Much like gender and other sexual orientations, asexuality exists on a spectrum, and the asexual identity can be defined in many different ways based on the levels of attraction and libido that individual asexuals experience. It only makes sense that asexual relationships would be just as unique — just like other types of relationships! This article is here to break down some different identities that make asexual relationships awesome. We’ll even make some sex toy recommendations to turn up the romance — because, yes, some asexuals do have sex.
What is Asexuality?
In simplest terms, “asexual” means that you do not experience sexual attraction toward others. However, asexual romance is very real: many asexual people still experience romantic attraction toward members of the same or opposite sex, meaning they desire a romantic relationship with that person, even if sex is not involved. “Aromantic” is used to describe people who do not experience romantic attraction, but may desire sexual connection with others. The asexual and aromantic identities exist independently of each other on their respective sexual and romantic orientation spectrums, but some people identify as both — it all depends on the person!
The Great Asexual Spectrum
Back in 1948, biologist Dr. Alfred Kinsey and associates developed “The Kinsey Scale,” which can be used to place people at different levels of heterosexuality or homosexuality based on their levels of attraction to or sexual activity with other people of the same or opposite sex. It’s a bit dated at this point, but it was a good jumping off point for understanding the different kinds of attraction and sexuality that we know and love today — for example, someone who scored a “3” back in the day would probably identify as bisexual in today’s terms.
Today, these scales of sexuality and attraction have gotten a lot more advanced — just look at The Purple-Red Scale of Attraction! Rather than being a simple scale of heterosexuality to homosexuality, the Purple-Red Scale measures two dimensions: who you’re attracted to, ranging from exclusively opposite sex to exclusively same sex, and how you’re attracted to them, ranging from aromantic asexuality to hypersexuality (meaning that sex is the most important thing in a relationship). Using both romantic and sexual orientation scales is essential for understanding the many different kinds of asexual relationships that exist. Let’s break down some of the most common asexual identities:
- Asexual: An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction to people of any gender, although they may experience romantic attraction.
- Gray Asexual: A person who identifies as being somewhere between “sexual” and “asexual.” They could experience sexual attraction under limited circumstances, experience sexual attraction but have low sex drive or enjoy sex but don’t necessarily feel a need to have tons of it. It’s a label that’s often used by people who know they fall between sexual and asexual, but aren’t quite sure where.
- Demisexual: This identity is firmly between sexual and asexual, and it generally describes people who only experience sexual attraction after a strong emotional bond is formed. It’s often seen in romantic relationships, but there are aromantic demisexuals, too!
- Aceflux: This term describes people whose level of sexual attraction toward others varies along the sexual-asexual spectrum, rather than being a known or consistent level that gray asexuals may experience.
All of the asexual identities may have different levels of romantic attraction. For example, a heteroromantic asexual would be a person who desires a romantic relationship with a member of the opposite sex, but who does not experience sexual attraction toward them. On the other hand, a biromantic demisexual could experience sexual attraction toward two sexes or genders if a strong emotional connection was formed first. In any of these asexual relationships, the partners could have as much sex as people who do experience sexual attraction, or none at all. It just depends on how each party feels about the act of sex.
So, Do Asexuals Have Sex?
You bet! Many asexuals are very sex-positive and enjoy engaging in sexual acts with their partner or partners. Others may be antisexual (also known as sex-repulsed or sex-averse), meaning that they find the act of sex unfavorable and do not engage in it whether they have a partner or not. There are also plenty of others who feel neutral toward sex and will engage in it if the mood ever strikes or they want to please a sexual partner (with both parties fully consenting, of course).
It’s important that you don’t think in black and white terms when understanding an asexual partner (or any partner, for that matter) — instead, figure out what they want and what they don’t through open conversations, and shape those desires into an asexual romance you both can thrive in.
Do Asexual Relationships Work?
Yes! We live in a society that assumes anyone in a romantic relationship has to be having sex, and that sexlessness in a relationship is an indicator that things have gone south. Remember, though, that not all asexual relationships are sexless because of the many different levels of sex favorability and attraction that exist within the identities. But, even if asexual relationships don’t include sex, they can still be incredibly happy and positive because they’re based on a foundation of romantic or platonic love, friendship, respect and trust.
If you are in a relationship with an asexual partner, but you are not asexual yourself, it’s crucial that you sit down together and discuss boundaries and preferences related to sexual activities. Figuring out your partner’s level of comfort with different forms of sex will help you find ways to remain satisfied without putting pressure or stress on your partner to perform — some asexual people struggle with feelings of inadequacy and may perform acts they aren’t totally comfortable with in order to please their partner. That’s never sexy. But learning how to grow an asexual romance together is.
Tips for Sexual People in Asexual Relationships
There are all sorts of ways to make asexual romance work if you and your partner simply sit down for an open conversation together (and continue that conversation as you grow and change with time). From there, you can figure out how to have a satisfying relationship that doesn’t pressure your partner into having a level of sexual contact they’re not totally comfortable with.
- Tip #1: Engage in romantic activities with your partner like cooking, cuddling, going out for a nice dinner or trying something new, like dance lessons.
- Tip #2: If your partner is antisexual, you can always masturbate to relieve some of your sexual energy. Make solo sessions special for yourself — you know what you like best, so create a scene that ticks all your boxes!
- Tip #3: Try planning sex in advance, either by a few days or a few hours, to prepare your partner and help them get in the mood. The anticipation can make the release of sex feel even more amazing!
- Tip #4: Discuss the idea of an open relationship. Open asexual relationships are a great way to allow a sexual partner to feel sexually fulfilled without pressuring an asexual partner, all while keeping their asexual partner as their romantic center.
- Tip #5: Take it slow. Even if your partner is willing to have sex, make sure you have their full and enthusiastic consent before trying something new or taking things further. The same can be said of any relationship!
Sensual Toys for Asexual Relationships
Because many asexual folks are positive or neutral toward sex, or have sexual partners, many enjoy using sex toys or other sensual items in the bedroom. Using sensual sex toys can be a great way to ease an asexual partner into a sexual situation since they most likely won’t be able to dive right into physical or mental arousal. Try out these items to make the most of asexual romance:
- Edible Massage Oil: Sensual foreplay is a great way to help your asexual partner get in the mood, so edible massage oil is a great choice! Give them a luxurious massage and sexy sensations as you lick and nibble your tasty handiwork.
- Massage Candles: Creating a romantic candlelit scene is another great way to get your partner in the mood — a sensual massage once the wax is melted is an added bonus!
- Sensual Love Games: An asexual person may not be comfortable with all of the prompts in a sex game, but it could be a great way to figure out boundaries and try new things together while also getting you both in the mood for love.
- Edible Massage Oil Gift Set: Your partner can either use these decadent, naturally sourced products on their own or as part of a sensual bath and massage routine with you, leaving your minds and bodies feeling refreshed and in love.
- Magic Wand Rechargeable: A simple vibrating sex toy like the Magic Wand is perfect for targeting sensitive zones on your partner’s body or even their genitals (with consent!) to ease them into the mood.
Find Even More Asexual Romance Essentials at PinkCherry
People in sexual and asexual relationships alike can find all sorts of incredible sensual love toys in our wide selection. Check out all of our sex toys and other awesome products to make sexy time even sexier!