What Does It Mean to Be Asexual? Here's What You Should Know
What does it mean to be asexual? It's currently Asexuality Awareness Week, which felt like the perfect time to learn all about what it means to be ace in today's world.
Caroline Cull is a writer and filmmaker, as well as an asexual activist from Naarm, Australia, whose work is primarily dedicated to spreading advocacy for asexual people, as well as consulting to ensure they're being properly represented in the media. We got the chance to ask her all about the topic of asexuality, and here's what she shared with us:
What Does It Mean to Be Asexual?
Caroline Cull: A person is asexual when they experience little to no sexual attraction. This isn't to be confused with thinking somebody is attractive or wanting to date somebody, though. It's purely finding somebody attractive enough that you feel compelled or drawn to engage in sexual activity with them. Some asexuals do have sex lives, as they may have higher libidos. Sexual attraction is more "I want them" vs. libido, which is "I want it now."
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Being Asexual vs. Being Aromantic
CC: As asexuality and aromanticism are two very different spectrums, there are many differences between the two. Aromanticism is experiencing little to no romantic attraction. Some people experience the lower end of both spectrums and prefer to maintain queer-platonic life partnerships. There are plenty of people who are aromantic and still experience sexual attraction, though, and vice versa. It can be a little difficult to navigate sometimes. The community, however, is always helpful with breaking down attraction models.
The Biggest Myths About Asexuality
CC: 1. That we don't have sex, or haven't had the right sex.
2. That we don't date, or are using asexuality as an excuse because nobody wants to date us.
3. That asexuality is an orientation instead of a spectrum of sexual attractions.
4. Many people inside the LGBTQIA+ community confuse queer asexuals with just being closeted. Love is love. Love doesn't equal sex.
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On Educating Others About Asexual Topics
CC: I think there's a lot of pressure for asexual people to educate others constantly. I sometimes feel like a sexual health educator on Tinder or Bumble, when I'm trying to just find a partner. The best way for someone to educate themselves is through readily accessible research. As an asexual activist and script consultant, my career is dedicated toward creating accurate representation in film and TV. I'm currently working on a pilot called Girl Riot as an asexual script consultant. Being able to provide notes and just answer questions is euphoric.
The Biggest Challenges of Dating as an Asexual Person
CC: Huge challenges for people who are asexual and dating are communication and boundary setting, especially if you're dating someone who isn't asexual. Being open and honest about what you're comfortable with from the start can prevent a lot of heartache. I went three months before a girl I was seeing confessed that she thought I just needed time and was just confused. R.I.P me.