What Is a Demisexual?

"I'm demisexual." "What is a demisexual?"

Today's sexual orientations aren't just stuck to homosexuality, bisexuality, or heterosexuality. As sexologists continue to study sexual attraction, it's becoming clear that sexuality is a spectrum and that not all people fit in "traditional" orientations. 

You may have heard of homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, but it's very likely that you haven't yet heard of demisexuality. This article will help you learn about this sexual orientation, and also help you figure out if you are a demisexual. 

If you've ever met someone who claimed to be "demi," you're probably wondering what is a demisexual attracted to—and how they actually enjoy sex. This article will hopefully clear things up. 

What is demisexuality?

Most demisexuals and sexologists say that demisexuality is "halfway between asexuality and sexuality." However, that's kind of a misnomer for a number of reasons. 

Demisexuality is actually a form of asexuality — sort of. When you are demisexual, you can't experience sexual attraction to people without an extremely strong emotional connection to them.

Moreover, you don't need to be interested in having sex without an emotional connection in order to be sexual. It's just that demisexuals are attracted to any gender without that connection being present. 

Who is a demisexual attracted to?

There are a number of theories circulating about what makes a person become a demisexual. 

Some theories believe that demisexuals experience secondary sexual attraction rather without any primary sexual attractionThis means that, rather than looking at a person's body and being aroused, demisexuals may only be able to get turned on by a person's intelligence, status, close relationship to them, or their personality. 

Others believe that the people who are demisexual just have very, very low libidos compared to most other people. However, this is hotly contested in communities that study sexual attraction. 

No, but gender-wise, what is a demisexual attracted to?

Demisexuality isn't a gender-specific sexual orientation, and as a result, people who are demisexual tend to have to explain what their gender-specific sexual orientation is. 

So, within the umbrella term of "demisexual," you might find people who are hetero-demisexual, homo-demisexual, or even pan-demisexual. 

Moreover, demisexuality towards one gender doesn't always mean that they will always be romantically interested in that particular gender — or any gender at all. At times, romantic interest and sexual interest could be completely unrelated. 

For example, while a demisexual man may be able to get aroused by a gay man he has a close romantic relationship with, he also may be unable to get aroused by a woman he has a close romantic relationship with. In other words, you can be hetero-demisexual but bi-romantic, hetero-demisexual and hetero-romantic, homo-demisexual but aromantic, etc. 

This sounds pretty confusing.

It is—especially for demisexuals. 

Most people can easily tell who they are sexually attracted to within a matter of seconds. On the other hand, demisexuals often feel lost when it comes to trying to figure out who they will be sexually attracted to. 

There's no way to predict who they will be attracted to, since their attraction has to be built. Moreover, even all the effort in the world might not be able to establish the connection they need in order to get sexually aroused. 

Many people mistake demisexuality for a choice to abstain from sex during dating, but that's not the case. It's literally just a lack of interest in sex without a special connection. 

Moreover, even explaining what a demisexual is attracted to can be difficult for many. At times, it can feel like there just aren't succinct words to fully explain what it's like to experience attraction as a demisexual individual. 

For most demisexuals, they often feel misunderstood by those who are fully asexual as well as those who are sexual in nature. This sexual orientation can make dating and sex very difficult, if not impossible at times. 

Are you demisexual?

Don't be surprised if you begin to wonder about your sexual orientation after reading this article. Many demisexuals don't realize that they are demisexual until they read up about what a demisexual is. 

If you believe you are demisexual, don't panic. This doesn't make you "wrong" or "defective." It's totally normal and natural, even if it's a bit rarer than more mainstream orientations. 

You can learn more about demisexuality online, but in the meanwhile, it's just something that you can think about for the time being. 

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What Is a Demisexual?