What’s the meaning of being ‘Asexual’? With different definitions for different people, asexuality is variedly applicable. The broad definition might be- Asexuality is the lack of sexual desire, low libido, or absent interest for sexual activity. It is a kind of sexual orientation where a person isn’t interested in sex and intimacy. However asexuality has several percepts. Let’s look at all of them.
ABSOLUTELY NO SEXUAL ATTRACTION
Sexual attraction is different from romantic, aesthetic (based on looks), sensual, platonic (based on friendship), and emotional attraction. Asexual people might experience all of the above and yet have a negligible desire to experience sexual intimacy.
SEXUAL ATTRACTION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES
Some asexual people may experience sexual attraction under certain circumstances for example, towards a person they’re deeply attached to. These people might also be called as
demisexual. Deep romantic relationships may provoke sexual attraction but that’s not constant.
POSSESS LIBIDO OR SEXUAL DESIRE BUT WITHOUT SEXUAL ATTRACTION
For the people who’re confused between these terms, here’s an explanation. Libido- Also known as sex drive, Libido is the desire or want to experience sexual pleasure and release.
Sexual Desire- The desire to have sex for pleasure, conception, personal connection, etc. is called Sexual desire.
Sexual Attraction- This involves identifying a person as sexually appealing and wanting to have sexual intimacy with him/her. Asexual people may have a low libido and sexual desire. Also
some asexual people might have libido and experience sexual desire but do not have sexual attraction. There might be several reasons for asexual people to have sex-
To satisfy libido,
To satisfy his/her partner,
To experience the physical pleasure,
To receive/show affection,
To have the sensual pleasure of cuddling and touching.
Basically Asexuality has different meanings for different people but on a wider spectrum, lack of the interest to have a sexual relationship is called asexuality.
IS ASEXUALITY A MEDICAL CONDITION?
No, asexuality isn’t a medical condition. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with you. Even if the world assumes that sexual attraction is an essential nature of human beings, it isn’t an asexual people need not consult a doctor as it isn’t any ‘peculiar condition’. Also asexuality isn’t genetic and there isn’t any underlying cause for it. However the fears of sexual intimacy, loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, sexual aversion, and sexual repression aren’t the same as asexuality as these may happen regardless of sexual orientation.
DESIRE FOR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
The desire for romantic relationships is present regardless of sexual orientation. It must be considered that romantic attraction has nothing to do with sexual attraction. Thus asexual people can crave for romantic and emotional relationships. Also they might engage in sex with their partner but not out of need and purely out of their want to have the experience.
A FLUID IDENTITY
Asexual people may develop sexual attraction over time and that’s OK. Your capacity for sexual attraction might be fluid and that doesn’t mean that your sexual orientation is a “phase” and
you’ll move out of it. Also if asexual people no longer feel the sexual attraction that they might have felt in the past, their asexuality is still valid. The capacity for attraction might change over time.
Just like sexuality, asexuality is a spectrum too ranging from negligible to high sexual attraction. People who rarely or never experience sexual attraction are called grey sexual people. So we can identify grey sexuality as a midpoint between asexuality and sexuality.