Get to know demisexuality (if you want to get in its pants)

Last year, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo (daughter of former New York governor Andrew Cuomo) announced to the world that she was a demisexual – but what does that even mean?

BY THE ROAM TEAM 3 MIN READ

WORDS TO KNOW
Demisexual

A person who does not feel sexual attraction to someone without an emotional bond.

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What is a demisexual?

To put it simply, a demisexual is someone who doesn’t feel sexual attraction to other people without an emotional bond.

It’s a sexuality that falls on the asexuality spectrum and lots of demisexuals might even think that they’re asexual until they meet someone they like. When demisexuals find someone they form a bond with, their sexuality only extends to that person and they’re very unlikely to have one night stands or casual sex.

As a newer term to describe sexuality, not many people are aware of what being demisexual means and what is can mean for their romantic relationships

Asexuality vs. Demisexuality

People are probably much more familiar with the idea of asexuality, a lack of sexual desire and/or attraction to other people. But demisexuality has been flying under the radar. 

Just like asexuals, demisexuals come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and sexual personalities. Demisexuals can be demiromantic, which means they only feel romantic connections with people they know, as well as being solely steamed up by people they share a bond with. Those bonds themselves can happen quickly or take years, it’s all about the person who is forming them. Be patient, don’t try to force people to see you in a particular way and try to understand the perspective of the other person in your relationship.

Demisexual people don’t always have a physical ‘type’, since everything is about personality and emotional connection with demisexuals, but they do have fantasies. Not always sexual in nature, demisexuals might have sprawling sexual fantasies about someone they’ve bonded with but they might also have dreams about spending time with that person and doing things they enjoy together.

How do I know if I’m demisexual?

Nowadays, everyone is always talking about normalising sexuality – and that’s great! But what if you come to realise that you don’t get that butterflies-down-below feeling when you see someone everyone else says is so hot? 

Starting to explore your sexuality can be quite intimidating – but it’s worth it for those blissful moments when you know exactly who you are and share that with someone else. Figuring out the puzzle pieces of your identity is a messy, fun and sexy quest, but sometimes just asking yourself a few questions can start you on your journey to self-love. 

If you think you might be a demisexual, try asking yourself:

  • Is sexual attraction important to me?

  • Is sexual attraction important to me in the relationships I have or want to have?

  • Who have I felt turned on by in the past? What was that relationship like? Did I feel attracted to them in the beginning as I was getting to know them, or later?

  • Do I ever feel attraction to strangers or people I don’t know well?

  • How well do I have to know someone before I feel interested in them?

  • When I imagine my future, are relationships an important part of the story? If so, am I pursuing romantic relationships or do I see friends and family as a priority?

If you’re wondering whether you might be a demisexual but don’t know much about it, there are great podcasts out there like Sounds Fake But Ok that discuss asexuality and demisexuality in a stigma-free environment.

Misconceptions about demisexuality

As a sexuality with less mainstream representation, demisexuality is often misunderstood and stereotyped, which means people fill in their own gaps (that’s not a masturbation joke).

"It’s not queerness”

Demisexuality is on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Normally viewed as a subcategory of asexuality, demisexuality is a valid queer identity. It’s also pretty standard to meet demisexuals who overlap with other queer identities. For example, people can be trans and demi-bisexual, which means that they can be attracted to men and women, but won’t feel sexual attraction until they form that bond. Demisexuality doesn’t define who someone is attracted to, but how they form that attraction.

"People choose to be demisexual”

Just like every other form of sexuality, demisexuality isn’t a choice and purporting the belief that is can be harmful to the community. However, there are people who are allosexual, or people who wait to have sex as a preference. The difference between demisexuals and allosexuals is the idea of choice, allosexuals feel sexual desire but choose not to act on it, demisexuals don’t want to pursue sexual relationships outside of their emotional paradigms.

"Demisexuals are all happy being by themselves”

Ok, so being happy by yourself is not a bad thing at all, but saying that demisexuals want to be alone is a huge misconception. Being demisexual or asexual can actually be quite isolating for people, especially people who are just exploring their sexuality. It’s best to support someone who is in the process of coming to terms with their demisexuality. Just because your desires work differently doesn’t make them invalid, and it absolutely does not mean that you will be alone forever. P.S. Yes, demisexuals can and do masturbate.

"A demisexual will only feel sexual attraction in a romantic relationship”

Actually, demisexuals can want to dance in the sheets with any person they emotionally bond with – dependent on the team they play for when they’re up to bat, that is. From friends to someone they’ve just really fond of, demisexuals’ sexuality isn’t just saved for romantic endeavours.

"You have to be lost in love to want sex”

Speaking of romance, demisexuals also don’t need to be ‘in love’ to have sex. Every person is different, but some demisexuals just need to feel an emotional connection to their partner to be turned on by them, so love isn’t necessary.

"Demisexuals judge people for having sex"

Demisexuals aren’t worried about you, so don’t you worry about them! Like any expression of sexuality, demisexuals usually aren’t walking around thinking about other people’s sex lives. If you’re being judged for your raunchy exploits by a demisexual, it’s probably just because they’re looking out for you – so always use protection and plenty of lube.

Gettin’ down the demis

If your partner is demisexual, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with them. It can feel like everyone is having afternoon delight all over the place, so, before you crack out the condoms, talk to your partner and make sure they’re not having sex just to please you.

Be understanding and communicate your needs as well as listening to theirs, that might mean your relationships look a little different, but who ever wanted to fit in anyway?! As you and your partner go through your relationship and explore together, things might change as you both get a better understanding of the nature of your sexualities, so go with the flow. Remember that labels can change as long as people are growing. 

Don’t forget: There’s no place like Roam.

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