Asexual: Here's how to date someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction

Someone who is asexual experiences little to no sexual attraction.

Couple talking in bed

Sexual attraction, in basic terms, means you find a specific person sexually appealing and want to have sex with them.

Asexual people, who might use the term “ace” or “aces” for short, typically don’t experience sexual attraction or want to pursue sexual relationships with other people.

Some people other attractions

Asexual people who don’t experience any sexual attraction can still experience other forms of attraction.

Aside from sexual attraction, you can also experience:

  • Romantic attraction: desiring a romantic relationship with someone
  • Aesthetic attraction: being attracted to someone based on how they look
  • Sensual or physical attraction: wanting to touch, hold, or cuddle someone
  • Platonic attraction: wanting to be friends with someone
  • Emotional attraction: wanting an emotional connection with someone

Asexual people can experience all these forms of attraction, plus plenty of others.

How asexuality works in relationships

A romantic relationship where one partner is asexual and the other isn’t can absolutely work — with plenty of honest communication. Not much different from any other healthy relationship, right?

If you’re asexual, you’ll want to talk to your partner about the types of sexual activity you’re open to (if any) plus any other boundaries you have around sex.

Maybe you and your partner both want a long-term romantic relationship, but your partner has a much higher sex drive. You might try an open relationship, where your partner has other sexual partners but maintains an emotional commitment to you.

What’s most important is that both partners express their needs honestly and recognize that while sexual attraction can shift over time, it may not. So, it generally won’t help to assume an asexual partner will suddenly experience sexual attraction.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s OK (and very healthy) to have a high sex drive and want to have sex often. Sometimes, people simply aren’t compatible. If your partner is asexual and doesn’t want to have sex, but they aren’t willing to consider an open relationship, you might want to consider whether the relationship meets your needs (which are entirely valid, too).


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