I Thought I Was A Hopeless Romantic — Turns Out I'm Demisexual

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I Thought I Was A Hopeless Romantic — Turns Out I'm Demisexual

What is demisexual? That’s a thing? How can you be half sexual? How is this a sexuality?

Sexuality, to say the least, can be very complicated and intricate. There are multiple spectrums that come into consideration when talking about any sexuality.

There’s the homosexual to heterosexual scale, homoromantic to heteroromantic scale, male to female (as a gender identification) scale, and the asexual to sexual scale.

Demisexual is an orientation that would be determined on the asexual scale.

Demisexual is a sexual orientation that indicates your sexual drive lies somewhere in the middle of asexual (lacking any sexual appetite and/or attraction) and anything sexual.

More specifically, demisexuality describes a person who can’t be sexually aroused or attracted to somebody unless they have an emotional bond to them.

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This generally means that their interest in sexual activity is quite limited in comparison to the general population.

To be honest, I had no idea that this was considered an “orientation” until sometime last year.

I had been under the impression that everyone was like this. But things got a bit more confusing as I learned that romantic attraction and sexual attraction were two different things.

It’s not the most widely talked about orientation because it might be a little harder to identify.

As I got older, I started to realize that my sexual drive was more limited than the people around me.

At first, I thought my friends were just all oddly obsessed with sex, and they were the strange ones to the general population. How did it make any sense to be so interested in sex? Especially so interested in sex with people you don’t even know?

Whenever I had a crush, I didn’t actually imagine having sex with them, and I didn’t think anyone really did.

I couldn’t bring myself to imagine having sex with someone I didn’t know extremely well, even if I did really like what I knew about them so far.

I even tried fantasizing about aesthetically pleasing people and celebrities, but never could. It never felt right or appealing. If anything, to me it always felt completely ridiculous to the point where I thought that people only did this as jokes in movies.

When I entered college, it became very clear that I wasn’t the most common of sorts.

My new set of friends were equally as interested in sex as the last and would even have sexual relations with people they didn’t necessarily care deeply about (which is totally fine). I figured that these people were again just sexually starved, even though I hadn’t had sex and didn’t seem nearly as starved in comparison.

It was at this point in my life that people I knew quite well started guessing I was asexual.

This was perplexing. I was interested in sex, just not as interested as they were. Other friends just thought I was more logical about my sex drive, rather than totally asexual.

I thought maybe this was just what people in college thought of me.

But then I came to find out that the friends that I grew up with had noticed that I wasn’t very sexually interested as well.

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Then I tried having sex with someone I knew decently, that was nice enough, and an open feminist (which is always a turn-on).

It felt decent but it wasn’t all that pleasing of an experience because I wanted to be closer to the person in a different way.

Again, something felt off. My sexual interests were less desire, and more so curiosities. Like:

So, that’s what a kiss feels like? Just lips on lips, and some tongue here and there... I don’t see the big deal. I guess it’s nice. But where are the fireworks?

So, that’s what sex feels like. Interesting. We should play more video games and bond. That’s the best!

But when I feel romantically close to someone?

My entire body becomes more sensitive to touch.

My arousal is actually palpable and (to me) oddly frequent rather than when I’m with someone who’s cool and wants to have sex with me, and I just go with the flow. Sex becomes an actual regular desire.

A person I’m not deeply connected with could do the exact same thing that a person I am deeply connected with does, and the experience is like night and day, not just on a personal level, but on an actual physical level.

That’s what makes it a sexual orientation rather than a moral motivation.

It’s about how a person’s body reacts.

I don’t want anyone to think, by any stretch of the imagination, that with this orientation in place, it implies that people who identify as heterosexual or homosexual are easy. That’s not it at all. It’s about what a person physically can and can’t do.

For example, a lesbian will find it impossible to become sexually aroused when presented with a male’s penis.

A demisexual female/male will find it difficult or impossible to become sexually aroused in the presence of an aroused person they’re getting to know pretty well but aren’t extremely intimate with.

In other words, personal attraction comes before sexual attraction.

It’s still a bit strange to have a label for how I feel and generally experience the sexual world, but somehow, having the term is comforting.

It’s nice to know that there are other people out there who won’t view me as some spectacle of lack of sexual interest, and just as another person who “gets it” — whatever “it” is.

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D'Vaughn McCrae is a writer and multimedia journalist. Follow her website for more.