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A Quick Definition: What Does Demisexual Mean?

Robyn Exton

Jun 18, 2020

A Quick Definition: What Does Demisexual Mean?
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  • In short, demisexual people don’t experience sexual attraction unless they have an emotional connection to someone. This connection could also be intellectual. 

    Is it a Real Orientation?

    Yes, absolutely! Being demisexual isn’t a choice, like abstinence. It falls somewhere on the spectrum between asexual and allosexual (which means experiencing a common level of sexual attraction). A demisexual person can also be gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit etc. This orientation is most commonly seen in but isn’t limited to romantic relationships. Once a demisexual person forms an emotional or intellectual connection, it’s possible that they still won’t feel sexual attraction. They may find someone attractive or pleasant to look at, but they aren’t necessarily interested in having sex with that person. 

    So, what is it like to date someone who identifies as this orientation?

    Relationships can be challenging for demisexual people. Unless they’re exceptionally forward, and most people aren’t, the attention of a demisexual person can be misconstrued as strictly platonic. People who don’t identify as demisexual or asexual generally expect to be intimate with a new partner before developing an emotional attachment. An allosexual person and a demisexual person can have a relationship, but it takes lots of communication about each other’s needs and expectations.

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    Demisexual celebrities

    So far, there really aren’t any celebrities who’ve come out and said that they’re demisexual. While this orientation has always existed, it’s only recently that we’ve been able to give it a name and articulate what it means within the broader LGBTQIA+ community. 

    Some possible demisexual celebrities and fictional characters: 

    Kelly Clarkson: She hasn’t come right out and said that she’s demisexual, but she’s mentioned in interviews and on her show that she dated a lot when she was younger but never really met anyone she was sexually attracted to before her husband. Her song ‘I Do Not Hookup’ is a demi anthem.

    Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory: He appeared to be asexual and aromantic until he met Amy. It took five years and a temporary breakup, but the sex happened.

    Cher Horowitz, Clueless: Cher wasn’t interested in anyone at her school. Being straight, she blamed it on boys’ maturity level and lack of basic hygiene, but there were plenty of clean, attractive young men available, and not all of them were jerks like Elton. Cher found Christian good-looking and fun, but it seemed that she only tried to have sex with him because of peer pressure. Ultimately the person she began a relationship with (and presumably had sex with) was her ex-stepbrother Josh, someone she’d known for years and had a deep emotional and intellectual connection to. 

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER the world's largest brand for LGBTQ womxn & queer people. Also runs London Queer Fashion Show. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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