someone and thought “hey, I could see myself kissing them.” And I always thought that I just hadn’t found someone that I wanted to do that with.

    I like hearing about other peoples relationships, I’ll read romance novels, and I’ll even play-flirt with my friends, but I’ve never really wanted a relationship. There’s nothing that I want to do with someone that I couldn’t do with them as friends, so I’ve never seen what makes dating such a big deal.

    My family doesn’t get it, though. My mom tells me not to label myself, because you never know what might happen, so I keep saying that maybe if I meet the right person I’ll want to date, but I’ve never really believed it.

    I just hate the way people pity me when I say that I’m not interested in relationships. I hate feeling like I’m missing out on some big, fantastic thing that everyone loves. They always say “don’t worry, you’ll find someone.” But that’s the point. I don’t WANT to find someone.

  60. First off, bravo! This was amazingly well written and totally relatable. I’m practically in tears from laughing so hard.
    I figured out that I’m Ace through fanfiction funnily enough, when I found one with an Ace character and just…everything made sense. I didn’t even know that asexuality was a thing, I just thought there was something wrong with me or that I was broken somehow. Came out to my friends and they were all cool with it. (And of course my sister told me “Oh honey, I figured that out a long time ago.” which, wow, would have been helpful to tell ME.)
    I actually had a long talk over dinner once with friends where I asked them what sexual attraction felt like and they said it was sort of along the lines of having a really bad craving for a specific food, ha ha.
    I’ve also had the experience multiple times of walking out of somewhere and having my friend turn to me to say “He was so hot!” and I’m like, “Wait what? Who? The cashier? Uh…he seemed nice I guess…”

  61. Thank you so much for writing this. It really helped me figure things out. For a very long time I’ve had a certain nagging suspicion that something in regard to my libido was *off* somehow, and I decided to research asexuality to see if I could confirm this. It seems that I have. I’m only fifteen years old and always felt like maybe I was just developing more slowly than everyone else, but as I got older, I started to realize that wasn’t the case. I’m a hopeless romantic, and I understand why everyone seems to be obsessed with love, but I never really got the appeal of sex. While my friends were all talking about their crushes and their boyfriends, I just stared off into the distance until the topic was changed.

    I will be eternally grateful for the existence of this article as it has really cleared up some of the confusion and self-doubt that has weighed on me quite heavily for a very long time. Upon reading some of the very gracious and sincere comments that have been left here, I feel I must ask for advice, because I have no other outlet in which to do so.

    I confided in my best friend several times that I’d never been attracted to anyone, but she kept telling me that “maybe you just haven’t gotten there yet.” I told her that I’ve looked at certain people and thought, “gee, that person is attractive,” but never thought “I would like to have sex with that person” or actually felt any attraction. My friend’s repeated response to this was confusion; I tried to explain to her that there was a difference between thinking a person is attractive and actually being attracted to them, but she always disagreed.

    She is still my best friend, and despite this particular argument, we get along just fine. But she talks constantly about her boyfriend and whenever I’ve tried, in recent months, to tell her that I think I might be asexual, she just shrugged it off and told me “nah, I’m sure you’re fine, you just have to wait a little bit.” It’s almost as if she doesn’t believe me. My parents both had similar reactions. I don’t know how to come out in a way that would convince them that this isn’t just me developing slowly or needing to “catch up.” I’m also terrified to come out to my brother, because several times in the past, he has expressed the view that no person on earth can be truly happy to their fullest potential unless they are in a romantic and sexual relationship of some kind. I feel that if I tried to tell him I’m asexual, he would either scoff and tell me I’m being ridiculous, be alarmed and frightened and start avoiding me, or bombard me with an endless stream of pity.

    How can I explain my asexuality to my friends and family in terms that they’ll understand? How can I convince them that it’s not just a phase, but part of who I am?

    Thank you for reading and listening to me ramble on. Please, could someone give me some advice? I feel really lost, not to mention ashamed and scared.

    • I completely understand what you are saying. I usually get the same reaction. Like I can’t really tell my dad because he doesn’t even believe gay people exist but my mom who I have told gives me the same reaction. She doesn’t say it but it’s like I can tell what she is thinking. I got the same reaction from my older sister who is similar to how your brother is I believe. Now she makes a joke out of it because before I told her she would call me a feminist lesbian but now that I have told her she likes to say something like I like plants or tree etc. ( but she’s pretty immature ) , the jokes didn’t get better but I just shrug it off. No one in my family is against sexuality outside of the normal.

      I’m 15 also and I think that this is just something people won’t understand. I mean honestly I would not have know about it if I didn’t look it up. I kind of decided to just let it be and I am pretty open about it. I don’t know how it is where you are at ,but I have a good amount of homosexual or bisexual (a couple trans- gendered) students at my school so people are pretty okay with it (I don’t go around and tell everyone it’s more if asked or the situation needs it). I remember I was with a group of five others and they all are bi and one went “look at us good of bi people, wait are you straight gay what” and I told them and they said jokingly ” well your just going to be a virgin for life”. ( I thought it was funny)

      I honestly think just be comfortable with it and it will work itself out. If you need a way to help describe it to someone just tell them “it’s like going to the kitchen and looking for a snack, but nothing really looks good.” I found that on another website.

      (Sorry it was long hope I could help some)

  62. I’m 15 and I honestly started looking up things like this since I started puberty at 12. A lot of this was right on the dot for me (only things that didn’t were the ones about already having sex before, since I haven’t). I remember at the beginning of school every year I would pick one boy and that was my crush that year. Now that I’m in high school and everyone is always talking about how someone else looks I would be confused and just nod my head. It got to the point that I looked up things like these and I would just think yet that’s me. Sex scenes don’t bother me though I kind of prefer them in somethings. To me it just gives a more realistic plot because as annoying as it can be sex is the norm and it’s a relatable subject to people. I’m not going against you just want to put my opinion out there.

  63. yeah, I never have any idea if people are flirting with me or if I’m flirting either. One time I was apparently flirting with this girl on my soccer team and I had NO IDEA. I was just having fun and making jokes with her and teasing her at practice, but the next day she just shook her head at me and mouthed “NO”, and then we barely talked for the rest of the season and the next year and forever after (she went to my school). I was so confused, it literally took me 6 months to realize that she thought I was flirting with her, and by then it was waaaay too late to apologize.

    • I didn’t ever have problems like that. Like I would notice if someone would flirt with me but I just play oblivious until they stopped. If they straight out told me they liked me I would reject them but I would be left with thoughts like “why me?”. It wasn’t like I thought I wasn’t good enough it was more like I didn’t understand why this person was interested with something above friendship then thoughts like “aren’t we having a good time together” or “why do that” would come. I understand now but that as far as I really go with relationship. I have gone out with people but I w have always been the one to end it.

  64. I just turned 20 and for the past 5 years I believed I was pansexual because I had no preference for any gender.. I lived on the quote “All about heart, not parts” and I still feel the same way till this day. I was everything pansexuality was, minus the sexual part of it. Now I ffeel at ease to know my true sexual orientation: Asexuality. Now the mission is finding someone else that feels the same way.

  65. Hello. I have just finished reading your three posts, and how much I would like to say thank you.

    I was not feeling bad for relating to quite a handful (if not most) to the points brought up in your different posts.

    “Was that it ?”
    I thought I was a tactless lady to have thought so after having sex for the first time of my life with a recently met friend of mine that I have absolutely no love interest in. I actually asked him, rather than any other guy I could have asked, to have sex with me out of the blue because he told me some time ago he loved me and also because my parents had to tell me “it was an occasion to try and figure it out” (doesn’t it smell of “Green Eggs and Ham”). I feel so relieved, to know I am not a completely wrong person for not finding the whole thing so thrilling.

    The “cute” or “pretty” as well. When I was in high-school, I was finding “feminine-looking” boys very pretty. Attractive but, only for their beauty, like the sight of a beautiful landscape eases your soul. That same kind of attraction. But I was soon fooled to believe I loved one of these boys, probably because watching somebody with no other reason than because he is pretty to watch seems legit enough to be called love at that age. I remembered then, that several classes went to the cinema with the school to watch a movie together and that we could sit next to whomever we wanted to, and that I happened to be seated next to the boy. I think he kissed me at some point during the film. At that moment, I was puzzled on the reason why he would do so rather than enjoying the kiss at all.

    I can even say now I feel lighthearted, like somebody came out to me to tell me “Here is every emotion or thought you have been having for the past few years, months or weeks of your life; yes precisely what you thought made you one serious crazy, unsettled girl out of her mind; well, you know what ? They are totally okay emotions or thoughts for you to have so be happy now and go run into flower fields without giving anymore damn to anything to cool off your head.”
    I even managed to smile at some parts (like the metaphor with the cactus, was not hilarious but hey, I don’t care it made me laughed, so cheers). You presented the matter of asexuality in a factual way (practical, shall I say ? Pardon my English, my native tongue happens to be French) so that it somehow makes it something common, in a whole conform and real, not a peculiar creation of my own intricate reflection. When I felt depressed by the idea, a couple of hours ago, by convincing myself with prejudiced ideas alike with “I must be lacking something big for society”.

    Reading your post had me realised that, whatever it is I can be lacking, it will not affect me any longer. I will still hope to find someone I will be able to love, without always thinking about sex as an obstacle on my path to living a fine, joyful life.

    Thanks again,


  66. Wow these articles really helped me understand that I am asexual. I’m a bit young while trying to figure this all out, but this really helped me clean up my confusing thoughts and questions.

    I really connected with the body just being some anatomy not really a sexual thing. Like people make a huge deal about body parts showing, but if everyone just started to never wear clothes I would think to much of it. While I know others see bodies as like sacred things that shouldn’t be to revealing, or should be saved for a special someone. I just think that’s strange.

    Also, when I never felt any sexual attraction to anyone, boys or girls, I thought it will happen I just need to fine the right one, but now I know it won’t happen and I’m perfectly fine with that. But I do like the idea of just a romantic relationship with a boy or girl, it’s just sex just seems so unnecessary and I honestly don’t care for it.

    I also just fine the use of the word sexy so bizarre.

    Oh, and the part about enjoying masturbating I connected with, since I really just feel having a second person is unnecessary and I enjoy just taking care of myself.

    And one last comment, It wasn’t on the list, but I do enjoy reading my fair share of fan-fiction with enjoy my favorite fictional characters going at it or just reading the fluffy things between them, but I never see or feel a need to want those things for myself. I am just okay with enjoying their relationships but don’t want it personally. If that make sense.

    Well thank you for this awesome lesson! It really makes me more comfortable with understanding who I am.

  67. Hey just leaving a quick note to say I really appreciated this series of posts. Sometimes I can find myself questioning my identity – or, more likely having it questioned by disbelieving allosexual friends – over grey areas (you know, situations where it feels like I almost maybe could be interested in sex if I tried a bit harder to be).and it’s really great to see how other people experience things. Good work!

  68. Hello everyone,
    I read those 3 parts even when i am not asexual. I came across it just by coincident and read it out of being curious about sth. that in society is not really known, talked about and has actually no attention. I just wanted to tell you, that it is really interesting to read that and it broadened my mind. I heard the term “asexual” before but I could not really imagine what it means (what I probably still can not) but just thought that it must be somehow sad, not to be able to enjoy that (for me just GREAT) aspect of life. But now I feel like there is no reason to feel sorry for asexual people because…it seems it is no loss and also it doesn’t automatically mean that you can not have close realtionships with other people. I could even imagine that a sexual-asexual intimate relationship could work, if it takes place in a corresponding frame. I think it is sad, that in our society, romances are supposed to follow a special scheme and I think to know more about other ways of sexualities, also for “normal” (sorry for using that word here) orientated people can help, to develop more tolerance towards other ways of living a realtionship, which can also improve or help, to feel free to model a sexual relationship in a way that it fits to the involved people, instead of social norms. So…thanks for it :-)

  69. I can’t tell if I’m asexual, and I know you guys can’t tell me that either, but I figure I’ll point some things out and see what some opinions are. I used to be all about sex when I was younger, I’d try to get women and flirt, but now I feel like I was just going through the motions, just doing what I was supposed to do or what my adolescent body wanted to do. I now look at sex and attraction as oxytocin and dopamine reactions in the brain, and have no desire to have a physical sexual partner. I do masturbate, but its all about the orgasm, the good feeling instead of imagining a girlfriend or wife, or boyfriend for that matter. When I’m on image sites I see naked women and porn of all kinds and get nothing off of those pictures. I guess the most important part is that I dont want to have sex with anyone, male or female, I do want to masturbate to orgasm, and I want to remain alone through life. I do believe in love, but only in other people, never myself. and of course love is just a chemical, flowing through the brain.

    • You might be someone who would qualify as a gray-asexual, or an aromantic allosexual (not asexual but “sexual”, desiring sex but just not the romantic-type of relationships), or yes you could be asexual now but you weren’t when you were younger and your sexual orientation perhaps changed, OR you were asexual all along. If you never felt sexual attraction but always had a “libido” or sex-drive then you can still qualify as asexual. Many people seem to prefer labeling themselves as on the gray-ace spectrum if they have some experiences in common with you. There are also sex-favorable aces (as opposed to sex-indifferent or sex-averse/repulsed aces). There is a huge asexual umbrella/spectrum, and only you can decide where you fit best. And there is also a romantic spectrum. It’s complicated and many categories can somewhat overlap with each other. You may be interested in reading this, about gray-asexuality: http://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/many-ways-to-be-between/ and consider if you feel it applies to you. There are many possibilities and probably more that I didn’t mention. It’s fine to masturbate and be asexual. That means you have a sex drive but are asexual and experience no sexual attraction and that is a common experience. (It’s also fairly common to have no sex drive and be an asexual, a “non-libidoist if you will – both ways of being asexual are common.)

  70. All this comes way to close for comfort. I’m 24 and I still go trough pains of thinking of excuses not to have sex with people who show interest and who I otherwise like. Its just to much like trying out a new recipe but all the cakes taste boring. The fact that I have had cruses on both man and women made me think I might be bisexual despite I’m clearly going for personality types, gender just doesn’t count as much if you don’t consider having sex with them from the very beginning. I guess this is something new to consider since I got here by just googeling the word after having read someones, much shorter but horribly accurate, description of the word. I guess it means that having normal relationships is not an option and not just me being a prude. (because I’m not a prude, I just don’t have a fav porn genre, it all looks so boring and damn was that thing spot on. I’m so glad I’m not the only who goes…. hehehe look at that, that jackson pollock painting in the background is upside down)

  71. I think I consider myself a hetero-romantic asexual, but I’m not entirely certain. I’m a 19 year old girl, and I’ve had one relationship that lasted about a year before breaking off. It was long-distance; I was really in love with him, but I never fantasized about having sex with him the entire time. The most I’d imagine was cuddling/kissing. When he sent me a pic of his ‘parts’, my reaction was “Wow, so THAT’S what it looks like!”, but I wasn’t really aroused by it. I’m wondering if maybe I’d be more affected by it if it were in person?

    I’m really worried because I want to have biological children one day by having sex, but that seems impossible if I can’t even get aroused. >_< I can't masturbate without feeling incredibly awkward, uncomfortable, and frustrated to the point where I give up and stop. And I think toys are a waste of money and time because I feel like they would never work for me. Thanks to the media; I feel it's absolutely necessary for couples to have sex in order to truly show their love for one-another, and if they don't then it's a sign of rejection. :(

    As for sex in movies and stories? I really don't mind it there, as long as it makes sense for the characters to be doing it. I view it as character development, and I enjoy reading it. :3 I don't care for watching it though, or reading/watching oral sex. I find that really repulsive. D:

    I apologize if this doesn't make any sense or looks messy; I have Asperger's and it makes it very difficult to convey my thoughts in an intellectual manner. ;_;

  72. I’m really confused as to whether I could be asexual. I do find people hot or sexy, but I have no desire to have sex with them, just appreciate their beauty. I understand sexual situations and flirting, and I enjoy relationships, although kissing etc. doesn’t appeal to me. I masturbate, and I enjoy reading aout sex, but having sex with other people isn’t something I’m interested in, although I don’t think I would hate it, and would probably enjoy it. Could I be asexual?

  73. Thanks so much for posting this. I am still quite young, and coming out of puberty at the moment, and I have a boyfriend, but I have no interest in sex, it is odd because i like reading about it, and i have no issue with watching it (though i have never actually watched full on Porn so…) I recently had my first kiss, (I swear i am not as young as you think, i just have never had a crush on someone thus never dated thus never kissed) and all i could think afterwards was, ‘that tasted kind of gross’…i also find no images of “private areas” male or female, pleasing in any way. i do however find people (in at least underwear, preferably a bit more clothing) aesthetically pleasing, and will notice is someone is attractive, i also love cuddling. but that’s about it, i have tried masturbation but it never really worked either…being young i am not going to really make up my mind yet, i just wanted to thankyou as i am curious about the idea of asexuality as this post/blog/whatever has helped me to understand it and myself a little more.

  74. I am in my teens and one of my friends recently came out as asexual. I believe I am too because I look at sex as messy, gross, confusing, unnecessary, and for me, just plain wrong. I am fine with other people doing it but I can’t even hold hands with someone romantically without getting the sweats. I’ve been kissed but I literally ran away right after the fact because I got so freaked out. Masturbation again seems foreign and plain wrong for me to even think about. It may seem like a really strong viewpoint however that’s just the way I feel about any ‘sexual’ activities. I’m fine with super close contact with people I know I’m platonic with but as soon as someone goes beyond that, I can’t take it. I don’t know if I need help or if other people feel this way too.

  75. This is really well written, thank you for writing it. I feel like I identify with a lot of the ‘signs’ of being asexual. However, I have a few questions – I have never had sex and am on medication that is meant to decrease my libido, but am still worried I may be asexual. I was wondering if people who are asexual worry or care about their sexuality – do you wish you could enjoy sex and or are you content? Do you wish you could change? What I am trying to say is, I really want to be able to enjoy sex and get aroused and I envy all my friends who do – does this mean I am not asexual because I dream of enjoying sex?

    • I honestly think the idea of wanting to enjoy sex doesn’t define anything. I think it’s normal to want to feel like anyone else. Being asexual is just saying you are not sexually attracted to anyone (depending on what branch of asexuality you are under). Before I found out I was asexual, I would try to force myself to picture having sex with someone. Now that I have fully accepted myself I don’t anymore then a stray thought, made from habit. Then again it really could just be your medicine and if it really bothers you maybe talk to a doctor about it. I hoped that helps.

  76. Thank you for telling me what a XONOX is, I was *this close* to googling it…
    Interesting set of articles, too. I cracked up at the hypothetical “would you sleep with hot person x” scenario… I remember an awkward moment at work once when people were asking “would you have sex with (I can’t even remember who anymore) for a million dollars?” And I had to stop and think and everyone was like “dude! A million dollars! Wtf is wrong with you?” And although I sensibly replied with a comment on prostitution and my self-respect, I did wonder “I don’t know… What IS wrong with me? I would love a million dollars … I mean, hell yes! But… No”. (Also, Fringe is a really excellent tv show :-p )

  77. After having struggled a lot in the past years, I am now wondering how is it possible that I never thought of it earlier. I mean, come on, it was always right there, but neither myself or anyone from my circles saw it. In the last year I’ve been complaining more and more about “not feeling attracted to anyone”, I even asked my friend for flirting lessons, I asked her to tell me when other people are flirting during social gatherings etc. Ridiculous. So after reading a series of blogs, posts, wikis and whatever I could find on asexuality, I found this one; have read it all going “yes, yes, so right, this is exactly it” etc, until the last bit, about the flirting, where I actually started crying. Not with sadness but relief. The “something’s wrong with me” now becomes ‘I got some reading to do’. Thank you!

  78. This is the best of the three posts. I am an asexual. Not because I read it on the post, it’s because I do understand what you mean. I am sure, anyone who is not an asexual would go: “You’re crazy. No person can feel and think that way” And yet, it is what it is, and I feel like that.

  79. I do use the term “hot” just as much as other people. But this article got me thinking, maybe other people use it with implication that they would like to “bone him/her”. Meanwhile I always use it along the line of “socially acknowledged/considered so beautiful that everybody can’t deny one’s beauty or one will still look good even when standing beside a celebrity”.

  80. I am so glad I found this blog. I have only known the existence of asexuality for a few months, and I have thought of it seriously only for weeks, and it is quite confusing. I found this site while searching for answers about masturbation (I was wondering if wanting to masturbate made me sexual), and I actually read a LOT of articles, and I see a LOT clearer. So, yeah, thanks. These posts about signs of asexuality really opened my eyes, actually the first thing to call to me was “You don’t think about sex”. At first I thought “No, that’s not true, I think about sex.” But then the thing about thinking about it every 7 seconds came up and I thought… And I found that I was maybe thinking about it like, once a week ? Less ? Much, much less if you don’t include what I think about while masturbating. Anyway, I’m so thankful because as you said, I was always told that this was supposed to be my goal and so awesome and the best thing in life and it took me two years of research and the discovery of masturbation to see just the point of having sex. And even after, it never came to me that I would like to have sex. Or mostly by curiosity. Like, oh, I would like to try that, I wonder how it feels. So, I was lost, I was thinking that it was something I had to work on. Like I had to do more efforts, or overcome whatever made me… Well, not feel like the others. So coming across asexuality, and reading such precise things about it, with so many personal stories, it is so comforting. I am not broken, or even a bit damaged, it’s just how it is. Thinking back, maybe I should have thought about it when realising repeatedly over the years that spaceships were the thing that make me the most breathless. I often think of people as beautiful, gorgeous and all, but it’s just “Woah, you’re so pretty, we should totally hug. And kiss. And maybe even make out. Maybe.” And it’s so reassuring about the times where I had not quite sex (only foreplay), too. I remember feeling a bit bored, a bit “Yeah that’s kind of nice but that’s not going anywhere. I can do the same way more quickly and in a cleaner way by masturbating.” “Why are you doing that ? Is it supposed to be nice or great ?” “How is that giving pleasure to you ?” “How does it work ?” “Oh, that’s interesting, I didn’t know a penis could do that.” “Are we done soon ? I want to sleep.” So thanks a lot, it’s great to see that there is nothing wrong with me.

  81. Oh my god does this post describe me. I am currently a freshman in college in my second ever relationship, and almost everything here described me. I never knew what exactly was going on with me when I came home after my 2nd date ever (and my first kiss) and just said, ‘it didn’t feel right. It felt weird. In a bad way.’

    I think I may be an asexual. This is really really eye-opening for me, honestly. I never thought there were others who thought like me out in the world.

    I just hope that when I eventually bring this up to my boyfriend he won’t freak out or say that I just don’t love him (in which case I’ll prolly dump him anyways bc what a douche, right?), and I hope when I bring this up to my mom and my sister they don’t say it’s just a phase and I’ll grow out of it.

    Thank you for this series. I hope there will be a part 4.

  82. So it’s 1:30 am and I’m going through this three part series…

    I heard about demisexual via tumblr. For a while I really looked at it. Then I started learning more and more about asexuality and I’m starting to think that it fits. I mean, I am worried that will change because of my age, so that’s something that bothers me…but I feel like asexual describes me pretty well.

    The two that really got me in this last one were the ones about not getting “hot” or “sexy” and the one about flirting.

    I was talking to a friend the other day and she was talking about hot hockey players and I was trying to explain how I didn’t get it (I didn’t mention anything about asexuality though) but she was like “they’re just hot” and I have no idea how someone would come to that conclusion. Like, I acknowledge that people are good looking, I can tell that, and I can acknowledge when people…aren’t good looking, but other than that, I don’t really go along with “Cute” or any of those adjectives either.

    And the flirting thing. I don’t get that. I was talking to that same friend about flirting. About how I didn’t get it. She’s just like “tell them they’re cute or that something they did was cute or funny that’s what flirting is.” I just…I’ll tell someone that I like their shoes or shirt or new haircut – guys and girls – on a daily basis. And there’s this one guy that I really don’t know about. I don’t “like like” him but I like him as a friend (there was a thing at an art camp this summer that I wasn’t at apparently my friends wormed information out of him blah blah blah) and I have to ask my self and make sure I’m not flirting. But the thing is, I don’t know if I am. I don’t know if I’m not.


  83. Yes, I’d say I’m pretty oblivious. If anyone has ever tried flirting with me, not that I think anybody would, I am unaware of it. And I certainly don’t know if I am or not.

    I don’t find conversations about sex all that interesting, personally, and I for one find sex scenes in books, movies, and TV shows to be more cringe-worthy than exciting. And of course I don’t initiate sex. I’ve never even been attracted enough to another human being to want to so much as date them, let alone start a relationship with someone and maybe get to the point where sex enters the equation as a display of out feelings for one another.

    Other than that, the only other things that ring true for me, “You feel like sex comes naturally to everyone else, but you have to work at it” and “If given the hypothetical chance of a no-strings, no-regrets, no-consequences sexual encounter, you’d have to think about it”, there’s really nothing else I have to say. What you said about those two points are just how I feel about the whole thing.

  84. I’m 17 and I still think that maybe I’m just a late bloomer but almost every description of asexuality seemed to describe how i feel. Especially the not interested in conversations about sex, or the sex scenes in books and movies, the not understanding the sex jokes, the lack of sexual dreams (I often dream about hugging people though) and why does one cannot live without sex. I do find people hot and sexy but I would never picture myself having sex with them, and it kinda grosses me out. Although it maybe because I’ve never tried it myself, like you said try it and maybe you’ll like it. However I’ve been thinking the other way: if I’m not interested in boys, it might mean that I’m gay, but my most (and only) sexual interaction was kissing a girl and I kept thinking about how weird it felt and wondering where were all the fireworks.

  85. I read this post a few months ago thinking I was a lesbian, and left this post with an “oh, every one of those points… that’s not a shared experience..huh, okay, well, I guess I’m Ace. That’s cool.”

    “I’d rather organize the books on the bookshelf by the authors date of birth.” Is the most accurate sentence I’ve read surrounding my sexuality ever.

  86. I’ve always identified as queer and I’ve always enjoyed the idea of sex. In theory, from reading books and watching films and things, it seems great and I am capable of getting turned on (though masturbation gives me no real pleasure), finding girls hot, etc. (Though I do mercilessly skip straight sex scenes wherever possible and I hate porn). But in reality I’m not so sure where I lie. With both my ex-girlfriends, kissing has been nice but certainly not how everyone else describes it, and I’m not sure I’d be interested in more. Or at least, I don’t think sex would be all bad… But I think I’d rather cuddle up with them in front of a film and talk about silly things. So I’m really not sure where I lie- whether this makes me grey-ace or just means I have a low sex drive or even just that I’m a little intimidated by the intimacy of sex since I’ve always struggled with intimacy, particularly physical.

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