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Demisexual is a term used to describe those who do not experience sexual attraction to others unless they form a strong emotional bond with someone first. Demisexual people may still experience romantic attraction, but until a deep connection is formed, there is no sexual attraction involved. They may have little to no interest in sex and may only experience sexual attraction rarely, but that is not the case with all demisexuals.[1] Demisexuality is included on the asexual spectrum, but demisexual people can be gay, straight, bisexual, or any other orientation in addition to being demisexual.[2]

Etymology

"Demisexual" is derived from the prefix demi-, meaning "half" or "partially", which is derived from the Old French word demi meaning half, derived from the Latin word dimidius.[3] This meaning could represent demisexuals being halfway on the spectrum between allosexual and asexual.[2]

Community

Flag

The demisexual pride flag is an adaptation of the asexual flag, tailored specifically for demisexual people. The flag contains a black triangle on the left pointing inward toward the center with three horizontal stripes that are white, purple, and gray. The black triangle symbolizes the wider asexual community, as black represents a lack of sexual attraction; the white stripe symbolizes sexuality; the purple stripe represents community; and the gray stripe represents the wider gray-asexual community, which demisexuality falls under.[1]

Distinction

Asexual

Although demisexuality is on the asexual spectrum, it is different from asexuality itself. Asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, regardless of how close they are with someone, whereas demisexual people can and do experience sexual attraction, but only after a close bond is formed with another person.[4]

Demigender

Demigender and demisexual, although they share the same prefix, are two completely different terms. Demigender is a gender identity, while demisexual is a sexual orientation. Demigender people feel partially, but not wholly, connected to a particular gender. For example, a demigirl is someone who partially identifies as female or with aspects of femininity. Even though these terms are not related, someone who is demisexual can also be demigender and vice versa.[5][6]

Perceptions and discrimination

One of the most common misconceptions that demisexual people face is the idea that they are prude, afraid of sex, or willingly choose to abstain from having casual sex until they get to know the individual(s) better. That is simply not the case. Demisexual people can have plenty of casual sex; they are just unlikely to experience sexual attraction to their sexual partner(s) before forming an emotional connection with them first, but they may still engage in sexual activity with the assumption that attraction will develop at some point.[2]

Someone who does choose to only have sex with people they have a close connection with is not necessarily demisexual. Demisexuality is not a choice, it is a sexual orientation, and unlike allosexual people who are capable of feeling sexually attracted to others they do not know very well, even if they choose not to act on it, demisexual people are actually incapable of feeling sexual attraction unless there is a deep connection established. It should be noted that forming an emotional bond with someone does not mean that a demisexual person is automatically attracted to said individual. It just means that the possibility is now open for the demisexual person to experience sexual attraction.[2]

Another common myth, similar to all orientations on the asexual spectrum, is that demisexuality is correlated to having a low sex drive, which is not true. Demisexuals have varying levels of sex drives and may have sex at varying amounts; some may have sex a lot, while some may not have it at all, and the frequency of which one has sex has nothing to do with one's sexual orientation. Demisexuality only refers to the deep connection necessary to feel sexually attracted to another person, not how often one has sex.[2]

It is also a misunderstanding that demisexual people need to be completely in love with someone in order to feel sexually attracted to them. Demisexual people do require a close connection to experience sexual attraction, but that connection can have varying degrees, depending entirely on the feelings of the demisexual person. For many people, it can simply be a close friendship or platonic relationship, while for others, romance and love may be necessary before sexual attraction arises.[2]

There is also a misconception that demisexual people are just "normal."[7] This discourse stems from the belief that demisexuality is simply wanting to get close to someone before having sex with them. This is untrue because demisexual people aren't just holding out from having sex with people, they just feel no desire to until they are close to that person. An allosexual person wanting to build a relationship with someone before having sex with them would be more of a preference, rather than a sexuality. For instance, an allosexual person may see a man that they've never met before and find him sexually attractive, whereas a demisexual person wouldn't until they've built a platonic or romantic relationship with him.

Media

Aled Last – Radio Silence [8]

References

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