This year Ace Week was held in October and worked to promote asexuality awareness. Asexuality is a sexual orientation which is categorized by the lack of sexual attraction towards any gender. Not everyone who identifies as asexual has the exact same feelings. In fact, there is an asexual spectrum that includes other sub-categories of how one may identify.
It is important to note that not everyone likes to have a label. Some people find comfort in specifically having a label for their identity, but others think that idea is restricting. No matter how you identify, just remember there are people in the world who will accept you for exactly who you are and will be there to support you.
As mentioned earlier, asexuality is used to identify a person’s sexual orientation. However, sexual orientation and romantic orientation are not the same. Romantic orientation describes one’s levels of romantic attraction.
Many people people who identify as asexual also identify as aromantic. Just like asexuality, those who identify as aromantic generally do not experience romantic attraction towards others. Similar to asexuality, some aromantic people will choose to engage in romantic relationships, while some will not. Many aromantic people will enter into “queer platonic parterships” (QPP). These partnerships are commonly compared to having a best friend, but that is not entirely the case. Individuals in QPPs show the same amount of commitment as those in romantic relationships. People who engage in QPPs can still get married and have children, but the only difference is that the relationship is platonic and not romantic.
People can experience romantic attraction towards people of the same gender and different genders. To signal this, usually hetero-, homo-, bi-, pan-, are placed in front of the word romantic.
Grey-asexuality refers to people who identify somewhere in-between sexual and asexual. People who identify as grey-asexual may sometimes experience sexual attraction although this varies on an individual basis. Some people who fall under this category might experience sexual attraction, but have a low sex drive or experience sexual attraction which is not strong enough for them to act on it.
Demi-sexuality describes those who do not experience attraction until an emotional bond has been established. This does not mean that a demi-sexual person is attracted to every person they have a deep emotional bond with. Demi-sexuality has been found to develop based on the ideas of primary and secondary attraction. Primary attraction develops based on appearance, personality, etc. Secondary attraction develops over time and usually relates to an emotional connection. Demi-sexual people do not really experience primary attraction, but more secondary attraction.
Although I identify as asexual, I didn’t know about several of these other terms until this last year. I decided to educate myself more on them because I want to be able to relate better to other people in my life. In my experience, one of the best ways you can show you care about someone is to actively seek to become well-versed in their interests, hobbies, etc. In this case, educating yourself about a friends sexual or romantic orientation can help show them that you care and are an ally.
About the Author:
Casey Clark is a current journalism student at Hofstra University with a beat for food and entertainment. In addition to being the founder of CelebrityHauteSpot, Casey is also the editorial director for Hofstra’s Spoon University chapter, a staff writer for The Hofstra Chronicle and a staff writer for Hofstra’s Her Campus chapter. When she is not writing, she is either watching Disney movies or baking.