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What is ‘demisexuality’? The sexual orientation that’s gaining traction online

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Gary Ogden
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Ever since hearing the term ‘demisexual’ and not reading the article that followed it, I have been proudly declaring myself as one. It turns out I was in the wrong though, as it has nothing to do with being some sort of minor sex-god, which I assume is why it has not worked as a chat-up line. There are no other possible reasons as to why I should fail with women.

So what exactly is a demisexual, then? Well, to put it simply, it’s a person who does not feel instant sexual attraction to a person – only once they’ve got to know them does it occur. For example, a demisexual would not walk onto a Walkabout ‘dancefloor’ while ‘Low’ by Flo Rida was playing, and commence tonguing with a lucky recipient. They, in actuality, would find the whole thing rather jarring and altogether unpleasant (literally cannot see why).

In order for a demisexual to engage in naughty, sweaty practices, they must first connect with an individual on a mental level – they must properly get to know a partner before any romance or lust is able to blossom.

As a term, demisexuality actually comes under asexuality, although its meaning does differ slightly. Whereas asexuals are content with zero sexual contact or romance, a demisexual often wants it, they just find it hard to form it in the first place. Either way, considering that asexuals make up about 1% of the population, we can guess that the number of demisexuals is not huge.

Perhaps this is because people are unaware that they may be one themselves, however – it’s a term that has only recently been gaining traction, as more and more people see similarities in their personalities with its description.

A Reddit user, who identified as demisexual, told the site:

“I always recoiled and quickly withdrew from socialising altogether out of fear of being pressured into anything romantic or sexual with others, but as soon as I got home and in my own bedroom, I found myself longing for a relationship with someone, and indulging my sexual feelings with myself (which is pretty normal for a hormonal 13-14 year old), but the severe anxiety I felt whenever someone expressed any romantic interest in me kept me from dating anyone or even flirting back when it did happen.”

It’s a tough one to define, basically. There is certainly no absence of sexual urges, and eventual relationships and companionships are longed for, it’s just double hard to get round to forming them. Another Reddit user said:

“I'm A 23 F who has never so much as even kissed a guy. I've never experienced sexual attraction by just looking at guys. When I was younger, my friends would talk about how HOT celebrities were, and I just couldn't understand how you could be attracted to someone you haven't even met [...]

“I'm also not a touchy feely person AT ALL. I hate being hugged and need my personal space. I also never feel lonely in my bed in that I never wish that someone was next to me at night. (Sounds more hot/uncomfortable than pleasant)

“Overall, I feel like I'm not as sexually charged as the rest the world and rarely feel any sexual attraction towards anyone. When I do feel attraction, it's after I get to know them or discover that they value me for my intelligence or another personal attribute.”

That’s it summed up quite succinctly, I rate. So, regardless of my experience proudly proclaiming myself a demisexual, I think I am in fact, the opposite. I fancy everyone, and then hate them once I get to know them. Interestingly, all women also hate me after getting to know me. It’s quite the conundrum. Thank god for Walkabout.

(Image: iStock)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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