Anonymous: While I agree and appreciate that you are wanting to avoid just labeling strangers, these are individuals who are already confused and are actually LOOKING for confirmation. I think it would be okay to tell them,"Yeah, you sound asexual to me! But don't let that be the end of all thought." Give them that confirmation, but let them know the door isn't closed to other possibilities. Y'know? :)

Hey, friend, did you read the post I linked to in that reblog? Because one of the first things it addresses is that yeah, validation is a great thing! That doesn’t make any of the points I made in that reblog any less true. It still sets me up as something I’m not: an authority on who is and is not asexual. Not only am I not that authority, I don’t want to be! That takes me way too close to being one of those slime molds who thinks they are allowed to tell people they can’t identify as asexual because they don’t fit my criteria.

-Natalie

Anonymous: Am I asexual when I don't want to be in a relationship at all? Like I don't want to have sex or do any sexual couple things, I just want to have fun with people (being friends). Sorry if I'm offending anyone, I didn't mean to. I'm just confused.

showing-my-ace:

asexualsanonymous:

Well, anon, that is up to you much more than it is up to me. I don’t have the power to determine your sexuality, because sexuality is an incredibly personal thing. Do you feel like asexual is a good word to describe how you feel? Do you identify with that term? Will it be helpful for you when it comes to explaining your feelings to other people? If so, you should absolutely use it!

-Natalie

I don’t know why advice/ask blogs will just never come out and say it. If you don’t want to do sexual things, and aren’t sexually attracted to anyone, and you have no problem with that, then you’re most likely an asexual. Of course the individual has the overriding decision, but yes those things describe a lot of asexuals. 

I can’t answer this question for every advice blog, but for me, personally, there are a lot of reasons that I won’t give a straight answer to this question:

  1. I have absolutely no right to define somebody else’s identity. That would be like me coming up to you on the street and saying, “You know what? I think you would look really great with blue hair, so I’m just going to dye your hair now,” and dumping a container of Manic Panic on your head. I am not the ultimate arbiter of sexualities.

  2. I am not inside anybody else’s head. I can’t read minds. I don’t personally know every single person who sends us an ask — that’s the whole point of an anonymous advice blog. I often don’t know how a person feels about a particular label or how useful that label will be to them. I might be able to say “well, definitions-wise, this experience means this sexuality” but people are not dictionary entries.  If you have had the same experiences as me, that doesn’t imply that you’ll identify with the same labels as I do, because we are different people.

  3. Along the same lines as #2:  I am a human, and as a human, I’ll admit that I have certain biases. There are labels that I like more than others — usually the labels that resonate with me. If I am defining people’s orientations, I’m more likely to default to the labels I like. The fact that I like them doesn’t mean they’re right for other people.

  4. I am a teacher. As a teacher, I have noticed that there’s a major difference between looking at a math problem and saying “Nope, the answer is two, you’re wrong,” and saying “Here, let me ask you a few pointed questions that will walk you through how to get the answer on your own.” The second option is much more likely to produce students who are confident in a skill. The same holds true for sexualities. If I just give people a stock “yes, you’re asexual,” “no, you’re not allowed to use this label,” how will they ever end up being confident that they know who they are and what labels are good for them?

You can find a much more eloquent explanation of this here, which probably brings up some points I’ve missed.

-Natalie

Anonymous: Is it weird that whenever I'm starting to get serious with someone relationship wise I panic and want out? Like I'm always daydreaming about being in relationships and cuddling and being romantic and stuff (normally just with fictional characters, yeah ik im weird) but as soon as I start to get that I freak out and things get bad.... I do identify as asexual tho...

There’s nothing weird about that, Anon. Relationships can be terrifying things. (There’s also definitely nothing weird about fantasizing, about fictional characters or otherwise. Imagination is a super rad thing, not a weird thing!)

The fact that you’re aware of this trend means that it’s something you can start to try to change, if you want to. Try to figure out what exactly it is that you’re panicking about. Is there any one thing, or is it just being in a relationship in general? If it’s the second one, then maybe this isn’t the best time for you to be pursuing a relationship, until you’ve had some time to work out what it is about  being in a relationship that’s scaring you and making you uncomfortable. If you know that there’s a specific thing that you could address to make you more comfortable, that’s the time to bring that thing up to your romantic partner (or prospective romantic partner). Just a casual “Hey, I’m likely to do [x], so if you could do [y] when that happens it would be great!” is all you should need.

Essentially: there’s nothing wrong with getting anxious about relationship stuff. If you want to work through it, and pursue relationships anyways, that’s great! It is also great if you would rather not deal with those feelings and don’t want to pursue a relationship now, or ever! Do what will make you the most comfortable, secure, and happy.

-Natalie

Anonymous: Is it possible for a person to be physically incapable of any kind of arousal? I'm asexual and it's utterly complete...I attempted to masturbate and there were no sensations or anything. I could have been touching my knee. This is for any "sensual" area. Is that unusual or am I just lucky? Could it be that when my unconscious decided I was giving up on any kind of a relationship in my life, my body just flipped a switch?

I am absolutely not any kind of expert in this area, Anon, but I can tell you what I do know.

Inability to become physically aroused is not necessarily a part of asexuality. For some people it can be, for others there are potential physical or psychological issues causing the lack of arousal.There’s nothing terribly unusual about it, I don’t think, although I can’t quote you numbers for anybody other than cis men. The important thing is whether or not it’s causing you any sort of distress, or if you’re experiencing anything else at the same time that might indicate a serious underlying medical condition. If neither of those is the case for you, then it’s absolutely fine, and I’m glad you’re happy the way you are!

-Natalie

Anonymous: Hi, very new to identifying as asexual, and still unsure about the fact that I really love pornography, particularly erotica. I read it, write it, and often masturbate to it, but have no desire to engage in any of the acts with another person. So, do I still count? Am I just slightly less asexual?

There is absolutely nothing that can make you less of an asexual. It doesn’t matter what your personal feelings on erotica, masturbation, or anything else, are. Those things do not determine your sexuality, and they don’t invalidate your sexuality in any way.

-Natalie

Anonymous: i think i'm asexual, or at least somewhere on the spectrum. which i'm cool with! mostly! but there's this little societally conditioned part of me that feels... kinda sad about it? not that it's a bad thing! i'm happy i've found the right word! but... from everyone's descriptions of sexual feelings they sound kind of fun. or maybe i'm just feeling left out for never having felt like that, i'm not sure. anyway, question is: how do i deal with these secondary feelings of sadness/leftoutedness?

(same leftoutedness anon) it’s not even a “oh what will society think of me” thing, just an “aw man everyone says this is Literally The Greatest Thing Ever, the Thing That Makes Life Worthwhile, and while i know that’s not true their descriptions still sound like feeling like that would be fun, and i’m kinda sad that that’s something that i just can’t make myself feel” thing

Try not to dwell on the things that you don’t feel, Anon, but direct your attention towards the things you do feel. There is no one love (and yes, I count sexual attraction as a kind of love) that is better, or ‘more’ somehow than other kinds. Nobody is ever going to feel every single kind of love possible, because no two people love in exactly the same way. Even among people who feel sexual attraction, I doubt that all of them experience that feeling in exactly the same way. You can still love people in ways that are just as satisfying and important.

Whenever you start to feel like you’re missing out on something, go and do something nice for yourself that you can do. Personally, I like to throw negative feelings into baking, because there are few things that work better for getting rid of a bad emotion for me than kneading bread. But the goal is to find something that’s good for you, that reminds you that you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out on something because your life is already full of good things.

-Natalie

Anonymous: Hello! I thought I was bisexual, but the idea of having sex doesn't appeal to me, or at least having sex with guys doesn't. I find penises gross, and I don't want to do anything more than kiss guys. If I wanted to have sex at all, it would be with a girl. But honestly, if I was in a relationship, I'd rather just kiss and maybe cuddle or something. I don't know. I'm okay with just describing myself as bi, but I was wondering if this would mean I'm asexual or what?

Hey, friend, just a quick reminder that penis =/= guy. Not all guys have penises, and not all people with penises are guys. If you aren’t interested in sex with people with penises, that’s totally okay, but you really should say that rather than saying you’re not interested in guys. Guy is not shorthand for a person with a penis.

Your sexuality is less about what kinds of sex with what people you do and don’t find enjoyable, and more about who you feel attraction towards to begin with. So, who do you feel sexual attraction to, regardless of whether you would actually want to have sex with them?

Your sexuality should also be the label that is the most comfortable and useful for you. Does bi feel right to you? Does asexual feel equally right, or more right? You can use any labels, in any combination, to describe how you feel. What matters isn’t that I, a stranger on the internet, think that your choice of labels is valid. What matters is that you feel like your choice of labels works to describe you, feels right, and helps you explain how you feel to other people. If that’s what asexual does for you, then please, go ahead and use it! If it doesn’t do that for you, then it probably isn’t the right label for you.

-Natalie

Anonymous: Am I asexual when I don't want to be in a relationship at all? Like I don't want to have sex or do any sexual couple things, I just want to have fun with people (being friends). Sorry if I'm offending anyone, I didn't mean to. I'm just confused.

Well, anon, that is up to you much more than it is up to me. I don’t have the power to determine your sexuality, because sexuality is an incredibly personal thing. Do you feel like asexual is a good word to describe how you feel? Do you identify with that term? Will it be helpful for you when it comes to explaining your feelings to other people? If so, you should absolutely use it!

-Natalie

Anonymous: what /is/ sexual attraction??

You should check out this post. Asking a bunch of asexual spectrum people to define what sexual attraction is and what it’s like is probably not going to work out well for anybody involved. That post I linked you to has links to a variety of allosexual accounts of what sexual attraction is for them.

-Natalie

Anonymous: I like masturbating, but I don't want to have sex/kiss/cuddle with other people. Does that mean I'm still asexual?

Yep. How you feel about masturbation in no way reflects your sexual orientation or how you feel about sex itself. It’s just how you feel about masturbation.

~ Nash