Being demisexual: what it’s like for me
I grew up thinking it was normal and expected to attach emotionally before you attached sexually; I think my mother was demisexual as a younger woman (I’d say she’s evolved and become fully asexual now) which led me to believe it was normal, as I was fairly isolated and didn’t have much contact with people as friends until I was well past sexual maturity. In college, to be precise, where I realized nearly everyone was very different from me in forming their sexual attractions.
As a demisexual, I usually only attach to people with sexual feelings one at a time, and it’s very sudden and usually extremely intense. It can be agonizing– here is this person you’ve come to depend on as a friend and confidante. Everything is fine. Then one day you’re walking down the street and suddenly something triggers sexual attraction– a casual touch that activates sexual response, a chance word that makes me think that person might appreciate ME sexually, whatever. BLIP– and then the whole relationship is set on its ear and is in serious jeopardy. Invariably, for me the addition of the sexual component destroys the friendship in the long run. I’ve tried to keep it quiet when I become attracted, but it just makes things worse when they fall apart.
As a demisexual bisexual, I have lost female BFFs one after the other because all of a sudden after months/years I was suddenly sexually attracted to them and they were heterosexual and found it unacceptable.
As a demisexual, my best successful friendships are with people I only see online because there’s much less chance of them triggering sexual response, I suppose– or maybe because they’re remote and the emotional attachment isn’t intense enough for me to become sexually responsive.
As a demisexual, I can’t form long-term meaningful friendships with men because they assume I’m romantically interested and snub me from day one, or because they think I’ll never become romantically interested and when I do, they begin to snub me.
As a demisexual, I don’t normally enjoy any form of porn with the exception of fan fiction (if I’m sexually attracted to one of the characters in the fanfiction, otherwise I get nothing out of it).
As a demisexual, Tinder culture is absolutely baffling and foreign to me. I can’t even envision myself texting someone once or twice, meeting up, and enjoying a sexual hookup, then wandering off into the blue, ready for the next one. I can’t comprehend liking to do that. I read an article about that culture in Cosmopolitan this week, linked to me by @irrealia, and was just… gobsmacked. How do people do this thing? Inconceivable. In a way I’d love to be able to do this, because I have been all but celibate except for a couple of really awkward hookups when I was young and desperate, and I feel horribly lonely and touch-starved. But my attraction doesn’t operate that way. I would be repelled by sex with a relative stranger.
As a demisexual I am unaware of sexual dynamics in most relationships between others until someone points them out to me (aka hits me over the head with a clue stick).
As a demisexual, I do not know how to flirt or signal my sexual availability to another person. If I make an overt attempt to imitate the flirtations I’ve seen, I upset people because I’m being weird or awkward– to me, naturally demonstrating attraction is acting in way that friends normally act toward one another.
As a demisexual, I receive emails from friends with beefcake or cheesecake pictures in them, or links to sexy videos, and I’m expected to participate in a mutual lust-fest over the pictures. I stare at these highly toned beautiful bodies or people having sex dully, without interest, going “please don’t send me more of these pictures; I don’t even know who that is.”
As a demisexual, I respond to personalities more than to bodies, looks, or clothing.
As a demisexual, I enjoyed Obi-Wan Kenobi platonically for over a decade, aware of his sexual attractiveness only as an abstract, viewing Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness as more or less equal in my esteem until one day I saw Ewan McGregor being sweet and empathic and vulnerable as himself in “Long Way ‘Round” and I suddenly emotionally attached to him and went “HOLY SHIT” and fell head over heels in love.
As a demisexual, I know that if Tom Hiddleston walked in here right now and stripped naked and said “Let’s do it,” I would have one of two responses: either “I’d better take this chance because I’m never going to get laid again in my life and I know I should want him,” whereupon I would lie there under him feeling vastly uncomfortable, being unable to self-lubricate, and thinking “I could paint the ceiling beige, ugh, there’s a cobweb,” or I would respond “No thank you, Mr. Hiddleston, I know you are a sex god, but I’m unfortunately not interested in you sexually. Could you invest several months in befriending me first, minimum, then let’s see what happens?” Same thing for oh, say, Gal Gadot.
This is all just my personal experience, which I conflate in greater or lesser degrees to my demisexuality. It’s by no means intended to be a statement that all or most demisexuals are like this. All I know is that one day I saw the term “demisexual” and went and read about it and sat up like I’d been hit by lightning and said “THAT IS ME.”