What is Demisexuality?


Demisexuality is a sexual orientation that involves people experiencing sexual attraction towards other people they are closely intimate with. Simply put, demisexuals are sexually attracted to others after an emotional bond has been established.

This emotional intimacy isn’t necessarily romance or love. For some, it may just be friendship – could even be a platonic friendship. This means that they don’t have to love a person to be sexually attracted to them.

Descriptive sexual orientation helps explain who we are attracted to, and demisexuals experience attraction towards a particular set of people. Many of us indeed experience an emotional connection with people we aren’t having sex with.

Still, demisexuals make it a rule only to get intimate with people they bond with. It isn’t about sex for demisexuals but the need to be sexually attracted to a selected few.

It is practical to be sexually attracted to a person without wanting to sleep with them. It is also possible to have sex with a person you are not particularly attracted to.

Demisexuality isn’t about having a sex partner, but rather being sexually attracted to a person. In this case, the right person.

It’s not irregular for a demisexual to take their time before sleeping with a romantically involved person. However, this practice is independent of a person’s sexual orientation.

Heterosexual men who are sexually attracted to women may not necessarily be attracted to all the women they come in contact with.

The same rule applies to demisexuals that aren’t attracted to the people they’ve established an emotional bond with.

Demisexuality and orientation

This question has been thrown at people in the graysexual, demisexual, and asexual communities. Sexual attraction is usually accompanied by the need to have sex with a sexually attracted person. Still, an asexual person can experience little or no sexual attraction.

Graysexuality can be considered the “midpoint” between asexual and allosexual — graysexual people rarely experience sexual attraction or experience it with reduced intensity.

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Some individuals argue that demisexuality does not fit under the asexual umbrella since it only refers to the circumstances under which you feel sexual attraction. It doesn’t necessarily address how often or how strongly sexual attraction is experienced.

A person who tends to feel intense sexual attraction toward nearly all of their close friends and partners — but not toward acquaintances or strangers — might assume they are demisexual and not in anyway asexual.

People who are only rarely sexually attracted to a few close friends or partners, but not intensely, might identify strongly with asexuality or graysexuality.

On the other hand, some people still maintain that demisexuality can be grouped under the asexual banner. This is because demisexuality describes a situation where sexual attraction is experienced in limited circumstances.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t particularly matter what anyone else thinks about where this orientation falls on the asexual-allosexual spectrum.

You’re allowed to identify however you’d like, and you’re welcome to choose multiple labels to describe your sexual and romantic orientation.

Most sexual orientation tags — such as bisexual, homosexual, or pansexual — addresses the gender/s of the individuals we feel an attraction for.

Demisexuality is different because it focuses on the nature of the individuals we are attracted to. Different people relate to demisexuality differently.

A demisexual may relate to the following scenarios or feelings:

  • I’m not interested or aroused by the thought of having sex with people I have don’t bond with, even if they have a remarkable personality or are aesthetically beautiful
  • My emotional association with a person affects my sexual attraction towards them
  • I am sexually attracted to people I’m close to – such as romantic partners or friends
  • I hardly feel any sexual attraction towards people I meet on the street, acquaintances, or strangers

To explain further, it is believed that not all demisexuals are the same, and you might relate differently to the above.

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Demisexuality and graysexual?

Demisexuals only have sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. An intense sexual attraction may be formed, but only with a person they are close to.

Similarly, gray sexuals might discover that when they experience sexual attraction, it may not necessarily be with people they are emotionally close to.

Nevertheless, a person can equally identify as graysexual and demisexual or asexual and demisexual. It also okay to switch between orientations.

Because of the fluidity in orientation and sexuality, you may decide to switch over time. There are no rules against going from being graysexual to being allosexual to being asexual.

A 2015 Asexual Census showed that more than 80% of its respondents identified with another orientation first before identifying as asexual. This further explains how flexible sexuality can be.

Additionally, demisexuals can experience an extensive array of attraction that may include:

  • Platonic attraction: The need to be friends with a person
  • Physical or sensual attraction: The need to touch, cuddle, or hold a person
  • Romantic attraction: The desire to be romantically involved
  • Emotional attraction: The need to be emotionally connected with someone
  • Aesthetic attraction: An attraction to a person based on their appearance

Demisexuality and relationship

Many people – especially demisexuals- do not want to be in relationships, and they are totally fine with this decision. Emotionally bonding with a person doesn’t mean wanting or having a romantic relationship with the individual.

Additionally, a demisexual might connect emotionally with a person enough to be sexually attracted to them and not enough to want a romantic relationship with the person.

Demisexuals may or may not desire a partnership or romantic relationship. They might also choose not to have sex if they decide they could handle a relationship. To some, sex might be necessary for a relationship, while to others, it isn’t.

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Some demisexuals may feel the bond they share with a potential partner isn’t strong enough to feel any sexual attraction. Some may choose to avoid sex until they are comfortable enough with their partners, while others may decide not to give up the cookies at any point.

It’s not uncommon for some demisexual people to have sex and still feel no sexual attraction towards the person they are sleeping with. Every demisexual is indeed different!

Demisexuality and sex

Being a demisexual doesn’t focus on your capacity to enjoy sex, but to be attracted to someone sexually. A demisexual person can be attracted to a person without wanting to sleep with them.

Some of the reasons people have sex include:

  • Intimacy
  • Pregnancy
  • Experimentation
  • Emotional bonding
  • Fun and pleasure

Demisexuals – like any group of people – can decide to have sex with anyone they aren’t sexually attracted to.

The terms used to describe some sexual emotion include the following:

  • Sex-favorable: This means sex is desired and enjoyed
  • Sex-indifferent: This means their interest in sex is so-so
  • Sex-repulsed: This means they dont like sex and would prefer not to engage in any sexual act

Demisexuality and masturbation

Graysexual and asexual people can masturbate, and this includes demisexuals who also identify as graysexual and asexual. This practice can be enjoyable, and since everyone is unique, what one demisexual individual enjoys might be different from others.

You can get more information about demisexuality at local in-person meetings or the internet. You can also check with your local LGBTQA+ community to connect with other available demisexuals.

You can get more details from the following:

  • Facebook communities and other forums online for demisexual folks
  • Demisexuality Resource Center (DRC)
  • Wiki site for (AVEN) Asexual Visibility and Education Network to get clear definitions for words linking to orientation and sexuality
  • Forums such as Demisexuality subreddit and AVEN
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