“Can demisexuals feel sexual attraction?” it’s one of those questions many people seem to have.
The short answer is YES. But you deserve a better answer than that, so let’s start from the beginning.
What Does it Mean to be Demisexual?
Simply put, demisexuality is a sexual preference where the emotional connection comes before sexual attraction.
While every emotional bond doesn’t lead to sexual attraction; every instance of sexual attraction is underlined with an emotional bond.
Because it is often rare for a demisexual to experience this attraction or desire, it’s not unheard of for them to but put under the label of asexuality. However, this label fits about and the other labels we try to place upon ourselves and leads to years of confusion and frustration.
What is Sexual Attraction?
Sexual attraction is the state of desiring sexual contact with a person.
Demisexuals can base this attraction on several factors from physical traits such as body type and hair color, to personality characteristics like being shy or bubbly and outgoing.
With demisexuals, attraction is based on their emotional connection to that person.
Demisexuals and Sexual Attraction
How do Demisexuals feel Sexual Attraction?
This is the big question, isn’t it?
You may be a demisexual wondering if this is what you’re feeling, or maybe you’re interested in a demisexual and would like the interest to be mutual. Whatever the case, the answer isn’t always an easy one.
One thing we must remember is that while this attraction requires an emotional connection, each instance of an emotional connection does not necessarily lead to sexual desires.
The truth of the matter is, being sexually attracted to someone can sometimes leave a demisexual feeling confused and vulnerable.
How often does this happen?
An answer to the question of how often truly depends upon the person. Some demisexuals may feel sexual attraction often. It’s possible to feel an attraction to many people you have an emotional connection with, perhaps several people your friends with.
It’s also possible for a demisexual to find themselves rarely find themselves sexually attracted to people even if there is an emotional connection.
What’s important to remember is that is it possible for a demisexual to be “just friends” with someone. It is also important to remember that sexual attraction may appear at the same time as the emotional connection or at any time thereafter.
Just because a demisexual isn’t attracted to a person right now, doesn’t mean the attraction won’t develop in the future.
See, complicated! I wish I had a simple answer to give you. Whether or not a demisexual is sexual attracted to someone often feels random and likely depends on the person and the qualities of the emotional connection they’re experiencing.
Let’s Talk About Attraction
This is as good a time as any to remind everyone that sexual attraction isn’t the be all end all of a relationship. The situation in which we feel, or don’t feel, sexual attraction is the defining characteristic of being demisexual or asexual.
Relationships whether they’re platonic, professional or romantic involve a whole range of attractions. Demisexuals can experience them all.
Other forms of attraction include:
Romantic Attraction: This involves wanting to have a romantic relationship with someone – kissing, cuddling, holding hands – as well as dates and affection. For a demisexual, this typically happens after they form an emotional bond. For someone who identifies as demiromantic, this always happens after the formation of an emotional bond.
Sensual Attraction: This level of attraction involves wanting a physical relationship with someone, the relationship may or many not include sex. However, it will include more sensual things such as touching, cuddling and kissing.
This may or may not be in a committed or romantic relationship. In general, it will be a with a person a demisexual has an emotional connection with.
Objective Physical (sexual) Attraction: This attraction forms when someone is the whole package. When they’re good looking, have a great personality, everything you’re looking for.
A demisexual may occasionally find themselves in a situation where the person is perfect on paper, but just not giving them the feelings the need to pursue a relationship.
Aesthetic Attraction: Demisexuals and asexuals are not blind, we just experience sexual attraction a bit differently than most. So while we can appreciate an individuals good looks, we do it without the desire to sleep with them.
Sexual Attraction vs. Romantic Attraction
This question could be an entire blog post, so I will do my best to keep it brief.
There is a difference between sexual and romantic attraction. This blog focuses on the demisexual life, but demiromantic people are equally valid and a very relevant part of this article.
We know that sexual attraction is the desire to have sex with someone.
Romantic attraction is the desire to do romantic things with another person. Like everything else, what those romantic things are is different for everyone but can involve activities such as kissing, cuddling, hand holding, sleeping together…
For many people sexual and romantic attraction go hand in hand. They wish to do romantic activities with the same person they’re doing sexual activities with.
However, there are also people who have a very distinct line between sexual and romantic attraction. They may desire one and not the other or want them both but from different people.
For example, a person may have no problems having sex with someone they just met and may not see again. However, they may prefer to leave right away instead of cuddling, talking or spending the night together.
There’s nothing wrong with desiring one and not the other. The key is knowing what you want, what will make you happy and doing what you need to do to get there.
Demisexuality refers to the circumstances under which a person feels sexual attraction and doesn’t offer any stipulation regarding the gender of the person you’re attracted to.
As a sexual orientation, demisexuality, is a testament to the relationship between us and the people we’re attracted to. It’s valid to add a label describing the gender orientation of your attraction.
It is possible to be demisexual and homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual, etc. at the same time.
The fact of the matter is demisexuals experience sexual attraction and desire just like many other people. The necessary component is the existence of and emotional connection.
However, it is impossible to tell which emotional connections will lead to a sexual connection or even when. All you can do is embrace it when it happens and hope for the best.