Being asexual is often misunderstood – especially in the dating world. Asexual people can find romance, just in their own way.
What Being Asexual Is… and Isn’t
While many people may think being asexual means something is wrong with a person, that’s simply not true. Being asexual is not the same as being voluntarily celibate, either. Being asexual is perfectly normal and asexual people can still crave relationships. There are even different kinds of being asexual.
Asexual people never feel sexual attraction.
Demisexual people can feel sexual attraction after forming an emotional attraction to a partner.
Gray-asexual people can fall along the sexual spectrum and can be in between asexual and sexual.
How Asexual People Find Love
Even within the LGBTQIA community, some asexual people can feel forgotten.
"I’ve found that asexuality gets shoved aside. In pride parades it kind of goes back to that society is sexualized — just because I’m not having sex doesn’t mean I can’t fall in love," said Dae, an asexual woman, to ABC Australia).
Dae and her partner Tash find intimacy in their own way. "We hug, we kiss on the cheek — there’s a lot of verbal intimacy rather than physical intimacy", said Dae.
"Being asexual you’re not attracted sexually. I can appreciate Dae’s aesthetics, but it’s roughly the same way I’d look at a marble statue in a museum — they are very pretty and you can admire the creation or everything that’s gone into creating it, but you’re not really attracted to it," said Tash.
Another asexual woman, Liz, told the BBC how important it is to have open communication about how you want to express intimacy.
"Asexual just means a lack of sexual attraction. It doesn’t mean lack of anything else. It can be interpreted in so many ways. They’re the same issues as in any relationship really, because you never know what someone is or isn’t into and you should probably have that conversation before you have sex,"said Liz).
"I think that’s the case in all relationships; it’s not going to work if you don’t communicate."
Professional Advice on Dating for Asexual People
"Remember that there are many ways to cultivate closeness aside from sex," said relationship expert Jessica O’Reilly. "Asexuals — like all people — have their individual needs, desires and boundaries. Talk about these! Share your own and support your partner’s willingness to share",said O’Reilly.
Another relationship expert, Chantal Heide, advises couples with an asexual partner to remember love as the ultimate goal of the relationship.
"Letting partners know exactly what’s appreciated about them on a regular basis will tickle their brain and heart, filling them with knowledge regarding the important role they play in the relationship,"said Heide. "Love, when practiced as a verb together, always helps make relationships work,"added Heide.