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What is Asexual Awareness Week?

  • Category: LGBTQ+ Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Viviana Metzgar

Asexual Awareness Week is a time celebrated in late October that celebrates the accomplishments of the asexual community and helps to spread awareness of its existence and validity to others. Asexual, referred to in short as Ace, is a sexual orientation that describes the experience of those who are not sexually attracted to others, be they male, female, trans, or non-binary. Although, like every other sexual identity, there is a spectrum in which people can identify depending on the levels of attraction that they do (or do not) experience. In this blog, we will explore the various facets of asexuality, its relationship to sexual orientation, and the importance of understanding the difference between sexual and romantic attraction. 

What is asexuality? 

Asexuality is not to be confused with sexual aversion, repression, a lack of self-confidence, or a result of a traumatic sexual experience. People who identify as ace come from various backgrounds and other experiences. There is no one way to identify the entire Ace community. Asexuality is valid and should be respected just like any other sexual orientation, such as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. 

Can asexuality refer to sexual orientation? 

Oftentimes, those who identify as asexual use the term as a sort of basis for their sexual identity, which they can then add on more specifying terms that describe their unique experience. This is where more commonly known sexual orientations come into play. For example, someone can be bi-asexual, which is someone who identifies as an asexual but can be romantically attracted to someone who is male or female. Just as heterosexuality refers to being attracted to individuals of the opposite sex and homosexuality refers to being attracted to individuals of the same sex, asexuality refers to a lack of sexual attraction altogether. 

Sexual attraction vs. Romantic attraction 

Understanding the distinction between sexual attraction and romantic attraction is crucial when discussing asexuality. While asexuality pertains to sexual attraction, it does not necessarily influence romantic attraction. Asexuality does not preclude the capacity for emotional or romantic connections with others. Asexual individuals can experience romantic attraction and engage in romantic relationships, which may or may not include sexual activity. 

Sexual attraction is often expressed in pop culture as the attraction to a person for their physical attributes that create the desire to want to have sex with them. On the other hand, romantic attraction is the experience of being attracted to someone for their person, their personality, morals, values, humor, etc., and not their physical appearance. You can think of this as the concept behind the Netflix show Love is Blind. The idea of the show is for people to connect to one another and eventually fall in love with someone from within the confines of a pod, not revealing anything about them physically until after agreeing to marry each other. Now, Love is Blind is not a great example of long-lasting love, as it has a very low rate of successful relationships that come out of it. However, the main idea is falling in love with someone for who they are.  

For some people, these two concepts align, and for others, they do not. And it is for that reason that asexual individuals often use a variety of terms to describe their sexual and romantic experiences and inclinations.  

A few key terms to know are: 

Asexual Aromantic:

Do not feel sexual or romantic attraction to others or can feel romantically attracted to someone, however, do not partake in any romantic or sexual activity 

Asexual Romantic:

Do not feel sexual attraction to others, but do or can partake in romantic or sexual activity 


Can experience some form of sexual attraction only after forming a romantic relationship with someone 


Identify with being in between asexual and sexual, as they may occasionally experience sexual attraction to others under certain circumstances 

Can asexuals experience love? 

Absolutely! Asexuality does not diminish a person's capacity to love or form deep emotional connections. Asexual individuals can experience love, just like anyone else. Their relationships may be platonic or romantic; they can feel affection, care, and love for friends, family, or romantic partners. 

It is important to remember that many people who identify as asexual do partake in sex and sexual activity. Many asexuals are in happy long-term relationships, marriages, and everything in between, with partners that they have sex with. Their sexual orientation does not mean that they cannot enjoy sex or be in a genuinely loving relationship. Sexual attraction is not needed to build a bond or relationship with others. Asexuality is also not abstinence or the active decision to obtain from sex, a vow that many religious clergy take. 

Asexual Awareness Week is an important time to acknowledge and support asexual individuals, raise awareness about asexuality as a valid sexual orientation, and promote understanding of the differences between sexual and romantic attraction. 

Media Source: Ace Week