H appy Asexual Awareness Week!
Asexuality is an identity that is often neglected and misunderstood. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, asexual people often get looked over by those who fall under the rest of the acronym.
Check out some things below that you should know about asexuality.
1 Asexuality is a sexual orientation
Just like being gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, etc., being asexual is a sexual orientation. Asexuality is defined as a lack of sexual attraction; an asexual person is someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction to anyone, and/or does not experience desire for sexual contact. People who identify as asexual might refer to themselves as “ace.”
2 Asexuality is not celibacy
Celibacy is a conscious choice to abstain from sexual contact with other people. Sexual orientation can’t be a choice as much as homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality can be. It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes asexual people also do choose to have sex, for whatever reason they may have.
3 The opposite of Asexuality is Z-sexuality
Those who don’t identify on the asexual spectrum, also referred to as sexual, are considered z-sexual. According to GLAAD, this term was created to convey the idea of a spectrum from A to Z, and not set asexuality in opposition to non-asexual and would imply “non-asexual” was the default.
4 Anyone who falls in between could be Gray-asexual
Because sexuality exists on a spectrum, people can fall between asexuality and z-sexuality. In some cases, they experience sexual attraction once in a while, but others are unsure if they’ve ever experienced it. There are also demisexuals, who are only capable of sexual attraction to someone after forming a close emotional bond with a person.
5 Asexuality is not directly correlated to mental illness
The majority of asexuals have never experienced trauma and do not suffer mental illness. There is no data to support the correlation between a person’s mental illness and a person’s sexual orientation. There is also no evidence to suggest asexuality is caused by hormone imbalances or deficient sex drive.
6 Asexuals can still experience arousal
While there has only been one scientific study on asexuality and arousal with women, it is possible. In a study with Brotto and Yule in 2011, it was found that asexual women are capable of physiological arousal and were healthily aware of what was going on in their bodies.