backup og meta

What Does It Mean To Be Asexual? Clearing The Misconceptions

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Vincent Sales · Updated Mar 07, 2023

    What Does It Mean To Be Asexual? Clearing The Misconceptions

    Love is not bound by sex. There are those who identify as asexual, and that is completely normal. Nowadays, the world has embraced a wide array of sexual identities. While there still may be people who persecute individuals who are not heterosexual, a better understanding of what it means to be LGBTQIA+ has led to a better, more compassionate world. 

    With that said, what is life like for people who are asexual? What does it mean to be asexual? Can those who are asexual still create meaningful relationships with others? 

    What Does It Mean To Be Asexual? 

    The term asexual refers to a person who is not sexually attracted to any gender. 

    One term that people often confuse with asexuality is celibacy. Celibacy is different from asexuality because it means it is the individual’s choice to refrain from engaging in sexual activities. Moreover, an asexual person can actually choose to engage in sexual activities if they want to without feeling any sort of sexual attraction at the same time. 

    The definition of attraction can mean a number of different things, especially when we are talking about sexual orientation. Attraction can be classified into these distinct groups:

  • Sexual attraction is concerned with the feeling of desire in sexual activities with other people. 
  • Romantic attraction refers to the desire of a person for romantic contact with another person. 
  • Aesthetic attraction refers to when a person appreciates the aesthetic of a person without having any romantic or sexual feelings towards that person. 
  • Sensual attraction refers to the desire that people have towards others in a non-sexual physical way such as hugging and cuddling. 
  • Emotional attraction happens when a person wants to know someone better through their personality but not physically. This occurs in platonic relationships and is also a part of sexual relationships. 
  • Intellectual attraction refers to a kind of attraction where a person wants to engage with another person in an intellectual manner. 
  • Overall, the easiest way to define asexuality would be the sexual orientation of individuals who do not desire sexual contact. Asexuals also coined a shorter term for their sexual orientation, and people may refer to them as “ace”. In addition, an asexual person can be gay, bisexual, straight, or queer since sexual attraction and sexual contact are separate. 

    Is Asexuality a Disorder? 

    No, asexuality is not a disorder, nor is it a medical condition. Asexuality is simply a sexual orientation. The reason why many view asexuality as a disorder is because asexuals show higher rates of psychological distress. This is often due to a lack of support. Asexuals’ desire to not have any sort of sexual contact is often misunderstood and, sadly, frowned upon. 

    Another misconception about asexuality is that having this sexual orientation is a sexual dysfunction. More often than not, when people are sexually attracted to asexual individuals, they think that they are not capable of having sex. But as a matter of fact, asexual people are capable of sexual arousal. It is just that they do not feel any kind of sexual desire. 

    Can Asexuals Still Have Healthy Relationships?

    Yes, asexuals can still have healthy relationships with different kinds of people. We would like to reiterate once more that love is not bound merely by sexual activities. Love is so much more than that. It extends beyond the barriers of sex. 

    Everyone deserves healthy relationships, including asexuals. Asexuals have to ensure that there is clear communication in their relationships with others, be they platonic or sexual, so that these relationships remain healthy. 

    Common Misconceptions About Asexuals

    Asexuals are not:

    • in abstinence because of bad relationships
    • in abstinence due to religious practices
    • celibate 
    • unable to find a partner 
    • suffering from a lack or loss of libido 
    • suffering from sexual dysfunction 
    • afraid of intimacy

    Asexual individuals may: 

    • fall in love with someone
    • have the choice to masturbate
    • have the choice to engage in sexual activities
    • experience arousal 
    • desire platonic friendships, empathy from others, and understanding 
    • be of all ages, genders, and backgrounds 
    • have romantic partners

    Key Takeaway

    Asexuality is something that should not be frowned upon or shamed. It is a normal sexual orientation. Asexual individuals are perfectly capable of feeling, expressing, and fulfilling love. 

    Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Vincent Sales · Updated Mar 07, 2023

    advertisement iconadvertisement

    Was this article helpful?

    advertisement iconadvertisement
    advertisement iconadvertisement