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Defining Demisexuality

Graphic by Marcelo Orrico.

I always thought I was a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first crush until middle school, my first kiss until college and the rest… let’s just say I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m not interested in sex unless it’s with someone I care about. If this sounds like you, then you might be demisexual.

Sexuality is a spectrum. It’s considered normal to experience sexual attraction. It’s also normal to never experience sexual attraction. Maybe you’re like me — somewhere in the middle. Between allosexual and asexual lies demisexual, an identity that hasn’t received much representation in the media.

So, what is demisexuality? A person who identifies as demisexual only feels sexual attraction toward someone they have an emotional connection with. This connection can be platonic or romantic, with or without love.

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It’s different for everyone. A telltale sign that you’re demisexual is rarely feeling sexually attracted to people you’ve just met. Another is that you often develop crushes on your friends. Demisexual people can experience other kinds of attraction, such as aesthetic or sensual, which can be confused with sexual attraction.

Demisexuality falls under the A for Asexual in LGBTQIA+. A common misconception is that demisexuals who are attracted to the opposite gender are too heteronormative enough to belong. However, the LGBTQIA+ community wouldn’t be what it is today without the inclusion of queer people. You can identify as demisexual and still be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or pansexual.

Sexuality is fluid. You might feel demisexual today and asexual tomorrow. And that’s okay. There are other sexual orientations under the asexual umbrella if demisexual doesn’t quite fit. Remember, you are valid no matter your label. Happy Pride Month!

Check out the Demisexuality Resource Center and the Demisexuality Subreddit to learn more about demisexuality.

Graphic by @dragondoodleart

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