Updated: Dec 26, 2021
We use the letters LGBTQIA to describe different identities, and the "A" stands for Asexual. In honor of October 24-30 being celebrated as Ace Week (formerly known as Asexual Awareness Week), let's explore what being asexual really means.
We so often hear the religious "sex rule" that unmarried people should not be having sex. On the other hand, when people do get married, it is then expected that they must have sex. What if someone actually doesn't want to have sex at all? Is that a problem?
Well, people can be asexual. A person who is asexual experiences little to no sexual attraction to anyone and/or does not experience desire for sexual contact. Sexual attraction is about finding a specific person sexually appealing and wanting to have sex with them. The term "ace" describes the identities that fit in the asexual spectrum and is used to refer to people who identify within the asexual spectrum.
Sexuality is a spectrum, with people experiencing sexual attraction on varying levels, from none at all, or a little, or alot. The asexual spectrum encompases all of the identities related to asexuality. Some people may not fit the strictest definition of the word asexual but can still feel that their experience aligns with asexuality in some way.
An ace person might identify as asexual, gray-asexual, or demisexual. Gray-asexuality involves experiencing sexual attraction rarely or only under specific circumstances, or fluctuating between periods when sexual attraction is experienced and not experienced. Demisexuality refers to when a person can only experience sexual attraction if a strong emotional bond is present; although this bond is required for attraction, it is not a guarantee that attraction will occur.
Asexuality means different things to different people. Asexuality doesn’t always mean someone doesn’t enjoy sex but rather they don’t experience sexual attraction. Some asexual people have sex drive or sexual desire, so they might still masturbate or have sex. Of course, some asexual people have little to no sex drive or sexual desire which is also okay!
Asexuality is an innate part of who someone is and isn’t just a choice to avoid sex, like abstinence and celibacy. Abstinence is about deciding not to have sex and celibacy is about deciding to abstain from sex, and possibly marriage. Asexual people might not actually abstain from sex at all, as some do have sex. The asexual experience is unique, individual and personal.
There are so many societal expectations that can make it hard for asexual people to fit in. It's often assumed that everyone feels sexual attraction so asexual people may worry that there's something wrong with themselves. However asexuality is not a medical concern or something that needs to be fixed. Asexuality exists and is natural, normal, and valid.
Only you get to decide whether you identify as asexual or not. The way you define your sexuality, orientation, or identity is up to you. Do what feels comfortable for you, and remember to always let people know what you don't want to do, because consent matters.
LGBTQIA Organizations in St.Lucia/Caribbean
United and Strong (IG @unitedandstrong)
Lez Connect (IG @connectlez)
ECADE- Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (IG @ec_equality)