What does demisexual mean? Experts explain the full definition.
Some people may desire a supposedly “hot” celebrity sexually or want to go all out on a first date. But others feel sexual attraction alone after having an emotional connection with someone.
People who need this emotional connection for sexual attraction may choose to identify as “demisexual.” A demisexual person can also identify as gay, straight, pansexual, etc., and they can have any gender identity. Demisexual people may rarely feel sexual attraction and may rarely desire sex, although they may still decide to have it.
Does this sound confusing…or, perhaps, familiar? We break down the meaning of demisexuality, including what to know if you identify (or think you might identify) that way, or if you’re dating someone who does.
Is demisexuality the same as asexuality?
Some people think demisexuality is the same thing as asexuality, that is, having little or no interest in sexual activity. Although the terms are related, they are not the same.
First, understand that there are different types of attraction. Sexual attraction is related to the desire for sexual contact. It’s not the same as romantic attraction, emotional attraction or, say, aesthetic attraction.
Now let’s go. Dictionary.com defines demisexuality as “a sexual orientation characterized by feeling sexual attraction only after establishing a strong emotional connection with a specific person”. During this time, he defines asexuality as “the state or quality of having little or no sexual attraction to others”.
Do you see how they are different?
That said, demisexuality is sometimes said to belong to the asexual spectrum. According to the Demisexuality Resource Center, some people may also refer to demisexuality when discussing gray sexuality (aka “gray-A” or “gray-ace”), because gray sexuality refers to limit sexual attraction:
“Gray asexuality is a term with many possible definitions, while demisexuality has a more specific definition: feeling sexual attraction only after forming an emotional connection under certain circumstances. Some demisexuals also relate to other definitions gray asexuality, such as finding experiences of sexual attraction confusing or hard to pin down It is possible and valid to use both labels if they both apply.
Demisexual people may also experience other types of attraction, such as a desire to cuddle or cuddle, says Shamyra Howard, LCSW, sex and relationship therapist and men’s health Advisory Board Member.
Annnd that was a lot of info. But Howard says learning is important. “A lot of these labels are new,” she continues. “But that’s because as we grow, as we get more information, labels become more important in helping people express themselves.”
Is being demisexual just a preference?
No. Needing an emotional connection to experience sexual attraction – i.e. being demisexual – is not the same as Choose don’t have sex until you have that connection with someone.
Here is our chance to remind you that sexual orientation is different from behavior. While behaviors refer to our choices, “Psychologists do not view sexual orientation as a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed,” notes the American Psychological Association.
A demisexual person can decideand having sex without sexual attraction – perhaps for procreation or for no matter raison. (Similarly, a person who identifies differently can abstain from sex, even if they want to.)
A preference isn’t the same as something that’s part of your identity, says Howard. You experience sex in a way that feels safe and true to you.
How do you know if you are demisexual?
If you don’t feel sexual attraction instantly or randomly, it may be signs of demisexuality, says Howard.
More signs, according to Demisexuality Resource Center, include feeling that sex is an obligation, being confused about sexual attraction, and liking the idea of sex but not being able to think of someone you want to do it with.
Every demisexual person is different, Howard says, noting that some may want romantic relationships while others may not, and some may not want sex at all.
Some people may also feel conflicted, she continues, because they may not know they are demisexual and feel sexually attracted to a friend. But a demisexual person doesn’t need to be “in love” to feel close.
If you feel confused in your own life, consider talking to a therapist who can help you. Also find “your people,” says Howard, referring to finding a community that understands you. And if you do decide to date, know your goals and limits, decide when you feel safe enough to disclose your orientation, and be prepared to take the emotional risk of being vulnerable while being aware of danger signals. alarm like love bombardment, Howard said.
By the way, if someone doesn’t match, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, says Howard. You can move on to the next phase.
What do you need to know about dating someone who is demisexual?
As always, communication is key. If you’re dating someone who’s demisexual, it’s important to know what that means to them, says Howard. You can start by looking at who they are in general. Then you can ask questions such as:
• “I saw on your profile that you are demisexual/I heard you say you were demisexual. Is it okay if I ask you?
• “How would you suggest I get to know you?” »
• “What does it mean to you to be demisexual?”
You may also want to do some general research on your own, including through the Demisexuality Resource Center.
But also, understand your own needs. If someone doesn’t match, that’s okay too.
“When we’re dating and when we’re in relationships with people, it’s all about data collection,” says Howard. “If that’s not your path, it’s important to know your path and it’s important to communicate that to your partner.”
Remember, you are an adult, not a ghost. So when you’re dating, you can say something like, “I liked getting to know you, but I don’t think that’s my path.” Thank you and I wish you the best.
As Howard notes, “It is important to understand that each person has the right to self-determination and that each person is the expert on their own sexuality.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on piano.io