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Demisexual: Definition, Signs & Relationship Tips For Demisexual People
Sexual identity plays a huge role in our relationships. Exploring and understanding your sexual feelings can lead to a better understanding of yourself and a deeper connection with another person.
People who identify as demisexual are on the sexual/aromantic spectrum and do not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional bond with someone.
5 Demisexual Signs
- No interest in “hook-up” culture
- Lack of experience in sexual attraction
- Feel sexually attracted by emotions
- “Prude” or “old-fashioned” label
- Sexual activity might be unnecessary
What Is Demisexual?
Sexuality is a spectrum and we are only just now developing the language to describe all the different ways it can be experienced. Asexual orientation means someone who does not feel sexually attracted.
Demisexuality is on the asexual spectrum, which means a demisexual person does feel sexual attraction and has some interest in sex, but only if there is an emotional bond.
5 Demisexual Traits That You May Have
No Interest In “Hook-up” Culture
Demisexuals may struggle to navigate modern dating culture because they don’t participate in “hook-up” culture and they aren’t sexually attracted to people in the traditional sense.
This is because demisexuals are not interested in casual sex with people they don’t know or have a (non-physical) connection with.
Lack Of Experience In Sexual Attraction
You don’t experience sexual attraction unless there is a strong emotional connection. For many demisexuals, puberty can be a very confusing time. When friends and peers are hanging posters of celebrities or making lists of the hottest boys or girls in school, most demisexuals either play along or stay silent.
This is because a person who identifies as demisexual doesn’t feel a sexual attraction to someone that they don’t know, like celebrities or strangers on the train.
Feel Sexually Attracted By Emotions
If you are demisexual, you may find it confusing when friends talk about their love interests and only describe a list of physical traits.
How can they feel so much about primary sexual attraction from well-defined muscles or a beautiful smile?
“Prude” Or “Old-fashioned” Label
If you are demisexual, you may not have had a lot of physical or sexual encounters in your life. Or, if you have, the list of partners is likely to be short.
This is because you don’t pursue sexual orientation as some people do.
You prefer to have relationships based on emotional intimacy rather than physical. And this may confuse people, especially if they see you as physically attractive.
Some people may view this as a moral or personal code and while that might play a role in behavior, it has nothing to do with your level of sexual attraction to another person.
You’re just not that into having sex.
Sexual Activity Might Be Unnecessary
If you have spent most of your life wondering if your lack of lust means that you are in some way “broken”, you aren’t broken. But you might be demisexual.
If you do experience sexual urges, it is usually only after you have formed a deep, emotional connection with someone.
One of the key differences in demisexual people is that they are not upset by their lack of sexual urges. They are ok with it, especially when they find out that there is a name for this way of being and that they are not alone.
Relationship Tips For Demisexual People
Identifying as demisexual doesn’t mean that you can’t or don’t want to have a relationship with another person. It simply means that sex and sexual attraction don’t play a key role in that relationship until an emotional bond is formed.
Relationships are always challenging, no matter your sexual orientation. If you are a demisexual person or are in a relationship with a person who does experience secondary sexual attraction here are some tips for a healthy relationship.
Be Open About Your Needs
If you identify as demisexual and are in a relationship with someone who is more sexual or romantic, you must be open about your needs.
Since demisexuals require an emotional connection to feel sexual attraction, building trust and being intentional is key.
If your partner is more sexual, it does not necessarily mean that you are incompatible. It just means that you both need to be able to communicate your emotional and physical needs.
Keep An Open Mind
Some challenges for demisexual people come from hesitation or pressure from others to abstain from dating within a friend group.
But as a demisexual, friends or people that you know well are the only people that you are interested in pursuing a relationship with.
One way to deal with this is by having open, honest conversations with friends or peers who might be hurt or upset by you dating someone in the friend group.
Don’t Let Someone Else Dictate Your Relationship
This is good advice for anyone but it is especially important for demisexuals.
Even well-meaning friends, family, and peers might be pressuring you to do things that are beyond what you are comfortable with. They might encourage you to dress or act in a way that is more sexual than what feels right to you.
You don’t need to feel pressured to explain yourself to anyone, just know that the level of
Connect With Other Demisexuals
This doesn’t mean that demisexuals should only date other demisexuals, though that can be helpful in terms of understanding emotional and sexual attractions.
But finding and connecting with the demisexual and asexual community can help foster a better understanding of self and sexual expression. It can also be helpful to draw insight from others who may have more experience navigating dating and relationships as a demisexual person.
If you identify as demisexual, it might be challenging at times. Especially if you don’t feel like you can talk openly about it with your partner, friends, or family.
Demisexuality is not as widely known or highly visible as some other sexual orientations but it is just as valid.
Navigating this part of your identity can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Connecting with the asexual or demisexual community may help you feel less alone. While CBD can help anxiety, other options that can help you cope with your anxiety may include therapy with a professional therapist.
Demisexuality isn’t new, but the language that increases our understanding of it is. It is one part of the asexual spectrum and can mean different things to different people.
The more visible it becomes and the more people embrace their demisexuality, the more we can begin to understand the depths of asexual and demisexual relationships.
+ 4 sources
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- Fiorini, M. (n.d.). Asexuality and Demisexuality: Clinical Implications of Sexual Asexuality and Demisexuality: Clinical Implications of Sexual Identity Identity. [online] Available at: https://digitalcommons.du.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1469&context=capstone_masters.
- Carrigan, M. (2015). Asexuality. [online] pp.7–23. doi:https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137345899_2.
- Cranney, S. (2015). The Temporal Stability of Lack of Sexual Attraction Across Young Adulthood. [online] 45(3), pp.743–749. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-015-0583-4.