Asexuality and aromanticism are both umbrella terms and specific terms. As a specific term, an asexual person (or ace) does not experience sexual attraction and/or does not experience intrinsic desire for partnered sex. As an umbrella term, asexuality can refer to anyone on the asexual spectrum, meaning anyone whose experience is a closer match to the experiences of asexual people than to the experiences of allosexual people (people who experience sexual attraction). So, asexuality as an umbrella term generally refers to experiencing little to no sexual attraction.
Similarly, as a specific term, an aromantic person (or aro) does not experience romantic attraction. As an umbrella term, aromanticism can refer to anyone whose experience is a closer match to the experiences of aromantic people than to the experiences of alloromantic people (people who experience romantic attraction). So, aromanticism as an umbrella term generally refers to experiencing little to no romantic attraction.
Check out our definitions page to explore more identities on the asexual and aromantic spectrums and other vocabulary.
It is important to distinguish between sexual attraction, sexual desire (libido/sex drive), sexual arousal, and sexual behavior. Behavior is your actions; desire is your general interest in sexual activity; attraction is desire aimed at a specific person; and arousal is a physical occurrence which may be completely disconnected from your desires. The definition of asexuality only cares about attraction, not desire, arousal, or behavior (similarly, the definition of aromanticism only cares about attraction as well). Some asexual people have high libido, others have none. Some asexual people are sex-favorable (enjoy sex or the concept of sex), others are sex-indifferent, others are sex-ambivalent, and others are sex-averse or sex-repulsed. Some aces are willing to have sex as part of a relationship with an allosexual partner; others are not. There is no ‘normal’ ace experience.
The asexual and aromantic communities are primarily online: on forums such as AVEN and Arocalypse, on tumblr, and on blogs. Ace and aro communities also exist in person (such as this club), but these are less common.
If you think you may be ace or aro, know that you are not alone. There is a community for you, and others who have similar experiences. Don’t feel pressured to use a label right away, but also don’t feel pressured not to. Many aspec people wrestle with what labels to use and trying to identify feelings of attractions. It’s okay to use aspec labels even if you’re unsure of your sexuality, and it is also okay to change the labels you use at any time.