Sexual identities have evolved so much over time, and nowadays, one can find a variety of different identities that people may choose to express themselves with. Sexuality lies on a spectrum of preferences, and not everyone is turned on by the same things. One sexual identity that is rarely talked about is demisexuality, which falls under the umbrella of asexuality – an orientation wherein people experience a lack of sexual attraction to others.
The definition of a demisexual person differs slightly, in that one is capable of experiencing sexual attraction towards people after they have developed a strong emotional connection to them. This means that for a demisexual person, one-night stands or casual sex may be of little to no interest. It is not enough for a demisexual to merely like a person before jumping into a sexual relationship with someone. This is not to say that a demisexual person does not experience sexual urges. Rather, a demisexual person is more likely to experience sexual attraction to someone that they are in a relationship with, as opposed to someone who simply expresses interest in them. If this sounds familiar to you and you are wondering whether you may be a demisexual, here are some further points which may be of interest to you:
- No lust at first sight
You may be a demisexual if you do not really pay attention to a person’s physical appearance. This is because a demisexual person is generally more attracted to someone’s personality rather than their looks, and also tends to prefer forming authentic connections with others.
- Friendship is key
For a demisexual person, trust and security play an important feature in being able to form a connection with others. For this reason, a person who identifies as demisexual would typically prefer getting to know someone as a friend, and then see how the relationship with the person evolves. It is much more likely for a demisexual person to feel attracted to someone that they feel safe with and are comfortable sharing intimate details with.
- Sex is not the most important factor
As explained earlier, demisexuals are capable of feeling sexual attraction to others, but only after having formed an emotional bond with a person. A demisexual places a lot of importance on emotional intimacy in order to feel sexually attracted to another person. Therefore, it might take somewhat longer for a demisexual person to develop sexual attraction to others, but after this stage, sex can then be enjoyed by both people concerned.
Demisexuality is as an orientation, similar to being lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is a preference of how a person wishes to engage in their relationships with others, and is just as valid as any other orientation. It is also important to note that a person might consider themselves demisexual at a certain point in their lives, but this may change over time. After all, people and their sexualities are fluid and always evolving. Here are some take-away questions for you to reflect on if you feel that the demisexual identity is applicable to you:
- Is sexual attraction important to me in general?
- How well do I have to know someone before I feel interested in them?
- Do I ever feel attraction to strangers or people I don’t know well?
- Do I feel attracted to people in the beginning as I am starting to get to know them, or not until later?
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.
Barnes, S. (2019). What Is Demisexuality? 5 Signs You Might Identify as Demisexual. Retrieved from: https://hellogiggles.com/love-sex/dating/what-is-demisexuality/
Gould, W.R. (2021). What is a Demisexual? Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-demisexual-5082519
O’Malley, K. & Burgum, B. (2021). Demisexuality Meaning And How It Affects Physical Intimacy And Attraction. Retrieved from: https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/a32765/what-it-means-to-be-demisexual/