How do you know you're asexual when you haven't had boyfriend or girlfriend?
The short answer is that you don’t feel sexual attraction, but for a lot of people it’s difficult to define a feeling that you haven’t felt. Generally, if you don’t know if you’ve felt sexual attraction, then you probably haven’t, and you might be asexual (unless you’re, like 10, but that’s a whole nother story that I won’t get into).
I feel like a lot of people are under the assumption that you need to have sex with a bunch of people to know if you’re attracted to them and that’s just..not true. For some people their journey to understanding their identity might involve that, but the majority of people don’t have to have sex with someone to know whether they want to.
Suppose we’re at a grocery store, specifically the cake section. There are a lot of cakes at this grocery store. Most people know what kinds of cakes they like. They don’t have to know what every cake here taste like for them to know which cakes they would like to buy. Some people will want chocolate cake. Some people will want vanilla. Some people are cool with either. Some people are cool with anything as long as they get cake. Some people are on a diet, they might want the cake, but choose not to eat it. 1% of people cannot look at all of these cakes and say that they want any of them, they’re just not feeling like a cake person.If they ate cake they may or may not enjoy it, but they don’t look at a cake and want to eat it.
Asexuals are the people that can look at world full of people (cakes) and not feel sexual attraction (want to eat it).
I’ve compiled a list of things I think are common ace experiences, just because I feel like I’ve seen so many for other identities but none for aro/ace people, and I think it might be helpful (accompanied by a few stories):
- Being confused when people describe others as “hot” or “sexy”. When I was about 12, I started watching this reality/game show with my friend, and she once said that she hoped a specific guy would win because “he’s hot”. I remember being particularly confused by this. I have never felt the desire/need to describe someone in this way.
- You might prefer to use “cute” to describe a person you want to date/kiss/cuddle/etc with.
- You’re playing truth or dare with your friends, and you choose truth and they’re like “who do you have a crush on?” or “who’s the hottest guy in class?” and you are genuinely confused when they think you’re lying when you say “no one”.
- You read bios on dating apps. I’ve been using dating apps for about 2 years, and I’ve never swiped right/liked someone without reading their bio. From what I’ve gathered, allosexual people are generally the opposite. I frequently read bios that just say “no one reads these so I’m not going to write one”. Alternatively, you might just think swipe culture is “weird”, or just not for you.
- You “choose” people to be attracted to. I remember one day in 6th grade deciding that I would be attracted to Jack, because Jack was this tall athletic “hot” blond guy, and that’s what society/media/other students found attractive.
- You might find yourself choosing a famous person to be attracted to, especially if you’re afab/female-aligned person. When I was 13-16ish I would describe myself as a “fangirl” and I look back at it now and I can’t help but cringe. Not because I don’t think teenage girls should like things, but because I felt like I was supposed to just be obsessed with all of these 30-something famous dudes. I was about 15/16 when I started identify as asexual, and that’s when my interest in these things faded, because I stopped unconsciously telling myself that I was supposed to find these people attractive.
- Awhile ago I saw a post describing common lesbian experiences, and I remember one of them saying “Of course I’m straight! I’ve never met a guy in real life that I have wanted to have sex with but *some actor named Chris* is so hot!! I’m so straight” and as an asexual person, I can relate to this on a spiritual level.
- You tell people that you have really high standards in terms of relationships/who you’re attracted to.
- You feel “neutral” about how everyone else looks. It’s how I’d imagine straight people feel about the same gender, except I feel it towards everyone. I could acknowledge that Jack was on some level attractive, but it was similar to the way that straight men could acknowledge that other dudes are attractive.
- You might identify as bisexual or pansexual first. For awhile I identified as bisexual/pansexual, because a person’s gender wasn’t a factor in who I was sexually attracted to, but it turns out that was because I wasn’t sexually attracted to anyone at all.
- Any romantic/future/sexual fantasies involve you and a featureless being (or you watching two featureless beings). You cannot describe your “dream person” specifically, just with vague statements like “they have skin”.
- Wanting to be the cool aunt/uncle.
- Alternatively, wanting to settle down with your best friend and 4 cats. You might have seriously considered marrying them for tax benefits.
- Being very confused about the idea of sending/receiving dick/boob/whatever pics.
- Butts confuse you. Not their purpose (maybe their purpose?), but you just don’t understand why they’re attractive. I have asked my non-ace friends why butts are attractive, I still don’t get it.
- Having your first actual crush on a real, attainable person way later than everyone. I don’t think I actually liked anyone for real until I was around 17.
- The most common thing that I’ve read is feeling “broken” because you don’t feel attraction the same way as others, if at all. Alternatively, growing up I just thought everyone else was weird. I’ve seen a few people describe it as if sexual attraction was some kind of inside joke that the rest of the world was in on but you.
Those are all of the things I can think of at the moment, but if anyone has anything to add, please do! Keep in mind that a lot of these are related to my experiences as a panromantic asexual girl, so someone could be asexual and experience none of these, and some people might experience all of these and not be asexual. I hope it is of use to you!