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Asexual, often shortened to Ace, is a sexual orientation defined by a lack of sexual attraction. Some experiences may include: not wanting to have sex, not being interested in sex, not experiencing a sex drive/libido, or being repulsed by sex.

There is a difference between asexuality and celibacy/abstinence. Those who are abstinent or celibate are not necessarily asexual; they may still experience sexual attraction, but they choose not to act on it, typically for moral or religious reasons. Although some asexuals do not have sex, there are also many asexuals who do have sex or are in sexual relationships.

Not all asexuals are aromantic. Some may experience romantic attraction.

The term "asexual" may also be used as an umbrella, referring to anyone on the asexual spectrum.

History & Coining[]

Early use of the term "asexual" to refer to human sexuality predates the asexual community. In 1896, physician Magnus Hirshfield indirectly referenced asexuality in his book, Sapho and Sokrates, where he says, "There are individuals who are without any sexual desire ('Anästhesia sexualis')." In 1948 and 1953, Dr. Alfred Kinsey added a category "X" to the Kinsey Scale, indicating those with "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions."

An early asexual community formed in the 1970s when the Coordinating Council of New York Radical Feminists formed caucuses based on sexual orientation. A group led by Lisa Orlando and Barbie Hunter Getz created an asexual caucus, and, in 1972, published "the Asexual Manifesto".


The AVEN Triangle

The contemporary asexual community originated through the internet. The earliest asexual proto-community formed in the comments of a 1997 article by Zoe O'Reilly, entitled "My Life as a Human Amoeba". On October 12, 2000, the Yahoo email group, "Haven for the Human Amoeba (HAA)" was founded. The following year, David Jay created the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN).

Flags & Symbols[]

In the summer of 2010, AVEN and several other asexual websites held a contest to design an asexual flag. The current asexual flag was designed by AVEN user Standup and was uploaded on June 30th, 2010. The gradient of black, grey and white was based on the AVEN triangle and symbolizes the concept of the asexual spectrum: black for asexuals, grey for greysexuals, demisexual, and other ace-spec individuals, and white for allosexuals. The purple represents the community, likely chosen because of AVEN's purple color scheme.

Wearing a black ring on the middle finger, known as the "ace ring," has become a way for asexuals to subtly identify each other. The origin of the black ring began in a thread from 2005.


The term "asexual" uses the Greek prefix "a-" which means "not" or "a lack of."



Kinsey, Alfred C. (1948). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. W.B. Saunders. ISBN 0-253-33412-8

Kinsey, Alfred C. (1953). Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. W. B. Saunders ISBN 025333411X