I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a demisexual friend years ago.
At the time, I didn’t know she was demisexual. I didn’t even know what a demisexual was.
But I did know that, unlike most of my other friends, she didn’t display obvious sexual attraction towards anyone of any gender.
Until she met John, that is.
I remember she wouldn’t stop talking about John.
She would go on and on about his amazing qualities -- how smart and kind he was and how he looked so much like a Hollywood star. As she gushed, "He’s almost too perfect to be true.”
Of all the things she said, however, one stood out.
“You know,” I said, putting down my cup of coffee, “I noticed you keep describing John as a ‘good friend’ over and over.”
“Yes,” she replied thoughtfully, twirling a spoon into her coffee, “because we are good friends.”
I almost slammed my coffee cup on the table. “Are?”
“Yes, we ‘are’ good friends,” she repeated. “What’s wrong with that?”
I didn’t reply. I wanted to point out that “friends” and “lovers” aren’t the same thing, but I had a feeling she’d be offended.
She seemed to sense my discomfort, because she said, “Ah, I’m a demisexual, you see.”
Thankfully, I resisted the urge to say “What?” outright.
Instead, I got the conversation going with, “I’m not very familiar with the term ‘demisexual,’ to be honest. But I’d love to hear more about what it’s like from you!”
Fortunately for me, she chose not to be offended or at least to ignore my discomfort at her revelation. As our conversations about the subject deepened, this is what I gathered about being a demisexual.