How does asexuality fit into the broader LGBTQIAP+ community? Asexual people are an essential part of the queer community, and the LGBTQIAP+ Community would be incomplete without them. The asexual community is one of the most diverse communities with dozens of identities whose sexuality falls on a spectrum. In this article, we will discuss what asexuality is, give a comprehensive guide to help you understand asexuality and provide informative questions to help you know whether you are asexual.
What is asexuality?
Are you aware that asexuality is a spectrum with dozens of identities that fall under the ace spectrum? Like most identities under the LGBTQIAP+, asexuality is a highly personal journey that every person experiences differently. But what exactly is asexuality?
Asexuality is a sexual orientation like homosexuality, heterosexuality, or sexual fluidity. An asexual person is an individual that does not experience sexual attraction to other people. Asexuality is a broad spectrum with dozens of identities with varying experiencing of sexual attraction.
Some of the sexual identities that fall under the a-spec identities include:
Demisexuality is a subgroup within the asexual community referring to individuals that develop an attraction to people after forming emotional attachments. Demisexual people thrive on building emotionally intimate relationships. Unlike most people that can experience sexual desire based on first impressions, demisexuals can only develop sexual attraction with people they share emotional bonds.
An aceflux identity refers to individuals whose asexual orientation fluctuates on a spectrum. An aceflux identity means you can identify as a subset of various communities within the asexual and sexual orientation banner. For instance, an aceflux person can connect more with a bisexual, gay, or demisexual identity at varying times, depending on how they feel.
An aromantic identity refers to people that don’t experience romantic attraction to anyone. While aromantic people don’t experience romantic attraction to sexual partners, that doesn’t mean they can’t engage in romantic relationships.
If you are part of the aromantic community, you can still experience everything straight, gay, or bisexual people derive from relationships. You can develop a significant relationship with someone, get married, have kids, and raise a happy family.
If you can’t develop a romantic or sexual attraction to someone unless you know they are attracted to you, you might be a reciprosexal.
The greysexual category is one of the most interesting identities within the asexual spectrum. The term greysexual already gives you an idea of the type of individuals whose sexual identity falls within this category. The greysexual category consists of a wide of identities, including people that experience sexual attraction, individuals that can’t experience sexual and romantic attraction, and those who favor or don’t care for romantic orientation.
Understanding your asexuality
Asexual people are an important part of the LGBTQIAP+ Community. The asexual community, also known as the ace community or ace, is one of the most diverse categories under the queer banner. Because of the hush-hush attitude towards asexual people, asexuality is one of the least talked about sexual orientations. For a queer person whose sexual orientation leans towards asexuality, navigating the LGBTQIAP+ Community can be challenging because of limited information. Fortunately, we have prepared a guide to help people understand asexuality.
Here are a few things you should learn about asexuality:
Understand that asexuality is a spectrum
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word asexuality? A common misconception about asexuality is that asexual people can fit into one box just because they fall outside of the hetero and homosexual banner. If you are asexual, don’t expect every asexual person to share your sexual interests or have similar experiences. Asexuality is a broad term that describes the sexual orientation of dozens of gender identities, including non-binary, demisexual, trans, gender neutral, and gender fluid.
As an asexual, you will interact with a wide range of queer people, including those that don’t have a sexual attraction towards anyone, those that don’t have romantic attraction, and others that require emotional bonds to develop a sexual and romantic attraction.
Consider exploring queerplatonic relationships
Not everyone in the asexual community can feel sexual attraction toward other sexual beings. However, the lack of sexual attraction doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel connected to other humans. As an asexual person, you can seek queerplatonic relationships to fulfill your social needs. Queerplatonic relationships allow you to engage in sensual attraction rather than sexual attraction with people that understand and respect your sexual identity.
As an asexual person, exploring a queer-platonic relationship allows you to engage in sensual physical activities, including handholding, cuddling, or even kissing.
Asexuality is not a sexual dysfunction
In a world where everything from music, movies, and foods to cartoons are sexualized, understanding your asexuality can protect you from mental anguish and heartache. From the time you reach adulthood, there is a societal expectation to find a mate and procreate to prove your manliness. If you fail to form sexual relationships, people assume you are suffering from sexual dysfunction, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of harmful social constructs about sex and sexuality, most people in society view the asexuality sexual orientation with suspicion and a fix-it attitude.
As an asexual person, understanding asexuality is normal and acceptable can help you protect your mental health. You are not asexual because something is wrong with your brain, reproductive organs, or body. You are a perfect human being whether you choose to explore a sexual or romantic attraction with other people.
Can an asexual person engage in sexual activity?
Can asexual people engage in sexual relationships? Certainly! An asexual person has all the necessary equipment to engage in sexual activities. But does an asexual person want to engage in sexual activity? That depends on the individual. Asexuality is a broad spectrum with dozens of identities, each with a unique relationship to sex.
An asexual person can have sex to conceive children. Having sex to conceive kids can help you escape the gigantic medical fees you would otherwise get if you use a fertility clinic. Sex with the partner you want to conceive a child with can help you enhance the intimacy of the conception process. Rather than dealing with doctors, test tubes, and all the hullabaloos that come with artificial insemination, you can create an intimate and memorable moment at home.
Asexual people can have sex to make their partners happy. For various reasons, some asexuals develop romantic relationships where they engage in sex. Like a straight or homosexual person, an asexual can have sex with people without experiencing a romantic and sexual attraction to them. As an asexual person, you can engage in sex to make your partner happy or out of curiosity.
Being asexual doesn’t mean you don’t have a sexual drive
Since most asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, does that mean they can’t engage in sexual activities or develop relationships? Certainly not! The biggest misconception about asexuality is the assumption that asexual people can’t or don’t have a sex drive. Asexuality is a personal experience for most people in the ace community, so the decision to explore a romantic attraction is personal.
An asexual identity doesn’t mean a lack of or low sexual drive. Even as asexual, you can still masturbate, kiss, cuddle, and enjoy intimate relationships.
How can you tell you are asexual?
Is there a way to test whether you are asexual? Unfortunately no! There is no test you can conduct to confirm whether you are sexual. You can only learn you are asexual by examining how your body and mind respond to different situations.
Most sexual people can tell that they are asexual from their teenage years, so chances are you may be able to know your sexual orientation early on.
Some questions to help you determine whether you are asexual include the following:
Have you ever experienced sexual attraction to anyone?
If you have never experienced sexual attraction for another person, you might be asexual. Keep in mind that sexual attraction is pretty vague, so this is an opaque way of testing your asexuality. If you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s and have never had a sexual or romantic attraction for another person of different or the same gender, you might be asexual.
Do you feel like you are broken because you cannot develop intimate romantic relationships?
It’s perfectly normal not to have a sexual or romantic attraction to other people. You don’t have to fake sexual or romantic interests to fit in with others. A lack of sexual attraction is not something to be ashamed of, and you shouldn’t feel bad just because you are different. If you want to interact with judgmental-free people to interact with, search for asexual people near your area or online and reach out to them.
Do you have sex with people because it is expected?
Peer pressure and the desire to fit in can make you feel like you have to endure sex to feel normal. If you don’t have a sexual attraction for anyone and intimacy makes you mentally and physically uncomfortable, you might be asexual.
Unlike the other identities under the queer banner, including gays, bisexuals, and lesbians, asexuality is rarely discussed, making it challenging for asexual people to fit in. With limited information about asexuality on information platforms, asexuals are forced to muddle through trial and error to understand their sexual orientation better.