'I Am Not A Robot' — Debunking Myths About Asexuality

Diply 9 Jun 2017

The LGBTQIA+ spectrum is a vast, complicated tapestry. We often can't even agree on what letters should be included in the name or what they specifically stand for.

But it's important for everyone in that spectrum and outside of it to do their best to understand each other and not perpetuate myths or stereotypes that belittle those who are different from themselves.

So today I'm going to focus on asexuality and its myths.

Asexual: a person who does not experience sexual attraction.

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Myth #1: Asexuality doesn't exist.

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We live in a culture that assumes sexual attraction is "normal," and many asexual (ace) people struggle to even have their feelings acknowledged.

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The most commonly quoted study estimated that asexuals are about 1% of the population.

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That seems small, but expanding that out to the current world population would mean there are about 75 million asexuals.

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Myth #2: Asexual is just another word for celibacy or abstinence. 

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Celibacy and abstinence are terms describing a person who is making the choice to not have sex.

An asexual can choose to have sex for a number of reasons. They just don't feel attraction.

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Myth #3: Asexual people cannot fall in love. 

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This myth conflates the idea of romantic love with sexual desire and often results in asexuals being accused of being robots or unfeeling.

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It's important to understand the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

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There are many forms of love already recognized as valid without requiring a sexual component. Romantic attraction is simply another of those.

But like sexual attraction, romantic attraction also exists on a spectrum. It's simply that most other orientations don't see the need to define it separately.

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Romantic attraction can be to specific genders or any gender. You can feel it or not.

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An asexual woman who is romantically attracted to men would likely describe herself as a Heteroromantic Asexual. A person who feels no romantic attraction would label themselves as an Aromantic Asexual.

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Myth #4: You can't know for sure until you've had sex, or "getting laid will fix you."

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Again, asexuality is not defined by whether or not someone takes part in sexual acts. It's about whether or not they feel sexual attraction.

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Myth #5: Asexuality is just for people who hate sex or have sex-related trauma in their childhood.

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There are asexual people who would also define themselves as sex-repulsed, but like everything else in the human condition, it exists on a spectrum.

Many in the ace community may even enjoy it, but that doesn't mean they feel a specific sexual attraction to their chosen partner. Others may just see it as a chore.

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Myth #6: Asexuals are doomed to be alone for the rest of their lives.

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Aces can develop strong and emotionally intimate relationships throughout their lives. Some live happily in a platonic relationship with close friends, others find a home amidst the rich tapestry of polyamory or open-style relationships.

And some do choose to live alone and do so happily.

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