As someone who identifies as asexual, there are a lot of questions I get about asexuality. Most people know what you mean by gay, lesbian, or straight, but when it comes to asexuality, most people don’t know what it means. They ask questions, and while most of those questions are well-intentioned, there are a few that I see or hear way too often.
Are You Scared of Sex?
This question usually comes from people who mean well, but they don’t really understand the definition of asexuality. Asexuality is not a fear of sex. It just means that I’ve never experienced any sexual attraction. Most of the time, when I hear this question, I take the chance to explain what I mean by asexual and that I’m actually not scared of sex. I just don’t experience sexual attraction.
Do You Just Really Like Being Single?
Sometimes, people think of asexuality as another term for “trying to act like I enjoy being single.” They might see this as a sign of loneliness, as if you’ll suddenly change your mind once you meet the right person. However, that’s not always the case. Some people are aromantic asexuals (also called aro ace), meaning they have no romantic or sexual attraction. These people usually stay single for a long time (and possibly choose to stay single forever). Personally, I’m not aromantic, just asexual. So while I’m single right now, I’m not opposed to the idea of dating someone in the future.
Aren’t You a Little Young to Know Your Sexuality?
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve received this question a lot. Most of the time, I explain that I’m an adult, and I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be asexual. I examined my lack of sexual attraction over the course of my entire life. In short, this wasn’t a spur-of-the-minute conclusion. And if I find a term that accurately portrays my sexual orientation, why should I wait for five or ten more years to start using the correct terminology? Of all the questions I’m often asked about my asexuality, this is one of the worst.
Did You Ever Have a Crush on Someone?
Asexuality doesn’t mean a lack of crushes. It just means a lack of sexual attraction. Instead, I experience romantic attraction (I want to spend the rest of my life with them), aesthetic attraction (I think they’re pretty and I want to look at them), platonic attraction (I want to be best friends with them), and sensual attraction (I want to cuddle them). So yes, I have had crushes on different people throughout my life. But I’m still asexual.
How Do You Know You’re Asexual if You Haven’t Had Sex Yet?
Or on the flip side: “You can’t be ace if you enjoy sex!” Once again, virginity is not the same thing as being asexual. It has nothing to do with how often you’ve had sex in the past. I know I’m asexual because I’ve never experienced sexual attraction. It has nothing to do with past sexual experiences. Also, some people who are ace (asexual) have perfectly happy and fulfilling sex lives with their partners. Other aces don’t want to have sex. Both are equally valid!
If You’re Ace, Why Did You Call That Person Hot?
True story, I didn’t realize there was a difference between calling someone “hot” and “cute.” I thought it was just a way to express my aesthetic attraction to someone. Just because I’m ace doesn’t mean I’m blind. If a guy has gorgeous eyes or a really cute smile, I’m still going to see it and think, “Wow, that’s attractive.” End of story. If I say someone is cute, that’s not an invitation to say, “But you said you’re asexual! Gotcha! You must not be as asexual as you thought you were!” Again, aesthetic attraction is a thing. Calling my asexuality into question over something like this is ridiculous.
Do You Think I Could Change Your Mind?
Luckily, I’ve never been asked this question myself because it’s super creepy as well as misguided. I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it a hundred times: asexual is a lack of sexual attraction. Even the most fantastic sex wouldn’t necessarily change the psychological side of things. Instead of asking this of strangers on the internet, try to educate yourself on what asexuality really means. And if you’re partners with someone who is asexual, try not to take it as a personal challenge to change them. Sexual orientation isn’t something that needs to be fixed.
Why Do You Need to Label Yourself?
I usually hear this question from friends and family members who may be a bit confused why I want to put a name on something they see as a passing phase. And while I agree that labels can be limiting and harmful, I also believe that it can feel reassuring to know that there is a word for my feelings and experiences. It’s like when I got diagnosed with a genetic disorder: my physical health didn’t change, but at least I knew what was going on with my body. It’s the same idea. Calling my lack of sexual attraction by the correct term (asexual) has made it so much easier to accept that I’m not broken and there’s nothing wrong with me.
Do You Masturbate?
First of all, please don’t ask this. It’s so incredibly awkward! Thankfully, I haven’t had anyone ask me this to my face, but I know other people who come out as ace and immediately their whole family wants to know about their self-pleasuring habits. So I’ll just throw out a blanket statement: people who are asexual can masturbate just like everyone else. A lot of asexual people masturbate, but they might get easily bored with it, since they see it as a purely physical act and not have any thoughts or emotions connected to it. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but from what I’ve heard, it seems to line up with most people’s experiences.
Have You Talked to a Therapist or Doctor About This?
Yes, I have. My sexual orientation isn’t something that needs to be fixed. But if you or someone you know could benefit from therapy, why not give it a go? Just make sure that they’re seeking help for the right reasons.
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