Abstinence & Asexuality
You can be abstinent for any reason - it’s your choice! You can be abstinent if you’ve never had sex, if you’ve been with multiple partners, or anywhere in between. You can choose to become abstinent at any time. It’s up to you what is and isn’t included in your lifestyle, and what sexual activities you are or aren’t comfortable limiting.
Abstinence usually refers to the decision not to have penetrative sex. It is different from celibacy, which is a vow to remain abstinent for an extended period of time. Abstinence can be for any amount of time.
Asexuality is a sexual orientation, defined broadly as is the lack of sexual attraction or the lack of interest in and desire for sex. Just like other sexual orientations, asexuality is an umbrella term and exists on a spectrum. Asexual people are also commonly known as "Ace" or "Aces", but you can use whatever label feels most comfortable! Within the ACE community, there are many ways to identify. Some common terms include:
- Demisexual: People who only experience sexual attraction once they form a strong emotional connection with another person
- Grey-A: People who identify somewhere between sexual and asexual
- Queerplatonic: People who experience a non-romantic relationship where there is an intense emotional relationship that goes beyond a traditional friendship.
For more information, visit The Trevor Project.
Asexual folks can sometimes feel a sense of alienation around sexuality. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. You can have a happy and healthy romantic relationship that doesn't involve sex or sexual activities. It also makes your asexual identity no more or less valid if you choose to engage in sexual activity or masturbation or change how you label and identify yourself.