Human sexuality is a dynamic concept. As people become more evolved and self-aware, the realization that sexual orientations cannot be boxed into labels but flow fluidly over a spectrum is being acknowledged and embraced more and more. We’re all familiar with terms like straight. gay, hetero- and homosexual, LGBTQ commonly used to define sexual leanings. Then, there are emerging concepts like sapiosexuals, androsexuals, bicurious and so on, that add layers of diversity to this spectrum. One such term that has been breaking out recently is demisexuality.
Here’s everything you need to know about this sexual orientation and ways to figure out if you identify as one:
What is Demisexuality?
The Demisexuality Resource Center describes this sexual orientation as one where a person “feels sexual attraction only after forming an emotional connection.” This form of sexuality falls somewhere in the middle of the sexual and asexual spectrum. A demisexual person does not experience any arousal until they are emotionally connected to someone.
The trait can overlap with other sexual leanings. So, can you be straight and demisexual? Yes. Just like you can be gay or bi and demisexual. The preference of gender of a sexual partner has nothing to do with demisexuality. This orientation only links sexual desire to an emotional connection. A demisexual can experience strong sexual attraction but only toward their specific partner or partners.
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How Do You Know If You’re Demisexual?
Demisexuality can be hard to explain as well as understand. It is such a subtle dimension of one’s sexual personality that it may years before one realises that this inherent leaning has been the driving force behind their sexual behaviour. If you feel like you may fall in the demisexuality bracket but aren’t quite sure about it, these 5 behaviour patterns can settle the ‘how do you know if you’re demisexual?’ dilemma for you:
1. Your relationships are based on friendship
You cannot just jump at the prospect of going out with that hot person everyone around you is swooning over. You need to trust the person you’re with and feel secure in their presence to even be able to think about taking things forward. That heady rush of romance, complete with butterflies in the tummy, doesn’t come easily to you. That’s why most of your relationships have stemmed out from a deep, secure friendship. Even if you’ve tried dating, the attempt has fallen flat on its face.
2. You’ve been labelled as ‘cold’ or ‘frigid’
Since demisexuality is marked by an inability to feel sexual attraction until you’ve developed a deep emotional connection with a person, you’ve found yourself unable to reciprocate to a date’s or crush’s sexual advances. This has resulted in you being labelled as ‘cold’, ‘frigid’ or ‘asexual’.
All this while, you have been beating yourself up about your ‘low sex drive’ coming in the way of successful relationships. Now, that you know what is demisexuality, you can rest easy knowing that this tendency is just a manifestation of how you’re wired. Next time, maybe you’ll be able to explain it better too.
3. Looks don’t matter to you
How do you know if you’re demisexual? Pay attention to what leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy about a person. Another key trait of demisexuality is that appearances are not a factor in igniting a sexual spark. You attach more value to the intellect, wit and sensitivity of a person than their appearances.
If someone makes you laugh on the first date and doesn’t make offensive remarks about you or another person, you will look forward to seeing them again. As you get to know them better, you will be romantically inclined. Until that happens, you won’t even be able to bring yourself to make out with them let alone go all the way. That’s just how your sexuality works.
4. You’ve never been sexually attracted to a stranger
Okay, maybe an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous person did make your heart skip a beat. But that feeling is rare and fleeting. You don’t recall getting all sexually fired up by a stranger, no matter how attractive or appealing they seem. When your friends talk about a casual hookup or a Tinder date they’re looking forward to, you just can’t wrap your head around the idea of getting under the sheets with someone you don’t know.
5. You enjoy sex but don’t prioritise it
When you are with that special person you feel a deep connection to, you not only feel aroused but also enjoy sex. But sex isn’t ever a priority for you in a relationship. On the contrary, it is a by-product of a deep emotional connection with a partner. In other words, you can be sure of your demisexuality if having sex is literally making love for you.
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Embracing Your Demisexuality
In the emotional connection vs physical connection debate, you instinctively lean toward the former. In a world where dating has become a lot like fast food – readily available, full of choices and quickly chomped down without being savoured, you may feel (or be made to feel) like quite the oddball.
But remember, you are the only one who gets to control your sexual preferences and orientation. Stay true to how you feel to be at peace with yourself. So, embrace your demisexuality and wear it on your sleeve with pride. You don’t need to conform or succumb to the pressure of social norms. If not today, then at some point, you will find that special person with whom you feel a strong, unshakable connection. Your sex life will take off like never before.