Am I Asexual? (A guide to discovering your sexuality)

In this brief guide, we will look at the question “Am I Asexual”, and discuss experiences of people who have struggled with finding out their sexuality and finally discovered that they were asexual. We will also discuss the different signs of asexuality and explore other things people confuse with asexuality.

Am I Asexual?

To know if you are asexual, the first thing to do is read up about what it means to be asexual, and read about some other people’s experiences regarding asexuality, and you may also want to talk to someone you are close to so you can work out your feelings properly.

Being an asexual individual can be hard to figure out given how much important sex has in the modern society, and how important it can be in a relationship, but that does not mean that it is not a valid form of sexuality or that there is anything lesser about someone who is an asexual.

Another thing that makes people be concerned about being asexual is how they will be accepted in a society where every romantic relationship they consider will demand sex at some point, and for this the person needs to first work through their own feelings in private, before they start worrying about what may be expected of them.

If you are asexual, you need to be able to admit it to yourself rather than trying to force yourself into sexual relationships that you don’t want to be a part of, because that will only complicate matters further, and you will find yourself heading into depression or anxiety or other mental health issues.

Many individuals who struggle with coming to terms with the question “Am I asexual”, find themselves under pressure to conform to the sexual norms that their society has set, and when they are unable to meet these criteria, they may experience stress and tension.

To cope with these feelings the best thing is to talk to someone, family, friends or professional, because when the question is as complicated as “Am I Asexual”, a sounding board can be very helpful, and you may find that talking through things opens up a whole new perspective that you can take.

If you are struggling with figuring out if you are asexual, and you don’t have options around you that you can talk to, you can also try finding some online forums where you can talk to individuals who are also asexual, and see if you might be able to get some help from them.

Signs you may be Asexual

To figure out if you are asexual, here are some things you can consider about yourself:

  • What does sexual attraction mean to me?
  • Do I want to be in a relationship without sex?
  • Do I experience sexual attraction?
  • How do I feel about the engaging in sexual acts?
  • Do I feel the need to be interested in sex because that’s what’s expected of me?
  • Is sex important to me?
  • Do I see attractive people and feel the need to have sex with them?
  • How do I enjoy showing affection? 
  • Does sex factor into my concept of relationships?

There is no test you can take to figure out if you are asexual and there isn’t any one answer to the question “Am I Asexual”. 

Sexuality is a spectrum and even some people who are asexual may sometimes experience stirrings of sexual attraction towards someone in certain situations.

Am I Asexual or Am I Depressed?

To figure out if you are asexual or if you are depressed is to consider whether you have any other symptoms of depression or if you have ever felt sexual desire at any point before you started feeling a significant lack of it.

Depression can cause lack of sexual desire among its many somatic symptoms, and many people who are confused about their sexuality to begin with may ask if they are asexual or just depressed.

The way to figuring out whether someone is depressed or asexual is to consider if they have the other symptoms of depression, because while asexuality is an innate trait, depression is a mental disorder that needs attention from a professional or clinician.

The symptoms of depression are usually something like this:

  • Lowering of appetite
  • Lack of restful sleep or Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anhedonia or loss of pleasure from things that were pleasing before
  • Lethargy
  • Persistent low mood
  • Not wanting to mingle with people
  • Frequent falling ill
  • Frequently crying for no reason
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Feeling like you have no control over anything so why even try (Learned helplessness)

“Am I Asexual?”: Reddit Users Talk About Their Experiences with Asexuality

Reddit is a great community to go to when you are trying to cope with a difficult thing and you need to talk to people about it, and there is something on this forum for everyone, and the Subreddit community called Asexual, is full of experiences of individuals who have gone through the phase of trying to figure out “Am I Asexual?” at some point or another.

Here are some of the experiences of people like this:

“I’m 57 now and only just discovering that asexuality is a thing. It’s okay to not want sex. The new challenge now, is trying to figure out whether I tell people. Of experimented with some friends, but coming out as not liking sex or not wanting sex may be harder than coming out as any of the other letters in the sexual spectrum. It seems that even the gay community doesn’t want to accept the concept of not being sexually attracted or having sexual desires or wanting to have sex.

If I came out as gay all my friends would say they knew all along. It’s not normal to not have sex or a girlfriend your entire life. But coming out is asexual, seems harder. People want to convince me that it’s not the case. They want to convince me that I just don’t know. I should try.

Conversation is very tiring. When I first learned that asexuality was a possibility, again, I rewrote my entire life history in my mind and things made sense. From my early days in high school as one by one my friends got girlfriends started talking about their desires. They started watching porn and talking about how hot that woman is or that woman is and I hadn’t by that time even decided whether I liked men or women. I liked people I made friends with everyone.”

“I, too, am a 57 yr old cis, straight woman with a lot of interests – except for sex. For the record, I’m a virgin.

I’ve had a lot of compliments on my personality, looks, and style. I’m healthy, had a great childhood; no trauma.

I guess I don’t fit into the common public perception of an asexual. But inexplicably, I am. And it’s fine with me. I sleep and wake up on my schedule, and use my time and energy for professional matters, and interests.

As for “coming out”, I don’t feel it is relevant for me. I just tell people that I’m too career focused to be in a relationship, and leave it at that. This kind of revelation would make people around me uncomfortable – we just don’t have conversations at that level of openness. I go about my life doing stuff – sexual activities are just not a part of my life. And I never feel like anything is missing from my life.”

“I was 46 when I realized I am ace, and yeah, it was a revelation. Everything made sense now.

I never understood the big deal about sex, never was attracted to someone in that way. I had sex, it was nice, sure, but it just didn’t matter, either way, and it was not what I was looking for in a relationship, or what made me want to enter a relationship. The more I realized that, the less interested I was in relationships, and I was fine to stay single for the rest of my life.”

“I found out in my late 20s, but didn’t really accept it until I hit my 30s. I feel like I’m right at that age that could go either way with telling others. I have come out to a select few, but beyond them, I don’t feel much need to come out. At this point, it gives them a word to understand my history (they mostly know but don’t know the word), but is it really important for them to know exactly what asexuality is?”

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the question “Am I Asexual”, and discussed experiences of people who have struggled with finding out their sexuality and finally discovered that they were asexual. We also discussed the different signs of asexuality and explored other things people confuse with asexuality.

Asexuality can be quite confusing when someone does not know what to look for or when the society around them is making them believe that they are somehow wrong in not wanting to be sexually intimate with someone.

Human beings have evolved beyond their primal urges and it is totally okay to be more than just attracted to men or women or want the same kind of sexual life as humans have always desired, and no matter what your sexual preference, it is totally valid.

If you found yourself wondering “Am I Asexual”, and you don’t know what to do, you can reach out to a trusted individual in your life, a family member or a friend or even a school counselor or professional of some sort.

If you do not have any such people around, and you want help figuring out if you are asexual, please feel free to drop us any of your questions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Am I Asexual?

How do I know if I am asexual?

To know if you are asexual, you can talk to a professional, like a sex therapist, or you can read up about it on your own and listen to what people on the forums have to say about how they realized that they were asexual.
An asexual is someone who does not feel sexual attraction to anyone or does not desire sexual contact, but this does not mean that they cannot be attracted to someone at all, and asexual individuals can be straight, gay, bisexual or queer in the kind of poeple they feel attracted to.

What qualifies as asexual?

A lack of sexual attraction or the lack of sexual interest typically qualifies as asexual, and their definitions may vary in situations.
According to some researchers, asexual may be used “to refer to individuals with low or absent sexual desire or attractions, low or absent sexual behaviors, exclusively romantic non-sexual partnerships”

How does it feel to be asexual?

When someone is asexual it may feel like they just do not want to be sexually intimate with their loved ones, but they can still have loved ones, and relationships, it’s just that they will not want to have sex with them.
Asexuals may sometimes feel a little more ostracized than the other kinds of sexualities because many people find it hard to remove sex from the equation of a relationship completely.

Do Asexuals kiss?

Yes, asexuals can kiss and some individuals who are generally asexual may enjoy loving gestures like kissing or cuddling or being in romantic relationships. 
Being asexual simply means that they are not interested in sex, but that does not mean that they do not want or need affection and love, and they may kiss and show affection in very physical ways like any other couple, just that they are not interested in having sex.

Citations

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/sex/a32865196/am-i-asexual/#:~:text=If%20you%27re%20unsure%2C%20being,may%20identify%20as%20aromantic%2C%20too.

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-asexual

https://www.seventeen.com/love/a22864083/what-is-asexual-meaning-definition/

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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