Asexuality is more about not having a desire to have sex, rather than making a conscious choice not to have sex.
What is asexuality?
Asexuality is pretty rare – only one per cent of people are asexual.
By definition, ‘asexuality (or non-sexuality) is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone or low or absent interest in sexual activity.’
Whether or not asexuality is a sexual orientation is still being debated in the scientific community.
However, one thing is clear: asexual people can’t change. They won’t start feeling sexual desire once they ‘meet the right person’. People who are asexual are born that way, and there is no way to ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ them. Asexuality is not a choice.
There is no cause for asexuality. People are just born asexual. It’s neither a mental nor a physical illness. It’s also untrue that asexual people have been sexually or otherwise abused, or that they are closet homosexual people.
Most people who are asexual are perfectly happy the way they are. Being asexual doesn’t change anything about a person’s behaviour, other than their sexual behaviour. And there’s no way of telling whether or not someone is asexual by looking at them.
Some asexual individuals feel attracted to others and want to be in relationships; just without it getting sexual. Others don’t feel attraction or don’t want any type of relationship.
Asexuality is only the lack of sexual desire. That doesn’t mean they don’t fall in love. Two asexual people can definitely fall in love – or crave for emotional, rather than physical, intimacy.
In fact, there are many asexual couples that live completely regular lives in terms of relationships – just like heterosexual or homosexual couples. They just prefer not to have sex and may treat their relationship as ‘love without sex’.
Some asexual people get aroused regularly, without the arousal being directly related to wanting sex with somebody else. Others masturbate occasionally, while some feel no arousal at all.
Nevertheless, some asexual people do have occasional sex. The reasons for this are varied, but it could be for example that they want to have a child. While others are sex-repulsed – that sex can make them very, very uncomfortable, and even the thought of sex can make them feel sick.
Asexual people, like others, have fully functional genitalia. They are capable of achieving orgasm and being intimate. Being asexual is only the lack of sexual attraction and has nothing to do with their sexual ability.
Asexuality vs celibacy
If someone decides not to have sex for personal reasons, or due to religious and cultural beliefs, they are celibate.
Being celibate is different from being asexual because it’s a choice. People who are celibate do feel sexual desire and sexual attraction towards others, but decide not to act on them.
Not all asexuals are actually celibate. Some people who are asexual do have sex. Many asexuals have partners and relationships, and some have sex with their partners – they might do it just to please their partner, or because they want to have a child.
Asexuality is an umbrella term that describes the basics. Under this umbrella term, there are different categories that some people identify with.
For example, some people consider themselves as ‘gray-asexual’, which means that they occasionally experience sexual attraction. There are also ‘demisexuals’, who only feel sexually attracted to people with whom they have a close emotional bond.
Dating someone who’s asexual
There are many types of relationships, and asexual people can absolutely be in relationships. There are romantic non-sexual relationships, which include cuddling and kissing but not intercourse. On the other hand, there are aromantic non-sexual relationships. While these relationships are built on commitments, they don’t have any romantic or intimate component.
Whatever the case, the most important thing in all relationships is communication. You should talk to your partner about personal boundaries and make sure you are both very open and honest. Try to get to know each other and figure out what you both want and need out of a relationship – only in this way can you find out if you are compatible.
For more information on asexuality, visit the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.