demisexual – someone who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form an emotional connection.-AvenWiki
demisexuality – when a person prefers cake to sex.-Hannah
A Wild Demisexual Appears
Long before I read the definition—long before the term even existed—I knew I was demisexual. My family always thought I was gay, my friends thought I was either picky or a prude, and would-be boyfriends saw me as an ice queen.
And yet, as far as I knew, none of those things were true. There was something… different about me. Something… off. Something—I assumed—broken. But what? I liked guys—I did—and yet, when it came down to it, I had… no desire to date? To kiss? And—I mean—forget about sex! Sex was repulsive!
Considering the term is still fairly recent, there has been—understandably—a lot of contention around whether demisexuality even exists. From what I’ve seen, it all comes back to the same four arguments, so—in celebration of tomorrow’s National Coming Out Day—I shall address said arguments!
It’s my hope that I can shed some light on this obscure sexuality (or um… lack thereof) via some of my personal experiences, while serving as a source of support for anyone out there who similarly identifies or would like to know more.
My experiences are—of course—only my experiences and are by no means to be taken as the definitive guide on being demisexual or anything—it’s new to me, too, after all! If you’d like to comment on your experience with it—whether or not you identify—I’d love to hear from you.
In any case, on to the myth-busting!
Myth #1: Demisexuals are Making an “Admirable Choice”
I will be the first to refute this one because—in all honesty—this is what I really, actually believed about myself prior to college. Maybe you recall that I grew up in the Catholic school system?
Well, if you know anything about Catholicism, you’ll know they’re all about dat celibacy!
I had always been “the good kid,” so naturally, in my egotism, assumed I was just being good in the “sexual relations” aspect of my life as well. Obviously, I was practicing “abstinence.”
It wasn’t until I went to college and realized I’d be totally cool with having sex prior to marriage that I suspected there was more going on than met the eye.
I gave myself permission to have premarital sex and yet… I still had ZERO INTEREST in doing so. It wasn’t a choice. It wasn’t me being some holy saint with an iron will. It was just… what was it?
Clearly I had a superpower, because I watched basically all of my peers lose themselves in dating apps and relationships and one-night stands and I just had… no interest in any of it. Like, at all. I’d be like…
Myth #2: Demisexuals are “Just Picky”
Again, my whole life I believed this one to be true. And heck, maybe it is—to a degree. Ever since I had what I call my “Extreme Makeover: Hannah Edition” at age fifteen, people have been throwing themselves at me left and right.
Seriously. Like, I could make my own calendar where every day of the year I write a funny little story about someone coming onto me levels of left and right.
And I’m not saying that to brag, because goddammit, I wish they wouldn’t! As a demisexual, it’s seriously frustrating, and has been at the heart of the dissolution of more than a few friendships.
For nearly ten years, I assumed I was “just picky”—after all, most of these people I didn’t find attractive (physically or personality-wise) or didn’t know, or both. Of course I was just being picky.
That’s why I knew something was up when I started getting asked out by guys I did find attractive and did know… and was still just as creeped out. What was WRONG with me, goddammit! Was it simply a fear of intimacy? Had I repressed some seriously effed up childhood sexual abuse or something?
Myth #3: Demisexuals Have Intimacy Issues or are “Afraid”
Now this one may or may not be true for your average demisexual. But, in my case—after some serious inner work—I realized that it was true for me. I do have trust issues. Intimacy issues—to a degree.
And you know what? I was afraid. But it wasn’t fear of intimacy that was holding me back from romantic relationships. Nor was it the fear of sex.
I realized—at its heart—that the fear of not being true to myself was holding me back.
You see, as a Leo, I’ve always had a very strong sense of Self. I know who I am, and I own it. Despite my many flaws, this is one aspect of myself of which I’ve always been proud.
And, deep at my core, I knew that entering into relationships just to prove to myself that I wasn’t afraid… WASN’T me. Nor was entering into relationships with guys I wasn’t “really” attracted to.
But wait—what does that even mean? I was attracted to them, wasn’t I?
As it turns out, what I had assumed to be “attraction” was more of an… aesthetic attraction, rather than a sexual one. Like, the way I feel when I look at a hot guy is legit no different than what I feel when I’m looking at some sexy new graphics in the latest video game, or a pretty sunset, or cake.
When I really thought about it, I could count on one hand the number of guys I honestly felt like I could really, actually have a relationship with—have sex with even. And they were all guys I had known for a long time and was good friends with.
Myth #4: Demisexuals are Straight People Who “Want to Feel Special”
This one makes me laugh. Because, for me, it’s highly ironic. I’ve spent my entire life being the “weird one”—being “queer.” The blonde in a family of brunettes, the lefty in a right-handed world, the Protestant in a Catholic school, the girl at the martial arts school full of boys, the Caucasian in a country of Asians—the list goes on and on and on.
My sexuality was one of the few areas of my life where I felt “normal” (whatever that even means???)—where I felt like I “fit in.” So believe me, I didn’t need yet another reason to feel “special”—which, let’s face it, is just a nice way of saying, “WEIRD.”
When it boils down to it, we’re all special little snowflakes. We’re all weird. And… we’re not. As humans, we simultaneously have a lot that sets us apart from each other and a lot that brings us together. The great irony is that often times by acknowledging what sets us apart, we’re able to grow that much closer.
But—ahem!—excuse me as I step off my soap box and further dissect this argument.
Demisexuality Isn’t Exclusive to Straight People
I know of demisexuals who swing all ways. You can be demi-pansexual, demi-homosexual, demi-heterosexual, demi-transsexual, and on and on. In fact, I may not even be “fully straight” as I had initially believed—it’s hard to tell when you’re on the asexual side of the spectrum.
Sure, I’ve yet to have feelings of attraction for anyone not cis male, but that doesn’t mean that I never will. The way I see it, sexuality isn’t black and white. Whether you identify as heterosexual or homosexual, asexual or allosexual, cisgender or transgender, I feel like it’s all more of a spectrum than anything else—a feeling that’s only been strengthened by my identification as demisexual.
In most—if not all—of the cases where people comment on a demisexual’s “special snowflake syndrome,” I detect more than a little bit of resentment—of jealously, even. Because what does it matter to these people how someone else chooses to identify? How someone else lives their life?
When people make loaded or hateful comments, they’ve been triggered. But, as I cover in my book, whenever we’re triggered, it says more about us than whatever caused us to be triggered.
So, whether you’re feeling triggered by such loaded topics as sexuality or simply by the way you think someone just looked at you, take a moment to reflect and ask, “What does this say about me?”
The fact of the matter is that triggers are only triggering because they hit us where we hurt. They remind us of that which we are not—but want to be—or that which we ultimately believe to be true—but wish wasn’t.
When people get triggered by demisexuality, for example, I suspect there are feelings of not-enough-ness there. These people don’t believe they’re “special snowflakes” (even though they are) and see others—in their minds—professing to be, and that makes them envious.
We all do this at varying points about varying issues, so I’d just like to clarify that I’m not trying to point fingers; I simply wish to shine a light on this topic, as I believe it’s important to owning our powers! Furthermore, if you are demisexual (or any orientation, really) and get hate spewed at you, just know that it’s not you; it’s them.
Labels are a useful tool that allow us to describe things succinctly and find others who are similar. Yes, it may seem crazy that all these weird terms to describe one’s sexual identity keep popping up like a litter of baby rabbits, but they do serve a purpose.
The key is not to be defined by the labels. Just as I identify as heterosexual, but am open to the idea that I’m not, so too must we all take basically any label on with a grain of salt. They’re supposed to describe us—not confine us.
Demisexuality is a good sign that society is moving from a dualistic, black-and-white way of thinking to more of a malleable, open mindset. In my personal opinion, nothing is truly black-and-white—even gender, as trans people are showing us. (And hell, even Michael Jackson showed us that race could be fluid!)
So tell me, adventurer, are you demisexual? Do you think you could be or know someone who might be? Do you fall somewhere else on the asexual spectrum or otherwise identify as LGBTQIA? …And, on that note, am I the only who suspects that initialism will contain every letter of the alphabet by the end of the century?
What I’m Playing: Skyrim – I really hate Dwemer ruins.
What I’m Watching: Little Women – OMG, all the FEELS. Seriously. Such an amazing modern adaptation of the classic tale. It’s ridiculous how much I identify with Jo… and how timely it was that I watched that prior to writing this, seeing as Jo seems demi to me.
What I’m Listening to: My iPod on shuffle – I highly recommend trying this if you’ve never done it. It’s a great way to receive inspiration and synchronicity from the universe.
What I’m Reading: I’m ABOUT to be reading this. It’s a fairy tale about being demisexual! o.o
What I’m Writing: This post. It’s been the most time-consuming one yet!
What I’m Contemplating: Using “queer” as a catch-all term for LGBT+, as proposed in this article.