Asexuality is an umbrella term for people who experience little to no sexual attraction. It includes a spectrum of well-defined and not-so-well-defined terms. Since exact definitions on the spectrum are impossible to find because there are many sources, we have endeavored to give you basic definitions from various entities.
The sourced articles below should provide you more information about asexuality.
- Why demisexuality is as real as any sexual orientation
“Demisexuality, which falls on the asexuality spectrum, differs from simply wanting to wait for a deep bond to form before having sex with someone; rather, it’s more akin to the experience of being asexual until that type of connection forms, at which point the sexual attraction extends only to that person. For allosexuals, on the other hand (people who aren’t on the asexual spectrum), waiting to have sex until forming a deep connection is more of a preference, and less of necessity to developing sexual desire.”
Jessica Klein, bbc.com, 11/5/2021
- Can’t Define Asexuality? You’re Not Alone.
“According to a poll conducted by Sky News, 76% of those surveyed weren’t able to accurately define asexuality, even with 53% of those asked saying they were confident in their ability to define the term. Many who responded to Sky News’ survey did not know, for example, that asexual people can experience a sex drive. It is estimated that around 1% of the population is asexual, or ‘ace’ as it is popularity known.”
Gwendolyn Smith, lgbtqnation.com, 2/21/2019
- What Is Asexuality?
“Asexuality is a sexual orientation [like homosexuality or heterosexuality] characterized by a persistent lack of sexual attraction toward any gender. At least 1% of people are believed to be asexual. … If you want to know if you’re asexual, ask yourself the following question: ‘Do I feel sexual attraction?’ If the answer is ‘No’, you’re asexual. The problem with that question is that ‘sexual attraction’ is a vague phrase. It’s difficult to say that you’ve never felt something, if you don’t know what that something feels like.”
What Is Asexuality?, whatisasexuality.com, accessed on 6/12/2018; (Broken link removed 8/2023)
- Asexual Visibility And Education Network: Overview
“An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently. Asexuality is just beginning to be the subject of scientific research.”
Online Resource, asexuality.org, accessed on 5/27/2018
- Ace Los Angeles: Frequently Asked Questions
“WAIT, WHOA, ARE YOU SAYING ASEXUALS HAVE SEX? Sometimes. ‘Asexuality’ refers strictly to the lack of sexual attraction. This leaves open a wide variety of behaviors, identities and overlap with other orientations.”
Online Resource, acelosangeles.org, accessed on 5/27/2018
- Asexuality and HSDD | Did You Know?
“For some people, lack of sexual interest is a problem. They don’t feel much sexual attraction to their partner and don’t have sexual fantasies or thoughts. No medical condition can explain why. This may have been true all their lives or it may be a recent change. Either way, it causes them distress. Many are diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and seek treatment. For others, not wanting sex isn’t a problem. Typically, asexuals aren’t interested in sex. The key difference for asexuals, however, is that they don’t feel distress.”
Online Resource, sexhealthmatters.org, accessed on 5/27/2018
- What Asexuality Can Teach Us About Sexual Relationships and Boundaries
“Asexuality was once thought of as a problem which left people unable to feel sexual attraction to others. Upon the discovery that some people had little or no interest in sexual behaviour, researchers in the 1940s called this group ‘asexuals’, and labelled them as ‘Group X’. There was no more discussion of ‘Group X’, and asexuals and asexuality were lost to history, while studies of sexuality grew and flourished. … What exactly asexuality is, is very much still being decided – with a lot of debate going on as to whether it is a sexual orientation or a sexual identity. There have also been discussions about whether it is a medical condition or if it should be seen as a problem to be treated.”
, Professor of Nursing and Health Research/Associate Dean Research, University of Hull, theconversation.com, 5/9/2018
- Asexuality Isn’t A Mental Disorder Or Sexual Dysfunction – It’s A Sexual Orientation
“To sum it all up, asexuality is neither a mental disorder nor is it a sexual dysfunction. Instead, the available research suggests that it’s most likely a unique sexual orientation; however, a small subgroup of self-identified asexuals might be more appropriately thought of as having a paraphilia.”
Kinsey Institute, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, Iu.edu/kinseyinstitute, 4/13/2018
- “I’m An Asexual Woman, And This Is What It’s Like Not To Feel Sexual Attraction”
“So, what would a relationship look like to her? ‘If I was in a relationship it would be more about security and practicality!’ she explains. ‘And it would have to be with someone who was on the same page. I wouldn’t want to be depriving anyone of what they considered a full relationship, so I’m aware that my dating pool is small.'”
Charlotte Dingle, cosmopolitan.com, 3/8/2018
- Asexual People Can Have Sex Lives — & Here’s What They’re Like
“When some people hear the word ‘asexual,’ they think of someone who doesn’t have sex. But actually, some asexual people do have sex. And they masturbate. And they look at porn. And they do pretty much everything, because there are as many ways to be asexual as there are to be sexual.”
Suzannah Weiss, bustle.com, 2/2/2018
- Asexuality Is A Lifelong Lack Of Sexual Attraction
“Asexual individuals are occasionally in sexual relationships, but frequently do so in their search for romance and intimacy, not sex. Some are also aromantic — that is, they experience no romantic attraction to others — but being both asexual and aromantic is far less common. Asexual individuals experience full and varied intimate relationships, including romantic relationships, friendships, and family relationships (Dawson et al., 2016). They do not eschew relationships or contact; they just are not sexually interested in others.”
Lucia F. O’Sullivan, PhD, psychologytoday.com, 1/20/2018
- That’s So Aromantic!
“An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction.
An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.”
Bella DePaulo PhD, psychologytoday.com, 10/26/2017
- It’s #AsexualAwarenessWeek!
“Like sexuality, romanticism also exists on a spectrum. Aromantic is defined as not experiencing romantic attraction to anyone. Other aromantic spectrum identities include ‘demiromantic’ and ‘grayromantic’ (the names parallel sexual orientations on the asexual spectrum). Demiromantic individuals experience attraction to someone only after forming a close emotional bond with that person and grayromantic is often used to describe someone who falls between aromantic and romantic. Some people also use the term quoiromantic to express that they experience romantic attraction but that it is nebulous and difficult to identify how that attraction works.”
Molly Stephens, glaad.org, 10/23/2017, (Broken link removed 6/2023)
- What Being Asexual Means To Me
“The medical community has not found evidence tying asexuality to sexual dysfunctions or trauma, Brotto tells Teen Vogue. Last year, Brotto, executive director of the Women’s Health Research Institute at the University of British Columbia, published a widely-circulated review paper classifying asexuality as a distinct sexual orientation.”
Adjoa D. Danso, teenvogue.com, 10/22/2017
- Understanding The The Asexual Spectrum
“Well, the asexual spectrum is also split up into sexual orientation and romantic orientation. This spectrum contains five parts. The first type of romantic orientation is heteroromantic. These are people who are romantically attracted to someone of the opposite gender or sex. Homoromantic people are romantically attracted to someone of the same sex or gender is homoromantic. Biromantic people are romantically attracted to two sexes or genders.”
Nicole Sazegar, entitymag.com, 7/23/2017
- 13 Things You’ve Heard If You’re On The Asexual Spectrum
“About one percent of the world’s population identifies as asexual or they’re on the asexual spectrum. With that being said, we may be few in numbers compared to the rest of the LBGTQA+, but we are proud and we do in fact exist. So, here are some things we’re pretty tired of hearing. Whether you’re asexual, aromantic, demisexual or somewhere in between you can relate. And if not, well, try to avoid these.”
Bailey McNeir, theodysseyonline.com, 6/22/2017, (Broken link removed 6/2023)
- Sex Talk Realness: Asexuality
“Woman A: People who identify as asexual can want a relationship or only desire platonic friendships. Both are perfectly OK. Neither should be used a measurement of what makes a true asexual.
Woman B: It’s a real orientation, not something to be cured or overcome. It isn’t something to be pitied or interrogated, and it has its own set of challenges you might not understand. Be respectful, same as you would with anyone else. Do a little reading, don’t make assumptions about people based on their sexuality, and just know we have probably already heard every amoeba joke you can think of.”
Rachel Hills, cosmopolitan.com, 5/29/2017
- Asexuality Is A Sexual Orientation, Not A Sexual Dysfunction
“Now, however, 10 years of research is available, including large-scale studies. University of British Columbia researchers Lori Bratto and Morag Yule critically reviewed the evidence in an article that will soon be published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior … They conclude that asexuality does not appear to be a psychiatric condition, a symptom of a psychiatric condition, or a disorder of sexual desire. Instead, it seems to meet most of the criteria for classification as a distinct sexual orientation.”
Bella DePaulo, PhD, psychologytoday.com, 9/5/2016
- For Asexual Community, Flibanserin Is A Bitter Pill To Swallow
“After an FDA panel in June voted to recommend the approval of flibanserin, a network of asexual activists (who call themselves ACEs)—led by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)—began a petition on Change.org that urged the FDA not to approve flibanserin. They argued that the drug, made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, would turn a sexual orientation into a health condition that needs to be treated.”
Jessica Firger, newsweek.com, 8/20/2015
- AceStories: Including The A In LGBTQIA
“The A in LGBTQIA stands for ‘asexual.'”
Eliel Cruz, advocate.com, 7/23/2015
- Asexuality Is Real: How A Rare Orientation Helps Us Understand Human Sexuality
“Dr. Lori Brotto, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, says asexuality and low libido are two separate things.”
Susan Scutti, medicaldaily.com, 5/7/2015
- The Joy Of No Sex
“Advocates hope that over time, their efforts to raise awareness will reach older people still grappling with their sexuality, as well as young people just starting to figure it out.”
Ellen McCarthy, theguardian.com, 11/29/2014