All About Asexuality
Asexuality is one of the most misunderstood members of the LGBTQIA family. Oft forgotten entirely or met with confusion as queers and heteros alike grapple with the concept of not wanting to fuck.
Not wanting to put words in the mouths of others, we sat down with a rad asexual pal to get the lowdown on things she wishes other people understood.
Asexuality is not abstinence
There is a strange idea that asexuals people are just people who have chosen not to have sex. Being asexual isn’t like going on a diet, where you go without things you want or enjoy for a period of time. Being asexual is more like not being interested in chocolate – it’s just not the food for you, even though everyone else seems to love it. An easy way to think about it is abstinence is a choice and asexuality is not.
Some people who are asexual still have sex
Asexual people can still have sex, they don’t burst into flames if it happens. Like all things that fall under the LGBTQIA umbrella, asexuality is a spectrum. There are aces who experience sexual attraction sometimes under certain circumstances, and aces who experience no sexual attraction at all, under any circumstances. There are aces who enjoy physical touch (like wanting to hold or cuddle someone), and aces who enjoy having sex even though they don’t experience sexual attraction.
It’s not because of trauma
This is a super dangerous and all-round weird way of thinking that has somehow stuck around. No, asexual people aren’t asexual because of some past trauma. It’s a real and valid sexuality. This strange assumption is terrible because it assumes that asexuality is a problem, or that they are deeply flawed as people for not experiencing sexual attraction. There is no evidence to suggest that asexual people are any more likely to have been abused than other people, it’s simply a dangerous rumour.
Asexuality and aromanticism are different, thank you very much
As the names suggest, asexuality refers to sexual attraction and aromanticism refers to romantic attraction. You can be one or the other, or both. You can be deeply in love with your partner and still feel no sexual attraction – and many asexual people desire romantic relationships and marriage and all the bells and whistle that go along with it.
People who are ace don’t “become” straight or gay depending on who they’re dating
An asexual woman who is dating a man isn’t straight, just like a bisexual woman who is dating a man isn’t straight. If you’re ace, it doesn’t matter who you’re dating – you’re still ace. Asexual people can be romantically attracted to people of the same gender, or of other genders, or many genders, and they’re all valid – and all still asexual.
Asexuality counts as queer
It counts. It’s the whole A in LGBTQIA. Our friend described forgetting that she is a part of the queer community and feeling ‘Queer Imposter Syndrome’ (QIS). She’s not alone, as QIS plagues many a queer with a complex identity – never quite feeling ‘queer enough’ to fit in, but also not quite fitting in with the straights either.
Well, from one friendly queer to another, you’re welcome here, this place is for you. We’ve been waiting for you.