One thing that worries me is that there isn’t enough validation for asexuality, not even in the LGBTQ+ community. Asexuality is a very real sexuality, and this article is to endorse it a little more, and help anyone who is confused or just wants to understand a little more about it.
One thing that needs to be understood is that, like sexuality in general, asexuality is on a spectrum. There are people who are asexual and yet will have sex for their partners even though they find no enjoyment out of it. This spectrum continues on to end with people who will not have sex, are completely repulsed by it and will be uncomfortable with even kissing and cuddling. There are people in between who like sex in theory and not in practice, be okay with masturbation and not sexual contact with another person, as well as people who have to be in specific conditions to be comfortable enough to have sex with someone- and yet this person will still not enjoy the act.
I have had someone ask me once, “Isn’t it rape if the other person doesn’t like having sex, but you have it anyway?”
The answer is no, it isn’t. Rape is if the person doesn’t consent or is no position to give consent. If an asexual is having sexual intercourse with their partner, is of legal age and has said that it is okay, it is not rape.
Another question I have been asked is, “Aren’t asexual people just victims of sexual harassment that just don’t want to go through that again? Once bitten, twice shy kind of thing?”
For some of us this may entirely be the case, that doesn’t change the fact that someone has taken the label of ‘asexual’ and is uncomfortable with sexual intercourse. Whether there is a reason such as previous experiences, or it is just the way someone was born, asexual people are uncomfortable with sex. It’s okay.
Not all asexual people are victims of sexual harassment though, and they are just born this way. Where sex just isn’t for them and that is perfectly okay.
To address a fear I know can run rampant through asexual teenagers, people will still love you even if you don’t like sex. I promise. If you still like cuddling, even kissing, and you are scared that not liking sex is going to make you hard to love, it isn’t the case. Someone will love you for more reasons than having sex with you, in fact that is how most relationships should be. A relationship based on trust, adoration and awe, and how well the couple works together, and not how many times they orgasm between your sheets. Anyway, you aren’t the only asexual in the world, you might even find a likeminded person to fall in love with and this won’t ever be an issue.
If you are like me and have researched the statistics on how many asexual people there are, and you found the most quoted statistic of 1%, don’t panic and hear me out. The social experiment that this statistic is quoted from was held in 2004 by Anthony Bogaert. Bogaert surveyed not even 20,000 British people in 2004; this was over a decade ago. In the past thirteen years, the term asexual became more of an umbrella term for the spectrum I was explaining before and more and more people are opening up to the fact that they just don’t like sex. You really aren’t as alone as you may feel, especially because at least two of us here at TWE are on the asexual spectrum.
I have been questioning my sexuality since I was 12 years old and when I was 15 I came out as a lesbian. When I was 16 I changed the label twice to being bisexual and then pansexual. As I have become a lot more comfortable with who I am since then, two years later and I try not to put myself in too much of a box. However, I fall on the asexual spectrum and I have no shame on it. I am talking from having sexual experiences with boys and girls in the past and finding myself to be uncomfortable in those situations. It doesn’t even relate to who I was with as more than one of those people I was very close to, and others I hardly knew.
Having sex with someone I often call my best friend was one of the biggest turning points in my realisation, because afterwards when she slept in the spare room I felt nothing except relief. I had been so nervous and uncomfortable with the fact that she was probably going to sleep in my bed with me, and I was too scared to hurt her feelings if I asked her to sleep in the other room. I was so relieved when she volunteered to sleep there because she had forgotten her sleeping medication and didn’t want to keep me awake.
Let’s try and explain this a little bit better, by this I mean my sexuality or my relationship with sex. I love it in theory, and yes like most people I do also get “horny” and it doesn’t upset me. I also feel comfortable having sex in specific conditions, doesn’t mean I will necessarily enjoy it or that I will find the greatest pleasure in it, but it’s okay. Specific conditions meaning I cannot be in control because I will be scared and nervous about it, in fact I need someone to be very dominant and sure of themselves so that I can be calm and relaxed. They also need to be a girl, because being in any sort of situation where a man has power or control scares me beyond belief (for more information, stay tuned to my profile for following articles). I also need to have complete trust in the person, which rules out casual sex. This fact upsets a lot of people my age who have showed sexual interest in me.
It is okay to have sex even if you are asexual, whether because you are in love with someone and want to offer yourself to them in that intimate way no matter how sex has made you feel in the past, or if it is because you drank too much with an attractive person one night and you went too far. Your own curiosity is never something to be ashamed of either.
It is also okay to never have sex, ever in your life because that is just how you feel. Succumbing to pressure is never the answer to anything; you will learn to love yourself if you don’t already.
You are going to be okay, and if you feel like experimenting or avoiding, or you feel like you are weird or less than anyone else, just know that it is just your mind feeding you things. You are okay, you are no less than those who like or love sex. Being you is the only thing that matters.
Written by: Raegan Lei