What Is Asexuality?
Updated December 20, 2018
Reviewer Juan Angel
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 asexuality, its defining characteristics, and some of the misconceptions that make asexuality confusing to others.
An asexual 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 automatically begin thinking about having sex. 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.
- 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 have sex 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Graysexuality 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.
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.
Apothisexuals are unique in the asexual spectrum because they have an active aversion to both romantic and sexual attraction and acts.
Someone who is placiosexual does not enjoy sexual acts or romantic 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.
- 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.
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 sexuality that consists of people who typically don't feel any sexual attraction to another person. That is all there is to it.
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