Queer Query: Q&Ace - Asexuality explained

So, the LGBTQA scene is pretty great. People who have experienced being stereotyped and criticized by others tend to be accepting and empathic people. Unfortunately, sometimes even queer people are guilty of assuming certain things about asexuals, and may altogether exclude them from safe spaces because of these stereotypes. Hopefully, hearing from a living, breathing asexual can eliminate some misconstrued rumors and stereotypes.

Do asexual people date or get married?

Certainly! Not feeling sexual attraction does not mean that it is impossible to have romantic feelings for someone, nor does it hinder an individual’s ability to. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction do not come in a battery back; being asexual does not mean that you are aromantic (not romantic), and vice-versa. Sex is not necessary for every relationship.

Are all asexuals inherently repulsed by sex?

In simple terms, much like people who experience sexual attraction, asexuality is best described as a spectrum, and not one person is the same as the other. According to an online survey conducted in 2014, 55 percent of people who identify as asexual are sex repulsed, 30 percent are neutral, and 15 percent as positive, meaning that they open to and not bothered by intercourse. These three labels are also open to interpretations.

Short answer: No.

Is asexuality synonymous with celibacy?

This question, as well as many others regarding asexuality, assumes that not only is being asexual a choice, but that all asexuals are abstinent; neither of these are true.             

I enjoy holding hands and kissing, but I have no desire to have sex. Am I ace?

From how it sounds, that seems to be the case, although you are the only one who can give yourself a label. There are different forms of attraction experienced by the human body. Desiring intimate physical contact that isn’t sex is called sensual attraction (an appeal to the senses), and it is completely normal to experience other forms of attraction (romantic, platonic) and still identify as asexual.

Now that you know a little more about the A in LGBTQA, hopefully you’ll see us as people who are just as valid as you are. Getting a better understanding of a group of people, even just learning their jargon, helps them feel so much more welcomed. So yeah, sexuality can be complicated, and for some, asexuality is somehow even more mind-boggling. No fear, buddy; you'll be an Ace pro in no time!

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