I was at this sex event, and someone mentioned she’s demisexual. I was like–what’s demisexual. Some idea I had was that demisexual is a type of asexuality.
Someone else asked. The demisexual woman explained–it means you’re only sexually attracted to people who you know well.
I was amazed that this was a special thing, to be only sexually attracted to people who you know well. I thought that was kind of normal. Or that some people could get off on seeing someone “hot” who they don’t know, but not everyone.
I was like–oh, maybe I’m demisexual. But I think of myself as very sexual and not belonging under the asexual umbrella at all. It bothered me because there are so many disabilities, quirks, and differences I have. I didn’t want to be another illegible thing.
“What’s normal?” I wondered. How is that determined, with sexual attraction. A non-disabled, youngish, straight white cis-man is often what gets decided is normal.
I imagine a cartoon character–he’s walking down the street, whistling to himself. He sees another cartoon character who’s wearing a dress, has breasts, long hair, and long eye-lashes. His heart pushes out of his chest and attempts to break his shirt open. Hearts come out of his eyes. But I don’t think it’s love, really.
“Love is an angel disguised as lust,” is a cool lyric from a Patti Smith song I heard sung by 10,000 Maniacs. The cartoon character wants to have sex with the other cartoon character. I grew up seeing that’s normal–that’s how sexual desire works.
If that’s not how it worked for me, I needed to adjust. Many things about me were wrong and strange, or considered that way by everyone around me. Learning to perform normal and acceptable was the project of my life.
I have an old friend who told me–something she likes about being bi is checking out hotties with her straight male partner. They would go out together and whisper about cute women they saw.
The idea is familiar to me, but I don’t see people that way. I react to the physical beauty of people, but it’s not important, mostly. I’m not getting my jollies, going out into the world looking for beauty that way. I see beauty everywhere.
I don’t want to be moralistic about it–it’s not like I’m better. The way I react to people, I think love makes someone beautiful, if I love them. But there are all different ways.
what is sexual attraction
Just now I got confused, like what is sexual attraction. Does that mean my cunt aches? I want to actually have sex with someone, like go through with it? Or I want to just fantasize about having sex with someone?
I think there’s aesthetic attraction–just to think someone’s pretty. But that’s different; it’s more detached. As if they were a sculpture or other art.
Or like judging livestock. How well does this goat conform to the standards. I can acknowledge a person is doing the expected thing correctly, but that doesn’t mean I want anything to do with it.
Sexual attraction can change my behavior. I could be like the cartoon character. He’s about action–he marches up to the other cartoon character and talks to her provocatively, asking her on a date. Or he tries to impress her by lifting a heavy object or giving her flowers.
Me, if I feel sexual attraction, my impulse is to be friends, get to know the person, care, learn about their needs and life and past. See if our problems work well together. Then maybe see if they feel attraction toward me, and see if they want to do something more.
That’s how it works for me. I don’t date–I fall in love with my friends.
I have a friend who hugs me for a long time, and my cunt aches. That’s sexual attraction simply, but I don’t consider myself attracted to her. She isn’t someone I would ever want to be girlfriends with or actually have sex with. I love her; I like and admire her, and our lives are entwined somehow. We have tons in common.
My cunt aching feels like a biological, hormonal thing. I enjoy the pleasure of desire, for the moment it lasts. But she is not someone I want to learn a ton from and build a life with. She is busy doing her thing.
She is kind of a soul sister to me. But we’re not going to walk down the path of life together.
googling a too-basic concept
I googled “what is sexual attraction” to try to find out what people mean by that. It’s so obvious a concept, it’s assumed people know what it means.
Attraction is like a magnet. Something draws me. I think of relationships like orbits–I orbit someone’s planet, until we drift apart. Or they hurt me enough that I say “I can’t do this anymore” and try to break out of the orbit.
But attraction isn’t a relationship–it’s something that can motivate a relationship. Attraction is chemical? Pheromones plus some undefinable, unpredictable, beautiful wild thing.
I have a close friend who is the most beautiful possible person, to me, in a way. She has amazingly beautiful breasts, such a cute lovable curvy body, sweet smile, pretty brown skin, gorgeous eyes. Her hair is lovely. She’s totally and completely stunning.
That’s why I’m amazed I feel zero sexual attraction to her. What a mystery. It might be her age–she’s much younger than I am. Or we just got into this certain role with one another.
I want to say some hippie stuff like–“This lifetime, we chose to be Just Friends.” I feel a family feeling with her. We have a great heart connection and talk about moving together. All the ingredients for sexual attraction are there, but sexual attraction never arrived.
We talk about sex often and even have similar values, when it comes to sex. I shrug and feel thankful I don’t long for her that way. I really enjoy being her close family-like friend. Hopefully we’ll be friends always.
Labels can be helpful so we can find one another, understand one another quickly, and maybe know ourselves better. A diagnosis has helped me feel better about myself and see my life through a new lens. It was helpful for months, as I learned and shifted perspective away from self-blame.
I see labels as potentially dividing also. The other day I saw a meme that said–My friends are 200 different kinds of progressive, and they all hate each other. I had to laugh about infighting and the left being so fractured. When we differentiate ourselves, it’s complicated and makes more finger pointing possible. Communication is good, but words can lead to confusion also.
My concern is that the youngish, non-disabled straight white cis man who’s the norm is not really the norm. If we’re defining ourselves by differentiation from the norm, maybe we should verify what the norm really is.
I guess there’s nothing to gain, from saying I’m demisexual. There’s no one I’m encountering who expects me to want to have sex with strangers, so I don’t need the label as a shield or quick explanation of my difference, so I can be considered ok.
It reminds me how, if someone knows the name of my issue, they are more likely to accommodate me.
Oh, there’s a thing you’re doing. You’re not just a difficult person–a doctor says you suffer from whatever, so I will have compassion for you. Personally I find it bullshit, that someone needs to know my diagnoses to be decent to me. I’m the same person whether a medical professional was paid money to evaluate me or not.
I feel grateful to have thought about what is sexual attraction, why it appears, and how I begin relationships. Maybe I should change the way I do it, in order to find more success.