How to Seduce an Asexual

[NOTE: This post is more than five years old, and should not be taken as if it is recent. If you are looking for a guide to having sex with an asexual person, that is here. This one is just ridiculing the idea that having sex with an asexual person counts as seduction. Original text below.]

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“Get her a kitty,” C quipped, when I quoted this search term [the title of this post, “how to seduce an asexual”] that somebody used to find my blog. (There used to be a website out there called Asexual Porn which mainly featured pictures of cats, but it’s gone now.)

I am amused at the idea that somebody out there is seriously trying to seduce an asexual. Like, what? Leaving aside the problematic parts of the first response to that question for the moment, I have a hard time believing that it’s actually possible to seduce an asexual person even if you do have sex with them.

Because if you do, it’s not technically seduction.

Seduction implies an attraction so strong that you give in to suppressed (not repressed, but suppressed) desire despite misgivings. It’s not just “I got her to have sex with me.” That’s agreement, but it’s not seduction. Seduction is something more than that. Seduction implies coquetry. Seduction implies baseball theory.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this is one definition of the verb seduce: “To win by charm or attractiveness.” This is a more obscure definition not directly related to sex, except by its figurative suggestion of the more common definitions. Still, it seems to take a key part of what it means to seduce (in terms of sex) and generalize it to a broader sense. If something is seductive, then it means that thing is alluring. Thus, it seems that seduction necessarily involves charm and attractiveness.

Asexuals, by definition, don’t experience sexual attraction. So while you very well might be able to say that an asexual person is “seduced” by something in the much broader sense of the word (maybe), it doesn’t translate well to a sexual context. Asexual people may be just as subject to charm and attractiveness on various other levels as sexual people, but the thing is, it doesn’t lead to a desire to have sex. Now, of course, you have to keep in mind that when I say “desire to have sex” here I’m referring to a strong emotional desire which springs directly from the person’s attractiveness; anyone (including asexuals) can want to have sex for many other reasons besides feeling such sexual attraction, and some asexuals do choose to have sex, so it’s certainly wrong of the first person to say that it’s only possible to get an asexual person to have sex “through illegal means.”

But because of the disconnect from the decision to have sex and the various types of attraction that asexual people feel for the people they decide to have sex with—or in other words, the lack of a sexual kind of attraction—it’s difficult to see the concept of seduction as appropriate to apply to the case of the asexual. If it could be considered appropriate in any case, it could only be applied in a gray or anomalous area, and even then only by asexuals themselves. I consider it absolutely and unequivocally wrong for a person who has had sex with an asexual to go around saying that they’ve “seduced” that person, because they are applying assumptions about that person’s reality which ultimately amount to a denial of their asexuality.

You want to get an asexual person to have sex with you? Well then, the best idea of how to go about it is certainly not to ride roughshod over every part of their autonomy, choice, and competence. You’d better respect their ability to know themselves. You’d better not go into it assuming that you are somehow special, and that you are going to be able to convert them from their misguided belief that “[insert misunderstood interpretation of what asexuality means here].” You should give up on the idea of seduction, because that’s not going to happen. You should even give up on the idea that sex will happen, unless you are specifically and directly negotiating the possibility (and not non-verbally, as there is far too much potential for confusion). And you should understand that even if it does, it’s not going to be because you’re just that sexy. At best, you will get agreement, and that will be based on merits other than your level of sexual attractiveness.

And at worst? It’s called coercion, and there’s nothing seductive about that at all.

Update: New post on the model of seduction here. Please do read it if you’re interested, as it explains more about seduction and why I worded this post the way I did.

Update #2: This post is about what NOT to do, but if you really want to learn what you SHOULD do instead, due to sustained interest in this topic, I have written a new post up that is an in-depth guide: How to Have Sex With an Asexual Person.
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13 thoughts on “How to Seduce an Asexual

  1. I think the question has more impact in full: “How can you look sexy for an asexual?” is just mind-boggling.

    I think it is probably possible to seduce an asexual. If they’re open to sex or a romantic relationship or whatever, and you win them over with your charm, hygene or skilful logical persuasion (to say nothing of your looks, which asexuals don’t always ignore), then you’ve seduced them. The problem with this is that you have to try with exactly the right asexual. Particularly with sex, most asexuals wouldn’t be open to the option at all.

    I think the question implies that there’s some cunning way to get asexuals to grovel at your feet, which I’m pretty sure there isn’t even for sexuals (if there is, someone’s keeping very quiet about it, and possibly because it’d be completely illegal).

    And I completely agree that ignoring someone’s asexuality, stamping your foot and saying “Look, I’m showing clevage! You should be overwhelmed!” is the very worst thing you could possibly do. My favourite sexual-asexual chat-up line (for the record) would probably be: “I know you’re asexual, but I hear that some asexuals can still enjoy relationships or sex. Is that true of you? If so, is there any way we could work out a romantic/sexual relationship that we’d both enjoy?”

    Ok, probably not like that. More conversational, but with all those ideas.

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    • Yeah, I think it’s definitely possible for some (myself possibly included)… but you can’t assume it will be possible with any particular asexual, and trying to do it could be devastatingly bad. So it’s better not to even approach it with seduction in mind. And certainly not the model of seduction that this guy seemed to have been thinking about, since he seemed to think there was some magical never-fail way to seduce any asexual. There’s probably not even a trick like that you can use for any sexual person.

      Actually, I have some rather severe problems with the whole concept of seduction in general, particularly centered around the ideas of blame, agency, stereotypes and value judgments, but I’ll leave it for another post.

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  3. I am asexual and I have to say it isn’t so black and white. ;) I have found myself seduced many a times. No, I’ve never wanted sex from the seducer but I did find myself entertaining other thoughts.

    1.to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt.
    2.to persuade or induce to have sexual intercourse.
    3.to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance: He was seduced by the prospect of gain.
    4.to win over; attract; entice:

    #2 will never happen for me, I just ain’t interested. But I can count so many times that I was seduced in the sense of 1, 3, and 4. ;)

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    • I didn’t meant to imply that it’s black or white (of course not, just look at my blog title! lol), but that if someone really wants to “seduce” an asexual (in the sense of #2, of course), that person should be using EXTREME caution. And in fact, it is way easier to do the “seducing” if it ISN’T being viewed as an attempt to seduce! Because asexuals tend to find people who accept their asexuality more attractive than those who seem to be trying to change it… Imagine that! ;)

      Of course, as I said above, I actually think the concept of “seduction” in general is very problematic, for reasons I will explain in another post.

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  4. oh gosh, this is wonderful. this is one of those situations where one wants to hop around exuberantly, announcing to the universe at large, “see! see! other people think so too!” your entire last two paragraphs are day-making, at least. i hope you do get into the issue of “seduction” and your thoughts about it, in another post, because given your level of articulation here, i suspect i would very much like to read that.

    as an autosexual asexual who has the genetic good fortune to be notably physically attractive, i’ve spent my entire life surrounded by guy “friends” who were clearly hanging on in the hopes that somehow, through the sheer stupendousness of exposing me to their own unique selves, i was going to fall swooning into their arms. then i was going to tear their clothes off. and while these guys were perfectly decent, often intelligent individuals (the kind that, if you passed out drunk would button UP your top) their perception that “one day she’ll be mine!!!” endured, not only ensuring that i would NEVER be comfortable attempting a “compromise” relationship with them, but putting strain on the existent relationship. your suggestion that sexuals not only give up on seduction of an asexual, but give up on even the most vague “plans” to ever have sex with them at all, is something i delight in being able to agree with, for once, rather than having to state it for myself.

    i also appreciate and agree with your general distinction between “seduction” and “agreement”. it’s particularly helpful to have it articulated, briefly but effectively, as in my own long-nurtured fascination with the fictional use of kinks and what makes them effective, it is a distinction that often (usually) plays a pivotal role.

    needless to say, the bottom line is – thanks for this!

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    • I think “what ze said” would be perfect here! As an autosexual asexual who is considered attractive by some I am thoroughly enjoying reading these posts and nodding. I have always informed people upfront and have even had therapists ARGUE with me about it, wanting to attribute it to some former abuse or repression. I do not find people sexually attractive. Period. I have had sex, but usually quite intentionally to get something I want. Sex is a valuable currency. But I don’t like to do it. I have made very pragmatic open and clear statements to this effect and some poor ignoramuses actually DO think, “Oh I’m the one, I can change zir, I can make this different”, and I have become even more disgusted that I was before, since I had laid out in plan language, the situation with me and sexual behaviour. It’s mechanical and meaningless. I am loving reading these submissions and will never read a post that tries to argue with what I am saying. I am an asexual, autosexual neutrois. I KNOW who I am, and I am NOT a match for you! Move on!

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  5. The definitions of “seduce”, again:
    1.to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt.
    2.to persuade or induce to have sexual intercourse.
    3.to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance: He was seduced by the prospect of gain.
    4.to win over; attract; entice:

    Number 3 would be the most difficult thing to do to me, but it could be done with arguments that appeal to my ideals, reason and rationality, desires, good taste, etc. I’m loyal enough to some ideals and some people, that I might kill myself or others rather than give up the loyalty, but most things are of lesser importance to me, and to draw me away from some of the least important principles need not take more than what is required to seduce me in the sense of number 4 or 1.

    Number 4 can be done without too much difficulty, for example, with reasonable and convincing arguments. Depending on the details of what I’m meant to be seduced into, I might even be persuaded with a little humour, friendliness, money, drugs, or perhaps as little as your good looks.

    Number 1 can be done easily by appealing to my ambitions, lusts, desires, greed, sympathy, love, curiosity, etc. as well as with stronger and more convincing arguments.

    Number 2 is very easy to do, because, although I’ve never wanted sex, and although I’m still a virgin at 32, sex is not something I’m seriously opposed to, nor do I value my virginity that much. You still need arguments, however, and they may come in similar shapes and forms as those required to persuade me in the sense of definitions number 3, 4, and 1. Unless you analyse and rebuild my psyche, you probably can’t make me desire sexual intercourse, although you could make me pretend that i do. You could even arouse me physically sexually by means of appealing to my kinks, fantasies, fetishes, and perversions, but that still *would not* mean that i were interested in the sexual intercourse in itself, no matter how readily I might accept it. There are, of course, differences here, too. It would be pretty easy for a beautiful, entertaining or otherwise impressive woman to seduce me in this manner. It would be pretty hard for almost any male to seduce me, because I’m a hetero and a bit auto, and although not trans, more so than homo, yet homo could still be done by particularly convincing uses of one or more of the methods detailed for definitions 3, 4, and 1. Once again, unless you analyse and rebuild my psyche, you just could not make me *wish* for sex. *THAT* is the difficult part, but it doesn’t appear that any of the definitions require it.

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    • You have to keep in mind, I was including cultural assumptions about what “seduction” means, not just the strict dictionary definition. (It is almost always assumed to be sexual, so I wasn’t even considering the other definitions.) I don’t believe that the concept of seduction ever really has a positive benefit to anyone, and so I prefer to use a different model than that to describe “getting a person to have sex with someone else.” And honestly, I don’t think that when people talk about seduction, they are literally only talking about that; they are invoking a cultural model of how sex is supposed to be. After all, the dictionary is made by people; words have usage and implications on their own before they get added to the dictionary, and the dictionary is only a summation of how it is being used, not an exhaustive explanation for it. And… my main point for this post was that the easiest way to get an asexual person to have sex with you would probably be to abandon the cultural model of seduction completely. So even if it could technically fit the dictionary’s definition of seduction, I wouldn’t put my experience with my partner in that category. It’s different. She wasn’t specifically aiming to get me to have sex with her, it was a choice I made freely, without any manipulation or even much persuasion on her part.

      I elaborated on my distaste for the entire concept of seduction here.

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  6. Wow, lots of people throwing dictionary definitions your way. I thought it was pretty apparent you (and the guy googling this question) were talking about it in terms of ‘make them want to have sex with you’.

    But: yeah, I completely agree with your analysis here, and in your later post about seduction. If someone convinces an asexual to have sex with them, it’s pretty likely to be through putting her under social and interpersonal pressure do have sex, not because she suddenly noticed any inherent desire… Unfortunately, I’m sure lots of seduction techniques are for creating that pressure, not just for looking especially sexy.

    In any case, thanks for writing this! :)

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