Posted by Caitlyn Martin
October 7, 2015
Is this term new for you? It was new for me not too long ago, so don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize it. I stumbled across the term on tumblr—a place where I have learned many new words and definitions—and, curious, looked it up. And after I read the definition, I had to read it again. And again. And then I looked up more and more about demisexuality because finally, finally, finally, I had found the word that described my sexuality.
I had never been sexually attracted to a stranger. I had never had passing thoughts of what it would be like to have sex with an acquaintance. In general, while I’ve always been a very sex-positive person—go have all the consensual sex you want!—it was never the first thing on my mind. Really, it had never been on my mind at all.
But I knew I wasn’t asexual. Even though I hadn’t ever been sexually attracted to someone before, I just knew that if I got close enough to someone and really felt connected to them, then sexual attraction and desire would follow naturally. This was something I knew well before I was actually sexually active. And I was right.
It’s hard to explain demisexuality to people sometimes though. When I’ve tried to explain it, I’ve gotten responses ranging from “I wish I had that kind of self-control!” to “so you’re a prude?”
So I’m here today to explain a few things about demisexuals.
1) We’re not prudes. Actually, while we’re on the subject, I just want to say that nobody is a prude. If someone doesn’t want to have sex, then who the fuck cares? It’s their life!
2) We don’t possess some admirable amount of self-control that others can only aspire to. Sure, I have the self-control to keep myself from eating an entire bag of chips (usually), but that’s about it. We’re not controlling or policing ourselves by not having sex. We just don’t want to if we don’t feel connected to the person.
3) On a similar note as the above, demisexuality =/= celibacy. Celibacy is a choice, unlike sexuality. People who choose to be celibate may still experience sexual attraction but choose not to act on it. Demisexuals aren’t making a choice not to be sexually active; we just don’t feel the attraction or desire, so why bother?
4) We’re not “half-sexual.” Yes, I’ve actually seen this online a few times. And I guess that this misconception makes sense. Demi usually means half. But in this case, it means we’re between sexual and asexual. We aren’t half-sexual. What would that even mean?
5) We aren’t using sex as a tool. This is, sadly, another thing I’ve seen online in several cases. We’re not holding sex over someone’s head in the hopes that they’ll shower us with love and affection. That’s not okay and that’s not what we’re doing. Using sex as a tool or form of manipulation is a huge red flag of an abusive relationship, not a trait of a demisexual.
6) Last, but certainly not least, we’re not riding on the coattails of the LGBTQIA+ movement to get recognition for not always being sexually active. There’s so much wrong with this, so let me explain it to you. There are people out there who think that demisexuals are people who are choosing to abstain—and like I already said, it’s not a choice—but want to give ourselves a special label so we can belong with the LGBTQIA+ crowd. We don’t want special recognition. There’s a word that describes us and we use it, end of story.
Image by AnonMoos via Wikimedia Commons