Asexuality exists on a spectrum, and it's represented by the "A" in the LGBTQIA+ acronym.
Asexual people, also called “ace” or “aces,” may have little or no interest in having sex, even though most desire emotionally intimate relationships and friendships, according to the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.
For members of the ace community, finding an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist can be essential.
Online directories like Monarch from SimplePractice aim to make it easier to find a mental health therapist matched to your specific individual needs.
You can quickly and easily search for and find therapists who specialize in working with aces and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Asexuality also works hand-in-hand with other sexualities.
For instance, an asexual or ace individual may pursue companionship or romantic relationships.
Therefore, a person can be asexual and biromantic, heteroromantic, or homoromantic.
Demisexual ace individuals, for example, only experience sexual connections after establishing a deep connection with another person.
Though they may feel some, little, or no sexual attraction, asexual individuals experience other forms of attraction, including:
Aesthetic attraction— Feeling an attraction to someone because of how they look.
Romantic attraction— Having the desire to have a romantic relationship.
Physical or sensual attraction— Needing to hold, touch or cuddle another individual.
Emotional attraction— Craving an emotional attraction with another person.
Platonic attraction— Wanting friendship from someone else.
Asexual people may also have sexual desire despite lacking sexual attraction.
There is a massive difference between libido and sexual attraction.
Libido is about needing to have sex or experience a sexual release while sexual attraction is about finding someone to have sex with. Therefore, it is common for some asexual people to have sex or masturbate.
Among the many reasons why asexual individuals may want to engage in sex include the following:
To experience sexual pleasure
To satisfy libido
To receive or show affection
To have children
Asexuality should not be confused with abstinence or celibacy.
Abstinence is temporary because it involves a personal decision of not having sex. For example, an individual may decide to stay away from sex until marriage.
Celibacy, on the other hand, is about abstaining from sex (and even marriage) due to culture, religion, or personal reasons.
Asexuality isn't a choice while celibacy and abstinence are. Equally, asexual individuals may have sex, as earlier mentioned.
Finally, being asexual isn't a medical concern as some people believe. It is not the same as experiencing loss of libido, fear of intimacy, or sexual dysfunction. Same as bisexuality or homosexuality, asexuality has no underlying cause—it is simply the way someone is.