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ASEXUALITY IS: A sexual orientation currently estimated to describe 1 percent of the population. Asexuality is usually defined as the experience of not being sexually attracted to others. Less commonly, it is defined as not valuing sex or sexual attraction enough to pursue it. WE’RE NOT: Asexuality isn’t a complex. It’s not a sickness. It’s not an automatic sign of trauma. It’s not a behavior. It’s not the result of a decision. It’s not a chastity vow or an expression that we’re “saving ourselves.” We aren’t by definition religious. We aren’t calling ourselves asexual as a statement of purity or moral superiority. We’re not amoebas or plants. We aren’t automatically gender confused, anti-gay, anti-straight, anti-any-sexual-orientation, anti-woman, anti-man, anti-any-gender, or anti-sex. We aren’t automatically going through a phase, following a trend, or trying to rebel. We aren’t defined by prudishness. We aren’t calling ourselves asexual because we failed to find a suitable partner. We aren’t necessarily afraid of intimacy. And we aren’t asking for anyone to “fix” us. WE DON’T: Asexual people don’t all look down on sex or people who have sex. We don’t all avoid romantic or emotionally close relationships, and we aren’t automatically socially inept. We aren’t defined by atypical biology or nonfunctional genitals. We aren’t defined by mental illness, autism, or disability. We don’t try to recruit anyone. We don’t have a hole in our lives where sexual attraction “should” be. We can’t be converted by trying sex. We aren’t, by definition, lonely or empty. We aren’t, by definition, immature or incompetent. We aren’t, as a group, uglier or prettier than anyone else. We don’t tell people not to have sex in the name of our orientation, nor do we use the term asexual to imply perceiving ourselves to be “above” sex. WE SOMETIMES: Some want romance. Some don’t. Some are willing to have sex. Some aren’t. Some are virgins. Some aren’t. Some masturbate, or have a libido, or want children. Some don’t. Some feel isolated, afraid, confused, othered, erased, and invisible. We wish we didn’t.

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