Questions From Google

A lot of people seem to like typing full questions into google instead of just key words, and so I tend to get hits from people asking questions about asexuality. I find these quite interesting, because they reveal something about the people asking certain questions, and they reveal what people are still ignorant about when it comes to asexuals, or in other words, what we need to focus on when spreading awareness. So I’ve decided I’m going to start to periodically answer these questions with a blog post, in the hopes that if any other random googlers show up here asking questions, they’ll be enlightened. And perhaps in the process, we’ll be entertained. All search terms appear exactly as they were typed into google, so I take no credit for any spelling or grammar errors.

Standard Definitional Disclaimer: Asexuality refers here to a sexual orientation among humans.  It does not have anything to do with biology, whether that means the biology of non-human asexually reproducing species, or humans with non-standard anatomy (if you’re looking for that, google intersex conditions instead). Asexuality means not experiencing sexual attraction; it does not mean or imply that we are “not sexual” in any way at all. The term is analogous to homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, etc. Asexuals are a widely varied group that may have little else in common with one another aside from not experiencing sexual attraction to others as a general rule.

So here is round one!

Q: why are asexuals ugly
A: We’re not, but thanks for playing! If you know an asexual that you consider ugly, you should keep in mind that you don’t know all the asexuals in the world. I’ve met some pretty cute asexuals, myself. There’s no way to tell whether someone is asexual just by looking, so you may have met some too, without realizing it.

Q: can you find asexualness attractive?
A: Yes, people who like asexuals are out there. As another person informed me through another search term: i find asexual people sexy. Someone else searched for asexual charm so unless they were looking for something like the black ring or a symbol on a keychain or something, I suppose some people find asexuals charming, or at least the ones they’ve met. I’ve also personally had a guy tell me something to the effect of, “It’s just really fascinating to see an otherwise sexless creature in a sexual way.” Fascinating clearly meaning, in the context of the conversation, that it was a sexual interest.  (By the way, it’s creepy to call someone a “sexless creature,” don’t do it. We’re not inhuman just because we lack sexual attraction.)

Q: how to like someone who is asexual
A: Huh? Why are you looking for a how to guide? If you like someone, you like them. If you don’t, you don’t. Maybe you can learn to get along, see things from their point of view, but you’re not going to teach yourself to like them in that way, if that’s what you’re going for. If that happens, cool. If not, then why try to force it?

Q: how to convert an asexual person
A: WHAT!? NO NO NO NO NO, STOP!! You can’t “convert” an asexual person, just like you can’t convert a gay person, and if you try, you will do a tremendous amount of damage! Why do you want to convert them anyway? Everyone would be much happier if you just accept it, trust me. Yes, even you. If you’re not getting the sex you want, the first step to maybe making it more comfortable for an asexual person to have sex with you is to STOP TRYING TO CONVERT THEM. Listen to them, try to understand their asexuality and their feelings about sex. Be patient. Be kind. Never pressure them, or otherwise try to seduce them. We know when you’re trying to seduce us, and if you try it, you’re missing the point completely. Which makes us uncomfortable, and far less likely to be okay with having sex with you. If sex does happen under those conditions, it will be some really shitty, possibly even traumatizing sex. Whereas if you accept and try to learn about asexuality, if you listen and respect the asexual person’s feelings about sex, then you just might, if the asexual person is willing, have the possibility of having good, great, or even spectacular sex. If you’re patient enough to try, and you’re willing to accept responsibility for obtaining explicit consent, where the asexual person is saying yes, not just not saying no. If you’re willing to accept the possibility that sex will NEVER be an option first. If you don’t want to put your time and effort into that, then it’s better that you just move on without trying to convert anybody. Please. Don’t do it.

Q: is someone that has had sex before asexual
A: They could be. Asexuality doesn’t mean that you’re celibate necessarily, although some are. Lots of asexuals do have sex for whatever reason, and some even do it because they enjoy it. Imagine that! Click around here if you want more information about that; you’re in the right place.

Q: what happens if you arouse an asexual person
A: That completely depends on the context of the situation and the feelings of the person who is being aroused. If you arouse an asexual person… then they’re aroused. That doesn’t mean they’re not asexual, because sexual attraction is not necessary for arousal to occur. However that particular asexual individually feels about being aroused will probably determine what happens next.

Q: could asexuality account for most sexual dysfunctions
A: No. Asexuality is not a sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunctions are not caused by asexuality. Some asexuals also have sexual dysfunctions, but non-asexual people probably account for the vast majority of people who have sexual dysfunctions. If you want more info on this, check out these posts, and K’s blog.

Q: is it asexual to fantasize but not want to have sex
A: Not necessarily. I mean you could be asexual and fantasize without wanting to have sex, sure. But you could also be asexual and still want to have sex, for whatever reason. With or without any fantasies. And you could be sexual and fantasize but not actually want to have sex. In fact, I think plenty of sexual people do that all the time. The key thing here is, neither fantasizing nor wanting to have sex is a deciding factor in whether you’re asexual or not. They might be clues, I suppose, but the basic question is: Do you feel sexually attracted to other people, as a general rule? If not, then you might be asexual.

Q: what kind of sex are asexuals into?
A: LOL. Are you kidding me? What kind of sex are sexuals into? What kind of sex are people into? You might as well be asking those questions! I could answer for myself, but not for every asexual. We’re different people, we all like different things. And you know, this may surprise you, but some asexuals aren’t into sex. (Did I really just have to type that? Wow. Novel concept, to say the least.)

Q: what do asexuals masturbate to
Q: do asexuals masturbate when thinking about partner?
A: How about you ask a specific asexual instead of trying to generalize to all of us? That is, if you know any who would be comfortable answering such a deeply invasive question for you! If not, don’t ask any questions about masturbation at all. If you don’t know if they’re comfortable with it, ask them if it’s okay to ask personal questions first. Do realize that it’s very different to talk about one’s sexual orientation than it is to talk about one’s own personal sex life, and that we will all have varying comfort levels with talking about something so private, just like everybody else. It would probably be better to make it an open question for different asexual people to give their own answers on the internet somewhere, so they can be anonymous if they wish. I’m sure it varies quite a bit. Each one of us can only answer for ourselves, not for all asexuals everywhere. Not even all of us masturbate, you know that right? But hey, you get some points for realizing that masturbating does not make somehow make a person not-asexual.

Q: is it hard to be an asexual
A: No, not really. I mean, it can be, but not strictly because you’re asexual in and of itself. But because asexuals are a very marginalized minority—so much so that people don’t even know we exist, or don’t “believe in” us, as if we’re unicorns or something—we do face certain problems that other people don’t have to deal with. These range from feeling erased, to having a much smaller dating pool, to having your romantic relationships not considered “real”/serious relationships, to dealing with obnoxious/invasive comments, to harassment and bullying, to facing lots of social pressure to have sex with a romantic partner (as if it is an obligation), to even “corrective” rape. In other words, you wouldn’t have such a hard time if people (and circumstances in some cases) didn’t give you a hard time. The vast majority of the time, when people aren’t giving me crap about it, it’s not hard for me to be asexual at all. So I’d say it’s not hard just to be asexual, but it’s hard to be asexual in a world where asexuality isn’t accepted.

Q: are bisexuals dangerous
A: No, don’t be silly. Bisexuals are no more or less dangerous than your average person. And that post title? While I do think that spreading the idea that sexual orientation is based on and measured by behavior is generally a bad thing that has negative consequences for asexuals… That was a tongue-in-cheek over the top sensationalistic headline. Clearly nobody ever gets my humor around here. Therefore everything is ruined forever. (Yes, I am an elephant. I should really own that shirt already.)

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Well then, that’s it for this installment. If you want to ask me a question but don’t want to try to find my blog through google to do so, I’ve set up a formspring account for that purpose, located here. You can ask anonymously if you want, and you don’t have to ask about asexuality, you can ask whatever you want. I’ll answer most things, unless they compromise my anonymity in some way. If you want my advice on a situation, that’s fine too, although I don’t know if there’s a character limit on formspring, so if you want to ask something longer you might have to email me instead (if you do, let me know it’s okay to post the reply). Ask away!

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3 thoughts on “Questions From Google

  1. “Are bisexuals dangerous” is putting some wonderful images into my head.

    (also, tbh, I think if you’re really curious about the ‘what do asexuals masturbate to’ question, it might be better to google it and read what people who don’t mind talking about it have said than try and subject your friend to that conversation- that conversation being both highly personal, and one of those annoying “Tell me about ALL asexuals/Tell me about you…” scenarios.

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    • Well, yeah, that’s why I added the qualifications about it. I was mainly commenting on how the question was formulated to assume a) that all asexuals masturbate and b) that they all masturbate to the same thing. I think “asexual what do you masturbate to” would be a much better google search. I do think it’s possible to ask the question in a respectful way though, IF you first ask the person whether they’re okay with a question like that and make sure they know they don’t have to answer it. I was thinking it should be asked only to a fairly close friend or romantic partner or something, but otherwise probably avoided.

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  2. “And you know, this may surprise you, but some asexuals aren’t into sex. (Did I really just have to type that? Wow. Novel concept, to say the least.)”
    That just made my day! Such a basic thing but for some reason people just don’t make that connection.

    I truly enjoyed all of your answers :)

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