Holly: Well, asexuality is usually defined as sexual attraction to no genders, i.e. lack of. What you describe sounds pretty much like a biromantic person who is (not sure if you’re a guy, girl or identify as another gender) either hetero or homosexual - for example, if you were a girl, that would make you a biromantic heterosexual. However, if you feel like your sexual attraction to guys is so little you feel more comfortable identifying as ace, maybe you’re part of the asexual spectrum, like a Grey A!
Holly: I was actually in a similar situation a few months back! Luckily for me, the ‘love interest’ has classes with two of my massive asexual ally friends and was really clued-up on asexuality, so one day he asked one of them why I wore my black ring and they told him about it, and he brought it up in class to confirm it with me.
Aside from that, I would recommend being as casual as possible about it, and not making it a huge deal, which not only makes it less awkward but doesn’t put any pressure on either of you. Maybe next time a conversation about attraction comes up, or romance, or anything like that, you could casually work your asexuality into the conversation. Casual attitudes and humour always help when coming out to friends, I’ve found!
Holly - How about finding out if there’s a local LGBTetc. group that you can join? They’re great not only for socialising but also for raising awareness about queer issues where you live.
A lot of local groups attend parades and have information tents at local events - mine does - and you could spread awareness of asexuality. Not only helping your community, but yourself! Asexuality is still pretty unheard of outside internet communities, I’ve found, so maybe if you can’t find anyone through AVEN, going down this route will be better. And you might have a load of fun simply through being part of your local group simply on its own merit!
Mousy: There are some similarities between telling your parents that you are asexual (which you may or may not describe as “coming out”) and coming out as gay.
First of all, the fact that you are thinking about telling your parents is a similarity. (That is, as opposed to straight people, who are less likely to need to specifically tell their parents that they’re straight.)
Another similarity is that it may elicit a negative reaction. If you are thinking of coming out, it may help to first test your parents’ response to the concept of asexuality in general before describing yourself as such.
A difference is that since the concept of asexuality isn’t very well-known, you will probably have to explain what asexuality is, whereas a gay person may be able to get the point across just by saying “I’m gay”.
Also, even if your parents don’t accept your asexuality, they are more likely to just not believe you rather than be actively hostile. However, be aware that some people may not understand the concept of asexuality, and think you’re a gay person in denial, so if your parents happen to be homophobic, it may not be safe for you to come out as asexual.
J.D. - It becomes confusing, I think, because a lot of people try to separate “sex drive” from “sexual attraction,” which are often bound up with each other with non-asexual people. Sex drive is easy to define, whereas sexual attraction is more difficult, it seems. The easiest way I can describe it is being attracted to someone enough to specifically want to have sexual intimacy with them. So if you’re someone who experiences this, you’re probably not asexual.
J.D. - I’m not actually certain about this (perhaps someone else can chime in?). You may just have a really active sex drive, but I’m not so sure at the same time because the sexual attraction may be there…I dunno, this is where things can get a bit nebulous. It’s hard for me to imagine someone who is having sex all the time, enjoys it, likes getting sexually close to someone, but completely lacks sexual attraction…maybe you’re aromantic but some kind of sexual (pansexual)?
J.D. - It can be awkward…if it makes you feel any better, I’m not really out to my family either. My closest friends know, however, and the internet…because I feel comfortable talking to them about such topics and because…the topic has actually come up! I mean, think of it this way: your parents aren’t going to ask you if you’re gay or not, hypothetically (I mean, the REASONABLE kinds of parents anyway). So it’s really up to you. If I really wanted to do it, I’d probably write it down first and then try to bring it up in relevant conversation.
J.D. - It’s hard. I deal with these feelings a lot, actually, and I’m sure a lot of other asexuals do too. Because you’re constantly told by other people that you’re missing out, that you aren’t going to be happy if you don’t pair up eventually, that you’re going to die alone, that you aren’t going to be able to find happiness, etc. All of this, explicitly and implicitly. It’s frustrating, but I think the important thing is just to focus on things that you know you’re passionate about…people can’t really call you out on that. Sex isn’t really all that unique to humans (in case you haven’t noticed, there are other organisms out there who partake in sexual activities), so I’m not sure why it’s so intrinsic to being a part of the human experience anyway. There are a lot of other things to do, things that you will experience in your life that other people won’t either.
J.D. - It’s definitely possible that you’re panromantic. I’m asexual and aromantic, and yet I can still tell if people are sort of “objectively” or “conventionally” attractive or not…it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with sexual orientation.
J.D. - Yes, there are some asexual people like that. And some asexuals can be interested in relationships too, some not. I’m not sure what kind of advice you’re looking for here, specifically…
J.D. - Well, first of all, you should know that, in HIS eyes, he isn’t “rejecting” you at all. That’s just who he is. But, obviously, if the lack of sexual intimacy is that serious to you—which, from your description, it sounds like it definitely is—you should probably move on.
J.D. - This has been mentioned here before I think, but dreams don’t really say much about your sexual orientation. Straight people can have homoerotic dreams, for example. But it’s great that you feel comfortable with yourself, congrats.