Asexuality Answer Guide for Educators

This page is intended to provide example answers to many of the most common questions about asexuality.  This page is intended for teachers, school counselors, and others in the education field who deal with sexuality education.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive examination of asexuality, it is simply a starting point for the conversation.

Am I asexual?

"I can't tell you that.  Only you can figure out if you are."

It is inappropriate to tell a student that they are or are not asexual.  You can provide additional information about asexuality, you can answer questions about it, and you can direct students to other resources on the topic.  However, the final determination must be made by the student themselves.

Do asexual people date or fall in love?

"Some do, some don't."

Asexuality itself does not preclude a desire for a romantic relationship nor prevent feelings of love.  Romantic orientation is separate from sexual orientation.  Some asexual people may be heteroromantic (meaning that they experience romantic attraction to a different gender), homoromantic (romantic attraction to the same gender), and bi- or pan- romantic, and so on.  A significant number of asexual people are aromantic, meaning that they do not experience romantic attraction.

Do asexual people have genitals?

"Yes."

Asexuality is a sexual orientation, it is not a physical condition and it is not a sex.  There is nothing physically different about a person who is asexual versus a person who is not.  Asexuality also has no bearing on genital function.

Can asexual people have sex? -or-  Do asexual people masturbate?

"Some do, some don't."

There is nothing about asexuality itself that would physically prevent an asexual person from having sex or masturbating.  Additionally, if a person masturbates or has sex, that does not mean that they are not asexual.  Asexuality is an orientation, which means it's about attraction, not action. Whether or not someone has sex or masturbates has nothing to do with whether or not they're asexual.  It should also be noted that many asexuals do not masturbate and many do not want nor enjoy sex.

Is "asexual" a gender?

"No, asexual is not a gender identity."

Asexual people can be any gender, just like people of any other sexual orientation.  Asexual people may also be trans.  Sexual orientation and gender identity are separate concepts.

Isn't "asexual" what plants are?

"You are thinking of 'asexual reproduction'.  That is different."

Asexual reproduction is a type of reproduction where a single organism is able to produce offspring by cloning itself in some way.  Asexuality, the orientation, has nothing to do with asexual reproduction.  Asexual people can't clone themselves.  The word "asexual" is a homonym, a word with multiple meanings.  It might be helpful to use an example of another homonym, such as "A baseball bat is not a flying mammal that's a Yankees fan."

And for extra credit, point out that most plants don't reproduce asexually.  Most plants reproduce sexually, that's what pollen is for.

I'm asexual, why do I need sex ed?

"It is important for everyone to have an understanding of sexual health.  Even if you never decide to become sexually active, you may be able to use what you learn to help a friend someday."

It may be tempting to say "You might change your mind someday and decide to have sex", however, that is likely to cause the student to believe that you are dismissing their orientation, which may cause them to become upset and withdraw.  It's better to emphasize that the information is important to have, even if it may seem personally irrelevant now.

Can asexual people get pregnant or get someone else pregnant?

"Yes, asexuality does not affect fertility."

As was noted previously, asexuality is not physical in nature.  As a result, fertility is not affected.  However, depending on the circumstances of this question, it may be important to clarify that asexual people cannot get pregnant entirely by themselves.  The standard rules of human reproduction still apply, so both an egg and a sperm are required.

Isn't asexuality just a hormone problem?

"Asexuality is a sexual orientation.  Most asexual people have hormone levels within typical ranges."

It is rare that a lifelong lack of sexual interest is the result of a hormone issue, especially where that is the only symptom present.  Hormone issues often cause a host of other symptoms, as well, such as weight gain, tiredness, hair loss, insomnia, and depression.  However, if someone experiences a sudden and notable drop in the level of sexual interest that they used to have, that is worth getting checked out.

I think I'm asexual.  What do I do?

Assure the student that asexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, and that there's nothing wrong with it.  If your school has an ace-friendly LGBTQ+ club, suggest that they talk to someone in that group about it.  You might also want to recommend that they research it online (This website has some resources for ace teens, see the section below), or try to join an online asexual community.  Most social networking sites have ace groups and there are several asexuality spectrum specific websites.  People in these groups are usually more than happy to help answer questions.

Answer Guide for Educators Downloadable Resources

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