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What does it mean to be Demisexual?

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Demisexuality Definition 

The Demisexuality Resource Center defines demisexuality as “a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond,” meaning they don’t feel initial sexual attraction. However, forming an emotional bond doesn’t guarantee that sexual attraction will follow, but an emotional bond is needed before a demisexual can feel sexual attraction and engage in sexual activity. 

What is Demisexuality?

The prefix “demi” means half, which in the case of “demisexual” can mean being halfway between sexual and asexual (little to no sexual attraction).

Most people in the general population can feel sexual attraction to others regardless of if they’ve formed an emotional connection. This can include strangers, celebrities, or a new person they’ve met. On the other hand, someone who identifies as demisexual doesn’t feel this initial sexual attraction. This is because they need to form an emotional bond with someone in order to be sexually attracted to them. There is no set length of time required to form this emotional bond. It can develop quickly, or over several years of a close friendship with someone. 

How Do Demisexuals Feel About Sex?

Demisexuality is related to sexual attraction, not sexual enjoyment. Demisexual people can absolutely experience sexual arousal and enjoyment.

Demisexuality is under the umbrella of asexuality because demisexuals typically have lower-than-average sexual desires. But, demisexuals still identify as their own group because they may feel sexual, or even hypersexual, after developing a bond with someone. 

Ultimately, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to be demisexual. Some are uninterested in or may be repulsed by sex. Many enjoy it! Demisexuals have different feelings regarding masturbating and porn consumption. It all depends on the person. All feelings about sex are valid in a demisexual identity. The only thing that defines a demisexual is that they need an emotional bond before they can feel sexual attraction. And even in the case of an emotional bond and sexual attraction, they can still choose to not have sex, because wanting sex and feeling sexually attracted to someone are two different things. 

What Does Demisexuality Look Like in a Relationship?

People who identify as demisexual may or may not desire a romantic relationship at all.

But for demisexuals in a relationship, they may or may not choose to have sex be a part of the relationship. Some demisexuals place a lot of importance on sex in a relationship, and others don’t. Like all sexualities, it entirely depends on the person. 

Is There a Demisexual Flag?

Yes! It’s not known when the demisexual flag was introduced or who made it, but the flag is inspired by the asexual flag and represents people who only feel sexual attraction once an emotional connection has been formed. Each color on the demisexual flag has a different meaning: black represents asexuality, gray represents demisexuality (and gray-sexuality), and white represents the presence of sexuality. The purple stripe is used to mean community. 

Why Does Demisexuality Need a Label?

For demisexuals, having a label provides a sense of belonging and community, and lets them know that they are not alone in their experience. This is important considering that many people who identify as demisexual may have grown up feeling confused as to why they didn’t have similar feelings of sexual attraction as those around them.

Additionally, the label “demisexual” helps normalize these individual experiences of sexual attraction and honors the spectrum of feelings people have and validates those feelings. 

How Do I Know If I’m Demisexual?

There’s no official test that will tell you if you’re demisexual, asexual, or graysexual

But it may help to ask yourself some questions like:

  • Who am I sexually attracted to? How do they make me feel?
  • How often do I experience sexual attraction? And how intense is this sexual attraction?
  • How important is sexual attraction in deciding who I want to date?
  • Do I ever feel sexually attracted to strangers, celebrities, or acquaintances?

It’s important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Each person who identifies as demisexual would answer these questions differently. But asking them to yourself can at least help you reflect on and understand your feelings about sexual attraction. 

If you’re feeling confused and want to discuss, reach out to your healthcare provider, and they can provide resources that can help you explore your feelings and identity. 

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