What Is Asexuality?

By Michael Arangua|Updated June 28, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Juan Angel, LMFT

As society continues to expand and open up to new sexual orientations and genders, there is a need for us to educate others to make them aware that we all experience sex and attraction in different ways. Today, we are going to talk about the sexual orientation asexuality, its defining characteristics, and some of the misconceptions that make asexuality confusing to others.

An asexual, which is sometimes called an ace, is any person who does not experience sexual attraction to people of any gender. Keep this in mind as this is very important when it comes to the definition of asexuality. Asexual people simply do not experience sexual attraction to either gender. This does not mean that they are not able to date, fall in love, or engage in sexual behavior, however. It only means that they do not experience sexual attraction as people of other sexual orientations do. This is not to be confused with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, where you will experience little interest in sex or have a low libido, which will be upsetting to you. An asexual person will not feel upset when they abstain from sex or don’t have sexual contact with another person.

The Defining Characteristics Of Asexuality

If you're looking to define asexuality further, here are a few characteristics that can be seen in asexual people:

  1. Asexual People Experience No Sexual Attraction (Or Very Little In Some Cases)

A lack of sexual attraction is the major defining characteristic of a person who is asexual. There will be some cases where someone may experience some sexual attraction, but we will talk about those cases later on when we define different aspects of asexuality.

  1. Asexual People Do Not Think About Sex In The Same Way That People Of Other Sexual Orientations Do

When people who are sexual hear the word sex, their brain lights up, and they may automatically begin thinking about having sex or experience arousal. When asexual people hear the word sex, they process it differently. Instead of getting excited about it, they will often approach it from a more scientific or biological angle. Their fascination will be geared towards the mechanics behind sex, not the actual act of having it with someone else.

  1. Asexual People May Not Experience Sexual Attraction But They Will Have A Sex Drive

Sexual attraction and anatomy are two different things. While someone who is asexual may not have any desire to engage in sexual activity with someone else, their male or female anatomy will still function properly, and they can still enjoy masturbating and even having sex with other people even though they have no desire to have sex with anyone else.

  1. Asexuality Stems From A Lack Of Attraction, Not A Problem With Health

It can be logical to conclude that someone is asexual because they are having issues with hormones or with some other aspect of their health. However, there is no scientific proof out there that backs up this claim. It is more than likely that, similar to a person who identifies as straight or as gay, they have no attraction whatsoever. As we stated above, asexual people often have a sex drive, but they don't feel that their drive is geared to any gender.

  1. Asexual People Can Still Desire Romantic Relationships And Feel Attracted Towards Others

Just like anyone else, most asexuals still want to form a connection with other people. Asexuals may not experience sexual attraction, but they can feel romantic attraction towards others and want to be with them. Once these relationships form, sex may or may not occur. Also, asexual people can identify as gay, straight, or bisexual depending on the direction of their romantic attractions. If you don’t experience romantic attraction to someone else, you may be aromantic. Aromantic people do not feel romantically attracted to others, in many cases. An individual may be both asexual and aromantic.

Different Categories Of Asexuality

There are varying degrees of sexuality within the asexual spectrum, and nothing is as cut-and-dried as the characteristics above make asexuality seem. Here are a few of the most notable sexualities within the asexual spectrum. You can consider asexuality an umbrella term that encompasses all of these characteristics.

  1. Graysexuality

Graysexuality, commonly referred to as grey a, is a form of asexuality in which a person only feels sexual attraction under specific circumstances. However, they consider themselves asexual because these feelings of sexual attraction happen very little.

  1. Demisexuality

Demisexuals are known to experience sexual attraction for others, but it only happens when they have formed a strong connection with the person that they now have sexual feelings towards. In other words, demisexual people may only experience sexual attraction when they have an emotional connection to another person, whether this be an individual of the same gender or not.

  1. Apothisexuality

Apothisexuals are unique in the asexual spectrum because they have an active aversion to both romantic and sexual attraction and acts. They may prefer nonromantic relationships.

  1. Sociosexuality

Someone who is placiosexual does not enjoy sexual activity or romantic acts being done to them but does like performing sexual or romantic acts on other people. However, there often has to be a connection before someone who is placiosexual can engage in romantic or sexual acts.

  1. Homoflexible Or Heteroflexible

Someone who is asexual and who is heteroflexible or homoflexible would describe themselves as feeling a certain attraction to one main gender but who is also capable of sometimes being attracted towards members of another gender. In other words, the right person for them may come from any gender.

Common Misconceptions About Asexuality

Some of the common misconceptions about asexuality include people assuming that asexuality doesn't exist, that people who are asexual do not desire any relationships, and that asexuals are simply in denial about their sexuality. Most of the myths and misconceptions surrounding asexuality are plain hurtful to those who are asexual. Asexuality is very real sexual orientation that consists of people who typically don't experience sexual attraction to another person. That is all there is to it.

Are you struggling to figure out your own sexual identity? Are you looking for a safe place to express your thoughts and feelings and receive valuable feedback? If you are wondering if you are a grey a, curious about your romantic orientation, or you have never experienced sexual attraction and what to talk about it, therapy can help you. Feel free to visit https://www.betterhelp.com/start/.

BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that is dedicated to providing affordable and convenient online counseling for those who need it. Do you think you can benefit from this? If you think that you can, click on the link above and you will be brought to a page that will help you connect with the right online counselor for you!

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