How to Have a Healthy & Happy Relationship as an Asexual Person

Online dating and relationship articles are oversaturated with helpful tips about sex tips and masturbation. While resourceful advice on how to have safe oral sex might seem vital to every pseudo-couple who’s trying to navigate that confusing time in pre-DTR limbo, it can be strenuous to scroll through Google for dating advice when your sexual orientation itself is scarcely represented.

Because there’s a lack of representation of asexual people in the media and entertainment, there’s a lot of misinformation about asexuality. While you might know that people who identify as asexual typically don’t have sexual desires, you might have some ignorant fallacies about what it means to be asexual.

Just like the LGBTQIA+ community houses an array of people, identities and sexualities, asexuality hosts a spectrum of non-sexual and somewhat non-sexual sexualities. The reality is that asexuality can mean something different for every person—because Jughead isn’t the universal spokesperson for every person who identifies as asexual especially since his asexuality is largely ignored on Riverdale, at least for the moment. Whether you’re questioning your sexual orientation or you just found out that your SO is asexual and you’re afraid to ask bae oblivious questions, here are some things you should know about asexuality:  

  • Asexuality, like any sexuality, is not a choice. Unlike abstinence, which is a choice for a myriad of reasons, asexuality isn’t a choice; it’s a part of someone’s personhood. Because it’s a part of a person’s sexual, non-sexual or somewhat-sexual identity, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being asexual.

  • Asexuality means that you ~typically~ don’t feel sexual attraction (or at all). Though you might not feel sexual attraction, that doesn’t mean you can’t be attracted to someone, emotionally or otherwise.

  • Conversely, some people who’re asexual can also like sex but not be sexually attracted to anyone. Because the definition of asexuality is centered on sexual attraction, you can still enjoy sex or sexual acts without being sexually attracted to another person.

  • Asexuality and romance are not mutually exclusive. Because asexuality is a sexual orientation that doesn’t mean that a person who is asexual can’t be emotionally or romantically attracted to you or anyone else. However, you can be asexual and aromantic (meaning you aren’t into romantic affection, or you are—just under specific circumstances), just like you can also be asexual and polyromantic. Nevertheless, asexuality doesn’t inhibit being in a relationship or falling in love.

  • In fact, you can have sex as an asexual person. Because everyone defines their asexuality a bit differently, there’s a spectrum of asexuality that houses a slew of specific asexual orientations. Gray asexuality, or gray-sexuality, establishes a slew of asexual orientations and can include people who only experience sexual attraction at certain times (under specific situations). However, experiencing sexual attraction at times doesn’t make you any less asexual.

Because asexuality can describe a diverse group of sexualities and sexual attractions (or lack thereof), it’s essential to have a discussion with your SO about what your asexuality means to you—so there aren’t any misconceptions. 

Related: 3 Little Things You Should Stop Doing For a Healthier Relationship

1. Help your SO understand your sexuality

When your sexual orientation isn’t widely discussed in media, it can be draining to explain your sexuality to every new Bumble match or date.

While you could burden yourself with being the unofficial spokesperson of asexuality and explain every detail of your asexuality to each new SO and fling, you don’t need to burden yourself by coming out as asexual 200 times in your lifetime—that’s just daunting and unnecessary.

Instead of creating a lengthy presentation about your non-sexual awakening, explain your asexuality to your partner like the lazy gal you are. You can use a variety of innovative lazy girl hacks to help educate your SO, without curating a formal lecture yourself.

Though you can briefly explain how you interpret your asexuality, you can show your SO some resourceful websites, blogs and forums about asexuality. Granted, this might seem like the laziest of the lazy girl tips, but this can prevent a serious conversation from turning into an interrogation. Because a lot people aren’t familiar with what asexuality is, let alone the full extent of the asexuality spectrum, this method allows your SO to explore the broad definition of asexuality. After all, you’re helping your SO understand your asexuality, not doing all the work for them.

Since your SO’s homework assignment will probably inspire a few follow-up questions, especially if they’re a diligent researcher, this method will allow your SO to think of more concise (and hopefully less ignorant) questions about your sexuality. This approach will also help foster a less hostile discussion because it doesn’t put the responsibility of “coming-out” entirely on you. While you explain what asexuality is and answer subsequent questions (probably at a later date), your SO is also involved in researching and curating questions—so they’re actively thinking about you and your asexuality.

Plus, this group effort and could strengthen your relationship even more.

Related: Send This To Your Loved Ones Who Need To Understand Asexuality

2. Don’t compromise in the bedroom

If you’re comfortable with having an honest discussion with your SO about sexual boundaries, then you and your beau might be able to come to a compromise about intimacy. However, sex isn’t synonymous with intimacy.  

There’s a misconception that sex is vital to any healthy relationship. However, if you don’t want sex, now or ever, then you shouldn’t feel pressured to compromise—regardless of why you don’t want to have sex. After all, you don’t need to validate any part of your identity (including your sexual or non-sexual identity) to anyone, especially not to your SO.

Although your SO might think they need sexual acts to feed your relationship’s metaphorical flame, they might just need an outlet for physical intimacy. Albeit physical intimacy sounds like a middle schooler’s innuendo for sex, physical intimacy can take on many forms, from hugging to cuddling to kissing. Because any sexual act requires discussion, and subsequent consent, you can try to brainstorm other meaningful methods of intimacy that work for everyone in your relationship.

If your SO tries to give you an ultimatum regarding sex, then you might want to consider deleting all the couple-y photos you have on your Instagram—because if bae puts sex with you before you as a person, then they don’t deserve to be in any form of situation-ship with you. Seriously, no relationship can withstand an ultimatum. (Likewise, having sex with someone else because you may not want sex isn’t an excuse for cheating.)

After all, you shouldn’t feel pressured into having sex, especially if you aren’t attracted to the idea of sex.

Obviously, if you like sex (and you’re comfortable with getting frisky) and you just don’t feel sexual attraction, then you and your bae can just have a conversation about consent and sexual boundaries instead—because consent is fundamental for any relationship. '

Related: 6 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who's Asexual

3. If your SO blames your asexuality on themselves, you might want to consider going to couple counseling

While you know that your asexuality isn’t anyone’s fault, your partner could take offense to the fact that you don’t have any sexual attraction or you don’t feel sexual desire.

There’s a chance that your partner might think your lack of sexual attraction could be because you don’t explicitly find them physically or sexually attractive, but in reality you might not be sexually attracted to anyone. However, your SO might take this personally (even though it’s not), which can obviously cause a slew of issues in your otherwise beautiful relationship.

Reassuring your partner could help solidify the fact that your asexuality isn’t their fault (mostly because there’s nobody to blame because sexuality isn’t blameworthy), but sometimes couples therapy can aid in this process. Other components could factor into why your SO feels accountable for your lack of sexual attraction or asexuality in general. Whether your SO has issues with self-esteem or seeks validity through sex, a licensed couples counseling can help pinpoint these underlying elements. From there, your couples counselor can help resolve any lingering feelings of blame or resentment.

Regardless, consulting a relationship therapist is a good method to foster a healthier and happier relationship. Even if you and bae have the most Insta-envy coupledom, a therapist can help prevent impending relationship quarrels by discussing them in a controlled environment (with an unbiased third party).

While couple counseling might seem like an expensive luxury for a college student, you might be able to use any on-campus counseling services for your relationship. If you university offers free or discounted therapy, then you can ask inquiry about bringing along your other half. (Because relationships and friendships can impact your mental health, and therapist recognize this.)

Whether you’re in a traditional relationship or a third in a committed throuple, there is a void of material about asexuality and dating. Nevertheless, there are countless ways to facilitate a healthy and happy relationship with your sexual, or non-sexual, orientation and your SO.