All About the Ace for Asexual Awareness WeekWatch
Asexuality is characterised by a lack of experiencing sexual attraction towards another person. An asexual person is not drawn to people sexually and nor do they have the desire to act upon an attraction to another person in a sexual manner.
As for the importance of the week, most people are unaware of the existence of asexuals and so it is a useful way of raising awareness of this uncommon sexual orientation. Most, if not all, people have heard of other sexualities such as homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, etc. but aces (asexual people) are often met with confusion and a lack of understanding when telling others of their sexual orientation.
Some frequently asked questions:
Isn’t asexuality to do with how plants reproduce?
While asexual reproduction is indeed the way that plants reproduce, in terms of sexual orientation it means a lack of experiencing sexual attraction towards other people.
You implied that asexuals experience attraction towards other people. If they don’t experience sexual attraction then what kinds of attraction do they feel, what other kinds of attraction are there?
There are different types of attraction that a person can feel towards one another: sexual attraction, physical/aesthetic attraction, romantic attraction and sensual attraction (the desire to hold hands, cuddle, etc). While asexuals will not feel sexual attraction, they may experience any or all of the other kinds.
What’s the difference between asexuality and celibacy?
A person who is celibate will experience sexual attraction, but choose to abstain from sex. An asexual on the other hand will not experience sexual attraction but may choose to have sex if they want to.
So asexuals do have sex then?
Certainly! Asexuals may fantasise about sex and even have sex, as asexuals can still get horny and have orgasms. The difference is that there is no desire to have sex with a specific person, although asexuals may still choose to do so to pleasure their partner or just to have a good time themselves.
What if generally a person does not feel sexual attraction, but does on the odd occasion?
Sexuality can be viewed as a spectrum, with those who are not at all asexual (those dubbed ‘allosexuals’ by the asexual community) at one end and those who never experience sexual attraction at the other (asexuals).
In between lies a gray area, and those that fall within that area may identify as graysexual or grey-asexual, or they may simply label themselves as asexual because it is easier to explain.
There are also demisexuals, who are people who only experience sexual attraction or desire after an emotional bond has been formed with the other person.
Curious to know more? Check out AVEN (the Asexuality Visibility Network) for more information and you can also ask a resident asexual a question here. For those of us that are asexual/questioning (and anyone else who wishes to drop in!) there is an asexuality support/discussion thread here.
Because for some people it's their life. And spending your life feeling alienated and totally different to society isn't nice for anyone. So raising awareness that there might actually be other people out there like them, as well as that asexuals do exist and that that's okay, is a big thing. Even if it's not for you.
This is great I am asexual, I have never felt any sexual attraction at all but I am in a relationship and with someone sexual. I'm also autistic which complicates things, but we are slowly working towards one day hopefully having sex with each other (tmi much). He is amazing and patient and would happily abstain completely for me, but I would like to for him- plus I want children eventually so it's a tad necessary! But everyone is different. It's about finding what works for you and what works for you as a couple, if you're in one. Being asexual doesn't make you 'weird' or anything else- there's more of us about than you think! You only need to do what you're comfortable with, and if that's nothing, that's absolutely fine. You wouldn't be the first or last person in or out of a relationship.