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Breaking the barriers around asexuality

This week, the spotlight is on asexuality, because there are so many assumptions and misconceptions about the subject.

Asexuality is defined as little or lack of sexual attraction or desire. This, however, is not a complete definition, nor does it apply to everyone who identifies as asexual. Like all matters of human sexuality, it can be quite complicated.

For example, sexual attraction and sexual arousal are different things, meaning that an asexual person is capable of becoming aroused. An asexual person can even be physically attracted to someone! This does not mean that one is lying, or that one’s orientation has changed – what makes someone asexual is whether or not they have a desire to act on it.

But wait, there’s more – more than one kind of asexuality, that is. Some people who identify with it do experience sexual attraction, but are disinterested in the act of sex. Some are OK with some sexual acts, but not others. For example, some are demisexual, which means they are interested in sex only if they have a deep, strong connection with someone. On the flip side, some can experience sexual attraction, but not romantic attraction — or are aromantic. The list goes on.

For some of you reading, this might all be old news, which is wonderful! The point I’m trying to make is that asexual people are just as normal as anyone else and deserve respect. Not everyone has to like sex just because most people do, and it does not mean that they are robotic or childlike. Most of all, though, I want to drive home the point that asexual people who are uncomfortable with sex should not be expected to “give in” and have intercourse with their romantic partner to keep them interested. That kind of thinking is just not OK, and is frankly a little gross.

Basically, treat everyone as an individual and don’t assume that everyone wants to bang everyone else.

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