General Misconceptions

“Asexuals don’t masturbate.”

The ability to masturbate doesn’t rely on a sexual orientation. An asexual can pleasure themselves without interacting with explicitly sexual visual or auditory media. All a person needs to masturbate is something that stimulates their c spot and a way to apply it whether that may be a hand or an outside object.

 

“Asexuality is an unnatural orientation.”

Natural: “existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature” ~ Merriam Webster

Many asexuals are born with their sexual orientations before any human influence. So.. technically, wouldn’t that be a natural orientation? Wouldn’t it be more unnatural to socialize everyone to be allosexual/zedsexual (with sexual attraction) when don’t feel that way?

This “unnatural orientation” idea likely comes from the idea that without a sexual orientation: you can’t/don’t want to have sex and our hypersexual media. First, you don’t have to have sexual feelings towards someone to have sex with them. For example, some heterosexual men have sex with men, despite not being attracted to them. Second, the hypersexual media portrays people who are often very horny and sex obsessed. If a person/character is not pursuing sex, then they are likely pursuing a person/character who they had romantic and sexual feelings towards (feeings rarely distinguished between each other). Those without sexual attraction in the media are seen as sick people with hormone imbalances- those who need to be treated, despite, it being a perfectly natural orientation. It’s makes sense that people and society would label asexual as unnatural when we are expected to be sexually attracted to many and definitely want sex.

 

“The purpose of life is to procreate so you must be broken in some way if you don’t.”

Again, just like the “unnatural orientation” stereotype, it is assumed that if you are asexual then you don’t want to have sex. Your sexual orientation does not hinder your ability to engage in sexual activities.

However, there is a more pervasive idea underneath this- “the purpose of life is to procreate.” If the purpose of life is to procreate and those who don’t are broken then you are implying a lot about infertile people who lack the capacity to carry a child or produce sperm. This can be applies to cisgender men/women, transmen and women and intersex people. To undermine so many identities like that which are accepted by society (cisgender ones), doesn’t exactly work. As a result, it essentially sounds when people say this that they are saying people who don’t or can’t procreate who of an acceptable sexual orientation are fine, it’s just asexuals who they have a problem with and should procreate. That’s a double standard, folks.

 

“Asexuals don’t/can’t have sex.”   “Asexuals all hate sex.” “Asexuals are virgins.”

Your sexual orientation doesn’t prevent you from having sex. It only means that you don’t have sexual feelings towards an individual. An asexual can have a sex drive aka. libido and actively engage in sexual activities if they wish. This idea that asexuals don’t want to have sex likely comes from the lack of representation of asexuals who want to have sex. In addition, it’s seen in society that if you feel a sexual attraction towards that person than obviously you therefore want to have sex with them too. However, if you don’t feel a sexual attraction (then by society’s logic), you’d not want to have sex with anyone.

Another note: many asexuals do not participate or enjoy sex but there are still plenty of asexuals who are sex positive and happily engage in sex. Asexuals who are sex negative or sex averse are not the only perspective in the asexual community.

“Asexuals are just afraid of sex or disgusted by it.”

Sex averse people come from all sexual orientations including allosexuals and asexuals. Similar to how allosexuals have a variety of opinions on when to have sex and even if they should at all, asexuals do as well. To say that they are all afraid or disgusted by sex is a gross generalization that definitely doesn’t apply to all asexuals.

 

“If you have a high sex drive, then you can’t be asexual.”

Sex drive aka. libido and sexual orientation can appear to contradict each other but they are completely independent of each other. If you have a low or no sex drive, you could still be the straightest person. You could also have a very high sex drive and be asexual.

 

“How can asexuals fall in love without sexual attraction?”

There are two different kinds of love: platonic and romantic. Anybody can engage in platonic love (which is probably not what the question is referring to). As for romantic love, asexuals can engage in it. This is due to the fact that a person’s romantic orientation and sexual orientation can be different. As a result, a person doesn’t experience sexual attraction to anyone but is alloromantic (experiences romantic attraction) and if they meet the right person: fall in love romantically.

 

“Asexual people can’t fall in love.”

No, asexual refers to a person’s sexual orientation. An asexual person can be alloromantic (experiences romantic attraction) can fall in love romantically. An asexual person, just like any other of any other sexuality, can also be aromantic. If you are aromantic, you can be in love with someone in a platonic way.

 

“Asexuals just haven’t met the right person yet.”

Let us think of this logically. At this point in time, we are submerged in a hypersexualized media with (as far as I know) no representation of OUT asexual people who aren’t implied. Those who are implied to be asexual are more often than not robots, those without emotions and usually casted as the antagonists or villains of the films. To be asexual, a person may have to go through the erasure of basic identities like bisexual and pansexual which some asexuals identify as before they come out as ace. Then they have to find the expanded definitions of the LGBTQIA community that include asexual. After that, they likely have to overcome acephobia and maybe a bit of self hatred for not experiencing sexual attraction. Last of all, if they want to talk about their sexuality they have to go through erasure and deep rooting misunderstandings of sexual attraction, behavior, libido, gender identity, etc. For an person to finally come out as asexual may bring a lot of soul searching and hardship to be comfortable with that identity. To simply say that they “haven’t found the right person yet,” which we are assuming is a more sexual partner in nature, is ignoring the hard work it takes to find a minority identity within a minority.

In addition, if the “right person” is supposed to be in a romantic relationship with the asexual, that is entirely possible. Asexuals can be alloromantic (experiences romantic attraction) and may or may not have sex with the “right person” but not be sexually attracted to them.  If they are aromantic or on the spectrum then they can forge equally strong and emotional bonds in a queerplatonic relationship.

 

“Relationships can’t work without sex because there will be no real love.”

This technically isn’t only applied to asexuals but relationships in general, close enough.

Love is usually defined as an intense feeling of affection. Some may say that sex enhances love, other says it gets in the way and some are neutral. It truly depends on the person since we all have different views and connections between sex and love. However, to say that a relationship hinges on sex is preposterous. People in a relationship can be intimate, good communicators and work together through the good and the bad to solve their conflicts without the inclusion of sex. It is definitely not the prerequisite.  

Can there be love without Sex?

“Asexuals are victims of sexual trauma in their past.”

THERE ARE NO STATISTICS THAT SAYS SEXUAL TRAUMA CAUSES ASEXUALITY. Now that we have got that out of the way, let us get to the meet of the matter. There are not many statistics on asexuals that address the causes of it. However, for all the other MAJOR sexualities under the LGBTQIA umbrella they are considered not to be a result of sexual abuse since many identify as gay, bi, lesbian and have not been sexually abused or had childhood trauma. What there has been plenty of is records of asexuals being “correctively raped” to “change” their sexuality because they are “broken.”

Best course of action: accept asexuals (even if they were victims of sexual trauma) and support them

Battling Asexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence and ‘Corrective’ Rape

Politics of Asexuality: Issues Faced by the Asexual Community

“Everyone feels like that sometimes.”

Yes, that is certainly true. People have preferences. A heterosexual woman is attracted to men but she won’t feel that way towards every observed man that passes her. That is expected. Asexuality is like that except cut out the part where once in awhile that woman sees a special someone who makes her blush. There is a significant difference between never and not all the time.

“How do you know that you’re not allosexual (person who has sexual attraction) unless you’ve had sex?”

The act of having sex and sexual orientation do not have such a direct connection to each other. An asexual person can enjoy sex while not feel sexually attracted to any of the people (or person) they have sex with. An allosexual person can also not have had sex but still know that they are allosexual. This is due to the fact that sexual orientation is who you are attracted TO, not necessarily who you want to have sex with.

This is also a test of knowing how someone is asexual. This is similar to the idea that if you are gay/lesbian and you haven’t had sex with the same gender exclusively then you don’t know if you are gay/lesbian. This also comes up for bisexuals who are expected to have sex with both men or women (since non-binary people often don’t count). It is even worse for pansexuals who are dependent on society accepting non-binary people so without that “proving” their sexuality is impossible. I would also like to acknowledge that this “proof” idea is a double standard that society puts on the shoulders of non-heterosexual people because when you aren’t the norm you have to prove your queerness.

 

“Asexuality is the same celibacy.”

  1. There are plenty asexuals who are sexually active.
  2. Celibacy:  “abstention from sexual intercourse” ~Merriam Webster

Asexual: lack of sexual attraction or sexual feelings

 

“You’re not a mature adult until you’ve had sex. So, if you are asexual and haven’t had sex then you aren’t a mature adult.”

By this same logic then child prostitutes would be adults which I would argue when someone is below the age of twenty, it is unlikely they are mature enough to be considered an “adult.” Next, everyone matures at different rates. There are people who have sex in college but don’t fully mature into adulthood until their late twenties, early thirties. It depends on the person, their experiences, learning curves and a variety of other factors: not solely on sex or remotely on sex.

 

“Asexuals who are in relationships must be lying about being asexual.”

By relationships, people most likely mean romantic ones–this statement is false then. Asexuals can be in a romantic or intimate relationship whether they are alloromantic (someone who experiences romantic attraction) or not. Sexual attraction doesn’t inhibit you or enable you to engage or not engage in relationships: intimate emotionally and sexually.

“Asexuality is a moral stand against sex.”

Celibacy may be a moral stand against sex. Asexuality is not. Asexuality is merely the lack of sexual attraction, a feeling. It is not a stand or a choice.

 

“Asexual people only enter relationships with other asexual people.”

As an asexual person, there is a significant appear to entering in relationships with other asexual people. You both likely can relate to each other’s feeling, experience, and hardships. You most likely won’t have the same misunderstands if you both educated yourselves. This does not mean that an asexual can’t be in a relationship with an allosexual (person who experiences sexual attraction). It causes more friction around certain subjects but as long as the allosexual partner is accepting and educated, then the relationship can work. There is nothing preventing an asexual from entering in a relationship with an allosexual.

 

“You’re just in denial of being gay.”

Asexuals can be misread as gay but that is the closest to being gay an asexual can be (besides identifying with the term). In addition, asexuals often go through a lot of soul searching and research to figure out their sexual orientation so you can’t make the judgement that a particular or make the generalization that all asexuals are in denial of being gay. Also, being gay has less stigma surrounding it than being asexual. Asexuals get discrimination: inside and outside the LGBTQIA community as well as in the medical community.

 

“Asexuals are disabled.”

You may think so because of how society puts sex on such a high pedestal. But no, asexuals are not disabled. Despite the fact that DSM V includes Hypoactive sexual Desire Disorder and Sexual Avoidance Disorder as disorders, a lack of sexual attraction is not a disability. A disability usually entails a condition that limits a person’s physical or mental abilities in a particular area (this is a very rough definition). A lack of sexual attraction does nothing of the sort.

 

“Being asexual is the same as being transgender.”

No, being transgender involves a your sex assigned at birth not matching up with your gender identity. Asexual is about your sexual orientation or lack of. A transgender person may be asexual but there is no relationship between the two.

 

“Asexuals are gender non-conforming.”

Again, asexuality has nothing to do with gender identity. It doesn’t have to do with gender non-conformity. A person can be asexual while also being transgender and/or gender non-conforming but it would be a generalization to say that all people are trans/gender non-conforming because this is not the case.

 

“You’re not asexual. You’re just feeling that because of your body dysphoria. You will want sex after you have the correct genitalia.”

Body dysphoria involves the dissonance between one’s sense of self and body. It has no connection to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is about how you feel towards another person (in this case a lack of sexually). Body dysphoria is about you and how sense of self. In addition, if you are a transgender and have body dysphoria you don’t lose your sexual orientation. You may be uncomfortable being naked around others during sex but you can still want to and have sex, despite not having the genitalia you want.

 

“That’s not what “asexual” means. It has something to do with plant reproduction.”

Words change over time. For example, gay originally meant happy but in most contexts it means people (predominantly men) who are attracted to their own binary gender. The same goes for asexual.

 

“Asexuals are cold, analytical and robot-like.”

The mere fact that you don’t experience sexual attraction does not automatically correlate to these character traits. An asexual person may be ostracized for being asexual and/or other reasons which results in this demeanor but it isn’t the case most of the time. People who are asexual personality’s are as diverse as gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, and other sexualities of people.

 

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This is what the club calls a Living Database which should adapt to the changing needs of our time. In previous decades, certain sexual/romantic orientation, intersex and gender identities didn’t exist because of the lack of talk and representation. The club website will do it’s best to pick up on all the new terms and concepts that are coming out, it is run mostly by 1 person so if something new has come up. It would be AMAZING and much appreciated if you could comment below in whatever language you find preferable (English would be best for the quickest response though). We would most appreciate criticisms, resources, additional information that we missed or any topic that you believe this website should address which it hasn’t. Art, movies, comic books and representation are also considered resources. In addition, if you have questions about the content, feel free to ask questions whether it is through email (check out Contact Us, Doe Mori is the best contact) or commenting below.
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