I Think I Am Asexual, but What Does Asexual Really Mean?

couple thinking in the bed

Do you have a group of friends who swoon whenever Ryan Reynolds or Eva Longoria comes on the screen? Maybe they’ll even have a pact with their partner that if the stars should align and they have a chance to sleep with said favorite actor, they’d get a “pass.” However, when your friends ask you what celebrity gets your juices flowing, you don’t really have an answer.

Now, some people may call you a prude. Some people may even think you’re just being bashful because you’re ashamed to be attracted to someone like Bjork or Shia LeBeouf.
But, maybe neither of those are the case. Maybe you’re just an asexual person.

What Does It Mean to Be Asexual?

When someone tells their loved ones, “I’m asexual,” their loved ones may not know how to react because they don’t know what it means to be asexual. According to the

Asexual Visibility and Education Network, someone who identifies as asexual doesn’t experience sexual attraction to either gender.

Think of it this way: your best friend has a long list of celebrities that they will fantasize about but as an asexual person, there isn’t anyone you fantasize about.

With that said, simply because someone identifies as asexual, this does not mean they:

● Practice celibacy
● Are Androgenous (does not identify as either male or female)
● Experience sexual aversion or repression
● Have some form of sexual dysfunction
● Lack of libido due to age or negative experience
● Are afraid of intimacy
● Are unable to find a partner
● Are unable to fall in love

One of the reasons there is such a lack of understanding with this particular rare sexual orientation (at least 1% of the population identifies as being asexual) is because asexuality can’t be defined as being one thing.

Asexuality is like other sexual orientations: it’s a spectrum and every person experiences different things. For example, you could be an asexual woman but still have sex because you’re curious about it or you enjoy the pleasure, but there are some asexual people who are totally turned off by the idea of sex. Of course, you could identify as asexual but partake in masturbation from time to time “without connecting it with anything sexual” as one woman replied when she shared her perspective in an article in Psychology Today.

What Causes Someone to Have an Asexual Orientation?

Many believe that if someone is asexual, it’s because that person has experienced some kind of trauma in their lives that would cause them to have an aversion for sex, but that isn’t the case. Academic studies have indicated that, like other sexual orientations, asexuality doesn’t mean they are biologically or psychologically different than nonasexuals.

With that said, it’s important to note that scientists can’t agree 100% whether or not there are similar biological factors that are associated with homosexuality are present in asexuals. According to a 2014 study, there may be “complex biological pathways” that lead to asexuality and it is not a side effect of any particular type of medication.

Can Asexual People Fall in Love?

A popular misconception is that asexual individuals don’t date, they’re afraid of being in a relationship, or they have no desire for intimacy. While there may be some asexuals who experience on or all of these things, it doesn’t mean all asexuals have these feelings.

The reality of someone who identifies as having an asexual orientation is that they can be attracted to people for a myriad of reasons – not just because their loins tingle when someone comes near. Asexuals can date, fall in love, and even have (and enjoy) sex.

Kristen Lilla, L.C.S.W, a certified sexuality educator and sex therapist based in Nebraska clarifies in an article posted on Women’s Health Magazine by saying:

“Someone who identifies as asexual might not experience sexual attraction, but they might still want to be intimate with a partner as a physical release or to be close and intimate with someone physically. […] Depending on the person, they might not want to be physical but may choose to pleasure their partner even though they don’t want to be pleasured.”

How Do You Know If You Are Asexual?

So, how does someone know if they are asexual or not? Well, the simplest way to figure this out is by asking yourself if you experience sexual attraction. If you answer no, then you might assume that you’re asexual.

Unfortunately, sexual attraction isn’t a black or white thing. It can vary widely from person to person and because sexual attraction is so broad, it can be difficult to say for certain if you’ve never felt it if you don’t know how “it” is supposed to feel.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether or not you’re asexual:

● Do you have a general disinterest in sex?
● If you are interested in sex, is it an emotional feeling, or for science (curiosity)?
● Do you feel lost or confused when others talk about sex?
● If you’ve had sex in the past, was it enjoyable or were you bored?
● Have you ever feigned interest in someone just to fit in with your peers?
● Do you feel like there’s something wrong because you don’t have sexual feelings?
● Have you ever dated or slept with someone because it was the “normal” thing to do?
● Have you identified as other sexual orientations without actually feeling interest?
Eg: you were straight by default or you were bisexual or pansexual because you weren’t interested in any gender?

Final Thoughts on Asexuality

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that has no clear answers. We do know that it is not a result of some kind of chemical imbalance in the brain, it isn’t a result of sexual trauma, nor is it something that can be learned. Just like other sexual orientations, asexual people can date, fall in love, have sex, and even have orgasms from it.

Asexuality isn’t some crazy phenomenon – it is a real thing and it is okay to identify as such. All that matters is that you’re happy and living your truth. Who cares what anyone else thinks?

Find likeminded singles interested in asexual dating here.