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What Is Being Asexual Really Like and How Does It Affect Relationships?

Robyn Exton

Oct 27, 2021

What Is Being Asexual Really Like and How Does It Affect Relationships?
  • Asexuality is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of identities that share one primary thing in common: experiencing no or low sexual or romantic attraction.

    Asexual identities include being asexual, aromantic, demisexual, demiromantic, or graysexual.

    Of course, having little or no sexual or romantic attraction is going to affect people’s relationships.

    When many people think about finding a partner, it includes romantic and sexual attraction, so asexuality is often misunderstood.

    Being asexual is completely normal and valid and deserves to be celebrated and included like all LGBTQ+ identities.

    So whether you’re asexual or aromantic yourself, you know someone who is, or you just want to learn more, we’re here to give you a crash course in asexuality and asexual relationships.

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    Being Ace: What Does It Mean?

    Ace is short for asexual, but it is also a broad umbrella term containing diverse, nuanced experiences.

    Being asexual means experiencing no sexual attraction at all, either to your own gender or to other genders.

    Some asexual people still experience romantic attraction and want to find love; some still masturbate or are happy to have sex if their partner wants to; some don’t want to do any of these things.

    Similarly, aromantic people experience no romantic attraction or desire to pursue romantic relationships. Some aromantic people still have sexual attraction and can be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, or any other sexual orientation.

    They just don’t want romantic relationships.

    Demisexual or demiromantic people don’t experience sexual or romantic attraction until an emotional bond is formed.

    What this emotional bond looks like differs from person to person.

    Some demisexual people only experience sexual attraction once they’re already friends with someone; for some, it’s when others show sexual attraction towards them.

    It really depends on the individual. Like asexual and aromantic people, demisexual people can experience romantic attraction to one gender, multiple genders, or no one.

    And demiromantic people can experience sexual attraction to one gender, multiple genders, or no one.

    Do Asexual People Still Look for Love?

    The answer to this is simple: it depends on the person.

    Some asexual people are also aromantic and don’t have any interest in finding romantic love.

    Some ace people are demiromantic and experience romantic attraction in certain circumstances, but equally, they may be perfectly happy on their own. 

    Similarly, asexual people might be heteroromantic, homoromantic, biromantic, panromantic, and on and on.

    Some asexual people are serially monogamous and love being in love and being in romantic relationships. Some aren’t that bothered.

    Relationship style is important here – asexual people can still be polyamorous and want multiple romantic relationships at once. They might include sexual interaction, and they might not.

    It really depends on the person.

    What’s It Like to Be in a Relationship

    For ace people who want to be in a romantic relationship, it can be difficult to picture what that might look like if it’s not something you’ve experienced.

    Asexuality is woefully underrepresented in media, television, movies, and books, so there are few examples to point to. 

    Every relationship is different, and the only people who ever fully understand a relationship are the people in it.

    For asexual people who do experience romantic attraction (whether that’s being demiromantic, biromantic, homoromantic, etc.), relationships can be deep, fulfilling, and fun, regardless of whether it includes sexual contact or connection. 

    Some asexual people prefer to date or only date other asexual people.

    As with many identities, the experience of being asexual can only be fully understood by people who have that experience.

    So, for some ace people, dating other ace people makes them feel more understood than when they date people of other sexual orientations.

    But this certainly isn’t true of all asexual people. 

    Relationships where one person is asexual and one isn’t can work too, and be healthy and satisfying. As with any relationship, it’s all about communication.

    For asexual or demisexual people, it depends on their level of attraction and what they feel comfortable with.

    Some asexual people are happy to engage in sexual activity to gratify their partner, even if they don’t get gratification themselves. Some are comfortable with specific acts, like mutual masturbation or oral sex.

    If you’re not asexual and you’re in a relationship with an asexual person, it’s vital to have a conversation about what you’re each comfortable with, what your needs are, and how you can make it work for both of you.

    Can You Find Love with Someone Who Isn’t Asexual?

    If you’re asexual or fall somewhere under the asexual umbrella, you can certainly find love. There’s no reason you can’t have a romantic relationship if you want one.

    It can feel daunting if you’ve never been in a romantic relationship before.

    A good place to start is to think about what your boundaries are. What are you comfortable with? What are you not comfortable with? What do you want to get out of a relationship?

    Being sure of these things yourself will make it easier to communicate those wants and needs to another person.

    If you feel ready to try a romantic relationship, go into it with an open mind. There’s no harm in trying different things to figure out what you like and want.

    Just make sure you’re open about that with a potential partner from the outset.

    Experimenting and learning more about yourself can be incredibly valuable to finding out what you want.

    If you’re unsure, why not connect with other asexual people to share experiences and learn from each other? The internet has made it easier than ever to find people like us.

    Look on social media, dating apps, or at asexual events to connect with other asexual people and find out if and how they have approached romantic relationships.

    HER Can Help You Find What You’re Looking For

    If you identify somewhere on the asexual spectrum, you can find whatever you’re looking for on HER.

    HER is a loving and accepting community that welcomes people of all sexual orientations, romantic styles, and gender identities.

    Having a community that understands and accepts you for who you are can be vital to help you feel comfortable and confident in your identity.

    Whether you’re looking for romance, to experiment, or to meet people like you, you can find it on HER.

    HER is not just a dating app – it’s a space where LGBTQ+ people can connect, share experiences, and support each other.

    The LGBTQ+ community needs to support each other and lift each other up.

    HER’s communities section lets you connect with people based on your hobbies, interests, what you’re looking for, your lifestyle, your identity, and more.

    Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it on HER.

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    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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