13 Rare Signs You're A Demisexual — And What It Means

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As society becomes increasingly attuned to the fact that sexuality is a spectrum, we’re seeing a lot more definitions than ever before to describe different aspects of what a person considers as their sexual orientation.

You may have heard of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. You may have even met people who were asexual, which means there’s no interest in sex. But have you met someone within the asexual community who isn't asexual? Take demisexuality, for example. Where are they on the asexual spectrum? 

What is demisexuality?

Well, if you asked most people what the demisexual meaning is, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you. It’s a rare form of asexuality that only around 1 percent of the population ascribes to. So, chances are very rare that you’ve met a demisexual.

The “demisexual definition,” as one might guess, comes from the terms "demi" "and sexual." “Demi” is the French word for half.

Literally, the word demisexual means “half-sexual,” and means that a person can only get sexually aroused or experience sexual attraction when there’s an emotional connection to a person. 

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Physical attraction isn't something that's super-important to a demisexual. It's the same when you're demiromantic — you can only develop romantic feelings and feel attracted to people if you have an emotional connection.

Demisexual is a sexual orientation that can be looked at as the opposite of hook-up culture.

As opposed to being asexual, where sexual attraction and desire are of little to no interest, a person who is demisexual can enjoy sex and sexual activities, but only with a specific person they form a strong emotional tie or bond.

Since it’s so rare, it’s often hard to find people who know what demisexuality is. But it’s a sexuality that’s rare enough to be confused with having a naturally low libido. In fact, you might be a demisexual and not even know it.

People also have several different names for demisexual: Gray asexuality (Gray-A), Hyposexual, Semisexual, low sexual intensity, Asexual-ish, or Sexual-ish. This kind of adds to the mystery of demisexuality and why it isn't broadly known.

Pansexuality also gets confused with demisexuality since gender isn't a factor in either. Being pansexual means you're sexually attracted to all genders, meaning there doesn't need to be an emotional connection to have sex with a person.

Being demisexual only means that you need a strong emotional connection before engaging in sexual activity, but demisexuals can have any sexual identity. It's a subtle difference but it's important to acknowledge. 

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Here are 13 rare signs you identify as demisexual, what it means, and how it affects your relationships:

1. Most of your relationships started off as friendships

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

2. You didn’t really 'get' the 'typical schoolyard crush' experience during high school

Most people in high school get butterflies in their stomachs whenever they do so much as even look at a physically attractive guy or girl in their class.

Demisexuals, on the other hand, do not really ever experience this in that sense. They will often be unable to understand the big deal, and may only get turned on after they meet and befriend a person at school.

3. You’ve always assumed you just had a low libido, but the sex drive you have with certain people makes you question it

Most people who are demisexual without being aware of it assume they have a low libido when they don’t. 

You’re not actually dealing with a low sex drive, it’s just a selective one. You only feel sexual attraction to the right person. That’s why demisexuals can get a crazy wild sex spark with the right person.

4. You can’t understand the idea of befriending a person just to have sex with them

With demisexuals, being attracted to friends eventually can happen. However, they don’t befriend people just to have sex, primarily because they don’t experience that kind of attraction. So, it doesn’t make sense to them.

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5. It’s not that you’re constantly abstaining from sex until you marry; it’s that you’re just not into it most of the time

Demisexuals aren’t people who choose to be celibate, nor are they people who hate sex. They are sexual people! They just need a lot of emotional connection before they can get aroused.

6. For you, the best erotic novels tend to have a lot more of an emotional connection than a mental one

Sexual people tend to go for erotic novels with all the crazy kinky bits. Demisexuals, not so much. Their ideal sexy story will involve a lot of character-building first.

7. Random hook-ups are just not your thing

The idea of hooking up with a total stranger repulses demisexuals, regardless of how good that stranger looks. Once again, they need a bond with someone before they can get aroused.

8. Instant attraction has never happened to you

If you’re a demisexual, you never had that “spark” of love at first sight that so many others talk about. So, it’s hard for you to understand how it feels. Many demisexuals feel frustrated by this.

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9. Most of the time, you’re more into cuddling than sex

It’s not that demisexuals are totally against sex or are never into sex, it’s that they are far more aroused by an emotional connection than they are by a physical one. This makes them very into bonding acts like cuddling — even more so than sex.

10. When you see someone who others find attractive, you can’t help but wonder if they have a good personality

Looks do matter to demisexuals to a point, but they just can’t feel the attraction without personality. As a result, showing them a photo of what you’d consider hot would probably just make them shrug.

11. Dates are a rare thing, mostly by your own choice

If you’re a demisexual, people ask you out on dates, but that doesn’t mean you’re into them. Demisexuals would be very likely to say something along the lines of, “But I don’t know you that well,” in response.

12. People regularly call you 'too picky' despite the fact that you can’t seem to change who you’re into

It’s. Not. Picky. Demisexuals just don’t feel arousal the way most others do.

13. You get frustrated because all dates seem to ever want is sex, while you’re just not into it until later

While most people have gotten sick of seeing dates that just want sex, demisexuals have this problem on a whole other level. They don’t feel arousal from strangers at all, so they often end up feeling used or hurt just from normal dating scene issues.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others.