Growing up, I never questioned my sexuality because I thought the only possibilities were straight and gay. I’ve never been sexually attracted to women, so I never wondered if I was a lesbian or bi. I recently realized that I’ve never really been sexually attracted to men either. I’ve only been in one relationship, and in my mind, romantic interest and sexual attraction were the same thing. However, that isn’t true.
Some time last year, I read a YA novel where the main character described their sexuality as “demisexual”. I had never heard this word before, so I did a quick Google search.
“Demisexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by only experiencing sexual attraction after making a strong emotional connection with a specific person.”Dictionary.com
When I first read the definition, I was confused why it was even a thing. “Isn’t that… normal?” I thought.
As days passed, I kept thinking back on this word and what it really meant. I thought about what it means to feel sexual attraction. Then I realized that I’ve never really felt that for anyone but my (then) husband. The more I thought about how my brain worked growing up and my thoughts about sex and sexual desire, I came to the conclusion that I am demisexual.
I’ve quickly learned that this concept is difficult for people to grasp, because at first glance, it does seem normal. A lot of people choose not to have sex until they’re close with someone, or even until they’re married. But sexual attraction is different than sexual behavior. Behavior is a CHOICE. You can choose to wait until you’re close with someone to have sex, but the feelings and desires are still present. Or you can be sexually attracted to a celebrity or person you see at the gym that you don’t even know. And plenty of people have sex without having a bond with someone. Attraction is different.
One of the things that helped me understand the difference is the fact that I have never been sexually attracted to a celebrity. When I was in middle school and high school, I went through a lot of musician and book/movie character obsessions, but it was more about the person’s personality than anything else. I had very, very few crushes on people that I knew, and even then was it just romantic desire- it was never sexual. I’ve never felt the desire to kiss or touch someone, and when my friends would talk about things like that, I just didn’t get it. When my ex and I first started dating, even after saying “I love you” a few months into the relationship, I was still uncomfortable with the prospect of kissing until several months later. I thought I was broken, and that something was wrong with me. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling the way I “should” have been feeling.
Time to get REAL vulnerable. Currently, there is not a single person on Earth that I would willingly have sex with. Even if Harry Styles- whom I love as a person and musician and who I think is very aesthetically pleasing- showed up at my house tomorrow, I would be extremely uncomfortable at the mere thought of simply kissing him.
Someone on TikTok described it like this: I am asexual (feeling no sexual attraction or desire) until I’m not.
I don’t think about sex. I don’t want sex. I relate wholeheartedly with asexual memes and discussions because my sex drive is non-existent. That is, until I form a deep, emotional bond with someone. Only then do I start to want something more physical. If something happens to that bond, bye-bye desire.
I still have romantic desires, and I still want to be in a relationship. Only, for me, when I think of being in a relationship, I don’t think of kissing or having sex. I think of sharing my inner thoughts, building a true intellectual and spiritual bond, becoming best friends, holding hands. I think of falling in love emotionally and mentally, not sexually.
On the gender side of things, I’m really not sure where I am. I’ve always assumed I’m straight, but not because of any experiences- simply because it was the default. Straight is expected. I’ve only ever felt sexual desire for one man, but I don’t think that necessarily defines me. I might be straight, but I might not be. This might be something that takes me my whole life to figure out, because it takes so much for me to even develop a crush on someone, let alone sexual attraction. So honestly, who knows? I don’t, but I’m okay with that. All I know is that I am demisexual.
Discovering this about myself has opened my eyes. It’s helped me understand why the prospect of dating can be so intimidating to me, and why my brain worked the way it did growing up. Giving my sexuality a label helps me feel less alone and more understood. It helps me be more patient with myself and not grow frustrated that I don’t fit into the very sexualized American culture.
It has also made me more empathetic to the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. So many people act like sexuality is a choice, and being raised in a conservative Christian community, I had that thought process ingrained in my head from a young age. However, I have now accepted that I cannot force myself to be sexually attracted to anyone. I literally can not do it, no matter how cute or nice or funny someone is. No one can force themselves to be attracted to ANYONE. If a man never feels sexually attracted to women, it just isn’t going to happen, even if he really wants to and tries to force it by behaving a certain way. Someone who feels sexually attracted to both men and women can’t control that, either- it just happens. You can’t choose sexual attraction.
So that’s me. I am demisexual and I am not ashamed, because it’s something I have no control over. Sometimes I wish I could “fit in” with the rest of our culture and feel sexual desire, but I’ve accepted that I’ll never understand the sex-craze, and that’s okay. Part of me feels weird posting a blog all about sex, but honestly, I think things like sexuality should be discussed more. God created it after all, did He not? Ignorance does more harm than good.
Here are some resources on demisexuality if you want to read up on it more. If you have any questions at all, PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out. Although I’m not an expert and am still learning every day, I’d love to have a conversation about it.