Asexuality is a sexual orientation where someone feels little or no sexual attraction to anyone
Asexuality exists on a spectrum, so not all asexual people feel the same way. Some aces aren’t sexually attracted to anyone. Other asexual people have sexual fantasies but don’t act on them. And some aces have sex in very specific circumstances.
What are the common myths about asexuality?
There are lots of misunderstandings when it comes to asexuality, so let’s fact-check some of them!
Myth: Asexual people aren’t part of the LGBTQIA+ community
Fact: The A stands for asexual, not ally, and asexual people or “aces” have always been part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Myth: Asexuality is a trendy thing that the internet made up
Fact: Asexuality cropped up in speeches and texts in the early 1900s. And although the word wasn’t around before then, historians believe writers from the 17th century were dropping hints they were asexual in their poems and diaries. It’s definitely not new or made up.
Myth: Being asexual means having no libido
Fact: Some asexual people do have a strong libido (a.k.a. sex drive). But this may not be directed towards any particular person. They may masturbate or have sex to satisfy their libido.
Myth: Asexual people don’t have sex
Fact: There are numerous reasons ace people might have sex. They may want to satisfy their sex needs, to have children or to show affection to their partner Equally, some aces don’t want sex, and that’s fine too!
Myth: Asexual people don’t want relationships
Fact: Some aces don’t experience any romantic attraction at all, so don’t want to be in romantic relationships. But other asexual people enjoy being in relationships, even if they don’t want to have sex.
Myth: Asexual people have been put off sex due to a bad prior experience.
Fact: Asexuality is a real and valid sexual orientation. People don’t become asexual because they had a bad sexual experience. Just like people don’t become gay or bisexual because they had bad sex. People are born this way, and it has nothing to do with good or bad past experiences.
How do I know if I’m asexual?
Have you ever seen or met someone who you are sexually attracted to? If not, you might identify as asexual. However, sexuality is fluid. So even if you’ve been sexually attracted to people in the past, you may feel that asexuality best describes your sexual identity now. Only you can decide which label fits you best, and it’s ok if this changes.
Where can I go for support?
If you think you may identify as asexual and want to learn more about it there are plenty of resources available.
- Check out the resources and forums on The Asexual Visibility and Education Network
- Galop’s referral form is for anyone who needs help after experiencing aphobia
- Read the stories of other ace people in this GLAAD article
- Show Stonewall’s guide to being an asexual ally to your friends so they can understand your identity
photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Page last reviewed: April 6th 2021