“If you see the categories that are coming up on dating apps, that’s part of that legacy of just not taking asexuality seriously.” But as mainstream awareness of asexual identity continues to grow, online dating services are finally starting to do more to acknowledge asexual users.
Cerankowski says that knowledge and acceptance of asexuality have surged, particularly since 2010, which they credit to increased activism, scholarship, and pop culture representation.
“‘You just haven’t found the right person.’” Cutler has spent a lot of time perusing Ok Cupid in Philadelphia and now Alhambra, California, and she’s used to men questioning the validity of her sexual identity.
Nathan Lickliter, a 32-year-old heteromantic asexual bank teller who lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, first realized he was asexual after reading a article.
But workable online alternatives for aces seeking their preferred levels of partnership and connection are few and far between.
Free apps like Tinder and Bumble, and paid services like don’t have specific mechanisms that allow users to identify themselves as ace, or to filter for asexual and/or aromantic matches.
“Some people mention about how they met the most important person of their life here, or how they find ace friends in their city with ACEapp,” says Rawat.
In November 2014, it added expansive dropdown options for gender and sexuality, including asexuality and demisexuality.
“Users are welcome to authentically express themselves by sharing their sexuality within their Tinder bios and in messages with matches,” says a Tinder spokesperson by email.
Although the representative adds that “everyone is welcome on Tinder,” these aren’t welcoming options, especially on an app with a reputation for fostering hasty hookups rather than lasting relationships.
Shortly after, he says his manager at work tried to set him up on a date with someone who ended up questioning the validity of his identity.
“I told them, ‘Hey, I found this thing and it makes all these disparate pieces of my life click into place.’ And they were like, ‘Oh no, that’s not true, you’re just afraid.’ …