“What does asexual mean?” Hint: if you just pictured Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, rethink your answer.
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction. It’s still its own sexuality, however! Sexual attraction does not equal sexuality. Also, sexual attraction does not equal sex drive.
“Asexuals never have sex.” Myth! While there are asexuals who are sex-repulsed–which means they are disgusted by sex, the idea of sex, and sexual activity–there are also sex-positive asexuals, which means they are fine with sex or even love having sex themselves, and sex-indifferent asexuals, which means they don’t really care much either way.
“All asexuals hate sex and people who have sex.” Myth! While as stated there are sex-repulsed asexuals, most asexual people don’t really care about the sex lives of others.
“Asexuality is just a modifier for your real orientation.” Myth! Asexuality is defined as its own sexual orientation, just like heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, and every other sexuality out there.
“Asexuality is just another word for abstinence.” Myth! While some asexuals do abstain from sex and sexual activity altogether, many asexuals actually have moderate-to-active sex lives. Abstinence is a preference; asexuality is a sexuality.
“Asexuals don’t date.” Myth! Many asexuals have a romantic orientation that is different from their sexual orientation. The split-attraction model, which separates the romantic and sexual orientations in chart form, is often helpful for asexuals (and other demographics) who are unsure about their sexuality and different levels of attraction. There are heteroromantic asexuals, who are romantically attracted to the opposite gender; homoromantic asexuals, who are romantically attracted to the same gender; biromantic asexuals, who are romantically attracted to more than one gender; aromantic asexuals, who don’t experience romantic attraction, and more.
“Asexuals don’t date non-asexuals.” Myth! Many asexuals have loving and fulfilling romantic relationships with non-asexuals. For many asexuals, their romantic relationships depend entirely on their emotional connection with their partners, not their partner’s sexual orientation.
“Asexuality is just another word for no sexuality.” Myth! As previously stated, asexuality is its own sexuality. It is not a modifier or a blank space.
“Asexuals are just straight people who never have sex.” Myth! As previously stated, many asexuals have different romantic orientations. There are lesbian asexuals, gay asexuals, biromantic asexuals, panromantic asexuals, aromantic asexuals, and more.
“Asexuality is a set orientation and works the same for everybody.” Myth! Asexuality is actually a spectrum. Beyond sex-positive, sex-indifferent and sex-repulsed, there are asexuals, gray-asexuals and demisexuals.
“Gray-asexuals are just confused.” Semi-Myth! Gray-asexuals are asexuals who either sometimes experience sexual attraction, or are questioning whether they are asexual at all.
“Demisexuality isn’t a real orientation, it’s just a way to slut shame people.” Myth! Demisexuality is an orientation that falls on the asexual spectrum. Demisexuals are asexuals who experience sexual attraction when they already feel a strong emotional connection to the person. This is not to say that all people who only have sex with a partner that they know, is demisexual. Demisexuality is an asexual orientation, which means they do not physically experience sexual attraction, except for this extenuating circumstance.
“All asexuals are aromantic.” Myth! While there are many aromantic asexuals, not all asexuals are automatically aromantic.
“What does aromantic mean?” An aromantic person does not experience romantic attraction. As with asexuality, aromanticism is a spectrum, which means there are aromantics who are disgusted by the idea and acts of romance, and aromantics who are perfectly fine with it.
“Are the aromantic and asexual spectrums connected?” Yes! Often these two orientations are grouped together under the term “a-spectrum” and referred to in a lot of the same conversations, and often the asexual and aromantic communities come together to support one another.
“Asexuals aren’t LGBT.” Myth! Asexuality, as a marginalized sexual orientation, is widely accepted by the LGBT community. The full community acronym also includes an A, representing asexuality.
“Asexuality is just a disorder, like HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder).” Myth! While asexuality can be a symptom of a greater disorder, or come about because of trauma, asexuality as a sexual orientation is accepted by the medical community. While asexuality was medicalized for several decades, it was recently removed from the DSM-5 in 2013 for good!
“Asexuals don’t watch porn, masturbate, or wear lingerie.” Myth! Even sex-repulsed asexuals have enjoyed masturbation, porn, lingerie and other often sexualized activities. As with anything else, it depends entirely on the individual.
“What does ‘ace’ mean?” Ace is simply a short nickname for asexuality, which is why the ace card is considered a symbol for the asexual community.
I hope this has helped clear up any misconceptions you might have previously had!
Tierney is a 22 year old insomniatic writer from the southern united states. She spends most of her time writing, fighting with strangers on the internet, and building custom furniture. Her professional goal is to be a true Jane of all trades with a resume 30 pages long which reads like an adventure novel. She lives constantly in a state of kudoclasm– the feeling of your life flashing before your eyes except it’s daydreams of your future; the feeling of living with your head always in the clouds and bouncing ideas against the world. You can join her there on her Tumblr.