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Long time lurker, occasional commenter, first time poster, hopefully not breaking any rules.

Because this asexual topic seems to come up every few weeks like clockwork with a lot of ??? I figured I'd open up this discussion for anyone who might happen to care or be curious.

Maybe it's a stupid idea! Maybe not. I guess I'm about to find out.

May the Force be with y'all.

Long time lurker, occasional commenter, first time poster, hopefully not breaking any rules. Because this asexual topic seems to come up every few weeks like clockwork with a lot of ??? I figured I'd open up this discussion for anyone who might happen to care or be curious. Maybe it's a stupid idea! Maybe not. I guess I'm about to find out. May the Force be with y'all.

49 comments

Why do you call yourself asexual instead of celibate/abstinent/single/separatist etc. ? Are you still seeking romance and LTR?

I consider myself all of those things (except abstinent) and, in my case, find most of them interchangeable. But most people don't because these all mean different things.

Abstinence implies I'm waiting until certain requirements are met before having sex. That's not true for me though. It's simply not on my life agenda.

I do consider myself to be celibate since I'm living a life without sex. But that tends to put off celibate people who are taking this as some sort of spiritual vow and are working together to overcome various desires that I don't have.

I also consider myself a separatist but I don't see that as having anything inherently to do with sexual activity... unless that activity is with men.

I am single since I am not partnered.

I'm not seeking romance but I'm open to the idea of life teammates... also known as friends... for maybe a longterm roommate situation.

Because asexuality is a different thing than those things, it's a complete lack of sexual attraction to others.

Not according to the Trevor project. It's a 'spectrum' including demisexuals. Anyway, i was just trying to get the ball rolling with questions. Since i know it's often a criticism.

[–] ProxyMusic 15 points Edited

Asexual traditionally meant someone who never experiences, and never has experienced, any sexual feelings, desires, urges or attractions whatsoever. In other words, someone with no libido at all. But now that orgs like the Trevor Project say that asexuals are part of the "LGBTQ+," many newfangled definitions of the term asexual are floating aroun - and most of them fuzzy and full of contradictions. For example, some people who call themselves asexual today apparently masturbate, watch porn, have sex with others, and very much enjoy having sex by themselves and with others too:

Asexual people might still masturbate or have sex.

After all, sexuality doesn’t always mean someone doesn’t enjoy sex. It just means they don’t experience sexual attraction.

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-asexual#facts

So I'm curious to know the exact definition of asexual you are using.

Also, how old are you?

Traditionally asexual means asexual reproduction. That's what I associate it with. Obviously, humans can't be asexual

Every time I hear the term I think about a blade of grass 😂

I'm using the traditional meaning synonymous with a lack of sexual orientation or, if you want to be fancy, the direct opposite of being bisexual.

I'm sure the Trevor Project can't define what a woman is either.

I'm 29.

[–] ProxyMusic 16 points Edited

Thanks for answering. I don't see the traditional meaning of asexual as "synonymous with a lack of sexual orientation," though.

The traditional definition of an asexual is someone who doesn't have, and never has had, any sexual feelings, urges, drives at all - someone who never has sexual thoughts and fantasies, is totally unresponsive to all/any sexual stimuli (such as an erotic passage in a book), has never masturbated, and has never had any entirely involuntary sexual experiences such as sex dreams, nocturnal emissions/wet dreams, spontaneous boners. In my view, someone who has never had any sexual feelings at all ever is different to someone who has no sexual attraction to other people.

Do you agree with the new notion touted by groups like Trevor Project that asexuals belong in "the LGBTQ+"?

I typically equate everything you just said with a lack of orientation / a lack of sexuality, thus asexuality. And yes, everything you have just said describes me. Straight, bi, gay, all that? Can't relate. Total data points: zero. That's why to save breath I just say opposite of bisexual. If there's a North, East, and South, there must be a West... if you catch my drift.

At this point, LGBTQ+ means pretty much anything and everything. So if you're the Trevor Project and if you're going to pop in every single letter of the alphabet but then drop the A, that just says you lack consistency for your nonsense. But if you asked me if asexuals are LGB? Well, obviously not. They're not same-sex attracted. They're not attracted to anyone.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about acronyms, flags, pins, or parades.

[–] otterstrom 7 points Edited
  1. Do you believe you have, or have you been formally diagnosed with either autism, a developmental delay disorder, or other such? And what is your age.

  2. Are you overweight or obese?

  3. Did you experience early childhood trauma? Even things that you’re not sure if you would label trauma, but which contributed to a very negative childhood, eg. bullying, spanking, emotional abuse, yelling, physical abuse, witnessing abuse towards the mother, told you were never wanted, being adopted, forced medication, sexual abuse, neglect, etc.

  4. Were either of your parents (or significant siblings or other family members): alcoholic or otherwise addicted; in a the military; diagnosed with aforementioned; in a significant accident or life-threatening situation including ongoing abuse or rape; chronically or terminally ill; harmed by pregnancy or birth; or living in poverty.

  5. Have you experienced sexual assault?

  6. Have you had consentual sex? If yes, Male or Female?

  7. Did you grow up in a religious household?

  8. Are you in a western or non-western country?

  9. Do you have synesthesia?

  10. Are you conventionally attractive? (Although I loathe this) Where would you place yourself in a 1-10 scale with 10 being highest conventional attractiveness.

  11. Where did you learn the term ‘asexual.’

  12. What do think sexual attraction is/must feel like? What are the feelings you don’t have? (please be specific, but not “grpahic”, if you know what I mean). How do you know you don’t have them?

  13. What is your favorite kind of pizza.

  1. Do you believe you have, or have you been formally diagnosed with either autism, a developmental delay disorder, or other such? And what is your age. --- My mom thinks I am "on the spectrum" but I do not share her opinion. I'm 29.

  2. Are you overweight or obese? --- No.

  3. Did you experience early childhood trauma? Even things that you’re not sure if you would label trauma, but which contributed to a very negative childhood, eg. bullying, spanking, emotional abuse, yelling, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, etc. --- No. My childhood was so picturesque I reflect on it fondly most days.

  4. Were either of your parents: alcoholic, military, diagnosed with aforementioned, in a significant accident or life-threatening situation including ongoing abuse or rape, in poverty. --- No. Well my mom was in a car wreck when unknowingly pregnant with my older sister but I just found that out last year!

  5. Have you experienced sexual assault? --- I wouldn't call it that. Physically manhandled with sexual and/or violent intent that was ultimately unsuccessful? Yes.

  6. Have you had consentual sex? If yes, Male or Female? --- No.

  7. Did you grow up in a religious household? --- My family is Christian but it was more of a cultural thing than a deeply religious one. I'm African American so it pretty much comes with the territory.

  8. Are you in a western or non-western country? --- Western. starts USA chant

  9. Do you have synesthesia? --- No.

  10. Are you conventionally attractive? --- I consider myself delightfully average.

  11. Where did you learn the term ‘asexual.’ --- Google.

  12. What is your favorite kind of pizza. --- Cheese.

  13. Do you like the number 13? --- Yes.

"I consider myself delightfully average."

I'm going to borrow this phrasing in the future !

Thank you for the replies. You will find that I updated the questions a bit since you’ve answered. I tend to do that to fix editing errors and add things and such.

Ah! Let me grab the ones that seem different:

  1. Were either of your parents (or significant siblings or other family members): alcoholic or otherwise addicted; in a the military; diagnosed with aforementioned; in a significant accident or life-threatening situation including ongoing abuse or rape; chronically or terminally ill; harmed by pregnancy or birth; or living in poverty --- My grandpa died from cancer, but we all must die eventually. He lived a long life. RIP.

  2. Are you conventionally attractive? (Although I loathe this) Where would you place yourself in a 1-10 scale with 10 being highest conventional attractiveness. --- Uh... 7?

  3. What do think sexual attraction is/must feel like? What are the feelings you don’t have? (please be specific, but not “grpahic”, if you know what I mean). How do you know you don’t have them? --- Well, I assume it must involve wanting to connect sexually with other people. At the start you probably have fluttery feelings about, fascination, or tunnel vision towards someone as a bit of a crush, thinking of them quite a bit and such. Then once you date you'd want to spend time alone instead of in a group with other people. Maybe you'd fancy holding hands or kissing. The relationship is one you'd desire to become non-platonic in nature. But... yeah I guess you can toss most of that aside and boil it down to wanting to connect sexually with other people. I've never experienced any of the above but it's a lot easier to prove the presence of something than the absence of something. If I told you to verify if there are any frogs in the pond it's a lot easier to find a singular frog than to make sure, absolutely, that there are no frogs anywhere to be found ever.

How do you know you are asexual and not just repulsed by sex due to all the disgusting stuff being pushed on women. (Like porn, kink, objectification and so on). I'm asking because I'm wondering if I might be asexual or if I just hate all the disgusting stuff attached to sexuality

Sex is messy, that is true. But if you're attracted to other people sexually, the fact that sex is messy becomes - however gradually - irrelevant.

To me, porn, kink, and objectification is not sexuality (or rather, sexual intimacy). My idea of sexual intimacy is more about the giving and receiving of pleasure and the mutual respect of a specific type of vulnerability... but I also want nothing to do with that. To be drawn to someone in that manner is a foreign concept to me on a personal level.

Have you ever felt sexually attracted to another person?

I'm questioning what I am right now. I fine men attractive but not sexually attractive. I wouldn't have sex with them and I have no desire for sex or masturbation. But men's faces specifically I find appealing to look at, like a pretty painting I guess? I don't find women nice to look at in the same way.

I was in a hetero relationship for 3 years but I loathed having sex. I liked to cuddle and look at his face and talk to him and I was satisfied with that only.

That was my only relationship and I've been completely happy and single since.

[–] RadfemRocker 1 points Edited

That kind of just sounds like you're straight, imo, though only you can know for sure.

Did you like to kiss him, or was it gross?

And maybe he was just bad at sex? Most men are, from what I've heard from straight and bi women.

Have you ever had an orgasm? I can't imagine someone experiencing that and being like "meh, this does nothing for me" or is that separate from the fact that you don't experience sexual attraction?

No. But I've also never been aroused. For all I can figure, I'm just not wired that way. Technically I categorize that as a bodily function that ends up being linked to sexual attraction after developments during puberty.

Have you ever had your hormones tested? Female arousal is linked to hormone levels, including testosterone levels, that's why woman can completely lose interest when they go on birth control or during menopause. Maybe you have an imbalance?

[–] ProxyMusic 2 points Edited

Female arousal is linked to hormone levels, including testosterone levels, that's why woman can completely lose interest when they go on birth control or during menopause.

I know this is widely believed to be the case, but I personally haven't found that arousal is dependent on my hormone levels. I had my ovaries removed in the late 1990s and was one of the millions of women yanked off HRT in 2002 after the big study came out - and I have noticed no diminishment in my ability to be aroused even though my T, E and P levels are pretty close to zero.

Whilst I am currently single, don't date and have no desire to get into any kind of sexual relationship with anyone else, my capacity for arousal and orgasm and desire to sexually pleasure myself over the past 10 years have definitely not diminished at all. In fact, I find myself strongly attracted to all sorts of people I see when out and about, on TV or online and I find myself having sex thoughts out of the blue about some public figures and media personalities I find odious, LOL. Moreover, I it's become easier than ever for me to orgasm and my orgasms are better and more powerful than ever too. This is the case for quite a few women I know who are long past menopause age and running on empty when it comes to sex hormones like me.

Unknown. But I've never been on birth control or any other type of medication. I'm also not going through menopause nor do I have PCOS. Not saying I'm the perfect picture of health, but I was healthy enough to pass all collegiate athlete exams.

To amplify your point: in many people, the physical capacity for sexual arousal develops before, and separate to, sexual attraction to others. This is most obvious in males. Many boys have wet dreams, spontaneous boners and masturbate long before they feel sexual attraction to other people - which is why so many adolescent guys fuck farm animals, pets, various food stuffs and household items.

The fact that the capacity for physical sexual arousal and primal sex urges often develop before sexual attraction to other people develops is part of the host of reasons why it takes some people a fair bit of time to figure out their sexual orientation.

Yikes! I was today years old when I found out adolescent boys make a habit out of fucking farm animals.

But who knows? I've never experienced sexual arousal and, as a result, have never been sexually attracted to anyone else. At this point in my life, I'm under the assumption I have no capacity to.

Would you say that your asexuality is innate like sex-based attraction is, or is it more of a response to environmental factors? Sorry if this is a disrespectful question!

I mean I've never known anything else, so I'd consider the current state of things to be my natural setting. Whether or not it's coded in my genes is another discussion that I don't find myself qualified for.

[–] FlorenceBlue 6 points Edited

What do you believe about those who claim they are aromantic and do you also believe sexual and "romantic" attraction can be separated?

Edit: OP are you still there?

I'm a bit of two minds about this (no pun intended).

I think at the end of the day, I accept that attraction to others looks different and the intimate relationships people form with each other look different. Maybe sex happens all the time. Maybe it happens never. If sex is never happening, I'm sure that would cause many to view that partnership as a joke or less serious or less legitimate or "just" friendship. And if that's you then fine, go you! But from puppy love to the more tumultuous crushes of one's teenage years to the deep longing in adulthood, I don't think just removing sex from the equation suddenly makes what we're looking at a friendship.

I think of sexual orientation like the settings on a guitar amp. You've got all these knobs that make the guitar sound a different way but it's only the main one that controls the volume. Everyone has different presets but you won't hear most of it until the volume starts getting turned up starting at around puberty. For an asexual person, I think all those other knobs are preset at zero. For a lesbian or any other type of person who simply just isn't that into sex, they've got some presets at zero but many others that aren't.

I guess using split attraction terminology can help those find others who are similar to them. But I don't think not being into sex automatically means you are orientation-less. At the same time, I've seen on too many occasions to count where the phrasing is used: "if you don't want to fuck ____ then you aren't ___." And that probably does a lot to get people to lean on calling themselves homoromantic but not homosexual or heteroromantic but not heterosexual.

If sex feels mandatory, people are going to come up with new terms to make it feel not mandatory... asexual being one of them. I acknowledge that.

Do I also think relying on the split attraction model also helps those brush under the rug the impact of homophobia or misogyny? Yes. But there is going to be a significant part of the population who finds it impossible that any healthy person just isn't into sex, full stop, when I don't believe that to be the case.

Do you find it helpful to be included in the LGBTQIA++ community? Do you feel you have a lot in common with gay/bisexual people?

(Thanks for doing this Q&A btw!)

Do I find it helpful to be included in the alphabet soup? No. Not unless it comes with a Panera Bread gift card. I love Panera Bread. Especially their soup.

Do I feel like I have a lot in common with gay/bisexual people? No. Well, I have just about as much in common with them as straight people I suppose. Take that for what you will.

I would hope most “asexual” people feel this way. It’s almost as dumb to include the A as the T as these have nothing to do with the leading letters

Are you asexual?

Human beings are sexual. Planarians, many annelid worms including polychaetes and some oligochaetes, turbellarians, and sea stars are asexual. (This is re: reproduction, but I feel the concept translates.)

Most likely you are celibate (whether voluntarily or not), or have a low sex drive / libido.

Both of which are perfectly fine (if you're otherwise happy and healthy), neither of which makes you asexual. There are only three sexualities (heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).

Asexual in humans, I suppose, would be if you have had zero sex drive your entire life. If you don't even know whether you're heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual, because you've never felt any sexual attraction ever to another human being ever, never masturbated, never had any remotely sexual thoughts, never been sexually aroused by anyone or anything, ever, never been sexually aroused, period. Is that so? In which case, this sounds like a symptom of hormonal imbalance, as this should have occurred during puberty with hormonal fluctuations and spikes, even if never else. But it needn't be pathologised if you are happy. Hope you are.

May the Force be with you, too.

Well I'm obviously not calling myself a plant. XD

I am very much celibate and I have a nonexistent sex drive / libido... and because of that calling myself celibate also upsets quite a large number of celibate people. If you want to call that asexual, cool. If not, that's cool too. I don't have strong feelings one way or the other but I also find it dishonest to call myself heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual. I have an equal amount of evidence to support any three of those claims. Perhaps I should choose one based on the day of the week?

And yes, I'm very happy. Happier than most people I know, actually. And every checkup I've ever had has me has a pretty good picture of health. I played sports through college. Never been on any medications, never smoked, never drank, whatever. I just also have never experienced arousal, masturbated, or anything else like that. I don't think that makes me unhealthy, I think it's a result of a role of the dice. This is my baseline. I certainly have the capacity to think about sex just like I can think about rabid llamas traversing the surface of Mars.

[–] ghoul2 Ghost w/the most 0 points

Does it bother you when people act like your experience can't possibly be real? How do you handle sexual pressure / society's insistence on these things?

Does it bother you when people act like your experience can't possibly be real?

Sort of? I guess sometimes I'm more so surprised how much people insist that I'm either lying or am unhealthy.

How do you handle sexual pressure / society's insistence on these things?

It hasn't really been an issue. Growing up, no one acted like I should be having sex or even should be going on dates. In adulthood, I'm sure people assume - if it even occurred to them to think of it at all - that I've engaged in certain types of relationships. And if in the off chance it comes up and I say I haven't because I'm not interested, the response is usually, "cool, you do you."

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