You want to know the first thought I had when I realized I was demisexual?
“Thank God, I finally have a good enough reason to not sleep around anymore.”
Demisexuality is when sexual attraction comes with a prerequisite — emotional connection. Seems pretty standard; wouldn’t that just be the norm? But in a society that’s becoming increasingly hypersexual, especially within queer spaces, attraction might be ambiguous for some. You would think that at the height of the sex positivity movement, sexuality would be easier to navigate. But what do you do when your sexual GPS only works once in a blue moon?
Many choose the “prude” route and avoid having sex with anyone until the time is right. I chose the “slut” route; the road less associated with demisexuals, who fall under the asexuality umbrella. I was given the choice to go big or go home, and I chose to go home… with someone every night.
Sex was always a means to an end for me. Sleeping with this objectively attractive person meant that I was attractive, too. Sleeping with this woman or nonbinary person meant that I was still valid as a queer person. Sleeping with this person simply to do a wild taboo act meant that I was adventurous and interesting. Performing and being good in bed meant that I was valuable as a sexual being. If a person was aesthetically pleasant with a great personality, it didn’t make sense for me to want otherwise. The most enjoyable parts of sex always seemed to be the moments before and after, and I couldn’t figure out why until a pivotal moment a few years ago.
One night, I had yet another opportunity for sex but I stopped myself because I had “slept with enough attractive people already.” Yes, because completing a “hot people” quota is totally a normal thing to think about when you’re trying to have sex. This strange line of thinking got me to wonder just what I was attracted to. It was lamentable to have such a high body count with so little satisfaction. But there was a common denominator in the tiny fraction of sexual partners I enjoyed, and it wasn’t a nice body or a symmetrical face. It was emotional connection.
The signs were there before. When I was a kid I thought I was a sociopath because all of my friends were developing new crushes every week, while it took months into my first relationship to develop feelings. In high school, my first girlfriend was convinced she was the “only exception” because I never had even a semblance of attraction to women before her. I didn’t know that masturbating to the thought of real life people was an actual thing. The fact that people would actually jump at the chance to sleep with their celebrity crushes for anything other than bragging rights seemed so off to me. Constantly feeling cold in front of conventionally attractive people, I kept wishing I could physically want someone as much as I did back when I was in love.
Finally everything clicked.
I’m still sex-positive, but discovering I was demisexual helped correct so much of my misguided relationship with sex. I believe that labels aren’t necessary, but they are important to those who want to use them. They’re meant to help navigate identity in a society that condemns anything outside of the status-quo.
Maybe one day I’ll shed this one and find something that fits even better. For now, I’m just so grateful that I can feel more comfortable in my own skin.