The Journey to Demisexuality
© Illustration by INJECTION - George Bamford
Finding the Emotional Bond.
Growing up, I always felt different from the people around me in how they see people and in their version of attraction. I thought I was weird because my view of attraction is not the same as most people's. My friends will be engrossed in the lives of ‘hot’ celebrities, wishing they could date them, being obsessed with them because they are so attractive. They will develop crushes on the cute person walking past them, romanticising their life on that one encounter. Perhaps the desire is mutual, where two people admire one another in a coffee shop because of this first attraction to each other. I’ve never had any of these experiences and it is because I have never encountered this initial primary attraction towards another person.
Last year, I discovered Demisexuality - a sexual orientation where an individual only feels sexual attraction to another person once they have created an emotional bond with them. A term I now comfortably associate with as my sexuality, it is relieving to finally have an explanation to certain aspects of my character. I don’t tend to talk about my sexuality often because of previous gaslighting, ignorance and not feeling I need to be ‘put in a box’, but since my discovery, I’ve learned quite a lot about myself.
I now understand why I have never experienced a strong primary attraction to someone I’ve just met. I understand why I don’t blink an eye when a (conventionally) attractive person walks my way and why I couldn't care less about someone I do not know, such as celebrities. It actually fascinates me how people can get attracted to someone from a glance of an eye, or from one encounter. I know it is ‘normal’, but since I don’t experience it, I don’t understand it. All I see is beauty.
Beauty radiates from within, every individual is unique and to me, it is incomparable. Everyone has so much more to offer than the looks they were born into and whilst I understand it is a societal thing, I feel it is extremely toxic. Whilst their looks have specific features that define people and provide them with more individuality, I am deeply attracted by someone’s character. I absolutely love to socialise, speak to people and learn everything I can about them. I love delving into peoples’ greatest fears, their ambitions, their passions as that’s what somebody’s beauty is. I love spending hours on end with people just enjoying their presence, it is something that brings me warmth and love - developing an emotional bond.
Personally, I feel finding an emotional bond can be very difficult for our generation. Many seem to only want to know you on the surface level, the baseline where they don't uncover any layers of another. Some people bottle up their feelings or they joke about their feelings, which makes it difficult to bond because you don’t know how the other person actually feels. You know the exact same things as other people, like how you would know people from their social media presence and nothing behind the screen, nothing beneath the surface. You don’t learn anything that matters - no ambition, no dreams, or as someone I care deeply about puts it, many people now ‘lampshades their passions’ - and I don’t understand why.
Being a demisexual means for me, personality really does come first. I know people say that, but I genuinely mean it, as I just physically would not be attracted to someone until I am mentally attracted to them. I struggle to develop any feelings for someone until I have spent time with them to get to know them. It is the aspects of one's character that are attractive to me, where we can spend time together, have banter, and also talk about our philosophical takes in life. I need to find that emotional bond.
Finding the emotional bond can be tricky for me because anyone I have ever ‘fallen’ for has always been a friend first, and I am still friends with many of them. Due to the way I am, I have always put more emphasis on friendships than relationships, so caring so much about friendships actually means I’ve never pursued anything more for fear of ruining what we have and losing any chance they wouldn't be in my life. I’ve developed feelings because I’ve learned about them, spent enough time doing so and enjoy being around them. It exceeds the level of friendship where I want to tell them everything and they would be the first to hear it. I have to be comfortable, be vulnerable, be me without fear of insecurities or losing them. And it can be tough, because the other person would have to feel the same for me too and let me in.
I have always been comfortable being single and being a demisexual actually means I’ve never put any pressure on needing to be sexually attracted to someone straight away. There’s no urge to be in a relationship as whatever will be, will be. I know for a fact if and when I find the emotional bond I truly am looking for, it will really mean something. I will find someone with the same morals, someone I can trust with similar interests but also completely contrasting ones to make our lives more interesting. I will care for someone who can not only have lighter conversations with me, but also deep conversations about topics on how we could possibly be game characters living in a simulation or our deepest fears. I will cherish someone who is the same level of insane, who I can not only laugh with but banteriously at. I will respect someone who understands boundaries, who I can bounce off with and gives me a challenge, keeping things fun. I want to be with someone who is always there for me when things get tough, provides wholesome acts of kindness, and is generally happy for me when things go well.
This emotional bond is just so crucial for me, it will make any relationship I have special. We would both feel protected, validated and cared for. We would be comfortable in each other's company, enjoy each other's presence, with no doubt we care about each other so much with no butterflies or strings attached. It is absolutely everything to me to find this emotional bond, where I can secure trust, build a foundation of understanding so we could create something truly meaningful.