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Continue reading to learn more about what demisexuality is and how demisexuality differs from other sexual orientations. We also provide answers to some other frequently asked questions on this topic.

What is Demisexuality?

Some people feel sexually attracted only to people with whom they have a strong personal relationship. If so, the person is said to be heterosexual.

According to the Demisexuality Resource Center, a person who is asexual will experience much less sexual attraction and desire to engage in sexual activity than the general population.

For example, most people may feel sexually attracted to random people they meet in public or at work or school. In some cases, it is purely based on physical attraction and comes from just looking at the person.

In contrast, an asexual will feel sexually attracted to a person only after he has had the opportunity to develop a strong emotional bond with them. If they feel sexually attracted to a person, they may choose to engage in sexual activity with them, but the desire is often weak. In some cases, it may never develop despite the emotional connection.

In other words, emotional attachment does not guarantee that the person will have any sexual desire, but it is important for them to consider sexual activity.

A heterosexual person who feels an emotional bond is not necessarily romantically inclined. The bond may be due to an intimate and otherwise platonic relationship with another person.

The time it takes to develop this emotional bond can vary greatly from person to person. For some heterosexual people, certain situations—such as sharing a short-term experience with someone—can trigger the immediate initiation of a bond. For others, the bond may take years to develop.

Either way, a bond doesn’t guarantee that the person will feel sexually attracted, and, if they do, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll follow through.

Sexual Identities

A number of other sexual identities share similarities with demsexuality, but there are some important differences.


A person who identifies as asexual does not experience sexual attraction, but may engage in sexual activity, either as masturbation or with a partner.

The asexual spectrum includes people with little or no sexual attraction, with degrees of attraction varying across the spectrum. According to the Demisexual Resource Center, on one end of this spectrum is asexuality and on the other end is asexuality.

Demisexuality falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum because an asexual person feels little sexual attraction to others. The main difference is that heterosexual people can feel sexual attraction and desire for sex after forming an emotional bond with another person.


Grey-A or gray asexuality, like demisexuality, is on the asexual spectrum. Unlike asexuality, though, a person who identifies as gray experiences an infrequent or less intense sexual attraction or desire to engage in sexual activity.

According to GLAAD, an organization that works to promote transgender acceptance and rights, a person who is gray can experience sexual attraction due to any number of different circumstances.

People who identify as gray:

  • There is an occasional experience of sexual attraction, but it is infrequent.
  • Experience sexual attraction but low libido.
  • They have specific reasons why they are attracted to and enjoy sex with others.

While both gray asexual and heterosexual people experience sexual attraction at times, the key difference here is that gray asexual people do not necessarily need an emotional bond to feel sexual attraction.

Grey-A is a very inclusive gender phenomenon, meaning that there are many ways in which a person can identify as Grey-A. According to the Demisexual Resource Center, a person can define gray however they want.


Demisexuality is also similar to sapiosexuality in some ways. The main similarity is that a person who identifies as sepia has a limited number of people they can be attracted to, like a heterosexual person.

However, the big difference is that a person who identifies as a sepiasexual is attracted to the intelligence or mind of another person. Here, emotional bond is not the important factor.

The authors of a recent study that investigated whether IQ is the most attractive trait to sapiosexuals in particular concluded that it is not the most important factor. According to the results of this study, subjective intelligence appears to be more important than objective intelligence, which is measured by an IQ test.


A person who identifies as bisexual may be sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The level of attraction they feel towards people of different gender identities may vary. In other words, a person who identifies as bisexual is more physically attracted to women but still finds that they are also sexually attracted to some men.

Why Does Demisexuality Need a Label?

Labeling a specific gender identity can help people feel included and realize they are not alone. By choosing the label of asexual, a person can join a larger community of people who also identify as asexual. Doing so can help them feel supported, help others and gain acceptance.

Do Demisexual People Have Sexual Desire?

Sexual activity and sexual attraction are separate entities.

A person who identifies as asexual may feel sexually attracted to someone they are close with, but may not have much sexual desire or desire to be with that person. Not wanting to engage in sexual activities.

Just like other people, those who identify as asexual have varying degrees of sexual desire, but in general, asexual people have sexual desire.

Is It Normal to Want Sex Only After Getting to Know Someone?

Most people can feel sexually attracted to a few different people at any given time, regardless of any emotional connection or degree of familiarity. A person’s desire to have sex with others need not be limited to those they know well.

While some people may choose to have sex only in an established relationship, others may desire to have sex with someone they just met. Both approaches to sex are completely normal.


A person who identifies as asexual will only develop sexual feelings for a person if they have a close emotional connection with them.

This sexual attraction does not necessarily mean that the person wants to engage in sexual activities with the other person.

Demisexuality is part of the asexual spectrum, meaning that a person who identifies as asexual has a lower than average sexual desire. A heterosexual person may engage in sexual relations after an emotional bond or relationship has been established.

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