Sex & Gender
demisexuality is not a quirk or a fetish
September 28, 2017
By Suprihmé / WearYourVoice Mag, AFROPUNK contributor
Many demisexuals have sex. Many demisexuals desire sex. Some demisexuals don’t desire sex often. Some demisexuals are repulsed by sex unless they are “close” to the person.
WHAT IS A DEMIBISEXUAL?
A demibisexual is a demisexual bisexual person. Some may find this contradictory. I do not because I have been attracted to both women and men at different points in my life. Both are sexual orientations.
WHAT DOES DEMISEXUAL MEAN?
Demisexual is under the umbrella or gray-asexual, or sometimes is used interchangeably. It basically means your mode/s of attraction do not fit within the relative norms. Most define it as a person who does not feel (or rarely feels) any immediate sexual attraction (to people). Basically, demisexual people tend to require an emotional connection or bond with a person before develop any kind of sexual attraction.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMISEXUAL AND ASEXUAL?
Most people put sexual and asexual at opposite ends of the spectrum and demisexual or graysexual covers everything in between. To put it simply, an asexual person does not experience sexual attraction. However, they may have sex for other reasons. Many people try to define asexuality and demisexuality around whether or not we have sex.
The focus on who we have sex with can be uncomfortable for aces/graces who don’t [often] desire sexual contact or even those of us who do. I have even had people question my demisexuality based on my uncanny ability to navigate sexually charged spaces, my attention to sexual issues such as demanding orgasms for cis women from cishet/cisbi men, and my attachment issues which sometimes cause me to emotionally attach to someone quicker than “normal”—which has nothing to do with sexual desire and everything to do with trauma and/or boundary issues. Beyond that, people tend to attach at varying rates. Some perfectly healthy people naturally attach faster than others, while some are more guarded.
Many demisexuals have sex. Many demisexuals desire sex. Some demisexuals don’t desire sex often. Some demisexuals are repulsed by sex unless they are “close” to the person. I have felt all of these things. Libido is not the same as sexual attraction.
BUT YOU FLIRT AND USE SEXUAL INNUENDO SO HOW CAN YOU BE DEMI?
I am a natural flirt. I also am pretty perceptive and empathetic. I developed these skills within the realm of sex work/erotic labor. Lots of people think flirting is sexual, but it isn’t always. Flirting is an extension of charisma. It is a social behavior and can be either for amusement, or sexual or to acquire some sort of favor or create interest.
HOW CAN YOU BE A SEX WORKER AND DEMISEXUAL?
YOU CALL YOURSELF “THOT SCHOLAR” AND YOU TALK ABOUT SEX AND HAVING ORGASMS ALL THE TIME. YOU ALSO CALL YOURSELF “PROHEAUX” WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
If you read this piece I published on Medium last year about proheauxism, you will see that my version of being “pro-hoe” or sex positive is highly political and is not centered around just sex. It is focused on reproductive justice, sex worker rights and advocacy, and trans/queer rights and advocacy.
Sex is still a part of this framework but is decentered. That’s because the focus on sex tends to be more individual and I want to lean equally toward collective liberation. I fight for orgasms, however, because historically the clitoral orgasm has been devalued, and women’s orgasms are seen as inferior or unimportant. It is still an issue, and it is something I do care about.
BUT YOU SAID YOU WERE POLY? HOW CAN YOU BE DEMI AND POLY AT THE SAME TIME?
Being poly and grace/demi is not contradictory. If we remove the poly label from the equation basically I just want the freedom to make connections how I please. But I do desire an intimate-sexual [live-in] life partner. ALSO: asexual polyamorous people exist. Polyamory is only sex-centered for people (usually cis men) escaping from monogamy and applying ingrained sociocultural ideals about Romance to poly. Polyamory isn’t just about having more sex. It’s about the freedom to pursue different levels of intimacy with other people which may or may not be sexual.
YOU HAVE TOO MANY BOYFRIENDS/ENJOY SEX TOO MUCH/TALK ABOUT SEX TOO MUCH TO BE A TRUE DEMISEXUAL. PLUS I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU WERE QUEER?
Queer is an umbrella term that encompasses a plethora of identities, including asexuality and graysexuality. However, excessive focus on sex is why many asexuals may not feel completely at home in the LGBTQ community.
The number of boyfriends or girlfriends or partners I have, has no bearing on whether or not I am demisexual. Remember, sexual behavior is separate from sexual attraction and/or the desire for companionship. I have a deep desire for intimacy and companionship that has nothing to do with sex. Sex is just sometimes nice to have. Also, it is much easier for me to do what I do when I communicate in the language of sex—it is easier to navigate certain spaces when I appear to toe the line for the “norm.” I don’t feel the need to be a part of an asexual community because I am able to perform and navigate efficiently.
My demisexuality is treated like a quirk to anyone I care to mention it to—mostly I just fake sexual attraction and desire until it either happens in time or doesn’t. I can, and have had lots of sex just because it’s fun. Because we derive physical pleasure from recreational sex, it can be considered a form of play. If you do it right.
Equating desire for intimacy and companionship or desire for romance and/or sex to sexual attraction is problematic for me. It only makes sense within a cultural romantic context, where all of these facets of our sexuality are conflated.
Questions to ask yourself: Does an intimate pair bond have to be sexual (romantic)?
- What Is Asexuality?
- The Purple-Red Scale of Human Attraction
- Primary vs. Secondary Attraction
- Orientation and Gender Identity (a neat little visual)
This post is in partnership with WearYourVoiceMag.
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