Under the Ace Umbrella: Demisexuality and Gray-asexuality

I’ve heard about something called the “Ace Umbrella”.  What’s that about?

There’s a gray area between asexuality and non-asexuality.  Some people say that they occasionally experience sexual attraction, yet still relate to asexuality.  The ace umbrella encompasses asexuals, as well as people in this gray area.

Some people, known as “gray-asexuals”, experience sexual attraction infrequently or not very strongly or possibly aren’t quite sure whether or not what they experience is sexual attraction.

One subtype of gray-asexuals, known as “demisexuals”, can experience sexual attraction only after developing a close emotional bond with someone.

So, if asexuals don’t experience sexual attraction and these people do, why the “umbrella”?  What do you have in common?

Many graces and demis tend to feel alienated by or disconnected from the sex-charged culture that they see around them.  Most of the time, they do not experience sexual attraction, same as asexual people.  When they do, the manner or frequency with which they do does not align with how “everyone else” describes their experience with sexual attraction.  In this way, their experiences are often very similar to the experiences of asexuals.

Many times, demisexuals and gray-asexuals will even identify as asexual or something like “asexual with an exception”.  The frequency of sexual attraction may be so low that they go years without feeling it, so, for all intents and purposes, they are equivalent to asexual during that period.

But isn’t that just “Normal” sexuality?  Most people aren’t attracted to everyone all the time.

Certainly, most people don’t feel constant sexual attraction.  However, most people seem to feel it fairly frequently.  Often it’s toward a romantic partner, but throughout the day, there might also be the hot co-worker or the random stranger on the sidewalk or the celebrity with the great body.  Even if most people don’t act on it, the attraction is still present.  Grays and demis aren’t like that.  For a gray-asexual or a demisexual, there may be years between episodes of sexual attraction or there may have been only one person that’s ever caught their eye.

So…  “Demisexual”?  Does that mean they only sleep with demi-gods?  Demi Moore?

Unlike “hetero-” or “homo-” or “a-“, etc., which describe the gender(s) that a person is or isn’t attracted to, “demi-” describes the circumstances in which a person may experience sexual attraction.  Demisexuals are only capable of feeling sexual attraction after they’ve developed a close emotional bond with someone.  Even then, they still might not feel anything.

It sounds like demisexuals are trying to make themselves out to be special because they only have sex with people they love.

Demisexuality is about attraction, not action.  It doesn’t mean that people are picky about their sexual partners.  It doesn’t mean that they’re “saving themselves for the right person”. When someone says that they’re demi, they mean that they can’t experience sexual attraction unless they’re close to someone.  They’re not choosing to repress sexual feelings for others because they don’t have anything to repress.

Furthermore, demisexuality says nothing about who a demi has sex with, or if they even have sex at all.  It’s possible to be demisexual and a virgin.  It’s possible to be demisexual and repulsed.  And it’s possible to be demisexual and sleep with anyone who is willing.  Demisexuality is only about the circumstances where one can experience sexual attraction, not about sexual activity.

It’s also important to note that demisexuality is not, in any way, a value judgment against other people.  Just because they only experience sexual attraction after developing an emotional bond, that does not mean that they feel there’s anything wrong with people who don’t require that bond to experience sexual attraction.

Okay, so they’re only sexually attracted to people that they love?

Not necessarily.  The close emotional bond does not have to be love.  It could be friendship, it could be a work relationship, or any number of other strong emotional connections.  Something purely platonic might still be capable of triggering sexual attraction.

How long does it take a demisexual to develop sexual attraction after forming the emotional bond?

Every situation is different.  Many demis say that it can take anywhere from months to years to come about.  Maybe less time, maybe more.  It’s not like there’s a chess timer that starts ticking the moment you meet someone, and if you don’t feel sexually attracted to them by the time the hands go all the way around, you’re not going to.

Are gray-a’s just asexuals who have sex?

It’s not about what someone does, it’s about what they feel.  If an asexual has sex, they’re an asexual who has sex, not a gray-asexual.  If an asexual masturbates, they’re an asexual who masturbates, not a gray-asexual.  The difference between “asexual” and “gray-asexual” is one of attraction, not behavior.

It’s not about enjoying sex, either.  If an asexual likes sex, they’re an asexual who likes sex, not a gray-asexual. It’s possible to enjoy sex and sexual activities and not experience sexual attraction.

How can someone be “Gray”?  You’re either asexual or you’re not.  Clear as that.

Is it clear where you fit if you’ve only felt sexual attraction once in your entire life, then never again?  Is it clear where you fit if you occasionally feel something that could potentially be sexual attraction, but it’s so weak that a passing breeze is enough to make it stop?  Is it clear where you fit if you’re sometimes sexually attracted to people and you like sex, but don’t feel any drive to seek it out and would be fine without it?  Is it clear where you fit if you’re not sure what sexual attraction even is, let alone whether or not you’ve felt it?  Gray-asexuals live in this land of confusion.

So what is gray-asexuality, then?  The description you’re giving is a bit fuzzy.

The definition of “gray-asexual” is intentionally vague.  It’s meant to be a catch-all for anyone who feels they fall somewhere near asexual on the spectrum between “sexual” and “asexual”.  There’s no strict criteria for what makes someone “gray”, there’s no shining dividing line.  If there were, it wouldn’t be a gray area.

It’s a bit like the purple spectrum between red and blue.  When you’re close to red or blue, the color can be described as “reddish” or “bluish”. There’s no clear line where being “reddish” stops, but it’s clear that it stops somewhere.  I mean, you can’t be one tick away from blue and still describe the color as “reddish”.  Gray-asexuality is sort of like “asexual-ish”.

Do demisexuals and gray-asexuals fall in love?

Like asexuals, graces and demis come in all flavors of romantic orientation.  Someone can be a heteroromantic demisexual or a panromantic gray-asexual.  For a demisexual person, a romantic relationship could potentially be the catalyst for sexual attraction, however, it won’t necessarily happen just because someone’s in love.

Gray-asexuals and demisexuals can be even aromantic and not be romantically attracted to anyone.   Additionally, a person can be demiromantic or gray-romantic, which are similar to being demisexual or gray-asexual, but around romantic attraction, rather than sexual.

How can you know you’re demi or gray and not asexual?

Well, if you experience sexual attraction occasionally, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re not asexual.

Aside from that, if you feel like you’re almost asexual, but not quite for some reason, then perhaps gray-asexual would be a better fit.  If you’re asexual most of the time, but there’s that one person you’re close to who’s an exception, then maybe demisexual would work.

How can you know you’re asexual and not demi or gray?

If you don’t feel like you’re demi or gray, then you’re not.  There’s no 100% surefire way to determine that just because you’ve never experienced sexual attraction before, that you won’t tomorrow.  You can be fairly sure that it’s not going to happen if it’s never happened before, but it can’t be ruled out completely.  It’s a bit like a scientific theory:  It can never be proven entirely, it can only be disproven.  After all, everyone who has experienced sexual attraction had a first time, and they probably weren’t expecting it to happen, either.

Look at it this way:  There are plenty of straight people in the world.  Most of them have never been attracted to a member of the same sex.  But how can they know for sure that they won’t be?  How can they be certain they don’t have dormant bisexual tendencies?  The common response is “Well, I just know“, but really, it’s impossible to know for sure.  It’s not something that stresses out a lot of straight people, yet I see a lot of aces worried that they might really be gray or demi.

For me, I’m asexual.  I don’t expect that it’ll turn out that I’m actually gray or demi, but if it does, I’m not going to push it away.  If I happen to experience sexual attraction one day, then okay, I’ve learned that I’m not asexual after all.  I’m not going to let this word that describes me very well right now tell me what to do in the future.  You’re not permanently locked into asexuality for the rest of your life once you’ve used the word to describe yourself, so if it no longer fits, don’t try to make it fit.

205 thoughts on “Under the Ace Umbrella: Demisexuality and Gray-asexuality

  1. I think I’m demisexual. I thought I was asexual when I was younger then just convinced myself I just hadn’t found the right person yet. Ive never had feelings of strong sexual attraction but after being in a relationship for 5 years I usually enjoyed sex but it wasn’t that uncontrollable desire. I always thought I was just suppressed or weird. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t function the way the normal population does.

  2. I have know that i was different from a young age (about 5 or so) however i just thought i liked girls. But at the age of 21 i actually started to think about what i wanted in a relationship, as i have never had one. All i wanted was a deep connection, to hold hands with some one, and even, if the mood was to strike; possibly kiss. For me, i don’t really like to label myself, to constrict myself and be put in a box. Im just me. But i suppose if you or i had to, i would be a Homoromantic Demisexual.

      • I think, after reading your comments, that I, too, am a panromantic demisexual. But how do I tell anyone without sounding like an attention seeking, confused teenager?

        • Demi-pan here.And I’ve only told a few people (all of whom were well aware of the fact that, prior to this discovery, I’d thought I was “broken” – either an asexual with flaws or a “normal”, if repressed, sexual person) and my only advice is…try to get them to understand where you’re coming from.

          And ignore the idiots who insist demisexuality isn’t a thing. No one is saying any sexuality is any better than any other one, nor that non-demis are “impure” or some such nonsense. It’s not about chastity or purity.

          It’s that I (or, in this case, we) have a very specific turn-on that acts as a gateway to all other turn-ons or fetishes we might experience: We need to feel an emotional connection. That’s it. That connection can be anything.

          We’re not the chivalrous, virtuous, or chaste; this isn’t celibacy with mandates, and it’s not abstinence. It’s just that the thing in our brains that says, “Damn, you’re sexy” doesn’t go off without a connection present, and even then might not appear at all.

          One wouldn’t turn to a straight man and ask, “Why don’t you like men? And of the women around you, why don’t you want to have sex with all of them?” So why ask demis the same thing in context? Gender, in that instance, is the gateway turn-on. Well…for us, it’s emotion.

          • Thank you for this reply! I like your likening it to a specific turn on that happens to be an emotional connection.

          • Oh my goodness! I felt that way too. It took me four years to figure out my sexuality. I’m bisexual demisexual and because I’m both it took me so long to figure stuff out. I’ve only ever been sexually attracted to 4 people in my entire life and I felt completely broken until I found Demisexuality.

          • Woah this is such a great way of explaining things! I’m bi but demiromantic and grey-asexual so it’s taken me a long time to start figuring things out, but you say it all so well! Thank you!

          • Oh my God I’ve been identifying as plain pan and considering if I’m demi, but was wondering if that’s even existent or valid, but reading your comment, I’m 90% close to concluding I am

    • I had almost the same experience as you. Since the age of 21 I realized I only wanted a relationship and a deep connection with someone, yet I was afraid of asking anyone one as I was afraid I couldn’t correspond with sex as generally I felt no sexual desire for anyone. I tried labelling myself as asexual but that didn’t define me well. I can say now I’m demisexual

    • Now, that’s exactly the issue I had as a demisexual before I ever experienced any feelings.

      Attraction is something that is difficult to put into words, difficult to define, so I never got it just from people talking about it.

  3. I feel like demisexual more than anything else. I dont have a physical appearance preference, rather, the thing that would attract me to someone is their intellect and personality. I think my current relationship might be in shaky waters because of this im often accused by him of not having a very high libido. But honestly there are some things that two people can share in a relationship that just pales in comparison to sex that i deem more important. God as if the dating scene couldnt get anymore difficult then you add this too.

  4. I’m 100% asexual. Even thinking/reading about sex makes me sick to my stomach, and I want nothing to do with it. I don’t understand how an asexual person can ”like sex”.. how are they asexual if they enjoy sex? I thought sex disgusted asexual people. It disgusts me. Maybe I’m a different kind of asexual. Hmm.

    • An Asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction; the yearning for it; that does not automatically mean their parts do not respond with pleasure when having sex, so they could do it for that reason (or to satisfy their sexual partner). They simply do it out of masturbation not sexual attraction; no physical attraction but just the desire for pleasure; they probably wouldnt get turned on by things that normally initiate sex or experience a need for sex, but again, just the pleasure whether its by masturbation or sex.

      • actually i should clarify, i meant “the yearning for it with another person”. And porn can still be a turn on to any type of Asexual. So then doesnt that mean they actually desire sex? No, because faced with the option with another person they have no sexual attraction. Also, the part where i said they can do it to satisfy their partner comes more as a “i did this and it made them happy so it made me happy to do it for them,” not necessarily sexual satisfaction.

    • You sound like me a few years ago, when I first heard about the broader spectrum of asexuality. Like you, I’m sex-repulsed and I used to think asexuality had to be like I experienced it.
      A couple thoughts on asexuals who like sex. Firstly, sex is just an activity. Without the strong biological urge to do it, you’re free to decide whether you like it on other factors, just like you might like or dislike playing video games or doing sports.
      Second, asexuality is specifically about the lack of sexual attraction, the thing that makes people look at someone and automatically think that it might be nice to have sex with them. Just because a person doesn’t instinctively desire sex when they see someone attractive doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t get sexually excited if they choose to have sex anyway. Just like never feeling hungry doesn’t mean you won’t be able to taste what you eat. Certainly you could also be unable to taste food, or find all kinds of food disgusting, but that would be a separate thing.
      Lastly, did you know that some blind people can actually see? They might see blurry, indistinct shapes or only be able to tell ambient light level and nothing more, or they might have excellent vision in a tiny little pinhole area right in front of them, or various things like that. What makes someone blind isn’t that they can’t see, but that they don’t have useful vision. So essentially it makes no practical difference that they can see a little bit, because it’s too little to affect their lives. (Partially blind/low vision means they can see enough to use their vision for practical purposes, but their vision is substantially poorer than normal and they have similar needs to blind people as a result.)
      So being an asexual who has no sexual feelings of any kind and no enjoyment of sex is like being totally blind. Being an asexual who can enjoy sex or likes to masturbate or something like that is like being legally blind but having some residual vision. And being grey-ace is like being partially blind.

  5. After this I’m pretty much sure I’m graysexual. The vagueness of it suits me. I mean, I have sexual urges and desires- and I can look at someone and be like “they’re hot”- but when it comes to the actual sex act itself I feel totally disconnected from the act. Like I’m putting on a show or something- it’s just uncomfortable. Whereas when I’m on my own and just “playing around”, I feel much more sexually satisfied. I can be aroused on my own, thinking of someone else, or just plain fantasizing in my head, but if any of them were to ever come true in real life it’d just be weird for me. Graysexual panromantic- I feel like that suits me to a T, but how the hell am I supposed to explain that to people without coming off as an attention seeker or something? You tell people you like the idea of sex but not the sex act itself and they think you’re some sort of prude. Ugh.

    • This is exactly how it is for me too, I like the idea and I can find gratification myself but doing anything with anyone else is just not comfortable nor is it enjoyable.

    • i think the EXACT way! wow. i dont feel alone anymore. sometimes i think im not normal at all and its kind of annoying because sometimes i do want to have sex (only with someone i’d like) but when it finally happens its so..weird. i dont know its kind of boring or something because i just dont enjoy it . and i think its going to be like that for the rest of my life. i cant explain that to people because they r always like “you just havent had good sex, i could make you cum you know, i do it right” and stuff like that and ITS SO ANNOYING

    • This is an old comment, but I had to respond anyway.

      Whatwho’sthis, every word you wrote could’ve been written by me. Even some close friends can’t understand it, they just think I have a low libido. They can’t comprehend the distinction between infrequently wanting sex (their understanding) and infrequently meeting anyone who you’d like to have sex with (my reality).

      And I never describe myself as “gray-asexual panromantic,” because it’s obscure and complicated, and so much easier to be “straight and usually single.”

      So here’s to the gray-asexual panromantics of the world. May we each find what we’re looking for.

      • “And I never describe myself as “gray-asexual panromantic,” because it’s obscure and complicated, and so much easier to be “straight and usually single.””

        Here, here! That is often how I feel as well and only a few select friends know how I truly identify. I’m glad to find someone who relates to my experience so directly. I often wonder if people think I’m a closeted lesbian or something. But just easier to let it rest then try to explain the tangled web that is being grace and demi/panromantic.

    • Thank you so much for posting this. I recently went through a traumatic experience with an ex that caused a huge shift in my sexuality. I used to be almost exclusively heterosexual heteroromantic, but this is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone.

      • Thank you all so much. It is very good to know that other people feel this way. As of the past year I have been questioning things and upright confused. I have no one to talk to and my parents strongly disaprove of anything but being straight or heterosexual/romantic. It really is great to know that other people know how I feel. I know this was from a long time ago but I felt like I should comment anyway.

    • Wow… you’ve just managed to put into words how I’ve felt my whole life. The ideas and fantasies can be great when alone, but there’s no real desire for them to actually come true. Or having fantasies that are exciting and arousing which I WOULD like to come true but not actually to do with sex. Trying to explain that one is hard even when people are trying to understand – the response is usually “How on earth can you have an erotic fantasy that isn’t about sex?” I don’t know how to explain it, but they’re the only kind I really have. I guess it’s simply because our brains are wired differently, but I agree it’s very hard to explain how we feel without sounding confused, frigid, prudish or attention-seeking. At least in places like this we can try, and we know we’re all in the same struggle. :)

      • Wow I never thought that anyone has had the exact same experience as I have. I have always had sexual erotic fantasies that were a huge turn on that I could masturbate to without entering myself. The fantasies that I literally have all the time I tried to experiment them recently with a guy and I had absolutely no desire or erotic feelings like I do in my fantasies. I did not enjoy the real life experience at all and it was actually a turn off. I tried several times with this person and I never came to a climax I just wasn’t sexually attracted to a very attractive person. I also could care less if I ever saw him again but I answer his texts and enjoy a good conversation but the feelings are never there. I have gone out with so many good looking and non good looking men and I have to say maybe one of them turned me on and another one I had feelings for but wasn’t allowed to date him bec someone else had their eye on him and I was warned to stay away. I do however have close work relationships with guys at work but would never want to hang out with them alone. I am more comfortable hanging out with men that are already taken then men who are single. I feel alienated from the normal people that enjoy one night stands or just enjoy talking about everything great about their BF or fiancé and I’m never interested in engaging into the conversation. My excuse to people why I’m single is that I work 6 days a week/ my generation is the generation that waits/ I date quite often but I haven’t found the one yet/ I have very little patience or I’m a hard person to date.

        • pretty stoked that i found this thread and it’s still going. just got out of a long relationship and have been questioning what comes next. i’ve taken time to reflect on my sexuality in that relationship and previous relationships and realized that sex never felt “right” or how i expected it to feel, even with people i loved and/or trusted. the idea was always great, but as someone mentioned above, when it actually happened it felt like i was putting on some sort of show. everything always felt so surreal and mechanical. and it wasn’t for lack of interest or caring about the person – something inside me just switched off. discovering that i can self-identify as panromantic-graysexual (and that it’s ok!) is a big eye-opener for me. now, having to explain that to friends and anyone i ever date will be the next challenge.

    • Im exactly like this i get turned on but when its the sex part i just feel akward and i just lay there its all weird but in my head its perfect i like it but reality i dont and its tge same with masturbating i dont enjoy it i feel stupid and silly i dont know what was wrong and been looking for this for 2 years now gray asexual becuse i still get turned on and find people attractive but like i dont feel the erge to have sex

    • I had to explain to someone what graysexual was… They thought i was sexually attracted to the color grey… I can now understand pansexual people when someone asks them if they are attracted to pans..

    • This is exactly how I feel. I have sexual desires but when you add in another person it is just not uncomfortable. For me I am also touch-averse so the discomfort could come from that as well, but I am perfectly okay with not ever having sex with someone and I am so glad I found this page. Nice to know that other people feel the same.

      • Wow, just wow. I’m 38 years old and have felt so out of the loop when it came to sex. I am definitely a panromantic grace and have been my entire life. I’ve never seen a person and thought, damn, I want to have sex with that. I’ve thought people were sexy, but when it came to actually doing something with them, I was like, “Check please.” I can get the job done myself, but can go months without needing to. I once went three years without just because I wanted to see how long it would take for my libido to kick in. Newsflash – it didn’t. My relationships keep failing because I fall in love, but can’t keep up sexually. Eventually it becomes a chore that goes on the to do list and no one finds that sexy. Wow. Just wow. So maybe I’m not broken. Maybe I’m just rare?

        • I identify with this hardcore. I have children, I have a boyfriend. I often blame my lack of libido on outside factors (my period, my birth control, being tired, the baby, etc) but it really just comes down to cuddle me and love me but I don’t want sex. It’s only recently I’ve even considered the possibility of asexuality in any form, though. It just never really occurred to me that I fake it 99% of the time to make my partner happy. When I want a baby is about the only time I actually feel an urge.

        • Wow! It feels like I am aroace. I have never been in love with anyone & I’m fine with that. I never feel like I need sex. I’ve never tried it. But there is a part of me who feels like I could have been demiromantic. I like the idea of only one person ever. Again, though, I don’t fall in love. So, is it possible to be asexual, aromantic, & demiromantic?

    • I feel the same way! I honestly wasn’t sure if I was Demisexual or Graysexual, but after reading what you wrote, I totally fell like I’m graysexual! As for my romantic attraction… I’m not really sure yet. I think I’m heteromantic, but I also feel like maybe I might be panromantic. I keep going back and forth between the two, and I’m still kinda figuring out my identity. But at least I have part of myself figured out!

  6. Never really understood that there is a definition for the way I have felt for so long and others who are like me. I enjoy and always have the fantasy of being with someone who I am attracted to ( which is rare for a dead-on heart-thumping kind ) I could survive for years and have just on someone I have met a few times to imagine us having a relationship of some kind. As I have gotten older ( almost 50 and in full menopause ) I do not even fantazise much about them in sexual; scenerios.

  7. Can I just say this article and website and also the article about masturbation have been so happy I could almost cry. Like, Ugh I guess you’d say I’m heteroromantic but I really have never had sexual attraction. The only time was when I was drunk and I was with this guy I had a crush on and we ended up having sex, but that was only because I liked him A LOT and also I think being tipsy helped relax me. But now that my crush on him is over it’s like: zilch, nada, nothing. So I can pretty confidently say now that I’m demisexual and it just feels really good to just know that about yourself. Ok thanks just thought I’d spew my spiel!

    • Oh my god, I COMPLETELY agree with you. I’ve never had sex before. I’ve never really wanted to, and in my years before college, I thought it was religiously driven. I’m Catholic, and was raised that way, so it was really instinctual to think I would just wait until marriage. But, in high school I had so many friends who were talking about sex, and wanting to have it, but that they were “going to wait”. I understood, but at the same time, I didn’t realize why they were struggling with waiting. Until, my sophomore year of college, I didn’t think about having sex AT ALL. At first, I thought it was because I was picky. That I had high standards. I even came close to having a boyfriend my junior year, but I still didn’t want to have sex with him. I knew he would want that, but I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I broke off any of the flirting we were doing. As I became a senior, I started being really scared that I actually was being too picky, and that I had unfair standards in my head about what men were supposed to be like. I didn’t want to have sex with anyone, and I kept getting offers and advances that I would have to rebuff. Finally, I had heard about demisexuality. I was really curious about it, and when I went to go look it up on demisexuality.org, I had this epiphany-like moment of understanding, and all of a sudden, I could relax. Knowing how many other people are going through the same feelings is so reassuring.

      • When I started reading this I was like, wow that sounds exactly like me!!! I’m Catholic too and a virgin and felt the same way, with my friends talking about sex but I didn’t get it at all. I’m a freshman in college and I did have a boyfriend last term and I did love him, but I never felt the desire to have sex with him. At first I just thought, well maybe I will feel that in a few months if this lasts that long. But then whenever I felt like we were getting kinda close to something happening, and I thought he might be wanting to have sex, I would just get scared. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I would just say I wasn’t comfortable, and he was respectful of that. I definitely enjoyed cuddling and kissing and when he touched me in certain places (yet I never had the desire to touch him), so maybe I might get pleasure from sex if that were to happen. Anyway one of my close friends is also gray-ace, so I started looking into this and talking to her about it, so now I know that I’m gray-ace too! It’s good to know that there’s actually a name for this and I’m not the only one :)

        • Your story is very similar to mine where in junior high and high school I felt that there was something wrong that I had no interest or desire to date or to have sex with men. Like you I also don’t have the desire to touch the man in having sex with but I like how he touches me. I’m 35 and had one BF for 7 months and that was back in 2006. I truly don’t mind living alone. It’s too stressful to date men because I just can’t handle the advances or the dirty talks. I don’t like to dance at clubs bec I don’t like the feeling that a guy is rubbing up on me. I have lost all interest in dating websites, speed dating and meeting new people through a friend of which never works out.

  8. Thank you for this, I’ve always been so confused about my sexuality. Although the fact that I’m hyper-rational always helped to keep the despair of not being “normal” away, it never really helped me figure out what I was. I still don’t have a label for myself, and I feel like I never will, but learning all of this about different kinds of sexualities always eases me, even though I know I still haven’t figured myself out yet. I can’t thank you enough for writing that last paragraph, that was the best thing I could possibly have read.

  9. I think I have finally found out what I am…a gray-A. Not good news, since my husband of 10 years has a high and very active sex drive. Wondering if it’s the end of our relationship?

    • I’m a panromantic grey ace, and am having the same issues with my boyfriend. Did you ever find a solution? Cuz I’d like some help.

    • I’m a sexual person with a partner who used to be sexual but lost most of her sex drive through hormonal changes and is now functionally demisexual or graysexual. I decided I was too young to be celibate and my sexuality is very important to me, but we love one another and wanted to stay together. We decided to become polyamorous, so I now have two romantic partners, one of whom I am sexual with and the other I am affectionate with but not usually sexual with. The thing to understand about relationships with sexuals is that even though sexual behaviour is not important for you, sexual expression is a core part of their aliveness and sense of self. We are both so much happier. Some people become poly to have more sex, and some to have less without feeling they are letting their partner down. Here’s some good info on ethical polyamory: http://www.morethantwo.com

        • Early in my relationship I was open to sharing, but now I love my partner too much for that. I’d rather put up with the sex. I hear that some people find it outright horrible but I just find it like a chore most of the time (though there are the occasional ups, even if it’s never during the actual sex) – but then again, wouldn’t I wash the dishes for the rest of my life, if I can be with my partner, too? He has a high sex drive and we just compromise…

          • I’m having the same issue. I might be grey asexual but I’m not completely sure. I just know that I’m extremely umcomfortable in sexual situations but my body likes the pleasure.

            My boyfriend however is a very sexual person with a high labito. I have been willing to compromise and help him but it truly is a chore. One thing to note is that we are both virgins and have been dating for almost a year.

            How am I gonna be able to have sex with him when it’s terrifying and uncomfortable for me? I do feel a sexual attraction to him sometimes it’s just uncomfortable and not as often as he is.

            Is there anyone who can help me with this?

      • You may not want to share but in what capacity did you two meet? Under what circumstances? The more I consider how I feel and how introverted I can be, it sometimes feels impossible. If you have any suggestions feel free to share. I feel like we could all benefit from some sort of instruction manual moving forward from all of this self realization…lol

  10. I think I’m homoromantic gray-asexual with heterosexual tendencies. Does that even make sense? I was born a girl, but I prefer to be thought of as a male, if any gender; I identify as genderless, but most places don’t set that as an option. I’m romantically attracted to males. I very very rarely feel sexual attraction, but when I do, it is towards females.

  11. Hi! So, I haven’t really chosen a definition yet, because I haven’t felt the need too, and because I haven’t found one that feels right. But reading through this post, I realized… I have no idea what sexual attraction means. Can anyone please explain that to me?

    • I am no expert but I believe that sexual attraction is a physical response to desire. A person experiences a trigger for the romantic it may be an act of love from the person with whom they are in love or for others it may be the body of a person they find attractive that causes their sexual organs to swell with desire for sexual intercourse. The nipples become erect as does the penis, the mouth becomes wet as does the vagina and the mind has flashes of sex acts with the person causing the trigger.

      • The physical reaction is arousal. Arousal is different from sexual attraction. There are many things that will lead to arousal (Tight fitting clothes, for example) which have nothing to do with attraction.

          • They would be asexual. It states elsewhere on this website several times that asexual does not mean never feeling aroused. It means never experiencing a feeling of sexual attraction towards (or generated by) another person. For example asexuals may be aroused by something they read, or by pornography, or by something in their own thoughts or fantasies, or during sex with another person. It’s about sexual attraction, not about never ever feeling aroused.

  12. I find myself looking at a woman, and fantasies more on how deeply in love we could be, rather than the thought of sex with them. The thought of sex outside of love is repulsive to me, disgusting in a way. I abolish porn, and I can not call a woman “hot” or “sexy” because I find it strange. Almost like I can’t say it.

  13. I used to think I was asexual. I had never felt sexual attraction towards anybody, never thought “they’re hot” or even had any sexual urges. I started going out with my current boyfriend after being friends for three years (so he knew about my “asexuality”) and now we have a very enjoyable sex life. Since he knew from the beginning, it’s not that I wanted to please him, it just happened. With him, it’s somehow different. I wasn’t physically attracted to him at the beginning at all. He’s an amazing person, but even in a non-sexual way (you know, I can intellectually say “this person is good looking”, even if I don’t feel attracted to them) I never thought of him as physically attractive. The thing is, even thought I like sex with him, I still get disgusted at the idea of sex in general, when I read about it, or in films etc. And while I love the experience with him, I could certainly live without it. So this page really touches a chord with me! Thank you x

    • Oh, give voice to the words inside my heart! :D

      So, for you, the sex is more an emotional connection, yes? I wouldn’t want to go up and cuddle with a stranger any more than I would want to have sex with them, that sort of thing. But with someone you’re involved with, it’s okay.

  14. I came across asexual and demisexual definitions today,research on trying to understand my non sexual boyfriend. I’ve accused him of cheating and of being gay. I have a very high sex drive. I’m 39 and at my sexual peak. I’ve been divorced for almost 10 yrs and when dating/relationships, I never experienced a man not desiring me or sex!
    I feel awful for accusing my boyfriend. He’s not perfect but I know he loves me and I believe I’ve found the reason or root of our continuous frustrations. We have been off n on a year now. We are very close,comfortable,compatible, etc. If we didn’t have any of this,I’m sure I would have gotten rid of him by now. I am ridiculously sexually frustrated!!! But we always find a way back to eachother. I love him very much and I hope we will be able to overcome our differences.
    Thanks for the information.

  15. I have always thought of myself as a heterosexual serial monogamist with a finicky sex drive. But perhaps I am a heteromantic demisexual. Labels never fit completely. But they are wonderful for opening the mind and getting people to think beyond themselves. The first steps toward tolerance and acceptance. These labels also start the communication process because each of us have a unique set of preferences that make up our sexuality that our partners need to know and understand.

  16. I think I’m hetero-demi or gray, but I can’t actually tell because I’m a virgin. It’s frustrating, because I’m going to have to have sex just to find out how it makes me feel, so I can confirm. Any advice? I find some guys sexy and hot, and some gross, but when I get to thinking about sex with the hot ones, my excitement gets iffy. Something about the act repulses me, and I’d like to try it and find out that it’s heaven. At the moment, I find sex gross. I can’t tell what I’ll end up feeling about it until I do the deed, and as much as I want to know my orientation, I don’t want sex for the sole purpose of finding out. What I find arousing is touching all over. I’m capable of imagining sex as amazing, but I get to the thoughts of him cumming, and the flesh, and eww. If real sex was like movie sex, with the passion without the nitty gritty details, I think I would be more open to it. In fact, as I write this, I’m currently in the mindset sex is disgusting because I’m having to think of the details. I think I want sex EVENTUALLY, but it’s ok if it doesn’t happen. I do feel very attracted to people, sometimes they happen to be fictional.(I’m very turned on by an anime character at the moment.) I do think what I want from a relationship is emotions, not sex. I want a man who really cares, and won’t get pissed if sex isn’t for me.

    • You have the right idea, friend. I’m demi, and took years of being sexually active to figure that out. What I can tell you is: in a strong, close relationship full of intimacy (not just sexual, like lots of cuddling and kissing), when sex does happen you’re not often thinking about the nitty gritty details. Yeah, if I thought about the physical, medical details of sex I would think “eww” but in the middle of it I’m thinking “this is pretty great”. Though, getting into too much information here for a second, the best part is afterward when you’re just cuddling and kissing and both of you are coming down from the emotional high of the act.

    • Yeah, I’m a virgin too and definitely hetero-romantic, gray-asexual. I completely understand about the details of sex being gross when I think about it. I do really enjoy cuddling and kissing, and even being touched, but I never wanted to touch him. When I don’t think about the details, then yes sex sounds like I might enjoy it if that were to happen, but I’m not sure. It would definitely have to be with someone I love romantically, and even then I might be hesitant. But I differ from you in that I never think someone is “hot” or “sexy”. I can look at someone and think they’re cute, more often when I already know them, but also a good amount of time when I first see them. But the sexual attraction has never been there, I’m not even sure what it is. I guess I might’ve felt it a little but not really know for sure. I just like the term gray-ace because it’s for people who might be ace but are confused, like me :)

  17. for me sex and something i would want in an actual relationship are just completely different ball games. i get sexually attracted to people, but i dont want to actually have sex WITH them? or even date them? from that arousal, and never have sexual fantasies about actual people or ones that include myself having sex, just about the act itself, or just about cuddling? sometimes i see a guy that i think i might like to date, but that doesn’t include being sexually attracted to him. romance and sexual attraction and sex are all just in completely different boxes in my brain, i guess that makes me gray-sexual? even though i dont want to have sex with the people im sexually attracted to? like if one of them asked me out or something it would just be weird- i just dont know.

  18. I’m confused. I’ve read about gray asexuality and stuff but I don’t know if it equates to sex drive. To put some context. I’ve identified myself as a gay man. I think women are great but don’t find them sexually appealing. Men… I love them, I constantly see them but I rarely wanna pursue my desires or fantasies. And when I do… They bore the hell out of me. My fantasies are satisfied by some physical contact and within minutes I start feeling uncomfortable. I start worrying about the sheets, the smell and I get bored with them. I tend to think, let’s get off and get you out of my house. But since everybody has a higher sex drive than me, I tend to keep on going, for them.
    Sometimes sex is just plain repulsive or overwhelming after a while. I just feel the need to be left alone after the encounter, I feel awkward about people who can go on and on and still want more. It’s weird… I thought I was being picky about people. But coming to think about it, I’ve never fell in love. I have had boyfriends telling me they love me but I can’t reciprocate. Nonetheless I have created some strong bonds but not infatuation or an unstoppable sex desire. I think I’d rather be by myself and fantasize people than having then with me. Also, a sexual encounter can let my body be at peace for months, and that’s why I do it really, so I can focus on my life and not on sex.

    And I wonder why people say it’s fun or pursue it so much… I felt I was being nit picky, but it seems I’m not alone. However, I don’t feel that I fall within a specific category.

    Could it be that I’m homoromantic and gray asexual? Even if I experience sexual desire but not for long? What about sex drive?

    • I may not be the best person to talk about this because I’m a straight girl and a virgin, but I’m also gray-ace. Maybe I can help a little. I know sex drive and sexual attraction are two separate things, like you can feel sexually attracted to someone but not want to actually pursue it. (I know this from friends.) I personally have zero sex drive and I’m not sure if I’ve felt sexual attraction before. I feel romantic attraction very often though, and I can truthfully say that I have been in love once before. And arousal is something separate too, for example I’m pretty much ace but can still be aroused. Not that I have any experience with sex, but it’s weird for me to think of people wanting to go on for a while and still want more, I just don’t get it. I think I would get pleasure from sex if it happened, but I’ve never felt the desire, except maybe when I was already in the midst of cuddling and kissing and getting closer. Even then I’m not sure. Anyway, it sounds like you might be homo-romantic and demisexual.

  19. I started getting confused when my friends and I were talking about what type of people we are, meaning where we look first when determining if a person is hot or not. My bi-friend and my trans-gay friend both agreed that they’re ass people, but when they asked me I said face, which confused them. I’ve never stared at someone’s butt and it seems weird to me that you’d be looking there, or boobs or genitals. Is that weird? I can tell if a person’s hot or not but that doesn’t mean I want to sleep with him/her.

      • Me too. Faces are the most important to me when I look at someone else, and it’s the only physical feature in myself that I worry about because I think my face is my most important part too. Faces are how you interact and see the emotions and get the sympathy and understanding, and love :)

  20. I always felt different than other girls growing up. I never had crushes or even cared about the other boys, mainly because I didn’t talk to them. I wasn’t friends with them. Sure I liked their faces and bodies, but I never actually felt anything more. I have one good male best friend (who has a girlfriend) and I know him very well and I am physically attracted to him, but not romantically. But another guy I had never met before I was physically and strongly emotionally attracted to, but it was after I had talked to him for many months. But we stopped talking and those feelings kinda drifted away and now I feel nothing for him, in either category. I never had any other crushes on boys in my life, and I identify as heterosexual. I thought that I might be a lesbian but imagining being with girls didn’t feel right for me. I used to think to myself, “my boyfriend will have to be my friend first” I realized thats how I am. I am 18 and a virgin and I now identify as demisexual. Do I think Chris Hemsworth is attractive? yes, he has a nice body and features, other hot actors i feel the same way but i cant fawn over them like my friends do and I would never imagine having sex with them. They are nice to look at. But they don’t stir anything in me. I’ve come to an understanding about myself that, if i have a strong, open and close friendship with someone it opens the avenue for romantic feelings, (regardless of physical appearance) if not i cannot be attracted to them at all. It makes me feel better knowing how I feel is not strange in any way, just different from most people ^^

    • I’ve been thinking about whether I would identify myself as demisexual or not today, and reading your comment and realising that I feel almost the same as you do has really helped me. I’ve been trying all day to put a more precise definition of demisexuality in my head, to see if it was the right thing to identify as, and your comment has helped with that tremendously. Thank you.

  21. I had identified as bisexual for a long time, but that was mostly because I dated both men and women. Now, being older and having considered my attraction to others at length, I find I identify as a panromantic grey-asexual.
    It surprises some of my friends, because they figure there’s only gay, straight and bisexual, but they’re getting used to it. I’m a good wingman, but only because I’m an actor. Elsewise, I’m ridiculously unattracted to anyone I’m talking to unless I’ve known them for years, and even then, nope.

  22. Demisexual… demisexual makes so much more sense.
    I’ve always hated the idea of sex, since it first started to become prominent in my life. Around 15 or 16, everyone was having sex, my friends convinced me to watch porn with them, would tell me about their sexual experiences, and it sounded awful. But I didn’t want to seem weird, so I went to experiment with a boy, a friend, when I was 18… and we didn’t even get past the kissy-gropey part. The kissing disgusted me. The groping I didn’t even notice, positively or negatively, but the kissing brought home the fact that we were, and would be, exchanging bodily fluid, and that about made me gag.
    Since then, I never tried again. I’ve tried my best to imagine myself with people on several occasions, but I get too grossed out, it just doesn’t “turn me on”, so to speak… I do enjoy masturbation. It relaxes me.
    And I do find people aesthetically appealing. I can think a lady is very beautiful, I can think a man is very handsome, but I can’t think about myself actually wanting sex with them.
    But I would like a family someday (with adopted kids, pregnancy is even worse than sex). And I know I’m capable of loving people very deeply. So, if I truly want someone to stay with me… I think I’d be willing to try and push aside my disgust and have sex with them (and god, do I hope it will be enjoyable for both parties).

    My therapist hardcore labelled me “asexual”, but I think demisexual is much more fitting for my situation.

    Thank you so much for making this site! It clears up so many years of confusion and self-doubt. Thank you!

    • Far be it from me to tell someone else how to identify.

      That said, I’m not sure what it is that makes you think you are demisexual instead of asexual or grey-a. Having read your comment, it seems as if you’ve never experienced sexual attraction to anyone. I’m not sure if this is true, but if it is then it would point to you being asexual, not demisexual. Masturbation and appreciation of how people look are very common in asexual people, so if that’s why you think you might be demi- then I want to point that out.

      One other thing. You say towards the end of your comment, “if I truly want someone to stay with me… I think I’d be willing to try and push aside my disgust and have sex with them”. Just remember that if you’re looking for someone who appreciates you as a person, then they should be willing to stay with you despite your disinterest in sex. There’s no need to do something you truly dislike just to keep someone around.

      • Agreed. It’s noble and all to want to push aside your feelings of disinterest for the person you love and far be it from me to tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies – if you want to try to experience sex at least once, go right ahead. Use protection. But anyone worth your time and energy will be understanding of your disinterest in sex, and if they have a really powerful sex drive then maybe a nonmonogamous arrangement would work. It doesn’t work for everyone and it may not work for you or them, but it’s worth considering.

  23. I’m consider myself a heteromantic asexual. I still find men aesthetically pleasing, but I have no desire whatsoever to have sex with them. I’ve never actually been in a relationship, so I could be demi, but I’m not sure. I’m also not entirely sure if I can call myself romantic. I feel like I want a relationship someday but I also can’t imagine myself in a relationship. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I’m capable of forming deep, emotional bonds. All I know is that I’ve never felt sexual attraction in my life and the idea of having sex is completely foreign and gross to me.

  24. Thank you for this article. For a long time now I’ve wondered if I’m asexual or aromantic or something, as I have never felt “attracted” in any way to anyone really (although I do enjoy masturbation). But at the same time I’ve never been comfortable calling myself “Asexual” due to my ability to enjoy masturbation and presumably sex if I were to experience it. I believe best grey-asexual describes my experience, so now I have something to tell people when they ask “What’s the matter, are you gay?”

  25. Thank you so much for this article. After many years of confusion I’ve finally identified myself as Grey-A. I’ve told only one person so far. Mainly because it’s something that not many people seem to know about and it’s very hard to explain! Your article on it is to the point and easy to understand which is why in the future anyone I want to tell about it I will refer them here, making things a lot easier. Thanks for this :) from Alanna in NZ

  26. I dont know if this was posted above or not.
    Im only 15 but have not found any real attraction to people. But I just found out about the term “asexual” and all its sub regions.
    Im wondering..is it normal to be asexual but be attracted to anime characters. Not like you want to have sex with them but just find them cute.
    At school, I only admire the guys and girls. Im not attracted to them just say to myself “if I was a boy then I would want to look like that”.
    Also, I dont have sexual dreams or fantasies. At night, I just wish there was someone beside me. Is that just being lonely?
    Sorry if this all just sounds stupid. But im really kind of confused about all of this. Asexual definitely sounds like me, I even get weird around a sex conversation. I find the whole thing gross. In movies it’s like “is this really necessary?”

    • That doesn’t sound odd at all! Part of me is saying “I was like that at 15” and at 23, sex conversations do not bother me in the least but I also know a 22-year-old who is actively repulsed by them but who doesn’t consider themselves asexual or under the ace umbrella.

      I also was attracted to anime characters because, quite frankly, I realized the pickings were rather slim in my hometown. I have a very strong heteroromantic drive and a strong desire for intimacy, but when it comes to sex, I can take it or leave it. I can give up having sex for the rest of my life easily, but I could not give up kissing or cuddling, which are seen as more romantic activities. So when I was younger and surrounded mostly by peers who I didn’t find attractive, I fantasized about fictional characters as an outlet for my strong romantic drive. The fantasies never got sexual, and even now I sort of have to forcibly have a sexual fantasy. Whenever exes have asked about my sexual fantasies I always drew a blank.

      So you probably are asexual (or demi, or gray, I don’t know, I’m not a label maker) but like me, you have a strong romantic drive that needs an outlet. You may permanently be asexual, or you may wind up in a romantic relationship and realize you’re demisexual or grace but for now only time will tell. It took me years of actively having sex to realize I was demisexual because there just wasn’t great articles like this to clarify the feelings I have and there was still this notion that romantic orientation = sexual orientation = sexual activity. So I’m glad you’re researching this now and saving yourself years of confusion :)

      • All the yes.

        This is exactly me while in high school – never did I have a sexual fantasy, but often I did fantasize about fictional characters to satisfy my romantic drive. At the time I didn’t question this. I didn’t form crushes on people around me because I incorrectly believed that the lack of interest was a reflection of THEM not being attracted to ME. I thought once I went to college things would be different – my sexual drive would kick in, I’d be more attractive and have all the sex (I thought) I would desire.

        Now I am 21, just graduated, and in the past four years I have had sex with only two people, both of whom I had platonic friendships with for months before deciding to do so. While I am not repulsed by sex itself and totally believe in sexual freedom, I found that I was often detached from the prevalent conversations around sex in college hook-up culture. I just personally wasn’t interested.

        Only recently have I come to terms with this and tried to find some form of identification for how I feel. I told myself for a long time that I wanted sex, that I should want sex, but in reality I never was driven to make the attempt except under the conditions of those two specific relationships. I don’t feel anymore that the lack of sex I have is a reflection of how attractive others perceive me – I’ve had a long battle with my mental health and learning to wholly love who I am. Now I understand it is simply the way I’m wired and I’m beginning to deconstruct my concept of sexual activity as a measure of sexual and romantic orientation.

        Demisexual seems to be the most appropriate label for me *right now*, and while I usually eschew labelling, it feels so good to find other people who feel/have felt the same way.

    • I know it’s over a year after you posted this, but I wanted to respond because I think I know how you feel (in some ways). I’m a 19-year-old girl and I have a boyfriend now, but I never did in high school and I was perfectly content being single. Like you, I often find people cute, whether boys or girls, and although I’m hetero-romantic, from my experience with the world there seem to be a lot more cute girls out there than guys. I agree that there are some extremely cute anime characters! Anyway I only really get romantically attracted to someone after I’ve gotten to know them pretty well and we’ve spent a good amount of time together (and they’re really kind and we have a lot in common), and that’s only happened 3 times in my life. But when someone labels a person as “hot”, I have no idea what they mean. And really buff guys are not attractive to me at all… normal sized or skinny people seem like they’d be much better for cuddling. Romantic cuddling is awesome, but honestly I like cuddling with any of my close friends regardless of gender.
      So I identify as asexual, but I definitely can fall in love. And let me tell you, love is so amazing. I 100% agree when you say sometimes you get “lonely” and just want someone laying next to you at night!!! Sleepovers are great because I can have someone to cuddle and lay next to me, and not for any sexual reasons. And like you, I’ve never had sexual fantasies or dreams, and I’m annoyed by sex in movies too. I used to feel very uncomfortable in sex conversations, and still am a little bit, but I’ve definitely gotten more used to it over time. If you find that your friends talk about it more than you’re comfortable with, just tell them, so they’re aware of it and they can be more considerate around you. In high school there were conversations at lunch where my friends would say “wait, there’s young ears here” and not talk about things because I was very naive and uncomfortable to that kind of stuff.

  27. Thank you for this, I’ve recently been trying to figure this stuff out for myself and have had a lot of trouble finding anything that doesn’t make the spectrum of asexuality out as some sort of abnormal medical or emotional problem. I think I’m grace, I almost never feel any sexual attraction (though I adore romance and feel strong romantic feelings) though I don’t hate sex I just don’t think about it or seek it out.

  28. wow. just wow. stumbling up on this site was an eye-opener. i have been thinking of myself being asexual for the past 2 years or so. but mostly i thought it might be due to the hormones after pregnancy and giving birth and also due to the abusive relationship i went through with my ex (he is a sexual person with a strong sexual drive and he sexually abused me). but thinking in retrospective, i came to the conclusion that i might have been asexual or whatever even before meeting him. i dont really know how to identify. i am not straight asexual. i had sex. i enjoyed sex. i have sexual fantasies. i masturbate. but all of this is rare. like litterally once a year kind of thing. like “oh, springtime, hormones kicking in. whoever’s around and showing interest in me…give it a try”. so, i go along. take pleasure about 2 months. never doing anything crazy, just usual stuff. during this time i enjoy sex very much. i am horny. i masturbate and fantasize on the current partner. i also daydream in a romantic way of him (having a happily-ever-after relationship thing going on, children, holding hands, cuddling a lot, kissing, …). but usually, when i hit the 2 or 3 months mark, it just stops. suddenly. i am not attracted to this person anymore. neither physically or romantically. it just stops. having sex all the sudden becomes a burden, an obligation. in the beginning i will think that i might have had just one of those days. like sexual people do have, too, where you are just not in the mood. but within days, i start realizing that i really do not desire anymore sexual activity with this person. like, my libido shut down all the sudden. and also i start getting desinterested by this person. even annoyed. things i liked about him in the beginning start bothering me. i start forcing myself into having sex. starting feeling disusted bymeself for doing so. starting ressenting the parter for forcing me into sex. and around 3 months into the relationhip i call it quits. to the point that i dont want to ever see this person again if possible. at this point i dont masturbate anymore. i will try once in a while (rare) but it will always fail. then i go on with my daily life, just developing one crush over another on several people, mostly unattainable for a certain reason. but still daydreaming on how my romantic life would be with them. a few months pass. maybe a year. and there will be a person who seems to be interested in me. and i will go along. engaging with him. flirting. seducing him. having sex with him. developing romantic phantasies. until we reach the magic 3 months. then, all the sudden, it all seems weird. i feel dirty after having sex. and i call it off. i find a whole bunch of excuses why it didnt work out with this person. ….. in general, i understand the concept of identifying people as hor or sexy. it happens to me that i can think this of a person. but in general, i am so much more attracted to to the idea that this person is just there for me, listening, caring, providing, hugging, crying with me. … i do have a lot of crushs on a lot of people. basically, it all starts very sudden and it all stops very sudden. but lately i switch from one crush to another without any break. i can fantasize about a person for months, only because i saw a picuture of them, being convinced this is the one. as soon as i find out that this person is not single, i dont have a crush anymore but switch on the next “victim” right away. of course, without ever telling them or making any effort to get to know them. …. so basically, most of the guys i dated and had sex with were into me first, showed interest and i always was convinced right away that i am into them and went along. just happend recently. had a crush for a guy who lives in my neighbourhood. he has no clue but i am very informed about everything that is publicly visible on his facebook. went to a concert. a guy was hitting on me, but really in a nice and shy way, we exchanged facebook contacts. and right away the next day the original crush was forgotten and all i think about is the new guy, although i dont find him attractive at all. but i have this idea in my head that he must really be a nice guy and treat me right because of his bad looks he must be very unsuccesfull with women. so he wont be an asshole. … fast forward. i can imagine and fantasize about having passionate sex with him but cannot imagine at all having a long-lasting relationship with him where regular sex (and be it only once every other week) is required after my initial urge has gone away. so…. where do i fit in? asexual? no. because i have a sex-drive. (once in a while. but i can comfortably live without it). demi or gray? no, because i do develop sexual attraction on a lot of persons. my problem is more that i can have sex, enjoy sex, be wild (within my boundaries) for a while. but then all the sudden it stops and i start feeling grossed out by myself and all i want is just a romantic relationship. more cuddling and kissing and talking and having fun. but no sex. only once in a while. but even once a month would seem kind of an effort and not really exciting. what do you think, fellow people? i know this was long, but really really glad to see, that i am not the only one with whatever kind of orientation or sexdrive. i always knew that i am not prude. when i do have sex and enjoy it i am really not.

  29. I’m very romantic and I like to think about being intimate with someone I love, but the idea of sex does not appeal to me. Seems like something that I would have to get used to, but makes me somewhat curious. I found out about aces after wondering if there are people who would rather avoid sex, but would much rather snuggle. I guess that classifies me as one… it’s just helpful to gain a better understanding of what I want. I guess a gray ace would be something akin to bisexuality.

  30. I’m a 50-something male who is sexually attracted to women, enjoy masturbating to internet porn, but have never had a wife or even a girlfriend in my entire life (save for two 3-month flings). And – if I’m perfectly honest – content to stay single.
    I’m a mystery to me and to all who know me.

    My mother would always enquire if I had “found a nice girl yet” but I would reply “No, I’m fine as I am” and quickly change the subject. Needless to say, my other 5 siblings are in relationships and have their own kids – two are on their second marriages.
    It’s not for want of trying either; I have had numerous dates and quite a few one-night stands…but it always felt ‘wrong’ some way or other. And no, I’m not gay either. I just feel ‘right’ being single, that’s the best way I can put it.

    You can imagine how awkward it is at work when they find out I don’t have a wife or girlfriend or any plans to get one – when absolutely everyone else is in a serious relationship, even gay colleagues.
    I’ve often invented ex wives and even adult kids who’ve flown the nest and don’t keep in touch…just so I fit in.
    What the hell’s the matter with me? Do I come under the asexual umbrella?

    • I do not think you belong under the Ace flag but still likely under the Straight flag. Because you acknowledge you are sexually attracted to women, this would classify you as straight and no asexual, but you could still classify as aromantic, which may very well put you under the Ace flag. But this is just my opinion.
      I believe that you are what you think, because only you can truely classify yourself because only you can tell what you really feel like. So maybe you’re under the ace flag, maybe you’re under the straight flag. Maybe you’re aromantic, and maybe you’re not. It’s hard to tell.

    • Hi there,

      First off, nothing’s wrong with you.
      To answer your question, given the information at hand, you do not belong under the asexual unbrella.
      It sounds like you’re grey-romantic (meaning you rarely experience romantic feelings) based off of your two three month flings.

  31. When I was younger, I was really confused about demisexuality and thought it meant you had a low sex drive. So I was really confused when people would talk about how horny they were or how sexually frustrated they were as if they didn’t care who relieved that tension, but then I got a boyfriend who I cared for very much but didn’t have sex with. I didn’t consider myself demi because I did want sex but more in the “I want to experience this new part of my life I have never experienced before”. (I would discover years later that a lot of my sexual interest is more of an intellectual interest rather than a physical desire) My one time making out with a guy, I had zero desire to have sex with him even though I did get hot and bothered. I got very sexually frustrated while dating this guy (VERY VERY sexually frustrated) and thought that made me sexual.

    Then several things happened throughout the course of the next few years (boyfriends came and went, virginity left in a puff of smoke, a few times attempting casual sex with disastrous results, then being single and celibate for 2 years) and I did some research on demisexuality. I realized: wow, this describes me. Outside of a relationship, I have zero interest in pursuing sex and almost never feel sexual desire (the few times were directed at someone I had a close bond to and would last for like 10 seconds). I had for a long time mistaken romantic desire to sexual desire and I have a VERY strong heteroromantic drive. I realized I never sexually fantasized about anyone I didn’t have feelings for. Now I’m in a strong, close relationship with a wonderful man who knows all of my LGBT acronyms and in a strong and close relationship I am basically insatiable. But that doesn’t stop me from being demi. I’m glad this information is out there because young people can avoid years of confusion.

    • Thank you for this post :)
      I’m currently figuring out myself and I came up with the conclusion that I must be demi. But this whole putting it under Asexual umbrella part was confusing me because as lots of people mentioned they are repulsed by the thought of sex. I otherwise would love to have sex, but when I think of whom with I draw a blank and have no crushes or anything like that. I guess I’m just more on the sexual side of the spectrum. Knowing that someone is demi and has high sexual drive helps me a lot :))

  32. I’ve often wondered where on the spectrum of sexuality I fit since my experiences are a study in contradictions (anyone who knows me would not be surprised by that) and I still don’t really have a good answer for that. I have a high sex drive in terms of desire for release and masturbate frequently. I am also in a long-term monogamous relationship and we frequently have enjoyable sex. I am attracted to other people and I used to identify as pansexual because it was never anything physical that attracted me to them, but more that certain characteristics about them did. But I’ve realized that doesn’t really fit either. Sometimes I wonder if what I feel is actually sexual attraction, or if it’s just a desire to be close to a person I find alluring and wouldn’t mind having sex with.

    I know that I’m not romantic. I’ve been married 10 years, but I wouldn’t really say that I love my partner in a romantic way. He’s my best friend, and sometimes we have sex, and it’s pretty much my idea of a perfect relationship. The thing is, I want to get off, and frequently, but I’m not really sure if it’s attraction that I’m feeling. I hate touching and I hate foreplay. When I have sex all I want is to say, “Hey, you wanna?” and go straight to penetration under a specific set of circumstances. I also hate being touched for any reason other than sex by anyone. For this reason I would often rather masturbate, even when my partner is home and interested in sex. Also, even though I enjoy sex with my partner very much and think he is an attractive man, I’m not entirely sure I feel attracted to him. I love the idea of sex, I love porn, and I love erotic novels. But I think I like it because it’s happening to other people. When I have sex, I almost always block out my partner and think of passages of a recently read bit of erotica.

    I’m not sure what that makes me. Reading this article made me think I might be a gray-asexual who enjoys physical release and sex but rarely feels attraction. But my experiences vary so drastically from most of the ones described here, and I know everyone is different (part of the reason why this spectrum exists) but now I’m just confused again. Maybe I’m just a regular old bisexual who hates to be touched. There are worse things to be, I guess.

    Whatever though, I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship that works for both parties so the label is really more to satisfy my own curiosity than to be any sort of identification or information.

    Best of luck to everyone, no matter where you fall on the spectrum.

  33. How do you know if you are demi sexual, as opposed to grey a sexual? Is there a clear distinction in the two? I can become attracted to someone only after I form a strong emotional bond with them. However, the sex is still uncomfortable and I can never relax enough to actually want it. It always ends up with me trying so hard to calm my anxiety and appear natural for the other person, which dissolves whatever little attraction that sparked it. I get turned on but only masturbation satisfies me. I keep thinking that maybe if everything worked out exactly how I picture it when I masturbate, I could finally orgasm during sex. But the things I think about are immoral and even go against my own values. They are just fantasy. I am hopeless.

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  35. I have just recently been calling myself asexual. When I found the term, I thought that it fit me, but, I have a small libido and do, in fact, masturbate. I was worried that I wasn’t really asexual or that I was lying to people when I told them I was asexual. I have a small desire for sex, but it’s not attraction, it’s just the action itself. When I came across this site, it really helped me a lot. However, I think I might be grey-asexual (nothing wrong with that, but I’m not sure). There is someone there that I wouldn’t mind (and slightly want) to have sex with and (I’m panromantic, by the way) I knew that if I HAD to have sex, it’d be with a guy. I do fantasize, but it’s blank faces not specific people (and if it is, then it’s because I personally think they’d look good, I mean, faces make it seem more realistic and, but it’s not because I’m attracted..unless..that is attraction..) but yeah, I think it might be safer to call myself a grace. But anyway, this site is very good and helpful and just well done to begin with.

    • That’s exactly how it is with me- when I do feel attraction, it’s towards men or someone I feel really connected to. I have long periods of honestly not thinking/desiring sex, but I do masturbate- usually imagining a character/person I feel a deep connection with. (Sorry for tmi xP)

      I worry that I may be lying/deceiving people when I describe myself as demisexual…it’s a confusing road, but I think the “umbrella” and the “spectrum” help a lot because with a spectrum, there is only TWO spots of definity- complete “black” (for example, “regular”/really strong sexuality) or complete “white” (example, asexuality) the rest of the spectrum is all variations of gray.

      So if we don’t fit into these two definite spots (“black” and “white”) there isn’t anything to be worried about because it just means you’re in the gray areas like the majority of people. Very, very few people are on the extreme sides of any spectrum (not that there’s anything wrong with fitting the description of an “extreme” side).

      • Actually majority of people are on the sexual side of the spectrum. The rest of us are minorities especially full asexuals on the opposite side of the spectrum. Studies show that statistically only 1 percent of the population is asexual, although some scientists think it’s probably a bit higher than that.

    • I totally get feeling like you’re lying or misleading people. I have a fairly high libido and consider myself to be gray ace – I masturbate often (daily, on average) but I generally don’t fantasize about having sex with other people, I very rarely encounter someone I’m sexually attracted to, and I’m perfectly happy being functionally celibate. It took me a very long time to reconcile the fact that I feel like a sexual person but am rarely interested in being sexual with someone else.

  36. I’m pretty sure that I’m a demisexual, but I do go through long periods of time when I just honestly don’t feel sexual/don’t think about sex, but there are also periods when I feel a lot of sex drive- not to have sex, though, rather- um…pleasuring myself by imagining sex with someone I feel really connected to. Does that not fit the demisexuality profile? Or is this confusing behavior with attraction like in your article? (i.e. an asexual may have a lot of sex but still be asexual because they don’t feel sexual attraction?)

  37. A friend on Tumblr explained demisexuality to me and I knew almost instantly that THIS was me! It was such a relief. Ever since middle school, I’ve felt like an alien because most of the time I really don’t care/think about sex.

    I’ve wondered “what the hell is wrong with me?”

    I’m a 24 year old virgin because in the past I honestly didn’t have any interest in having sex, while I did experience feelings of attraction towards men (only men for some reason- is there such a thing as heterosexual demis?)

    My parents are psychologists, so I knew about asexuality but that didn’t quite fit me- sometimes I’d have a pretty heavy sex drive, but for long periods of time I just honestly didn’t think about sex- and to be more honest, usually seeing sex scenes in movies actually grossed me out (I remember being 12 years old and a sex scene upset me so badly I cried).

    It was all so confusing, even hurtful, but now I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel- I understand myself better and now I’m absolutely determined that there is nothing I need to “fix”!

    I am kind of worried about my future though– I want a monogamous relationship so badly- but one with a deep connection and emotional understanding. I want kids so badly too. Can I find love with a man who understands my sexuality?

    • Demisexual and grey asexual etc have nothing to do with your sexual orientation (who you are attracted to) it’s more about how you’re attracted to them. You could be heterosexual, homosexual, pansexual or any other sexual orientation coupled with demi/grey. For example, I identify as heterosexual grey-a with demisexual tendencies. I like men, which makes me heterosexual; but I’m often not attracted to them in a sexual way (don’t feel sexual attraction like regular sexual people) which (in short) makes me grey-a. In some circumstances if I form a strong emotional bond with a man I will be a lot more likely to feel sexual attraction towards them, which is the demisexual tendencies part.

  38. I feel almost the same way as Alanna… I just found this page because I have been feeling lost…I think I’m a grey-a…with demi-sexual tendencies…but i’m sooo confused ‘cuz I don’t always want a romantic relationship as now… but I’ve been involved in romantic and sexual relationships…Now I don’t want a romantic relationship, but I’m dating a guy who makes me feel great because I don’t feel pressure, he is sweet and funny and I do care about him…and sex is fun and nice with him..
    But there have been situations where I have enjoyed the company of a guy and felt attracted to him and enjoyed kissing and holding hands but didn’t want to have sex … I mean, sometimes I see sex as something unnecessary, sometimes I think that cuddling or sleeping after sex, is way nicer than sex indeed. So right now I’m a very confused grey…Beside sometimes I feel attracted to women (mostly tomboys)or trasgender girls…but not in a really sexual way….I mean I would like to date with them, have fun, hang out, hold hands, cuddle and kiss…but not necessarily have sex with them… So I don’t know how to feel…or how to explain this to people…especially to my family who is very conservative and thinks that anything that’s not socially “right” or “acceptable” is just wrong… Somebody please help me

  39. I love thinking about sex, and reading about sex, and sex in general, but I’ve never really been sexually attracted to someone. Kissing grosses me out, and imagining myself in sexual situations disgusts me. There is only one person this wasn’t true for, and she was a very very close friend. She’s the only person I’ve ever comfortably imagined having sex with or kissing, and that was only once we had been friends for a while and had gotten very close. However, in terms of my porn preferences, I love both men and women, as long as I can imagine that I’m not involved in any way. I’ve considered myself demisexual for a bit, but it’s very difficult to accept the label when so many people tell you that it isn’t real, or that I’m just repressed. I’m not repressed, I think sex is great, just not when I’m the one having it… I wanted to thank this article for giving me extra confidence, and also wondered If anyone else recognised how I feel. x

  40. For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me. I could tell the difference between someone who was attractive and someone who wasn’t, but I didn’t seem to process it the way my peers did. I was the only girl in six grade who had pictures of boy bands on her wall just because my friends did, not because I thought they were “cute” or “hot” or “sexy”. I am 25 and have been sexually attracted to only two people in my lifetime, both of whom I developed a very deep emotional bond with first. The sexual attraction didn’t draw me to them at all, that came after. I thought maybe my mind was just making me careful, or maybe I was just picky, or maybe I was just scared. But the fact that I didn’t see men the way my friends did really bothered me, and I questioned my sexuality for the longest time. But I wasn’t attracted to women, either. I thought I was asexual for awhile, but I did experience sexual attraction to the two men I had a deep emotional connection with. So I didn’t fit there either. I came across the term “demisexual” By mistake one day, and when I looked up the term’s meaning, a light bulb went off in my head and it described me perfectly. I finally feel normal, it feels fantastic that there is an actual word for what I am, and I’m not just weird or afraid of sex. The only thing that bothers me, is that when people ask me what I am, and I tell them, they either don’t believe me, or get offended and think I’m trying to steal the LGBT “Thunder”. Not true at all. So thank you for describing this so perfectly.

  41. I thought I was a gray-ace because I had a sexual encounter just because I wanted to see what the hubbub was about. I did not (and still do not) feel sexual attraction… does that make me asexual, despite my having experienced sex?

    • you are likely asexual, but i don’t want to make that determination for you. that does sound like asexuality to me. some asexuals engage in sex, although they do not feel sexual attraction.

  42. I’m Demi and I have in away always knew that, however until a few months ago I never knew the word for it. I told on of my bi friends and he said I was pan. I knew he was wrong but the curiosity to find out what it was called drove me forward. Now when I tell people I’m Demi they ask what it is I tell them. No one has judged me where I could hear them if they did at all. Unfortunately for me, I am sexually attracted to my best friend and she says I’m like a brother.

  43. I’m demisexual and I guess I’ve always known? I’m 17 now so my hormones are raging but I’ve only ever felt sexual desire towards one person, my ex-boyfriend, and I only felt that way when I was still in love with him and even then sometimes I was just like, no thanks man. But my entire life I thought that was pretty common, and I certainly never thought there was some special word and a place on the ace spectrum for it. I just learned the word not too long ago, and when I looked up what it meant it was like a punch in the gut because it fits me so wonderfully.

  44. I’m an asexual grayromantic. It’s kind of been a blocker when it comes to pursuing relationships, but more on topic here: How often does the typical sexual person experience sexual attraction? Or should I say, feel the need to pursue it? I’ve only felt real attraction to four people in my life, and can’t just adapt to any instances of those relationships “not working out”. All four of those times, I’ve felt at least a little pull to be in a relationship with them. If the “average sexual joe” is going through the motions of their life and, I suppose I should say, is actively seeking a sexual relationship, about how many times are they going to see someone they’d actively like to pursue feelings with? (Yes, I recognize that this implies I’m more gray-asexual than grayromantic, but I’m trying to stay focused on the aforementioned.)

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  46. Hi! I have a question.
    I used to identify as pansexual, but recently I don’t think that’s fitting me anymore? I’ve always had these “swings” of sexual attraction, for as long as I can remember. Either I’ll be really sexually charged, or I’ll be really unattracted to people/things/acts sexually, and sometimes I’ll be sex-repulsed. I don’t identify as asexual, because I’m not, I feel sexual attraction sometimes to people, but I don’t know if I’m gray-ace either because I’ve been really sexual in the past.
    Am I gray-ace even though I’ve felt sexual attraction in the past? Am I gray-ace even if I sometimes feel sexual attraction and sometimes don’t? Is there something medically wrong with me? Please help.

    • there’s nothing wrong w/ you medically, oh heavens no. it’s just who you are.

      if we only still saw people as individuals instead of only members of groups w/ rigid, & rigidly enforced, identities, you would not be worried. i say this from as close to the innermost heart of the innermost inside as anyone could get: it’s BETTER to be unusual. the world STAGNATES when people are too alike, & after it stagnates, it dies slow & stupidly. we’re going through the first stages of this now.

  47. Growing up, I could tell I was a little odd. My friends and family would talk about this person or that as being hot or sexy, and I just didn’t get it. It felt strange to see how so many people were able to judge the f*ckability of someone in a brief glance.
    Basically the world was a bowl full of M&M’s—there are thousands of different colors—but they were still all M&Ms to me. To everyone else, though, it seemed to be a bowl full of Skittles; people around me are constantly debating about which skittle tastes the best, saying things like, ‘the blue ones are the best!’ ‘Are you kidding? Red is where it’s at!’ ‘You all are crazy! It’s gotta be yellow!’ ‘I like green and red best, but really anything but purple is good. Purple is nasty!’ Meanwhile, I’m just sitting there like, ‘uh…They’re M&Ms?’ That’s what it was like for me. I wouldn’t like any of the M&Ms until I got to know them very, very well.
    I only recently even realized what demi was, but the moment I heard about it, I knew it fit. Before, I always thought I was just some weird version of straight, because I had felt attraction before, but only ever to people I knew very well.

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  50. OMG…I just found out about DEMIsexual tonight when someone posted it on my facebook…….I had NO idea there was a name for what I ..am……and have always been…..I thought something was wrong with me and now I know it’s normal and others out there have the SAME type of sexuality……..What a blessed day this is…

  51. My partner or 5 years just demanded to know why I never want to have sex. I said, “I just don’t think it’s that important”. He insists it is very important which I don’t get at all. but I decided to search Google for some answers and it brought me to this website. I thought maybe I’m asexual but not quite because I am usually interested in sex at the exciting beginnings of a relationship but it quickly tapers off for me to the point where I’m utterly repulsed by it. So maybe I’m “Demisexual”. But I’m a bit confused because although our relationship doesn’t have the intense feeling from the beginning, I do feel a special bond with my partner so why don’t I want to have sex with him? Does that still make me Demisexual? I honestly feel like I could go without sex for the rest of my life. If we were to break up, I would like to find an asexual partner. It would be so much less complicated.

  52. So if I have occasional sexual desire but the thought of actual activity throws me into anxiety, does that make me just a scared teen or a gray-a?

  53. I think I’m a pansexual demisexual. flirting goes completely over my head, I leave the room when there’s a sex scene on TV, and porn bores me, except fanfiction (thank you Ao3).
    I only feel attracted to someone after a few months. I’ve had one boyfriend five years ago where making out was nice, sex was a fun intellectual challenge, but I was totally disconnected from my own arousal. since then I tried to have a relationship once, but kissing was just too gross and scary(despite knowing the person).
    despite all this I do want a relationship, and sex (more because I enjoy pleasing my partner than anything else, my submissive tendencies while annoying do have their uses), although I’m really not sure how I’m going to do that.
    that exception has led to a lot of sleepless nights,rtying to find a label that fits me, so it has been a relief to find this site, to hear about others like me, and also to unload without fear of judgement.

  54. Grey-asexual is such a mouth full so i’m going to just say greysexual. I feel genuine attraction to someone like…..once every 2 years or so historically, though i regularly find people physically attractive. Even when i do get a real crush/feel true attraction its easy to just stop feeling anything towards them if for any reason it’s inconvenient at that time. So i think i definitely lean more towards sexual than asexuality but on the other hand…. only getting feelings of any sort once every 1-2 years (in a good year at least) and just being able to completely stop feeling on a whim apparently isn’t normal for most people. Its the worst, people think you’re normal because you’ll say “oh wow look at that cutie” while out and about but then think you’re cold or stuck up when you otherwise turn down all relationships because i just don’t feel a thing. It’s just…. being greysexual is confusing! And people feel the need to give us crap for it all the time to boot since we’re undefined by definition. I really wish i could just be one extreme or the other a lot of the time.

  55. ahhh, i read the article and I think I feel understand now!
    I had the feeling that i’m gray asexual and romantic attracted to most of the people.
    I’m 22 years old, still virgin and never had a boy/girlfriend, but was I fell really hard in love with a girl. I’ve never had this strong feelings before. There were one or two guys, who I had a crush on, but I never loved then.
    Than this girl was in my life and I felt only romantic attracted to her.
    I do feel sexual attraction, but not often and not in this way, that I really want to have sex with someone – only the idea that I could have sex is like….urgh…i really don’t like it. To do it for me it’s okay, but i don’t need it everytime or often.
    Everything makes sense now.
    So I really liked you text and feel understand that I don’t need to force myself to something I don’t want – in a sexual way – because I’m apparently gray asexual.

  56. I am just begining to realise I am a heteromantic grey-asexual but I think I might be demi-heterosexual? I have never felt sexual attraction but like the idea of it/have fantasies that I do not want to act upon and the only way I can see myself ever having sex is not out of attraction but as a way to get close to someone I love? Does that make me demi? Or a heteromantic asexual?

  57. I don’t know whether I’m greysexual or demisexual…
    Like. I get aroused every once in a while but I usually shrug it off because its not very strong. I never got aroused with my exes or anyone but this one person I’m seeing now. She’s been the only person to ever arouse me to a great extent. She’s greyromantic and she had gotten arouse quite a bit. We’re both very dirty minded and we mess around and joke a lot so it would happen to us both in public. So I’m really confused on what I am. I get sexual tendencies but rarely anymore. And it’s weird to me. I am okay with the idea and all but when we got down to things I let her touch me but it was different. It felt completely normal. I don’t know how she felt on this. But I never let anyone touch me. Only her. But I have found myself getting crushes on people quickly but them fading soon after i get to know them. I’m not sure what this even is. It’s usually my friends I get crushes on and as said, it usually fades. The idea of cuddling and and kissing and holding hands is enough for me usually. But I don’t really get sexual tendencies often. And I’m not exactly sure on what I am. I’m sure on one thing though. I. Am. Greatly confused.

  58. I think that I identify as panromantic gray-asexual. I’ve been struggling whether I’m pansexual or panromantic asexual and now I realize that I fit somewhere in between. Thank you for this, it’s been very informative.

  59. I always used to identify as heterosexual heteroromantic because I thought that I would automatically know if I was anything else, that it would be absolutely obvious. The only sexualities I knew of were “straight” (heterosexual) and “gay” (homosexual), so naturally I thought any other sexual orientation was made-up or something like that. When I turned thirteen and joined Tumblr behind my parent’s back, I discovered a whole new world of sexual and romantic orientations (I didn’t even know that they didn’t have to match); pan, bi, poly- and, of course, the ace-aro spectrum. I became an avid supporter of asexuality, and while I supported and still support all sexual orientations equally I tended to show my support for the ace spectrum more. I researched it constantly, reblogged pride stuff and explanations and all. I just felt drawn to it, from the dragons and cake jokes and the flag colours to the idea itself and the history of the orientation. After a while, when reading an article by an ace guy on how to tell if you’re ace, I realized that maybe my attraction to the ace community meant something more. I thought long and hard about my past experiences, my attraction to others and if it was sexual or… something else. For a while I identified as asexual heteroromantic, when I stumbled upon a definition for gray-asexual I identified as gray-asexual heteroromantic, and recently I started identifying as gray-(hetero)asexual biromantic, though I identify more with the ace community than with the bi community. I guess the definition that got me into gray-asexuality was where it was said that you feel the attraction occasionally, but don’t feel any desire to act on it. So… yeah. That’s my story.

  60. Wow, the demisexual thing explains a lot. I’ve only ever been in one relationship (I’ll be 30 in a few months). In that relationship, the emotional connection began to go down the drain and it took any sexual attraction I had with it. Toward the end, anytime I did have sex (not for my benefit), it felt disgusting and repulsive, almost like a violation.

    I don’t recall a single time in my life where I saw a stranger and felt sexually aroused. Only after I get a sense for the person’s personality, do any of those feelings surface (if ever). A lot of my peers have issues with their boyfriends, “falling” for the wrong man because “he’s so hot and the sex is good.” I can’t understand that.

    I have definitely felt romantic/sexual attraction before, but only after I’ve gotten a sense for who the person was, like a co-worker I’ve known for a few months, a classmate, a very brilliant teacher (oooh, especially teachers, I think I’m a bit of a sapiosexual, too). It’s funny how things work sometimes.

  61. Wow! ive been doing a lot of thinking lately and I always have seemed to have a different idea about sex than my friends. As we grew up I thought my reliogn was what kept my sexual thoughts suppressed but honestly they just weren’t there! Sometimes I would feel sexual attraction but most often I would not. I always thought I was sort of straight by default, like I knew I didn’t like girls so I must like boys but in reality I rarely like boys. I know I like making out but I’ve never had sex or acted on any urges I get. Even though the feelings I have are rare, they are still there so I can’t identify as completely asexual. I don’t think about sex very often and I can tell how different I am from my friends. I feel that I can identify myself as a gray-ace which is sort of funny to me because my name is grace lol

  62. Someone asked me whether I am sexual or asexual and since then I’ve been questioning myself a lot. I never get sexually aroused in my life. I watched porn out of curiosity and I felt nothing towards it but a slight of disgust. I never have the feel to satisfy myself. Sometimes I does imagine myself in love with a famous guy and doing intimate things with them tho but I didn’t feel anything while imagining it either,it just feels like a story in my head. And sometimes I does think some people I met are attractive, attractive to look at but that just that. I also often found myself disinterested to be in relationship. I might meet a guy whom I find attractive and hang out and all but it will never work out you know, that attraction only last for a second, after that not anymore. Or I might known someone who I found attractive but I never thought of more than that. Is it weird that most of the time I hate it when people found me sexually attractive? All that popped up in my head was, im not interested so don’t even look at me. I always thought myself as a straight normal girl who might has a commitment issues. Am I?

  63. I am thrilled that many of you have begun to accept yourselves, it is the path to awareness. Maybe you could help me through my muddled mess?
    I was molested as a child by a family member on a regular basis (several times a week), for 12 years. When I was 16 I put him in jail to protect my sister. In therapy, they told me I was repressed due to feelings of shame, so I have been trying to force myself to enjoy intercourse for 18 years. The truth is, if I see someone attractive to me, and their personality seems compatible, I fantasize about them being my “perfect mate” and get very aroused. When I was younger, I gave in to my arousal often, only to find myself completely done as soon as penetration occurred, vision shattered. I did not orgasm during intercourse until I was twenty, even though I considered myself promiscuous. O occurred with a man I know I loved, after much work on both our parts to find the right position, angle, rhythm, depth, it was like trying to open a safe with a stethescope, took an hour, when I can masturbate in a minute and a half. It never got any easier, and honestly, it doesn’t seem worth the effort, I can go months at a time with only fleeting, shallow thoughts of it. Sex with women isn’t any better, I get aroused pleasuring them, but when its my turn, I just want it to be over. I am currently married to a very sexual man, and it is getting harder every day to meet his needs satisfactorily. For the first two years of our relationship, I faked orgasms to end intercourse. He knows now, but thinks my difficulty means I don’t love him, or that I am cheating on him, and he gets offended when I can’t perform. He doesn’t understand how I don’t want it, and I don’t understand why he does. The tension is getting unbearable, the more upset he gets, the farther I feel from him emotionally, the harder it is for me, which upsets him more. He refuses to get counseling, says he can “fix” me if I just do what he says. So I am pretending to get aroused, finding places to hide lube so he can’t tell it’s not working, getting more anxious and lonely every day, and I don’t know what to do. I have never told the whole truth before, but I love my husband and I need help. Thanks for reading….

  64. I just want to thank the writer of this blog so much. I recently discovered the term “gray-sexual” and suddenly, I don’t feel like a freak anymore. This post was able to comprehensively explain a label that I am slowly accepting as my own in a way that welcomed me instead of scaring me. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You don’t understand what you’ve given me.

  65. I turned 48 earlier this year and have never been in a sexual relationship with anyone. I was in my late 20s before I found a guy that I was even remotely sexually attracted to. The idea of having sex with a guy when I was a teenager was scary and repulsive. I just thought maybe I was a prude or I hadn’t met the right guy, or maybe I was a lesbian and didn’t want to admit it. Then later, I figured ‘well, I’m just a freak who finds the idea of inserting tab A into slot B repulsive’. But, I loved the idea of having a guy of my own and being in love, but didn’t want the sex with it. So there’s this guy that I’ve known a while whom I’m crazy about… So I Googled “only ever been attracted to one person” and this site popped up. I don’t feel like there’s something seriously wrong with me, mentally.

    • there’s not. there’s nothing wrong with most of the people on here— i’m hesitant to say ‘everyone’ about anything, but i think it comes pretty close. so help me, i think you are just picky [laughing]. to be quite honest, for example, i look like i’ve forked every guitar player west of the mississippi, say, but, while i do mostly go out with musicians [always, i’ve had BAD experience elsewise], the ones i like are few & far between, & i almost invariably keep them long term— VERY long term, in fact. so lets say i’ve been married [or its equivalent] three times, and had a couple longish term things in between, but not a huge sprinkling of nameless faceless fling-things in between. NO sprinkling. i cant even IMAGINE doing that.

      i’m not alone, & neither are you. we used to be considered NORMAL, i promise you. this weird obsession with forking everything one sees is NEW. last decade. very stupid, in my opinion. this finger-flicking thing should be thrown away, & immediately. we need to return to the romance everyone now thinks is either sexist or silly. it’s neither. it’s necessary for depth, & depth, of all things, is important.

      last thought: sex? it’s neither a bad as you think nor as good as it’s advertised to be. i’m serious, & i’ve had plenty of it, & it ran the gamut. the main thing it is, the primary thing, is human. it’s sillier than eating dinner, say, but no less of a normal act. you’ll note i use the word “silly”. i use it advisedly. there are a lot of mistakes in sex, by all parties, many, many times. there is a lot of laughing. the squelching, as we old punkrockers used to call it? it’ll seem goofy at first, but you’ll get used to it. think about the person, dont think about how peculiar it all is [which i think it might be for you, at first], do NOT think about how awful you look [this was my problem, i had dysmorphophobia, almost always]. keep the sweet emotion on top of the fear. it’ll be fine. it may even be joyous.

      if you wanna ask me anything else, i’m here. just reply back & i will reply too.

    • I agree- of course there’s nothing wrong with you. Granted I’m still in college, but I have never felt sexually attracted to anyone and I don’t see the appeal in sex either, especially if it’s just sex for the sake of sex without an actual romantic and emotional relationship to go along with it. In my mind, if I’ve been in a loving relationship with someone for a really long time, I guess I might want to have sex with them, but more for an emotional thing than anything physical. I certainly do fall in love and fall hard, for better or for worse, and I can get emotionally attached to someone really quickly. Love is amazing and it can be so wonderful just having someone to hold and knowing they love you back, without anything sexual attached. I know a lot of people don’t think like that, but I’m not worried about myself and am happy for who I am. Whatever makes you happy is great, and if you really love someone, and they accept you for who you are, you shouldn’t have to worry :-)

  66. Pingback: Crisis of the Heart: Demi or Neutral Asexual? | Postmodern Woman

    • pretty much everything is a valid sexuality. don’t bother worrying about what other people think—if you’ve found what works for you, it works for you, and that’s all you need.

  67. Hi! I have been recently questioning my sexuality, and I was wondering if someone could help me? I have been doing some research and can’t quite figure out what I fall under. After reading this I think I may be Demisexual, but I am not sure. I do know that I
    -am Heterosexual
    -a Super virgin: never kissed, cuddled, or even held hands with a guy (or girl in a sexual/romantic way)
    -have Never had sexual attraction before
    -Have had romantic attraction to guys, but it happens very rarely, and usually only to people I know
    -I’m scared of having sex and even a relationship, but hope to be able to one day get married in the future
    -like the idea of a relationship but don’t want to actually go through with it
    -im a bit fictoromantic; more interested in fictional/not real characters/people than real guys

    Can someone help me caricg what I would be called? Thank you so much!

    • Hi! I will try to help, but it’s hard to say exactly what you would be, because I can’t know exactly how you feel. Ultimately (once you’ve figured it out) you should be able to identify as whatever you want, no matter what anyone else tells you. I’m hetero-romantic and asexual, and I think we have some things in common, but some things different in sexuality.
      -You say you’re heterosexual, but also say you have never felt sexual attraction, which means you’re hetero-romantic. Or in your case, demi-hetero-romantic, because you only feel romantic attraction to someone rarely and after you’ve known them for a while. Since you’ve never felt sexual attraction, that means you’re probably asexual. Sexual and romantic are two separate things, so you can have romantic attraction but still be completely asexual. I think demisexual is when you don’t feel sexual attraction at first, but after being in a romantic relationship with someone you can develop sexual attraction to them.
      -Being a virgin actually has nothing to do with sexuality. I know plenty of people who are sexual but are virgins, and a couple people who are asexual but still have sex because it makes their boyfriend or girlfriend happy. I was once a “super virgin” just like you, until I was almost 19 in college and had my first boyfriend. (I’m still a virgin.)
      -Before I ever had a relationship, I was scared of having one too: worrying what would happen, or that I wouldn’t know what to do, what would my friends and family say, what if he ends up hurting me emotionally, what if he wanted to have sex but I didn’t, etc. Somehow I still ended up in one, and if you’re with someone who’s understanding and you fit well together, you’ll figure it out and it’s not so bad. Still, you shouldn’t go into something if you don’t really want to.
      -I used to find fictional characters more attractive than guys in real life, because often they seem more interesting or caring or fun or sweet, and I still stand by that most of the time. But I’ve found a few good guys in real life, it just took a little while to find them. (I don’t think any guys in my high school were good enough.) If you are hetero-romantic and you want to be in a relationship someday, then eventually someone who’s good for you will come along, even if it takes a while.
      ~Basically, things might change a little over time, and you never know what life’s gonna throw at you. If you think you’re asexual, then you are, and even if you do end up having sex (and even if you enjoy it) that doesn’t change your sexuality. And remember everyone’s different and there are many different levels of sexuality, even between people who have the same sexual identity.
      That’s probably more information than you wanted, but I hope it helped! :)

  68. I have always been confused about my sexuality.
    I’ve always questioned it whether I am straight, or bisexual. I’ve only ever been men romantically and sexually, but sometimes I question if I have an attraction to women and im very curious towards this.
    Although I am a virgin I’ve done other sexual things with guys (only ever my boyfriend’s). My first boyfriend I did it for his pleasure, but I was disgusting and grossed out, I hated it and refused to ever do it to him again. I ended up breaking up with him for his constant needing of sexual pleasure and me not wanting to give it to him because the thought of it just overall all disgusted me.
    The second boyfriend, it wasn’t so bad. We quite frequently gave eachother oral, but never had sex and still I wasnt a fan of giving.
    I’m not sure I know what it’s like to feel a sexual attraction to someone, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt it or not, I just know I enjoy sexual pleasure itself, but I don’t have a wanting for it. I’ve tried masturbation before and I didn’t find it enjoyable, I feel I cannot ‘pleasure’ myself.

    So pretty much long story short: im bi-curious who enjoys to receiving sexual pleasure, not give, doesn’t know what the feeling of sexual attraction is but knows the feeling of being turned on (I think).

    • I think you might be asexual, or at least gray-ace. I am asexual but also enjoy receiving sexual things, and can definitely get aroused (when my boyfriend is doing something). It took me a really long time to be comfortable giving sexually, because I used to be grossed out too. I still only do it because my boyfriend likes it, but I find it pretty boring on my part, and usually only do it if he asks.
      I don’t know what sexual attraction feels like and I’ve always been romantically attracted to guys, and I’ve always considered myself hetero-romantic. But now that you mention it, I have also sometimes wondered if I would be bi (or if it would be easier to tell) if I wasn’t ace, because maybe I would be attracted to girls too. I definitely find more girls cute (not necessarily attracted to them) than cute guys, but I’ve always pictured that someday when I get married and have a family that it will be with a guy. And I don’t think I’ve ever been romantically attracted to a girl. But I wonder, if I had been raised differently where I learned about and was exposed to more same-sex couples, if I would be bi-romantic…

  69. I’ve been wondering for months about my sexuality, because all my friends are talking about how cute this person is, and when they ask me I just awkwardly say ‘Yeah, they’re cute’ but I’ve never thought of anyone I label as beautiful, cute or pretty as someone I want to be intimate with. I don’t know how sexuality attraction feels like, as I have never felt it before, to my knowledge, but I know that when I look at an attractive person I don’t think about wanting to have sex with them but about how gorgeous they are, which is my exact same reaction when I admire a beautiful painting or something like that.
    I am perfectly able to masturbate, and can fantasise while doing it, not to mention that I read porn fanfics as well. However, somewhere has to explicitly stated that it’s not just sex but a doing of people who are in love, otherwise it makes my skin crawl with disgust. I find romantic movies disgusting for this very reason, as the actors don’t have real feelings for each other. Every romantic gesture not made with real romantic intentions makes me sick and I have to avert my eyes.
    Similarly, I tend not to look when someone is doing fanservice (my best friend listens to k pop and makes me do it too) because it’s something I do not like to look at, it’s something they don’t really want to show anyone unless they’re really close and I just awkwardly try not to look at them, praying they would but their clothes back and not do something like this again.
    In the beginning I thought it was just my belief for first falling in love and then having any sort of intimate contact or just looking came, but now I catch even friends who have the same belief as me looking at people in a way I just can’t imagine myself doing. I immediately ruled the possibility of me being homosexual out, because I’ve been near many good looking girls and have never felt anything, not to mention I hang out majority of the time with my girl friends. As I am still a teenager I tried to reassure myself that it was a hormone thing and that I was just a little slower than others. However, now that I know that asexuality exists, I am trying to figure myself out.
    I do know that I’m panromantical, since gender never really mattered to me. Girls are cool, and I can talk to males without any trouble, but I’m a little awkward around them because of the things they say about other girls that do not sit well with me and disgust me. I do know that I want to cuddle and hold hands with a person I like, and maybe, if I really like the person, to kiss sometimes, however that could be just my curiosity speaking up because I’m a ‘super virgin’.
    The thought of actual sex terrifies and disgusts me at the same time, because I find it gross to have someone touching me in places I’m not comfortable or to touch someone intimately (not to mention I’m not a touchy-feely person in general and the thought of even my sister or mother touching me without me allowing it, even if they are, say, holding my arm -not even the hand!- or something doesn’t thrill me at all) and I am afraid that I will hurt the person’s feelings if I don’t find the act pleasurable.
    I am really confused about this whole subject and I haven’t told anybody about it because I fear it may be just a fleeting puberty stage, not to mention that I haven’t met a single person who isn’t heterosexual (at least to my knowledge). I want an opinion of someone who already knows what it is to be asexual because it’s really hard not to know what to make of myself and someday the question is going to be raised and I won’t know what to answer, which will undoubtedly make things harder for both me, my friends and my family and I worry so much about that.
    On a happier note, all the reviews here helped me and gave me a lot to think about, which ultimately made me write this. Thank you in advance for the help!

  70. Hell, how could I have passed so many years without knowing this site? Idk.

    Well, now that I think about it, I think I’m demisexual. I mean, I’m still pretty young (just got out of the teenage), yet I’ve never though about sex like my friends, and I neither have been so attracted by anyone. Sex for me is something that I know that it may be good (maybe), but I’d rather read or make anything else.

    Some of my friends are always pointing out “hot” guys on the streets. I cannot deny some of them are handsome, but I’ve never felt an attraction like theirs. And I’ve always had difficults to point out which kind of men I like most. I mean, the appearance does count on, but I’d rather know him first (what if he is pretty but a jerk?)

    I’ve felt some kind of attraction by a friend of mine. I must confess that this was the period I’ve began to watch porn, and while sometimes I feel some pleasure watching it, sometimes it feels…like a mechanic action. I started to ask myself what could be “wrong” with me, and now I know that there’s nothing wrong. I just prefer a good talk with a interesting person than having or thinking about sex.

    Thank you for helping me to know more about myself!

  71. I identify as grey asexual but im always scared to explain it to people because of how hard most people find it to understand.
    I dont even know how to explain it its like “Sometimes ill be like; yeah sex would be okay about now but meh” I dont care about having sex. if i do awesome if i dont awesome and people just think im hetro with a low sex drive. I have a fairly high sex drive :/

  72. I’ve never been crazy about sex. I have always been aesthetically attracted to people, but it takes a deep connection for me to be sexual with them. As I look back at my past relationships, I just honestly could not be sexual (kiss, sensually touch, or have intercourse) with a partner unless I had strong feelings for them. I would literally avoid and refuse to simply kiss a person I wasn’t emotionally connected to. In the rare instances I did (like during those stupid high school truth or dare games), I would feel actual disgust. For the past four years I’ve been in a relationship with the same man, and he is the only person I have had sex with. I even made him wait a full year before having sex. Although I clearly have a deep emotional bond with him, I still find myself having to push myself to have sex. I honestly thought there was something wrong with me. In our society, sex is such an important aspect in a relationship, and I thought I was crazy for struggling to be sexual even when I feel so much love for him. It is often difficult to feel sexual attraction towards him, but I know that I am 100% romantically attracted to him. This explanation of a heteroromantic demisexual is extremely eye opening. There is in fact nothing wrong with me, or my relationship. This is just my sexual orientation, and it makes me feel so much more at ease now that I understand it.

  73. It’s really wonderful to read these comments. I am a gay male and gray-ace and I have always felt like such an outcast in the gay community. Most sexual gay men I’ve met have been very dismissive and wrote me off as “frigid.” I am attracted to other men but I don’t want to sleep with them unless there is a deep emotional connection. Without that, sex feels cheap and forced to me. I kept thinking something was wrong with me and that my low sex drive was a result of poor diet or something like that. It feels good to know I’m not alone. My fear is that I won’t find someone else like me and I’ll have to open myself up to the idea of polyamory, which is obviously great for some people but it’s not something I want for myself….like, ever. Regardless, glad to have found this site!

  74. So, I consider myself a grace/grey-a (anyone still confused, grey asexual) but I’m like, completely straight. Always have been, always will be. I’m pretty new to all this stuff though, because I only recently started wondering about my sexuality and that stuff and only recently decided I’m grace, so I know there’s a lot of special terms for a lot of specific attributions or whatever for what people are besides asexual (I hope you know what I mean) so are there any terms for whether your straight, bi, or gay and still ace/grace???

    • A/sexuality tends to refer to a spectrum of libido, like sexual and romantic orientation are! So you can absolutely consider yourself grace and straight (grace-fully straight! haha! I’m not funny)
      There aren’t any specific terms that are used widely enough to describe both heterosexuality (or heteroromance) and greysexuality in a single definition, however usually just saying both would suffice.
      But you are more than welcome to use my absolutely awkward term (grace-fully straight) if you’d like?

  75. I am a pansexual 17-year-old female and my girlfriend hates being asexual. She wishes she could experience sexual attraction and I talked to her about what sexual attraction is to me, but she didn’t find anything that applies to her. She is sensually attracted to me, but I see she feels bad for not being as sexually attracted to me as I am to her. If someone WANTS to feel attraction, why can’t they feel it? If she hates being what she is, isn’t it possible to “change” that?

    • That’s not something that should be forced, regardless of how much your girlfriend may want to. Maybe think about the reason she wants to feel that attraction and figure out another solution? For example, physical closeness can be done with dancing, cuddling, massages, and even just touching each other in a sensual way (like her holding your hand and feeling its structure. (?) (Sorry if I worded that in a strange way). It could be possible she’s demi, so maybe work on ways to connect emotionally as well, however don’t rely on the result being a sexual one.
      If she still feels bad about it, it’s still possible for you to enjoy sex, just not in the way most people think. You both just need to think of how you want to approach it, whether it be mutual or all about you! If you feel bad about things not being equal sexually, I’m sure there are ways that would make it equal outside of the bedroom (like cake!)

  76. I’m a 16-year-old girl and I’m pretty confused. I think I might be grey-ace, but I’m not sure. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced sexual attraction. Sometimes I see people and imagine having sex with them, but I don’t actually WANT to or feel attracted to them, the image just comes into my head. I like reading erotica and when I do, sex seems “hot”, and I feel aroused, but I actually dislike the feeling of being aroused and wish it would go away. And thinking about the actual mechanics and logistics, sex seems sort of off-putting to me–a little bit gross, but mostly just uncomfortable. I’ve tried masturbating a few times, but it was mostly uncomfortable and I felt sort of ashamed afterwards.
    I was raised Catholic, so I always thought I would wait until marriage to have sex. I always thought I would have sex someday, but never with anyone in particular, just a sort of faceless figure. But learning about asexuality, I started wondering. I never felt a “click”, like, oh yeah, this is exactly what I am, but some things did seem to apply to me, so I started identifying as grey-ace, because I was not sure but parts of asexuality seemed to apply to me.
    I’ve talked with an asexual friend and they said that I could totally be grey-ace (this was when I came out to them as grey-ace). I’ve come out to my family as grey-ace, but now I’m wondering if I’m asexual or if I’m just thinking that I am, attention-seeking-wise (I’m pretty sure I’m heteroromantic–I’ve only had crushes on boys, though I find girls and boys aesthetically attractive, but I’m confused as to whether I’m heterosexual or ace).
    I wish I could sort things out, but that would probably mean having sex, and I don’t want to just to understand my sexuality.
    I’m just not sure and I wish I could find an identity that fits me.

  77. So what would it be if I experience sexual attraction to people but I would never ever ever want to have sex with someone unless I knew them, or were in a relationship with them, bc it makes me uncomfortable. I mean honestly the idea of ever having sex with anyone myself makes me uncomfortable?? But I still experience sexual attraction??

  78. This was so helpful! but I’m still not sure what words to use to entirly discribe myself. I like the idea of hugging and cuddleing and all romantic things but I dont like the idea of sex. im okay if i do it by myself and no other people are concerned but i dont think im autosexual and it’s very rare for me to have true feelings for someone else. Ive been thinking i could b grey asexual but i dont think i quite fit in the category

  79. My husband wants to know whether he still counts as a graysexual if “all it takes is a six pack of beer to feel normal.” Jury?

  80. I’m romantically attracted to both genders but the thought of sex with a guy disgusts me. I think I could maybe do it with a girl but I wouldn’t know since I have no experience and kind of want to keep it that way? I think I could be gray asexual but like what do I call it if when I do feel physical attraction it’s only with girls? Idk I’m so confused BC like the top half of guys and girls I’m fine with but actually getting sexual makes me uncomfortable. I have no idea what to call myself and have done endless research. Help?

  81. Ho wow. For years I’ve tried to understand why I felt so weird and out of place. I was calling myself ‘broken’ because I never felt the need to have sex or to look for a partner and everything… But now I’m starting to think that I just might be in this nice gray area, too. I’ll have to read more about the subject to confort me in this idea but woah. It feels quite good to know that I’m not really broken and that I’m not alone…
    Thank you very much !

    (My apoligizes for the bad English, it is not my native langage. I just wanted to thank the author of this article and all the people commenting. You’re all awesome)

  82. I don’t know what I identify as exactly. It’s so weird. I feel attracted to only one person and he is a celebrity but I can never think of anyone in real life like that, and I don’t know what I feel about this spesific person is sexual attraction but I wouldn’t participate in the act. I mean I find him really hot but that’s it. In real life the idea just disgusts me. But I’ve never been in a emotional relationship properly before so I don’t know if I had this would I be attracted to the person. I’m just confused but I want to identify as something and it’s just hard rambling about all my feelings to a friend or something. If I have a name for it it would be so mıch easier. I think it could be gray-asexuality but I still don’t know

    • There are all types of attraction. I find several celebrities aesthetically and/or sexually attractive but I don’t want to actually have sex with them. You can also be emotionally or romantically attracted to someone without being sexually attracted to them.

      I know it’s hard to be in limbo with your identity and not feel like you fit in anywhere. It really is okay not to know. It’s also okay to identify as just asexual and not one of the specific subcategories in the asexual spectrum until you know for sure which one fits you.

      It’s also okay to identify as asexual and then find out you aren’t. Society makes us believe our identities are fixed or static when that’s not true for everyone. For some people their gender, sexuality or attractions are more fluid than fixed.

      Just be kind to yourself and don’t stress. You’ll figure it all out.

  83. I’m a little confused about my sexuality and I want some help!!! So, I’m an 18 year old girl, I’m a virgin, but I’ve kissed boys. I’ve had “crushes” on boys throughout middle school, high school, and college… But I think it was mainly romantic and sensual desire. I may have felt sexual desire a little bit (I’m not really sure), but the thought of pursuing it, either romantically and sexually, made me very anxious and I didn’t want to. I feel like even if I had a crush on a boy, and he liked me back, if he asked me to hang out I wouldn’t want to out of anxiety/fear. I had a boyfriend when I was 13 who I was good friends with for a few years, and our relationship basically just consisted of us hanging out (never alone) and kissing…. I never thought about going further (considering our young age). I loved him and loved being close with him romantically and sensually. Since then, I have avoided all sexual and romantic situations out of what I thought was anxiety… but after reading this and all of the helpful comments, maybe I’m just gray-ace or demi?

    At this point in my life, I am romantically and sensually attracted to men, but still have little to no interest in pursuing my feelings. I do not feel romantically or sensually attracted to women, but I do masterbate sometimes, and am only turned on by women’s bodies… so I could be slightly sexually attracted to women? But I have no interest in actually being with a woman and maybe it’s just me admiring their bodies. I crave love with a man… which points to me being hetero-romantic. But as for my sexuality? I don’t know.

    Am I hetero-romantic, demisexual or gray-ace, with maybe some bisexual tendencies? and social anxiety?? idk??? HELP

    • Emily J, I know it’s confusing. I’ve been there. Your story sounds very similar to mine although I’m 46 now. I describe myself as gray-asexual gray-aromantic. For me, both of those are mostly hetero. I too masturbate looking at women’s bodies but for me it’s not about an attraction to the woman but the idea of me being her. Does that make sense? The main reason I know my sexual and romantic identities fall under the Ace and Aro umbrellas is that no matter my behavior, I have little to no desire to be sexual or romantic with another person. In other words, I love my fantasies but don’t want to act them out. I like the idea of sexual or romantic relationships but not the reality of participating in them. I know I’m gray because there are 4 times in my life where I’ve wanted a sexual and romantic relationship with a person I met. 4 times in almost 5 decades.

      My advice for you at your age is don’t stress. You don’t need to know or have things figured out. Just make sure that any exploration you do is truly consensual. Don’t do something because you think that’s what you are supposed to do, because someone else coerced you or made you feel like you should. Only do things you actually want to. And if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You are allowed to stop even if something has already gotten started. A good person/partner will stop because they care about YOU and not the action/behavior.

      Unfortunately, you are the only one who can decide how to define yourself. No one else can tell you or decide for you. It’s something you feel (or don’t feel) inside. While some people are born innately knowing, others have to figure it out. There is no one “right way” to be Ace or Aro. The good news is that if you choose a label/identity today that no longer fits you tomorrow, you can change it!

  84. Pingback: Season O'Sex: Hana Li on Asexuality & Burlesque! ⋆ Burlesque Stripped Down - Burlesque Stripped Down

  85. This is such an excellent description. It made it so much easier to explain these things. I’ve known I was demi for awhile now, but I never thought about that being part of the ace spectrum. This really came in handy for my bf’s identity, though – he thought he might be ace but was pretty confused, turns out he’s more grey right now. Sometimes just finding a label that fits you can make you feel so validated.

  86. All of your words have relieved me. I think what confuses people is that they become easily sexually attracted to me because I am fit these days but it doesn’t mean I am feeling those attractions to them or people like myself (if that makes sense). I just want to thank you all for being open and honest. It really is difficult to not come off as frigid or confused or even pretentious.

    • I have experienced the same thing my whole life. I prefer to keep fit for my general well being and spirituality, but to many others, this must mean that I’m as sexually active or looking to be. I have become really good at forgetting most people are not like me. It can be highly annoying.

      • Like many others, I do find people beautiful, attractive or whatever but I feel like I’m appreciating art or something. Not that I forget that they are people, not objects.

  87. I have a friend who is greysexual and i didn’t know untill after i had asked ” do you like me the way like you “, and thats when they told me there greysexual and think heteromantic and might get themselves out there late high school or college and said we can still be friends so do i have to form a better bond then we have now with them.

  88. I don’t know if I’m demisesexual as asexual or just what’s wrong. The idea of sex or letting a guy have sex with me scares me. Or more specifically put something in me. I’m already a female to male bisexual transgender I haven’t physically came out to my family so I can’t do anything to change. I don’t mind sexual things like sometimes I feel wrong after stuff like you know masturbation but I have some sexual feelings but it scares me. If I were to try getting intimate with someone I wouldn’t let them go the full way. I’m wondering if maybe I just don’t want to have sex or anything like that while I’m physically female because I feel wrong doing it as a girl and because I don’t feel like that type of guy who would be the more submissive person during intimacy (which I don’t think because I’m not the manly man or dominating type I’m very well not that so maybe I’ll never be able to have sex?) or what’s wrong with me. I want to be able to be intimate as a male but I don’t and can’t see myself being the dominating person but sometimes can see myself being the more I can’t think of a better word for submissive type I hate that word but you get the idea. If I have sexual dreams where I’m physically male I wake up feeling good but as a female (and sometimes as a male) if I have any dreams like that I wake up feeling wrong and scared. I also have extreme fears of pain I don’t want to get hurt or even get pregnant as a female first because I was held down to get a needle imagine me giving birth plus If I get pregnant if my physically t teenage female attributes I’m getting isn’t enough proof I’m not physically male isn’t proof enough getting pregnant would make it extremely real… So am I demisexual asexual or just nor comfortable while I’m not physically male I’m guessing I might be demisexual because I don’t mind intimacy as a physical male but there’s still fear and things about intimacy as a male that make me uncomfortable

  89. i still don’t know… For 50 some years, i’d have said hetero with no libido. i’ve loved women (one at a time), but never done anything. Kissing’s just to please the other person. BUT, i’ve always been curious about other GUYS’ bodies, without wanting to do anything with them (or be caught looking). The idea of me being involved in ANY sex with ANYONE is repulsive, except maybe the idea of deep close intimate sharing. Within the last few years, i’ve started remembering my childhood. Repressed for a reason! Though only CLEARLY remember one instance, now know i was serially raped by a male relative when i was between 5-7. Mostly, don’t like to be touched or anyone in my “space,” UNLESS i know them and care for them. But now have to admit i want a committed physical relationship with a man, just no sex. Oh, i’ve found that certain parts will sometimes respond (the traitors) even when my mind is repulsed; if there is something resembling… i don’t have the words – it’s not sex, and not romantic i don’t think, but that the other guy desires me as more than just a means to get off – then it’s ALMOST endurable (but it takes me too long as a result). Until it’s over. Then i’m just disgusted and embarrassed (not condemning nor judging gays though). i’ve felt like such a freak, still do. No straight man would be willing to give me what i crave, “it’s too gay;” but no gay would be willing to limit himself to the little i could do since it’s not gay enough. Anal is just plain out, period! Kissing? meh. But holding, snuggling, cuddling, touching, sharing a bed/house/life? :) i realize much of how i feel is due to abuse (verbal/mental/emotional worst of all, but also sexual). In reading some of the other comments here, i couldn’t help but wonder if POSSIBLY some others had something happen to them that they do not consciously recall, but that still colors their attraction/arousal/feelings. It’s another whole kettle of fish that i feel empty, hollow, broken, useless/worthless because i don’t have someone to care for. But reading all these comments gives me something akin to hope, that at least i’m not totalled whacked. So, as best i figure, i’m something like a gray- possibly demi-sexual homoromantic, messed up with issues? Now in my sixties, i don’t hope to meet anyone. Due to my “issues” – including indoctrination that FOR ME anything gay is the unforgiveable sin – i’d never believe anyone really wanted me, for just me. Writing this wasn’t as cathartic as i thought it would be. But i hope that the rest of you don’t wait your whole life to figure this out, as i have. There are good therapists (just haven’t met them yet), and many GREAT resources out there now that weren’t when i was young. Don’t worry about a specific label (descriptive representation of actual thing/feeling). Figure out what you want right now, what you’d be willing to put up with, and where you’d like to see yourself 10, 20, 30 years down the road. Most won’t understand the terminology, but be open and keep looking. You’ll never find it if you don’t look. Lots of icky frogs until you find your Prince – but then it will have been worth it! (Sorry it’s so verbose).

    • I’ve wondered just how my life would have been so different if the I had been exposed to this information years ago (I’m 46). Perhaps it would have made things a little smoother having these deeper understandings about myself. But, we are where we are and I’m grateful to learn and grow.

  90. Maybe I’m demisexual? I’ve only been able to have sex with people I’m in a romantic relationship with, but I’ve never been the one to initiate it. It’s not really something I think about, I think a lot of the times it was something I felt like I had to do for the other person. But I have enjoyed sex in the past. Maybe I’m somewhere on the asexual spectrum? Maybe I’m just broken and over thinking things. Idk.

  91. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this article! For years and YEARS, I thought there was something wrong with me, that I was broken and weird… I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone, and that the way I feel isn’t so unusual. This really helped me… I wish I could have read this when I was younger, but at least now at the age of 41 I don’t have to think so poorly of myself so much. I have a long road ahead to understanding and growing my self-acceptance, but this really helped.

  92. I am a 23 year old, female vergin, just to set the stage. I’ve never dated anyone and I think it’s partly because Ive yet to meet someone I can imagine myself having sex with or really kiss (more than closed mouth) but I also just never have felt like anyone is interested in me. Maybe filtering has happened and I just didn’t know. I considered myself straight for a long time but I always kind of questioned it, but didn’t see anything that fit better. After high school, I decided that bisexual with a preference for men was more accurate. I’ve never counted women out but I also never really wanted to have sex with them, not that I could tell you a man I actually wanted to have sex with (but I’ve definitely interested in the male form probs because it’s different than what I have). I considered demisexual but I kept thinking that of course I need to like someone to want to go out with them so I felt like everyone was demisexual. I realize now I didnt understand there is a distinction between -sexual and -romatic. Between fanfiction, romantic novels, porn, and etc., I definitely don’t find the concept of having sex gross for any gender. I could easily imagine other people having sex and I masturbate so I didn’t think I could ever consider myself asexual. I felt this hard to grasp concept of “sexual attraction” and sex and sexual fantasies went hand in hand. This article and the comments it has lead to have open my eyes. I never felt like I had crushes because I couldn’t imagine myself making out with anyone and I just kept telling myself it’s because I’ve never done it. Same goes for sex. I can imagine my otp going at it but when I’m thinking about me and sex the fantasy falls apart, dosen’t have any appeal. I definitly view myself as biromantic ( if that is a thing) but leaning towards heteromatic. I’d love to date someone so I have someone to play mini golf with, fall asleep next to at night, and feel connected to. After a lot of introspection, I now feel like I’m under the asexual umbrella but I don’t know if I’m quite ready to tell people I greyasexual… P.S. sorry for the long post but just felt I needed to get that all out there.

  93. I just cried out of relief just because it is so good to feel understood and to know there are other people like you out there in the world. I’ve been in a conflictual time with myself for a while now and it totally helps me. I don’t particularly like labels, but it’s crazy how it can help sometimes just to feel harmonized with yourself again.

  94. At a very young age I thought contact with another person was invasion my personal thoughts and feelings. I didn’t like to be touched. After years of struggling trying to understand myself and reason I don’t have relationship with people, I realize I’m asexual. I am not fond of animals. I but I like fish, reptiles and plants.

  95. Hey!

    It feels weird to just tell this to a bunch of strangers on the internet, but in the safety of anonymity, here goes nothing: I am 19 years old woman. Right now I am fairly unsure about everything when it comes to sexual and romantic attraction.

    I have felt attracted to someone twice. My parents occasionally ask whether I will ever fall in love, at other times they assure me that I will. I feel alienated by this idea that sex is anywhere near important. sometimes I wonder if I will ever be in a relationship at all. It’s not that I am particularly worried by this, but I would really like to experience some sort of deeper connection with someone, in a non-platonic way.

    I can imagine what that would be like- but at the the same time the concept of dating and in particular dating apps like Tinder, seems strange to me. I hardly ever feel any attraction at all, and I doubt that this would happen with strangers. On the other hand, perhaps I should just try it?

    Those two times that I felt attracted to someone, it was someone of the opposing gender (sex? I don speak this jargon very well…)- and I don’t think I’d feel the same with another woman, but again, I could imagine feeling this way for a woman without any real effort.

    The attraction was slight though. It was something of a nervous happiness. I liked being with them and they made me smile, and I guess I wanted them to like me too, quite badly- and I am usually not that concerned what others think of me. I was fine with being alone with just them, albeit a bit awkward. It wasn’t this all dizzying heart-pounding experience and they did not fill all my thoughts- just more than the usual person would.

    As with one, I got *very* turned off when I got in deeper conversation with them, because their views on life were very different from my own on subjects that I cared about a great deal. (In this case drug (ab)use. I am trying to not be judgmental, but apparently my subconscious pays no heed to that.) I went from wondering whether “this is love” to deciding that he was just a guy in a mere two days.

    I was attracted to their personality and intellect but this attraction happened within an hour of meeting them, so I wouldn’t say there was strong emotional bond. There was a connection of sorts though.

    I am unsure whether the attraction was sexual in nature- I felt my heart flutter when I was near them, I wondered what they thought about me, they made me smile- but it wasn’t that I thought about their body? The connection I felt was more to their person. And when, after deeper conversation, it turned out that I disliked something quite strongly about their person, this attraction died off almost instantly, and all I was left with was this vague echo of some sort of interest in someone I had not experienced before. I’m not sure whether I was attracted to their appearance, but I don’t think so.

    It is hard to define what you *don’t* feel, but I don’t I have ever felt a yearning for sex, and i find it rather difficult to even imagine that.

    Any thoughts on this? Please?

    Sorry if this is a bit of a messy post, I am trying to get this things straight for myself too.

  96. I have no idea where I fall in or if I do. Sometimes I experience sexual desire and it can be strong and even be there for awhile. Other times I feel no interest and there have been times when my partner has made advances and I actually felt repulsed. I’m not sure I fit in under Grey but at the same time I don’t always fit under hetero-normative either. I’ve seen the term Grey-flex used before to describe someone similar to me but other than that one time I haven’t seen it again so I’m not sure if that works either. It’s not a libido thing I’ve always been this way. I can want and enjoy sex for day, weeks, or months, and then like a switch I just ‘lose interest’ for days, weeks, or even months where I don’t feel it at all.

    • I’m not an expert (I’m just figuring out whether I’m gray-ace or not, myself), nor can I tell you how to identify. However, the cool thing about the gray-ace label is that there isn’t just one way to be grace. Some gray-aces have only experienced sexual attraction once or twice in their entire life. Others experience sexual attraction frequently, but it isn’t strong or they have no desire to act upon it. Some experience it, but only under specific circumstances. Some are sex-repulsed, some are sex-neutral, and some are even sex-positive and enjoy the experience with their partner(s). Sexuality is such a broad and complex thing that there isn’t only one right way of being (or not being) sexually attracted to someone else. I wish you the best of luck with figuring yourself out!

  97. Finding this website (and this article with all of its lovely comments) has been such an eye-opener. I don’t know how to describe how relieved I am that there are other people out there who feel the same way I do, and that there’s a label for how I feel!

    I’m a 19-year-old female who thought she was straight until about a year ago. I’d only ever had crushes on guys (or so I thought) but near the end of high school, I realized I’d had crushes on girls, too. Then I learned about pansexuality, and it clicked immediately! Fast forward two months later, I fell hard for my current boyfriend (and only partner, and first kiss, etc.) We’ve been together for a few months, and I’m very happy with him. All’s well that ends well, right?

    Except, only a week or two ago, it hit me that there was more I hadn’t realized or admitted to myself. Maybe it was talking to my boyfriend about his asexuality, maybe it was talking to my best friend who is demisexual & demiromantic, or maybe it was something else entirely. I don’t know. But I started wondering, have I ever actually experienced sexual attraction? What is that, anyway? What is it like to experience it? Is my lassiez-faire attitude about sex normal? So I Googled it.

    That’s when I realized that what I experience is not what most sexuals experience, and I’m actually closer to ace than I first thought. I rarely desire sex, and even then, it isn’t as strong as what most sexuals describe. I don’t think about sex that often, I don’t masturbate (sorry if that’s TMI) because I’m not interested and it feels awkward, and porn disgusts me. Honestly, I always just thought I was being a prude (I grew up Christian, where that kind of thing is discouraged). But there’s more. When I fantasize, it doesn’t go past making out or a bit of groping most of the time (unless it’s about fictional characters and doesn’t involve me). I’d rather skip over movie or book scenes that are erotic. I used to be repulsed by anything to do with sex, although that has finally worn off in the past few years. I’m currently sex-neutral, and while part of me wants to have sex some day, the thought of sex has always terrified me. My attitude about sex is basically, “Well, I’ve gone 19 years without it, so what’s another 19 more?”

    Long story short, reading about gray-asexuality explains so much about why I am the way I am. I’m not weird! There’s nothing wrong with me! It’s okay that I experience sexual attraction but not very often or very strong, and it’s okay that I don’t actively desire sex! There are other people out there like me! I’m just so relieved. Thanks to everyone who left their stories in the comments. (I’ve never been more grateful for my boyfriend’s asexuality than right now, because I won’t ever have to worry about him wanting sex or me not being able to fulfill him <3 I am so fortunate)

  98. I just want to leave a huge thanks for this page being here.

    Last night I went out with a guy for what I thought was just a friendly beer, but as it turns out he considered it a date and towards the end he made moves to get to sleep with me. I completely panicked, because I absolutely did not – nor do I ever really – want to have sex. He was like ‘why not’ so I told him I’m ace, because I felt like I owed him an explanation, and it seemed the simplest way to make him understand that I just don’t sleep with people if I can avoid it.

    But it also felt sort of like a lie, because I do understand sexual attraction, I just don’t want to act on it with others, so I went home all in a twist about why I’m so weird and stupid about this and why every category of sexual orientation always feels sort of off – how I’m sort of bisexual, except not, and sort of asexual, except not.

    Reading about gray-ace and all these comments made something un-clench in me, because, yes, it’s like that. I’m not weird or stupid for recognizing when someone is hot or having fantasies, and still not wanting to have sex with said hot people or make those fantasies real. I can enjoy and get aroused from kissing and touching skin and not want anyone to stick anything anywhere. That’s alright. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. I’m not alone in this. I really needed to hear that, so just thank you everyone for sharing stories and explanations.

  99. Woman here trying to figure out the long list of words . So bear with me. Do I get this right?
    I am sapio attracted & I fall in love / like people in a pan way. I feel demisexual (due to past experience) but most comfortable with grey as I feel I lean mostly to the asexual way (currently) , most def only heterosexual.
    So that makes me a sapio-panromantic who is hetero-asexual ?
    The last one is tricky for me because it feels weird labelling my sexuality when I dont have any even though I know I could never have sex with a woman.
    Gosh, that is a long sentence, but pins it correctly , so it makes me feel good and proud to have found ME. Thank you for having this site to give me the opportunity to discover it all clearly.

  100. I wanted to ask about something. I’m not really attracted to anyone, but I can like acknowledge that they look sexy/hot but other than that I dont really feel anything. So I’m not sure if I that would really be asexual or more toward grey-asexual.

    • Hello! I consider myself asexual, not in any Grey area. I can see beauty in people, but i don’t think of anyone as sexy or hot. I just see the beauty & that’s it. I don’t feel attraction at all because of the beauty. Anyway, good luck to you!

  101. I like the idea of sex but it weird me out at the same time, I wanna do it but I feel weird and kinda guilty after I do it. I use to do it because I get pleasure from my parenteral feeling pleasure but lately the idea disgusts me. idk how to tell my partner this. it’s scary to me. I want kids one day too. I am just really confused. I feel like I’m grey but I used to kinda feel sexual attraction and sometime I feel like it but when it actual comes to the act, I dont wanna do it. can anyone help me?!?!?!

  102. I thought I was asexual but when read this I figured out that I’m actually grace instead, so this was helpful in me discovering more about my orientation.

    • Good luck with your discovery. I am asexual & though i found out 16years ago, i still like to read about it. It helps me on my own journey. Congratulations to you!

  103. Hello! I’m a bit confused. I’ve never wanted to have sex with anyone I’ve met but I find people hot and get turned on by thing a lot of asexuals don’t. Would that make my grey or just ace?? Please help :)

  104. Hello! I’m sorry, I’m not in any Grey areas, but i am aroace. I don’t fall in love with real people, only fictional characters from books or movies. Fictophilia. Does this happen to anyone else here?

  105. Hi, I’m kinda on the fence of the demisexual thing. Back in highschool I never understood the appeal and felt uncomfortable when the conversations came up. Now after having my first real boyfriend in college, the majority of the time I felt uncomfortable or where I’d curl up in a ball because the intmacy (more touching and closeness) was all too overwhelming for me. But as time went on, I was starting to feel that attraction, it just took awhile. Does demisexual fit? Or was it just him being my first long-term boyfriend?

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