With so many dating apps currently at our fingertips, quickly swiping right for a potential relationship or hookup has never been easier. But if this sounds totally unappealing to you (and not just because, well, online dating can suck), it may be because you’re demisexual.
For those who don’t know, demisexuality falls under the asexuality umbrella, and basically means you aren’t sexually attracted to people you don’t know or aren’t friends with.
Holly Richmond, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist and marriage and family counselor, explains it like this: “The typical person is going to meet someone and there is usually some degree of physical attraction we form within seconds. With demisexuality, there’s no physical pull at all. It’s really about romantic feelings, love, and friendship, that really come first. The sexual attraction and desire would come second and is certainly not the driving force.”
According to asexuality.org, in general, demisexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone of any specific gender; however, when they are emotionally connected to someone else (whether the feelings are romantic love or deep friendship), they experiences sexual attraction and desire, but only towards the specific partner or partners.
If this sounds like you, here are 5 other signs you might be demisexual.
1. Looks are mostly irrelevant.
For most people, looks — while maybe not the most important part of a relationship — are important on some level. In fact, plenty of us swipe right based solely on an attractive photo before even reading a profile. But for demisexuals, physical appearance is a non-factor. Demisexuals are attracted to personalities over faces, and are more interested in creating authentic connections based on similar interests above all else.
2. Most of your relationships start out as friendships.
Because completely getting to know a potential partner is of immense importance to demisexuals, they often find themselves developing feelings for their friends. Which could mean, most, if not all, of your relationships blossom out of friendships.
3. You enjoy sex, but it’s not super important to you.
Unlike a lot of people, sex isn’t particularly high on many demisexuals’ list of priorities. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy sex, but the physical act holds significantly less importance than, say, intellectually stimulating conversations. As YouTuber Christi Kerr says, while you might find yourself thinking about having sex with one specific person, you don’t think about it or fantasize in general terms.
4. First dates are a huge deal for you.
First dates can be significant for anyone, but for someone who identifies as demisexual, they’re kind of a big deal. If you’re demisexual, you probably like to talk about deep topics on the first date in order to understand the other person’s personality, check your compatibility, and just not waste your time.
But this may also be a negative thing. Your desire to get to know someone may lead you to obsess about everything concerning your upcoming date. It’s almost as if your first date will be a sort of interrogation, and you’re just in it for the information. You don’t want to hurt anyone by dating them unless you know for sure you’re attracted to them, and you can’t be sure unless you continue to date them for a while…which ultimately leaves you in a tricky position.
5. You’ve probably been called a “prude.”
If those around you have called you “old-fashioned” or accused you of being a “prude” when it comes to sex and dating (whatever the heck that even means anymore…you should always do you, whatever that may be), it could be because of your demisexuality. Demisexuals aren’t usually super sexually active and aren’t generally interested in one-night-stands (because again, they need to know someone well before feeling a strong attraction).
Just remember: No one else’s opinion matters except your own when it comes to sexual partners and orientations. Figuring out your sexuality and navigating the dating world is hard enough without the unsolicited “advice” from others. Stay true to yourself and the rest will fall into place.