Kayze

"Demisexuality" and Misunderstanding Sexual Attraction

Recommended Posts

Kayze

Before I begin, this isn't an attack against demisexuality, though I admit that I definitely have prejudice when I see someone identify as demisexual outside of Ace community groups but I do try to remind myself that not everyone falls into this situation that I'll talk about below.

 

So, I've noticed quite a lot of people claiming to be demisexual because they don't want to have sex before a relationship; whether it's due to trust reasons or for their own moral code. I feel this is problematic for actual demisexuals and even the Ace community as a whole. It furthers the idea that sexual attraction is about the ignoring the action instead of an actual lack of the attraction.

 

I'm not saying demisexuality doesn't exist or isn't real. This is just a rant on mainstream's incorrect perception (and adaption) of it being a label for people that want to do sexual acts only when they're in a relationship or married or so; As if it's a label for those that just don't do flings. It's insulting to actual demisexuals and problematic for asexuals as it further confuses what sexual attraction is.

 

Anyone else notice this?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

It's a recurring thing, and it irritates sexuals as well, because of the implication that sexuals are uncontrolled and animalistic. I think it comes from asexuals fundamentally not grasping that sex for sexuals isn't just an act akin to masturbating involving someone else - it's a connection, an interaction, more like a conversation and always involving emotions, even if they're not profound. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kayze
5 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

It's a recurring thing, and it irritates sexuals as well, because of the implication that sexuals are uncontrolled and animalistic. I think it comes from asexuals fundamentally not grasping that sex for sexuals isn't just an act akin to masturbating involving someone else - it's a connection, an interaction, more like a conversation and always involving emotions, even if they're not profound. 

I wouldn't say asexuals, as a majority, feel that sex is animalistic or lacks intimacy/passion. I personally would say it could compliment such intimacy but isn't a requirement for it.

 

But many of those that falsely claim demisexuality are probably holding that idea that sex is immoral outside of a relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68
2 minutes ago, Kayze said:

I wouldn't say asexuals, as a majority, feel that sex is animalistic or lacks intimacy/passion.

Maybe not, but my experience of posters on AVEN is that many don't grasp the emotional element of sex.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kayze
1 minute ago, Telecaster68 said:

Maybe not, but my experience of posters on AVEN is that many don't grasp the emotional element of sex.

I'm not saying there aren't asexuals that think that way but in my own experiences within ace groups, most don't. I will attest that sex doesn't require closeness/intimacy, but there is some emotional component to it.

 

As for AVEN, I have seen some top posters say gray-asexuality doesn't exist; That you're either pure asexual or sexual. I wouldn't claim them as being experts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

My experience is that the emotional component has to be explained to an awful lot of asexuals, and while they may understand it on a rational level, they frequently have problems grasping how entwined it is for most sexuals, most of the time, and how impossible it is for most sexuals to decouple it from a relationship. This often comes out as asexuals deciding they'd be okay with opening up the relationship, and not understanding why this doesn't resolve the issue for for their partner: sexuals don't just want sex, they want sex with their partner because of what it brings to the relationship, and its absence feels like a profound level of missing intimacy. Both partners may well also feel that even if another relationship starts as 'just sex', it's unlikely to remain that way, and that can affect the primary relationship.

 

The flipside of this is how difficult it is for sexuals to understand that their asexual partner's utter lack of interest in having sex with them doesn't mean something is deeply wrong with the relationship. We can, eventually, grasp this as a concept, but emotionally, it's still a constant (like, every day), problematic adjustment to have to make.

 

Clearly this doesn't apply to all sexuals, or asexuals, but it's pretty common. 

 

There's also the media representation of sex in relationships, and if you have no direct personal experience of sexual attraction, and particularly if you're young and don't have much experience of relationships at all, that's all you have to go on. The media representation of sex, like the media representation of most things, is intensified and dramatised so it entertains, and isn't the reality. Sexuals understand that, and understand it better as they gain experience of sexual relationships. Asexuals just don't have that experience.

 

When you put this kind of stuff together, I think it's understandable that some people - particularly if their experience doesn't reflect what people around them are talking about (and younger people especially talk about sex to impress their friends rather than necessarily exposing their true feelings) - get the idea that only wanting sex as part of a relationship isn't part of normal sexuality, so label themselves demisexual.

 

My understanding of the term is that it means sexual attraction grows as part of a relationship that may have had absolutely no sexual potential at all for the demisexual, and that's the difference. Even if a friendship between two sexuals grows into a sexual relationship, it's rare - I think - that they haven't at least considered whether it could be sexual early on, but for whatever reason (existing relationship, practicality, etc) they've decided it's better as a friendship, but their feelings about that change and they decide they'd prefer a sexual relationship after all.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

This is germain.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kayze
57 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

My understanding of the term is that it means sexual attraction grows as part of a relationship that may have had absolutely no sexual potential at all for the demisexual, and that's the difference. Even if a friendship between two sexuals grows into a sexual relationship, it's rare - I think - that they haven't at least considered whether it could be sexual early on, but for whatever reason (existing relationship, practicality, etc) they've decided it's better as a friendship, but their feelings about that change and they decide they'd prefer a sexual relationship after all.

Demisexual by definition is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone.

 

So to be demisexual, sexual attraction doesn't exist at all until the emotional connection is there. Saying the sexual attraction "grows" wouldn't be the right word for an actual demisexual. If it's a feeling that grows, then they're a sexual person that requires trust or a connection in order to want to act on their sexual attraction but the attraction itself is always there.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Yep, I meant grows from their being none.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DesertWells

I think there is a general confusion...

 

Demisexuals need a deep connection to feel sexually attracted to someone, and once that deep connection is made, all bets are off, they feel things you’ve never or have rarely felt before. Feeling those things for the first time was profound for me, it was like “wow, so this is what everyone else feels like”.

 

Because of the requirement for deep connection, a lot of demisexuals will describe sex as a romantic thing, because that’s just the way our brains work, but I can completely understand how this sounds fake to some people. Not knowing I was demisexual my whole life, I always described myself as “an old fashioned romantic” - because it was (and still is) easier to explain to people than saying “look I like you, you’re nice, you’re pretty, but I’m not interested - I wanna talk to someone for a few months, get to know you and maybe then I’ll find you attractive”.

 

It’s not that a relationship or marriage is necessary, but a deep connection is, and if you have a deep connection with someone, that usually implies a relationship or marriage.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ben8884

Moved to the Gray Area, Sex, and Related Discussions

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic

As a middle aged person that grew up with less... orientations... I always thought it was pretty normal for some folks to need a strong emotional connection before feeling attraction/desire. So the concept of demisexuality has struck me as trying to make a normal thing into a special thing. (Sorry!)

 

I've wondered if it's the growth of hook-up culture (eg on campuses) that's encouraged this sensibility as a reaction? Which makes me sad, I'd rather see people call out hook up culture as pushing a version of sex many folks don't dig.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nowhere Girl

You know... I don't really feel so bad about it. There can at least be one good result: showing people that no, casual sex really isn't for everyone and shouldn't be considered by every person who wants to have sex! I personally don't accept casual sex - well, I don't accept the idea of myself having any kind of sex, but I just feel that casual sex is a misuse of something that should be more significant, connected to deeper feelings than just fleeting desire. But OK, some people don't feel this way. I disagree with them, but I won't change their mind. But what I REALLY hate is how casual sex is becoming so mainstream and normal that suddenly - at least in sex-positive circles - refusing to have / to consider having casual sex is seen as "judgemental"! No, some people just won't have sex with people they don't love! Well, my friends know that I'm sex-averse, but I have seen this kind of attitude in the media, in a book*: you're a single girl on holiday and you're not looking for a hookup? You're wasting your holiday! You're 30, sexually inexperienced, but only want sex within a relationship? You should lower your standards! This is horrible crap and it's actively harmful to all those people who just can't have sex without love or couldn't have casual sex without feeling terrible about it. :(


*

Spoiler

 

A bit of a literary rant. I got lured into reading a book I really hated. I mostly read non-fiction, but this was described as a novel which uses motifs from the life of Maria Komornicka. Maria Komornicka / Piotr Odmieniec Włast (1876-1949) was an Polish modernist writer. She made her debut as a "child prodigy", publishing a short story at the age of 16 - a young girl from a wealthy family writing a story from the point of view of a much older, cynical man! She published a lot of other interesting things - much feminist sentiment, some non-orthodox religious poetry... And then a mysterious breakthrough in 1907: she was staying in a hotel with her mother, her mother went out... and arrived to find her adult child burning all her dresses in the fireplace and demanding to be addressed as a man. Well, what happened was foreseeable: he was placed in a lunatic asylum and only World War I saved him - the front was approaching and so the family took him home. Until 1944 he was living at the family residence, treated as the local madman, but generally didn't have a bad life there. He died in a nursing home - at that point already quite indifferent to gender, regaining contact with a woman he seemed to love when they were young, alternately signing letters as "Maria" or "Piotr" or "Maria (P.)"... Komornicka/Włast became an icon of queer studies in Poland. I first discovered this writer when I was 17 years old, I prepared a presentation about them in final year of high school (one rather feminist poem by Komornicka is considered proposed extra reading and that's all, but at that age I was already a 100% literature junkie, discovering a lot of stuff and already reading theoretic papers about literature, at 17 I even participated in a conference at the Institute of Literary Studies).

So the novel I've read was about a woman who becomes fascinated with Komornicka. She loves cinema, is going through a difficult time, with her marriage on the verge of breaking up, having lost her job... and she decides to try reinventing herself, to work in the film industry like she always wanted... and she starts writing a screenplay based on Komornicka's life. She wants to visit places related to their life and goes on a holiday with friends. The novel has a somewhat weird ending, as if the writer didn't know how to finish it. But first of all it made me sick: too much sex!!!! And those friends telling her that she should hook up with some guy, or that that's their dream night...!! Pure queerbaiting - the novel was disgustingly heterosexual, with all the queer potential offered by the figure of Komornicka/Włast completely erased. I felt that I couldn't relate to the  protagonist on any level - as an asexual, non-heteroromantic, sex-averse, alcohol non-user, non-driver... Of course I know very well that you don't have to relate to protegonists, this is what literature is about: about getting to know people who are not like yourself. But this queerbaiting made me angry, I felt that queer readers were being lured into reading a very heteronormative novel. (Not really "homophobic"... just unable to think of any other relations as possible.) And, on top of that, the class aspect... when I read about the friends drinking a bottle of wine which costed about 50 dollars, I got the most annoyed. This is worse than just stupid heteronormativity: this is a feeling of classist superiority, a deadly inability to imagine that this is a lot of money for some people. Think about this horrible Law and Justice party ruling in Poland... nationalist, homophobic, covertly pro-Russian (and I'm 100% against Putin, Putin's Russia is creeping fascism), anti-environmental, systematically anti-democratic... and yet mostly pro-social. And this is what made a lot of poor people vote on them. So when reading that novel, I thought: really, if people will continue being so blind to class issues, those destructors of democracy will continue winning - because poor people are just sick of elites who can't imagine that the money they spend on one bottle of wine is some people's weekly budget.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoCannibal.
11 hours ago, anisotropic said:

As a middle aged person that grew up with less... orientations... I always thought it was pretty normal for some folks to need a strong emotional connection before feeling attraction/desire. So the concept of demisexuality has struck me as trying to make a normal thing into a special thing. (Sorry!)

 

I've wondered if it's the growth of hook-up culture (eg on campuses) that's encouraged this sensibility as a reaction? Which makes me sad, I'd rather see people call out hook up culture as pushing a version of sex many folks don't dig.

You and I seem to disagree on quite a lot around here but I definitely agree with you on this. I'm not quite middle aged, but I've been around the block a few times and yes it's relatively common for people to need to form an emotional bond with a person before they can begin to actively desire to connect sexually with them/develop sexual attraction for them (that's especially common for women but I've met sexual men like that too). 

 

I'm not saying 'demisexuality' isn't a thing (needing to form a bond before desiring sex with someone is definitely a thing), just that I don't see why it needs a label.. and also that it's definitely not part of asexuality. That's what gets me the most, is how people take this very normal behaviour and claim it's 'part of the ace spectrum'. It makes it sound like to be sexual, you have to want to bang strangers indiscriminately otherwise you're some kind of ace! That's just not the case for everyone though. Many sexual people need that emotional component before they can begin to see someone in a sexually desirable light.

 

On 11/2/2018 at 10:59 PM, Telecaster68 said:

It's a recurring thing, and it irritates sexuals as well, because of the implication that sexuals are uncontrolled and animalistic. I think it comes from asexuals fundamentally not grasping that sex for sexuals isn't just an act akin to masturbating involving someone else - it's a connection, an interaction, more like a conversation and always involving emotions, even if they're not profound. 

Yes this is my exact experience around here as well, and it's even worse in ace communities outside of AVEN without mods that step in to calm the ace elitism down a bit.

 

On 11/3/2018 at 12:40 AM, Kayze said:

So to be demisexual, sexual attraction doesn't exist at all until the emotional connection is there.

Yes, it's not there until that bond has developed, then it will start grow once those feelings are there and it becomes stronger as time wears on and those feelings become stronger. That's something that's relatively common for some sexual people, it's certainly not uncommon enough to make it and entirely new sexual orientation requiring a special label or anything. *shrug*. 

 

But yes, regarding the title, it's clear that many aces misunderstand sexual attraction and what it can take for a sexual person to be able to feel it, hence the insistence of many aces that demi is part of the ace spectrum. It's all just down to misunderstanding of what sexual attraction is and how it develops for many average sexual folks. 

 

Disclaimer

 

Of course I'm not saying someone can't ID as demisexual (or whatever they want) if they wish, just expressing pet peeves with the term itself and the implication it has for 'average sexual folks' when it's considered part of the ace spectrum (ie it implies that to be an average sexual person you have to actively desire emotionless sex with strangers. Sure some sexuals do desire that, it's just that many don't). 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoCannibal.
10 hours ago, Nowhere Girl said:

No, some people just won't have sex with people they don't love! 

Yep. I myself am utterly unable to desire sex (unable even to desire intimate touch like hand holding) with someone I don't have an already established emotional connection to. Without that emotional connection/emotional attraction I am literally repulsed by/totally averse to the idea of any form of sex or intimate contact with a person. I assumed I was ace until I was about 28 because I'd just never developed the kind of connection that could make me actively want sex with someone before then! Now I know I'm not ace but I don't need any kind of special label or anything, I'm just a sexual person who requires an emotional connection before I want to bang. When I explain it like that to guys on dating sites they're always like 'oh yeah I totally understand that, would love to just chat and get to know you and see where it goes'. So yeah, it's not like sexuals can't grasp the concept of needing a bond, it's just once a special label is added that they're like 'eeeh?'. And I also agree with you about the over-representation of those who desire casual sexual encounters in movies and books etc these days, as well as in 'sex positive' circles. I find all that quite odd given the amount of men of all ages (18-80s+!) I've talked to now who are totally open to and accepting of the idea of someone needing that bond before they can want sex - It's a strange dichotomy! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FlyingFree

I feel like the big difference between demi-sexual and sexuals who wait for sex until after a connection is whether there is sexual attraction vs sexual desire. Many conservative Christians, older people, and others will desire to wait to act on their attraction until after marraige or at least farther into a relationship.

 

Many of my friends chose to wait to have sex after marraige. Those same friends talked about finding someone hot, about feeling chemistry, and about being really impatient and struggling to wait. I have never felt any of those things.

 

I think those are sexuals who have moral preferences to wait to act on their desire. Maybe some even have sexual attraction but no sexual desire until later.

 

Someone who is demi-sexual isn't chosing to wait to act on their sexual attraction. They don't have any sexual attraction (at first). I feel like that is a pretty huge distinction. I mean, on the outside both people are waiting for sex, but on the inside they are feeling completely different things.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoCannibal.
2 hours ago, FlyingFree said:

I feel like the big difference between demi-sexual and sexuals who wait for sex until after a connection is whether there is sexual attraction vs sexual desire. Many conservative Christians, older people, and others will desire to wait to act on their attraction until after marraige or at least farther into a relationship.

 

Many of my friends chose to wait to have sex after marraige. Those same friends talked about finding someone hot, about feeling chemistry, and about being really impatient and struggling to wait. I have never felt any of those things.

 

I think those are sexuals who have moral preferences to wait to act on their desire. Maybe some even have sexual attraction but no sexual desire until later.

 

Someone who is demi-sexual isn't chosing to wait to act on their sexual attraction. They don't have any sexual attraction (at first). I feel like that is a pretty huge distinction. I mean, on the outside both people are waiting for sex, but on the inside they are feeling completely different things.

Yes feeling that desire instantly but not acting on it for moral reasons is certainly one thing. But as some others here have been trying to say, it's pretty normal for some sexual people to legitimately not feel that desire in the absence of an emotional connection. Yes a type of person who experiences that can be called demisexual, but it's still a common sexual experience, not an asexual one. Being sexual doesn't mean one wants to bang just anyone 'hot' indiscriminately, or that one feels sexual attraction to everyone all the time or anything.. Many sexuals are only able to experience desire/attraction under very specific circumstances. One of those circumstances for many sexuals is an emotional connection.

 

But yeah, waiting to act on desire for moral reasons is definitely a completely different thing. I'm just trying to clarify that there are many sexuals who just legitimately don't feel that desire until after that emotional connection has formed. That doesn't make them some kind of ace though.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic
18 hours ago, FictoCannibal. said:

You and I seem to disagree on quite a lot around here but I definitely agree with you on this.

Hah, I guess I'm very grumpy. :)

 

Yes, it seems that this is a common feeling on the part of sexual folks! "Why are you giving 'demisexual' a special label and calling it an orientation?"

 

We aren't saying the phenomenon doesn't exist, we're observing is that this phenomenon is such a common sexual experience we don't see why it's being called an "orientation". And to compare this phenomenon to asexuality really feels like apples and oranges. (I'm not just going by the experience of my partner alone, for whatever reasons I now meet/know other aces...)

I think @Telecaster68 implied this as well – demisexuality seems to be part of "normal sexuality" that is getting an odd label in asexual communities, due to a misunderstanding of the typical sexual experience as being a mechanical activity not entangled with emotions specific to the individual and our relationship with them. My personal experience is: I'm not sure I feel attraction to someone until I have a bond; and when I do, comparing the amount of attraction I feel is like comparing the moon to the sun – the attraction I feel in the presence of an emotional bond is blinding in its strength.

I think this is probably a different quibble to @Kayze's original point and I agree that mis-using the term to mean "waiting until X" is part of a broader problematic conflation/misunderstanding of asexuality and celibacy.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kayze
On 11/3/2018 at 4:34 PM, anisotropic said:

As a middle aged person that grew up with less... orientations... I always thought it was pretty normal for some folks to need a strong emotional connection before feeling attraction/desire. So the concept of demisexuality has struck me as trying to make a normal thing into a special thing. (Sorry!)

 

On 11/3/2018 at 5:41 PM, FictoCannibal. said:

You and I seem to disagree on quite a lot around here but I definitely agree with you on this. I'm not quite middle aged, but I've been around the block a few times and yes it's relatively common for people to need to form an emotional bond with a person before they can begin to actively desire to connect sexually with them/develop sexual attraction for them (that's especially common for women but I've met sexual men like that too). 

 

I'm not saying 'demisexuality' isn't a thing (needing to form a bond before desiring sex with someone is definitely a thing), just that I don't see why it needs a label.. and also that it's definitely not part of asexuality. That's what gets me the most, is how people take this very normal behaviour and claim it's 'part of the ace spectrum'. It makes it sound like to be sexual, you have to want to bang strangers indiscriminately otherwise you're some kind of ace! That's just not the case for everyone though. Many sexual people need that emotional component before they can begin to see someone in a sexually desirable light.

So, as I said in the initial thread post (and the point of this thread), a Demisexual is defined as "a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone." A person who doesn't engage in sexual acts because they need to trust the person or otherwise have some sort of emotional investment (remind you, for the act not attraction), isn't exactly someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction. It's abstinence and/or celibacy.

 

If we're talking about what's common, most people experience sexual attraction before emotional bonding. That is, they find other people hot or otherwise sexually attractive before even knowing them, which then usually leads them to wanting to get to know them before acting on the attraction. You see it in advertisements, you see it in romance novels/movies, you see it in entertainment... It's everywhere. If most people didn't experience sexual attraction, then these ads would have no

 

The problem is that a lot of people confuse this definition with an attraction towards the action. They think "Oh, I don't want sex until I know you better. So, none until then!" which again isn't a lack of sexual attraction but voluntary abstinence for some moral/societal/trust reason. And by definition, isn't demisexuality.

 

Also, demisexuality is halfway between sexual and asexual. It's not entirely Ace and not entirely sexual. That's in the meaning of the label itself. I don't believe anyone is saying otherwise. I mean, it's like how bisexual isn't exactly homosexual but has a same-sex attraction aspect, yet is still part of LGBTQ. Demisexuals are still part of the Ace community, even as a lesser relatable case to full asexuality.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

I'm always happy and grateful when an asexual explains to me how sexual attraction works. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FlyingFree

Yes, the sexual people I know who wait to have sex experience no desire to have sex until after a bond is formed. But they still can get turned on before that. They still have sexual thoughts before that. They don't have any desire to act on it, but their bodies will still respond.

 

I believe those who are demi-sexual won't get turned on or have any physical reaction before the bond.

 

In my opinion from what my friends tell me, the large percentage of people who want to wait until after a bond are not demi-sexual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kayze
29 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm always happy and grateful when an asexual explains to me how sexual attraction works. 

What a great contribution and way to explain your point. I'm pretty sure a Gray-Asexual still understands sexual attraction, but I'm also sure an Ace needs to know what sexual attraction is in order to know they don't have it. ;)

 

But I guess sex doesn't sell in advertisements, other forms of media, porn, strip clubs, etc. Why would it if most people don't have sexual attraction until a emotional bond?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Yes, you're very right.

 

Honestly, I just don't have time to start.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FictoCannibal.
4 hours ago, Kayze said:

So, as I said in the initial thread post (and the point of this thread), a Demisexual is defined as "a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone." A person who doesn't engage in sexual acts because they need to trust the person or otherwise have some sort of emotional investment (remind you, for the act not attraction), isn't exactly someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction. It's abstinence and/or celibacy.

And as I explained quite clearly, there are many sexual people who literally just don't develop that desire until they've developed an emotional bond. That doesn't have to mean they're demisexual or somewhere on the ace spectrum though, they're just a variation of sexual person. I should know, being one of these people myself.

 

I'm not talking about abstinence, I mean literally having no desire for intimate sexual acts with a person unless and until an emotional bond has formed. No, obviously not all sexual people experience this, but enough do experience it that it's not something that is its own unique orientation.

 

Being sexual isn't synonymous with desiring indescriminate sex with attractive strangers. We're not all secretly gagging for it but holding off until we know we can trust the person or whatever. Some of us just legitimately can't even begin to desire that interaction until a specific kind of emotional bond has formed with another person. That doesn't mean we need to adopt a unique label or anything though.

 

3 hours ago, Kayze said:

But I guess sex doesn't sell in advertisements, other forms of media, porn, strip clubs, etc. Why would it if most people don't have sexual attraction until a emotional bond?

Women don't naturally have bald armpits either, nor do they wake up with their makeup on. But that's what sells so it's what you'll most often see in the media (even in movies set in medieval times which is just frikken annoying). The types of advertisements and media etc that you're talking about cater to a specific type of audience. But believe me, there are plenty of sexuals who hate the way sex is portrayed in the media because they know it doesn't represent them or many of the other people they know. Almost all sexual women with any sexual experience, for example, know for a fact a woman doesn't usually just jump straight on a guys d*ck with no foreplay at all and have a screaming orgasm in 30 seconds the way sex is often portrayed in movies: we know a lot of it is nonsense. It's not truly representative of how many people really are. That's something a lot of people who frequent AVEN seem to have quite a lot of trouble grasping. Just because you saw it on TV (even if it's shown all the time) doesn't mean it reflects reality perfectly!

 

3 hours ago, FlyingFree said:

Yes, the sexual people I know who wait to have sex experience no desire to have sex until after a bond is formed. But they still can get turned on before that. They still have sexual thoughts before that. They don't have any desire to act on it, but their bodies will still respond.

 

Maybe that's true for the ones you know but I'm sure you don't know all the sexual people alive, there are a lot of us you know! 

 

Also, aces get turned on sometimes, and may even have sexual thoughts. They just don't have any desire for that to translate into actual sexual acts with other people. Aces bodies will sometimes even respond to sexual touch/sexual stimuli. So a lack of those things before wanting to engage in sex isn't really indicative of anything exactly except maybe a low libido. Coincidentally I myself am not ace, but do have a total absense of physical response to any form of sexual stimuli unless I have developed a specific type of bond with the person I'm being intimate with (and it can only get to the point of that intimacy once the bond has formed). I'm not demisexual either. I'm just a sexual person who is totally incapable of desiring any form of partnered sex (physically or emotionally) unless I have developed an emotional bond with someone. Which for me happens very rarely (only a couple of times in my 30 years). *shrugs* 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Graceful

I’ll jump in and say I’m like @FictoCannibal. - I identify as sexual but 100% fit the description of “demisexual.” I’ve only ever been sexually attracted to one person and that is my partner and that came after we entered a serious relationship.

 

I can’t deny that the experience exists, because it’s certainly true for me. I just don’t see how it warrants a label as an orientation in itself. It’s a fairly prevalent experience with many sexuals. But when we are sexually attracted to someone, it’s the same as any other sexual person. There are many variations with orientations because we’re all individuals. Not being sexually attracted to strangers is not a unique phenomenon though. And in my personal opinion, it absolutely not a flavor of asexuality due to the fact someone who only experiences sexual attraction with people they’re already close to... ARE still experiencing sexual attraction and desire, the opposite of the definition of asexuality.

 

Countless sexuals fit the description of a demisexual but don’t see their experience as different from other sexuals so they’ve never thought to identify as something else. I think the demisexual label comes into play with people who either first identified as asexual or for some reason don’t want to call themselves _(hetero/homo/bi/etc)_sexual. 

 

People can identify as whatever they want, obviously. (Please don’t warn me over this.) I just think the word itself is unnecessary, as it doesn’t truly differentiate the group from any other. I also don’t feel it has anything to do with asexuality.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FlyingFree
4 hours ago, FictoCannibal. said:

And as I explained quite clearly, 

And I'll repeat that your text color is painful and difficult for me to read. If you could change it at least on this thread, I'd be able to read and respond easier. 🙂 Darker colors like dark blue or dark purple would allow your messages to still stands out while still being readable by those with sensory issues. (Red text also gives me the impression of yelling, but that might be just me.) 

 

 

Thanks for the further explanation, Ficto and Grace. That makes sense. I can see the point both in feeling those things might make one gray or allo. Up to the individual in how far removed from the norm they feel, I guess.

 

The conversation has confirmed to me that I'm definitely on the ace spectrum, lol. And even though I know in my head that fictional portrayals of sex are exaggerated and not realistic, that's a big part of an Ace's only experience with sexual desire, so I think it influences my perception more than I'd like it to. I have conversations with friends, but don't usually feel comfortable asking the level of detail a conversation like this would need (and honestly didn't really know even what questions to ask until recently). So I appreciate those of you who are willing to share here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CBC
9 hours ago, Kayze said:

Also, demisexuality is halfway between sexual and asexual. It's not entirely Ace and not entirely sexual.

That makes literally no logical sense. If 50% of the meals I eat are vegan, I'm not demi-vegan. I'm an omnivore. Even if some other omnivores include animal products in 90% of their food, I'm still an omnivore too. If Mary desires frequent sex with attractive strangers that she meets in the clubs at the weekend and Kevin has only ever been comfortable having sex when he's in a committed relationship even though he thinks plenty of people are attractive and Sarah has experienced sexual desire only once she's become close to someone emotionally and that's happened only once in her entire life so far, they're all still sexual people. Sarah in particular may have some life experiences that are similar to those of asexuals -- and I might have an experience similar to a vegan if I order more veggie burgers than hamburgers. If Sarah has any asexual friends, maybe they can commiserate over hookup culture together. If I have vegan friends, we can compare notes on who makes the best veggie burger. But I'm still an omnivore and Sarah is still sexual.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luna07

assholeIt's called "Demisexual" and not "sexual" because it is a pattern of human behavior, relating to love and attraction, that doesn't fit societal norms. The norm of sexuality, that is most common, is that someone can feel sexual attraction when they meet someone and it doesn't have to take them a long time, like it does for Demisexuals. 

 

That is literally what every LGBT+ orientation is. A name for loving/relating to attraction and gender in a non-normative way. People could say to a Bi person that they are totally straight because they like the opposite gender sometimes, but most would think that's incorrect. That person is queer, not straight. Even if the person leans towards the opposite gender. They are still 100% Bi, because that is how they love and are attracted to people, and how they identify. That is why the orientation "gay" exists, because it is outside the norms of love and attraction. Demisexual is no different, and Demisexuality does not =  totally sexual.

 

Can you please stop shitting around the forum devalidating other orientations, please?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CBC
1 hour ago, luna07 said:

Can you please stop shitting around the forum devalidating other orientations, please?

Can you grow up and accept that people will not see things the same way as you? You're a 15-year-old who's been a member of the forums for a few weeks; I'm an adult who's been on AVEN for 14 years, been through plenty of experiences figuring out my own sexuality, am well-acquainted with asexuality and related subjects, and I really don't need a lesson. Also this is maybe the fourth time you've told me to stop giving my opinion and it feels like you're following me around the forums just to tell me to shut up. Who do you think you are and does it appear that I'm going to listen?

 

Also your argument makes no sense to me, it's the same stuff I've heard many times before. Why would this be the one time I suddenly saw the issue differently?

 

And 'devalidating' isn't a word.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anisotropic

My asexual partner can't feel attraction to me no matter how much he loves me. And he loves me a lot.

 

"Demisexual" is not some midpoint between him and me. My experience is very emotionally driven and a demisexual would seem to have so much more in common with me -- it feels as if *I* am on some midpoint between demisexual and my asexual partner.

 

Demisexual (100% attraction-caused-by-bond) --- me (?% attraction-caused-by-bond) --- my partner (0% attraction-caused-by-bond)

 

"[The romance genre] a billion-dollar industry that outperforms all other book genres." (Random quote from an NPR article found with Google.)

 

Emotional connection leading to sexual attraction (and not experiencing any attraction otherwise) seems totally normal in society. Is it "weird" in the context of a hookup culture you might see in college/HS? I would say that  the "hookup culture" is what's weird, it's a recent phenomenon.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.