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Her Story: Demisexuality

Labels have never really mattered to me. Genders, ethnicity, and sexuality – I used to feel tied back by these concepts because they separated me from assimilating with my peers, which was all I wanted to do when I was growing up. I felt weird that I didn’t celebrate Christmas like everybody else, that my skin color was different, and that I didn’t know how to swim. I tried to fit in with my classmates as best as I could, but in the process I just made things a lot more difficult for myself. In my final years of high school and first two years of university, I recall trying out various different styles with my hair, fashion and makeup, trying to figure out which one was the real me.

In the events of forming an identity for myself, I came to realize the importance of labels. I’d always thought I was completely heterosexual while I was growing up – the only people I’ve ever liked have identified as male and I’ve only had sex with males. Unlike all of my friends, however, I never found myself sexually or romantically attracted to anyone unless I’d known them for a while. It didn’t really mean much to me besides feeling a little alienated when it came to talking about hookups (something I’ve never done). One day, I came across the term “demisexual.” Demisexuals are defined as lacking sexual attraction, or romantic attraction if also “demiromantic”, unless deeply emotionally connected with someone. Experiences with demisexuality can be very subjective, as some demisexuals have very little sexual desire while others may have more. Some individuals may even also feel comfortable with hook-ups on occasion. It felt surreal to me that there was finally a label that so accurately explained how I’ve felt all my life. After discovering this, it has encouraged me to not confine myself to the societal norms that I grew up with.

Identifying as demisexual/demiromantic has significance for me because it doesn’t hold me down the way I used to think labels did. It’s something I can be proud of, something that gives me an identity just like my ethnicity, my gender and my culture. With each day that passes, I’m figuring myself out more and more and learning to love myself for who I am. If I’m not like everybody else, that’s okay. It’s okay to be different. 

 

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