Asexuality covers a broad spectrum of identities and orientations. While it hadn’t been defined until recent years, many people who consider themselves asexual are happy to finally have a term for their identity. Maybe you’ve always felt “different” when it comes to love and relationships but you aren’t sure what label really fits you. For many, it’s not easy to tell whether or not they’re asexual (feeling no sexual attraction), demi-sexual (feeling sexual attraction once you’ve created an emotional bond), or even grey-asexual (feeling sexual attraction very rarely). Here are a few signs that these terms could apply to you.
- You have no internal desire to have sex. Many people who feel asexual say that have no desire to have sex. It should be said that asexuality is not a choice. It is not celibacy or a result of trauma. Some people who identify as asexual may even have sex with a consensual partner. However, it’s not the desire for sex that drives them in a relationship. Often, it’s the last thing on their mind. There’s an absence of sexual thoughts or feelings. If you feel that this applies to you then you may be asexual.
- You desire emotional intimacy over sexual intimacy. Your needs in a relationship are met when your partner focuses on what makes you feel good emotionally. Some asexual people may choose to have sex. They may see the act of sex as emotional intimacy, or as a way of showing love to their partner. However, sex is never a priority in the relationship. If you feel a strong desire to know someone emotionally rather than sexually, this term may apply to you.
- You’ve never really had a crush. As a young child, you would listen to your friends go on and on about their crushes or Hollywood idols. Unlike the others, you could never really relate to their feelings. Instead of crushing on their hot looks or sexy body, any kind of “crush” was more related to their personality.
- You wouldn’t mind if you never had sex. Many people who identify as asexual understand that sex does not have to be a priority in anyone’s life. Though you may have had sex before, you realize that you would be satisfied if you never had sex again. If you find yourself single and feel content in your amount of sexual desire (or lack thereof), you may be asexual.
- You feel out of place when friends discuss their sex lives. When your friends discuss their sex lives, you find your thoughts drifting away. You never understood why people wanted to have sex so badly and you cringe whenever they start discussing the details. Though this might not always apply, feeling different than your peers may indicate that you are asexual. It’s completely normal to be uncomfortable when your friends discuss sex, especially if you haven’t been in many relationships. Feeling out of place is different, however. You don’t understand the sexual attraction everyone feels and this may mean that you don’t feel sexual attraction at all.
- You know when someone is attractive but you feel no attraction to them. Sure, you can appreciate a beautiful person. All the elements may be there: bright teeth, flawless skin, a symmetrical face. A person’s good looks may be stunning, however, there is no understanding of any attraction beyond simple appreciation. You don’t look at someone and think, “I would have sex with that person.” And this is one good sign you may be asexual.
- You might experience sexual desire but it’s often fleeting. This is often defined more specifically as grey-asexuality. You might feel the desire to have sex, but it’s very rare. For many who identify as grey-asexual, their sexual libido during this time may be just as high as someone who is sexual. If you consider the times you’ve felt this desire to be few and far between, you may be grey-asexual.
- You only feel sexual attraction when you gain emotional intimacy. Demi-sexuality lies on the asexuality spectrum. You may never experience sexual desire in your life until you make a strong emotional connection with someone. Suddenly you notice your attraction to them, physically and sexually. Your desire to be intimate with them grows. This may only happen with those you feel very close to.