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Asexual/Aromantic Education Page


Asexual and Aromantic people make up about 1% of the total population but comprise as high as 4% of those ages 18-24 (Bianchi, 2018). This group is relatively small but growing as knowledge of the identity spreads. This page aims to educate folks and dispel misconceptions regarding identities that fall under the ace/aro spectrum.

As a shorthand and a way to include many different identities, such as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, grey-ace, and others on the ace-spectrum, the term ace/aro will be used throughout this page. The ace/aro community faces a lot of misinformation that leads to allosexism. Allosexism is the pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses asexual people based in the belief that everyone does and should experience sexual attraction. The resources below are ways to educate oneself about the ace/aro population and to find community within it. There are many different ways to be ace/aro, and the community itself is very diverse.


Asexual/Aromantic Education

Terms that May Fall Under the Asexual/Aromantic Spectrum:

There are many terms related to the ace/aro spectrum. Here are a few definitions that may be helpful. This is not a comprehensive list of all terms that would fall under the ace/aro spectrum. If you have any terms you would like us to add, please reach out to us at!

Aegosexual: A sexual orientation generally characterized by not feeling a desire for partnered sexuality, yet still having sexual fantasies. Aegosexual individuals may experience some sexual desire, attraction, or arousal, but feel removed from the experience. 

Allosexism: The pervasive system of discrimination and exclusion that oppresses asexual people based in the belief that everyone does and should experience sexual attraction. 

Allosexual: A sexual orientation characterized by sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality. An allosexual person would not be on the asexual spectrum.

Aromantic (abbreviation: aro): A romantic orientation generally characterized by not feeling romantic attraction or a desire for romance. Aromantic people can be satisfied by friendship and other non-romantic relationships. Some aromantic people are also asexual, while others desire sexual relationships. 

Aromantic spectrum (abbreviation: arospec, aro): An umbrella term for all identities under the aromantic spectrum. Arospec is also used as an identity term. 

Asexual (abbreviation: ace): A sexual orientation generally characterized by not feeling sexual attraction or a desire for partnered sexuality. It is also used as an umbrella term. Asexuality is distinct from celibacy, which is the deliberate abstention from sexual activity. Some asexual people do have sex. There are many diverse ways of being asexual. Some asexual people are also aromantic, while others desire romantic relationships. 

Asexual Spectrum (abbreviation: ace-spec): An umbrella term for all identities under the aromantic spectrum. Ace-spec is also used as an identity term. 

A spectrum (abbreviation: a-spec): An umbrella term for orientations that belong under the aromantic or asexual spectrum. A-spec is also used as an identity term. A spectrum and a-spec are terms that may also be used by individuals with autism. 

Celibate/Celibacy: The deliberate abstention from sexual activity. 

Demisexual: A sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have established an emotional bond.This identity term can exist simultaneously with other sexual orientations (such as bisexual, straight, queer, lesbian, or gay) to indicate who one is attracted to once they establish that bond. Like asexuality, some demisexuals engage in sex and some have little to no interest in sexual activity. Demisexuals are considered to be on the asexual spectrum, meaning they are closely aligned with asexuality.

Graysexual (abbreviation: grey-ace, greysexual, gray asexuality, gray-a, gray-ace): Graysexual is a sexual orientation in which someone experiences sexual attraction to a limited extent. They may feel sexual attraction rarely or with low intensity. Graysexual is often included under the ace/aro spectrum, however, some individuals do not identify under the ace/aro spectrum.

Queerplatonic Relationship/Partnership (abbreviation: QPR, QPP): A relationship that extends beyond what is expected from a platonic relationship. QPRs usually involve a deep connection that is similar to those associated with allosexual romantic relationships, but contextualized within the experiences of the ace-spec community. These relationships may include physical affection, sex, intimacy, co-habitation, and/or co-parenting. 

Romantic Orientation (aka: affectional orientation): Romantic Orientation is attraction or non-attraction to other people characterized by the expression or non-expression of love. Romantic orientation can be fluid and people use a variety of labels to describe their romantic orientation. Individuals may use -romantic as a suffix with the same prefixes that people use in defining their sexuality. For example, they may use panromantic, biromantic, aromantic, and more!  

Sex-Favorable: People on the ace/aro spectrum experience different attitudes towards sex. Sex-Favorable means that an individual may be open to experiencing sexual activity. They may find physical or emotional pleasure from these acts. 

Sex-Indifferent: People on the ace/aro spectrum experience different attitudes towards sex. Sex-Indifferent means that an individual may be open to experiencing sexual activity occasionally or only in certain situations. They may not particularly experience physical or emotional pleasure from these acts, but they do not feel distressed from it. 

Sex-Repulsed: People on the ace/aro spectrum experience different attitudes towards sex. Sex-Repulsed means that an individual is not open to experiencing sexual activity. They may feel distress at the thought or mention of sexual activity.

Sexual Orientation: Sexual Orientation is attraction or non-attraction to other people characterized by interest or desire for sexual contact. Sexual orientation can be fluid and people use a variety of labels to describe their sexual orientation. Individuals may use -sexual as a suffix with prefixes that define their sexual orientation. For example, they may use pansexual, bisexual, asexual, and more!

Types of Attraction

Attraction can be defined as an affinity or liking for something or someone. There are many different types of attraction. The following definitions may be helpful in finding an identity that fits right for you.


Types of Attraction



Myths on Ace Identities & Experiences

CW: Allosexist Stereotypes and Tropes

Myth: Asexual folks are also aromantic. 

Reality: This myth equates asexuality and aromanticism. There are many different ways to be asexual. Some asexual people may want a romantic relationship or experience sexual attraction. Some may not. It depends on each individual. In summary, some asexual folks may also be aromantic, but not all. 

Source: Romantic Orientations | The Asexual Visibility and Education Network

Myth: Asexual folks do not have sex, are celibate or are virgins. 

Reality: This myth equates asexuality and celibacy. While some asexuals are celibate and choose not to have sex, others do. Asexuals can be sex-favorable, sex-indifferent, or sex-repulsed. They may choose to have sex, only have sex in specific circumstances, or never have sex. Some ace/aro folks may feel pressured by partners or by society to engage in sexual activity. However, consent is always necessary and an individual’s orientation towards sex should be respected. Regardless of their decision to have sex or abstain from it, asexuals are valid in their identity. 

Source: Asexuals and Attitudes Towards Sex

Myth: Individuals with disabilities are asexual. 

Reality: Individuals who have disabilities are often falsely assumed to be asexual. Thus, many individuals with disabilities are unwillingly desexualized. Although some individuals with disabilities may be ace or aro, having a disability (whether mental, physical, or cognitive) does not imply that an individual is on the ace/aro spectrum. While some individuals with disabilities may feel that their sexual orientation is linked to their disability, it is important to remember that disability does not imply asexuality and asexuality does not imply disability. 

Source: Asexual Disabled People Exist, But Don't Make Assumptions About Us - Rooted in Rights

Myth: Asexuality is a disorder.

Reality: Asexuality is completely normal! Asexuality is not a disorder, it is a sexual orientation. It does not need to be fixed or cured by a medical professional. By labeling asexuality as a disorder or a problem, individuals on the ace/aro spectrum may feel stress or alienation. 

 Source: The Invisible Orientation

Myth: Aromantic folks do not have relationships.

Reality: This myth equates aromanticism and not having feelings. Aromantic folks can have healthy, happy relationships. While these relationships may not be romantic, they can be very fulfilling. There are many different types of relationships. Aromantic folks may have friends, partners, queerplatonic relationships, romantic relationships, and chosen family.


Myth: Aromantic folks cannot experience love.

Reality: Aromantic folks can experience many different types of love. They may experience platonic love, familial love, queerplatonic love, and more! Some may also experience romantic love, in certain circumstances. The aromantic spectrum is very diverse. It can extend from individuals who do not experience love to those who only sometimes experience love. Regardless, all aromantic folks are valid in their identities.


Myth: Ace/aro folks do not have emotions or “act like robots.” 

Reality: This myth is often portrayed in media representations of ace/aro folks. Ace/aro folks have emotions. They may not experience sexual attraction or romantic love/attraction, or they may experience it differently. Equating them to inanimate objects (such as robots or plants) invalidates and dehumanizes ace/aro folks. 

Source: Asexuality: A Brief Introduction

Myth: Ace/aro folks are not a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Reality: This myth invalidates ace/aro folks as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The “A” in LGBTQIA+ stands for “Asexual,” “Aromantic” and “Agender.” Ace/aro folks may work closely with the LGBTQIA+ community, and some feel marginalized based on their sexual orientation. Ace/aro folks have the agency to identify or not identify with the LGBTQIA+ community, but those who want to be are included. It is important to note that not all ace/aro folks identify with the LGBTQIA+ community, and many identify as “straight” or “heterosexual.”

Source: General FAQ | The Asexual Visibility and Education Network


Content Warning: Sexualization, racism, medical racism, medical abuse


A variety of factors contribute to certain people’s bodies “being inherently sexualized or desexualized” (Paramo, 2022). Ace/aro folks’ bodies are not excluded from this.


Some ace/aro folks are sexualized due to their race and/or gender. Women (and femme presenting individuals) are often sexualized. Their bodies are deemed attractive and are, therefore, objectified. This issue particularly affects women of color and Black women through the experience of misogynoir and transmisogynoir (Owen, 2014).


Black women are hypersexualized, historically shown through the treatment of Sarah Baartman, derogatorily labeled the “Hottentot Venus.” Sarah Baartman was born in South Africa in the late 1700s (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). She was enslaved and forced to perform in exhibitions that consisted of people leering at and touching her nude body (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). This “Hottentot Venus” show was created, in part, because of white Europeans’ fascination with Black African bodies (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). It hypersexualized, objectified, and dehumanized Sarah Baartman, and the many other Hottentots forced into the role. This objectification continued after Sarah’s death. Her body was violated and put on display in a museum (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). These were not taken down until 2002, when South Africa demanded her remains (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). The treatment of Sarah Baartman during her life (and her death) was appalling (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). It provides a greater context into today’s world, where Black women are still objectified, dehumanized, and compared to animals (Anderson 2018). Sarah Baartman is a name that must not be erased from history and that provides an illustrative example of the history surrounding the hypersexualization Black women. 


Ace/aro individuals must manage the sexualization of their bodies due to their intersecting identities. This specifically affects Black folks, as shown above in their hypersexualization (“Hottentot Venus,” 2022). As a result, ace/aro folks are often invalidated or not believed in their identity as ace/aro. People claim that they do not “look asexual” or that they are “too sexual to be asexual” (Song 2022). These were claims that asexual lingerie model, Yasmin Benoit, heard quite often. Her identity as a Black woman and an asexual was seen as a contradiction (Song 2022). These false beliefs are examples of acephobia. There is no certain way to look or behave as an ace/aro individual. Asexuality and aromaticism exist on a spectrum, and all individuals that identify on this spectrum are valid. Ace/aro folks must deal with the perceptions and expectations of sex from other individuals. This can be an incredibly distressing experience, possibly having negative effects on people’s mental health. 


Some ace/aro folks are desexualized. To desexualize an individual means to deprive them of sex and sexuality (Merriam-Webster). There is a misconception that ace/aro folks do not have sex, are celibate, or are virgins (Paramo, 2022). Additionally, individuals with disabilities or with an advanced age are often assumed to be asexual (Paramo, 2022). As a result, they meet less resistance when they come out as ace/aro. While this may seem beneficial, individuals on the ace/aro spectrum who also have disabilities or an advanced age may be invalidated and meet resistance when they communicate that they participate in sexual actvity (Paramo, 2022). This may be from folks within and outside of the ace/aro community (Paramo, 2022). 


Folks are sexualized or desexualized due to different factors, such as gender, race, age, ability, and identity as ace/aro. This sexualization (or desexualization) causes discomfort for those in the community. 


Anderson, Holland, E., Heldreth, C., & Johnson, S. P. (2018). Revisiting the Jezebel 

Stereotype: The Impact of Target Race on Sexual Objectification. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 42(4),


Asexuals and attitudes towards sex. Asexuals and Attitudes Towards Sex | The Asexual 

Visibility and Education Network. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from 


"Hottentot Venus ." Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Retrieved 

March 28, 2022 from

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Desexualize definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. 


Owen. (2014). On the racialization of asexuality. In Asexualities: Feminist and Queer 

Perspectives (pp. 119–136).

Paramo, M. (2022). Considering intersectionality and (de)sexualizing asexual 


Song, S. (2022). Meet the activist debunking asexuality stereotypes. PAPER.


Special Dates

Looking for the perfect time to celebrate ace/aro identities? Here are the days designated just for that!


Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week

Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week takes place the first full week after February 14.

International Asexuality Day 

International Asexuality Day takes place on April 6 every year!

Asexual Awareness Week 

Asexual Awareness Week takes place the last full week of October. Check out this website to find the dates for this week and get more information.


Below are a variety of videos that seek to educate folks on ace/aro people and their experiences. Some are documentaries that seek a wide range of information, while others are casual videos and informal vlogs. If you have suggestions for videos to add to the list, submit them to!


Asexual People Answer Questions You're Too Afraid To Ask | As/Is

Summary: Asexual people talk about the type of attractions they feel, finding an identity that fits them, relationships, and common misconceptions.

Debunking Asexual and Aromantic Myths (AD) | Rowan Ellis

Summary: Rowan Ellis and Alice Oseman look through and debunk different ace/aro myths. These include myths about sex, asexuals’ attitudes towards sex, and challenging the link between asexuality and trauma.

Why Film & TV Erased Asexuality | The Take

CW: allosexism, ridiculing sexuality

Summary: This video examines the erasure of ace/aro folks in film and TV. It challenges the stereotypes of asexual folks and the myths that it perpetuates. It examines how onscreen representation has increased recently, and why there is still work to be done.

David Jay | Asexuality | Ideacity

Summary: David Jay, the creator of AVEN, talks about the desire that asexual people have for connection and community. He talks about the culture of sexuality and the difficulty in learning how to talk about asexual relationships. This video is a good resource to explain asexuality to those outside of the community.

4 Demisexual People Explain What "Demisexuality" Means To Them | Tinder

Summary: Four demisexual people explain nuances of demisexuality, what “demisexuality” means to them, and how they found out they were demisexual.

I'm demisexual: how do I know? | Savonne Pearson

CW: feeling pressure to have sex with partners

Summary: Savonne Pearson talks about her experience as a Black demisexual lesbian and how she came to understand her demisexual identity. She talks about being called a prude/tease, finding friends attractive, and feeling pressure to have sex with partners.

Taking the Cake - 2015 (Asexual Documentary) | Asexual Media ArchivesSummary: Taking the Cake is a thirty-minute documentary focusing on asexuality and the importance of the website AVEN and David Jay. It talks about ace/aro communities as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, the prevalence of sex in society, and the exclusion of asexuality in sex education.
Asexual: A Love Story | Storyhive

CW: negative stereotypes, feeling pressure to have sex with partners, relationship issues and sex

Summary: Asexual: A Love Story follows several people on the ace/aro spectrum as they talk about their previous relationships and sexual experiences. Some of the stories talk about feeling pressure to have sex, the negative stereotypes about asexuals, and (finally) finding relationships that work for them.
Jasmine Benoit Youtube Channel 

Yasmin Benoit is a Black, British alternative model and asexuality activist. She talks about her experience as a lingerie model, her experiences of asexuality, and the need for more representation.


Asexuality is not a 'white thing' | Yasmin Benoit | Pink News

Summary: Asexual activist Yasmin Benoit talks about her experience as an ace/aro individual and the intersection with race.

Asexuals need media representation | Yasmin Benoit | TEDx Talks

Summary: Yasmin Benoit, an asexual activist, talks about the portrayal of asexual people in the media. She argues that discrimination and prejudice towards ace/aro people are perpetuated by media, questions the narrative that romantic and sexual attraction leads to fulfillment, and asserts that asexual representation is severely lacking.

Ace Dad Advice Youtube Channel

Cody Daigle-Orians makes TikToks and videos about asexual identities and experiences.

Advice for Coming Out as Asexual | Ace Dad Advice

Summary: Ace Dad gives advice for coming out, including the process of coming out, coming out for the self, considerations of safety, and finding pride.


Below are a variety of resources that seek to educate folks on ace/aro people and their experiences. If you have suggestions for resources to add to the list, submit them to!

Aro/Ace at UCSB

This GroupMe Chat is open to all Asexual, Aromantic, Demisexual, Grey-Ace, Ace-Spectrum, or questioning people at UCSB who are seeking community! Please feel free to chat, rant, organize, and gather here. This will also serve as a space to help us plan more ace-specific programming! Click the link above to join the GroupMe. 

AVEN (The Asexuality Visibility & Education Network) 

AVEN is a website containing the world's largest online asexual community. It was created by founder David Jay in 2001. Check out this page for information, resources, and community.

AUREA (Aromantic-Spectrum Union for Recognition, Education, and Advocacy) 

AUREA is a volunteer-based initiative that aims to be representatives for the aromantic community. It provides a glossary, resources, and an extensive FAQ. 

I Think I Might Be Asexual | Advocates for Youth

This Advocates for Youth presentation highlights questions someone can ask when trying to determine if they’re ace/aro. It looks at how to come out, establishing healthy relationship, and what being sexually active looks like. 

Understanding Asexuality | The Trevor Project 

This Trevor Project article contains definitions, an FAQ, and resources for ace/aro folks. 

Asexuality 101 | The Trevor Project 

This Trevor Project document highlights asexuality and examines ace-specific issues. They also list what NOT to say to ace/aro folks.

Asexuality: A Brief Introduction | Asexuality

Asexuality: A Brief Introduction is a compilation of possible signs of asexuality, myth-busting, personal perspectives, and the relation to sex, love, and porn. 

Asexual POC Resources

Vesper H. (Queer as Cat on Youtube) compiles a list of resources for Asexual POCs, including stories, art, articles, and videos.

Notes of an Asexual Muslim 

Notes of an Asexual Muslim is a collection of posts by or about asexuals and asexuality and provides resources for those who are Muslim.

What Are the Different Types of Attraction | Healthline

Attraction comes in many different forms. This Healthline article outlines some of the types of attraction and related terms. 

Asexuality, Attraction, and Romantic Orientation | LGBT Center at UNC- Chapel Hill

The LGBT Center at UNC-Chapel Hill defines terms relating to asexuality, types of attraction, and types of romantic orientation.

Demisexuality Resource Center

The Demisexuality Resource Center provides resources for demisexuals, partners, and allies. It features articles and translations of them in different languages. 

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality | Julia Sondra Decker

The Invisible Orientation is a book explaining asexuality, explaining what asexuality is not, and why asexuality does not have to be “cured.”

AZE Journal 

AZE is an independent online journal publishing ace, aro, and agender writers and artists. It was established in 2016 and has more than fifteen issues. 

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals about Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex | Angela Chen

Angela Chen writes about compulsory heterosexuality, what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.

Gender Discrepancy in Asexual Identity | Tori Bianchi

Gender Discrepancy in Asexual Identity explores the gender distribution in asexual people. According to their research, the majority of people who identify as asexual are women. It researches why this gender discrepancy exists, and how it relates to gender norms.

The Coming Out Handbook | The Trevor Project 

The Coming Out Handbook gives an overview of what coming out is, what it looks like, and how to feel safe and supported throughout the coming out process. *This resource is not specifically designed for ace/aro individuals, but can still be helpful!*

Six Ways to Be an Ally to Asexual People | Stonewall

Stonewall outlines how to be an ally to asexual people. The first is believing them. This article may be helpful to learn more ways to be an ally to the ace/aro community. This article could be useful to share when coming out as asexual. 

Why I Find BoJack Horseman’s Depiction of Asexuality Deeply Relatable | them.

This them. article considers the popular series, Bojack Horseman, and its storyline following an asexual character, Todd, and his experiences dating. The article appreciates the relatable components of the characters Todd and Yolanda, and praises the scenes about their coming out process, and examines their relationship. 

Asexual Groups

Asexual Groups is a list of the asexual groups worldwide! Check out this site to find local groups (such as LA and SoCal).

Ace Los Angeles Facebook

Ace SoCal Facebook 

List of Ace/Aro Youtubers 

This is a dynamic list of aro/ace youtubers and is constantly evolving. Watch their content to support aro/ace creators.