Demisexuality and You

According to the Demisexuality Resource Center, demisexuality is:

“a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond. Most demisexuals feel sexual attraction rarely compared to the general population, and some have little to no interest in sexual activity.”

So, like most people, demisexuals need to get to know a person before feeling sexual attraction to them, rather than just dropping their pants the second they’ve been introduced.

“Emotional intimacy is a main component, usually, so some demisexuals find themselves attracted to close friends or romantic partners. Other components may include familiarity with the person and knowledge about them (ex: learning about aspects of their personality).”

How unusual! Feeling attracted to one’s romantic partner, and needing to know aspects of someone’s personality before feeling attracted!

“Most people on the non-asexual side of the spectrum feel sexual attraction regardless of whether or not they have a close emotional bond with someone. They may have sexual feelings for attractive people on the street, classmates or coworkers they’ve barely spoken to, or celebrities. However, they may choose to wait to have sex for a variety of reasons: it might not be feasible or appropriate, they want to make sure the person is respectful and kind, it’s against their religious beliefs, they only want to have sex in a romantic relationship, etc.”

Okay, this website is definitely describing everybody. Of course you don’t have sex with every single person you like the looks of! People only have sex when it’s “feasible and appropriate,” as noted above by the Demisexuals.

The reason why perfectly normal people are having to label their perfectly normal feelings as “demisexual” is because the way they are expected to behave otherwise is fucked up, and they need an excuse to opt out of it. The way they are expected to behave is like they are in a porn movie. Due to both porn itself and a porn-soaked culture that turns every last bit of popular culture into a promotional ad for porn, people are going around thinking that they need to dress like a porn star, take off their clothes at random, have sex as an ice-breaker activity, and say yes to any sexual act all the time no matter what. Take for example, this situation witnessed at the University of California-Berkeley campus:

“Groups of girls were clacking along the street in their party uniforms: short skirts, bare midriffs, five-inch heels. One of them stopped and lifted her skirt above her waist, revealing a tiny thong, a flat belly, and some righteously toned glutes. She looked happy and strong, laughing, surrounded by friends, having fun. Then she turned toward a building where two bros, appraising the relative “hotness” of those trying to gain entrée to their party, were posted by the door.”

As Gail Dines always says, you can either be fuckable or invisible. If you’re a woman who doesn’t want to lift up your mini-skirt and show off your thong in order for frat boys to rate your “hotness,” then you’re a boring, old-fashioned, anti-sex prude. Hence women having to label themselves “demisexual” in order to convey to people that they actually want to have a conversation with a guy and determine that he has at least two brain cells and isn’t an asshole before her skirt comes off.

The culture young people are growing up in is a porn culture. Not only are youth watching actual porn starting at age 11, they are also witnessing a consumerist, individualist pro-capitalist culture that sells women and girls as consumer products at every turn. Even before the Internet, young people tended to believe that everyone was having sex but them; now the problem is certainly worse. After spending hours online watching videos in which every woman says “yes” and sex occurs anytime, anywhere, between anybody, at the drop of a hat, anyone who attempts to assert boundaries and pursue a healthy and rewarding sexual and romantic life will feel like a deviant.

Let’s take at look at 17 Confessions From People Who Identify as Demisexual, posted on hellogiggles.com.

  1. It is so hard to explain to people that I don’t feel arousal unless there is a very close bond (I’m demisexual) but am still a very sexual person.
  2. I’m demisexual, but I’m scared people will judge me because I don’t want to have sex with them straight away or have a one night stand.
  3. I’m demisexual and it’s a little frustrating. When I’m with my friends they’ll say “omg he’s so hot” meanwhile I’m thinking “I wonder if he has a good personality.”
  4. I hate being demisexual. Crushes are either extremely rare or they last for way too long. I wish I was normal.
  5. I question every part of who I am. When men find out I’m demisexual, they usually stop talking to me.
  6. I am demisexual and I feel like no one understands that I can’t just give you a try and love you, I really can’t.
  7. As a demisexual, if you ask for sex on the first date, you have no chance with me.
  8. I’m demisexual and an introvert, so casual dating isn’t an option for me…I wish I could be like everyone else.
  9. Dating woes: Being demisexual. Maybe one day I’ll find a guy who understands and respects what I cannot change.
  10. I’m demisexual. All the people I’ve slept with I wasn’t attracted to, they just got me aroused and I’m too shy to say no so I went with it.
  11. Just because I’m demisexual doesn’t mean I don’t want a serious, loving relationship.
  12. I’m demisexual. When I admitted that to someone I thought was my friend, they laughed in my face. I just want to be accepted for being me.
  13. I’m demisexual. Always have been, but when I was younger I felt bad for the guys so I would pretend I wasn’t.
  14. Being a demisexual female in a world where all guys seem to want is sex is really discouraging.
  15. The problem with being demisexual is that I can’t relate when people talk about stuff like dates with random people. I feel like I’m the odd one out and sometimes it feels like I’m the only one.
  16. I’m Demisexual and I love sex with my boyfriend but I don’t NEED it. He just doesn’t seem to understand.
  17. I’m finally being honest about myself. I’m demisexual. I’m done pretending to have sexual desire before I’m ready. If guys can’t handle that, they don’t deserve me.

This article doesn’t name the sex of the writers, but judging by what they’re writing I’d say they’re all female. I say that because they’re writing about the standard experience of being female in a porn-soaked patriarchy. These women think that everyone around them finds fulfillment in jumping into bed with random people they don’t even know. Nope. Even the people doing that aren’t finding fulfillment from it, or at least, the women aren’t. I did the whole casual sex thing when I was younger, and at the time I would have told you that it was fun, but I’m older and more mature now. I know that good sex isn’t based on the “hotness” of the participants, or how “extreme” the performance is. (Speaking of “hotness,” I’m going to quote this article again where the author quotes Ariel Levy:

“As journalist Ariel Levy pointed out in her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, “hot” is not the same as “beautiful” or “attractive”: It is a narrow, commercialized vision of sexiness that, when applied to women, can be reduced to two words: “fuckable” and “sellable.”

Like I was saying, good sex is not based on being “hot,” it’s based on connection and chemistry. It’s good when you really want each other, because you know each other and you have developed feelings for each other, and when you’re feeling sexual tension because of your mutual attraction, and when you are excited to know that your partner wants you as much as you want them. This sort of connection cannot happen instantly—that’s impossible. (It can’t be bought or sold, either.) Chemistry and attraction are things people develop gradually through interaction with each other.

What these “demisexual” women don’t realize is that, despite feeling like they’re abnormal, they have actually figured out the secret to good sex ahead of their peers. They are on the path to have satisfying sex, while their porn-addicted peers are going to have to unlearn a whole bunch of harmful beliefs and habits before they can actually enjoy themselves in bed. Getting validation that you are “fuckable” only feels good in a superficial, fleeting way. After putting up with a bunch of disrespectful and ineffective lovers, even the “fuckable” women will get tired of the whole charade and want to find the same sort of relationship the demisexuals are looking for.

Demisexuals aren’t missing out on anything if misogynist sleazebags stop talking to them upon finding out they are demisexual. They should actually breathe a sigh of relief because they have dodged a bullet.

It’s interesting to note that “demi” means half. Does demisexual mean half sexual? It’s like these people believe that they’re missing something or they aren’t sexual enough. This belief is not just limited to the Tumblr Speshul Snowflake community, it’s everywhere else too. There is a thing called “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder,” which is a medical euphemism for “bitches not putting out enough,” and apparently around one third of women have this “condition.” But if that many people have “low desire,” can that even be called “low”? Perhaps the bar is being set too high. Low desire in comparison to what, exactly?

What women need to learn is that whatever their sexual interest level is, that is the normal level. There is no such thing as being “half sexual” or “hyposexual” because there is no universal measuring stick that everyone has to meet. Women are not responsible for providing their bodies to men to use. Men have their hands and they have tube socks—they are going to be just fine. Women are allowed to decide when and how and with whom to have sex, and we’re also allowed to not want it at all, and this doesn’t require an excuse, a label, or an explanation.

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77 thoughts on “Demisexuality and You

  1. Why? WHY??? Demisexual? That is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. If the word “offensive” weren’t so over-used, I would tell people how offensive these made-up terms are to my sensibilities. I will NEVER use this term or the term “cis.”

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  2. Some women do like casual sex with strangers. It’s a dangerous thing to get into, especially with men, but I would be wary of saying it’s inevitably the result of grooming. Women should be able to be as picky or un-picky as we want, and that includes how well we know people we bed.

    That said; I don’t like the label either. “Demisexual” isn’t a niche group. It just means you need perceived psychological intimacy with a person in order to enjoy sex with them. It’s hardly uncommon, but it should not be seen as somehow superior (or inferior) to the alternative.

    Also, some people are a lot more visual than others, and do find looking at strangers arousing at times, or even frequently. I don’t think this is inevitably connected to porn use, though porn use definitely affects such reactions (visually undressing people).

    As always, it’s difficult to evaluate these things when living in a patriarchy, because we don’t know how they’d play out in a more egalitarian culture.

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    • We could probably debate endlessly what “casual sex” means. It could be two people who’ve known each other for a while and have chemistry, but are only planning to have sex and not get into a long-term relationship, or it could mean drunkenly bringing someone home from the bar whose name you won’t remember in the morning. Very different situations.
      We could also endlessly debate what it means to feel attraction while looking at a stranger. I find lots of women visually appealing but I wouldn’t actually have sex with them. It’s a pretty complex topic.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I feel the same way about seeing the (rare) man worth a second or third look. Aesthetically pleasing, sure, and in a different way from women, but desire doesn’t come into it. Even the very rare occasion of seeing someone who looks like he could be the Captain’s lovechild (it has happened, lol) doesn’t spark anything.

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    • You’re right, Miep, about the visuals. When I saw (and couldn’t stop looking at) Mr D’s portrait for the first time I was 17 and had seen exactly one 70s porn magazine in my life.

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    • Yeah, I mean, I’m very visually oriented, and definitely look at randoms in a sexual way. Doesn’t mean I’d necessarily have sex with them, and there are a lot of things that go into the decision to do so or not. More things for women than for men, which is why there’s a gap in behavior and preferences between the sexes. If men were a. better in bed on average and b. less likely to be dangerous or to be assholes afterwards, and also c. fear of pregnancy isn’t a thing there would probably be more women wanting casual sex with randoms. But reality is a thing, so there’s a difference. I think it’s societal rather than innate.

      None of which means that wanting to have some sort of emotional connection to people before you have sex with them is in any way weird or unusual. What these young women are expressing is discomfort with the culture they live in rather than with the idea of sex itself. I can see why they’ve come up with this as a work-around for the “be a blow-up doll and do whatever men want you to” expectations being placed on them, but it sucks that they have to do that.

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      • Well, there’s a world of difference between discreetly sexually appraising strangers and trying to get their attention.

        Bedding strange men may be something women do out of trauma, or excessive intoxication, or because they actually like doing so, but in all cases it’s dangerous. Of course getting to know men doesn’t preclude their being dangerous, but it improves your odds of spotting abusive crap before you let things go too far. Because once you say yes, it can be really difficult getting them to go away.

        Having a sense of connection can arrive at different rates and in different ways, and is also no guarantee of safety. But otherwise it all comes down to social pressure to sexually service men on demand, and this isn’t a whole lot different from prostitution other than there not being money involved, and therefore not the same level of perceived entitlement. But you never know, these encounters can turn violent, even when the man doesn’t think he’s paid a woman to hurt her. Because all the fun is in the transgressing. Thus men try to groom women to think transgression is sexy (and sexy is mandatory).

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        • The whole filtering decisions through practical considerations about safety aspect of sex, and how women tend to do it automatically and sometimes on a subconscious level, is totally absent from the discussion of the various flavors of asexual but not really, and it’s part of the reason the dialogue around this makes no sense at all.

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        • Entirely correct. Dating strategy cannot be discussed if it hurts anyone’s feelings. Everything must be rigidly locked down into identity. Bad behavior may not be challenged, because doing so is seen as “shaming,” and this in turn erases victims.

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        • For any younger women reading but not commenting, though, a potentially helpful tip – any man who responds to the realization that you’re making certain decisions and avoiding certain situations based on concerns about your safety and that that means that you don’t automatically have complete trust in him on sight with anger? Is demonstrating that you were right to be concerned. The ones who aren’t dangerous respond to that realization with empathy, not rage.

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        • Oh hell yes. Any time any man gets angry at you for not going along with his plans for you, it’s a huge red flag. Any time you set a clear boundary and he ignores it or even targets it, he’s demonstrating that he thinks he gets to control you.

          This can all get more convoluted and complicated when people are in actual relationships, but when dealing with strangers and acquaintances, it’s very clear and is a kind of grooming, grooming you to be submissive. Very important to learn to recognize this, save you a world of hurt.

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        • (Though empathy and understanding are often faked by predators, so don’t assume that an “oh I know, totally understand” response means he’s safe to be around either. Still, though, angry about the fact that you don’t feel safe? Definitely a huge red flag.)

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  3. At the ripe old age of 52, I’m finding myself weighted down with a never ending chain of imposed adjectives to describe myself that now rivals the bonds of Scrooge and Marley. I dread ever having to fill out a dating profile in the future. Demisexual?! Sounds like coffee served in a tiny cup. Oops, nope that’s demitasse. Good grief.

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  4. Great post, psf. I was inclined to mock the whole demisexual label too (someone exclusively attracted to Demi Moore?) when all it means is “normal,” until friends pointed out how young women are having to use it to get out of being expected to, essentially, fuck on demand. Now it horrifies me. I daresay there are Tumblr snoeflakes using it to show how special they are, but what disturbs me – on top of the whole porn culture creating this – is that there are women, and probably men, who really do think they are abnormal, handicapped, for being this way. It’s sickening.

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    • That could be. Or it could operate like a ritual submission display, as in “it’s not that you’re unattractive, it’s that I’m demisexual.” A kind of get out of fucking free card. I agree with everyone here that it’s evolved as a response to porn culture. Used to be they called us frigid, or the men impotent. Lack of arousal isn’t a disorder if there is no underlying identifiable physical cause (damage to blood vessels, for instance).

      Porn culture assumes that the act of fucking itself automatically arouses women, and since this is nonsense, women have derived a workaround.

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  5. Someone on tumblr commented about that hellogiggles piece, and I’m probably paraphrasing a bit, “It’s so sad young women find it so difficult to say ‘no’ that they had to invent a new sexuality.” I thought that – sadly indeed – hit the nail on the head about the state of things these days.

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  6. Miep nails this one. “That said; I don’t like the label either. “Demisexual” isn’t a niche group. It just means you need perceived psychological intimacy with a person in order to enjoy sex with them.” I mean, who knew.

    I’d like to dig a little deeper here, though. Human beings have been rich and secure enough to go around talking about stuff like this for a relatively short period of time. Back in the day, when the wolf was literally at the door (if you even had a door), women in particular were well aware that sex with men often gets you pregnant (especially since birth control had not been invented yet). Being pregnant means being vulnerable, not to mention how vulnerable a newborn infant is (and makes her mother too).

    Our foremothers did not have smart phones, but they themselves were not stupid. These women understood that if you and your future infant are to survive this experience, you need ideally a male who will hang around and defend you when you need it. This dictates a certain discernment when deciding to have sex. Do I like him? Does he like me, enough to stick by me when that becomes difficult? Is he strong? Is he a reliable type? Will he take care of us when I am incapacitated?

    We are the descendants of hundreds of thousands of generations of women who made the right choices in this situation. (The ones who made careless choices (and their infants) usually did not survive.) It’s not surprising that many, maybe most, modern women are still making such calculations deep in the brain somewhere.

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    • Considering that men are rather crappy at protecting women and, on average, are more of a danger to women … I think that having female friends (think an elephant herd, or something) is more important.

      But men messed up the evolution of that instict when they invented patriarchy and separated women from each other. The ideas you described could have started to evolve then.
      So it is essentially their own fault that women won’t fuck any random guy. Karma.

      (Okay, women still wouldn’t fuck any random guy. The investment in pregnancy is much too large to risk all that for a child with bad genes, so there is that. But we could have a society wherein women have sex with random attractive men.)

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      • Interesting ideas. It would be interesting too to have a look at how our closest relatives, the great apes, handle this matter. I don’t know much about that. Perhaps someone can enlighten us.

        Fucking random men would seem to be a bad idea from a number of different perspectives (the mind reels), and so far as I know only very modern societies have been so addled (as in, seized by the “random” men) as to recommend this. (From the little I know about chimpanzees I can’t imagine lady chimps taking this strategy seriously.) In my experience most women have declined the “opportunity” to fuck whoever comes along. Most of us, especially the smart ones, make some effort to be more picky, in spite of attempts (by the random men again, usually) to tell us there’s something wrong with that.

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  7. Long-time reader, first time commenter. Thank you for your insightful blog.

    Those young women’s comments from the Hellogiggles were very sad to me. There was a time in my life when identifying on the asexual spectrum seemed useful to me. It game me a narrative that explained my relationships that ended due to sexual incompatibility and the trauma of men attempting to coerce me into sex. But I’m glad that I didn’t cling to the label too tightly. Now I have a partner that I enjoy sex with, but I still feel like I could live without sex. Maybe in another lifetime, I would have been happy as a medieval nun.

    I was hate-reading Everyday Feminism’s Facebook page the other day (bad idea, I know), and looked at the comments for an article about asexuality. The people were insane! They have this idea that “allosexual” people are all oppressors. Never mind that sexual attraction exists in degrees, and that an individual’s sexual response can vary throughout their lifetime. Someone who brought up that medical conditions can dampen sex drive was accused of concern trolling, and another person who made reasonable arguments why asexuals didn’t belong in LGBT was compared to a TERF (the standard EF boogeyman).

    I think that human sexual drive and arousal is complex and these new labels conceal more than they reveal. A couple of friends of mine read the book “Come As You Are,” and I think this review ( http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1423331671?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1) sums up the concepts nicely.

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    • I’ve been flirting with using the asexual label but I don’t consider it ableist to acknowledge that my many health conditions could play into it. That’s okay and I think its still okay for me to use the term asexual.

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    • “Someone who brought up that medical conditions can dampen sex drive was accused of concern trolling, and another person who made reasonable arguments why asexuals didn’t belong in LGBT was compared to a TERF …”

      Seriously? There do seem to be a lot of people over there with way too much time on their hands.

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  8. When I first heard the term demisexual, I thought it referred to someone who just isn’t very sexual, but who isn’t asexual either. Then I realized it’s supposed to refer to someone who wants an emotional bond before sleeping together. You raise a lot of good points in this post, like how many young women these days feel compelled into putting a special label on themselves to justify not wanting to be a part of the hookup culture or not having sex until a relationship has become longterm and serious (by whatever personal standards they’d measure those things).

    One of the things that really gets me about all these Tumblresque “sexual orientations” and “gender identities” is how many otherwise intelligent, rational people I know who have obediently gone along with it and started using such language themselves. Never mind that you never heard about any of this as recently as 5-10 years ago, and that there’s zero evidence in history of this.

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    • “Evidence in history” isn’t really a good argument for or against something.
      And let’s be realistic, when in history did men ever care what women want?
      (Applies to sexual orientations, obviously, not gender identities – the lack of gender identity in history is likely do to there being no women’s spaces for much of history, so no need for men to claim to be female to be allowed in.)

      I think both “agender” and “demisexual” are concepts women develop to protect themselves against patriarchy disgused as feminism. They both essentially say “Okay, yeah, so you people want to submit to gender stereotypes and have sex with random strangers … okay, sure, that’s normal, and I am the strange one. Okay. Let me be the weird person in peace, please?”

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  9. It strikes me that this is a perfect example of what happens when a sexist society succeeds in preventing women from talking to each other about their lives. If these women were able to talk openly and honestly to their peers and to older women with more life experience, if they’d grown up with that as the norm, you wouldn’t see all this “I know it’s just me and I’m not normal” stuff. They couldn’t be more normal, but they don’t know that because it’s in the interests of a lot of different groups of people (male people, people who want to sell them things) that they not realize that.

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  10. “Demisexuality” is one of those things I’m really torn about.

    On one hand I fully support (and sympathize with) any young woman who uses it in a way to protect herself from demands of our porn infested society. I’m sad and livid about the very real way a woman might try to clutch the label of “demisexuality” as some kind of a imperfect (because it’s not like it’s sure to help her) magic talisman that might make the porn vampires and ghouls leave her alone and not pressure her into sex.
    I even get that some women might honestly believe that “demisexuality” is a thing. And that they are demisexual. I’m also sadly sure that it’s very likely that there are some young woman who were overjoyed to discover demisexuality because it means that they aren’t (as sex obsessed and objectification normalizing society would like to make them think) “broken” for not wanting to have sex with everybody.

    But on the other hand; it’s another of those labels that can only exist if other people are not that label too. Because, if you don’t go around calling yourself demisexual then what dose that makes you? Is everybody else hypersexual? Or allsexual? Or fullsexual? What?

    As a personal defense mechanism it might work. But globally it’s only serves to normalize sexulization even more. It says that yes, not wanting to have sex all the time is somehow a special kind of sexuality. And only some people are demisexual. While everybody else really does takes their pants off all the time.

    So, yeah. I don’t think that “demisexuality” is all that helpful.

    p.s. Another first time commenter here. I’ve been reading for a while now bit never got around to commenting. And this is one of things that’s really bugging me so I thought it might be the time to stop lurking.

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    • I totally get you on this, but at the same time, you do what you have to do. And why can’t being demisexual become a super popular trend?

      I figure anything that helps women not let men rape them is a good thing.

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        • We would, because we’re old enough to do so, to know what porn-fed BS this state of affairs is. But the young women who think there’s something odd about themselves for not being the way porn depicts them and they’re told they should be?

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        • I remember a convo on one of the big Democratic USA blogs, years ago, where a woman was talking about being lonely and a man was telling her she should just try hooking up with a random dude, basically, and that it might grow into something, and that he’d done that with a woman and was now in a relationship with her. Some time later he took to blogging about his new hot girlfriend and about how his other one was cool with it, other than periodically breaking into tears (yes, he blogged that too).

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      • Oh, I’m all for women using anything that might help them defend themselves from being coerced and pressured into sex.

        My worry is that “demisexuality” helps normalize porn based expectations males have. Like, a huge % of women everywhere is “demisexual”. So, what we as a society should be doing is combating the porn-y assumption that all women are eager to have sex all the time. Not say that only some women are not interested in porn inspired “sex”.

        I’m also not sure it really does prevent men from coercively raping women. It might (and really it’s in no way a sure thing) save a women who get some frat boy to back off with claims of “demisexuality”. But it won’t help the next women who doesn’t know to use the magic word.
        You’d might just end up with women who know to try and save themselves with “demisexual” label and all other women who end up being seen as hypersexual and free-for-all.

        I worry that it could be used as just another “Well, she wanted it” excuse. That women and girls who don’t call themselves demisexual would be seen as always “up for it”.

        That’s why I support it as a individual defense mechanism. But I don’t think it would do anything for women as a class.

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        • Yeah, I don’t think we have any magic word that could save us.
          As you say; saying you’re a lesbian won’t help at all. And hell, it might even harm you. “Corrective” rape and men with lesbian fetishes and who see lesbians as a challenge are a thing. Men will assault and rape trans men too.

          So, yeah. Demisexual is not much of a shield.

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    • Hi, Catherine!

      That’s such a good point about demisexuality assuming “normal” “sexual” people are out fucking anyone at all, no questions asked, presumably on the basis of fleeting physical attraction, if that. It equates sexual with indiscriminate. I saw that attitude a lot reading AVEN years ago.

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  11. Late comment, but I’ve realised demisexuality is probably the most “accurate” label for me in terms of the asexuality -> hypersexuality spectrum: I don’t have fleeting/brief attractions to people, don’t experience sexual or romantic fantasies in the absence of a partner, don’t appreciate people visually and find the thought of casual sex terrifying. I don’t start to find people physically attractive or consider dating them until I have become quite emotionally involved with them. Part of it is obviously not just “not wanting sex until in a relationship” but also “not wanting a relationship until you have a high level of trust and love in the other person”. Once I’m in a relationship on the other hand basically anything goes (dysphoria gets in the way of having sex and being naked, obviously, but if I didn’t have that or learned how to manage it, I’d probably have a normal level of sex drive).

    But at the same time the only reason for this label to exist is because of me living in a culture where I’m expected to have casual sex (presumably with men), rate the sexual attractiveness of celebrities/classmates/coworkers/passersby, go on dates with people I’m not invested in, watch porn, experience a sufficient level of fantasies and daydreams to have a concept of sexual orientation* before ever falling in love with someone, etc.—and where to some extent the only acceptable sexual orientation is “oriented towards men finding me attractive”.

    Outside of this culture I suspect these preferences would be part of the unmarked default and normal. Within this culture (which is specifically one of 15-30 year olds, more or less) they are definitely marked and othered. Even then the only real use of the label is to explain to sympathetic but confused peers why I had a panic attack when someone tried to chat me up for sex or why I can never supply individuals I find attractive when asked to. >_> For all actual sexual orientation purposes I would just describe myself as bi and either “not interested in sex or a relationship right now” or “happily in a relationship” depending on circumstances. (“Interested in a relationship” only happens if I love the person and am certain they love me back.) If we do end up in a scenario where 25% (or some other large number) of the human population is aware of and uses the term “demisexual”, maybe that will trigger a significant shift away from porn culture, or at least towards demis being considered a significant demographic which also deserves to be catered to, lmao.

    * i.e. how people will say things like “I knew I was gay from a very early age because I only wanted to kiss girls and not boys”, or whatever.

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    • I’m about the same as you, and always thought of myself as normal. Though the ease with which people know who (and which sex) they are attracted to often puzzled me.
      I find some people aesthetic and will usually supply one of those individuals when asked whom I find attractive, so I have never seen any need to label myself as demisexual.
      (If I had a panic attack because someone tried to chat me up for sex, I would probably blame it on the creepiness of said attempt, as I do not tend to panic in other situations when I am not interested in what is offered.)

      You are right, if suddenly 25% of the population identified as demisexual, that might change things. However, some might not want to label themselves such, but rather want to be “normal” and therefore feel pressured to have casual sex, as that seems to be the only behaviour that does not get a label. Difficult to predict what this trend will lead to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This trend only leads to something if we pay attention to it. I’d advise ignoring all arguments that go to the tune of, “The reason you don’t want to have sex with me is that there is something wrong with you.” (Which is what accusing someone of being “demisexual” usually boils down to, I imagine.

        This is a male argument of very long standing. I am older than most of you here and I have heard several iterations of this argument. “You’re frigid” (that’s an old old one) and “You’re a lesbian” being the most common. The answers are easy. If you are a lesbian, say so. (And if your assailant is a male.)

        The real answer, though, devastating if you have the nerve to deliver it properly, is to look the person straight in the eye and say, “No, there’s nothing wrong with me, you just don’t appeal to me.”

        Liked by 3 people

        • BINGO.

          What does demisexual suggest? Half sexual. Half glass empty. Incomplete. It’s a lie, an old, ugly lie. Put out for me or there’s something wrong with you.

          Demisexuality is a concept that plays into pathologising being normal.

          Liked by 2 people

  12. This isn’t just a problem for women. I’m a homoromantic male who recently discovered the demisexual label and feel incredibly liberated from the expectations and pressures of gay culture. I came out in August 2008 and almost right away felt dissonance in being surrounded by what felt like a hypersexual culture. Everyone was flirting and hooking up, and I tried to be that for a time until a couple years ago when I took myself off the dating/hookup scene. I didn’t feel anything for all but a handful of the guys I’d been with, and the guys I did feel something for were those I’d known for some time before we’d had sex. It was weird that I’d feel sexual desire and find guys attractive, but that those two things rarely intersected. I’m not sure if the vast majority of gay men are really hypersexual, if that’s the model they to which they simply conform, if men in general (gay, hetero, bi) aren’t conditioned to be that reflective about their sexuality, or if our culture itself is too hypersexual. Either way, it’s a huge relief to have found this label and that others are describing similar experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gay men have a very hypersexual culture. I know two gay male couples IRL and they both seem like any regular couple to me. Nothing like Brian and Justin from Queer as Folk. There’s probably other men who feel the way you do. Actually Anomie who comments here might feel similarly.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Demisexual is yet another special snowflake label. But, I will say I have more sympathy for these people than others coming up with this kind of thing. It is pretty sad that nowadays you need a special label if you don’t want to sleep with everything that moves. I think it is pretty common for a lot of people, especially women, to actually want to know the person before sleeping with them.

    I knew a guy back when I was an undergrad who was calling himself a demisexual. He really was just hetero, but was not that into the masculine ideal of sleeping around with a lot of different women or things like sports culture and frat boy stuff. I met him at the alphabet soup org just before it went from actually being about lesbians, gays, and bisexuals and turned into a trans-queer cult. Now that I think about this guy, I really hope he wasn’t brainwashed into taking estrogen or being “nonbinary” just because he didn’t want to be sexually promiscuous. Then again, he did not seem like the autogynophile type.

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