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How to Explain Asexuality to People Who are Not Asexual

Updated on March 15, 2017
The asexual pride flag
The asexual pride flag | Source

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 do asexuals NEVER have sex?
So do asexuals NEVER have sex? | Source

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.


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    • mbyL profile image

      Slaven Cvijetic 5 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      I have known about the term "asexual", but I didn't know that it had so much depth and meaning. This was very good - I shared it!

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      I honestly did not know this. Thanks for educating me.

    • speedracer68 profile image

      speedracer68 5 years ago

      Thanks for writing about this. I (aromantic/sexual) have been married to the love of my life for 18 years (together 22). Through much counseling she came to realize that she is in the aromantic/asexual part of the spectrum. I use these terms loosely as there is a huge amount of discussion in the community. But, we have been able to move from her looking at me and thinking "why is sex so integral a part of how you experience life?" and me looking at her and thinking "how can you forget to have sex for 10 years?" to an understanding of each other that shifts the focus to our love for each other (which fortunately is pretty much aromantic for both of us :p)

    • wadebutler profile image

      Wade Butler 5 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

      Wow. This is a great hub. I have known several asexual people who wonder what all the sex fuss is about. They have reported no sexual feelings at all. They don't want it, don't miss it and don't think about it and wonder why some people only think about sex, sex, and more sex.

      There is also a type of sexuality called AUTOSEXUAL.

      These people only need themselves to be sexual and have no desire for sexual intimacy. They report being very intimate in emotional situations and have social lives unencumbered with sexual drama. Their major outlet is masturbation with no fantasy connection.

      I find this whole topic of alternate sexual diversity very interesting. In Western Culture Asexuality and Autosexuality is difficult to admit.

    • ESP1983 profile image

      ESP1983 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      I am not sure to agree with you in that asexuals may have sex for the "feeling" of being with another person. This is a huge debate in where is the border between the sexual and the romantic feeling. I personally believe that if a person is aroused sexually by looking at another person, meaning "fantasizing", the person is sexual. I believe an asexual can fall in love and want to have a serious commitment to another person, which will make that person hetero, homo or biromantic depending on the romantic orientation. Sexual attraction means sexual response, and these responses are defined by the immediate reaction from the body (not from the mind). Again, this is a matter of debate that we asexuals need to better define. I don't believe there can be sexual asexuals. If an asexual has sex with a sexual partner, because they are in love, then there is the flexibility from the asexual, so long sex is not of the main interest of the asexual then he or she is still asexual. If the person finds the need for sex, then the person is not asexual anymore. (Actually, never was).

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      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Interesting. I didn't know there was an asexual flag. You've provided some valuable facts on the topic.