What does asexual mean?

Someone who identifies as asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction, but can experience romantic attraction. (If you do not experience romantic attraction, you are called an aromantic.)

These two forms of attraction are not mutually exclusive. Anyone can be asexual.

Being asexual is commonly thought of as another sexual orientation, since those who are asexual don’t consider it a passing phase – it is part of who they are.

People who are asexual do not choose this deliberately; it’s not about not being sexual – it’s about not feeling sexual attraction, which is different. Asexual people may still have sex and can still enjoy healthy (and unhealthy!) relationships with others. 

While most people might think that you should feel sexual attraction to have sex, this isn’t the case. Many people have sex without feeling sexual attraction, and it doesn’t mean sex cannot be enjoyable.

Asexual people can masturbate, have sex, orgasm, become aroused, date, fall in love, and get married and have babies. Sexual attraction is not mandatory in these instances. Each of us is an individual with individual preferences.      

Feeling ‘asexualish’  

Some people may feel like they are mostly asexual, and strongly identify with asexuality, but can sometimes feel sexually attracted to another person.

These people are called Greysexuals – grey area asexuality. Another grey-area is the demisexuals, who can only experience sexual attraction after forming a strong emotional bond with a person.      

Am I asexual? 

If you do not feel sexual attraction, you are asexual, however, if you have never felt it, you won’t be sure what it is you do not feel. Here are some questions to help you figure it out:

  1. Are you equally disinterested in all genders sexually?
  2. Do you feel confused when people talk about sex and sexual attraction?
  3. Do you find sex dull?
  4. Do you pretend to ‘be normal’ to fit in when it comes to sex, relationships, and attraction?
  5. Is your interest in sex academic?
  6. Are you disinterested in sex

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)