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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.According to Bumble’s head of brand, Alex Williamson el-Effendi, the app is planning to launch focus groups to research a potential new feature that would allow users to select their sexual orientations.“We want Bumble to be a safe place for people to feel like they can date and connect with people on their own terms and feel like they’re going to be in a community that is respectful and kind and supportive,” she says.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.“But it was the right thing to do to create an experience that worked for everyone.” Although Ok Cupid doesn’t include aromantic options or every gradation on the ace spectrum — including various combinations of romantic and sexual identities — it’s still ahead of the game when it comes to actively including ace users. It probably only matters if it comes down to their bottom line.” Tinder offers multiple gender options and allows people to select an interest in men and/or women, but that’s where the choices end.“You have this one dating app that’s leading the way around gender identity and sexual orientation,” Cerankowski says. There are no identification or filtering options for aces, so if you want to identify as asexual or aromantic, you have to work around the app’s existing infrastructure.

But for people who identify as asexual — or under the asexual umbrella — online dating can be even more exhausting, and often downright fruitless.

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.

Bumble, a swipe-based app with a feminist bent, encourages people to network and find friends as well as romance.

But as with Tinder, there’s no option to select an orientation, ace or otherwise.

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