Asexuals who like sex, and why we talk about them

It seems like the hot new thing these days in asexual visibility is to highlight the existence of asexuals who like sex.

Or is it really?  I can’t actually think of any example where it’s mentioned in major media.  It doesn’t appear to be in Huffington Post’s massive six-part series, although they mention that some gray-A and demisexual people like sex.  It seems aces talk about it in their own spaces (with more or less emphasis, depending on the space), but it doesn’t actually make it into the media, for better or for worse.

Talking about asexuals who like sex serves many points that we often wish to make:

  1. Asexual spaces are very inclusive.  We’re okay with people flirting with the boundaries of our socially constructed boxes.
  2. Asexual spaces are sex-positive.  We’re not skittish about people in our midst having sex.
  3. Sexuality is complicated and we know it.
  4. We take very seriously the definition of asexuality as lacking sexual attraction.  It’s not about behavior, and it’s not about all those other reasons why people like sex.  There’s something about sexual attraction that makes it especially important to our experiences.

By repeating all these ideals, we encourage the community to fulfill them.

Of course, there are disadvantages as well.  Are mainstream audiences really ready to hear about asexuals who like sex?  It seems like it could potentially provoke major negative reactions above and beyond the typical negative reactions.  Our de facto solution is to talk about it amongst each other and not talk about it much to outsiders.

Also, some asexuals feel a bit uncomfortable with point #4, because to them, not wanting sex really is the most important aspect of their asexiness.  It’s like when I said last month that self-awareness of difference was the most important aspect of asexuality to me, and multiple commenters said that they weren’t so self-aware in the way I meant it.  Wow, the experience I think is most important, other aces didn’t even experience!  Imagine that.  It’s almost like we are more than one person.

In my own observation, the discussion seems to be missing something important: People talking about their own experience as asexuals who like sex.  (Disclosure: I am a gray-A and I like sex, so that’s sort of close.)  I almost always see it posed as a hypothetical.  As in the title of this post, it’s always about “them” and not “us”.  This is rather bothersome to me, as if asexuals who like sex were merely a political tool, even if it is used for positive ends.  I also think it empowers critics, because it’s easier to diss people not present than to diss people to their face.

The lack of personal testimony is not so surprising if, as the surveys show, only 1% of asexuals enjoy sex.  Those same figures show that 4% of gray-As and 11% of demisexuals enjoy sex.  The amount of attention given to asexuals who like sex seems disproportionate (depending on the space), which solidifies my view that it’s mostly about politicking.

On the other hand, asexuals who like sex may not be speaking up because they don’t want to be put under personal fire.  Some of them may even be talking about their own experience right now, but choose to hide it by posing it as a hypothetical situation.  That seems like the kind of thing I might do, hypothetically.  I like that it’s common knowledge among ace communities that some asexuals like sex, and I like that I don’t have to put myself out there to make the point.

TL;DR: There are lots of good reasons to talk about asexuals who like sex, but I have mixed feelings about the how it’s dominated by third-person accounts.

About Siggy

Siggy is an ace activist based in the U.S. He is gay gray-A, and has a Ph.D. in physics. He has another blog where he also talks about math, philosophy, godlessness, and social criticism. His other hobbies include board games and origami.
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57 Responses to Asexuals who like sex, and why we talk about them

  1. Eric says:

    I admit, I have a hard time wrapping my head around asexuals who like sex. I think it is easier to understand in the case of Gray A’s or Demisexuals. I try to view it in terms of not necessarily *needing* it but enjoying it if available.

    Sometimes I wonder if the asexual community is being a bit too inclusive, because the ace community in general is full of really nice, accepting people, which I really like, but sometimes it might muddy the water in terms of having a defined sense of what asexuality really means.

    Not casting any stones, I like that we are an inclusive and open bunch. Well….most of us are, I’ve had some encounters recently with asexuals who are definitely on the xenophobic side, but they are thankfully in the minority.

    Great blog entry!

    • If it helps, I can explain why I “like” sex. I’m going to caveat that with the fact when I say “like” I just mean that there are occasions where I might enjoy some sexual activities, not that I necessarily like it a lot or more than many other activities (I would rank a lot of things as more enjoyable than sex).

      Generally, my main reason is just that I like getting people off, especially when I have an empathetic connection with them. I enjoy other people being happy, and it happens to be the case that sex sometimes makes some people really happy. That makes it fun.

      It’s worth noting that since this interest in sex is based entirely on emotion and empathy, it has nothing to do with sexual attraction, tends to be very much focused on other (so far only heterosexual) people who happen to be in to me, what few experiences I’ve had have been with people I know well, and I’m sure there are plenty of other things to mention. The reason I enjoy some sexual activity necessarily constrains what specific acts I’ll find enjoyable (hint: if the act is solely for my pleasure, it’s boring), and generally causes the sex to not match with a lot of cultural norms (in part because I’m seen as a man).

    • Eponine says:

      Yeah, I enjoy sex if available, but I don’t need it. If I don’t have a sexual partner, I definitely won’t go out looking for one. And like Captain Heartless, I consider many other things as more enjoyable than sex, so my partner is still bothered by my lack of passion in sex sometimes.

      For me, enjoying sex is similar to taking part in an activity because a friend invited you to. You won’t pursue it on your own, but can enjoy it somewhat if asked to do it. But the level of your enjoyment can’t be compared to your friend’s, who is a big fan and regular participant of that activity.

    • Kurt says:

      Interesting because I don’t understand those who don’t like sex. I have no sexual orientation which is what being asexual means, but physical sex still feels good. I think having a sex drive or lacking a sex drive is not a matter of sexual orientation and is found in ALL sexual orientations. So there is no reason why an asexual would not enjoy sex, as long as they can get past their lack of sexual attraction for their partner. Body contact feels good and having orgasms with others is fun. Asexual doesn’t mean you are not sexual. It means you lack sexual orientation.

      • ettinacat says:

        Counterpoint: bodily fluids are gross, especially other people’s bodily fluids.

        I find peeing feels good sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I want to pee on someone else, or have them pee on me. My attitude towards masturbation is fairly similar.

  2. Well, I’d say I’m an asexual who likes sex, although I usually don’t speak up on the matter unless it’s in person. I’m not sure why, but I’m going to make some late night speculations.

    First, outside of the community it makes people far more likely to discredit your asexuality. Usually I get around this by presenting my asexuality as a sort of “oh, technically I’m asexual and it’s not actually a big deal” and then explaining the definitions and so on. Truthfully that reason doesn’t keep me from talking much- I am rarely avoiding arguments (most people I know are lawyers or philosophers).

    The other reason I don’t mention it is I remember seeing a lot of posts from sex adverse people getting sick of asexuals who have sex being mentioned? It seemed like people were bothered about the narrative being something like “oh look you should accept asexuality because its not actually that different, we still have sex!”. Which could be a problem if that ended up being the case (admittedly, I feel like the stereotypes ensure that will never be the case but I don’t know what it’s like being sex adverse- people just always assume I am).

    And I guess, finally, I feel like the mainstream asexual community doesn’t want to talk about asexuals who like sex? In most of the cultural norms, the “you know you’re asexual when…” or ace moments, memes, or so on, not having sex and asexuality are considered the same. And people take pride in that because its an easy way to set themselves apart from everyone else. I don’t really care enough to respond to every post on tumblr saying “well actually…” and then insisting their venting and pride moments acknowledge me? Part of that is probably a combination of me not really needing the ace community at this point in my life, and also the fact that I have sex on occasion being something that is mostly coincidental in my life and not important to my identity (like seriously, I don’t even care one way or another so why should anyone else).

    I don’t know what to make of any of this, and I feel like I should probably write more (and more coherently) about it. I’ll think about it for the next couple days, and maybe post some stuff on tumblr about my own personal experiences (which means when people need to point to an asexual who has sex they can at least talk about a specific person rather than some hypothetical).

    • Siggy says:

      I think there’s a balance to be struck in how often asexuals who like sex are mentioned or included. I can’t just say that we need talk about it more or that we need to talk about it less, because it varies from community to community and from time to time.

      Personally I think it is unnecessary to be acknowledged in every generalization. Since asexuals who like sex generally don’t seem to be speaking up for themselves, it’s not clear that they really want so much attention.

      • Thoenix says:

        Or it’s that those of us who have tried to speak of it have been discredited not only outside of the community but also in community spaces or have had it repeatedly implied that, by expressing ourselves, we are ruining the work other community members do. I’ve had it repeatedly expressed to me that my choice to have and enjoy sex makes me ‘less’ ace.

        You may see it as us not speaking up. I see it as us being told to sit down and shut up lest an outsider see us. It seems like it’s okay for aces who DON’T like sex to speak on the matter of aces who like sex, but not okay for aces who like sex to let their voices be heard outside of a handful of community spaces.

        • Siggy says:

          Well, thanks for speaking up now! My own impressions have been that we get a lot of attention, but I try to remember that this may only be true of the spaces I’ve occupied, or may only represent my personal level of comfort.

        • queenieofaces says:

          I think it really depends on the space you’re in. Recently there have been a couple of posts going around tumblr saying that any ace who isn’t willing to have sex and/or is sex-averse has something physically/mentally wrong with them, and they should stop speaking for the asexual community and see a doctor. It’s the problem of the Unassaible Asexual–if you like sex, you aren’t “asexual enough,” but if you dislike sex, you aren’t asexual, just mentally ill.

          • Kurt says:

            Here’s the problem. There are TWO different things. Not liking sex, and not being attracted to either sex, but enjoying sex. The first is probably more appropriately called asexual (non-sexual), but how can I call myself asexual (non-sexual) when I like sex and have had plenty of it? We need to differentiate between no sex drive and no sexual orientation. They are two different continuum. Straight, gay, and bi can also have low to no sex drives or desire to have sex. So what are we called who like/enjoy sex but have no sexual orientation? Not heterosexual, not homosexual, not bisexual….Just “sexual?

      • kathlynn says:

        yeah, I am on a few ace facebook groups, and the one time I mentioned that I would be interested in *try* sex I was told I shouldn’t identify as an asexual, since I want to know what sex feels like. And that’s just the conversation that stands out in my mind (it’s really early/late right now).

      • alexbanxts says:

        Moderator’s note: alexbankts = A Banx. Please use a consistent pseudonym.

        that’s like saying homosexuality didn’t exist until Stonewall. people didn’t talk about it often because it wasn’t safe to talk about. it’s still not in many areas. the same applies to asexuality whether the individual can enjoy sex or not.

  3. swankivy says:

    It’s interesting because one of my friends has been saying she believes the lack of sexual desire and sex drive seems to be primary for her, and while she doesn’t experience sexual attraction either, she never would have thought to present it as leading with “no attraction.” Before there was an ace community I used to frequently say “I have no sex drive” and define myself as “a person who isn’t interested in having sex,” because those things seemed all lumped into one thing for me and I had no reason to tease them apart until I met other people whose feelings toward sex were in the same boat as mine but were not quite experienced the same. I don’t mind referring to my experience as “lack of sexual attraction” at all, but it is true that I don’t have a sex drive and don’t want to have sex, too.

    • Just out of curiosity, how do you define sexual desire? Because that is a phrase I’ve never had a clear definition on. I usually define it as being the net total of reasons to have or not have sex (to help emphasize how someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction might want to have sex- because there are more reasons to have sex with someone than simply finding them sexually attractive).

      • swankivy says:

        I don’t really “define” it per se. Overall the entire thing is summed up for me as “I don’t wanna.” I’ve never had an interest in coupling with another person that way, and if they try to push it, I’m very put off. I don’t ever have a free-floating feeling of wishing I could connect somehow with other people, physically, and I don’t relate to what’s portrayed as a hunger or a desire in the media–it’s 100% foreign to me. I think some people would define sexual desire as the desire that makes them wish to have sex (regardless of whether they would actually have it with a person), but since I have a pretty simple experience of just not wanting any part of any of it, it’s hard for me to isolate any particular part of it and give it a name.

    • ace-muslim says:

      I’m similar to swankivy on this. I didn’t discover the concept of asexuality until I was 31, and in the time before that, when I thought about how I was different from others, I conceived of it in terms of “no interest in sex”/”no sex drive” rather than “no sexual attraction” even though as she said, both are true. When I discovered the asexual community, I was surprised to find people who did have a sex drive and were also asexual and it took me awhile to get my mind around it because it was so different from my own experiences.

  4. Thoenix says:

    I have to wonder, given that my own experience as an ace who likes sex is that others perceive me as ‘not ace enough’ for ace spaces, if the 1% stat isn’t distorted. I would be willing to put money on the fact that at least some aces who have sex felt like they’d be distorting the survey because we are made to feel less ace or even doubtful of our asexuality by a lot of community spaces. I wonder how many aces who like sex never connect with the concept of asexuality because no one talks about it to them because OBVIOUSLY a person who has sex experiences sexual attraction!

    My experience as an asexual who has sex is that it took years of being good friends with an asexual and trying to figure out if I was lesbian, bisexual, what I was because I was indiscriminate with what kind of bodies I had sex with and I never felt attracted to anyone, I just felt like there was something horribly wrong with me. Despite being emotionally very attached to my partners (I’m a romantically inclined ace), I always worried that, by not actually being attracted to them, I was somehow just using them for sex. It was a constant fear for me. It’s only since I figured out I was ace and lacked sexual attraction that I have been able to have an open relationship with my partner about this matter.

    • Siggy says:

      If there’s distortion in the statistic, it most likely comes from the large number of asexuals (11%) who neither said they enjoyed, were indifferent to, or repulsed by sex. Some of those could like or seek sex, but not go so far as to say they enjoy it.

      You bring up an interesting part of your experience, the process of identifying as ace. For me, I did it in the reverse order, identifying as ace, and later becoming sexually active.

      • I’m just going to second the identifying as ace and then being sexually active. I couldn’t imagine comfortably having sex prior to working out my own asexuality, and really learning how to tease things apart and isolate what I enjoy about sex and what I don’t feel (that everyone expects me to feel).

      • Cleander says:

        It’s also possible that there may be people like me – in theory, I think I could enjoy sex, but since I have never actually had sex it feels wrong to mark that I enjoy it, so I put indifferent instead. Not sure if that’s common enough to change the stats though.

        (it also gets tricky depending if you interpret it as a question of whether you are capable of enjoying sex at all vs. a question of whether you enjoy it enough to actively seek it out.)

    • Aydan says:

      “I wonder how many aces who like sex never connect with the concept of asexuality because no one talks about it to them because OBVIOUSLY a person who has sex experiences sexual attraction!”

      I think this is a very good point, because I experienced something similar. The first couple of times I encountered the concept of asexuality, I thought “That can’t apply to me,” because I enjoyed masturbating.

      • Corinne says:

        THIS. I have a high sex drive and am sexually active, so I think I just believed I was experiencing sexual attraction? Years of socialization/media exposure taught me what “sexy” was and that as a woman i should be attracted to (cis) men, so I internalized it. It took me a while after being exposed to ace resources to realize that I’m ace! I don’t actively seek out sexual partners, but if they come along, I do have and enjoy a lot of sex.

  5. Aydan says:

    Granted, Tumblr may or may not be an accurate reflection of the world off Tumblr, but I remember this happening recently when Cleander tried to talk even hypothetically about being a sexually active asexual. This is not an isolated incident, either; I’ve seen (and gotten) similar, though less vitriolic, responses to the idea of sexually active asexuals at places like Feministe. And these are just examples from outside the asexual community.

    So, I think there’s a good argument to be made that sexually active asexuals are reluctant to speak up.

    • When I saw that kerfuffle I wondered if maybe it was in part because it was hypothetical. When we are talking hypothetically, usually people fill in a lot more gaps- so they end up assuming all kinds of things that are just false. So, for example, a hypothetical asexual consenting to sex becomes an asexual woman who was horribly pressured by the patriarchy (or something like that). Of course, those assumptions show a lot in and of themselves, but I wonder if anyone would try and claim something like that if that debate had started with me detailing my experiences.

      • Cleander says:

        A lot of it was definitely people filling in the blanks, because the original post that started it was like two lines long and had no personal details (also, it started more as a discussion of whether sex has to be enjoyable to be consensual, which is not solely an ace issue). Still, in the later comments it became clear that a lot of people simply couldn’t grasp the idea of A. there being valid reasons to pursue sex other than pure physical pleasure/attraction [unless brainwashed by patriarchy] or B. Asexuals being anything other than completely repulsed by sexual acts.

        I think there was definitely a lot of people projecting their own feelings onto everyone else, to – “well *I* wouldn’t freely consent to sex in that situation, so that means no one else can, right?”

        • ettinacat says:

          As someone who’s trying to conceive, the first example situation of “consensual but not enjoyed” sex that comes to mind for me is someone having PIV solely because they’re ovulating and want to become pregnant, despite a) not necessarily being in the mood, and/or b) usually preferring other sex acts or not having sex with their partner. It’s a commonly discussed thing in some TTC circles, especially point a).

  6. Jo says:

    Some interesting comments, thanks all for sharing. I can see a lot of where people are coming from: in terms of visibility things, it often makes asexuality even harder for people to understand when people say that they do actually still have or like sex, even if very sporadically. However I don’t think that necessarily justifies not talking about it at all.

    For me it boils down to the difference between orientation and behaviour. Sexual orientation (or lack thereof if you define asexuality that way) isn’t defined by what you do but by what you feel/experience (or don’t). People have sex and enjoy it for a range of reasons, even if it is ‘outside’ their orientation, and even if their reason makes no sense to you. While that seems confusing sometimes, you see it very often in people of all orientations.

  7. Megan says:

    So I’m not sure this comment will make much sense to anyone but me, but I have a few thoughts about it, so…
    I’m an asexual person who used to be sexually active. I started having sex with my partner because I thought that was what you do when you love someone. I didn’t really think about the fact that people – including him – actually had an active desire for sex. As time went on, I started to realize I wasn’t enjoying it in the same way as he was, or desiring it like he was; I told myself that I enjoyed making him happy and it wasn’t like anything bad was coming out of it.
    As time went on though, I became less and less sure of the “enjoying” it part. All the negative messages about sex which started to haunt me (all people want sex; women love oral sex; when you love someone you want sex with them) made it impossible to really lie to myself anymore.
    Anyway, I realize this is NOT most asexual people’s experience, and I wouldn’t want to present it as such. But I feel like many asexual communities focus on saying “asexuals enjoy sex” instead of “CAN enjoy sex” — because it isn’t possible for everyone. And there are so many ideas out there about how sex is enjoyable (from both aces and non-aces) that I think it might be hard for SOME aces (like myself) to really understand what we are feeling.
    I definitely think we need to talk about aces who can enjoy sex, because of the fact that orientation isn’t behavior. But I also think many aces are pressured (by partners, society, etc.) in order to “try to enjoy it”, when it really isn’t possible.

  8. Jillian says:

    I have to say, I don’t talk about my sex life, or lack of sex life, because it’s private. Maybe if I was blogging under a pseudonym I would consider it, but I’m blogging as a future author, and that holds me back. I wonder if other people are keeping their enjoyment of sex to themselves for similar reasons.

  9. Cleander says:

    I think the issue of enjoying sex can be tricky sometimes because people assume that if you can enjoy sex, you must be having it/want to have it, which may not always be the case. I know I’m sometimes hesitant to describe myself as “enjoying sex” because for various reasons (in addition to asexuality, of course) I am not and have never been sexually active, and it sometimes feels weird to say that when I don’t actually know for sure. I’m also hesitant to state that I “enjoy it”, because while I certainly make it a point that I could definitely enjoy certain aspects, I don’t want to imply that I am actively seeking sex (since I’m not) – but that’s how many people interpret that statement.

    on the other hand, a major part of the motivation for me to talk about the fact that asexuals *can* enjoy certain aspects of sex, or benefits associated with it (though not everyone always will), is due to the fact that so many people react to finding out that I’m asexual by assuming that I must either be grossed out or afraid of anything sexual. And I’m not. not at all. And it gets frustrating when people stop talking about sex around me, don’t make dirty jokes anymore if I’m present, etc.

    And while this isn’t true for everyone, for me “not interested in sex” is not a part of asexuality for me – in fact, I am quite interested in the idea of sex! I just am not that interested in doing it with anyone in particular. For me, the salient part of asexuality has always been the lack of interest *in other people*

  10. - says:

    The greatest amount of discrimination I have faced so far over being asexual came from within the asexual community, and was for this reason. A few months after realizing that I was ace, I made a very small post in a public ace forum about being asexual but still wanting/enjoying/thinking I might enjoy sex, and the amount of insults and anger I faced was horrifying. I was called a faker, appropriator, ‘confused’, all manner of swears and bad names, and was told that I was treading on the definition of asexuality and on other aces identities. It had a very negative impact on me, and sometimes, I’m still scared to go online. I’m very happy to see this post, and I agree that it is extremely important to talk about this area of the ace spectrum not only for non-aces to hear, but for the education and mind-opening of the ace community as well.

  11. L says:

    I’m in full agreement with the observation that the acceptance of sexually active aces is often grudging at best, and hostile at worst.

    Tooting my own horn here, but I think there is still mountains of work to be done for aces with kinks, fetishes, and paraphilias, since those of us with those inclinations often find ourselves having to navigate sexual spaces and relationships with sexual people to get those needs met. It’s extremely difficult to find empathy from any one community– go to the kink community, and they’ll harp on about how all fetish is sexual and how you’re silly and don’t make any sense. Go to the ace community, and it’s obvious that you’re something of an elephant in the room.

    I know that I HAVE to get some of my fetish needs met via sex because sex is one of the best tools available for me to get the job done with. I don’t like orgasm, I don’t masturbate, and sexual stimulation needs to happen within a very rigid framework for it to do what I need it to do– that is, reinforce the D/s dynamic I have with my husband and trigger what I’m going to call dissociation (it has to do with alleviating a sort of paraphilia-derived body dysphoria I have involving wanting to be closer to doll-sized; the feeling I have when I can flirt with that inner reality in a meaningful way feels like something inside of me detaching from my physical body).

    So, we also need much wider recognition of fetish attraction and application of it into the current attractions model. Until I discovered I had a fetish and was orienting myself along that axis, I’d always thought that what I was experiencing was romantic crushes, lust, and so on. Nevermind that I was always happier when none of those gravitations came to any sort of fruition, nevermind that I never thought to masturbate until I was out of high school, nevermind that my fantasies never involved being in an actual relationship or having sex with the person I was interested in and usually just involved them doing various sorts of violence to me. The sexual component, I now know, was both learned behavior and a coping strategy.

    I can’t possibly be the only person to have this experience, or anything like this experience. There are lots of kinky aces and aces with fetishes out there. We need to start hearing from them more too.

  12. L says:

    Right, and another component I think is important (for me at least) is the fact that I’m discovering that I seem to have something of an addictive personality. I’ve had borderline addictions my entire life, from eating disorders to self-injury to compulsive spending, and now that I finding myself in my first power-exchange relationship, one where I can voice my desire to feel the adrenaline and endorphin rush in a safe and controlled environment, many of my other addictive behaviors have toned down significantly. Again, sex just a means to that end among many others.

  13. Siggy says:

    I’m adding a trackback to Demi Gray, who had an extended comment on Tumblr.

  14. asopo339 says:

    This is a grey area for me, which is why sometimes I feel like…I don’t belong anywhere. I do enjoy sex, but mostly because it is pleasurable. It’s pleasurable like me getting a new shiny part for my computer or some electronic gadget or new book or hearing this really new amazing so song or having some incredibly experience. The reason I feel I fit with asexuality is because I don’t feel any sort of sexual attraction what so ever. No one is ‘appealing’ to me, and sure I can say a guy looks handsome (because his face is atheistically pleasing or something…I’m an artist what can I say). But I don’t desire someone sexually. Half the time, I feel broken, like I can’t work, because I can’t ‘turn on.’ I only have had sex with people I deeply trust. I won’t even let other people hug me, or hold my hands, let alone kiss me because I simply don’t trust them. It’s pleasurable but I’m also repulsed by genitalia. I absolutely hate looking at it. So I’m a weird spot, I like sex, I’m grossed out by it and it’s parts, despite the pleasure and half the time I have no interest in it even with a partner I truly care about and have a deep connection for.

    This probably sounds all really weird =/

    • Catgrey says:

      What youre saying really hits home. I have sex (probably more than the average sexual person) and I never thought of myself as ace, just “broken” or dysfunctional. Now im thinking it makes more sense, since i dont feel sexual attraction to anyone, to label myself as grey or demi-sexual (sometimes i feel sex drive, but usually disconnected from the person). And looking back I understand my sexual history as a mix of reinforcment of self esteem, wanting to fit in, feeling attracted by minds and personality of different people and having learnt that sex was the way to show it, and more recently learning that it is like a very nice massage and that i can also share deep connection through it. But I guess most important is that i like masturbating and coming, even if it doesnt build up from arousal but from pure knowledge of my body. Does this happen to anyone here?

  15. salmelo says:

    Since you’re looking for first person accounts, I’ll chime in with mine.
    I knew I was aromantic before I knew I was asexual. Precisely because I enjoy, desire, and to a minimal extent even seek, sex. I remember thinking about it when I first came across the term and going ‘no, that’s not me. I like sex.’
    But the thing is, I’ve never felt sexual attraction. I’ve always felt out of place when people talk about which celebrity is hotter or which random stranger on the street they’d “totally bang.” Comments on tumblr going “UNF” I have no relation to whatsoever the vast majority of the time.
    Now, I’ll be honest, asexual isn’t a hugely important part of my identity. Again, because I like sex. Now that I know why those things make no sense to me, I can roll with it. Before it made me uncomfortable, now I can just roll my eyes at the silly allosexuals and move on. And I don’t have to worry about dealing with sexual advances because, if they’re from someone I trust enough for sex I can just roll with those too. Again, being aromantic has impacted my life significantly more than being asexual.
    For me sex is just an activity. It’s something I do because it feels good. Something I do with others because it’s different than by yourself, and because I like making them feel good too. And also something I do because it ties into my fetishes. Of which I have many. It’s also useful for stress relief.

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  20. Amelia Anderson says:

    So basically what I’m hearing is,
    There’s a difference between liking sex and finding others sexually attractive, and those who do like sex: (a) don’t need it or look for it, (b) sometimes do it to please their partner because they want and like to make their partner happy, or (c) sometimes they don’t hate it but they don’t love it either, kind of like its just okay, not bad.
    See now that it’s been explained it makes a lot more sense. I can get doing it for the sake of your partner or thinking it’s alright when it’s available but still not needing or wanting it.

  21. Jim says:

    From my limited experience on the outside looking in on asexuality it has seemed to be to me that those I’ve run across(2) and have gotten to know, an intimacy issue. I have seen flirting and chasing for a good long time. Like over a year. After the chased person even shows the slightest bit of interested the wall goes up. “oh I’m asexual”. Even when the chased person not necessarily shows any real interested other than ‘ok let’s go hang out’.

    This of course is in my limited observations and why it may or may not be true in what I observed, it’s my opinion and almost surely not representative of everyone labeling themselves as ‘asexual’.

    • Siggy says:

      I think this only raises the question of what the hell “intimacy issues” means, and how anybody could detect such a thing.

  22. Jim says:

    Whoever has lived life longer than 20 years knows what intimacy means on a physical and emotional level. Self explanatory unless you’ve been living in a coma. How to ‘detect’ such a thing? Life experience. If you hit 40 with absolutely NO psychological insight into yourself and sometimes that can extend into those around you then you just haven’t been paying attention.

    The two I know of both have what can be considered absent father, alcoholic family or social stresses around sex/sexual identity in their family situations.

    These things kinda write themselves. Sorry I realize I’m not very politically correct but that’s just a waste of time.

    • Siggy says:

      So, you know it when you see it? This is a pretty sorry excuse for anecdotal evidence. Anyway, I socialize with plenty of asexuals and it’s laughable that you’re trying to tell me what they’re like.

    • A Banx says:

      You’re proposing these same issues don’t exist for hetero/homo/pan-sexuals? Now that’s laughable. Not politically incorrect, just incorrectly negligent.

  23. A Banx says:

    Internally I identify as an asexual lesbian due to my lack of sexual attraction; I mean, if I’m gonna do it, women are the only option, and I’m great at it, probably the only thing I’m good at (pleasuring women), the best lover anyone who has ever been with me will ever experience, but I’m not that easy, I guess. I don’t seek validation through sex.
    I know “I’m sexy” (by comparison if nothing else). I love sex and am very sex positive but rarely sexually attracted to the people I sleep with, I often call myself ‘doing them a favor’/’taking several for the team’, like when I met a woman that’s never had a orgasm before, or I’m just feeling down and could go for a quick ego boost.
    I wouldn’t even saying I’m aromantic, but definitely a-that-kind-of-relationship. Definitely not poly; more people more problems. I like going out and having fun but I do the same thing with friends I’m not sexual relationship with, have no desire/it’s never gonna happen, inclusive of cheesy flirting and watching the sunset together, friends of all genders. I have no desire to live the hetero-normative lifestyle with the house and children and the marriage, etc. I’m 32 and my opinion on the matter hasn’t change yet.
    Whenever I meet someone new it’s like, do I want to get to know you better, can we be friends; when I meet other lesbians it’s either, yes, let’s just be friends, I’ve gotten to know you and I don’t like you, or I want to just be friends but she wants more and won’t settle for less.
    I’ve lost friendships because I didn’t want to have sex with them. They felt personally offended? It’s sad but good riddance. And I’ve given in to women that I was mentally attracted to, although always only sorta because they’ve always wanted something I wasn’t looking for in our relationships. I’m always very honest in the beginning too, but they break me down and make me sign the girlfriend card and I’m miserable. Still amazing women, good-lookin, I’m friends with some still. I respect their minds but the sexual desire for them is non-existent.
    Also, I prefer to give more than receive. Still. I do like sex. So it’s hard to say. I’m turned off by human nature? Does that make me asexual. I don’t know. I go celibate for years but social pleasures usually are the reason I force myself to settle for situations I’m not pleased with.
    I feel we’re not so alone though in the not being sexually attracted to anyone; it would seem many people aren’t with their lovers because they were sexually attracted to them but because they were tired of being alone, needed a place to live, trying to prove something or make someone else jealous. Very questionable motives that never get called out in the hetero/homo/pan-sexual worlds because it’s “normal” they say. Whatever.

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  25. Beyser says:

    I think I might be an asexual who likes sex.
    upon this recent finding I started wondering whether I was actually still asexual.

    but for me its basically that in my mind I have this inflated idea/memory of what an orgasm feels like. but a dildo just doesnt do it. theyre not warm. theyre missing the body. which for me I feel makes me orgasm better I think(im not sure I havent had sex in a few years).
    so thats why I think it might just be…exaggerated.

    After realizing I seemed to be wanting someone, anyone with a body to take care of that need of mine to orgasm. I wondered if I was actually asexual. because. Am I not right now craving a body to have sex with? is that sexual attraction? Or am I just getting horny from ideas/images in my head?
    And then as I had watched some porn during masturbation I somehow ended up making a connection between an image of an ass or boobs and connecting that to a memory of masturbating. therefore making me then think about sex when I saw a person with boobs and a low V-neck. I didnt get horny but I started seeing some porn clips in my head. which was definitely rather uncomfortable. specially when I started getting self conscious about looking at peoples boobs.

    So in order to figure it out I tried looking for a better way to explain sexual attraction.
    As before i never understood how you could just look at another human and think about sex. and more importantly think about sex WITH THEM.
    So I thought. okay lets test this and with my new discovery of possible reason for this I went to check next time I left the house. in the next few days…
    And turns out when I asked myself. “do you want to have sex with this person?” my mind just went “what? NO! no thanks. nope nope nope nope”

    So it turns out. that for masturbation I do want a body because I get a better orgasm.
    But I want sex with anyone. but not a someone. does that make sense? I dont want sex with a person. I want sex with a dick with a warm body attached to it.
    But actual people? not really.
    And that…. confuses the hell out of me. because apparently I want it in theory? but an actual person with like feelings and a personality and just. no. no thank you. Im good.

    And sorry I really like analogies. but its like when your stomach is screaming for food. but you dont want any of the things you have in your kitchen. or anything else for that matter. but youre still hungry as hell.

    Man.. writing things down sure tends to help clear up thing why didnt I think of that before?

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