What is Demisexuality?
Demisexuality is a broad sexual identity that focuses on sexual attraction being strongly linked to someone’s emotional bond with someone. Someone who is demisexual does not [often] feel attraction without emotional connection.
Someone who is demisexual can be attracted to any gender or person and may identify as straight or same or all sex or gender attracted (LGBTQI+).
When working with demisexual people, often I hear that they do not identify physical attraction to anyone UNLESS they have an emotional bond and connection. Therefore, for them, there isn’t love at first sight. Demisexuality is an identity where connection is where sexual energy comes from.
Demisexuals rarely report that they have attraction to someone they have only seen in passing.
Emotional bonds are emotional connections between people.
There are a variety of people who will not have partnered sex with someone until they feel like time has passed and they “have gotten to know someone”. However, that is different from what demisexual people’s experience may be.
People who are demisexual do not feel attraction to someone else unless emotional connection happens. People who choose to wait to have sex with someone usually still feel attracted to someone much earlier in the process.
For example, with clients who do not want to have sex until they feel comfortable while online dating they still are able to “swipe right or left” based on their initial response to people’s profile (pictures and information).
My clients who identify as demisexual have reported having a much harder time online dating in “swiping.”
Luckily, they begin to know as they start messaging or dating someone rather than just based on pure attraction.
Demisexual individuals value sex as important to them. The common thing in my clients who identify as demisexual is that it matters about the person. And their connection and that that connection is of primary importance.
People who are demisexual often report the following:
- Rarely feel sexual attraction to strangers or acquaintances
- Felt sexual attraction towards people close to them (friends, romantic partners, etc)
- Emotional connection determines the level of attraction (sexual, romantic, platonic, etc)
- Limited interest in engaging in sexual activities regardless of the way someone looks
- Want a variety of romantic, platonic, etc. relationships because emotional connection is a primary need they have
- Often need increased levels of emotional bonds (communication and connection) from those in their life
This does not mean that demisexual people do not have sex with people that they are not attracted to. People of variety of identities choose to have sex or not have sex with people regardless of their attraction. Or just because someone feels sexual attraction to someone does not automatically mean they will have sex with them.
I think it is important to recognize that people’s choice around who they choose to have sex with is their own. Allow the individual to identify their own identities rather than others trying to define what someone else’s identity is.
If you do not understand, please seek to understand and be curious rather than engage in behavior where judgments occur.
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