My Sexuality

(why can’t all relationships be as simple as this one?)

First of all, yes, I’m talking about this in a blog post, rather than texting you about it, or sticking it on Facebook. It’s not that you’re not important to me, it’s just that (as you’ll soon see) my sexuality matters very little to me, but might be important to you; sticking it on a post you can read if you’re interested, but ignore if you’re not, is a nice middle ground between ramming my sexuality down the throats of people who really aren’t into that sort of thing, and hiding an inherent part of my character. So thank you for caring, and with that out of the way, we can get on to the main part of this post.

I am a panromantic demisexual. This means that I can only find people sexually attractive if there is a preexisting strong emotional bond between me and them, and this bond is not dependent on gender. This doesn’t mean I want to sleep with every one of my close friends, but that such a bond is merely a prerequisite. If I were heterosexual, for instance, my pool of potential partners would be cut roughly from the seven billion humans on earth to the three and a half billion women (and I’m assuming everyone is cis, and things like age aren’t an issue for the sake of keeping this example simple; sorry about that); but for me, that pool shrinks from seven billion to about four, because there are four people I know who I consider close enough to be potential romantic partners. And, for what it’s worth, I find one of those four actually attractive; in practice, this means I have one out of seven billion people to choose from if I want to be in a relationship. As a result, don’t expect an ‘I’m dating someone!’ post any time in the near future.

I’ve spent a lot of my life not caring about sexuality; you are my friend, not my gay friend, or my straight friend, or my asexual friend. I thought this was because of a broader apathy I have towards group identities, such as my indifference to someone’s gender or race when I’m interacting with them. But my disinterest in sexual identity has grown to the point that I actively avoid learning about people’s sexuality or relationship status, because those things don’t matter to me; I simply don’t see an overwhelming percentage of the human population as sexual beings.

This leads to some rather interesting behavioural quirks I have, that suddenly make a lot more sense: I’m uncomfortable hitting on strangers at bars, because the idea of engaging with someone romantically before establishing a platonic connection is weird; I can’t really comment on aspects of physical attractiveness beyond ‘that top matches those shoes’ because I don’t care about people’s physical bodies; and I have a weird habit of staring at people when they’re holding hands or kissing in public places, because those kind of relationships are so bizarre to me that I oggle at them with the perplexed air of a Victorian gentleman beholding a rhinoceros for the first time. I’ve always been awkward and apathetic towards, but not totally isolated from, romantic relationships, but finding out that there’s an established, while uncommon, term for it is a massive relief that I’m not just a stoic loser who ‘doesn’t get’ romance.

But this entire post is highly strange for me. Demisexuality is, by definition, a sexuality about an absence of or limit on sexual activity, so declaring it in a blog post seems like a bit of a squib – Guys I have a big announcement: I won’t be making an announcement! I won’t be getting a white, grey and purple pride tattoo, nor will I bemoan the lack of demi representation in mainstream culture. This is why I didn’t, after much thought, title this post ‘Coming Out’; nothing has changed in me as a person, and the performative, liberating element of a coming-out is rather lost on me, who is just as stoic and uninterested in dating as ever. Maybe it’s for your sake – this whole minor inquest into my own sexuality was sparked by my friend thinking I’d asked them out, whereas in reality they’re not one of the sacred four who I could actually consider sleeping with – and I want you to have the most precise, up-to-date image of me in your head so that any reasons you have for liking or loathing me are at least accurate. Or maybe I just needed an idea for a post, and my friends’ anniversary yesterday, and resulting romantic mushiness dotting my Facebook and Twitter feeds, put me in a vaguely romantic mood (well, as romantic a mood as I can entertain).

Either way, I’m James, and I’m a panromantic demisexual.

Demisexuality Resource Center – a much more eloquent, detailed look at demisexuality

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32 thoughts on “My Sexuality

    1. Demi Pride! Is that a thing? Can it even be a thing?

      Either way, it is awesome to know there are other people like yourself – I was introduced to the idea of demisexuality by a blogger on this very site!

      1. Really? I was introduced to the idea by someone at a house party who asked me if I was demisexual because I was so disinterested in their sex conversation. At first I was like… what, no? And then they explained it and I realised that I was ticking a hell of a lot of boxes.

        And shit, I guess if Tumblr is full of LGBTQ people, the Ace/Demi community must all just gather on WordPress!

        Demi pride can be a thing… when all the alosexual people stop thinking we don’t exist maybe?

        1. I was asked by a slightly drunk friend if I was asexual once, but dismissed it because I could name like two people I liked, so I just thought I was stoic and boring. Then I looked at that demisexuality site and realised I fitted a lot of their criteria.

          And yes, WordPress will be full of demi/asexual people. We must find them and offer them follow-for-follows! Although the this does sound a bit like an army we’re growing here…

          1. It’s always the drunk people who want to know 😛

            The problem I have is, although I so rarely get romantically involved with people, when I actually do, I have an intense emotional connection that fucks me up pretty bad.
            Though sometimes I can never tell which part is that and which part is depression. Whoops!

            But I’m all for building an army! We shall conquer the web like a plague. A plague of asexual awareness! Mwahaha! (Seriously though, is it me or does nobody think we exist?)

            1. It’s not that romantic bonds can’t be strong, they’re just uncommon – but if we’re all being monogamous, it doesn’t make too much difference if you’re demi or not when you’re actually in a relationship. But I get that it’s tougher if there’s more going on than just the demisexual bit – I don’t have other things to consider, which is fortunate.

              And we’d have the best propaganda if any army ever – all we do is write shit anyway.

            1. Wait if you’re asexual and she’s sexual, how does that work in practice? I can understand you being mutually romantic, but what if she wants to have sex? (sorry if these questions are stupid or ignorant, but I’m stupid and ignorant)

              And I hope so but it’s not a priority! I’d much rather make new friends to talk about Golden Sun than anything else :’)

            2. Well, I told her I’d never have sex with her, and she was like “Yeah, sure”. I assume she just like… Does the solo-sex? Not ignorant, no worries. What’s Golden Sun? I know it’s a Chinese restaurant in Spain…

            3. But but no I can’t because if I’d gotten into the game boy I’d just be another hipster waiting for the Pokémon games to be churned out in their thousands to that I could spend months on end sitting on the couch in my underwear mashing buttons, rushing to all the Pokémon centres to listen to the music and experience the waves of nostalgia as I sat and looked at the decrepit games from my youth when everything was simple… That was oddly specific.

  1. I feel like this is why we’re friends, we have a ridiculous amount of things in common (like other than a love of Doctor Who)
    I too identify as a panromantic demisexual. I just don’t understand the idea of dating or sleeping with someone I barely know, and I can’t imagine myself doing either of those things with someone I don’t already care about.
    This has resulted in quite a few of my friendships being ‘ruined’ though. Shame really, I had some really good friends before I had to get all mushy about ’em.

    1. Yeah that’s what I’m worried about – it appears that only demisexuals buy the whole ‘friends become partners’ thing, while everyone else is kinda repulsed by it. Obviously it’s fine if you’re not into dating people like that, but it would make a demisexual person dating a non-demisexual person awkward, at least during the early part of their relationship.

      Also this makes three ZPDers demisexual – I feel the blog could be rebranded at this rate.

  2. Congrats on figuring stuff out 🙂 Coming out is I think mostly letting people know what you prefer in relationships and how attraction works for you and what label fits with that. It comes in many shapes, most of them don’t include activism. I think you describe it pretty well.

    I think part of the deal is that demisexuality is still very much in the stage of “is it a thing? indicate y/n” and falls under the asexuality umbrella. As identity and blog-sphere it seems to be pretty evenly distributed over tumblr and wordpress… Haven’t found it much outside of that.

    1. There’s also a performative element to coming out that I don’t like – if I’m a thing I want to be that thing, not tell everyone about being the thing. I used the word ‘thing’ far too much there.

      And honestly I’ve not looked for a demi community because I’m not that interested. I just don’t see my sexuality (like my gender and ethnicity) as being an important part of my identity so I don’t really want to be like ‘I’m James, and I’m demi!’ I’d rather be friends with people because they’re lovely rather than because we have the same sexuality.

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