No One Taught Me Demisexuality Was an Option. Now My Life Makes Sense.

It’s okay to be demisexual

Elle Rose
Prism & Pen
4 min readApr 3, 2023


The silhouette of a woman is seen against the backdrop of a dark, purple and pink sunset.
Image Source: Sasha Freemind /

It’s a humid summer night. The one bedroom apartment I’ve followed my OkCupid date into has no air conditioning. This makes the air feel hot and thick, and I wish he would open a window. Instead, he’s kissing my neck and asking me if I want to have sex.

I go out to the patio and smoke a cigarette, something I only ever do when I feel extraordinarily stressed. I don’t think that he’ll mind if I say no. Instead, I worry that if I say no, if I admit that I don’t really understand what sexual attraction is all about most of the time, it means something is wrong with me. I don’t want something to be wrong with me.

Unsure what else to do, I go back inside and say yes.

This was not an isolated incident. In my early twenties, I had lots of casual sex that I didn’t necessarily care for. Most of the time I had it because I thought it was the only value that I could bring to a partner. Then I’d lay there, staring at the ceiling, wondering what about the whole thing wasn’t clicking for me.

There were times that I did want sex, but they were select. They required the right person, the right situation, that feeling of libido to have something to point itself towards. I didn’t see the need for sex in a romantic relationship, but I did want to be wanted. That proved to me that that feeling of something being wrong was just that — just a feeling.

Often, sex was very boring to me. With the right person, to whom I felt sexual attraction, it was incredible. But most people weren’t the right people. I just wanted badly to know what everyone else was talking about, and to be accepted.

When I was twenty-three, I described my experience with sex to my then-girlfriend, who was asexual. She said it sounded like I was demisexual. That night I went home and tasted the word demisexual to see what it felt like. It felt right. If I’m being honest, I hated that.

Demisexuality is a sexual orientation housed under the asexuality umbrella. Coined in 2006 on AVEN network forums, this describes the experience of having sexual attraction only after a close bond is formed. It does not describe the gender or genders a person is attracted to, nor does it describe their sexual behavior. Instead, it describes how sexual attraction can form for demisexuals — if we experience it at all.

This one word, this one explanation for who I was — it made sense. It also undid everything I’d been taught about who and what I was supposed to be. Up until then, I had thought everyone who had sex experienced sexual attraction the way I did. After talking to more and more allosexuals (people who are not under the asexuality spectrum), it turned out almost everything I’d been taught about sexuality was wrong.

No one ever taught me that just not having sex was really an option. There were talks half-heartedly given about informed consent and education classes about “here’s how a baby is made — don’t make a baby!”, but there wasn’t an option to just… not. I’m not talking about sexual assault or coercion; I mean that I didn’t feel that I had the option to just completely forgo sex.

I wish someone had taught younger me about asexuality and the spectrum that exists underneath it. I wish I had learned in those sexual health classes that sometimes, libido just exists without sexual attraction. I wish that I had learned that there are other people like me who rarely or under specific circumstances have sexual attraction.

I wish most of all I had learned that it’s okay to be demisexual, and that I wasn’t alone.

When I try to describe my experience to allosexuals, I get a lot of misunderstanding and confusion in return. Most of the time what happens is well-intended misunderstandings of demisexuality. Rarely or never experiencing sexual attraction is so unthinkable to so many of them that they confuse enjoying sex with having sexual attraction, or try to dismiss my experiences as false memories or misunderstandings of my own life.

It’s okay to have something about you that’s different than what you were taught it should be. It’s okay to have little to no sexual attraction, if any. What isn’t okay is that so many of us go through life having no idea that nothing is wrong with us for being ace. No one should feel as if they have to cure their sexuality.

If I could, I would go back to that young person smoking on that porch in the middle of the night. I’d put out their cigarette and I’d say, “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Everything will be okay. Let’s go home.”



Elle Rose
Prism & Pen

queer. demisexual. ADHD. disabled. writer. YouTuber. shy but chaotic. they/she. contact: