This is a guest post by Arf. You can check out more of her writing here. This post has been cross-posted to Tumblr.
Trigger warnings: Explicit discussion of rape involving lying about contraceptives, alcohol, kink mention, casual sex
A Demisexual Survivor’s Experience
I didn’t know I was demisexual for years. My experience of demisexuality is superficially similar to the experiences of many allosexuals, and I didn’t know that I wasn’t experiencing sexual attraction. I liked sex as much as the next person and I was kinky, too. Apart from taking longer than everyone else to find boys cute, I didn’t think anything was unusual.
When I got to college, I started to feel a little different compared to others. Some people found themselves at parties scoping out hot people to take home while others preferred to ask out cute friends and date them. I didn’t really think I fit in either category. I liked sex and wanted to have it, but I was newly single, so I didn’t want to date again. However, I was totally unable to find people sexually attractive. I did find aesthetically pleasing people, but the thought of having sex with them was repulsive.
I chalked it up to being picky, and despite my lack of sexual attraction, I had a one night stand, of my own volition. I just really, really wanted to have sex. It was a terrible experience though, not like the quality, fulfilling sex I had with people I liked. It felt wrong and gross and not at all like what I was supposed to be doing. I didn’t find the guy remotely attractive to look at. He asked me if I was frigid. I’m still not sure how anyone is supposed to answer that.
I thought this was how it was for everyone. You want to have sex so you grit your teeth and do it with a random stranger who may not even be visually appealing to you. The second time though, it wasn’t a stranger. It was a friend of a friend who I had actually known for a long time and had a decent opinion of. I felt pretty empowered to be the one doing the pursuing.
This whole time I thought it was what I wanted. The party was hosted by one of those queer/sex positive clubs, so I could dress skankily without fear of being harassed. I got really drunk, too. My friends thought he was attractive, even though I didn’t, really. Good looking, yes. Attractive, no. But I did go ahead and hook up with him.
We spent (literally) hours arguing over whether to use a condom or not. I was surprised it was even an issue because I took it for granted that everyone was into safe sex. He eventually said yes but took it off when I wasn’t looking, and then had the audacity to claim that I had agreed to it. I felt pretty violated and gross about it at the time, but I didn’t realize then that it fell under the umbrella of rape/sexual assault.
So then, months later when I did figure that out, I felt even more violated all over again, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t really want to go to anyone about it, because I had been a) dressed in a very provocative way, b) totally wasted, and c) wanting sex in the first place. There was no institutional person I trusted to believe me given all those factors. I tried to forget about it. Later, I discovered demisexuality.
It took me a while to accept that I was demisexual, given that I enjoyed sex and had had casual sex, even though the latter just proved to me that I was demisexual. It all made sense in retrospect—every single one of my experiences fit into a perfect, individualized, demisexual narrative. It was pretty amazing to find out that what I thought was a quirk was actually a sexual orientation, and that other people really were attracted to the people they hook up with.
I do wish, though, that I had discovered the asexual spectrum earlier. I would have been able to avoid those awful experimental experiences. I don’t think I would have sought out one night stands if I had realized I was demisexual earlier, but then, maybe I wouldn’t have realized I was demisexual if I hadn’t had those experiences.
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