Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

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Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Kashchej on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Sorry if this isn't quite the right sub-board; I'm a little confused with these new options.

So, as I understand it, a demisexual is a person who does not experience primary sexual attraction but does experience secondary attraction. So, it basically describes a person whose feeling toward a person may become sexualized with the development of a strong emotional connection. That is how I have identified in the past, but I'm starting to wonder about myself.

If I'm mostly just indifferent to sex, but I wouldn't necessarily mind it for the sake of my own gratification (just only with someone whom I trust completely), is it still appropriate to identify as demi? It especially disoriented me when I read Tegid's definition of secondary desire: "wanting to have sexual activity or romantic relationship for reasons other than pleasure, such as making/raising children, the social benefits of having a relationship, financial reward from it, or the other person's pleasure as independent from your own." (Sorry, I don't know how to do quotes in a forum.) So, if I would like to have sex with somebody with whom I have a deep emotional connection for my own pleasure, would that mean that I can't really id as demi? Because that definition of secondary attraction seems to imply to me that demisexuality implies not enjoying the physical experience of sex at all. I felt comfortable with that identity over the summer when I was in a comfortable environment at home where I didn't have to see anybody and my introversion could be satisfied with weeks of alone time, but now that I'm back at school and surrounded by people, I'm starting to have some doubts.

And I know I shouldn't be quibbling over terminology; how I identify should be completely up to me, but that doesn't stop me from looking for some guidance sometimes.

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:31 pm

I'll break it down in simpler terms, if you don't mind. (Also, I've done some more board-shuffling; the thread is now where it oughtta' be, in the long run. Smile )

Instead of "primary", "secondary", etc... which get tanglesome to say after awhile... I'm going to abbreviate.

Attraction type 1: attraction to outwardly apparent characteristics- physical form, apparent wealth or race or social status or gender/sex, etc.

Attraction type 2: attraction to characteristics that can only be learnt after you know the person well- kindness, trustworthiness, loyalty, intelligence, their own personal orientations and identities, etc.

Lacking Attraction 1 but having Attraction 2 = demi.
If it's the sexual version of Att.1 that you lack, then demisexual.
If it's the romantic version of Att.1 that you lack, then demiromantic.

Then there are the drives/desires/libidos:

Drive 1: The urge to have sex or to start a romantic relationship, because you will take pleasure from it personally.

Drive 2: The urge to have sex or to start a romantic relationship, because of things other than your direct pleasure - another person's pleasure, or making money, or making/raising a child, or benefiting socially from being in a relationship, etc.

Lacking Drive 1 but having Drive 2 = Semi.
If it's the sexual version of Drive 1 you lack, then semisexual.
If it's the romantic version of Drive 2 you lack, then semiromantic.


Attraction and drive/desire are not the same thing. Attraction is where greyness, deminess, and asexuality vs. verisexuality are determined (and their -romantic equivalents).
Sexual attraction is what determines the person or types of people with whom you would even remotely consider having sex.
Romantic attraction is what determines the person or types of people with whom you would even remotely consider starting a romantic relationship, in the specific "I am oriented to 'like' THIS group, and not THAT group" sense.

Drive is where hyposexuality, seminess, and nonsexuality vs. isosexuality are determined (and their -romantic equivalents). Sexual drive is libido, and romantic drive is what makes you want to actually be in a relationship, in the general "I would rather NOT be single" sense.

Based on all this, and based on your statements, you DO qualify as demi. A demi person can have any degree of libido / drive... they just cannot have a full measure of both types of attraction, to technically qualify as demi.

I'm demisexual, and I have no shortage of libido. I just absolutely lack primary sexual attraction (Att.1), and I have secondary sexual attraction (Att.2) in spades.

I don't see your questions as even remotely "quibbling over terminology". You had a point of confusion and questioning over terms, and your desire to see it resolved is productive and helpful to anybody else who reads your thread in order to gain similar understanding. Smile
Thanks for asking!

Also, to quote in forum, frame the quoted text in the following tags:
[quote] [/ quote]
And remove the space between the slash and 'quote'.
The text will be in a recessed box on the screen. Smile

I hope I answered your question to satisfaction. Please, if I am still leaving you in confusion, let me know. Next time I have web access, I'll address it. Smile
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Kashchej on Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:17 am

That actually helped a very, very good deal. Terms such as hypo- and semisexuality as terms to describe drive are very new to me. So now everything's cleared up for me a lot more.

Although now I'm back to my usual disorientation about romance. I feel a sort of vague sense of "romantic attraction" that manifests itself as "hey, I'm very fond of you and I'd like to spend more time with you developing emotional and physical intimacy," but a similar sense of desire for emotional and physical intimacy exists in some of my Platonic relationships. Basically, I don't feel a need for a binary system of romantic vs. Platonic, but I guess maybe it's a spectrum? (Like everything tends to be.)

So, in a way, I have an intellectual objection to an inner urge saying "I'd rather not be single."

But, in terms of demisexuality, sexual attraction is based not on romantic feelings so much as an emotional connection. So, I can feel that attraction to a close friend as well, though that doesn't happen so often. Usually it's a desire to cuddle. (Sensual vs. sexual attraction? There are so many types of attraction.)

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this anymore. I just woke up at 6 AM and started typing. I should probably go back to sleep. Good night! Very Happy

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:12 pm

Sensual attraction and desire are independent from sexual attraction and desire, yes; not all types of touch are sexual, and not all sexual things are related directly to touching (i.e. fetishes and the psychological aspects, which are a huge part of sexual relationships).

One of these days, I want to make a very carefully defined grand list of attractions and drives, etc. XD
I like lists. ^_^

Romantic v.s. platonic are, I suppose, more like the extreme ends of an "emotional closeness v.s. kinship" scale; with most people, feelings for genetic family are very much platonic, even with a very strong emotional bond. Comparatively, some romantic relationships can actually be very weakly formed, so obviously it isn't a case of "romantic = emotionally closer" and "platonic = emotionally less-close".
The thing is, for people who experience both romance and platonic love strongly, there does tend to be a firm delineation of where one stops and the other starts... and for people who feel one very strongly but the other not so much, or just one at all, or both weakly... then that line gets blurry. I think the intensity of each side relative to the other is rather what moderates how clearly we each perceive a differentiation between romance and platonic fondness.

Suffice to say... for you personally, there may NOT be a need for it to be binary, but for the majority of people who experience both, there IS a need to differentiate between the two, because the difference is vast and apparent to us.

The "I'd rather not be single." was the most simplistic way I could get the point across, but really... it's not so much an aversion to being single (in which the sexual equivalent would be an aversion to abstinence), as it is drawing a high degree of pleasure from having that highly-trusted and emotionally-bonded company of another person or people.
It's a positive feedback being gained, not a negative feedback being avoided.
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Adam on Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:13 am

Wow Tegid, you ought to write the first demi encyclopedia! tongue

I've always seen Platonic-romantic as a sliding scale -- I thought everyone did. It just goes to show I'm learning already!
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by LadyL on Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:05 pm

Whoa, new terms to me- semi and iso...what???
I get your definitions, but wow.

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Paul1807 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:24 am

Hmmm, I am a bit leary on the stratification. Granted I am in my 50s and have a substantial amount of history to look back on concerning past relationships. There is indeed a pattern but there has been enough fluctuation that I will only go so far as to say the best description for me is a HeteroRomantic Demi.

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:38 am

Stratification? How exactly do you mean, please?

Keep in mind that the terms I use are in deliberate avoidance of
a) 'normal' and 'abnormal', etc. "Average" in reference to libido (i.e. 'isosexual, &c.) is purely by the person's own perception of what is average, and unless they ask around, naturally there won't actually be a numerical basis for defining it

b) blatantly sexualizing terms (including but not limited to 'sexual' itself)

c) heterocentricity and ciscentricity, as much as they can be avoided and still allow one to be understood
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:48 pm

I was a little confused until I read this. Thank you, Admin.

For the longest time, I was under the impression that I was asexual, but there were certain characteristics that didn't quite match up to the definition -- I found out about Demisexuality and noticed that this could be it; this "grey-A" area, pe say. That being said, I have a few concerns...

I have no sexual or romantic attractions to primary traits, but I am however both sexually and romantically attracted to secondary. I've also found that it is only when I make a close bond with someone that I can have the ability to feel a romantic attraction (never sexual) toward the primary; such as their facial features, and other primary categorical traits.

Here is where it gets complicated: even when I am attracted to a person, the bond having been established, I can still very much so be indifferent to sex and other sexually related activities. I can either be a raging Amazonian woman after snu-snu from my husband, or a chastity-induced Nun.

All this being said, am I Demisexual or otherwise?






Lament's:

Primary Attractions: Can be established romantically after a close personal bond, but never beforehand and never sexual.
Secondary Attractions: Can be established both sexually and romantically.


Last edited by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:50 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:46 pm

It sounds like you are demiromantic and grey-asexual, a little bit closer to the asexual end of the spectrum than demisexual is. You could still certainly qualify yourself as demi; you simply have some perfectly natural variation from the strictest definition of that term, probably caused by variations in your libido. Smile
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:06 pm

Thank you for your swift response, Admin. Smile

Demiromantic? I don't understand. On one of your previous comments you had stated that...

"If it's the sexual version of Att.1 (primary) that you lack, then demisexual. If it's the romantic version of Att.1 (primary) that you lack, then demiromantic."

I have the ability to be romantically attracted to primary traits in my partner, which I therefore don't lack, so wouldn't that technically make me Demisexual?

Could you also please state yours reasons as to why I would also be "grey-asexual", exactly? And also does this mean that I don't have a technically nameable sexual orientation, as you had suggested that I am in fact two kinds?


Last edited by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:10 pm

I have no sexual or romantic attractions to primary traits, but I am however both sexually and romantically attracted to secondary.

You said that. We answered you according to what you said.

Demisexual is simply a much-more-specific variety of grey-asexual, already. It's in the grey-ace spectrum. That is a name, so it's not 'un-nameable'. Sexual and romantic orientations are not the same things at all, so those aren't two different 'kinds' of sexual orientation.
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:12 pm

I had said that indeed, but I had also stated that I am more than able to be romantically attracted to primary traits once a relationship has been established. Does this not count? And yes, I know that sexual and romantic orientations are not the same, this is why I'm asking for clarification.

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:14 pm

Lacking initial primary romantic attraction but possessing secondary romantic attraction, and then having primary romantic attraction occur after a relationship has been established = pretty much the definition of demiromantic.
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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:33 pm

"If it's the romantic version of Att.1 (primary) that you lack, then demiromantic." Which I do not lack. Clearly. I do, however, lack sexual attractions to the primary, which by your definition is Demisexual.

Simply lacking the initial primary romantic attraction but gaining it at a later time is still a primary romantic attraction, whether initial or otherwise, therefore Demisexual by your definition. One cannot simply dismiss the overall occurrence of something just because it doesn't happen straight away, and that is what I don't understand about what you're saying in comparison to what you have said. I'm only going off on the definitions you've provided, nothing more; I'm not trying to be obnoxious or rude or anything, I'm simply asking for your clarification.

I hope you don't find me ill-mannered by asking this, but I find it important to ask as this is my sexuality we are discussing -- are you a doctor? I noticed that your age states that you are 21-years-old and I don't think it would be viable to give medical or psychological information to people pertaining human sexuality without a PHD.




EDIT:

I think perhaps in this case it would be prudent to stop this conversation here. I don't like your attitude in this discussion of my sexuality or the fact that you're contradicting yourself, and even so, I think it would be far more logical to speak to a specialist who deals in human sexuality rather than a forum.

Before I leave however, I would like to leave you with a small piece of information, just to clarify the fact that I'm not retarded or confused here:

A demiromantic is a type of grey-romantic who only experiences romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction, but they are capable of secondary romantic attraction.

http://www.asexuality.org/wiki/index.php?title=Demiromantic

The quote does indeed state that Demiromantics only experience romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection to a person -- exactly as I had stated in regards to my eventual gain in primary romantic attractions and exactly as you had...suggested -- but it also states that Demiromantics cannot experience primary romantic attraction, unlike myself, therefore Demiromantics only experience secondary romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Therefore you are talking out of your arse. That's exactly what it says right there.

That being said, I in fact do experience secondary romantic attractions before developing an emotional connection to a person, which I had stated in my very first response -- that I can experience both romantic and sexual secondary attractions. I'd also like to add that it is only primary romantic attractions that I gain after an emotional connection has been established; that any form of primary sexual attractions in myself are totally absent.

Again, it says right there that Demioromantics do not experience primary romantic attractions. I do, however, experience primary romantic attractions -- I gain primary romantic attractions, which is still "experiencing" -- again, stated in my first response.

The very definition states that a Demiromantic cannot experience primary romantic attractions, only secondary, and after a relationship has been established. I am perfectly capable of both initial romantic and sexual attractions to secondary traits, and gain romantic attractions to primary traits. Gained or otherwise, it is still experiencing romantic attraction toward the primary -- and it says right there that "Demiromantics do not experience primary romantic attraction." I do. And that Demiromantics only experience secondary (since it says that they can't experience primary) romantic attraction after developing an emotional connection beforehand. Which I can experience before an establishment. Period.




In future, I hope you won't speak to other people about their concerns regarding their sexuality in such a patronising and unprofessional manner and with such contradicting falsehoods. Thank you for your time.


Last edited by Syrenje on Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:37 pm; edited 9 times in total (Reason for editing : Finalisation)

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Re: Am I even demisexual? I'm not sure if I actually understand this anymore.

Post by Aisling on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:52 pm

You are taking the quote out of its context, Syrenje.
Both demisexual and demiromantic refer to orientations which lack their respective primary modes of attraction but can possess their respective secondary modes of attraction, as the default state; then, when there is a relationship involving emotional investment and/or trust, their respective primary modes of attraction are enabled along with their already-present secondary modes.

This isn't a case of something not 'happening straight away'; it's a case of a prerequisite condition (of being in an emotional / trust relationship of some kind) being met before the primary attraction is able to occur at all. Lacking the prerequisite condition being met, you can know the other person your entire life and never experience the primary attraction to them.

The Grey-area scales, both romantic and sexual, are everything between aromantic / asexual and alloromantic / allosexual, including individuals who only experience one of the two modes of attraction at all, or who experience lesser degrees of them. The demi-equivalents are specific in that the secondary attractions are present, while the primary attractions can only be present upon meeting a prerequisite degree of trust or emotional attachment.


This isn't medical or psychological information, and we have never at any time implied that it is. These are sociolinguistic terms generated for the specific purpose of discussing very narrow orientation categories. This site serves to catalogue these terms and their definitions as they come into existence in the online communities relating to the Asexual/Aromantic Spectra, and when somebody comes to the site describing their own experiences and asking for suggested or clarified terminology which would apply reasonably to their situation, we offer suggestions based on how they seem from their self-descriptions.

As far as we are aware, you arrived in this thread of your own volition, and we have only ever told you that you sound / seem a certain way based on what you describe in your own words. We have not given medical or psychiatric advice of any sort.

We are socio/psycholinguists by trade, which fits this site precisely in our purview.
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