Hey kids! Remember that one time we talked about how I managed an epic feat of self-denial and told myself for years and years that I was Totally and Completely Straight?
Well, guess what: There’s even more to that story!
Demisexual is a term I hadn’t really heard of until about a year ago, when I stumbled across the word on Tumblr. I remember feeling an instant sense of relief followed by a loud, “Oh so that’s what’s up with me!” as soon as I finished reading the description. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, here is a short excerpt from the Urban Dictionary definition:
Demisexuals are characterized by a lack of sexual attraction toward any person unless they become deeply emotionally or romantically connected with a specific person or persons. The level of connection it takes for sexual desire to form is dependent on how close the relationship is rather than initial attraction. It is an orientation that is not chosen.
For years, I was deeply confused by the sheer enthusiasm the people around me had for celebrities, crushes, and even sometimes just people they passed in the street. All it seemed to take was a quick glimpse of someone they found handsome and the flood of “Oh I want them to do such bad things to me” would begin. This became especially prevalent in my 20’s, though there was a fair amount of it during my teen years as well. Seemingly all that was required was a semi-attractive man (sadly I have known very few queer people “IRL”) who, through sheer twist of fate, walked by in their general direction. It also seemed to apply to singers, actors, celebrities, and sometimes even famous authors. All they needed was a face and/or a set of abs to look at, and off they went into a seemingly endless array of sexual fantasies.
I think the most memorable example of this was during my preteen years, when N*Sync was at the height of their popularity. I can’t remember if a friend of mine said it out loud, or if it was something I read online, but I distinctly remember someone going to an N*Sync concert and coming back to talk on and on about how excited they’d been by Justin Timberlake’s pelvic thrusts. After I got finished looking up what a pelvis was (I was like, 12 or something don’t judge me) I couldn’t help but wonder why anyone would be excited about that. I knew why they were talking about it–I knew what sex was and where everybody’s bits supposedly went–but I just didn’t get the appeal. How could they possibly want to have sex with someone they didn’t even know? Besides, he’d just been dancing as part of his performance. It wasn’t like there was any sort of personal connection between him and that one person who had thought his thrusting was neat-o. What were they thinking?