made by xredpaladinx on Twitter
What is asexuality?
Asexuality is a sexual orientation. An asexual person (or ace, for short) is someone who does not feel sexual attraction.
It can also be used as an umbrella term for anyone who feels little to no sexual attraction (see greysexuality)
You might have also heard of demisexuality, which is an identity under the asexual umbrella. (learn more)
A person who is not asexual (or ace-spec) is allosexual (from the prefix allo=other, because they feel sexual attraction towards other people)
This is our flag!
What is not asexuality?
• An illness
• A choice
•"Wanting to be special"
do asexual people have sex?
Some do, some don't. Both cases are equally valid, and having sex does not make anyone more or less asexual.
Why would an asexual person have sex if they don't feel sexual attraction, you might ask.
Well, they might like the way it feels. They might do it so as to have children. They might do it because it's fun.
It's important to note that sexual attraction and desire/libido are two different things, and even though asexual people do not feel sexual attraction, they might feel sexual desire. Picture libido as being hungry: your body tells you "hey i want/need this". You can eat anything to satisfy it, it doesn't need to be your favorite food. And in this case nothing will happen if you don't do anything to satisfy it. Continuing with the metaphor, sexual attraction would be when you specifically want to eat something. Like damn I'd really like a piece of that cake, it looks delicious.
Not all asexual people feel the same way about sex
Some aces are sex-favorable, meaning they like the idea of sex for themselves (not to be confused with sex-positive)
Some aces are sex-indifferent, meaning they don't specifically dislike it, but probably won't get out of their way to get it.
And finally, some aces are sex-repulsed, meaning they feel uncomfortable/repulsed by the idea of sex for themselves and wouldn't want to find themselves in sexual situations (not to be confused with sex-negative, the belief that sex is something bad or shameful. It is possible to be sex-repulsed and sex-positive)
An asexual person's stance on sex for themselves does not make them any more or less asexual than others, and all of them are equally valid.
not all asexual people are aromantic
And not all aromantic people are asexual.
An aromantic person (aro, for short) is someone who doesn't feel romantic attraction. It can also be used as an umbrella term for anyone who feels little to no romantic attraction (see grayromanticism).
The aromantic community and the asexual community overlap, but they're different communities.
Aromanticism doesn't fall under the asexual umbrella, it is its own separate thing.
I'm bringing this up because aromanticism has even less visibility than asexuality (and that's a lot to say). Aromantic people's stance on romance can vary --using the same terminology listed before, with slight changes (romance-favorable, romance-indifferent and romance-repulsed)
This is our flag!
You might have also seen the aroace flag
It's a flag for personal use. It's still important to give visibility to the ace and aro flag separately!
now that we're talking about Romantic attraction...
(the Split Attraction Model)
We've established that not all asexual people are aromantic, so we know that sexual and romantic attraction are two different things that might not be connected to each other (of course, for some people, they are! one could be bisexual and biromantic, for example). For those people whose sexual and romantic attraction are different, the Split Attraction Model (SAM) can come in handy.
An asexual person can be homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, etc., the same way an aromantic person can be homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, etc.
The SAM isn't exclusively for aspec people. Still I think it's worth mentioning that non-aspec people using the SAM is quite an uncommon thing, and could be internalized homophobia or biphobia.
where can i learn more?
I don't want to make this too long, so I'm ending this here.
If you want to learn more, you can visit AVEN's site. You can also ask asexual people (just remember to be respectful!). I'm always glad to help, so you can hit me up (@xredpaladinx on Twitter)
I also want to clarify that the hyperlinks I used might not be 100% correct (most of them were taken from AVEN's site, which I believe hasn't been updated in a while, so they might be outdated, but I consider that they're good enough as an introduction). I didn't want to write about graysexuality/grayromanticism myself because I'm not graysexual or grayromantic and I didn't want to risk making a mistake.
so I'm leaving you with the graysexual flag
and the grayromantic flag
and for real, don't be afraid to hit me up! thank you for reading the whole thing