For Partners

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that your partner has come out to you as demisexual, and you’d like to understand them better. You deserve kudos for finding yourself here and educating yourself on demisexuality. You’re on the right track to helping them feel supported and being a good ally.

Can demisexuals be in romantic relationships with non-demisexuals?

Yes, there are plenty of mixed relationships like this which are successful. As with any relationship, it takes compatibility and lots of communication to find out what works for both partners.

How can you have a relationship with little to no sex?

Sex just isn’t necessary for everyone. Some demisexuals don’t care for it at all. Consider the difference between a friend with benefits and a significant other—romantic attraction, platonic attraction, emotional intimacy, non-sexual physical intimacy, and the many other aspects of a loving, committed relationship. That’s what makes it a relationship, and distinguishes this kind of relationship from others. Cuddling, sharing interests and goals, and talking about hopes and fears are some of the many ways one can experience intimacy.

What should I do if I think my partner is demisexual?

Demisexuality is a little-known orientation, so it’s possible that your partner has never heard of it. One method is to bring up demisexuality in a related conversation (perhaps about another LGBT+ topic, such as same gender marriage or pride parades) and see how your partner reacts. The conversation might go in a useful direction from there.

I would advise against insisting that your partner is demisexual. They might think you are accusing them of being broken or different in a way that they do not want to be. An oft-repeated sentiment in the asexual community is that only individuals can label themselves.

What do I do if I feel upset that my partner doesn’t reciprocate my sexual attraction?

Understand that your partner still loves and cares for you. Demisexuals may have the same level of deep romantic and/or platonic feelings as other people, and your partner still cares about the intimacy in your relationship. Your partner may still find you attractive in other ways, and you can ask them this if you want specific reasons.

My partner masturbates, but doesn’t want to have sex with me. Why?

Some demisexuals who have libidos may prefer to satisfy themselves, and may see sex as a different activity entirely, done for different reasons. They might be okay with masturbating, but feel repulsed by or indifferent towards sex. The best way to know is to ask your partner.

What will my partner do or not do with me?

This depends on the individual. Demisexuals all have different opinions on cuddling, kissing, oral sex, sex, etc. so you’ll have to ask your partner how they feel about different activities. Communication is critical. If you’re not sure of exactly how your partner feels about something, ask them, and if they aren’t sure themselves, consider using a safe word so they can use it if they feel uncomfortable during a sensual/sexual situation.

What do I do if my partner does not want to have sex with me?

Communication can help ease many situations in which a couples’ sexual needs are different. If your partner absolutely does not want to have sex, please do not pressure them. It is up to you to decide how important sex is to you in your relationship—some people will want to stay, and some people will want to leave. It’s not anyone’s fault if the relationship doesn’t work out, and it’s okay if sex is important to you. Your relationship needs are just as valid as those of your partner.