Today I tried to explain my sexuality to my mother. The news was an article about teen pregnancy rates. It launched a conversation about how even as a young adult, she would be understanding and, although disappointed in me, she would care about me all the same if I ended up pregnant .
I tried to explain my very low interest in sex as a way to help her understand why I know that’s not going to be a problem. For those of you who don’t know, I prefer to identify myself as demisexual panromantic. Here are the definitions to each sexuality or romantic attraction. :
Demisexuality: between asexual and sexual on a spectrum, and involves a low sex drive (or high) that can only be established when a person feels a deep emotional connection to whomever they are interested in.
Panromantic: is the romantic attraction to people of all genders and sexes. This includes the attraction to boy/girl/genderqueer/agender/etc and male/female/intersex/trans/etc. It’s often considered an attraction to personality instead of physical sexual attraction.
With this being said, I have very low worry about a relationship leading to a pregnancy. Mother became so baffled that someone can feel these ways and be aware of it so young. Her following response was less than desirable. I would like to share some tips for when your child/loved one tells you something about their romantic and/or sexual attraction, and considerations for those “coming out:”
For The Demisexuals/Pansexuals/Panromantic/Etc:
1. Please remember you have support. Even if the people you confide in are not the ones to show you support. You have love and care from people, and you are worth their care.
2. You know yourself, and that’s important. If you’re still exploring, you’re trying to learn about yourself, and that’s just as important. Give yourself the respect to learn and challenge who you are, it’s what growing up is for.
3. Be open to changing. You may see yourself as some orientation now, but as you grow and have more experiences or different people in your lives, you may feel differently. This doesn’t mean it’s a “passing phase,” just your needs now are different - and that’s okay.
4. Give people time to understand. Although the initial response may be upsetting, it takes time to process things and accept who others are, and those who love you will take the time to understand - give them the time.
5. Remember everyone’s experience is different. Just because you have a high or low sex drive doesn’t mean you’re not demisexual and if you have a preference for some people over others, that doesn’t mean you’re not panromantic/sexual.. everyone has different interests, and that’s okay. Focus on what makes you comfortable and feel okay about yourself.
For The Listeners:
1 Listen to their explanations of how they’re feeling before responding, and think about how you can respond respectfully despite your own opinions.
2. Don’t blame yourself for their interests or orientations. It is not your “fault” or “doing” it is simply chemistry and how they prefer to see relationships. You did not do anything that made them this way.
3. Even if you think it’s a passing phase, be supportive of their questioning and exploring, that’s what being young and in relationships is for - learning what will make you happy in the future.
That’s about all I wanted to say, so I hope you guys stuck with it. I know I’m not alone in this, and to all you who feel disrespected sometimes or misunderstood, my heart goes out to you. For those who are trying to understand a loved one’s preferences, whoever they may be, understand there are many people who will help you as well, and communication (respectful) is your friend.
I hope you all are well, lots of love xx.