You’ve probably heard someone describe themselves as demisexual, but you may not know what it means. If you’re confused about demisexuality, then don’t worry.
I’m here to help explain what demisexuality is and how it’s a part of the LGBTQ community.
Demisexuality is sexuality in which an emotional bond is a requirement for experiencing sexual attraction.
While many may believe an emotional bond is a preference, it is an orientation where someone is incapable of experiencing attraction without a bond.
As a whole, demisexuality is part of the asexual spectrum.
When describing demisexuality, it is mainly utilized in conversations about asexuality. To accurately define demisexuality, let’s bring it down to its roots.
Demi means half, so describing demisexuality is classing someone as half sexual and half asexual. They can only be attracted to someone if they have a strong emotional bond that connects them.
Some people have argued that requiring an emotional connection is a preference for a relationship, but for demisexuals, this isn’t the case.
Many people can still have a sexual attraction to someone they don’t have any connection with. But demisexuals need to have that emotional bond to have that sexual attraction.
Demisexuality was officially coined as a sexual orientation in 2006 when a forum user used it on AVEN: the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network.
However, demisexuality existed long before the term was utilized in mainstream discourse.
Demisexuality And Asexuality
I mentioned that demisexuality is mainly used in conversations about asexuality, as demisexuality falls under the asexual umbrella. However, demisexuals don’t necessarily have to identify themselves as ace.
A demisexual can be gay, bi, or straight. It is classed under the asexual umbrella because they need that emotional bond to have sexual attraction.
Due to this, you may notice that when you look at the demisexual pride flag that it’s an adaptation of the asexual flag. The demisexual flag consists of the colors white, purple, gray, and black, much like the asexual flag.
However, it also contains a black triangle. Each part of the flag means something different, with the black triangle representing the asexual community.
The white stripe is sexuality, the purple stripe is for the community, and the gray stripe represents the gray asexuals.
Many demisexuals may feel that they’re more gray-asexual and occasionally feel sexual attraction under particular conditions. Gray-asexuality is essentially when an asexual does experience sexual attraction, but it is rare.
Some demisexuals may fall under this category when describing themselves.
However, a demisexual can still identify with another orientation to describe their sexuality.
Demisexuals may still require an emotional bond, but this may happen exclusively with men or women, or they may experience this with everyone, regardless of gender.
Misconceptions About Demisexuality
There are several misconceptions about demisexuality, and in this article, I hope to get rid of some of these. Many misconceptions around demisexuality are to do with how others perceive it.
Demisexuals Need To Be In Love
An emotional bond doesn’t always mean love plays a part. Many demisexuals can have sex without being in love romantically. They just need to have a close emotional bond with their partner.
If a demisexual is aromantic, they may not even feel a romantic attraction to their partner.
Demisexuals Don’t Like Sex
Demisexuality is a part of the spectrum of asexuality; because of that, it’s believed that demisexuals don’t like sex. In many cases, a demisexual will enjoy sex, but maybe they won’t.
This ties into the idea that all demisexuals are ace or that demisexuality is a preference. Overall, liking sex is more of a preference that varies from person to person.
Everyone Is Demisexual
Some people believe everyone needs an emotional connection to have sexual attraction, but that isn’t how everyone’s brains are wired.
If that were the case, one-night stands with someone you barely know and dating apps would be useless.
Not everyone is demisexual, and suggesting otherwise means you don’t believe that demisexuality exists.
If You’re Friends With A Demisexual, They’ll Fall For You
There are assumptions that by being friends with a demisexual, they will fall for you. That isn’t the case.
While an emotional bond is often a prerequisite, that doesn’t mean your demisexual friend will fall for you. That’s like assuming that because you’re in a vicinity of a gay person, they’ll fall for you.
That’s just not how sexual attraction works.
Only Women Are Demisexual
Anybody of any gender can identify as demisexual, and it’s not only women. It’s damaging to assume that strangers can’t arouse women, but men will feel aroused immediately.
There’s no reason to make gendered expectations about sexuality, as that leads to more problems for everyone in the long run.
Demisexuality Is Linked To Trauma
Sexuality is never linked to trauma, and it’s rude and harmful to assume it’s the case.
Some believe that demisexuals need an emotional bond due to past trauma, but that’s not only harmful to demisexuals but also victims of trauma.
Demisexuals are born demisexual, and nothing happens that makes them that way.
As you can see, several misconceptions about demisexuality are pretty harmful. Demisexuality is often treated as not being an actual sexual orientation, but it is.
The idea that one sexuality is lesser than the other is ridiculous. While people can get an emotional bond after sexual attraction, demisexuals need it before they feel any sexual attraction.
For some people, choosing to build a relationship before engaging in sex is a preference. Still, a demisexual won’t feel the need for this unless they already have an emotional connection.
If you’re still confused, let’s give an example. Some people may prefer to have one-night stands or casual sex with people they don’t know.
A demisexual would hate that, as they can’t comprehend having a sexual attraction to someone they barely know.
Demisexuality isn’t a preference to get to know someone first, but an orientation where they would struggle to perform under those conditions.