Welcome to part II, friends! If you missed the first part, it’s here, and if you’re here and you’re learning about asexuality for the first time, great! I’m so glad to see you. You must have some questions, or be a little confused about things, right? Do asexuals still have sex? Are they celibate? Do they masturbate? Do they hate sex? What the hell are all these identities?
Now, if you haven’t read this post on attraction, or this post on the basics of asexuality, and you’re not at least a little aware of what asexuality is, I need you to go to those first, and come back unless you really want to be confused. If you don’t mind being a little confused, proceed.
Recall the first time you heard about asexuality. If you’re new to this whole thing, you won’t have to think too hard. You probably thought it was about agametic reproduction right? In other words, you heard ‘asexual’ and thought about a cell splitting into two. Then, when someone told you that was wrong, you jumped to, “Oh, so they just hate sex!” or “Oh, you just have a low sex drive!” and didn’t bother to ask any more questions.
Well, here’s the thing, we definitely don’t split into two (you would definitely know about it if people could do that), we aren’t reproducing on our own, and, depending on the person, we don’t necessarily hate sex, or have a low sex drive. Asexuals are still people, and since people are so frustratingly complex, we’re not all the same! Asexuality is simply the absence of sexual attraction to any gender, and that’s it. That being said, there are different ‘varieties’ of asexuals (collect them all!), some being more common than others.
Attitudes towards sex vary, even beyond asexuals. The types of attitudes in the asexual community are typically, favorable, neutral, and repulsed. As an example, more allosexuals tend to be sex favorable, or enjoy and seek out sex. In other words, sex favorable individuals like sex and will initiate it with a partner. Sex neutral individuals exist more among the asexual community, and don’t seek out sex, but don’t mind if it is initiated. Sex neutrals have an attitude of “I can live without it, but it’s not bad”. Sex repulsed individuals hate sex and are repulsed by the idea. This repulsion can come in the form of anxiety or even disgust.
So, this in mind, all asexuals don’t necessarily hate sex, some really love it, some are neutral to the idea, and some do genuinely hate it. No two people are alike, and as a result, no two asexuals are alike in their feelings. There may be reasons why one is favorable and another is repulsed, and different things that repulse different people. While some repulsed individuals may hate kissing, another may hate porn, and others may hate anything at all related to sex.
There are even different levels of liking and disliking sex. An asexual individual, like any other individual, can sit at any point in their attitudes. These attitudes can even fluctuate, depending on the person and situation. However, it is rude to assume that this is the case with all asexuals, and it should be kept in mind that it is very rude to attempt to force a sex repulsed individual into being sex favorable, or to change anyone’s attitudes on sex, particularly if it causes them anxiety.
So, now you may have wondered at this point about libido. Surely, if a person isn’t sexually attracted to anyone, there must be a problem with their libido, right? Well, as with differences in sexual attitude, each person has different levels of libido, and sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. Generally, asexuals tend to have low libido levels, or little to no sex drive, but there are still asexuals with healthy libido levels. That being said, this doesn’t typically affect attitude towards sex, and there can be favorable individuals with a low libido, and repulsed individuals with a high libido. Like anyone else, asexuals can have a libido, choose not to act on it, and still feel no sexual attraction.
“So do asexuals have sex? Do they even masturbate?” Another loaded question that surely popped into your mind. Once again, like anyone else, asexuals can still have sex, and do still have sex, depending on the person. Though, there are various reasons why asexuals choose to have sex. Some reasons include, to please their partner, to satisfy their libido, because they like sex, to relieve stress, to conceive children, etc. Similarly, there are reasons why aces might masturbate, including satisfying their libido, relieving stress, to get to sleep, and to clear their minds. While there may not always be a sexual feeling propelling their physical feelings, for different people it is simply something they just have to do to take care of their bodies.
However, no matter how curious you may be as to how one asexual sits on the various spectrums, unless they have told you it is ok to ask questions, it is never ok (unless you are their partner) to ask them if they have sex, have had sex, or masturbate. Regardless of orientation, these are still very private things to ask! Somone’s private life and attitudes do not suddenly become public to you because of their orientation. If you are a partner to an asexual, you may want to discuss these things in order to set boundaries or explore things, but unless the person is comfortable with detailing their personal life, it is never ok to ask those questions.
So no, asexuals don’t necessarily hate sex, or don’t ever have sex, although some may choose that. Some asexuals love sex, some are neutral, and there are different reasons why someone might choose to have sex. The main takeaway I want you to have with this is, essentially; Asexuals are people. You can’t put them under one stereotype, and especially not, considering the complexity of asexuality and human sexuality in general. A person can be asexual, and still not differ at all in their everyday lives than any allosexual individual. Even if they differ completely in their lives and their desires, they’re still just people. If they are open to questions, I definitely recommend talking to them about how they feel. Every asexual experience is different, and they may want to share theirs with you. If they aren’t comfortable answering questions, then that’s alright too! That’s why there are resources like this blog, and AVEN out there. There are tons of different places where you can learn more about asexuality, and awareness is growing more every week.
Let me know in the comments or on http://ask.fm/AlyssaErmish if you prefer your comments/questions/concerns to be anonymous and/or hidden; Is there anything about asexuality that still seems confusing to you? What do you wish more people knew or understood about asexuality?
Feel free to write as much as you want, and ask any questions; I welcome curiosity and interest with open arms.
Have a very asexy week,