On being demisexual



I like to listen and hear opinions from all sorts of people. It came as no surprise seeing people I talk to or am friends with IRL and/or online talk dismissively or worse regarding demisexuality. If I wasn't one myself, I probably would've gone down that route too until I reasonably came to the conclusion it exists. But I see so many people angry over it, and I suppose it might be because it gets dismissed a lot more than asexuality does (which also gets dismissed a lot). So what of it?

Some thoughts

I'm not really that bothered if someone thinks that though. With how many ludicrous terms that have popped up recently, people remain on the defensive and have a default state of rejection. It's good to note, however, that asexuality is not new phenomenon. [1][2] Although it wouldn't matter anyway, because the reason why more people are identifying as it is because of increased awareness to its existence.

What I find interesting is how many people still don't know or understand that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are completely separate. Sure, they can crossover and this is what confuses people because it's intertwined to them, but as a demisexual it is crystal clear. Let me provide examples for those who doubt this: one night stands and rapists. In both cases, one has sexual attraction (following up on the desire to act upon) and is devoid of romantic attraction. I added the latter because there will always be a minority trying to slither their way around it by attemtping to argue every one-night stand has romance, which is not only ridiculous in assumption but also doesn't argue against rapists.

There are sites that go really in-depth, but that's probably the clearest example that everyone can understand regarding them being separate. Either way, I'm writing this for general thoughts I had, not to be used as a resource in itself.

There are people out there that misuse the term, or use it synonymously with low desire/libido, which is completely false. Someone that experiences sexual attraction cannot be asexual; that is a contradiction. You might also notice how I don't call myself asexual - that is because I am not; I am demisexual and I don't agree with calling everything between allosexual and asexual as just "asexual". That's lazy and misinforming people.

So why the label?

Why the labels for gay & lesbian ? It exists and affects lives so drastically due to their sexuality (or lack of), something they cannot ever change. It's easy for others to assume what demisexuals have experienced, because to them it's the same as being straight or gay or whatnot. If they actually took the effort to seek out others and their genuine experiences and give respect for others they demand respect from, then they would be less inclined to dismiss.

I grew up wondering when I was ever going to start feeling what others felt. I heard everybody talking about sex, and the media & world was obssessed with it, so how could I not? I loved men, so surely I was just simply straight? Well, the years passed and I could not fathom why anyone ever would do anything regarding sex. The only feelings I felt were romantic attraction; I experienced no other desires regarding men. I felt like the world was playing a trick on me. Why was everybody having sex? It's a funny thing to say, but that's how anyone would feel and think. Speaking of which...

We assume things based on our experiences. I experience synaesthesia, however I did not know of its existence until my adult years. I believed everybody by default must experience this like I do, because I've never been told/shown otherwise as well as me experiencing it myself. I come across the term, and realise now that not everybody does.

Likewise, I thought everybody was like me because I believed myself to be straight. So, if I was straight, then everybody else would be wrong in wanting sex because they are straight too. A clear contradiction. Since I had no sexual attraction, nobody else should, and yet I knew it was wrong. However there was nothing else to be called, and so I sat in my straight label, unhappy and confused for years. Thankfully, I came across AVEN (which is a terrible place now with awful moderators). I learned of its definition, found others like me. Fast foward to my first boyfriend, I starting experiencing sexual attraction - only forming after getting extremely close to him. I was always worried since it's impossible to know whether you are demisexual or asexual without an intimate (love, not sex obviously) partner, but it came as a relief in the end. I always felt like I was left out or "missing out" (common feeling in the ace community) because I didn't experience sexual attraction. Anyway, I am very happy today and confident on using my label.

Take away

Others can say what they like, that doesn't change what my sexuality is. If they don't like it, whatever - get on with life. If they're a friend, continue being that friend because chances are they value you as a person even if they don't fully understand you or your sexuality. It's common online today to have communities where they chug out constant hate and links to tweets where there's hate towards you or something you align with. It must feel like a battlefield everyday, so stop doing it to yourself.


[1] "Haven for the human amoeba" old forum

[2] Multiple references linked here.