Asexuality can mean different things for different people. You can be asexual and find sex disgusting. You can be asexual and find it to be on par with doing the laundry. You can even be asexual and have lots of sex!
As for me, not until I had spent a month in my first well-established relationship, did I look at a person and think “Oh yeah! I’d have sex with them!” I could, and still can, admit when someone is visually appealing to the eye. I could go on a date with them, have a dance and a cuddle with them. But intercourse was never a primary consideration. The mere concept of a one-night stand still terrifies me to this day.
Discovering the term ‘Asexuality’ and what it meant, was a blessing to me. Some don’t like having a name to their sexuality, as it can be perceived as exclusionary and prevent normalisation with the rest of society. But I was more than happy to declare my “Ace” status to those that were curious. I even wore the black ring on my right hand (a common way to signify you’re asexual) for a good year before the colour wore down and it turned silver instead.
The same way that the many forms of asexuality are included in the LGBT+ spectrum, I hope, during Asexual Awareness Week, you will come to learn what it means to be asexual and understand that not feeling sexual attraction doesn’t make you any less human. I highly recommend reading “Six ways to be an ally to asexual people” on the Stonewall website as not only does it talk about how to be an ally, but it also gives a bigger description on what it means to be asexual and how being asexual can vary for different people.
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By Kathy Barrett (she/her) at Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS)