So, Asexuals Hate Sex?

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.

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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.

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A list of things you probably shouldn’t say to an asexual person. Just to save you from being punched in the face, or making someone feel bad.

“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,

Alyssa

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The Asexual Spectrum: What Even is That?

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If you’re here and you’re learning about asexuality for the first time, great! Welcome! 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.

Now, just as a refresher, let’s cover what asexuality is, before we talk about what it isn’t.

Asexuality: Having no sexual attraction to any gender

What does this mean exactly? It means that asexual individuals do not feel sexual attraction to any people, or that asexual individuals do not ever see anyone and have sexual feelings for them. While someone who is allosexual may see someone who is incredibly beautiful, and as a result fantasize about them sexually or want to do sexual things with them, asexuals do not experience this. This is the only qualifier for the orientation of asexual.

Because people are different, and while the majority of asexuals will have similar experiences and feelings, we cannot say that things like libido, number of partners, or sexual experience define someone as asexual. It is only the absence or rarity of sexual attraction that defines someone on the asexual spectrum.

So what the hell is the asexual spectrum anyways? And what are all these identities? What do they all mean? Well, since asexuality is a very complicated orientation and no two people are exactly alike in their attractions, the asexual community has developed their own identities or ways of identifying their feelings, and various orientations exists under the asexual spectrum as a result. Here are a few examples of orientations that fall under the asexual umbrella,

Asexual: Someone who experiences no sexual attraction to any gender

Demisexual: Someone who does not experience sexual/romantic attraction unless an emotional bond has been formed (though not necessarily even then).

Gray-A: Someone who experiences sexual/romantic attraction but only very little, very specific circumstances, or not enough to act upon (Also called grayace, graysexual, etc.).

Lithsexual/Lithromantic: Someone who experiences sexual/romantic attraction but stops experiencing it or does not enjoy it when it is reciprocated.

Since these orientations involve an absence of sexual attraction, except sometimes under very specific circumstances, we place them under the asexual spectrum or umbrella. Those who feel sexual attraction at all times or frequently with no specific circumstances attached to the person their attraction is directed to, we identify them as allosexual, or not under the asexual spectrum.

Now, because we have covered the orientations, there are also asexual identities that you may have stumbled across before. Keep in mind that these are not orientations on their own, but rather identifiers or labels that some in the asexual community may choose to use for various reasons. Reasons for using these identities may be to understand their feelings, sexuality, connect with others, or to explain to others how they feel. The main reason these identities exist is to provide a unique language among asexual communities, to show that particular feelings can still be experienced by asexual individuals. Since we do not experience sexual attraction and don’t have a true idea of what it feels like, we use language to label particular feelings. Some of these identities include,

Apothisexual: a term for someone under the asexual umbrella who is specifically sex repulsed (it is often easier to use sex repulsed asexual)

Aceflux: describes a person who fluctuates along the asexual spectrum identities (may be repulsed sometimes, but neutral or favorable at others)

Autochorissexual/Aegosexual: a disconnection between oneself and a sexual target/object of arousal; may involve sexual fantasies or arousal in response to erotica or pornography, but lacking any desire to be a participant in the sexual activities therein

Caedsexual: describes someone whose sexual orientation incorporates the specific feeling that one once was allosexual, but that has been “cut away” or taken from them due to past trauma [For trauma survivors/PTSD sufferers only]

Placiosexual: means to feel little to no desire to receive sexual acts performed on them but expresses interest/desire in performing them on someone else

Keep in mind that these are only a handful of current identities, as identities are ever changing to fit the community. These are simply some of the more common, or useful identities used. Once more, these are identities or labels used by the community, but not on their own used as orientations. You can, however, be asexual and placiosexual, demisexual and autochorissexual, graysexual and apothisexual, etc. These are identities that the asexual community doesn’t necessarily expect the larger allosexual community to be aware of, and are mainly used within the community or with partners as a way to talk about specific feelings.

For example, if someone is reading erotica and enjoys erotica, but is asexual, this may seem confusing for outsiders. That person may be autochorissexual, and may choose to communicate that to others to avoid confusion.

So, when you see a list of asexual identities in the future, don’t get them mixed up with orientations, and be suddenly angry that there are, ‘all these made up orientations’! They aren’t orientations, and unless you’re on the asexual spectrum, they probably have nothing to do with you. It’s simply a part of the ever expanding vocabulary being used to talk about sexual orientation and identities. Just as the gay community has twinks and bears, lesbians have lipstick lesbians and butch lesbians, the asexual community has their own vocabulary to talk about the variety of asexual identities as well.

Once more, there is a master list of asexual/aromantic identities here that you can browse through If you would like to see a full list of identities and orientations. They have a great list of terms, mostly for aromantics and arospec individuals, but each prefix can generally be attached to a sexual orientation as well. If you’re curious about aromantics or aromanticism, I would highly recommend browsing their blog. 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; Did this post clear up a few things about asexuality for you? Have you encountered many of these identities or other identities before? How do you feel about these labels being used? Would you be comfortable using this type of language to communicate with allosexuals?

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,

Alyssa

Happy Asexual Awareness Week!

ducky Hello, to all asexuals and allosexuals, and a very happy Asexual Awareness Week to you! I realize I’m a day late, but be prepared because we’re about to launch into full ace mode. You are about to experience a flood of posts all about asexuality, in honor of ace week. Why? Well, I’ve noticed something great about the internet, and so have other people, and it’s this; a lot more people are coming out, and a lot more people are actually caring.

Just this week, facebook revealed that incredible numbers of people are coming out on their social media site, which I’m sure had a lot to do with National Coming Out Day on the 11th (I missed it, boo!). The internet is becoming a place to come out, talk about sexuality, celebrate it, and be safe. Ace week is already in full gear and the internet is going wild. I’ve been seeing an increased traffic here, so I’m hoping that more aces are speaking out and spreading the information about asexuality, and I want to help. Parents, families, friends, and confused individuals are flocking to the internet in search of answers, and because I have spent an unhealthy amount of time researching everything and stockpiling this knowledge, I want to be a resource for people.

Having an argument with someone? Send them here.

Feeling confused? Look no further.

Wanting to educate yourself and learn more about asexuality? I’ve got what you need.

So this week, please, please interact with me and send me any questions you have, any topics you need covered, anything at all, and I will do my best to put it out there for people, because this is a crazy, frustrating and confusing world and I want to help make it a little more comprehensive. Unfortunately, asexuality can be one of the more confusing sexualities, but it doesn’t have to be!

I look forward to talking with you and giving you some answers, so have a happy, safe, ace week.

Alyssa Ermish