What is Asexuality?

What does asexuality/asexual mean? 

In the simplest of terms someone who is asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction.  

This means that they don’t experience that feeling of looking at a person and thinking ‘I’d like to have sex with them.’

It’s important to note that a sudden loss in sexual drive if you’ve previously felt sexual attraction could be a reaction to medication, a change in your mental health or something else. This can happen to anyone and if this does happen, you can chat to your doctor about what’s going on and figure things out.  

Does that mean asexual people don’t fancy anyone else? 

Some asexual people experience attraction, but don’t feel that they want to act on that attraction sexually. This is known as romantic attraction, where they want to get to know somebody and do romantic things. What those romantic things are depends on each person – it could include going on dates, holding hands or cuddling.  

Asexual people can also identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight depending on who they feel attraction to. 

Other asexual people don’t experience any sexual or romantic attraction toward other people. They may identify themselves as aromantic asexuals. 

Is asexuality basically just celibacy or abstinence? 

Celibacy is a choice to withhold from sex due to religious reasons. Abstinence is a choice to not have sex before marriage. Asexuality is a sexual orientation just as homosexuality and bisexuality are. 

Do asexual people only date other asexuals? 

Many asexual people are in relationships with both sexual and asexual people. Some may even choose to engage in sexual activities with their partner – they just don’t have that sexual attraction. 

Want to learn more? 

Check out AVEN (Asexual Visibility Education Network) for more information. 

LGBT Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity for LGBTQI+ young people aged 13-25. Find out more about the work they do here.

You can also visit the LGBTQI+ page on our website for more information on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.

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