We’re all socialized to think that being sexually and romantically interested in other people is something that all of us are bound to experience and desire, but we’re hardly ever thought that having little or no sexual desire for others is a possible and valid option. Because of this, there are a lot of misconceptions about asexuality and asexual people, and it’s time we put those myths to rest.
Being asexual is a personal choice.
Unlike abstinence or celibacy, asexuality is not a lifestyle choice. Asexuals haven’t sworn off sex for religious, cultural, or personal reasons. They aren’t waiting for someone worthy enough for them to share sexual experiences with. They don’t have normal sex drives but are voluntarily choosing not to engage in sex. Asexuals are born that way, in the same way people are born heterosexual or homosexual. They simply don’t have that desire for sex.
Asexual people are abnormal or broken.
Asexuality is not a disease or cause for worry or an issue that needs to be fixed. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asexual people mentally, emotionally, or physically that has caused them to not desire sex the way other people do. Asexuality isn’t a syndrome and asexuals don’t have some kind of hormone deficiency or psychological issue that can be treated. They’re completely normal.
Asexuals are gay people in hiding.
While I was in one of my asexual phases, I told this guy I was seeing that I couldn’t have sex or engage in hanky-panky because I had no sexual desire at the time. His response was to accuse me of lying and leading him on instead of just telling him I was a lesbian. It made me really angry that he’d assume I was a gay person in denial simply because I wasn’t into the idea of having sex. What he didn’t know is that on days when I’m into the whole sex thing, I’m openly pansexual.
Being asexual means having no sexuality.
Asexuality is not the same as having zero sexual feelings or sexuality. Asexuals have the same hormones as everyone else. They can masturbate and derive pleasure from it or even be physically intimate with other people for various reasons without being totally repulsed or traumatized. Some asexual people like me experience it in phases. Sometimes I’m disgusted by the idea of engaging in any intimate physical activity, even kissing. Other times, I have strong sexual urges that I act on.
Asexual people never have or enjoy sex.
Some asexual people can develop sexual feelings only when they form a deep emotional connection with someone. Some choose to have sex often with their partners just for the sake of it. The point is that asexuals are capable of having and even getting some satisfaction from sex without feeling sexual attraction. Some of us don’t necessarily hate sex, we can just happily do without it.
Asexuality can be “cured” by finding the right person.
Imagine telling a straight man that the reason he’s attracted to women is because he hasn’t found the right guy yet. Sounds ridiculous and insulting, right? Assuming that asexuality is a “condition” that can be changed is exactly the same thing. Asexuals aren’t playing hard to get. Our sexuality is not a challenge to be won. When we tell you who we are, believe us instead of trying to invalidate our identity.
Asexuals are just people who can’t get laid.
People tend to confuse being involuntarily celibate with being asexual and that’s just wrong. Asexuals aren’t the way they are because they can’t find people willing to have sex with them, they just have no interest in getting laid. They can be very attractive people who get their fare share of attention and wooing from others. The only difference is that they don’t have the drive to pursue sexual relationships.
Asexual people are incapable of having romantic relationships.
Yes, there are some asexual people who are romantic, meaning they have no interested in romantic relationships with anyone. There are also many asexuals who crave romantic relationships with other people based on whether they’re homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, or panromantic. Asexuals don’t only date other asexuals. They can be in fulfilling relationships with sexual people as long as there’s understanding and communication.
Asexuals have a history of trauma or sexual abuse.
This myth is not only offensive to asexuals, it’s wildly insensitive to people who have experienced abuse or trauma that has complicated their relationship with sex. There are plenty of asexual people who have no history of abuse, just like there are plenty of sexual people who have experienced abuse and don’t identify as asexual. Asexuality is a natural and normal sexual orientation.
There’s only one way to be asexual.
It’s like people have this specific image of what an asexual person should look or be like. We’re stereotyped as awkward, anti-social folks who dress like a sack of patotoes are not appealing enough to find someone who would want to have sex with us. But asexuality isn’t set in stone, it’s a spectrum. There’s no right or wrong way to be asexual. Asexuals come from different backgrounds and have varying interests, experiences, and appearances.
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