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What is asexuality?

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.

Read more

Blog: Growing Up Ace

photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Page last reviewed: April 6th 2021