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Some may want romance but not sex; others fall on the aromantic spectrum, meaning they sometimes or never feel romantic attraction.
For those who do feel romantic attraction (to men, women, or any combination of genders), that’s where online dating comes in.
Instead of friendly conversation about shared interests, first dates often involve fielding intrusive questions about their orientations and histories, especially from those who don’t believe that their identities are “real.” “‘Are you sure?
’ ‘You know, if try having sex, I’m sure it would be different,’” says magazine editor Emily Cutler, 23, rattling off a list of unwelcome comments she’s fielded while dating as a demisexual woman.
Ok Cupid director of product Nick Saretzky acknowledges that infrastructure changes like these aren’t simple — but that they are important nonetheless.
“It [was] very complex to change a dating app that had been around for 10 years, and [we] were aware it would be a pretty significant investment in terms of time and money,” Saretzky said by email.
“It’s not that there aren’t enough asexual people in the world or in my area.
“Historically, we just haven’t accepted asexuality as a legitimate sexual orientation, and I think we’ve been only catching up to that in recent years,” says KJ Cerankowski, an Oberlin assistant professor of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies.Their options are to include their orientation in their bio, message it to potential dates, or broach the subject in person.None of these options is perfect, and all provide barriers to aces who want to meet compatible matches, asexual or not.I felt crushed.” Asexuality remains poorly understood by the public at large, and includes a broad spectrum of orientations; some asexual people feel no sexual attraction toward others and may be averse to sex, while others who feel no sexual attraction may still happily have sex with their partners.
Other aces (the umbrella term for those on the asexual spectrum) like Cutler identify as gray asexual or demisexual, meaning they sometimes feel sexual attraction once they develop an emotional connection with someone. Someone who seemed perfect in an online profile waltzes in late, doesn’t resemble their photo, and can’t stop talking about themselves.But for people who identify as asexual — or under the asexual umbrella — online dating can be even more exhausting, and often downright fruitless.But workable online alternatives for aces seeking their preferred levels of partnership and connection are few and far between.