Updated: Nov 30, 2020
By Kathy Christie
Image via Kathy Christie
Think of a world in which everyone around you is gray. This is normal for you, and you don’t mind it. You attend your social obligations, make friends and whatnot - you probably have a close friend, and maybe after a long while of knowing them, you feel a strong pull to them, and they’re suddenly in color. The one colorful person in a sea of gray.
Okay, so maybe I’m not the best at coming up with imaginative scenes, but I think I got a point across! This is what it’s like to be a panromantic demisexual. First I want to touch up on what it means to be panromantic demisexual. How will I do that? By the sum of it’s parts of course: Panromatic/Pansexual and demiseuxal.
Pansexual is falls under the B of LGBTQIA+, so it falls under the bisexuality umbrella, along with polysexual, omnisexual, and others. The sexuality of pansexual, more commonly known as ‘pan’, can be defined in numerous ways, however if you ask someone what pansexual is, you’ll most likely get this answer: the attraction to people regardless of sex or gender identity. This isn’t to say that pansexuals are attracted to literally everyone, just that gender plays no role in who they are attracted to. This is the definition I use for myself as well. Not all pansexuals identify with this definition. Ultimately, only you can define what it means to you.
Now, demisexual falls under the A in LGBTQIA+, which means it falls under the ‘a-spec’ , or the longer way of writing it - the asexuality spectrum. The simple asexual definition is the experience of little to no sexual attraction to others. (To learn more about asexuality and signs to tell that you may be asexual, read this awesome article.) The a-spec, through the various identities that fall under it, covers those who identify with a complete lack of sexual attraction to those feeling sexual attraction in certain situations. Falling under this, demiseuxality is the sexual attraction to someone only after a strong connection is made. Or more simply, demisexuals only like someone once they’ve formed a strong emotional connection. Then, and only then, may the possibility of sexual attraction arise.
Now that you have a grasp on what the two parts of this whole are, I can give the basic definition of panromantic demiseuxal. Simply put, a panromatic demisexual is a person that may be romantically attracted to people regardless of sex or gender identify, but not be sexually attracted to them, unless they have a strong bond with them. A panromantic demiseuxal’s definition of their sexuality may differ slightly from this, however, as stated before, only you can truly define this indeed for yourself. Now that that’s covered, here are 4 signs that you may just possibly be panromantic demisexual!
You are Attracted to People Regardless of Gender
For you, looks are irrelevant in finding love. Matter of fact, most demisexuals aren’t actively looking for love, rather emotional bonds. However, when a bond is formed and you do start to feel an attraction - gender has no role in whether you like them or not. You may find yourself ‘crushing’ on guys, gals, non-binary pals (Thomas Sanders reference? yes!) - agender peeps, or anyone along the gender identity spectrum. Gender isn’t even a thought in your mind when you start developing romantic or sexual attraction to a person, it’s solely based on personality and your connection with them - hence why most panromantic demisexuals value conversation a lot!
You’ve Probably Been Called Picky or ‘Normal’
This has got to be one of the most annoying things demisexuals experience. Let me clarify - being demisexual and/or panromantic demisexual is completely normal, like the rest of the LGBT+ community, however in this case ‘normal’ is used to invalidate the demiseuxal experience. When people talk to me trying to explain why my sexuaility doesn’t exist, they often say things like, ‘you’re just picky’ or ‘but everyone does that!’. If this were true, then hookup culture and dating apps that ask you to swipe left and right on pictures wouldn’t exist. Thing is, lots of people may abstain from having any sexual interactions without an emotional connection, however, for panromatic demisexuals, this is not a choice. We literally don’t feel any attraction to a person until we have said emotional connection. It’s not me being picky, it’s just that my world is very gray and boring (attraction wise) until I can get to know someone well enough for attraction to even be an option.
Most of Your Relationships Start as Friendships
A level of trust and security is a large factor in developing an attraction for someone. This leads to most relationships starting out as friendships first. This is honestly so true now that I look back at my life. It is important to note that this does not, however, mean you’ll have a crush on all of your friends! I’ve known my best friend since pre-kindergarten and I don’t have an attraction to him whatsoever. On the other hand, I hardcore crushed on and ended up dating this girl (one of my close friends) I knew for three years.
Love at First Sight? - Maybe Love at 500th Conversation
Yup, the concept of ‘Love at first sight’ is a nice cliche and cute concept- but it just doesn’t apply to my life. I’ve never had the experience of just meeting or laying eyes on someone and developing a crush on them or suddenly feeling attracted to them. While I love the concept - I mean, hello, the song “Helpless“ from Hamilton is a masterpiece - panromantic demisexuals will just not get the chance to experience it… much like when people talk about how ‘attractive’ someone is. This is something that happens a lot really. My friends ask “omg Kathy, doesn’t he look attractive?” (and a lot of variations of the question) and I can’t really answer. I just cannot find a person I don’t know (including celebrities) even mildly attractive without having a bond with them. To even be remotely attracted to someone I need to know them on a personal level. The concept of judging someone’s attractiveness based on looks or online profile without having spoken to them seems like an abstract concept. So on a scale of one to ten on the attractiveness scale or a swipe left/swipe right - how about N/A.
With all that said, if you can identify with most of these points, there’s a nice chance you may be a panromantic demisexual (or possibly one of the above) - so welcome to the gang! Remember that sexuality is a fluid thing and you don’t have to classify yourself to a label to be valid! You are very much loved and absolutely amazing! Feel free to contact me on instagram @anniechristie1; #Yolo, Kathy out!
Written by Kathy Christie