My name is Adam Hwang. I’m a 19 year old college student and I am demisexual.
First off, let’s get something out of the way: I love sex, every inch and drop of it. Sex is a release of tension, a key to what makes us human and a gateway into self expression. But to me, sex has become an abstract concept, despite it being the most raw and natural activity anyone could partake in.
As I’ve grown and matured, especially in my later teenage years, sex began to change for me.
For years after losing my virginity, sex was as simple as could be to me. Whether if it was with a man or a woman, I never had second thoughts about my pleasure nor did I really fathom the connection between emotions and sex. Then came college.
I saw college as an opportunity to start things from scratch. I wanted to try new things, meet new people and of course have as much sex as possible. Little did I know that these experiences would cause an awakening that I didn’t see coming.
To my surprise, hitting a “home-run” became a challenge. It felt as though a change in my body happened overnight. I cannot count how many times that an intimate experience fizzled out because I couldn’t get started. It didn’t matter how attractive I thought a person was, whenever we got to the bedroom, I just wasn’t getting excited. I lost myself in self loathing and I began to fear sex and especially commitment, despite having been in a few serious relationships and feeling as though I knew how to handle these situations mentally.
I felt like I was failing as a man because I felt I wasn’t meeting the standards of what a real man should be.
For about a year I accepted this placebo induced falsehood. Everything changed when I met a woman named Vanessa at my summer job. To make a long story short, we hit it off and went on a couple dates, it had been a long time since I felt such a connection with someone emotionally. She understood me even though I didn’t understand myself.
One night she came to my apartment and we started running singles, doubles and triples. Let me tell you, I never felt so sexually charged in a long time. This was the night I found myself. From that point on I knew what turned me on – a connection.
But what sets demisexualism apart from an individual who likes to take things slow?
Whereas most people who like to take things slow share similar qualities to a demisexual individual, their main difference comes in attraction. Sexual attraction doesn’t manifest itself until an emotional connection is strong enough. Hookups and one night stands are out of the picture. We need to completely immerse ourselves in each other’s emotions to achieve sexual interactions. This not only takes more time but also narrows down our options.
But that’s not a problem because it makes it all the more special when we find that special person. Demisexuality is a very complicated concept, but to me, it’s summarized best by the term “an eye for an eye.” If I give you my heart and you give me yours, we can fuck all night long.
Suddenly, all of the smoke had cleared. To me, great sex isn’t qualified by what I do with the person sharing my bed but rather who that person is. I always knew that there was something missing from my sex life and that was self reflection. However, even when I came to terms with my sexuality, I still couldn’t help feeling self conscious about how people would perceive my sexuality, especially my partners. I was still scared of not being the man I thought I should be rather than focusing on the man I want to be.
Since then, I’ve learned that, as a man, one of the best things you could do for yourself is to filter out what the world thinks a man should be. The manliest thing you could do is to define your masculinity through who you are as an individual. Masculinity is everything but an objective concept.
Another one of my struggles that comes with being demisexual is sometimes you can feel very restricted in relation to other peoples sex lives, especially when you are young and free. You feel like you’re being left behind because everyone else is moving forward. It’s tough finding the “one” person to truly be able to allow themselves to be not only physically and mentally involved but also emotionally, most people are hard pressed in terms of being emotionally available.
Some people just don’t like taking things slow and those people shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Being demisexual is difficult when the world is moving past you at lightspeed – but there will always be someone who is willing to slow down for you.
Photo by Gabriela Velasco.