He takes a while to get to know people before he feels comfortable with them. And when he does, he doesn’t want to jump right into bed. He wants to make sure you’re both comfortable with one another. That there’s an emotional connection first.
He’s had it up to here with a culture that links sex and disrespect. He wants to know that neither of you is walking into that particular trap. Exploiting one another. Or using sex as a weapon.
Waiting for the emotional connection started out as just a preference. A way of protecting his heart and those of the people he dated. But being that way for so many years conditioned him, and now it’s gotten so that this isn’t a preference anymore, but a requirement. Waiting isn’t optional anymore.
It can be inconvenient sometimes, especially in a culture that jokes that men will have sex with anything — even inanimate objects. The women he dates are often confused by the way he holds back just a tad. For so much longer than they’re used to.
“I keep wondering to myself, ‘does he actually like me?'” One asks me. “Sometimes it seems like it, but then why doesn’t he…”
“Try to jump you?” I say.
“That’s just the way he is,” I explain.
“Is he… demisexual or something?” Demisexual being a word for a person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction until they form an emotional connection.
“Well, kind of,” I say. “Although he doesn’t call himself that. Because he’s not sure where the choice part begins and the involuntary orientation ends.” It used to be more clear, but it’s become especially confusing as it’s shifted over time and become less of a preference.
Making matters less clear, once that emotional connection is established and he’s in a loving relationship, he’s quite a sexual person — some might even consider him oversexed. So even though the definition of demisexual doesn’t preclude an average or even overactive sexual connection with any particular person eventually, he’s never felt exactly comfortable using the label. Because he doesn’t want to misappropriate it for a purpose other than it was intended, diluting the usefulness for others who are using it to communicate who they are, how they work, and what’s important to them.
“But,” I say, “if you ask me, I’d say he’s at least semi-demisexual.”
Conversations that Follow My Semi-Demi Friend
It’s a conversation that follows him everywhere he goes. Sometimes it happens to his face. Sometimes people are more indirect and it turns out that friends (like me) are explaining the situation to a concerned party in his stead.
We’re all patiently relating over and over that he can still be quite interested in someone even if he isn’t making constant sexual advances and stressing that just because he needs to wait for feelings first that it doesn’t mean he won’t be interested in eventually having dynamite sex.
It says a lot about the culture we live in and the specific expectations it sets up for men’s sexual behavior and appetites how much convincing it takes. And how difficult it is for anyone new he meets to accept this explanation without hearing it from at least a few different sources first.