Asexuality is having little or no interest in sexual relationships. There is some debate as to whether asexuality is a sexual orientation–groups advocating for the rights of asexual people emphasize that asexuality is a sexual orientation similar to homosexuality or heterosexuality.

What is Asexuality?

As with other sexual orientations, there are a range of ways people express their asexuality. Some asexuals have romantic relationships that do not include sex, while others prefer to avoid intimate relationships altogether and instead focus on friendship and family. Some asexual people feel that they have always known they were asexual, while others find that their sexual orientation dawned on them over time. Some people might be asexual for a brief time and then begin sexual relations.

Asexuality and Mental Health

Asexuality is part of a complex range of behaviors and orientations and is not a mental illness. It should be differentiated from fear of sex or fear of intimacy, although some people have argued that asexuality results from trauma or sexual abuse; there is no evidence that this is actually the case.

Asexuality and Popular Culture

Asexuality has become increasingly visible in recent years, due largely to the Internet. Asexual people are now better able to network with others and to lobby for their own interests and support one another. Asexuality is still a relatively rare sexual orientation, with only about 1% of people identifying as asexual at some point during their lives. Some media commentators have argued that asexuality is increasing in prevalence and that it might even be a trend, but others have argued that it is simply more visible now. There are several organizations dedicated to lobbying on behalf of asexuals, including The Asexual Visibility and Education Network.


  1. Asexuality. (n.d.). The Asexual Visibility and Education Network. Retrieved from
  2. Smith, S. (2012, August 21). Asexuality always existed, you just didn’t notice it. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Last Updated: 08-4-2015

  • Leave a Comment
  • Jennifer


    October 21st, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Asexual people do not desire either sex, they are not necessarily people who don’t want to be in a sexual relationship. Sex-aversive asexuals don’t have sexual relationships. Some asexual people don’t mind sex, and will do it for their partner, they just don’t care about it. There is no sexual attraction, but sex can be enjoyed; I wouldn’t expect an asexual to ever initiate sex.

  • Chaina


    September 16th, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    I have been friends with a man who is not interested in any kind of intimacy with me. While i have been very attracted to him for a while now & we have become close..hanging out together for days on end, even in hugs goodbye he avoids our bodies connecting, refusing that surge of dopamine that hits ones brain and sends out pleasure signals. I’m not sure what all this means. He is very kind and good to me. It sucks though as i become more into him & i fear I’m falling in love. Any idea what all this is about? He makes lots of sexual comments & has told me that he masturbates often!?!?

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