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
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by BakezbyDaizy.
Photo credit: Canva.com
September 17, 2022 @ 2:40 pm
Very informative. I was also one of those who thought A = Allies. Thank you for clearing my misconception and putting so much more in perspective.
September 17, 2022 @ 5:32 pm
Such an exhaustive research on Asexuality! You have enlisted all the types so extensively. With the changing times the concepts of asexual, bisexual, heterosexual or homosexual is becoming very common and is so very acceptable. We should keep an open mind about all types of sexualities and support the choices that an individual makes. It is so nice to read your post. I did not know they had their own flag.
September 17, 2022 @ 10:23 pm
Dear friend thank you for enlightening me with the knowledge of asexuality. Your content clearly states that you researched enough on this topic and what you presented is a brilliant piece of work. Earlier my idea on this topic what not that clear which happened now after reading this well penned work. I congratulate you for your hard work.
September 18, 2022 @ 11:59 am
Such informative post. I am not aware about this subjects. You have cleared my misconception. And make me aware on this subjects. Such details observation of yours.
September 18, 2022 @ 4:39 am
Quite a lot of types these are!
September 18, 2022 @ 12:31 pm
Seriously I never thought there was so much depth to this. Some piece if information u have shared you its very nuce to educate oneself with this.
September 18, 2022 @ 2:43 pm
Very well written post and really informative too. I was not aware of many things you have mentioned. Thanks for such an amazing write up.
September 18, 2022 @ 5:22 pm
A well researched post. I always thought asexuals were averse to sex. I didn’t know that it was a whole spectrum.
September 18, 2022 @ 6:27 pm
This is an extremely informative article. I used to believe that asexuals were opposed to sex. I had no idea there was such a thing as a spectrum. Thank you for clearing up my misunderstanding and putting everything into context. Informative post.
September 18, 2022 @ 6:43 pm
You’ve written about a very important topic. Most people think that asexual people hide behind this tag for lack of prospects or possible performance issues. There’s so much more to understand about it. Well researched post!
September 18, 2022 @ 8:40 pm
Much needed post. There is so much wrong info floating like you rightly said. It is important to understand asexuality, especially if you have a partner who is one. Mis information or just a wrong impression can ruin relationships. Sharing this. Great research & info!
September 18, 2022 @ 9:11 pm
Well, that’s a new thing for me to hear. I appreciate you taking the time to research all of this information and give us a great meaning and understanding on what asexuality is all about. As you’ve mentioned, very few knew what it meant so having this article written for someone to read everything they need to know is a great thing.
September 19, 2022 @ 12:45 am
I’ve only briefly read about asexuality, after a prominent TV personality came out. This is such an exhaustive post, so well-written and information gold!
Jhilmil D Saha
September 19, 2022 @ 2:28 am
This is a very new topic that I have read here. Although I have heard the term asexuality and had a faint idea of it, frankly never knew it had so many in-depth roots.
September 19, 2022 @ 2:54 am
I used to think that I am asexual but your post confirmed it. I didn’t know about all these sexualities though.
September 19, 2022 @ 8:35 am
This was an eye opening post. I didn’t know many of the terms that you used here. And yes, there are so many myths about asexuality and it’s high time we educate ourselves.
September 20, 2022 @ 3:30 pm
Oh my my! your research n knowledge is commendable Ritu. till I read your article, for me it was only either this or that… nothing in between.. but there is a whole spectrum in the middle. Such an informative post. Looking forward to more.
September 23, 2022 @ 2:34 pm
And I thought I know everything. Thanks for the unknown insights, Ritu. This has been an enlightening read for sure. Looking forward to more of these from you.
Noor Anand Chawla
January 21, 2023 @ 11:59 am
Thanks for sharing this informative post – honestly I had no clue about this subject!