Samantha, 17, United States
My discovery of my sexuality began in middle school, but I never could identify exactly what I was until very recently. I always got emotionally attached to friends, earning the title of the sap of the group. And my crushes only came after I befriended someone, but I thought this was normal. I thought that was how most relationships were forged, and the fact that I looked for the qualities of a best friend in a romantic partner was just me being an emotional person. I mean, who wouldn’t want a partner they could be best friends with as well?
I began to notice that I was different when high school hit, though. At 15, I had heard of porn and had seen a bit of it on the internet, but it repulsed me. It made me so uncomfortable, and it does to this day. Just typing this is making my stomach churn! I felt like it was immoral, and the idea of any partners looking at porn felt like betrayal. This was when my friends started saying I was different. Not only did I hate porn, but I didn’t want a partner to watch it… which my friends deemed weird and controlling.
As my friends matured, I felt almost left behind. They would discuss how much they wanted to bang celebrities, or their fantasies of threesomes and one night stands. All I could think of was how much I felt that went against every opinion I had on sex and love. I felt that sex meant nothing without love, and the idea of casual sex made me feel terrible, like it was tearing up my soul. There were a lot of times where I felt misunderstood and that I was weird and immature. People talked of high school and college like it was a place to experiment a bunch before finding that “right person” to settle down at age 28, but my thoughts on dating were never casual. I wanted an emotionally intimate relationship, not a new fling every other week.
From then on, I felt very insecure and started on a road to self discovery. I had already started to notice I was not heterosexual, so I identified as pansexual. My justification, though, was that I could fall in love with anyone. I did not realize that there was a difference between pansexual and panromantic. Like many, the great world of Tumblr opened my eyes to the myriad of orientations a person can identify as. I knew most of the terms by then, but I came across the term “demisexual” for the first time around one year ago.
After doing some research, the relief I experienced was unprecedented. It was like everything suddenly came into focus. I found people exactly like me. People who could tell me that what I felt was normal and not the product of sexual immaturity or being too emotional. I could finally embrace what I had always been: a panromantic demisexual. I was someone who felt differently from a sexually-charged society because I was not charged completely sexually.
Coming out was easy, although my family in particular just said I was trying to make myself into a special snowflake. They just didn’t understand that what I felt was significantly different from them, and they believed I was just sexually immature and would develop over a longer period of time. My friends and partner, however, have been much more accepting. My partner especially has been loving and supportive. Personally I feel my discovery of my identity has made our sex life much more fulfilling. He now understands why porn bothers me so much, and we can have a frankly open conversation on our sexualities. Being in a relationship with a partner who is not demisexual has its distinct issues, but I found that compromise and complete communication is the key to success like in most relationships.
While the great discovery has helped me quite a bit, my story does not end here. It’s still being told everyday as I run into the obstacles of being demisexual in a sex-oriented society. But now that I have a reason as to why I feel the way I do, I can now approach these challenges in a new light: that I can’t change. I am who I am, and what I feel is not wrong. While problems will arise in the near and distant future, I am so thankful for communities such as this telling me I’m not alone and that the troubles I will face are not isolated to my situation. I know I can pursue life comfortably in my demisexual identity.