How to Explain Asexuality to People Who are Not Asexual
Explaining asexuality to others can be a difficult task. It takes an open mind on the part of the listener, but mostly it seems to require knowledge of what asexuality really means.
There are a number of misconceptions that you might run into when describing your feelings (or rather lack thereof) to people. Once you debunk these misconceptions, you should be able to better explain that you are asexual.
What is Asexuality?
An asexual person is simply someone who is not sexually attracted to anyone. Whether or not the person experiences this is permanent or temporarily, the person is asexual until he/she obviously feels otherwise.
I do not intend to offend anyone who is asexual with the above statement. I'm definitely not insinuating that asexuality is simply something temporary that needs to be fixed. It may be the nature of the person and it's definitely not anything that needs to be fixed.
I have an asexual friend who, before her divorce, described herself as heterosexual. Since her divorce several years ago, she has had no desire for sexual relationships. Apparently, this isn't terribly uncommon. In fact, 6-10% of asexuals were previously married (with most of them being female.)
So asexual people never have sex?
Even though asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction, this doesn't mean that asexual people don't have sex. Many do and for a number of reasons. They won't be sexually attracted to the person, but sex can and does happen. Why? The physical sensation is one reason.
Asexuality doesn't describe what a person does. It's how the person feels.
Most asexuals never engage in sex. The idea of never having sex doesn't bother many asexuals. If you never have the desire to do something, how can not doing something be somehow bothersome?
Love and sex are two different things. An asexual person may not experience either (or maybe just the sex.)
No relationships then, right?
Some asexuals report having relationships. They also may even be sexual relationships. I would like to stress that this doesn't mean they are sexually attracted to the person. In fact, if the person is in a romantic relationship with someone who desires sex, then this could be a kind of "deal" in the relationship.
Many asexual relationships are sexless. This is okay, it doesn't mean that there isn't any romantic love. Being with another person can be really nice. You can have someone to talk to, share your life with, etc.
Who do asexuals "get with"?
Wouldn't it be ideal for an asexual (with a desire to have a sexless romantic relationship) to want to be with someone who feels the same way? This doesn't always happen.
Asexuals make up just over 1% of the population, so the chances of an asexual person getting into a relationship are slim.
Why do asexuals get into relationships, to begin with? There are several reasons. Society, at large, is very "couples-oriented." Some asexual men and women may feel pressure from their family or peers to enter into a relationship, marry, and even have children.