“I’ve tried one night stands before, but I would say that it’s not for me because I never found it pleasurable,” says Myk Sia, a Malaysia-based Filipino YouTuber. In a video (below), he says that he has to feel a strong emotional connection with someone before he can feel physically attracted to them. And as such, he identifies as a demisexual, a relatively unknown term that more people are now using to describe their sexuality. But what is demisexual, and does it fall under the queer umbrella?
What is demisexual?
The word demisexual comes from the prefix “Demi” which means halfway between (as in “demigod,” a half-god, or “demitasse,” a small cup of coffee) and the word “sexual.” In short, the word demisexual implies a sexuality that exists somewhere between sexual and asexual feelings (that is, general non-attraction to others).
Thus, a demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. Thus, demisexuals feel no strong immediate attraction towards superficial appearances or personality traits; they only feel attracted to people who they know more intimately on a deeper emotional level.
One might think this just means people who conflate sexual attraction with emotional intimacy, but demisexuals prefer the emotional bond to also be reciprocal. That is, their sexual attraction depends on a shared emotional vulnerability between partners rather than just one person being emotionally vulnerable.
As a result, demisexuals typically don’t form immediate crushes, aren’t aroused by porn, don’t care abut physical attractiveness, don’t ascribe to “love at first sight” and don’t find one-night stands or sex with strangers appealing.
Are demisexuals queer?
Demisexuals aren’t necessarily all LGBTQ-identified. That is, you can be a straight demisexual or an LGBTQ-identified demisexual, because demisexuality doesn’t refer to your gender or who you’re sexually attracted to so much as how you’re sexually attracted to someone.
Based on our definition of the word “queer,” since demisexuality typically falls outside of the “mainstream” conception of sexual attraction based on appearance, we’d say it’s queer.