Person: What's your sexuality?
Person: Well, do you like men or women?
It's no secret that the LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) community has gained a lot of recognition over the past decade. Since June has been declared national LGBT pride month, it's only fitting that one of my articles revolves around this theme.
Everyone's heard of the big four, the LGBT part of the adjective, however the rest sometimes get swept under the rug as they are less vocal about their identities. In the past, I've found it easier to not get into discussing my sexuality rather than take the time an effort to educate people about what it means to be demi. So, with Pride coming up, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to shed light on this grey sexuality.
I'm demisexual. But what does that mean exactly?
Well, here's a definition: A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It's more commonly seen in but by no means confined to romantic relationships. The term demisexual comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual.
And if that definition isn't concise enough, here's a video I found comparing asexuality and demisexuality. Demisexuality is considered a branch of asexuality, however they are definitely not the same thing.
For me, demisexual is the only label that makes sense. When I was seventeen, my friend mentioned the idea of demisexuality and it peaked my interest, but it wasn't until years later that I admitted to myself that this was the only sexuality that I truly identified with.
Sex, as a general whole, doesn't interest me. I may be able to appreciate the attractiveness of a person, and admire their beauty, however it doesn't mean that I want to have sex with them. Terms like "sexy" and "hot" don't appeal to me; I can't see a person as more than beautiful or handsome (which is something I appreciate, since those terms are degrading.) When I feel an attraction to some, it's because I'm attracted to their mind, to their soul, to their personality-- I'm not attracted to their body as a sole entity.
Once I'm emotionally attracted to the person in question, then the ability to have a sexual relation with them becomes more desirable. However, it's important to know that when you're dating a demisexual, sex is the secondary part of a relationship.
Back to the second question that was asked at the beginning of the article, "Well, do you like men or women?"
Well, that really depends on the person you're asking. Sexual and romantic attraction, though are related, do not necessarily go together. This leads to labels like "homo/bi/hetero/pan/aromantic demisexual" detailing the gender of the person that they can be romantically attracted to, however, like sexuality, this is also a fluid concept.
All in all, society has conditioned us all to believe that sexuality and gender are both rigid, heavily structured concepts, but that's simply not true. Like the human condition, they are ever-changing, and demisexuality does exist.
In fact, I spoke to two fellow demisexuals, and asked them what they believe is important to know about our sexuality. Here is what they told me:
J: "Demisexuals are people who need to love somebody before they want to make love to somebody. To demisexuals, one night stands don't make a lot of sense to us and don't have much appeal."
Tanner: "Personally, being demisexual means we love you for your personality. So when we say we love you for you, we mean it. If your personality is beautiful, everything about you is too."
Be proud of who you are, and don't worry about what other people are going to say. It's the 21st century, and it's okay not to be straight.