As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community I try to be as open minded as I can possibly be and I love meeting different people who identify as different things. So imagine my glee when I met someone who openly identifies as asexual(or if you want to sound cool, ace for short). I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting such an individual so I took the opportunity to ask a few questions (respectfully, of course). Luckily, she was an absolute sweetheart about it (huge thanks to Jeanine) and I got some cool and interesting information. Here’s what I learned:
- From my own prior knowledge, I already knew that asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction but what I didn’t know was that the definition is actually very broad and it doesn’t always apply to all aces. There are aces who masturbate, which I had assumed would completely out of the question, but the act of having sex with someone else is completely unappealing to them.
- Asexuals can be romantically attracted to other people and many of them have long term relationships. There are different orientation descriptions and categories within the community. For example, a biromantic asexual is someone who is romantically interested in both men and women but is still not sexually attracted to anyone.
- These are people. Asexuality is a valid orientation and just like being gay or lesbian it’s important to keep in mind that being asexual didn’t happen to them. There is no chemical or hormonal imbalance and there wasn’t any kind of sexual abuse. Asexuality is just as valid as everything else.
- Referring to asexuals as plants or plant people is an easy way to get pimp slapped…
- Some of the psychological community doesn’t recognize asexuality but it is NOT celibacy, which is the choice to reframe from sexual contact, nor is it SAD (sexual aversion disorder) or HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Many asexuals experience anxiety due to society and its reactions or pressures but not due to the act of sex itself as these disorders would suggest. Asexual individuals are simply not interested.
Finally, I learned that they are wonderful people who are fully capable of living fulfilling lives without sex. If you would like to know more you can visit asexuality.org, AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network), or you know, you could always just use Google. Be sure to ignore the stuff about asexual reproduction though.