Healthy Living

What Does Demisexual Mean?

What Does Demisexual Mean?

Key Takeaways

  • Demisexuality, unlike asexuality, has conditions that must be satisfied before sexual arousal is felt, or it may be said that the usual triggers don't set off the 'normal' responses.
  • Demisexuals are more likely to feel secondary sexual attraction rather than primary sexual attraction. 
  • As per data from 2014 AVEN Census, two thirds of demisexuals are not attracted to the idea of sex or are repulsed by it. 

'Demisexual' refers to people who are not sexually attracted to individuals with whom they do not share a strong emotional bond or romantic relationship. The word 'demisexual' consists of the Greek word ‘demi’ which means ‘half’ and 'sexual', an adjective that means 'pertaining to sex'. Demisexuals are those who are somewhere in between asexuals and sexual people.

It is not true that they are not aroused easily or are difficult to get intimate with; they have normal sexual responses but only to those these demisexual people share an emotional bond or connection. In other words, demisexuals are more likely to have a sexual relationship with people that they have a close bond with, rather than strangers.

For demisexuals, it is important to establish a bond or connection in any relationship before they can be turned on sexually towards that person. This runs counter to common practice in today’s world where people are ready to share beds after a brief meeting.

While one could argue that those tagged as demisexuals are only comfortable in taking the relationship to the next level with those they feel comfortable with, the fact remains that they are seeking a closer relationship, one that could be indicative of a closer emotive bond than a physical one.

In the case of demisexuals, sexual attraction is based on how deep the relationship is rather than on initial or shallow attractions. Demisexuals are not desirous of having sex or vulnerable to such attractions; they look primarily for character and personality rather than sex or sexual appeal.

This is why you may find it pleasantly surprising to realize that there are quite a few people who seek something more than a mere exchange of body fluids but are looking to connect with their partner both sexually and emotionally.

Demisexuals are normally uncomfortable on blind dates even if the date is very attractive. They prefer to naturally get to know the other person well or become friends with them. Nonetheless, it is not a guarantee that being good friends will result in a demosexual becoming sexually attracted to or aroused by their friend. Emotional closeness is simply a prerequisite for it to happen at all.

Those who are demisexual may feel comfortable with others on their own level and are prone to date their friends more than strangers. They would like to get to know the other person, find out if they are in sync before taking their relationship any further.

The time a demisexual takes to develop emotional bonds varies individually, depending on the demisexual and the other person. For some demisexuals, it may take just a few days' time to develop an intense connection, whereas for others it may take several years to feel the bond required to trigger sexual attraction. It depends more on the person and their degree of comfort for them to be able to take the relationship to the next level.

Is demisexuality similar to asexuality?

For demisexuals, it is difficult to experience sexual attraction toward another individual without first forming a deep bond with that person. Demisexuality falls within the sexual spectrum and is a valid sexual identity in itself. The sexual spectrum has asexuality on one end and non-asexuality on the other. Demisexuality is just a grade in the scale of sexuality, though it exists closer to the asexual pole.

This is on account of the fact that demisexuals are not active sexually and that’s why they tend to be tagged along with asexual. However, the community of asexuals often includes demisexuals, as it is evident that for most of the lives of demisexuals, they aren't sexually active or don't feel attracted to anyone, and even if they are, it is limited to only one or a few partners. As a result, there is not much variance between asexual and demisexuals, since sexual encounters is kept to a minimum and is often nonexistent.

Demisexuality, unlike asexuality, has conditions that must be satisfied before sexual arousal is felt, or it may be said that the usual triggers don't set off the 'normal' responses. In asexuality, people don’t feel sexual attraction and arousal at all in any situation. Thus, demisexuals cannot be labeled as asexual, as they are different sexual identities having different ideologies.

This is the difference between the two where those tagged as asexual often feel little or no arousal and feel no compelling reason to share a closer physical relationship with their partner. Whereas with demisexuals, they often feel an acute and compelling need to establish a compelling bond with the other person prior to having intimate relations with them. This is one of the reasons why demisexuals often find it hard to be intimate with anyone.

An asexual person might be very close friends with another person, or can be romantically attached to or dating them, but still fail to get sexually attracted to them at any point in time. In the case of demisexuals, once they are in their comfort zones with their romantic partners, they are sexually aroused by them. That’s why it is important for demisexuals to feel comfortable enough with the other person in order to be able to take their relationship to the next level.

How is building a relationship more difficult for demisexuals than for others?

In day-to-day life, people are generally capable of feeling sexually attracted toward a coworker, classmate, neighbor, or even passerby, and may even end up approaching them. But for demisexuals, desire or attraction does not evolve merely by looking at people, least of all strangers. They need friendship first and foremost to connect, and then a deep bond helps build sexual desire within them.

However, this does not imply that sexual attraction with an emotional connection necessarily indicates demisexuality, as it is also true that emotional connection for sexual attraction can exist and can be important for many people who are completely sexual as well.

This is why demisexuals often look to form an emotive bond with the other person before they can feel any sexual attraction towards the other person. Physical looks matter little to demisexuals, but rather that they are able to feel comfortable with the other person and can relax in their presence. The close emotive bonds the  demisexuals develop with the other person act as a trigger for stronger emotive bonds and sexual attraction  as well.

These days, it is common for people to meet online or through apps, and while it is common for people to decide after a single meeting to be friends or not, it is almost impossible for demisexual people to say whether they can be sexually attracted just after the first meeting without the presence of a strong friendship between them.

So, given today's fast world where it is expected out of anyone to know whether they are in or not just after one casual meeting, it becomes very difficult for demisexuals to explain their condition to someone they've just met. They fear being ridiculed for buying time to establish friendship before deciding on whether they can have a sexual relationship with the other person.

It is not easy for a thoroughly or more sexual person to understand the mentality and condition of a demisexual, and it is a very sensitive area which can only be won through patience. The fact that there are many who seek to develop a closer bond with the other person before taking this relationship to the next level may come as a surprise to many which is why most of the demisexuals are reticent regarding their condition on fear that they would be kindled.

How can one know whether he or she is demisexual?

There is no mark on our bodies to tell us whether we are demisexuals. One might reach adulthood like normal sexual person, playacting along with societal expectations until they become aware of their disposition in matters of sexuality. Self-awareness, helped by descriptions, can lead one to realize whether one is actually demisexual, furthermore, you can read up on the same and this should help identify whether you are a demisexual or not.  Some of the ways to identify whether one is demisexual are explained as follows:

  • For demisexuals, any and almost every relationship starts with friendship. A casual date or interaction cannot lead to bed. There should be an element of comfort and trust that attracts them towards their partners. For a demisexual, the partner must have a bone-deep bond with them in order to provoke sexual attraction towards them. So if the other person suggests that you two develop a friendship before taking the relationship any further, chances are that the other person is a demisexual.
  • Demisexuals are more likely to feel secondary sexual attraction rather than primary sexual attraction. Primary sexual attraction is sexual attraction to what is visible at first sight. It can be either physique or body language, or even how the person dresses and expresses themselves. Secondary sexual attraction, on the other hand, is described as being more focused on the personality and character of the person and the way they bond with the other. For example, if you were not attracted to your partner on first sight but now that you have formed a friendship, find her attractive then chances are high that you are a demisexual.
  • In many cases, demisexuals are confused in their friendships and relationships, and the gender they are attracted to.  With some of friendships, they become so attracted that it becomes difficult for them to continue the friendship when their sexual feelings are not reciprocated. This often leads them to break of the relationship on the most flimsiest of excuses which is yet another clue that can indicate if the other person is a demisexual.
  • It is often noticed that other people make fun of demisexuals, picturing them as “too innocent” or “too good” to have fun in bed. They judge demisexuals as the latter are not as oriented towards sex. This has the result of driving demisexuals further into the ground, where they are less likely to be upfront regarding their condition.
  • Demisexuals usually have strong feelings of attraction when they do experience any. They often experience strong attraction to the other person and this feeling is so strong sometimes that they cannot think rationally about it or for that matter, even think about following their usual daily schedule.

Is demisexuality a matter of choice or is it inborn behavior?

Sometimes, demisexuality is confusingly understood as a sexual orientation that is adopted by choice. However, demisexuality is not a choice but an inborn condition. A demisexual does not experience being sexually attracted to a particular person at all until only after developing a deep friendship or romantic relation with that person, when the demisexual suddenly feels it very natural to get sexually attracted to that partner.

Demisexuality is not abstaining from sexual desires towards strangers but a natural instinct and attraction felt only after an intimate mental and emotional association with another person has developed a sexual urge for that particular person.

Often people mistake asexual for demisexuals, demisexuals do no abstain from sex, rather they indulge in it provided they find the right person and the right triggers. Forming that close emotive bond is absolutely necessary for demisexuals to be attracted to the other person and have a strong sexual attraction towards the other person.

Being sexually attracted to someone and wanting to have sex with them are two different things. While it is not possible to voluntarily control sexual attraction towards anyone, it is possible to control one's desire or whether one wants to have sex with them. One cannot help it if he or she is sexually attracted towards a person.

Many people feel sexually drawn towards a hot person in their vicinity, but they still may choose to not have sex with that person for various reasons. However, it is different with demisexuals, who do not experience such sexual stirrings at all, and it is not by any voluntary choice that they abstain. 

Rather they are born that way and as a result, seek out to establish a close relationship with the other person  before moving to the next level.

Demisexuals and Sex:

As per data from the 2014 AVEN Census, two thirds of demisexuals are not attracted to the idea of sex or are repulsed by it. On the other hand, there is also a large number of them who enjoy sex with their partners. Demisexuals vary in their opinions about sex and sexual activities, including masturbating and watching porn.

There is no standard rule that covers the entire demisexual community in regard to their feelings about sex except the fact that they only feel sexually attracted after having formed a close emotional bond with the person who becomes their partner. However, even if they do not experience such a bond, and therefore feel no sexual attraction or urge towards a person, they may choose to have sex for various reasons, such as to get pregnant or simply for the experience of sex.

As a result, demosexuals are often teased for seeking to establish close ties before doing the deed. But in reality and in most cases, having a close friendship with the other person can provide the demisexuals with the stability they need, in their relationships.

The demisexual community and its identity:

Demisexuals label and identify themselves as such for the various comforts it brings to them. They form a community so that they do not feel alone and alien in their different approach to sexuality. Identification brings them a sense of belonging to a group in which others experience similar feelings. It is easy for demisexuals to discuss amongst themselves their thoughts and feelings. They are able to emotionally support one another and venture through the sexual world using each others’ advice and experience.

The fact that the community is there should provide a modicum oif support since they can use the emotional support after being the target of so many jokes. Moreover with community wide support, they can count on good advice, suggestions and help with their issues.

Many demisexuals often grow up feeling different from the people around them who discuss sex, hot people and celebrities, or sexual activities. Gradually, they start disassociating from such people or friends around them as these topics do not interest demisexuals and their level of curiosity as to these things is negligible. They start thinking that something might be wrong with them.

However, when demisexuals get to know there are others like them, they feel more secure in their identities and better about themselves. This can often lead to demisexuals forming a close bond with other demisexuals, and which may even lead to them forming a close bond.

Some advantages of being demisexual:

  • Demisexuals do not need to flirt around and can secure their emotions and love for the one they really bond with and trust. So it is unlikely for them to make mistakes when choosing their partners. They would be extremely careful about who they partner with since they need a lsoe emotive bond to form close ties. And this is why demisexuals do not flirt often.
  • As demisexuals get sexually attracted only to people with whom they bond well, there is less chance of being cheated and betrayed, unlike in other cases where relationships are based on short encounters with each other. The level of trust and loyalty is especially strong among demisexual couples and these relationships are also known for their stability.
  • Since demisexuals focus on secondary sexual attraction rather than primary sexual attraction, they have a stronger foundation for their relationships, and these generally last longer than other people's relationships, many of which are based on attractions that matter only in the short run. This is why you may come across stability issues in relationships among other categories than you may with demisexuals.
  • Demisexuals can have successful open relationships just like any other relationship. It is just a matter of finding the right partner, one that they can trust completely and form a close emotive bond with.

The demisexual pride flag:

The demisexual pride flag is comprised of a thick white stripe, a thin purple stripe, and a thick grey stripe with a black triangle on the left side. These colors represent different aspects of being a demisexual and its similarity and connections with other sexual identities: the color black in the flag represents asexuality, the grey is for grey-ace and demisexuality, the white stands for sexuality, and purple represents community.

Biromantic demisexuals:

Biromantic demisexuals are people who are attracted to two genders but get sexually attracted only after developing strong bonds with their partners. The prefix ‘bi’ means ‘both’ or ‘two’, and the word biromantic means experiencing romantic emotions towards both genders. A biromantic demisexual gets better chances of experiencing sexual feelings as they are open to both genders.

It is easy for them to develop deep friendships or romantic feelings at least to one of the genders. Biromantic demisexuality is a separate sexual identity with a distinct pride flag. This may get a little confusing since the demisexual could easily change his preference but one thing that you can count on is that irrespective the gender that the demisexual is attracted to, it will only be so after forming a close and emotive bond with the other person.

The challenge for demisexuals is the need to form a closer emotive bond with the other person and to feel completely relaxed and to trust the other person completely. It is only after forming a close bond with the other person can demisexuals may feel any attraction towards the other person.