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What Does Demisexual Mean?

A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form an emotional connection with someone. It's more commonly seen in romantic relationships. The term demisexual comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual. However, this term does not mean that demisexuals have an incomplete sexuality, nor does it mean that sexual attraction without emotional connection is required for a complete sexuality. Demisexuals are not choosing to abstain; they simply lack sexual attraction until a close, emotional, relationship is completely formed.

A person who identifies as a demisexual does not experience primary sexual attraction but does experience secondary sexual attraction. This primary sexual attraction is based on outward qualities such as a person's looks, clothes, or personality while secondary sexual attraction is attraction stemming from a connection, usually romantic, or how closely the person is in relationship to the other. Though factors such as looks and personality do not affect primary sexual attraction for demisexuals, such factors may affect romantic attraction, as with any other orientation.

Here are some signs that you might not just be “low libido,” but demisexual as well:

1. You don’t place a lot of importance on sex

The fact is that most people place a decent amount of importance on sex, but demisexuals do not. These people would rather have lively intellectual conversations rather than have sex. If you don’t spend much time thinking about having sex or don’t experience a sexual attraction to random people, this term could be applied to you.

2. Looks are mostly irrelevant

For most people, looks are important on some level. In fact, plenty of us swipe right based solely on an attractive photo before even reading a profile. But for demisexuals, physical appearance is a non-factor and is completely irrelevant. Demisexuals are attracted to personalities over faces, and are more interested in creating authentic connections based on similar interests above the looks.

3. Most of your relationships started off as friendships

This alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you are demisexual, but there’s definitely a correlation. If you find yourself exclusively attracted to friends, there’s a high chance that you are a demisexual and just didn’t know it.

4. You are mainly attracted to someone’s personality rather than their looks

If you find that you are interested in a person’s personality much more than their physical appearance, you could be considered demisexual. A majority of people first notice a person’s looks, but this isn’t the case with demisexuals. Your fair shares of crushes haven’t really come with a lot of sexual thoughts and feelings like with most people. You probably don’t hit on complete strangers, simply because you don’t know what kind of personality they have and therefore can’t tell whether or not you’re really attracted to them.

5. First dates are a huge deal for you

First dates can be significant for anyone, but for someone who identifies as demisexual, they’re kind of a big deal. If you’re demisexual, you probably like to talk about deep topics on the first date in order to understand the other person’s personality, check your compatibility, and just not waste your time.

Demisexual is sometimes under the gray-A umbrella. Demisexuality differs from gray-asexuality in that demisexuality is a specific sexual orientation in between "sexual" and "asexual", whereas "gray-A" is a highly unspecific catch-all used for anything between sexual and asexual that does not fit. Demisexuality may make forming romantic or sexual relationships more difficult for some people. Demisexuals often make first impressions with sexuals of being "just friends", which may make sexuals value the relationship less.