orientation and gender preferences have been in the media’s spotlight, but
there’s one sexual preference that doesn’t get much attention: asexuality. More
young adults are coming out and identifying with this sexual orientation, but
many still don’t understand what it means to be asexual.
What is Asexuality?
is a sexual orientation, but it differs from being gay,
straight or bisexual. With other sexual orientations, people are attracted to
and interested in different genders or groups of people. When someone is
asexual, or “ace,” they aren’t sexually interested (which differs from romantic
interest) in anyone. Simply put, they don’t experience feelings of sexual
still be asexual if they:
someone good looking
fallen in love
curious about sex
all ethnicities, religions, genders, body types, ages and backgrounds can be
important to note that asexuality is not an abstinence pledge, nor is it
of sex or relationships
important to note being aroused doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not
asexual. Arousal is biology. It’s just your body doing what it’s supposed to do
when it’s stimulated. Give a man Viagra, and he’ll get an erection regardless of whether he’s in the “mood.”
Those who are asexual may still get an erection, but they may not feel any
“urges” or sexual attraction.
who identify as asexual still experience romantic attraction. An AVEN community
survey from 2014 found that only 20% of asexual
individuals also identified as a romantic, meaning that they did not experience
romantic attraction at all.
What are the Signs of Asexuality?
are asexual and don’t realize it. There are many signs or experiences that
people of this sexual orientation share. The following list is not meant to “diagnose” asexuality, but rather, help people determine
whether they may identify with this sexual orientation.
disinterest in sex
confused or left out when other people talk about sex
in sex is more scientific or out of curiosity rather than emotional
consensual sex because you felt that’s “what you’re supposed to do”
don’t experience sexual feelings like others do
found sex to be dull or boring
pretended to be interested in someone just to fit in
just some of the experiences that asexual people have had. Yours may be
different. Generally speaking, asexuality is about a lack of sexual attraction.
Some people still experience the need for a sexual release, but many do not.
Many people who are asexual can go months or years without sex and think
nothing of it.
Asexuality is not a sign that something is
wrong. It is simply a part of who the person is. If you feel that you may
identify with asexuality, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There
are many other people out there just like you, even if you haven’t met them
yet. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 out of every 100 people is asexual, which equates to more than 1.6
million people in the U.S. alone.