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What Does Asexual Mean?

Your buddies are all the time raving about how they get all scorching and bothered “down there” each time their fave actor (or actress) pops on the display…however you are simply not feeling it. Could you be asexual?

Like all issues on the spectrum of sexuality, asexuality (which, by the best way, is the “A” in LGBTQIA) is not fairly that straightforward.

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How The Heck Do You Know If You’re Asexual?

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, “an asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.”

Sounds easy sufficient. But asexuality is usually confused with having low libido, which is a medical analysis that could possibly be brought on by quite a lot of medical causes. (Think: melancholy completely tanking your intercourse drive for a number of months and even years.)

Unlike having a low libido, asexuality is just not a medical situation, doesn’t come and go, and is on no account a “disorder” that would or ought to be handled, says Kristen Lilla, L.C.S.W., a licensed intercourse therapist and sexuality educator in Nebraska.

Instead, asexuality is a sexual orientation, identical to being straight, homosexual, or bi.

RELATED: 5 Things You Need To Know About Demisexuality

“Typically, it manifests at the same time everyone else begins to realize and acknowledge their sexuality, during early adolescent years,” Lilla explains. “However, people who find themselves asexual typically do not have the language to explain their sexuality till maturity.” They might attempt to date different individuals and be intimate with them, however know one thing simply is not clicking.

And when somebody realizes their asexuality, “There is a large quantity of aid, as a result of they lastly perceive why they’ve by no means skilled sexual attraction,” says Lilla.

Yes, Asexual People Date

Sexual attraction and romantic attraction, aren’t essentially the identical factor, says Eric Marlowe Garrison, a medical sexologist and professor on the College of William and Mary. “There are myths that each one asexuals are afraid of relationships or that they’re thrown off hormonally,” he says. But that’s not the case.

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Think about it this manner: If you have been to make an inventory of all of the issues that attracted you to your companions, likelihood is that record wouldn’t start and finish with how they made you are feeling in your nether areas, proper? We are attracted to people for a dozen causes—their quirky senses of humor, killer mind, day-making hugs, or not-weird-at-all obsession with Tudor England (don’t decide). The similar is true for individuals who determine as asexual.

As such, identical to non-asexuals, “people who are asexual may date men, women, and trans people,” says Lilla.

RELATED: 7 People Share What Valentine’s Day Is Like In A Polyamorous Relationship

Asexual People Can Still Have Sex…And Orgasms

Being asexual doesn’t essentially imply being celibate—although it might. “Someone who is asexual can physically have sex if they choose to,” says Lilla.

The record of causes for getting it on is lengthy and different, identical to another orientation. “Someone who identifies as asexual might not experience sexual attraction, but they might still want to be intimate with a partner as a physical release or to be close and intimate with someone physically,” Lilla explains. “Depending on the person, they might not want to be physical but may choose to pleasure their partner even though they don’t want to be pleasured.” In brief, it actually is dependent upon the person.

And sure, intercourse can nonetheless be pleasurable in the event you’re asexual—orientation doesn’t have an effect on anatomy. “Sex is still a physically pleasurable act,” explains Lilla. “Someone who identifies as asexual can have orgasms like anybody else,” provides Garrison.

Someone who’s asexual may even masturbate, Garrison says. “I’d say five to seven out of every 10 asexual patients I’ve seen in my practice masturbate,” he says.

Confusing? Yes. But Garrison explains it’s a must to keep in mind there are a number of good issues about having an orgasm except for the apparent sexual pleasure. They could be a option to let off steam, scale back stress—and even aid you eliminate a headache.

Most importantly: Being asexual doesn’t imply there’s something bodily or psychologically askew. “As a therapist, if I can help someone figure out their identity and sexual orientation, they often feel relief,” says Lilla. “It explains why they have felt the way they have for so long.”

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