Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#1
Hey Everyone, 

The main protagonist in a story I'm working on is a demi-sexual male and I'm having a difficult time writing a sexuality that isn't my own.

I've done some internet "research" and while his sexuality isn't a main point in the story it does direct some of his decisions throughout.

So any tips on how to write a demi-sexual character would be much appreciated, or even tips on how to write a sexuality other than your own. 

Feel free to ask any questions as well, since I'm fumbling around a little I understand if more clarification is required. 

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#2
I'm not demisexual myself, but hopefully I can help. In general, if you're writing about an identity other than your own, a good question to ask is how that identity is seen in the world of the story. Is it accepted as normal or looked down upon? How well known is it? Would the term for that identity in real life (in this case, 'demisexual') exist in your setting?

For example, if you were writing this in a modern-day Earth setting, the people around your character might see him as weird for being way less likely to experience attraction than them. 'Demisexual' is also not a well-known identity in real life. Your character's peers may confuse him for something else ("Is he gay or something?") or question if there's something wrong with his capacity to love. If your character ever mentions that he's demisexual, his peers are going to need an explanation of what that means unless they A) are way deep into LGBT+ spaces, or B) know some other demisexual. Your character might not know that he's demisexual. But as I said before, this is just if you're writing in a setting where people have similar views as modern-day Earth.

The rest is mostly knowing what your character's personality and circumstances are. Would he think that there's something wrong with him? Would he think other people are weird for experiencing attraction more often? Would he just not care and live his own life? Since it's not a big part of the story, you don't have to make it a big, soul-searching thing, but knowing the answers to these questions can help you flesh out his thoughts if ever the topic of romance or sex ever comes up. For example, if someone offers him a harem of girls/guys/[whoever he's attracted to], he probably wouldn't be swayed by it since he wouldn't be attracted to most of the group, if any.

Do you care that your readers know for sure that this character is demisexual? If not, then the advice above should be good for now. If so, then things get a little tricky depending on what you're going for. Some identities you can hint around at without getting too into detail. If a female character is attracted to another woman or a male character to another guy, a reader will get that they're gay without it having to be said. With something like demisexual, your readers are probably gonna assume your character is straight unless you get more specific about his experience.

Hope this helps!

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#3
Does the MC know he's demi-sexual?  That tends to make a big difference in how people think od themself and others.  Someone who doesn't realize they are demi-sexual is probably going to think of others as perverts and horndogs, and may think of themself as having more refined taste or a more proper business-focused or scholarship-focused or religion-focused attitude.  Sometimes a character like thus will panic and lash out against anything/anyone that does manage to make them feel arousal.  OR, sometimes a demisexual virgin will just assume they will fall in love with the first person who asks them out or is presented to them as a marriage candidate... but it just doesn't happen.

On the other hand, a person who understands themself as demisexual may be more focused on the problem-solving aspect of how to give themselves opportunities to fall in love with someone without that someone being an uninterested or unavailable friend.  Or trying to fall out of love with someone unavailable or who they think is inappropriate.  Then there is the issue of whether they want to become a parent...

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#5
Forsaken Wrote: Hey Everyone, 

The main protagonist in a story I'm working on is a demi-sexual male and I'm having a difficult time writing a sexuality that isn't my own.

I've done some internet "research" and while his sexuality isn't a main point in the story, it directs some of his decisions on.

So any tips on how to write a demi-sexual character would be much appreciated, or even tips on how to write a sexuality other than your own. 

Feel free to ask any questions as well, since I'm fumbling around a little I understand if more clarification is required.

Hi, I'm demi. And this is quite simple! I don't feel attracted to looks, I can't feel attraction if I don't bond with someone. It is that same bond that is attractive (makes us horny). The more the bond, connection, and even falling in love makes, the more attraction goes to the roof. The culture of hookups doesn't do a thing. We can have sex with people without a bond, but the aftermath is horrible. 
You would feel empty and soiled, if that makes sense. My mind makes a strange reaction if I sleep with someone with no connection. My brain falls in love for me. It works for a couple of weeks, and then I lose interest, and the aftermath kick harder.

So I would expect your character to be attracted to smell, voice, or how the hands move. The wording, ideas and reaction the other person has. Also, demonstration of affection and words of affirmation would be good instruments to attract that character. 

And remember, the more in love, the stronger the connection the horniness grows.

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#6
That is SUPER helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand.

This will go a long ways to helping me right authentic characters that don't ride certain stereotypes. 

As for "empty and soiled," yes I think I can understand that feeling and the reasoning behind it. I think the sensory items you mentioned will go a long way in helping me write a character who may not be fully self-aware, but still show how a connection and love interest can build over time. 

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#7
Forsaken Wrote: That is SUPER helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand.

This will go a long ways to helping me right authentic characters that don't ride certain stereotypes. 

As for "empty and soiled," yes I think I can understand that feeling and the reasoning behind it. I think the sensory items you mentioned will go a long way in helping me write a character who may not be fully self-aware, but still show how a connection and love interest can build over time.

If you have any further questions, feel free to private message me. I'm more than glad to be at service.

Re: Any tips on writing a demi-sexual character?

#8
Not demi-sexual, but I am aroace, and both fall under the same general umbrella so perhaps a few experiences of mine might be helpful or serve as inspiration. 

I think the most humorous thing that happened in highschool with my sexuality was trapping myself in a mental catch-22 once. I was under the impression that dating was something you did exclusively with people you liked. But I didn't like anyone, so I wasn't interested in dating. But when I told people my age this, they told me that dating was how you got to know someone, and whether you liked them. But dating was definitely something you only did with people you liked-- etc, etc, you can see the circles my brain ended up going in here. 

Furthermore, can back up what sunandshadow said. I didn't know that asexuality existed until I was maybe 17, and even then it took me about a year to realize I was asexual. Before that, I went through a number of assumptions about my sexuality, or the concept of sexuality in general. There was certainly a period where I thought I was just attracted to intelligence or interesting personalities, and that no one at my school met my standards, which was why I wasn't attracted to any of them. May have encouraged my teenage self's 'edgy loner' tendencies. Many times where I assumed a fictional pairing hated each other because they wouldn't stop screaming and arguing, and got annoyed and confused that physical appearance and attraction was the only thing necessary to make a relationship work. (To this day I still dislike that trope... ugh.) Several times when I wondered why people had such a hard time waiting until marriage for sex, and at least one period when I assumed that sexual attraction was wildly hyperbolized in books, probably because the author was being lazy, since I'd never felt anything like that. 

Again, it's not the exact same orientation, so it won't be the exact same experience, but I hope that may have also given you some insight on what might be going through your character's head. Also open to PMs if you have any questions.