Common misconceptions

After having come out on my personal blog, a friend of mine replied with the classic “You haven’t found the right one” line and “Asexuals are just frustrated people who haven’t been able to have sex”. I wonder when, oh, when did I say being asexual had anything to do with not having a significant other nor not having sex? And When did I say asexuals wanted to have sex in the first place? People clearly don’t understand.

So I decided to compile a list of common misconceptions. I’m sure that after reading it, skeptics or confused people will be even more confused, but at least they’ll start pondering.

Here is a list of what DOES NOT define asexuality, along with my attempt to explain why they are misconceptions:

1. Asexuals are virgins

Many asexuals have had/have sex, many times and with many different people, but don’t find it is particularly appealing by itself or find other things more intrinsecally exciting.

2. Asexuals are repulsed by sex

While it is true that many asexuals are uncomfortable with sex and intimacy, that is not the case of all, and this particular trait definitely does not consitute a definition for asexuality.

3. Asexuals want to have sex and they’re just frustrated people because they haven’t been able to have any

As asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction, sex is not something they are desperately seeking. Sexual people who have high sexual urges have real trouble understanding this. If you can’t conceive how a person does not want to have sex, it just means one thing and one thing only: you are very sexual, and that’s great! But please, don’t judge other people just because of how you feel.

4. Asexuals don’t want to have sex ever in their life

Some asexuals wouldn’t mind having sex, it’s just not something they are desperately seeking. Given the right conditions (right time, person, place) some romantic asexuals would even find sex very appealing. On the other hand, yes, some asexuals don’t want to have sex ever. But note this is just the case of some and does not consitute a definition for asexuality.

5. Asexuals are degendered/don’t have sexual organs

Seriously, what?

6. Asexuals can’t enjoy sex/can’t have orgasms/erections

Asexuals can have orgasms and erections just as sexuals do. They can enjoy sex just as sexuals do.

7. Asexuals don’t fall in love and/don’t want to have a significant other

Romantic asexuals fall in love and most want to find a significant other/have already a significant other. Aromantic asexuals, on the other hand, don’t.

I am the biggest romantic asexual 🙂

8. Asexuals don’t have a significant other

Many asexuals have significant others, both sexual and asexual.

9. Asexuals couples don’t have sex

Asexual couples can have sex and some do. It’s just nothing they need.

10. An asexual can’t have a significant other that is sexual

An asexual/sexual couple is something that poses challenges, but it’s not impossible.

11. When an asexual finds a significant other that attracts them sexually, that is the proof that asexuality wasn’t real

This is called demisexuality, which can be considered part of asexuality. Some prefer to place it in a gray area between sexuality and asexuality. Demisexuality is defined as being sexually attracted to somebdoy only when a strong relationship exists. It does not disprove asexuality, as this is something that happens to only some former defined as asexual, and it never becomes “full” sexuality (being attracted sexually, indistinctively of the person triggering the attraction).

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6 Comments

  1. Ace Amoeba said,

    June 13, 2009 at 2:55 am

    That’s a very thorough list. I can see how many of these explanations would baffle a sexual person. It’s interesting that asexuality is usually regarded as a problem as opposed to a valid lifestyle.

  2. Bloodspecter said,

    July 15, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I’m reading this and i don’t anything that could tell me any of this explain a new kind of sexual orientation. If the definition of Asexuality is only that your not seeking or needing sex, it’s irrevelant. A homosexual isn’t in “need” of sex, only hyper-sexual people can be qualified to be in “need” of sex. If you do it and enjoy it, even if it’s rare, your still a sexualy active person and you should be classified as a hetero, homo or bisexual depending on your gender preference. Unless you tell me Asexuality is a term for a group of people banding together who aren’t really interested in sex… i don’t think this sexual classification even exist.

    • Anonymous said,

      June 18, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      well, you see, its not that its a group of people who dont want sex, its that they find the idea of sex very unappealing, or disgusting. (or at least for me) I dont understand what makes a person want to have sex with another person, and I dont want to do it. at all. maybe not ever. its not that i’m not interested, its more like I’m incapable of seeing someone as “hot” or “sexy” but I do want to be in a relationship and I do fall in love, although it happens very rarely. its true, nobody “needs” sex, but think about it like math. I’m sure you don’t like math, but some people do. their eyes light up when presented with a complex math problem, and they get excited when someone mentions math in a conversation. you are somehow offended that someone could like math, and you are possibly never going to understand why they actually like math, but you do like solving problems. thats a sexually active asexual. you don’t know why someone would want to talk about sex or why someone would want to have sex with someone else, but you do like sex, by itself. with me, it’ll be like I do like solving problems, I just like a different kind of problem, like puzzles.

  3. julie said,

    July 15, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Hi. It all comes down to definitions. A sexual orientation is defined as what gender you are sexually attracted to, not what gender you are sexually active with. Asexuals aren’t sexually attracted to any gender, and that’s what makes us so.

    A male homosexual can be sexually active with women, and that does not make him straight.
    Asexuals can be sexually active with either gender, and that does not make us straight, homo nor bi.

    Also, I don’t mean to say that sexual people are always needing sex. Maybe my use of the word “need” leads to a misconception itself, but it is pretty difficult to express the concept of sexual attraction when you’ve never experienced it (I will review and see if I can rewrite this a little bit).

  4. Lethe said,

    August 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    What a beautiful job you’ve done here! I’ve heard so many of these things . . . and of course they’re not true. Frustrated because we can’t have sex? I’m frustrated because I haven’t met a man yet who understands that “No, I don’t want to have sex with you, and I never will want to have sex with you, so please leave me alone” isn’t some kind of pick-up line, and he doesn’t have the right to take out his humiliation and frustration on me when it does sink in that I mean it. I’ve got some news for you, guys: women couldn’t PLAY hard to get if there weren’t actually such a thing as hard to get.

    And the people who don’t get it that when I say I’m asexual I’m talking about my orientation, NOT my gender . . . well, when it’s an idiot in some chatroom that’s one thing . . . but I “came out” to my mother and her partner and my mom’s partner said “You’re not asexual, you have girl parts!” Funny, some people say the exact same thing about homosexuals . . . as if the attraction you experience (or don’t experience) is a direct function of the parts you’ve got.

    You have done such a beautiful job, Julie! I can relate to your difficulties in writing about sexual attraction when it’s something you’ve never experienced yourself. As a writer, it’s something I’ve had to learn. (Sex is a really good plot device.) What I know about sexual attraction I learned the same way I learned everything else . . . from reading about it. I became interested in sex when I hit puberty, sure enough . . . it was just an academic interest instead of a personal interest. I actually know more about the biology and psychology of sexuality than most of the sexually active, sexually oriented people I know. Scary, eh?

    P.S. Some things really are different when you find the right one . . . kissing, for instance, which is really gross when some guy you’ve just met does it to you before you know what’s coming, but which is really sweet when it’s with someone you love. I speak from experience. I’ve found the right one . . . and I’m still asexual.

  5. October 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    […] Posted in Explanations at 4:56 pm by julie Today I had a chat with a very dear friend of mine. Among the subjects of discussion, the fact that I am asexual came up. After we talked, I am now absolutely sure that discussing asexuality is never easy, and 9 out of 10 times that you try to explain it, even to someone you know well, people will get the wrong idea. For example, that asexuals are virgins and don’t like sex (see my article on common misconceptions). […]


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