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How can someone be a sexual being without engaging in sex?

Asexuality is never, occasionally, or only with a specific person engaging in sexual behaviors. Asexuality is a continuum of behaviors much like other sexualities, and the individual gets to determine where they land on that continuum. Asexuality does not mean that someone is no longer romantically attracted or connected to others.

Sexual desire is not a static state of being, and for many folks, it ebbs and flows throughout their lives—very often related to a person’s comfort with sharing how they identify. Some folks engage in a robust sexual life for years, but before that, they were asexual. Some folks identify as asexual after years of being in a sexual relationship. The point here is that there is no right or wrong way to be a sexual being, and you alone know what works best for you.

There does not need to be a reason or excuse for someone’s asexuality, and there are plenty of reasons why someone may change how they identify:


Loss of a loved one

You learn about asexuality, and it clicks for you

Financial stress


Because you want to

Physical trauma


Emotional trauma



Survivor of abuse or rape

This list aims to create an understanding of what may be any number of reasons why a person identifies as asexual. That doesn’t mean this list is complete or comprehensive; only a place to start for learning and awareness.

Reminder: Folks who identify as asexual DO NOT need a reason or excuse.

I encourage folks to keep in mind that sexual and romantic relationships do not have to live in a narrow box dictated by a cultural norm: two people in a monogamous relationship until they die. Instead, relationships can be anything we can imagine and more. It takes consent, acceptance, respect, communication, honesty, and continued work to foster a relationship outside a cultural norm.

Curious about sexual orientation, gender identity, or both? Book a coaching session to explore how you identify.

Parts of this article first appeared in DGO Magazine on February 27, 2020.

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