If you’re not very familiar with the term Asexual, finding out that your partner identifies that way can be confusing or even scary. This is especially true if you, yourself, are a very sexual person and find it to be important to your relationship. If your partner is asexual, it can mean a lot of things because everyone has a unique experience with sexuality. However, Toronto Sex Therapy is here to help you understand the basics, and what it could mean.
What is Asexuality?
There are some subcategories to asexuality but, for now, we’ll focus on the basic type. There are a lot of ideas that float around less informed circles about what it means to be asexual. However, there is only one true definition. If a person is asexual, it means they do not experience sexual attraction.
You might have some ideas in mind of what an asexual person does or doesn’t do. The fact is, you really can’t know. Everyone is different. The only thing required for someone to be asexual is for them to not experience sexual attraction.
What is Sexual Attraction?
Sexual attraction may seem like an all-encompassing term to you if you haven’t needed to break down and analyze the different cogs in the machine of attraction. However, sexual attraction is a very specific thing. To be sexually attracted to someone is to see them and desire to have sex with them. If you are sexually attracted to someone, you may be turned on by their appearance or personality and would be interested in having sex with them (even if you wouldn’t actually do it for reasons such as anxiety or being in another relationship).
Asexuals don’t feel this. However, not feeling sexually attracted to people doesn’t mean they can’t feel other sexual things.
That means asexuals can (but not necessarily):
- Find people visually appealing
- Have a libido
- Have had sex before
- Enjoy having sex
For comparison, you can look at a plate of food, not feeling any particular desire for it, and still choose to eat it because you haven’t eaten in a long time. You might even find that it tastes good. However, you still weren’t influenced to eat it by a desire for it. This is how asexuals view sex.
Because asexuals are as varied as they are individuals, they all have their own preferences. We couldn’t possibly generalize them past the definition of asexual. You will have to talk with your partner about their own specific boundaries and preferences if you want to know them.
While everyone is different, it’s important to know some of the possible sex perspectives your partner may have.
For asexuals, sex can be something they’re indifferent about. Some asexuals have had sex and didn’t really care for it or felt somewhat neutral about it.
Some asexuals enjoy having sex. Even if they don’t feel sexual attraction, they can still enjoy the physical pleasure that comes from sex and may seek it out with someone they’re comfortable with.
However, there are also asexuals that feel sex repulsed. This is when the idea of sex grosses them out. They may find genitalia disgusting in general. This is not an uncommon sentiment among asexuals.
Talk to Your Partner
In the end, the best thing to do if your partner is asexual is to talk to them. Ask questions. Find out what their interests and boundaries are. Find out their perspective on sex. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that they’re okay with having sex. If they’re not, check out our next article – What to Do if My Partner Doesn’t Like Sex. Give us a call if you have questions that can’t be answered by our blog.