In Ethiopia, asexaulity is rarely a topic of conversation. And when it is, it is often in a dismissive and judgemental manner. Asexuality Awareness Week which varies from year to year and occurs between October 20 and 26 is a good time to educate ourselves and serve as allies to asexual people within the community.
Asexual is an umbrella term that encompasses a broad spectrum of sexual orientations. It is a sexual orientation in which someone experiences little to no sexual attraction or desire toward others. This does not mean that asexual people do not have a sex life or cannot be sexually aroused. It just means that regardless of their interest level in a person, someone who is asexual will not feel sexual desires towards them. It is important to note that those who identify with this orientation do not have to abstain from sex to be asexual.
Sexual orientation describes how you experience sexual attraction. It specifically refers to feelings of sexual desire. While asexuality is a sexual orientation, different types of asexuals experience it in different ways.
The asexuality spectrum includes:
Some people who are asexual may still experience sexual desire, while others may not have any sexual feelings at all.
Sometimes referred to as “grey aces” or “gray-a,” people who are greysexual are primarily asexual. However, they may enjoy sexual behavior under very specific circumstances, or they might experience sexual interest on rare occasions.
People who identify as demisexual will only feel sexual attraction once they have a strong emotional connection to someone else. Although people who are demisexual are on the asexual spectrum, they’re more likely to engage in sex than people who are asexual or greysexual.
Being asexual is valid and does not need defending. We should become better allies and we should keep teaching each other to further support the diverse sexual orienations within the Ethiopian LBQ community.