It’s defined as a lack of sexual attraction, with the exception of where strong emotional bonds are present, or only experiencing sexual attraction once a strong emotional bond has been formed.
But apparently this is a really difficult concept for some people to wrap their head around, and lots of different arguments are made about how it’s “not a thing”…
“Demisexual isn’t a thing! Where’s the science? Where’s the psychological research? It’s just something tumblr made up!”
I hate to break it to you, but things exist, whether a scientist has validated them or not. Up until the 80s there was legitimate scientific research done by highly esteemed scientists which suggested homosexuality was a mental illness and unnatural and damaging to individuals and society. That was a scientific fact of the time. So was that the truth then?
If you think that the bias of science is a thing of the past, you’re either incredibly naive or just plain ignorant. Science is not some all-seeing, constantly objective force in society. It is influenced by and used to justify sexism, racism, ableism and multiple other forms of oppression. So I literally couldn’t care less if no scientist has a written a paper titled “Science now says Demisexuality is indeed A THING.” Queer and transgender identities have existed for as long as people have, but they’ve only very recently been ‘validated’ by science. Do you think that queer and trans people suddenly popped up into existence as soon as the first scientific paper in support of them was published? Of course not. Do you see where I’m going with this?
A group of people discovered they had a shared experience with their lack of sexual attraction and the way they experience it. So they put a name to it and told other people about it. Now it’s clear that a multitude of people experience the same thing, and were grateful to find that there was a word for their experiences, and they weren’t weird or broken.
“Everyone is basically demisexual because most people won’t sleep with someone unless they’re emotionally attached to them.”
No, what you’re taking about is how most people wait until an emotional bond is formed to act upon already existing attraction. Most people, for reasons ranging from religious, to cultural to simply personal preference, would not have sex with strangers and/or would only engage with somebody sexually after they’ve got to know them or got close to them (for a lot of people, that means forming a romantic bond). But that doesn’t make them demisexual. If everybody was demisexual, one night stands, porn, sexual advertising and hypersexualisation/objectification wouldn’t really exist.
If you’re still struggling with it, imagine them as asexual, until occasionally, after they’ve fallen in love or got close to someone they might start to experience sexual attraction. People who are demisexual do not experience sexual attraction. Zip, zilch, nada. The only exception to that would be some occasions when they’ve formed an attachment to somebody - maybe they’ve become close friends, or maybe they’ve fallen in love. And it doesn’t mean that everyone you form emotional bonds with you become sexually attracted to either; just like allosexual people aren’t attracted to everyone in the world, it’s just as hit and miss with demisexuals. Once an emotional bond is formed - that is when the possibility for sexual attraction opens up.
Some demisexuals might only ever experience sexual attraction once, with one person they’d formed an emotional bond with. Others might experience sexual attraction with almost everyone they’ve become romantically attached to. They’re a very diverse bunch of people.
“Demisexuals” are just special snowflakes! They just want to feel special / they’re not oppressed / they’re not queer.
I’m getting really tired of this “special snowflake” bullshit, particularly being aimed at the asexual spectrum community. I have been a part of this community for about a year, and have been on tumblr, still sharing and seeing posts about the asexual spectrum before I realised I was asexual for almost 3 years now. In all of that time, I have never come across people using lesser known acespectrum identities, like demisexuality, to get people to feel sorry for them or to claim they’re being so oppressed. The overwhelming majority of people respond to finding a word that accurately describes their sexuality and experiences is ‘omg I’m not a freak, there’s actually a word for me!’