International Asexuality Day

International Asexuality Day

Saturday 6th April marks International Asexuality Day. Bex, a staff member and member of our LGBTQ+ Network, has written about the six things people shouldn’t say to asexual people. 

Today is International Asexuality Day. If you didn’t know already, asexual people — also known as “Ace” or “Aces” — may have little interest in having sex, even though they may still seek emotionally intimate relationships. As an asexual person myself, I come across people who either don’t understand, or are confused.

While asexual is a lesser-known sexual orientation, many people do identify as asexual and it is important to educate ourselves more about this community. This article will hopefully help you understand more about asexuality by listing six things you shouldn’t say to asexual people.

  1. “How Do You Know You’re Asexual If You’ve Never Tried Anything Else?”

This question is almost always well meaning, but it can be hard for people like me to hear. I know I’m asexual just in the same way many other people know they are sexual. I just never developed a particular interest in sex. For asexual people, the experience of being uninterested in sex can range from interested only in specific circumstances to completely repulsed by it. No matter what, asexuality is innate and something we just know.

  1. “No One Is Going to Want to Be With You If You Don’t Put Out!”

My body is for me. If I choose to share it with someone else, that’s my choice. I definitely don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who feels my asexuality is a major problem or who feels that having sex is required in a relationship. People who are asexual experience a range of feelings about romantic relationships in general. It’s important that the needs of each person in the relationship (whatever kind it is) are respected. By forcing people to conform to an ideal standard in any type of relationship, we are refusing to recognise diverse experiences and needs.

  1. “You Aren’t Doing It Right!”

There are so many ways to have sex and it’s nobody else’s business how you do or don’t do it. A common misconception is that asexual individuals do not enjoy sexual attraction either from negative past experience or trauma. Some people who have had negative or abusive experiences are asexual, but some of them are also very sexual. Those experiences are often unrelated. If someone you know is asexual, it’s not safe to assume they have been victimised in some way, and it’s not your place to ask unless they choose to talk to you about it.

  1. “But What About Marriage Or Kids?”

Choices about family planning are not really relevant to my experiences as someone who is asexual. For people who are aromantic, marriage and often children are not on the table at all (though everyone has a different experience). For romantic asexuals, however, there are a lot of options. First, if we choose to have sex, we can; some asexuals will choose to have children using traditional methods. Others might opt for adoption or in-vitro fertilization.

  1. “You Can’t Be Asexual If You’ve Had Sex With Someone”

Thanks for reminding me! However, many people who are asexual do have sex for a variety of reasons. Some feel they need to explore sex to confirm for themselves that they are asexual, and others care about their sexual partner who they want to make happy. Some people become asexual at one or more points in their life. No matter their experience, one’s actions do not necessarily determine one’s feelings.

  1. “It’s Just a Phase!”

While it’s true that sexuality can change over time, this is not the case for everyone. It’s important to remember that asexuality is a very real experience that at times presents an incredible challenge.

If you realize you’re asexual, you might wonder how to explain your orientation to the people in your life, particularly those who may be less familiar with the term. You can always start by explaining that asexuality is an orientation, just like being gay, queer, or pansexual. Some people have an attraction to people of one gender, others to people of many genders, and some don’t experience sexual attraction at all.

Luckily my friends and even my closest family accept me as asexual. Having their support is best thing I could ask for. Although it worked out for me eventually, I understand some family or friends might worry asexuality means you’ll never have a loving relationship.

You can reassure them that you won’t be lonely — you can and do experience friendship and other close bonds. It can also help to remember that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Your romantic and sexual desires (or lack thereof) are your business. That said, many people find that being open about their sexuality helps them live more authentically.

The most important thing about being asexual is that love doesn’t equal sex. It’s important to remember that asexuality is an umbrella term, and exists on a spectrum. Instead of patronising tones, asexual people could benefit from some understanding support regardless of whether we eventually become interested in having sex. There are a million ways to be supportive of the asexuality folks in your life, but the best way is just to remember that they are people and our sexuality is not the only thing that defines who we are.

If you want to find more about asexuality for International Asexuality Day, here some website and book recommendations:



  • Understanding Asexuality by Anthony F. Bogaert
  • ACE: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
  • How to Be Ace – A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual by Rebecca Burgess
  • A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality by Molly Muldoon and Will Hernandez
  • Ace and Aro Journeys – A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project

If you would like to know more or join the LGBTQ+ Network, please email