What Does It Mean To Be Demisexual And Demiromantic?

What Does It Mean To Be Demisexual And Demiromantic?

“Living alone with my cats forever sounds pretty damn great. I have no interest in finding my ‘other half.’ I’m a whole!”

Similar to how sexuality is on a spectrum, the desire to be sexual and romantic is also on a spectrum (with asexual/aromantic being on one end and sexual/romantic being on the other). Leaning towards the asexual/aromantic end is an identity called demisexual and demiromantic.

Demisexual is a term used for people who experience sexual attraction and can enjoy intimacy, but don’t actively seek it out and often require a deep personal connection before being intimate. Demisexual people often have lower sex drives, but are not completely asexual. Demiromantic people experience romantic attraction, but are not drawn to romance and do not actively seek it out. As Megan, a 33-year-old New Yorker who identifies as demiromantic and demisexual, puts it, “Living alone with my cats forever sounds pretty damn great. I have no interest in finding my “other half.” I’m a whole!”

Megan first realized she was demisexual and romantic when she was 25. She hadn’t experienced much draw to dating and sex as a teenager, so people often wrote her off as a closeted lesbian. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) that she discovered the term demisexual. Megan recalls feeling a sense of relief when she found the word, “I had heard of asexuality before, but hadn’t seen it celebrated as a healthy part of identity before.”

For Megan, her demisexuality is mainly about not having a partner. “I do pleasure myself and use toys,” Megan explains, “but I can totally take or leave doing it with a partner – right now, it’s been four years [since I’ve had sex with another person].” However, this is not true for all demi people. Ciara Jane identifies as demisexual and has been in a relationship with a man for seven years. For Ciara, it’s strictly about a lack of a sex drive, she loves her partner, but rarely wants to engage in anything sexual.

Neither Megan nor Ciara felt the need to come out about their sexuality. Ciara explains, “I don’t feel there is a need to come out, as it’s more so a level of sexual desire to me. I don’t feel everyone needs to know that.” Megan agrees with sentiment, mostly because sexuality is just not something that is frequently on her mind. She happily answers questions, but mostly only talks about it to clarify the difference between not having gotten laid in a while and actively choosing not to seek out sexual and romantic partners.

When asked what advice they would give to people trying to figure out their identities, Megan and Ciara said almost exactly the same thing: your body is your own, everybody’s desires are different and your lack of desire does not make you any less of a person. Be your own whole, celebrate you!

You can learn more about demisexuality on the AVEN site and in this nifty video by Ashley Mardell.

Image courtesy of Getty Images.