Scorpio Midheaven: Own Your Sex
Sometimes labels can be hurtful.
When a description of your sexuality is projected upon you from the outside world without your consent, it can cause emotional damage and self-resentment. Words like "slut," "whore," or even "prude" are outside simplifications of qualities and preferences that are way more complex than one word can convey. However, if you choose the labels yourself, carefully selecting words that resonate with you to the core, then labels become your power. Your sexuality can be as unique as your thumbprint and as complex as your astrological profile, its all a matter of finding the right words to describe your internal state to the outside world.
Personally, I’m obsessed with self definition. Blame it on the Seventeen quizzes of my youth or the rows and rows of self-help and psychology texts on my adult bookshelf, but I thoroughly enjoy discovering comprehensive and accurate categorizations to define the unique cocktail of energy that I bring to the world.
Recently, I discovered a label so powerful that it completely transformed my sex life, or at least the way i PERCEIVED it.
Like most great discoveries, I happened upon it by accident. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Loveline with Amber Rose (a podcast I highly recommend for anyone who considers themselves sexually evolved). I don’t even remember what the topic of this particular episode was, but at some point the divine Ms. Rose went off topic to share that despite her high sex drive while in a relationship she has little interest in sex when she's not involved with a particular person. Her co-host, sex therapist Dr. Chris Donahue, took in that information and responded that there is term for that kind of sexuality: demi-sexual.
Something made me stick this newfound vocabulary word in the back of my mind and look it up later that evening. What I found was a description of dating behavior patterns so relatable that it was like reading an entry from my own diary.
For a brief definition, demi-sexual is considered somewhere on the scale of asexuality. It’s not that demi-sexuals have no interest in sex whatsoever, it’s that they require an established relationship of trust and connection to turn that switch on. Because of this interesting sexual quirk, there are a few scenarios the demi-sexual finds familiar:
1. Demi-sexuals often end up in romantic relationships with already established friends.
Because sexual arousal is a part of the process of pairing off, it makes sense that demi-sexuals usually fall for the people in their life that they've already established a sense of trust with. This means that an acquaintance that may not have turned the demi-sexual's head upon first meeting can suddenly become a contender for dating by opening a window of trust over time. My high school boyfriend can certainly attest to this sudden transition.
2. They can find themselves in confusing sexual situations with friends they have no interest in dating.
There's a reason Joey and Phoebe never got together on FRIENDS. Some friendships, even between two people attracted to one another's gender, are never meant to be romantic. However, since the demi-sexual's main requirement for arousal is trust, this can lead to some confusing impulses towards companions who, for all logical reasons, should remain platonic. Contrary to the romantic comedy cliche, best friends don't always make the perfect romantic partners. This is often a lesson that demi-sexuals struggle to learn over time, but once they do they'll find it much easier to keep their social circle drama-free and in tact.
3. Modern Dating can be damn near impossible for demi-sexuals.
You know where it's really hard to establish a connection of trust? Swiping left & right on Tinder. This was perhaps the most freeing realization for me from this particular moment of self-definition. Having exited my last serious relationship around the time dating apps became a craze, I've struggled for years with the entire concept. To a demi-sexual, the idea that you must decide your attraction to someone based on a photo and (if you're lucky) a few profile sentences, is incredibly anxiety-inducing. Meanwhile the modern bar scene isn't much better (particularly for a non-drinker like myself), where you're expected to reach a state of arousal for someone based on a brief exchange shouted over loud music. These are not ideal occasions for establishing a deep connection or trust with anyone, therefore a demi-sexual's arousal switch usually remains in the off position.
4. Demi-sexuals often find themselves mistakenly labeled as "prudish" or "frigid."
This is one misconception that I've found myself fighting tooth & nail for most of my life. Personally, I consider myself a highly sexual person. I've worked for years to be fully and completely comfortable with my sexuality (after all, there's a reason I started this blog) and I often crave sex more often than my partners, but I have absolutely no interest in casual sex. Some (less evolved) encounters over the years have assumed that this disinterest means I have some sort of judgement or discomfort around my sexuality. This could not be more untrue. I believe that everyone has a right to express their arousal in whatever beautiful, authentic way they choose. However, there are very few casual sex circumstance in which trust is both fully established and honored. Therefore, it makes it very hard for a demi-sexual to want to dive on in.
There are so many terms out there to describe the complex and beautiful circumstance of one's sexuality. This is just one of mine, but discovering it helped me to not only feel less alone, but to also put aside years of self-judgement from feeling like a bit of an anomaly.
I encourage you, no matter what your preferences, to get curious about your sexuality (and to get curious about the sexuality of others). Seek out labels that make you feel empowered, understood, and less alone. Before you know it, the world will be able to rattle off their sexual degree with the same accuracy of their sun, moon, & rising sign.