Sex & Sex Education  Relationships 

What is Asexuality?

Chetana Chaudhury Sep 03

What is Asexuality?

Are you romantically attracted to someone but do not feel the urge to act on those feelings? Then you might be one of the 1% of human population who identifies themselves as asexual.

Just like homosexuality, and bisexuality, asexuality is a sexual orientation, though one of the most miscontrued.

We thought that while we are talking about topics which are closer to us, this will be a good place to discuss what is asexuality and most importantly what it is not. Since in the mainstream world, where romantic relationships, flings, and sexual intimacy are so predominant, asexuality has mostly been misconstrued or misunderstood. So here we are to explain and initiate discussions and exploration.

Let us start, with a quick 7 Things Asexual People Want You To Know


Hang on to the journey and let us start with what asexuality is NOT:

via GIPHY

According to LGBTQ Life at Williams, it is not a mental disorder such as SAD (sexual aversion disorder) or HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder).
An asexual person may feel anxious due to societal pressures and reactions, but not due to the idea of sexual contact.
Most importantly Asexuality is also not caused by chemical and/or hormonal imbalance.
It is not celibacy! Celibacy is the decision to refrain from sexual contact, whereas asexuality is an orientation and there are asexuals who engage in a range of sexual contact with themselves and others.
They are not Allosexual, which is the opposite of Asexual.
You can read more about Allosexuality here.

You might be confused and it is ok to be. There are ample resources to get more understanding and it is good to know that the asexual-romantic spectrum isn't as specific — it consists of four parts — asexual (a person who does not experience sexual attraction), "gray" asexual (a person who falls somewhere in the middle between asexual and sexual), demisexual (a person who only experiences sexual attraction to people whom they connect with emotionally), and sexual (a person who experiences sexual attraction).

The Asexual Spectrum by Huffington Post (Infographic)

Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post

So what is asexuality?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation

Just like homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality.

You will be interested to know that in the initialism LGBTQIAP+, the A stands for asexual spectrum or a-spec.

Few things to know

  • Some asexual people may identify as demisexual and aromantic, or another combination of the two sides of the spectrum.
  • Asexuals are not afraid of intimacy. Many asexuals want and are in relationships, with not only other asexuals but sexual people as well.
  • Asexual people are sometimes known as ace or aces for short.
  • Asexuality exists on a spectrum, with much diversity in people’s experiences and desires for relationships, attraction, and arousal.
  • While most asexual people have little interest in having sex, they may experience romantic attraction. Others may not. You will be interested to know that there are asexuals who masturbate and enjoy sexual intimacy with others, while not being sexually attracted to anyone.
  • Some people misinterpret aesthetic appreciation, romantic attraction, or sexual arousal as being a sexual attraction, only to realize later that they are asexual.
  • Asexual people have the same emotional needs as everyone else. Most will desire and form emotionally intimate relationships with other people. Asexual people may be attracted to the same sex or other sexes. Therefore they can be as fluid as anyone else. Everyone is different, and how individuals fulfil those needs varies widely.


We will see 3 broad categories in asexuality:

  1. Some aces may want romantic relationships. They can feel romantically attracted to other people, which may include the same sex or other sexes.
  2. Other aces prefer close friendships to intimate relationships. Some will experience arousal, and some will masturbate while having no interest in having sex with another person.
  3. Some asexual people do not want to have sexual contact, while others may feel “sex-neutral.” Other asexual people will engage in sexual contact to gain an emotional connection.

Are you an asexual person?

If you are curious to know whether you are an asexual person do try the Are You Asexual Quiz.

PS: Don't forget to leave your result in the comments below.


Photo by Tsunami Green on Unsplash

Share:


Explore sexual wellbeing

Join our email list to receive our top stories and the best podcasts in sexual wellbeing from around the world.