Updated: Feb 28
What is Asexuality?
Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.
Asexuality may be considered a sexual orientation or a lack thereof. It may also be categorized more widely to include a broad spectrum of asexual sub-identities.
What is Aromanticism?
Aromanticism is the lack of romantic attraction to others.
Where alloromantic (the opposite of aromantic) people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantic people are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships.
What are some sub-categories of asexuality and aromanticism?
While some people who are asexual experience no sexual attraction, many fall somewhere between asexual and allosexual (the opposite of asexual).
This region of sexuality is called gray-asexual or gray-A. It includes demisexual, which means that you only form a sexual attraction after forming a strong romantic connection with someone.
Similarly, demiromantic people can experience a romantic attraction after forming a strong emotional connection with someone.
What issues do people who are asexual or aromantic face?
A large amount of invalidation is directed towards asexuality and aromanticism both from outside and within the LGBT community. Many consider asexuality and aromanticism to be a "phase" that can be grown out of. Many people assume that asexual or aromantic people just "haven't found the right person".
On top of this, asexuality is rarely discussed in sexual education. While many schools have made great strides in discussing same-sex relationships and gender non-conformity, they have failed to normalize feeling no sexual attraction at all. This makes many asexual and aromantic people question whether or not their lack of sexual attraction is acceptable.
What are some symbols of asexuality and aromanticism?
In 2010, several asexual websites held a contest to design an asexual flag. The asexual flag used today was designed by AVEN user Standup. The four stripes represent black for asexuals, grey for gray-asexuals and demisexuals, white for allosexuals, and purple for community.
The first aromantic flag had four stripes: green, because it is the opposite of red (a traditionally romantic color), yellow to represent friendship, orange to represent grey-aromantics (because it is between yellow and red), and black to represent alloromantics.
This was later modified because it was considered to be too similar to the Rastafarian flag. The second flag consisted of 5 stripes: dark and light green to represent identities on the aromantic spectrum, yellow to represent friendship, and gray and black to represent the various sexualities within the aromantic community. This yellow stripe was later replaced with yellow to be more visually appealing but retained the same meaning.
Ace of Spades
Because asexual is often shortened to ace, the ace of spades is a common symbol of asexuality.
Because aromantic is often shorted to aro, an arrow is a common symbol of aromanticism.