What Does It Mean to Be Asexual?


Most people believe that there are only three types of sexual orientation: heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, and not everyone knows that there’s also a fourth one – asexuality. Yes, there are people out there who aren’t interested in sex at all. No, they’re not sick, they’re not addicts, and they don’t suffer from some kind of disorder or disease. They’re just asexual. Want to know what it’s like to be in their shoes?

what is asexual

What is an asexual person?

So, what does it mean to be asexual? Let’s start with some basic information first. Asexuality is the complete absence of sexual desire. Sometimes, people misinterpret the term, believing that asexuals are simply afraid of relationships or intimacy. But it’s not like that. Asexuals don’t feel sexual attraction to anyone and, as a rule, have no interest in sex life whatsoever.

Also, it would be wrong to assume that if asexuals don’t have sexual desire, they can’t experience at least some romantic feelings. Asexuals don’t reject love; they can feel attraction, but it has nothing to do with sex. They believe in platonic relationships, high feelings, and deep affection that arise between a man and a woman.

Although asexuals aren’t sexually attracted to other people, some of them still enter into intimate relationships to please their loved ones or to conceive.

In modern society, where sex plays a huge role, and people believe that without intimate relationships, life is dreary and joyless, asexual people often feel pretty uncomfortable. In addition, it is much more difficult for an asexual to find a pairing because not everyone understands why a person doesn’t want sex at all.

To better understand who asexuals are, we should turn to the psychological aspects and characteristics of their personality. Science defines the concept of asexuality as the complete absence of or extremely weak sexual desire. Men and women who show these traits have distinctive features in comparison with other people who have a non-standard attitude towards their sexual desires.

What characterizes asexuals

The complete absence or lowered need for sexual intercourse which isn’t related to moral rejection and is independent of the person.

Asexuality doesn’t mean physical inability to commit sexual intercourse. What does asexual mean? To fully understand this, one shouldn’t assume that an asexual person’s condition is a sexual disorder: as a rule, it doesn’t give the person either physical or psychological discomfort.

Asexuality has nothing to do with impotence (in men) or frigidity (in women). These people just have their own unique view on sex.

Possible asexuality causes

Psychotrauma (unsuccessful parental example, the dominant role of the mother in the family, or suppression of a child’s feelings by parents. Terrifying stories about sex as something indecent, dangerous, and even unpleasant, as the source of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Unsuccessful sexual experiences; physical and psychological abuse).

asexual relationshipsObsessive thoughts can also lead to the decline or lack of libido (for example, before having sex, an asexual begins to feel disgust for a partner, fear of some kind of infection, fear of pregnancy, etc.).

Features of the human sexual constitution, hormonal disorders, and other organic dysfunctions. So, if you’re wondering how to become asexual, we have some bad news for you.

Myths about asexuality

Here are some of the most common myths about asexuals and their lifestyle.

Asexuality is some kind of a disorder. It’s very common for asexuals to experience no sexual attraction to others in general or have an extremely low level of attraction – and a potential partner’s gender and sex don’t matter. In a culture that treats lack of sex as a disturbing symptom, asexuality is often referred to as being an incurable disease.

Asexuals aren’t interested in interacting with other people. Asexuality doesn’t imply an alienated lifestyle. Like any other man, an asexual person can be an extrovert or introvert and form a social circle depending on the type of their personality. You won’t find any difference between asexual people and so-called prosexuals in the social sphere.

Asexuals hate the sight of a human body. Treating a person’s body as an object of desire and emphasizing their sexual attractiveness are foreign sensations to asexuals. But this doesn’t mean that the appearance of a person is a taboo topic or causes unpleasant emotions.

Asexual people are unhappy. Lack of sex depresses them. Asexuality isn’t the result of the suppression of one’s own needs. There’s an opinion that long-term conscious abstinence can adversely affect health, but there are no reliable research results to prove that, as well as info on the impact of being asexual on the quality of life.

Asexuality and celibacy are the same things. These two terms have one crucial difference that makes comparing them pointless. Celibate people have a sexual desire but are forced to suppress it and refrain from intimate relationships for religious or other reasons. Asexuals simply don’t feel attracted to other people.

So, is it wrong to be asexual? No, but asexuality comes with certain difficulties one has to deal with, and most of them come from society.

Asexual dating

Asexual people are fully capable of falling in love, and their relationship can look quite convincing. But creating a semblance of normal relations takes a lot of time and is very difficult to do. In the movies, you can often follow the relationship of two attractive people. They show them because, in Hollywood, they know that your brain can figure out what a relationship may lead to. But for asexual viewers, films with love stories seem meaningless and boring.

Asexuality greatly complicates the relationship

Dating an asexual may be tough, but still, these people are not robots. They understand that for most of us, sex is a necessary part of a healthy relationship. Some of them are opting for open relationships that allow partners to express their sexuality without them. Others are looking for less radical ways. However, people build strong relationships regardless of difficulties. It may seem to some that building an open relationship, in this case, may be the best option. However, reluctance to have sex doesn’t mean that you’re unable to feel jealous. And there’s also the fear that your loved one may decide that they want to stay with someone who “understands” sex.

You can be asexual, but you can enjoy sex

Do asexual people have sex? Sure thing they do. Their intimate organs function the same way as ordinary people’s ones. And like others, they’re fully capable of experiencing an orgasm. But some asexuals find sticky, wet, and awkward sexual intercourse repulsive.

Asexual people, like all of us, are curious about what they need their genitals for. And many of them, if not the majority, start experimenting at some point. Some even enjoy the process, and it’s not always associated with attraction to a human body. In fact, for some asexuals, thoughts about people make it difficult to keep an erection.

How to know if you’re asexual

How to tell if someone is asexual? First of all, this condition is totally different from sexual abstinence, celibacy, low libido (which can be caused by health problems), a consequence of hormonal imbalance, or fear of sexual relations. Moreover, asexuals can date ordinary folks, experience emotional affection (platonic love), and have kids. Even sexual arousal and orgasm don’t contradict the concept of asexuality, and some asexuals have sex if they have a romantic partner who wants it.

By the way, there are different types of asexuality: romantic – asexual relationships which are often associated with sympathy and affection, and unromantic – deep emotional and psychological affection without sex. Romantic attraction devoid of sexual desire can be heteromorphic – that is, to a person of the opposite sex, or, accordingly, homomorphic.

Members of AVEN, the world's largest web community for asexuals, say that in a world, where everything revolves around sex, many people with no sexual desires may feel marginal because of asexuality being considered a sexual disorder, which can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and tendency to depression.

dating an asexualAlthough scientists studying the physiology of asexuality suggest that in this state, the ability to genital arousal doesn’t disappear, but there may be difficulties with the so-called subjective arousal – on the spiritual and emotional levels.

Signs of asexuality

What is asexual? These are the main “symptoms” that suggest that you may be indifferent towards traditional relationships:

  • Possible attraction to the opposite sex despite the absence of a strong sexual desire;
  • Sexual attraction can occur rarely while maintaining normal household relationships with a partner;
  • The desire to have sex can only occur when you have a close emotional and positive relationship with a person;
  • Asexuals, as a rule, have warm feelings for their partner but don’t see the need for constant sexual relationships.

Famous asexual people

Asexuality is quite a popular phenomenon nowadays, but this doesn’t mean it didn’t exist before. Here are five famous asexuals from the past.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol's personal life has always been a huge mystery. Many have said that Andy was homosexual. Many of his works that have something “non-traditional” in them hint at this. However, Warhol himself always said that he was a virgin.

Nikola Tesla

What is an asexual person? It’s a man who completely understands what he’s deprived of. Nikola Tesla deliberately refused sexual relations to sacrifice himself to Science. He believed that sex would distract him from his work. However, he wasn’t completely asexual, as many believe.

John Edgar Hoover

The head of the FBI Edgar Hoover has never been married. He lived all his life with his mother. Many are convinced that Hoover was either a secret homosexual or never had sex. But this wasn’t an obstacle on his way to power and influence.

George Bernard Shaw

A world-famous playwright George Bernard Shaw has always been interested in people’s intellectual capabilities rather than sexual attractiveness. His marriage was never consummated (his wife had something to do with it), but, more importantly, he lost his virginity at the age of 29. He was actually good at separating his talent and vocation from more basic things that might interrupt his thought process.

Adolf Hitler

And the final spot on this short list goes to Adolf Hitler. This dictator’s intimate life will always remain a subject surrounded by mystery and fascination. According to some rumors, Hitler died a virgin because he wasn’t interested in sexual relationships at all.

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