Here are five things an asexual person really wants you to know – including what not to say to her

Eleanor is asexual – and also identifies as aromantic. Here she explains in her own words what is means to be asexual and how you can be a better ally to a-spec people this Asexual Awareness Week (October 24-30).

What does it mean to be asexual?

I came out as asexual this year. It was very scary to come out to people. The anxiety will always tell you that no one will ever love you in that way, which is really really sad.

Asexuality is basically the lack of sexual attraction towards another person, perhaps in the binary gender or in any fluid gender.

Stop telling me I’ll change my mind

A lot of people would say: “Oh everyone feels like that before they’ve had sex,” almost comparing it to being a virgin or celibacy. People think along those lines. Those are choices but it’s a misconception to think asexuality must be a choice.

When you’re asexual, people immediately think that you don’t love anyone because what’s the point in a relationship unless you have sex with another person? That really gets to me because there are lots of different attractions: sensual attractions, aesthetic attraction, romantic attraction. They all play a part when it comes to being with someone else.

Sexual attraction is just a part of it but it’s not everything when it comes to your relationship.

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There’s a big difference between asexual and aromantic

I came out in June this year so I am only very recently out. A friend asked me if I was open to an open relationship. I am heteroromantic, so she suggested the guy could be with me, we could do all the stuff we wanted to do but then he could go off with another woman and have sex with that person. Maybe some asexuals are into that but I’m monogamous.

It felt really invalidating. It made me feel like I was broken and needed to be fixed in some way because I can’t give the man what he wants. And it also put all men in this category of ‘they’re all sex-crazed beasts,’ which is not entirely true.

I worry that if I fall in love with another guy who isn’t necessarily asexual, will he be open to the idea that perhaps I don’t feel that sexual attraction? And perhaps, if he loves me, will he just accept that and support me through that?

People often don’t realise that there is a difference between asexuality and aromanticism. Asexuality refers to sexual identity and who you are sexually attracted to, which is very little our to none, whereas aromanticism is who you are romantically attracted to.

Watch the video above to see me explain five things you should never say to an asexual person.

As part of our Ace Week 2021 coverage, PinkNews is hosting an Instagram Live this Wednesday 27 October at 6pm (BST) with asexual model Yasmin Benoit and activist Emi Salida.

You can find PinkNews on Instagram here.

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