5 Myths About Demisexual Daters

Shannon Ashley

No, it’s really not the “norm.”


Photo by Joanna Nix on Unsplash

Every single time I write about demisexuality, somebody (usually multiple somebodies) chime in to tell me that the whole label is unnecessary because being demisexual is already the norm.

Unfortunately, this is a myth about demisexuality. Some people insist that demis don’t process attraction any differently than most people.

The problem is that it simply isn’t true.

Physical attraction to strangers is scientifically proven to be pretty darn ordinary. That’s why most people get the concept of "love at first sight." And why plenty of people will ask out an attractive stranger or at the very least, ask for their number. (They find that person attractive right away.)

Most people can recall immediate physical attraction.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that most people will act upon that attraction. Just that most folks are wired for feeling immediate attraction within a brief period of meeting somebody new.

And that makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, right?

There have been tons of studies about human attraction and most psychologists agree that it takes people between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to decide whether they're interested in a stranger.

That's not much time at all.

Especially for demisexuals. In fact, the whole definition hinges upon asexuality meaning that we don't feel sexually attracted to another person unless we sense a deeper connection first.

Myth #1: Demisexuality is a meaningless label that describes everybody.

If that were the case, nobody would ever gawk at a "hot" stranger. It is so widely established that feelings of lust for a random stranger are normal that I can't believe I have to say this.

The label demisexual is helpful to explain to potential partners that we are wired differently than most. When those people actually believe us, it saves everybody a headache and helps prevent miscommunication about where attraction lies.

Myth #: 2 People call themselves demisexual just to get attention.

This is so dismissive it's gross. We are talking about attraction which is typically psychological and physiological. But demis do not feel attraction without the emotional piece in place first.

Demisexuality isn't actually about who you'll sleep with. It's about who you're attracted to. That distinction matters because nobody can control initial attraction. Demis typically don't understand their friends going gaga over the new guy in school, that model on the subway, or the hot doctor in the emergency room.

There is no benefit in making up a meaningless term for our sexuality. It doesn't make us exotic. Plenty of people find us to be buzzkills just for being honest about who we are. If we're not honest, it's way too easy to get ourselves into dangerous situations where we feel pressured and our dates decide we're a tease.

Myth #3: More people used to be demisexual.

Maybe it was easier in the past to be demisexual. Back in the days of "going steady," it was more normal for some relationships to move slowly.

But again, that's not what demisexuality is about.

Men and women still had to decide whether or not they were initially attracted to another person to even consider one date. One date, 6 dates, or even 15 dates may not be enough time for a demisexual to feel sexual attraction in the first place.

There is zero proof to believe that most humans didn't used to feel immediate sexual attraction to strangers. Pin-ups, anyone? Countless books, songs, and films have been based upon immediate sexual arousal (whether or not sex takes place at all) and most people relate to that.

To the desire.

This is basic human behavior, which is why demis often feel so out of place.

Myth #4: Only women are demisexual.

Any person of any gender may identify as demisexual. When people say that only women are demi, they are suggesting that women are not sexually aroused by strangers. And that only men feel immediate sexual arousal.

History and biology show this is not the case. You don't need to be any particular gender to feel sexual arousal for a stranger. And you don't need to be a specific gender to feel zero sexual arousal with all strangers.

Frankly, it's damaging to everyone to make gendered expectations of people surrounding arousal and desire.

Myth #5: Your demisexual friend is bound to fall in love with you.

Being demisexual doesn't mean that you fall in love with your friends. Some sort of deeper emotional connection is simply a prerequisite for a demi to begin to feel sexual attraction.

Plus, every demi is different and requires a different level or style of connection.

Think about any type of mating ritual among humans. School dances, online dating, dance clubs, bars, and general peacocking. While most people are out there trying to make a good first impression to anybody who looks good, demis are usually the ones rolling our eyes at the strutting and yawning about the whole thing.

Such scenes aren't for us because we're not really interested in coupling off with someone we either don't know, or somebody we do know but feel no interest in. But give us the opportunity to slowly connect?

That may finally awaken our sexual desire.

But no promises.

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Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. I cover real-life issues, like family, parenting, relationships, and spiritual abuse.

Cleveland, TN

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