Home Emotional Health Understanding Demisexuality: 5 Indications That You Might Identify as One

Understanding Demisexuality: 5 Indications That You Might Identify as One

Understanding Demisexuality: 5 Indications That You Might Identify as One

A few years back, I had an intriguing chat with a friend who I later discovered was demisexual. By then, I was oblivious to what demisexuality was, let alone that she identified as demisexual. But I noticed that unlike my other friends, she wasn’t as openly attracted to others, regardless of their gender. That was until she met John.

Her fondness for John was undying, often raving about his intellect, kindness, and his striking resemblance to a Hollywood star. She went as far as saying, “Hes almost too good to be true.” Amid her flattery though, a certain phrase kept recurring. I recall asking her why she continually referred to John as a ‘good friend.’ To which she responded, “Because we are good friends.” That stunned me.

I was faced with revealing to her that being a lover wasn’t synonymous with being a friend, but I was hesitant, afraid of upsetting her. Sensing my unease, she unveiled her demisexuality, saving me from blurting out my ignorance. Instead, I embraced her openness and asked her to elaborate on her demisexuality.

She kindly indulged me, explaining that demisexuals, as defined by Asexuality.org, are those who only experience sexual attraction to others when they have first formed a strong emotional bond with them. This bond doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic; friends are common targets of this attraction. As a general rule, demisexuals infrequently experience sexual attraction, which places them on the asexual spectrum.

Additionally she enlightened me on some signs that one might be demisexual, such as:

1. Diminished importance of sex – As a demisexual, you may not place as much weight on sexual relations as others seem to. That isn’t to say you’re averse to sex, but rather you may question the necessity of physical intimacy when good conversation could suffice. Communication about the subject can sometimes make a demisexual feel disconcerted or uncomfortable.

2. Personality-driven attraction – Unlike primary attraction which leans towards physical attributes, demisexuals tend towards secondary attraction which is personality-centred. You could have some crushes at first sight, but you don’t just see someone as ‘hot’. You crave a deeper connection.

3. Preference for friendship over flirting – Romantic relationships for a demisexual often evolve from friendships because of the reliance on secondary attractions. The idea of dating shortly after meeting seems unthinkable. The concept of “flirting” remains foreign and you may feel uneasy with flirtatious people. You prefer knowing each other well before stirring up romance.

4. Confusion or single-mindedness when attracted – Experiencing sexual attraction is a rare phenomenon, hence it can confuse or singularly focus a demisexual when it occurs. Questions emerge like is it okay to become intimate when you’re good friends? Is sex necessary? Shouldn’t love be shown daily rather than focusing on sexual prowess? The realization of falling in love poses another challenge the scary notion of not being able to fall for anyone else.

5. Labels like “prudish” or “old-fashioned”. Often, people assume being demisexual is a voluntary, old-fashioned choice, waiting for marriage before sex. Despite the reality that you simply lack strong impulse to find a partner, those labels persist. Everyone seems to believe you can just switch on sexual attraction which is not the case.

Feel comforted in the knowledge that you’re not alone as a demisexual. There are kindred spirits who understand the need for a stronger emotional bond before escalating to sexual intimacy. Regardless of your sexual orientation, everyone is deserving of love, respect, and understanding, both from others and self.

If you’re demisexual or acquainted with someone who is, how do you navigate this reality? I welcome your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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