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Until recently, lots of people assumed that everyone was sexually attracted to someone or another.

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But in fact, some people don't experience sexual attraction. Here's what you should understand about being asexual, or "ace" for short. For some, it's more about a lack of sexual desire, while for others, it's just a lack of desire for anyone. And while some feel neutral about sexual activity, others are put off by the idea of it.

Asexuality exists on a spectrum that ranges from "no sexual interest or feelings at all" to "maybe sex under very specific circumstances," explains Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen, Ph. Some people may feel more comfortable saying that they're on the asexual spectrum than classifying themselves as asexual since it leaves wiggle room for different gradations of the identity.

An aromantic person is someone who isn't interested in romantic relationships, though they may still be interested in sexual relationships. A panromantic person, on the flip side, is open to romantic relationships with any gender, though they may or may not experience sexual attraction. So someone could be panromantic asexual, for example, or aromantic asexual. Or somewhere in between! Often, demisexual people don't feel sexually attracted to someone until they get to know them. Some people use the term "graysexual" to refer to being somewhere in between asexual and sexual.

One popular misconception is that asexual people can't fall in love—but they absolutely can. Someone who doesn't tend to fall in love would more likely deate themselves as aromantic, says Queen. Some asexual people get into romantic relationships, and some have sexual relationships with their partners.

Just like it's not really clear what makes someone heterosexualwe don't know what makes someone asexual, says Darnell. Some people feel they were always that way, while others may become asexual because they feel that societal conventions around how people have sex don't work for them, says Queen. Where you are on the asexual spectrum may change throughout your life. For example, some women begin identifying as asexual due to hormonal shifts around menopause, says Queen. Some young people might begin to identify as asexual after having sex and realizing they don't enjoy it.

You might wonder if you're asexual if you've been experiencing a lower libido than Asexual guy looking or in comparison to others. Even among allosexual people aka people who are not on the asexual spectrumit's normal to not want sex sometimes.

The key difference between being asexual and having a lower libido is whether you feel this lack of interest in sex is at the core of who you are or merely a challenge you are Asexual guy looking. Feeling like you can't get turned on even though you want to is often linked to a medical, psychological, or relational problem that people can fix, whereas asexuality is an intrinsic trait that you probably can't change and wouldn't Asexual guy looking want to, Shane explains.

An asexual person, once they are comfortable with themselves as they are, probably won't feel this way. Asexual people often feel alienated when the people around them talk about their desire for sex or feelings of sexual attraction, says Queen. Some asexual people actually do experience sexual desire and even masturbate. But most asexual people won't get turned on in response to other people. You may not have ever had much interest in engaging in sexual activity, or you may have tried to be intimate with someone but not gotten aroused, says Queen.

Ultimately, there's no test that will tell you if you're asexual—it all comes down to how you feel. If this is you, awesome! Own it! Just be sure you are clear with any romantic partner so that expectations on all sides are clear. Want your passion for wellness to change the world?

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Log Out. Your cart is empty. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. Explore Classes. Sex What Does Asexual Mean? Suzannah Weiss is a certified sex educator and freelance writer focused on gender and sexuality.

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She has degrees in cognitive neuroscience, modern culture and media, and gender and sexuality studies from Brown University. Expert review by Kristie Overstreet, Ph. Kristie Overstreet, Ph. She is a d counselor in California, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana.

She is also a certified sex therapist, certified addiction professional, and president of the Therapy Department, a private practice in Orange County that provides counseling services throughout the United States. March 20, Share on: What Does Asexual Mean? The meaning of asexual. The asexual spectrum. Related spectrums:. Aromantic, panromantic, and more. Can asexual people fall in love? Can you become asexual? No sex drive whatsoever: Am I asexual? How do I know if I am asexual?

A few s you might be asexual include:. You don't relate to other people's sexuality. Other people don't turn you on.

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The label resonates with you. Suzannah Weiss mbg Contributor. She has degrees in cognitive neuroscience, modern culture and media, and gender and More On This Topic Friendships.

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