Asexuality Parental ToolkitFreyja
February 27, 2023
What is Asexuality?
Asexuality is when someone does not, or rarely experiences sexual attraction. You can be asexual and still have romantic attraction. If you do not have romantic attraction then you are aromatic or aro. Some may be ace, some can be aro and some are both. Remember, there is no one fit for being asexual. Some feel sexual attraction only once they establish a close personal bond to someone (demisexual), and others may rarely experience sexual attraction (graysexual). This can all depend upon the person.
Key points to keep in mind:
- When we think about attraction we often think about the gender or genders of people that we find ourselves attracted to. However, when it comes to education we need to think about the different ways in which we might experience attraction.
- Attraction is usually defined by: sexual attraction, aesthetic attraction, emotional attraction, and romantic attraction.
- Remember, just because a word may be new, does not mean that the concept itself is new.
- Everyone uses words differently.
- Everyone has the right to self-identity and not be labeled by others.
- Asexuality is about little, low, or no sexual attraction. It is not about what you have or have not done sexually.
- One may identify with asexuality once they learn about it while others may take longer to become identified with the term.
Asexual= a word that someone who does not, or rarely, experiences sexual attraction might identify as or with.
Aromantic= is a word that someone who does not, or rarely, experience romantic attraction might identify as or with.
Aromantic = is a word that someone who does not, or rarely, experience romantic attraction might identify as or with.
Demisexual = someone who experiences sexual attraction, but only once an emotional bond has been established.
What to do when your child/teen tells you that they are Asexual?
Listen to your child. They know more about this than you do.\
Try to understand. It doesn't all have to make sense right away, but what's important is that you make an effort to understand.\
Do research. If you don't understand something, or have questions you don't feel comfortable asking your child, or if you simply want to know more, then spend some time to look up what you want to know.
Treat asexuality with respect. Asexuality is not imaginary, it's not a "teenage thing", it's not a punchline. It's an integral part of your child's identity. If you disrespect asexuality, you're disrespecting your child.
Accept them. This is important to them, and it's important for them to know you care.\ And most importantly: **Love them.\
Your child/teen may come out to you again. Just because they say they are asexual does not mean they have disclosed who they are attracted to or their gender identity.
What not to do:
Don't get angry. There's nothing to get angry about. Getting angry over your child being asexual is like getting angry that your child wears size 9 shoes or has brown eyes. Getting angry about it will only alienate your child.
Don't try to "fix" it. There's nothing to "fix". The APA recognizes asexuality as a valid orientation in the DSM-5. Sending your child to a therapist to "cure" their asexuality would, at best, be a complete waste of money, and, at worst, be a horrifying, traumatic experience.
Don't try to convince them that they're wrong. Trust that your child knows how they feel and what they're thinking.
Don't dismiss it. If your child says that they're asexual, that means it's important to them. Brushing it off will tell your child that you don't care.
Don't "forget" about it. If your child has to remind you that they're asexual at some point down the line, it shows them that you're not interested in their life. You don't have to remember all the terminology and all the specific details, but you do have to remember that they are asexual and what that means.
Don't tell anyone else without your child's permission.
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