What Does It Mean to Be Asexual?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation defined by a lack of sexual attraction to any person of any gender. This has nothing to do with the person's libido or desire to participate in sexual activities.
FUSE  |  Life & Wellbeing

Sexual attraction, in basic terms, means you find a specific person sexually appealing and want to have sex with them. Asexual people, who might use the term “ace” or “aces” for short, typically don’t experience sexual attraction or want to pursue sexual relationships with other people.

That said, being asexual means different things to different people. Some people might only experience sexual attraction in very limited circumstances. For example, someone who is demisexual — which some say falls under the asexual umbrella — experiences sexual attraction only when they experience a deep connection.

To put it another way, they might only feel sexually attracted to people in the context of a loving romantic relationship.

Some people might not experience any sexual attraction and still choose to have a sexual relationship.

To put it simply, everyone has a different experience with being asexual, and there’s no single way to be asexual.

Some people don’t experience sexual attraction at all

Asexual people who don’t experience any sexual attraction can still experience other forms of attraction.

Aside from sexual attraction, you can also experience:

  • Romantic attraction: desiring a romantic relationship with someone
  • Aesthetic attraction: being attracted to someone based on how they look
  • Sensual or physical attraction: wanting to touch, hold, or cuddle someone
  • Platonic attraction: wanting to be friends with someone
  • Emotional attraction: wanting an emotional connection with someone

It’s possible for asexual people to experience all these forms of attraction, plus plenty of others. You’ll find a whopping 37 terms to describe different types of attraction here.

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International Asexuality Day (IAD)

International Asexuality Day (IAD) will takes place on 6 April. IAD is a coordinated worldwide campaign promoting the ace umbrella, including demisexual, grey-asexual and other ace identities.

The four themes of IAD are:

  • Advocacy
  • Celebration
  • Education
  • Solidarity

These themes highlight the aims of recognising and enabling the work that the international ace community and organisations do, particularly in non-Western and/or non-English speaking countries.

IAD day encourages anyone who identifies under the ace umbrella to participate, particularly but not exclusively in non-anglophone and/or non-Western countries. Participation could be as simple as sharing a post on social media, but there are also organisations all over the world who are holding events, running campaigns and supporting causes. For more information about asexuality, the ace umbrella and how to know if you’re ace, visit: Wikipedia

Australian Asexuality Groups and Organisations

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  • austaces
  • AussieAsexuals

Find Asexuality advocates worldwide

Organisations involved in International Asexuality Day come from every inhabited continent. Each is listed below, along with their statement about IAD and its aims.


More Coverage

Facts about being pansexual, panromantic or biromantic

A pansexual person is someone who is sexually or romantically attracted to people regardless of their sex or gender.

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