First things first, the basics: Asexual people may have little to no interest in having sex, which does not exclude them from seeking an intimate, emotional, or romantic connection. They might fall in love, experience arousal, choose to masturbate, or choose not to engage in any sexual activity at all. Asexuality is an umbrella term which means it falls under a spectrum.
Sex and sexuality are complicated to figure out. It is important to learn more about different identities, such as asexuality, and the different relationships with sex inside the community. There are even specific terms on the asexuality spectrum that help describe an individual’s experience. To mention a few:
- Demisexual: Experiencing sexual feelings and attraction only after developing a close emotional relationship.
- Queer platonic: An intentional commitment without assumptions of sexual or romantic entanglement.
- Sex-negative: Sex seems unpalatable or even disgusting.
- Sex-neutral: Feeling indifferent to sexual activity.
- Sex-positive: While they do not experience sexual attraction, the feelings they have about sex are generally favorable. They may see sex as a normal, healthy part of life.
Now, if you are ace (asexual) you can still navigate the dating world. There are many happy and healthy relationships that do not involve sex. Love does not have to equal sex. It is important for both partners to communicate their desires, so everyone is satisfied in the relationship. Dating someone asexual does not necessarily mean you won’t have sex, it depends on the individual.
I always try to speak about my personal experience, since that is what I know best. As a greysexual, I am primarily asexual but under rare occasions and circumstances; I experience sexual interest. Before allowing myself to be completely vulnerable with my significant other, I explained everything I could put into words about my sexual feelings or lack thereof, and how there is nothing to take personally, even if it might feel like that sometimes. I was always asexual, and I will continue to be in or out of this relationship.
My asexuality is only for you to understand and respect.
The best thing you can do in an asexual relationship is to not assume anything. Instead, ask how committed and comfortable both parties feel. Be extremely clear from the beginning about boundaries and needs and do not be afraid to ask questions. The same goes for the non-asexual partner. Be open and honest with your partner about what you are looking for and your expectations around sex.
Sex may not be a focal point of intimacy between you and your ace partner, but there are other forms of intimacy you can explore, such as massages, romantic games, blindfold games, spending time together, date nights, etc.
Of course, your feelings are valid and if sex is an important thing for you and your partner is uninterested, that may be where you need to take a step back and see if that relationship is worth pursuing. Just remember, there are many other ways to give and receive intimacy beyond genitals.