This is yet another submission for the July Carnival of Aces.
I thought that I said all I wanted to say about ‘doubt’ last week. But then, just a day after that post went live, I was struck by a thought…
ZOMGOSH, maybe I’m demisexual.
This is a thought I have have once in a while (as in, about once a year).
I have been exposed to enough people of various kinds, some of whom are considered very sexy, for me to conclude that my lack of sexual attraction means that I am on the ace-spectrum (not to mention my really low sex drive). It is the explanation which best fits the evidence. But have I been in enough relevant emotionally-close relationships to determine whether or not I am demisexual?
My emotionally close relationships right now are such that sexual attraction, even if I were an allosexual, would be … limited (long-distance with most communication in writing, involving non-humans, etc.) So, if a demisexual were living in my shoes, they would be, for all practical purposes, experiencing life as an asexual. Things weren’t always this way … but I feel that I do not have enough history of *not* being sexually attracted to people in emotionally close relationships to rule out the possibility that, if I had a certain kind of emotional bond, I might experience sexual attraction.
I do not think this is a terribly important question since, right now, I am experiencing life as an asexual. But if I am demisexual, I might be surprised by sexual attraction in new close relationships. And if I am not demisexual, then I should not expect sexual attraction, and keep my peace with that.
I think people on the ace-spectrum experience so much doubt partially because our discourse is really new. The term ‘demisexual’ as it’s currently used in ace-spaces did not exist ten years ago.
However, another reason for so much doubt is that it’s much easier to prove something with positive evidence – ‘I generally feel sexually attracted to people who present as very femme’ – ‘I generally feel sexually attracted to nerds’ – ‘I generally feel sexually attracted to people with long hair and lean muscles’ – than to prove something with negative evidence ‘hmmm, I generally have not felt sexual attraction to anybody’.