After growing up in a household where sexuality wasn’t discussed, I ended up wading through confusion and questioning for decades. Conversations about sexuality and pleasure never really happened. I mean, why does any of that matter? Isn’t the only purpose of sex is to please your husband and procreate? Yes. I’m giving people who say this major side-eye and eyebrow raise.
For years I didn’t totally understand what sexuality was. Was it my sex appeal? How about the physical act of sex? Or maybe it involved who I was attracted to? Truthfully, I have never been someone who saw a person and instantly felt lust and longing to have sex. Was there something wrong with me? Spoiler alert: No, no there was not. I just happen to be demisexual.
. These conversations focus on what intimacy looks and feels like to you.” Talk about a lightbulb moment. Demisexuality is about needing an emotional bond before feeling a physical attaction. The more I learned about what demisexuality was, the more it turned everything upside down I had previously thought to be true.
Demisexuality for Me Means a Strong Emotional Connection
Growing up, sexuality felt pretty black and white; there was no grey area in between. Never once did it occur to me that my need for a deep emotional connection had anything to do with my sexuality. Here’s the thing: When some people are attracted to other people, sex is a no-brainer. But for me, sex is an afterthought. I can take it, or leave it, and most of the time, my choice is the latter.
Because I am demisexual, in order for me to rouse any desire for you, we have to have a deep and meaningful emotional connection. Very Well Mind discusses demisexuality as “the difference is that those who identify as demisexual cannot feel attracted to people they don’t already have an emotional bond with or know on a deeper level.”
Yes! It finally all made sense. Well, most of my preferences at least. I prefer pleasuring myself by my own touch than engaging with someone else who I’m not bonded to. Had I always felt this way but never expressed myself because I didn’t know demisexuality existed, or even understand it?
As Eden Bellow, a New York-based therapist, explains, starting by creating a safe connection where we feel free to explore, be curious and be non-judgmental of ourselves is key. Once we do that, the better the chances are that we will be comfortable enough to explore what our sexuality means to us.
Sexuality Isn’t Taboo — It’s Part of Life, So Let’s Talk About It
Having these conversations and continuing education around sexuality is important. We already know what outcomes occur when we keep sexuality a taboo subject. It fuels confusion, guilt, and shame about a very natural part of being human.
Owning my demisexuality helps make sense of my interactions with others. I share this discovery with you to empower you to own your sexuality. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Don’t do it for your partner or to fit yourself into a predetermined box that people tell you that you should fit into.
Leaving the shame and guilt behind finally gave me the space to explore. Almost two decades later I can understand and proudly claim my demisexuality. The only message I want you to take away from all this is simple: This is your life to live the way you want to, unapologetically.