When it comes to the dating world more often than not those who fall under the asexual umbrella are overlooked or sometimes completely forgotten about. After all, how can anyone have a relationship without any form of sexual intimacy? Well, to begin, people have relationships that don’t include sexuality as a core component or at all.
Still, we understand that the topic of sexual intimacy is going to come up, and we want to help create a better understanding of what this means when it comes to dating a person who identifies as asexual.
The word Asexual essentially refers to any person who feels very little to no sexual attraction or desire. While the term aromantic refers to someone who experiences very little to no romantic attraction or desire. While these two terms have many similarities and often exist side by side they are actually two very different things.
Just as had been stated before, the easiest way to remember the difference is to remember that just as sex does not always equal love, love does not always equal sex.
There are many different kinds of asexuality. Like many other forms of sexuality, Ace is part of a broad spectrum. Any person on the spectrum may experience asexuality in different ways. Here are just a couple of examples of different types of asexuality.
A person who is aegosexual is a person who may enjoy consuming sexual content such as pornography, or adult fiction. However, they themselves have no desire to actually partake in sexual activities themselves. This sexuality is often referred to as “sexuality in the third person”.
A person who is demisexual does not experience any form of sexual attraction unless a deep emotional bond has been established. They are still considered to be a part of the asexual spectrum. However, demisexual people are often more willing to engage in sexual activities than others on the spectrum.
A person who is apothisexual is someone who is absolutely turned off by the idea of sex in most if not absolutely all of its forms. These people are often just referred to as sex-repulsed asexuals and have absolutely no interest in any sexual encounters both imaginary or real.
As you can see, asexuality can take on many different forms and degrees. In fact, these are just a few of the terms that one can find while exploring various asexual identities, and each one of them in its own way is completely valid. When it comes to the types of attraction that asexuals may feel it’s best to step away from the conventional sexual attraction and look more into the other forms of attraction one may feel towards a person.
This form of attraction is defined as attraction to someone or something based on nothing more than beauty or appearance and is completely separate from the sexual or romantic attraction. You may have an aesthetic attraction to someone you find physically appealing but have no romantic or sexual feelings toward them.
This form of attraction is defined as the attraction toward someone with which you have the desire to develop a romantic relationship. You may develop a romantic attraction toward someone you have a deep connection with.
This form of attraction removes the romantic and sexual aspects of a relationship entirely. This is essentially what most friendships are based upon.
This form of attraction results in one's desire to get to know someone based solely on their personality and not on their physique. This form of attraction is evident in almost every form of relationship, sexual or not.
This form of attraction forms when someone finds another person's physical features attractive. It is often confused with Aesthetic attraction, however physical attraction only includes the body or what is naturally a part of the person to whom they are attracted. Aesthetic attraction can include clothing items, makeup, and personality in addition to their physique.
As one can see, Asexuality is a long list of many many traits which can constantly be mixed and matched in order to create a unique individual. However, as there are many things that Asexuality is there are many things that it is not. Many people outside of the spectrum develop ideas and opinions based on false information and ideas that are presented to them about the asexual community.
Asexuality is not Abstinence or celibacy in any way shape or form. Remember that abstinence is the practice of resisting indulgence and is normally referred to as the resistance to having sexual relationships. While Celibacy is the refrainment from marriage and sexual relations. Certain types of asexuals will have sex, and many of them may choose to get married at some point in their lives.
Asexuality is also not any form of sexual repression, aversion, or any form of sexual dysfunction such as a loss of libido. Just as there are people who have a hyperactive sex drive there are those who have a hypoactive sex drive. There is also the idea that asexuals fear intimacy or cannot find a partner. These points are also completely untrue as many asexual people are able to fall in love, get married, and even start their own families. Just as many non-asexual people find themselves unable to find a partner or unable to handle intimacy. Those factors are a part of the person and not always a standard of one's sexuality.
Asexuality possesses many factors and degrees which make every single person in the asexual community a unique individual that deserves love and respect in all forms.
There are many things that you can and should do in order to establish a healthy relationship. Whether it be conversations about potential sexual encounters, or establishing boundaries and needs for both of you. Here are just a couple of things that you can do if your partner is asexual.
Remember that the most basic need of all relationships is the ability to communicate. Just as they are to respect your own wants and needs in the relationship you must also respect their own wants and needs. This can include what boundaries are, who does what chores, and even what happens in regard to sex.
When it comes to establishing communication-based on sex or sexual experiences remember that as long as they are kept respectful and affirming for both of you then it is fine to establish that line of communication.
As had been established under communication, respect for one's needs and boundaries is necessary for all relationships. Remember that the needs and boundaries of everyone can be different and needs to be respected on all levels. For example, if you find yourself with a partner who is completely sex-repulsed while you are one who loves to have sex then the relationship may not work as neither one of you would have both of their needs and boundaries met.
However, if you develop a relationship with someone who is asexual but not completely sex repulsed and is happy with sex on rare occasions then the relationship has a better chance of working out.
Remember that while some asexual people are perfectly fine with sex in some instances there are just as many who are not. Obviously, if you find that you absolutely need sex to make a relationship work then that is perfectly valid. However, that essentially means that a relationship with an asexual person will simply not work.
When considering any relationship there are many factors to consider. Always address your partner's spectrum of sexual desire. Remember that just as there are those who are completely repulsed by the idea of sex there are also those who are willing to indulge based on certain circumstances.
This could mean that they may absolutely never even attempt acts of self-pleasure, just as much as they may be willing to have sex during limited circumstances. You also must respect that their choice to have sex or not is not always fully connected to their level of sexual desire and can easily be just a preference that they have. You may also find that in order to compensate for a lack of physical intimacy your partner may feel more inclined to show more romantic intimacy towards you.
Just as it would be upsetting for you if your partner tried to suggest that there was something wrong with you based on your sexuality, it is incredibly upsetting for your partner to find that you believe something is wrong with them based on theirs.
Even if you may not fully understand them for any reason your partner's asexuality and feelings towards them are completely valid. You should never attempt to make them feel invalid about their feelings or force them to change in any way shape or form.
Remember that you have as little to do with their sexual attraction or lack thereof as you do with the fact that they may have green eyes. They are not asexual because they are not sexually attracted to you personally but because they have a lack of sexual attraction for almost anyone around they are likely to meet.
Remember that a big part of any relationship is communication as well as the establishment of healthy needs and boundaries. Pressuring your asexual partner to conform to certain things based on your own desires can lead to many negative emotions. These can include depression, rejection, and of course, resentment toward you. If you ask for sex and they say “NO” then that is the signal to simply stop and try asking another day.
Let’s shift our perspective and look at the dating world from the perspective of an asexual person. When navigating almost any dating platform it can be noted that many asexuals are focused on romantic or interest-based compatibility. They need a dating app that will meet their unique needs.
This can sometimes make it difficult to navigate the dating world. However, there are many ways they can make this navigation easier. This can include connecting with people in places where dating isn’t a primary focus. Finally, asexuals who are interested in focusing on finding someone to date can use a dating app that encourages diversity and fluidity in dating to include asexual dating.
Asexuals also tend to look at potential partners in a similar way that Allosexuals do, just with the sexual attraction either set to low or completely removed in general. When it comes to the types of people asexuals look for it all depends on the person. After all, one person may wish to be with someone who they find aesthetically attractive as well as mentally attractive. While another person may simply wish to find someone who shares their passions.
Here are a few ideas of dates that you can go on with your asexual partner.
Taking someone to a movie is quite possibly one of the most universal ideas for a date that one can enjoy. You may be able to find out about something they enjoy, as well as find another thing to talk about with them. There is also a nice balance of intimacy and lack thereof. This means that you can be as intimate as your wish without feeling like you’re forced to be that way.
Doing any sort of project together requires a lot of communication, which is great for any relationship. You may also find that the Workshop you go to may also have something that the two of you can enjoy working on together without any of the forced intimacy you may see in other standard date spots.
A bookstore is a place that many people like to go to whether it be for a date or simply to hang out as friends. At a bookstore, you can simply explore the shop as well as learn about each other's likes and hobbies. Of course, if that doesn’t seal the deal for you most bookstores come equipped with a cafe where you can share a pleasant conversation and snack with one another.
These are just a few examples of the types of dates that you may be able to go on either as an asexual person yourself or as a partner of one. Of course, this does not mean that you should allow yourself to be limited or drawn away from the more traditional idea of dates.
There is not one relationship that is always easy, but that doesn’t mean that dating anyone who is asexual can be hard. Always remember that just because your partner is asexual, this does not mean that they do not love or care about you. Here’s to hoping that the relationship you have with any partner is filled with love and respect.
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