Aromantic or Asexual: What is The Difference?
Asexuality and aromantic don’t have the same meanings. As the terms imply, asexual individuals have little to no sexual attraction, whereas aromantic people have little to no romantic attraction. Each of these terms has several variations as well, meaning that not all people with little or no sexual attraction are immediately asexual. The same goes for aromantics. Those who are asexual are commonly known as “ace” and those who identify as aromantic use the term “aro.”
Some people claim to be both asexual and aromantic. There are times that someone who is panromantic and is in love with another, for an aesthetic reason, yet may not find them sexually attractive.
Therefore, just because you identify with one of these concepts doesn’t mean you do so with the other. To understand it better, let’s dive deeper.
The Meaning of Asexuality
People who are asexual rarely or never feel sexual attraction. In other words, they experience little or no desire to engage in sexual activity with others. Since asexuality is a spectrum, some asexuals are more attracted to other people sexually than others.
It’s possible to have sex with someone without feeling sexually attracted to them, thus this doesn’t imply that asexual individuals never engage in sexual activity. While some members of the asexual community refrain from having sex, others who are asexual could still have sex for a variety of reasons. Asexuals do not feel sexual attraction, while allosexual individuals do.
The Meaning of Aromantic
Few or no romantic attractions are felt by aromantic individuals. Wanting to be in a committed relationship with someone is what romantic attraction is all about. A romantic connection can mean different things to different people.
Even though they don’t sense romantic attraction for a particular person, some aromantic individuals may have romantic relationships or may still want one. Someone who does not experience romantic attraction is the opposite of an aromantic. Alloromantic refers to this kind of individual.
Being Aromantic Asexual (aro, ace)
Not all aromantic individuals are asexual, and not all asexual people are aromantic; nevertheless, some people are both.
Aromantic and asexual people rarely, if ever, feel sexual or romantic desire. However, that doesn’t mean they never form romantic attachments or engage in sexual activity. An individual who considers themselves to be both asexual and aromantic may fall entirely on different ends of either spectrum.
Asexuality and Aromantics: Other Terms
Other words are also used to define people’s sexual and romantic identities. A few of the identities that fall under the asexual or aromantic category are:
- Grayromantic or graysexual: One who only occasionally feels sexual or romantic desire is referred to as “graysexual” or “grayromantic.” They may only occasionally or with very little intensity feel sexual or romantic attraction.
- Demimantic or demisexual: A person who can only feel sexually or romantically attracted to someone with whom they already have a close relationship is referred to as “demisexual” or “demiromantic.”
- Recipromantic or reciprosexual: These phrases describe someone who only feels sexually or romantically attracted to someone who initially felt that way about them.
- Akinomantic or akiosexual: These phrases describe someone who experiences sexual or romantic desire yet does not wish for that attraction to be reciprocated.
- Aceflux or aroflux: These phrases describe people whose potential for romantic or sexual desire varies throughout time.
One or more of these terms might describe who you are, and your identity might change over time.
Signs of Aromanticism or Asexuality
Every aromantic asexual individual is distinct, and everyone has varied experiences in relationships.
But if you’re asexual and aromantic, you might relate to one or more of the following:
- You haven’t felt much desire for a romantic or sexual relationship with a particular person.
- You have a hard time picturing what being in love feels like.
- You have a hard time picturing what lust feels like.
- You find it difficult to relate when other people talk about being attracted to someone romantically or sexually.
- The prospect of engaging in sexual activity or being in a romantic relationship makes you feel neutral or maybe disgusted.
- You’re unsure if your desire for relationships or having sex is solely motivated by social expectations.
Being Asexual and Aromantic in Relationships
Depending on their feelings, aromantic asexual people may still engage in romantic or sexual interactions. After all, there are numerous reasons to have sex with someone or start a relationship; it’s not just because you’re attracted to them.
Keep in mind that being asexual or aromantic does not exclude a person from experiencing love or commitment. People may desire sexual activity for reasons other than sexual attraction, including:
- providing or receiving enjoyment,
- relationship with their partner,
- sign of affection,
- potential for children.
In a similar way, individuals might desire romantic connections independent of sexual attraction in order to:
- parent together with someone,
- commit to someone they love,
- encourage one another emotionally.
Not Wanting a Relationship or Sex
To be happy, you don’t need to be in a romantic or sexual relationship. Social support is crucial, yet you may obtain it by developing close friendships and family ties, which everyone can do, whether or not they are in love relationships.
The term “queerplatonic relationships,” which describes close relationships that aren’t necessarily romantic or sexual, may be preferred by some asexual or aromantic individuals. They have a stronger bond than a typical friendship.
For instance, a queerplatonic partnership can entail co-parenting, providing emotional and social support for one another, or splitting costs and obligations.
Similarly, there are instances where people can be sex-favorable or aesthetically attracted to one another, such as doing a hobby together, so it feels like a bond, yet behaviors do not go further.
It’s acceptable to not want to have sex. It doesn’t imply that there is a problem with you or that there is a problem you need to resolve. Some asexuals engage in both sex and masturbation, while some people don’t engage in sexual activity.
Asexual individuals could be:
- Sex-averse people are those who don’t want to have sex and find the idea repulsive (for example, think of someone you love as a mentor, yet you are not sexually attracted to them).
- Sex-indifferent individuals lack strong feelings regarding sex in either direction.
- Sex-favorable if they enjoy some sex-related activities and don’t feel sexual attraction.
It’s possible for people to notice that their attitudes toward sex change throughout time and with each particular person they are interacting with.
In Final Words
If you are asexual or aromantic, it’s completely alright as long as you are okay with it. If being asexual or aromantic is having you feel negative or frustrated and you want to change that, you can reach out to a therapist or a mental health professional who specialize in this. You can also get trained by a specialized educator that we approved, like Aubri Lancaster.
Be sure when you look on their website or forms, they include terms that you have seen. They have to have a general understanding of identity to be effective.
Also, keep in mind that none of these two terms, or any term mentioned in this article, is permanent. The way you feel about sex, love, and relationships can change throughout your life and with each person. Therefore, giving yourself the chance to understand better how you feel is more important than memorizing these terms. After all, how you feel matters!
About Life Coaching and Therapy
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!
Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.