Demisexuality is a kind of sexuality or inclination toward sex. People who identify as demisexual will only feel sexual attraction to someone else if they first form a strong emotional bond or link to them.
For more detail on what a demisexual is, and how demisexuality varies from other sexual orientations, keep reading. We also provide the answers to other frequently asked questions about the topic.
What is demisexual?
Certain people feel only sexual attraction for those they have developed a strong personal bond with. If that’s the case, that person is known as demisexual.
A person who is demisexual may feel sexual attraction and desire to engage in sexual activity far more rarely than the general population, according to the Demisexuality Resource Centre.
For example, most people may feel attracted sexually to random people they meet in public or at work or school. In some situations, this is solely based on physical attraction, and comes from seeing the person simply.
A demisexual, on the other hand, will only feel sexual attraction towards a individual once they have the opportunity to develop a strong emotional bond with him. When they experience a sexual attraction towards a individual, they may choose to engage with them in sexual activity but often the urge is weaker. In some situations, given the emotional connection, this may never develop.
In other words, an emotional bond does not guarantee that the person will have any sexual desire, but even consideration of sexual activity is necessary for them.
The emotional bond which a demisexual person feels does not necessarily have to be inclined toward romance. The bond might be due to an intimate and otherwise platonic relationship with another.
The time it takes for the development of this emotional bond can vary considerably from person to person. For some demisexuals, certain situations— like sharing a short-lived experience with someone — can trigger a bond’s rapid onset. For others, it can take years for the bond to develop.
Either way, a bond does not guarantee that the person will feel sexual attraction, and it does not necessarily mean that they will act on it, even if they do so.
Several other sexual identities share demisexuality similarities, but some key differences do exist.
A person who identifies as asexual experiences no sexual intercourse with any other person and has no desire for sex. The asexual spectrum has asexuality at one end and nonasexuality at the other, according to the Demisexual Resource Centre.
Somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, demisexuality falls because a demisexual person will feel very little sexual attraction towards others. The key difference, however, is that demisexuals can feel sexual attraction and a desire to have sex once they have developed an emotional bond with someone else.
Gray-a or gray asexuality is on the asexual spectrum, as is demisexuality. However, unlike demisexuality, a person who identifies as being gray-a experiences rare or less intense sexual attraction or desire to engage in sexual activity.
A person who is gray-a may feel sexual attraction due to any number of different circumstances, according to GLAAD, an organization that works to promote acceptance and rights of transgender people.
Individuals identifying as Gray-a may:
- experience sexual attraction infrequently, but it does occur sometimes
- experience sexual attraction but have a low sex drive
- have specific reasons why they feel attracted to and enjoy sex with others
While gray-asexual and demisexual individuals both rarely experience sexual attraction, the key difference here is that gray-asexual individuals do not necessarily require an emotional bond to feel sexual attraction.
Gray-a is a sexual orientation that is very inclusive, meaning that there are many ways a individual can identify as gray-a. A person can define gray-a however they want, according to the Demisexual Resource Centre.
Demisexuality is similar in some ways to sapiosexuality too. The main similarity is that, like a demisexual person, a person who identifies as sapio has a limited number of people to whom they might be attracted.
However, the big difference is that a person who identifies as being sapiosexual is attracted to the other person’s intelligence or mind. The emotional bond is not the deciding factor here.
The authors of a recent study that investigated whether IQ was the most attractive trait specifically for sapiosexuals concluded it was not the most important factor. Subjective intelligence appeared to be more important than objective intelligence according to the findings of this study, which is what an IQ test measures.
A person who identifies as pansexual can be sexually attracted to anyone, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or sexual identity.
The level with attraction they feel towards individuals of different gender identities can vary. In other words, a person who identifies as pansexual may be more interested in females physically but still find that they are also sexually attracted to some males.
Why does demisexual need a label?
Putting a label on a certain sexual identity will make people to feel inclusive and realize they are not alone. By choosing the demisexual label, a person can join a broader community of individuals who also identify as demisexual. Doing so can help them feel safe, inspire others, and find acceptance.
Do demisexuals desire sex?
Sexual acts and the desire of sex are separate entities.
A person who identifies as demisexual may feel sexual attraction to a person they’re close to but may not have a high sex drive or a desire to engage with the person in sexual activity.
Like others, those who identify as demisexual may have different levels of sex drive but, generally speaking, demisexual people do have the ability to want sex.
Is it natural that you want sex only after you get to know someone?
Most people may feel sexually attracted to a few different people at any given time, regardless of their emotional connection or degree of familiarity. The desire of a person to have sex with others does not necessarily remain limited to those they know well.
Although some people may only choose to have sex in an established relationship, others may want to have sex with someone they’ve just met. Both approaches to sex are completely normal.
A person who identifies himself as a semisexual will only develop sexual feelings towards a person if he or she has a close emotional bond with them.
This sexual attraction does not necessarily mean that a person wants to engage in sexual activity with the other person.
Demisexuality is part of the asexual spectrum, which means that a person who identifies as semisexual is likely to have a lower-than-average sex drive.
However, while asexual people completely refrain from sexual activity, a semisexual person may engage in sexual intercourse once an emotional bond or connection has been established.