When it comes to LGBTQIA+ awareness, asexuality is perhaps the least talked about and the most misunderstood. So much so that many do not even consider it real. Labeling it a phase or just being too prude.
We live in a hyper-sexualized world. Even non-sexual items piggyback on sex appeal to sell. Asexuals (or Aces for short) often feel alienated in such a world. Abstinence, celibacy, or fear of intimacy is not asexuality. Aces are rarely represented in media, movies, or TV shows. All add up to the misconceptions surrounding them.
All this year as a part of Blogchatter‘s #CauseAChatter campaign, I have been sharing LGBTQIA+ book recommendations. This post initially started out as a book recommendation post. But keeping in mind the lack of awareness about asexuality, we need to get our basics right. Today I discuss with you what exactly is asexuality, the asexuality spectrum, and the popular misconceptions about it.
What is Asexuality
“Straight people are rarely treated like they’re close-minded for knowing their sexual orientation, but aces are assumed to be unsure and always on the brink of finding the person who will change everything.”
– Angela Chen in Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, And The Meaning Of Sex
When you think of asexuality, what comes to your mind? A person who hates sex? You cannot be further from the truth. Not all asexuals are averse to sex. In fact, some might choose to be sexually active, and have a spouse and kids.
In LGBTQIA+, the A denotes the asexual spectrum or a-spec (although this too is questioned, considering it to be Allies instead). Simply defined, an asexual (ace) is a person who does not experience sexual attraction. That said, asexuality is not a clear-cut trait but a whole spectrum.
Attitudes Towards Sex
Asexuals’ attitudes towards sex can be divided into three broad categories.
Sex-averse or Sex-negative
A person who is averse to sex and finds it repulsive. In some cases, has a physical distressed reaction to the thought of having sex.
Sex-indifferent or Sex-neutral
A person who is indifferent to sex. Does not enjoy it but does not find it repulsive.
Sex-favorable or Sex-positive
A person who may not experience sexual attraction but enjoys the sexual activity. Who is open to a sexual partner.
An individual can be a combination of some or all three attitudes as well. Accepting sexuality in society but not in personal relationships. Sex-neutral but strongly believes in comprehensive sex education.Understanding Asexuality – The Invisible Sexual Orientation @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand @bakezbydaizy #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
The Asexuality Spectrum
The asexuality spectrum has two orientations; sexual and romantic. Several identities fall under these categories.
A person who does not experience sexual attraction.
A person who only experiences sexual attraction after forming an emotional bond.
Gray Asexual (Gray-A or Gray Ace)
A person who identifies somewhere between sexual and asexual
A person who does not feel romantic attraction.
Similar to demisexuals, a person who feels romantic attraction only after forming a strong emotional bond. Demisexuals can be demiromantics too, but not always.
Similar to graysexuals, there is a gray area when it comes to romantic orientation. A person who is aromantic, but at some point, might have had romantic feelings.
A person who feels romantic attraction for people of the opposite binary gender.
A person who feels romantic attraction for people of the same gender.
Similar to bisexuals, a person who experiences romantic attraction to multiple genders.
A person who feels a romantic attraction to many (but not all) genders.
A person who feels romantic attraction without gender being a factor. Unlike biromantics, the person can feel sexual desire for all genders.
Romantic orientation is not limited to asexuality or exclusive to asexuals. A sexual person can also identify with a different romantic orientation. It is more prevalent in the asexual world given the wide spectrum of orientation.
The Asexuality Flag
The Asexuality Pride flag includes four hortizontal stripes – black, gray, white, and purple from top to bottom. The colors represent
- Black: Asexuality
- Gray: Gray-asexuality or demisexuality
- White: Sexuality, allies, and non-asexual partners
- Purple: Community
Hope you found this post useful as an introduction to asexuality. This is the first in the series of creating awareness about asexuality. Stay tuned as I would be sharing more resources including book recommendations.
Source: Asexuality.orgUnderstanding Asexuality – The Invisible Sexual Orientation @blogchatter #CauseAChatter #Inclusivity #LGBTQ #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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