Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I'm Demisexual: What Does That Mean? My Experience
Recently (or not so recently) I've gotten to thinking about my sexuality. Sure, for me that is a multi faceted topic for more reasons than one, but today I'd like to focus in on a very specific aspect of mines.
It wasn't until recently that I ever even heard of this term. As I have "come of age", now at the near quarter century age of twenty four (frankly with more living to do), I have used many different words to describe my sexual preferences, but demisexual was a new one. When I finally read up on what that meant, I felt like I had a new clear cut answer for myself, well at least part of it!
Growing up, I had a hard time connecting with people. I had small groups of friends, and even then there was usually only one or two within the circle I truly had a bond with. I was, and still am, very introverted and being in social situations for too long exhausts me. Even in my romantic relationships, I really value the time I get to spend alone. For this reason, maintaining and sustaining connections can prove difficult.
In addition, as the definition of demisexual describes:
"A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It's more commonly seen in but by no means confined to romantic relationships. The term demisexual comes from the orientation being "halfway between" sexual and asexual."
I would have never thought that my feelings had fallen anywhere on the asexual spectrum, because I do feel sexual attraction, but the way that I do is definitely not conventional. When friends or classmates would shove celebrities in my face and ask if I found them attractive, I would be very confused by this, and also quite uncomfortable? Especially if they asked about men (usually very masculine men), because I find that I simply cannot find a man purely attractive unless I know them personally and also because I'm not really into men who are hyper masculine (as many women tend to be, not all but many.) With women I am attracted to aesthetic beauty, but I usually cannot see any further than that unless I really knew her.
I was never one to obsess over celebs and their looks. I was more attracted to talent, artists, musicians, they made me feel something, but even still it never really went that deep. It was very surface feelings, very fantasy, I knew they were not real. I always felt like there was something missing that did not allow me to pass the threshold of blatant sexual attraction. Looks are simply not enough for me to form those feelings?
Attraction is a spectrum. If I had to definitively describe mines, on a 1-10 scale of "masculine" to "feminine" it would be a 7. I love androgyny and hyper femininity. I like men who are less masculine, and women who are super feminine or androgynous. My sexuality not black and white.
Attraction for me is also not always (and not usually) sexual. I am attracted to people for purpose of friendship way more often than romantics. I also extend non-sexual intimacy to a few close friends. I hug, hold hands, and snuggle up with close friends whenever possible so long as they are comfortable with me doing so or offer. I have always been that way.
In romantic and intimate relationships, it has always been friendship first. Sure, I had your run of the mill crushes as a kid, but they were all unrequited, and now I know why.
I was never friends with them. They were arbitrary. Fleeting, non-existing, not real. Thus they never really went anywhere. Perhaps some of the attraction was forced. "I'm a girl, you have to have a crush, pick one and hold that to your heart for the semester" I would tell myself. Just boys then, even that felt half-hearted. Pen them in your secret diaries, make it seem real.
Then the crushing realization that it would never be, and now as an adult with a much less narrow and cut and dry sexual identity, and a new found understanding of myself, I embrace myself for who I am and I'm not afraid to show it.
I'm not broken. I shouldn't feel like an alien when I'm not "hot in here" attracted to some shirtless underwear ad of some random model or celeb. Because, who is that person? When you have that one friend who is literally shoving pictures in your face and yelling "So you think he's cute? Huh? Right!?" and you're just looking at them with confusion and disdain? I refuse to be shamed because of it. I don't experience attraction like she does, and I'm not going to let her make me seem like something is wrong with me.
It's not that I don't experience sexual attraction or desire sex, but those things are really exclusive feelings that I have not felt or experienced with many people and that is fine with me. There is nothing wrong with me.
Do share your thoughts in the comments, I'd love to hear them!