Quantcast

What Exactly Does It Mean If You're A 'Demisexual'?

If emotional intimacy means a lot but sex doesn't, this read might be for you.

Love & Relationships

Did you read the title of this and say to yourself, "What in the heck is a demisexual?" Believe you me, I totally get it. When I first happened upon the word, I felt the same way. What's really a trip is, once I discovered the definition (which we'll get into in just a moment), I said to my own self, "OK, but aren't most women demisexuals?". At least on some level? Hmph.

In a previous article, I already explained that it's common for all human beings to have "a type" (check out "According To Experts, We All Have A 'Type'"). Well, the interesting thing about demisexuals is, many classify them as being on the spectrum of being asexual (free from sexual desire or sexuality). Personally, at least on the surface, I find this to be pretty strange because, it's weird—or maybe the more appropriate word is "sad"—that culture has gotten to a point and place that if you aren't down for one-night stands, hook-ups or casual sex, you must be closer to being an asexual human being. To me, demisexual goes much deeper than that surface-layer resolve, though. In a minute, you'll see why I've personally come to that conclusion.

What Exactly Is a Demisexual?

media.giphy.com

Alright. Enough alluding to what a demisexual is. It's time to put it right on out there. Believe it or not, there is an entire website that's devoted to what it means to be a demisexual. It says that 1) a demisexual is an actual sexual orientation and 2) a person who is someone who doesn't feel a sexual attraction for someone unless there is an emotional connection that has been established first. Again, doesn't that seem like a vast majority of us? Let's go deeper and see.

Personally, I'm someone who can find a man to be fine-and-then-some-mo'-fine, whether I know him or not or he ever says a word or not. And while I've certainly had my "he could get it" moments, I must admit that I wasn't really being serious or literal. I've never had a one-night stand. Plus, my claim to past-sexual-partner-fame (or infamy, depending on how you look at it, I guess) is I only slept with guys who I was friends with first; not shallow versions of friendship either. For the most part, I had known them and they knew me (and we spent significant amount of quality time together) for quite some time. And that bond is what made me wanna give it up.

Well, a demisexual is actually similar in this way. Oftentimes, they are not sexually drawn to someone unless they are a close friend or someone they've come to know a lot about. Yet here's where some of them differ from a lot of us who might immediately consider ourselves to be one—the reason why some demisexuals do fall onto the spectrum of asexuality is because, typically, sexual attraction isn't something that someone is able to control. Sure, they can control actually going through with the act, but when it comes to wanting/lusting after someone, either the feeling is there or—it isn't. When it comes to demisexuals, however, sometimes no sexual attraction occurs, even if there is an emotional bond that has transpired between them and someone who is attractive. This is why some demisexuals can go their entire life with only having a couple of sexual attractions, they can even go their entire life only being into one person. At the same time, what makes them different from all-out asexuals is, they are capable of sexual attraction; the desire just isn't as strong and the instance doesn't seem to occur, even a fraction as often as it does for demisexuals.

Bottom line, a demisexual tends to not have the highest sex drive on the planet, only desires sex when a profound emotional tie is in place and, tends to only merge the "drive" and "tie" rarely while others can be sexually attracted without the need for any time of emotional bond. Make sense?

What Are Some Demisexual Traits?

media.giphy.com

I remember when I first discovered that I was an ambivert. I happened upon the term while doing some research because, I knew that I was definitely not an extrovert, but still, certain parts of my personality didn't match-up with being an introvert either. I'm willing to bet that's how some of you are feeling about the word "demisexual" being introduced into your psyche as we speak. While you definitely know you're not asexual, something about you does feel a little…different. But if you're still not sure if demisexual "scratches the itch", let's touch on some demisexual traits that are telling signs that you could very possibly be one.

Sex really just ain't that big of a deal. On the site that solely focuses on demisexuals, I read about a study that said that two-thirds of demisexuals are either uninterested or repulsed by sex. That said, do keep in mind that this fact leaves one-third of others who still "check the boxes" of being a demisexual who thoroughly enjoys copulation. Still, if you're someone who relishes in all of the intimacy that comes with being in a relationship sans the actual sexual act (for instance, you like the idea of actually sleeping in the same bed with someone, so long as oral sex or intercourse do not transpire) or, if sex is something that is "cool, I guess" but you honestly would be fine with or without it, for pretty much the rest of your life, that is one indication that you just might be a demisexual.

You are way more into someone's personality than their looks. Listen, live on this earth past your early 30s and you get to the point of understanding and accepting that good looks ain't always all that they're cracked up to be; not by a long country mile. It's kind of like how a box can be wrapped up beautifully, only for you to open it and find nothing but worms inside of it. So, being the kind of woman who wants more than merely someone who is nice to look at does not make you a demisexual. At the same time, those of us who are totally into sex do want to be with someone who we are physically attracted to, right? For a demisexual, that's not really a requirement. Since sexual attraction isn't much of a priority to them, being with someone who looks good isn't that big of a deal. They are far more interested in how someone makes them feel on the mental and emotional tip than what they can do for them on a physical level. In fact, it is quite common for demisexuals to be close to stunning while their partner is basically the complete opposite. They don't care. They like the companionship so, at the end of the day, that's all that really matters in their mind.

Even for demisexuals who are interested in sex, friendship has to be the foundation first. When you're a demisexual, it's pretty difficult to get to the point of having sex with someone (even if you've got some sort of a sex drive) if you're not totally comfortable with them and very emotionally connected to them. That's why, if a person is interested in a demisexual, they've got to have quite a bit of patience with the relationship because sex is not something that will happen any time soon. It's usually only after the demisexual believes there is a real friendship that anything physical can take place. Even then, there are no guarantees.

OK, with all of this said, I think it is really important to also drive home the point that being abstinent for religious, spiritual or even simply personal reasons is not the same thing as being a demisexual.

I've been abstinent for almost 14 years now (yeah, after 14…pray and we'll see, chile) and, now that I know so much more about how a demisexual thinks and moves, I am absolutely not one. While I'm also not interested in sex if there is no emotional connection in place, I am indeed interested in sex and, back when I was engaging, my drive was fairly high. I just thought it was important to bring this point up so that you don't click off of this and figure that just because you may not be gettin' any at the moment, it could be because you are a closet demisexual.

Again, demisexuals do require emotional attachments in their relationships but for the vast majority of them, if that never transitions into sex, they are fine, someone being physically/sexually attractive or appealing really isn't that big of a deal, and their drive is typically on the lower side.

You know how the saying goes—knowledge is power. I'm hoping that if you're someone who likes emotional intimacy but really is "good" on the sex tip and may have been wondering if something is wrong with you, that you now see the answer is "no" and you are not alone. You're a demisexual and that's OK—because that's simply who you are and that's all good.

Are you a member of our xoTribe community? Join us today to get free access to weekly workshops, Mentor Mondays, virtual happy hours with the xoNecole team, personal development coaches, exclusive career opportunities, and an entire archive of digital masterclasses.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.

Keep reading... Show less

Most experts would agree that it's best to maintain a safe distance from an ex following a breakup. But with social media being the clickbait that it is, keeping many of us tethered to our devices at any given minute, it's that much harder to resist the temptation to engage in risky business after a breakup (i.e. lurking onto our ex's social profiles). Aside from the infringement of privacy into our ex's day-to-day activities, staying digitally connected can stunt our own process of healing.

Keep reading... Show less

Meagan Good is no stranger to scrutiny over the span of her career. She's faced very public image criticism for a multitude of reasons, from eyebrows, all the way to "that" skin-lightening incident. And when she married her husband, producer, best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin, many people felt she didn't fit the persona of a woman who is married to a devout Christian, being that her image was based on something like a sex symbol.

Keep reading... Show less

I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts