top of page

Asexuality 101

Everything explained

The asexual flag
The asexual flag with the colors: black, gray, white and purple (from the top)

The pandemic has been a time of self reflection. With so much time at our hands, it's no wonder that we start questioning the meaning of life itself. I have been doing the same with the concept of identity, making the most of this time to figure out who I am. And in that process I have discovered that I identify as asexual!

While doing my research about it I came across other members of the community that have identified as asexual for a long time but they sill have periods of doubt and hesitation. I believe this happens because there isn't really a lot of information about asexuality anywhere! And if there is, it's only the basics.

"Basically, asexuality is this confusing mess of people who don't really know what it is and people who experience it but also don't know what it is."

- Jenna Clarek, from the video Asexuality 101

So as you see, this is a really confusing subject and not even the people inside the community have a proper way of explaining it or knowing if they are asexual.

We are underrepresented. And somehow I understand that, as we are a small community that only makes up about 1% of the world's population. But in the world we are living in I consider it crucial to have representation! Do you know any TV shows, movies, books, that have asexual characters? Because I don't. I know SpongeBob is asexual, but how can you really identify with a sponge? Please, if you know any asexual characters let me know in the comments because I would love to check them out!

As I was saying, there's a lot of misinformation out there. Being asexual and trying to explain your sexuality to other people can get very tricky. So here are some basic facts that might help you out if you're interested in the subject.


So what is asexuality anyways?

Asexual people are those who don't experience sexual attraction and/or don't desire sexual contact.

This is a basic definition, in my opinion, and it leaves many blanks into the concept. But for now, it will do.

So now we know that asexual don't experience sexual attraction. Now let's try to break that down and explain it a bit more in depth.

Let's talk about TV shows! They love to show people having sex! Think about a teen TV show, any of them. Sex is a topic that's always treated in shows aiming at that audience because we are horny teenagers that like sex! Lot's of sex! In these shows you'll see characters referring to each other as 'hot' and you might even think that some of the actors or actresses in the screen are hot too. You might start feeling a desire to be intimate with them. They are so hot that your mind could start unconsciously picturing what you would do to them if you two were alone. They're so hot that you feel that you would like to sleep with them.

This is just something that asexuals don't experience. We don't have that want. When we see people we don't think they're hot. We don't feel the desire to have sex with them. Sometimes it's hard for us to understand how other people can even think about that just by seeing someone handsome at the mall. It just doesn't cross our minds, because our objective isn't sex.

However, asexuality is a spectrum. There are demisexuals (people that only experience sexual attraction when a strong bond has been formed with another person) and gray-asexuals (inbetween asexual and sexual, a more broader term). There are also people in the spectrum that may not have an assigned name. And you don't have to identify as asexual if you don't want to. You have the power to decide your own identity.


Aesthetic and physical/sensual attraction

So if we don't feel sexual attraction, do we feel attracted by people at all? The answer to that is yes! We do!

Instead of sexual attraction, most asexuals experience something called 'aesthetic attraction', which occurs when someone appreciates the beauty of another person. This type of attraction isn't related at all to sexual or romantic desires. We just appreciate the person's looks!

I'm aesthetically attracted to Taylor Swift, not sexually

Asexuals can think someone is utterly gorgeous while not having the desire to sleep with them.

Now going to the physical or sensual attraction, we do experience that too. These types of attraction consist of feeling a desire towards physical touch that is not related to sexual intercourse. For example, kissing. Even if asexuals don't like sex there is a chance that most of them might enjoy kisses or hugs with their partners, while some might just want to cuddle or hold hands.

The great thing about asexuality is the many windows it has. You can decide what to identify with and put a name on the attractions you feel. Which leads us to the next point, another misunderstanding about asexuality.


Asexuals and Aromantics

There is a huge misconception about these two terms. So let me make it clear for you: being asexual and being aromantic isn't the same.

It is common for other people to assume that asexuals don't want to be in relationships, which is completely untrue. It varies from person to person, but a little over 50% of asexuals identify as romantic. So yes, we do have relationships!

Let's give some clarity to the term 'aromantic'. Aromantic people are those who have a desire to form intimate connections that don't look romantic but they are still very close. So these are the ones who don't enjoy being in relationships, they don't feel romantic towards any other gender.

Say hello to the aromantic flag!

Asexuals can be aromantic, just as aromantics can be asexual too. But these two terms don't necessarily always go hand in hand. You don't have to be asexual to be aromantic. You can desire to have sex with others without a life with a romantic partner just as you can desire a romatic relationship with someone without the sexual intimacy.

So if asexuals aren't aromantic then what are they? Can you be asexual and gay?

The answer to that is yes! Asexuality cuts across other orientations like straight, gay, bi, etc. So as asexuals, most people also state their romantic preferences. If you feel aesthetically or physically attracted to the opposite gender you'd be asexual heteroromantic, if you feel attracted to the same gender you would be asexual homoromantic, if you feel attracted to both then you'd be asexual biromantic, panromantic, and so on.


Do asexuals have sex?

Ok, ok. You're probably thinking that this is a silly question to ask because asexuals obviously don't have sex. It wouldn't make sense considering all I've said about us not feeling sexual attraction. But some asexuals do have sex! I know, I was just as surprised as you when I learned this for the first time.

To explain this easier we'll have to look at another category that unfolds itself under the spectrum: sex positive or sex repulsed. Sex repulsed are those asexuals that are grossed out by sex and really don't like or desire to have it, while sex positive individuals are ok with that kind of intimacy.


The thing is that some aces, as asexuals like to call themselves for short, can still have physical or sexual pleasure but there is no desire to initiate it with someone else. Some people like sex and want to have sex, others not. This is the type of thing that makes asexuality wonderful as each person can decide where they fit best, but it's also why it is so confusing even for the people who identify as ace.

And you'll probably wonder why some asexuals have sex if it's not something that they want. There are several reasons for this and each of them really depends on the person, but some of the most common ones are simply to please their partners, for a rush of dopamine or to have kids if they want that.

I know you're wondering it so I'll just say it: yes, asexuals can masturbate too! It happens something similar as with sex, some don't like it and others do, while some aces might just do it for the dopamine or for the benefits it brings. Some might just do it because they are bored.

"We have the same desire for connection as everyone else. We just don't have a desire to express that connection sexually."

- David Jay, founder of

Now let's talk about relationships, because that's an important subject to talk about as well. As I mentioned almost at the start of the blog, asexuals add up to an estimate of 1% of the world's population. Because we are so few, if an asexual person gets into a relationships it's likely that their partner will not be asexual. There is a pressure point for the asexual because in some relationships their partner's will ask them to compromise to have certain amount of sex. Some people don't mind having sex for their partner's benefit, but some do. This is why it is important to go into a relationship with clear terms of the expectations.

Because of this, asexuals struggle to form romantic connections with people. We have a fear of being judged and that once we reveal our sexuality our partners will stop feeling interested in us.

There is a YouTube short animation that I really like and I think it manages to represent this struggle accurately:

Asexual Story


Are asexuals part of the LGBTQ+ community?


There is a huge debate around this topic. I say that if you want to be a part of the community then you can be. If you don't, then that's ok. You can identify as queer or you don't have to, depending on what you want.

I wish other people thought it was as simple as that! But some don't, so I'll have to mention it here. Asexuals are sometimes not very welcome by other members of the community, and there are cases where they receive a lot of hate and exclusion. The movement generally promotes sex and sexual identities and well, asexuals really don't feel passionate about sex. There's also the issue with heteroromantic aces as some people just consider them straight and therefore not part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Since asexuals don't care about sex, it is something really easy to hide to society's eyes and it's easy for us to blend and appear heterosexual. For that reason some people don't take asexual inclusion as seriously, as they don't see our struggle.

Sometimes it's good to wonder, as an asexual, if it's worth being part of the community if you're going to receive so much hate for that. But as I mentioned before, I believe it is a decision each person should take and they shouldn't be forced to do or be a part of anything they don't want to.

Let's transition to a nicer subject by mentioning some of the symbols inside of the asexual community. Besides the flag, aces usually like to wear a black ring in the middle finger of the right hand to identify themselves. We also make jokes about dragons and cakes and how they are better than sex. So the flag, the ring, dragons, cakes and sometimes cuddling make the majority of the symbols for asexuals!


How do I know if I'm asexual?

I'm not going to lie, it's a tough process full of confusion and doubts. You might have a lot (a LOT) of doubts if you think you might be asexual. This is why awareness and education of asexuality is so important for us, because there are people who might fall under the spectrum but don't even know about it.

So I want to help by sharing some of the resources I looked at while doing my research (YouTube videos) and hope that they might be also useful for someone out there.


Asexuality: The Invisible Orientation

Asexuality 101

So You Think You Might Be Asexual

People Reveal How They've Discovered Their Asexuality

Asexuality Animatic for Exploring Thesis Possibilities

What Acephobia & Asexual Erasure Looks Like

If you have any doubts or would like to talk to someone about it, I'm here for you. Don't hesitate to send me an email or contact me through other platforms and I'll be more than happy to help.

Was this post helpful? Do you have any questions about asexuality? Please leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer them! If you are asexual and feel like sharing your own story please do it! It'll make me really happy to read them all.

Until the next blog!

50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Publicar: Blog2 Post
bottom of page