Have you heard of “demisexual”? Do you identify with this at all, or know anyone who may?
“Some people only feel sexual attraction toward those with whom they have developed a strong personal bond. If this is the case, the person is known as being demisexual.
According to the Demisexuality Resource Center, a person who is demisexual will feel sexual attraction and desire to engage in sexual activities far more rarely than the general population.
For example, most people can feel sexually attracted to random people whom they meet in public or at work or school. In some cases, this is based purely on physical attraction and comes from simply seeing the person.
In contrast, a demisexual will only feel sexual attraction toward a person once they have had the chance to develop a strong emotional bond with them. If they feel a sexual attraction toward a person, they may choose to engage in sexual activity with them, but the urge is often weaker. In some cases, it may never develop, despite the emotional connection.
In other words, an emotional bond does not guarantee that the person will have any sexual desire, but it is necessary for them even to consider sexual activity.” source
Personally, IIRC, the first I ever heard of this was by Paul Byerly (The Generous Husband/The XY Code), and if I am correct, he identifies as this (or something similar.)
Recently, I have met another person, who also happens to be a man, who never used this exact word to describe himself, but he definitely identifies with only feeling sexual attraction after an emotional bond…. which also means he is not visual, in the typical sense, has no struggle with porn nor lust…according to him.
To me, this is a mystery. I have a hard time fathoming this, even as a woman, but especially in a man. I would guess this may be more common in women than in men, which makes a man with it even more interesting to me. It piques my curiosity.
Any thoughts? Any experience?
I’m not sure about this as a classification of people. Let me share a discussion Mrs. OWM and I had some time back.
We were reflecting on how decades ago when she was a girl growing up, it was common to have many friends. She had predominantly friends who were girls. They were kindred spirits, etc. There were close connections socially but also emotionally. But no one ever thought of anything sexual, no matter how close they were. (BTW, what do you call that? God-given innocence, perhaps?) However these days, if two teenage girls are really close friends – yes, like kindred spirits of the past – why is it that now it isn’t viewed as strange in their minds to begin to wonder if they are homosexual? Or when a heterosexual married lady gets really close to a female friend and she begins thinking she might be homosexual. We marveled at how things have changed.
So, is this another aspect of being demi sexual? If it is, I feel I’m smelling a rat! (Or I’m totally not catching on to the meaning.) If that is wat it is, might it be just another way of proliferating orientations, genders, expressions, etc. so that any and every nuanced sexuality imagined by humans can be accepted, promoted, and valued by all?
A quick look on the Internet suggests that the term came about in 2008 . According to Wikipedia “the term demisexual comes from the concept being described as being “halfway between” sexual and asexual.” It seems to me it means partially or half sexual – between asexual and sexual. If that is all it means, then it is just somewhere on the sexual spectrum.
The demisexual topic intrigued me to do a little research. In doing so, I came across this article https://www.wellandgood.com/what-is-demisexuality/ Note: This article is not written from a Christ-centered, Biblical POV.
Interestingly, it places demisexual under the asexual umbrella (whatever that means) . . . perhaps on a spectrum from asexual to sexual; a sort of middling ground for understanding one’s sexual behavior. A couple of demisexual characteristics caught my eye.
A demisexual may have low or high libido. The differentiating characteristic is a lack of desire to be sexual sans an emotional connection. This implies that a demisexual has low libido (no yearning for sexual intimacy) until and unless an emotional attraction triggers their high libido. I’m not sure that I sorted this out correctly!
The fact that demisexuals masturbate (see the quote) is somewhat counter-intuitive. Although the quote suggests that demisexuals masturbate because they have a strong emotional connection to themselves. Interesting!
A takeaway is that low libido in a marriage does not suggest a wife or husband is demisexual. Nor should the lack of interest to be sexually intimate in the marriage bed suggest that a spouse is demisexual. In this case, it may be caused by a variety of marital and/or marriage bed issues: lack of communication, health (physical, emotional, spiritual, relational), porn, fatigue, hormonal levels, etc.
I’d be curious to understand the distinction between the definition of a demisexual and what occurs during an emotional affair. Men and women can have a friendship and be sexually attracted (doesn’t mean they wish to or want to act on that attraction). However, if the friendship deepens, the sexual attraction can pull them toward wishing to and wanting to act on the sexual attraction.
Does the demisexual not experience sexual attraction during a casual relationship?
If they experience sexual attraction during a deepened relationship is it different than what happens during an emotional affair?
I do wonder if Zelda trends this way. She has stated that not only was she not interested in being sexual with someone prior to me, but she was actually repulsed by the idea of doing that with anyone (note that she was still curious about sex and wanted to try it, but no one really seemed suitable). For reference, she was 23 before we started dating. I think the only part of the hypothesis that doesn’t jive is that we didn’t necessarily have a “strong emotional bond” before she started feeling that way about me. We’d only known each other a couple months, and it’s not like we were best friends during that time.
You mention PaulB possibly being that way, but as I recall he did have issue with porn as a younger man. It’s possible he changed over time or is only partway on the scale.
Honest question – this is a marriage forum, specifically a sexualailty oriented forum. So what if one decides or finds out that they (or their spouse) are “demisexual”, then what? Does that supposed to give them some kind of special dispensation or privilege? Are we then supposed to treat them differently?
I ask because I know someone who’s wife tried to get him classified as “hyper-sexual” and thus justify her own selfishness. (He was wanting sex more than once a month…imagine the “abuse” she was being subjected too. That was her claim BTW). Where does it all end? Do we have some kind of “sexuality matrix” we have to work through from now on?
@LBD, hopefully, in the case you are asking about, it will just help provide better understanding of their spouse.
If one believes their spouse, or even themselves, are demisexual… the fact that they are MARRIED says something! It says that there was a strong emotional bond created and more than likely, sexual desire DID come out of it. I would guess that this will come into play and create more of an emphasis on maintaining that emotional bond in your marriage… which shouldn’t every healthy marriage be doing that anyway?
Learned something new, today!
@Scott (because I didn’t want you to miss this) in reply to your question in the comment….
“Do you think that can happen as compared to if you saw the person physically without having interacted with them yet?”
It’s a new day and my brain is working a little better…. if I am following you correctly, yes, I do think that could happen. There’s something about writing that allows us into the soul and heart of a person. There’s a reason “pen pals” were a thing way before the internet. I have no doubt, that by what I have learned from many people here, it would be easy to see the beauty, the attractiveness and even the sexual attractiveness in many here, no matter their physical stature or features…. and the opposite is true, no matter what some of these people look like, I would not see them as attractive because of what comes through in their writing (and I am speaking from my whole 7 years around TMB.) I personally have moved a TMB relationship into a more “known” relationship with multiple people on here, both male and female…. and what I knew of them from all they had shared here, definitely affected how I perceived them, and I can’t say that not a single one of them are “unattractive” in my eyes. 🙂
Did that hit on your question, or did I totally miss it?
Just judging by the scripture that talks about some people being made to be devoted solely to God I would think that it would be reasonable to think he might make at least some of those people like that as a gift to those people. Certainly some who feel called to remain single in the service of God struggle with sexual desire, but logically, if God gifts some people with instant freedom from the addictive desire to drink or smoke (as I have heard testified), then it follows that he might gift others with freedom from the burden of sexual desire (assuming it might be a burden to them.) And since he does a lot of things we don’t understand, it would also follow that some who did not feel called to an asexual life of service might also receive that “gift”.
I guess if that would be considered a white elephant gift, we should remember that he made the literal white elephants, too?
I believe my wife is demisexual. She has a very low sex desire, she rarely reads anything sexual, almost never initiates sex and never has. She says she never masturbates and never has.
If I was ever single again, sex desire from a potential partner would have to be there or it would be a deal breaker.