Masturbation: Asexuals Do it too
Sexual Health & Wellness

Masturbation: Asexuals Do it too

Aliyah Moore
Certified Sex Therapist, Sex Expert, Writer

To most people, sexual attraction makes up an enormous part of their lives. It directs their fantasies, masturbation, dating, friendships, hobbies, and more. On the other hand, some people have little to no sexual attraction at all. Asexual - AKA “ace” -  people often fly under the radar when we talk about sex because, well, they aren’t usually into it. Most of us can relate to other sexualities on some level because we know what it’s like to be attracted to another person, but we tend to exclude ace people from the conversation since they don’t experience the attraction that way. 

Because of this, they’ve also been largely ignored in most sexuality studies until the past few decades; but it’s important to remember that ace is a form of sexuality, not the lack of one. This means that some asexuals do masturbate, fantasize, and express sexual behaviors. So if you’re thinking about bombarding your ace friends with a slew of personal sexual questions - don’t. Curiosity is natural, but it’s easy to look up information without the risk of making someone feel uncomfortable.


What Is Asexuality?

Asexuality is a broad term that encompasses all people who feel no sexual attraction to others. Best estimates say that roughly 1% of humans are ace and, of those, about three-quarters (74%) experience romantic attraction to other people. 

So some asexuals engage in romantic relationships, while others (aromantic) don’t feel that kind of desire. Having sex doesn’t stop someone from being asexual or change their sexuality. Some ace people do experiment with sex, but it doesn’t unlock hidden sexual feelings that make them attracted to others. 

Lots of people in the ace community choose not to come out because their sexuality can be so confusing to others. An ace person can enjoy sex, but typically won’t be attracted to their partner. They can have relationships, fall in love, conceive children, and even have sexual libido - or none of those things - and still be ace. Some of them enjoy cuddling and being close to another person. Some find the thought of sex repulsive, some are indifferent to it, and a few are into it. 

Asexuality is such a broad classification that it doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing for any two people. The only real authority on what anyone’s sexuality means is that person. If you have an ace friend or partner and want to understand them better, don’t try to play sex detective and find the perfect label for them. Instead, focus on having respectful conversations and paying attention to their words and actions.


Do Asexual People Masturbate?

Masturbation is different for asexuals than it is for other people, but some research shows that more than half of them make time for self-pleasure at least once a month. However, they don’t fantasize about other people in the same way that non-ace people do. 

It’s hard to make any statements that apply to all asexuals, but for the most part, asexual masturbation isn’t about imagining themselves having sex with someone else. In fact, many asexuals don’t fantasize at all when they masturbate and do it as an act of self-love or in response to arousal. 

This arousal can be random, come from a fetish, or even from watching porn and being turned on by the act of sex. The difference is that the idea of sex or a certain sexual trigger can be arousing to them, but not the idea of them participating in sex. Whereas a non-ace person typically imagines themselves having sex with a pornstar or other person, that kind of sexual fantasy doesn’t appeal to an ace person. 

Still, it’s critical to note that none of this applies to every ace person. Each person has a unique sexuality that can’t be jammed into a perfect-fitting label, so it’s best not to make any assumptions. 

Misconceptions, Myths, and Awkward Questions

For non-ace people, the idea of asexuality can be mind-blowing. Here are a few common myths and misconceptions that can help you better understand the ace people in your life without asking invasive questions. 

Fair warning, though, for most of the questions, the answer is yes and no. 

Do Asexuals Have a Sexuality?

This is a tricky question. Some don’t consider themselves to have a sexuality and some do. For academic purposes, we treat it as a sexuality, but if an ace person says they don’t have a sexuality, they don’t. 

Are Ace People Queer or LBGTQ+?

Some asexuals identify as queer or LBGTQ+, but some don’t. There are so many shades of asexuality that some ace people feel like they fit those labels. Romantic asexuals, for example, can be homoromantic, panromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic, or other. 

Do Asexuals Have Sex?

Asexuals might have sex to experiment, please their partner, because they feel pressured, or simply because it feels good. An asexual person doesn’t experience attraction to human sex organs or bodies, but they can still experience sexual pleasure in whatever way is comfortable for them. 

Do Asexuals Have Libido? 

Many asexuals do have libido and will feel the urge to meet their sexual needs either randomly or in response to certain stimuli. The desire that often leads to libido just doesn’t come from the appearance of other people. 

Things to Remember

Asexuality can seem bizarre to non-ace people, but in principle, it’s not so different than other forms of human sexuality. Ace people don’t choose to be ace - they’re born with their sexuality like we all are. 

However, ace people are surrounded by a culture obsessed with partnered sex and human attraction that they can’t relate to. This can make them feel isolated, insecure, or unwilling to share their sexuality with others, but it doesn’t make them any less human. 

It’s important to recognize their perspective and to understand that sex is a human aspect we all experience differently - or in some cases, not at all.

Aliyah Moore
Certified Sex Therapist, Sex Expert, Writer