Can I be asexual if I masterbate?
Note for any non-asexuals here out of curiosity: Please be aware that asking an asexual whether they masturbate can be insensitive. Whether someone masturbates is a very personal question and that doesn't just disappear because they might have an orientation that is alien to you. Exercise the same caution as you would towards asking an non-asexual if they masturbate.
Masturbating or not in no way determines whether a person is asexual. Some asexual people masturbate, and some don't. For those that do, some enjoy it, and some see it as a chore.
Asexuals may masturbate for any of a number of reasons. Examples include the following.
- They may have a libido – that is an urge for sexual activity (with or without partners). Masturbation may therefore provide relief from such urges.
- They may enjoy it. Despite not feeling sexual attraction, asexuals typically still have normal anatomy, meaning that they may enjoy the physical sensations that sexual activity (including masturbation) can create. Asexuals that enjoy or seek out such experiences may have sex with others or masturbate or both.
- They may be aegosexual – meaning that they can experience arousal in response to certain triggers, but without any sexual attraction present.
Asexuals are defined by lacking sexual attraction towards others. That is, they do not find other people to be physically attractive and/or the prospect of having sex with others is not compelling for them. It doesn't mean that they are incapable of arousal or unable to enjoy genital stimulation.
Enjoying masturbation does not require a connection to partnered sex in any way. In fact, it's not uncommon for children as young as 1–6 years old to engage in masturbatory behaviour . It is unlikely that children engage in such behaviour for any other reason than because they know it feels good. Although adults may have more complicated feelings when it comes to masturbation, 'because it feels good' remains a valid reason to do it.
One study has been conducted looking into the relationship between asexuals and masturbation . It found that while asexual women were significantly less likely to masturbate than their allosexual counterparts, asexual and allosexual men were both equally likely to do so.1 The study also found that asexual women were less likely to report masturbating for pleasure than allosexuals, and were more likely to agree with "I feel I have to [masturbate]". Compared to allosexual men, asexual men were more likely to report masturbating out of boredom or wanting to fall asleep and less likely to report doing so because of loneliness or an unavailable partner.
- Note that this is to say nothing of the frequency of masturbation, just whether it is present at all. The study used the metric "at least monthly".
-  Masturbation (2009). American Academy of Paediatrics.
-  Yule, Morag A.; Brotto, Lori A.; Gorzalka, Boris B. (23 November 2016). Sexual Fantasy and Masturbation Among Asexual Individuals: An In-Depth Exploration. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 46 (1): 311–328. doi:10.1007/s10508-016-0870-8.