Negotiating Demisexual Identities: Brazilian Women’s Narratives on Demisexuality
Castañon de Carvalho, Joana
MetadataShow full item record
Demisexuality is one of the subset categories on the asexual spectrum (also called the “gray area” − a continuum that includes diverse identities based on varied levels of sexual attraction). Demisexuality is defined by Demisexuality.org as “a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond.” (Demisexuality Resource Center, n.d.) Since no articles dealing specifically with demisexuality can be found in the main academic repositories, it could be said that there is a lack of research on the discourses that construct the sexuality of people who identify with this category. Moreover, although the demisexual community seeks to dissociate itself from an image of sexual conservatism, an association is oftentimes traced between this sexual identity and the set of sexual expectations that is traditionally imposed upon women. Thus, drawing on a non-essentialist understanding of sexual identities/subjectivities and on a qualitative interpretive approach to knowledge production, I conducted in-depth semi-structured individual interviews with nine Brazilian women who identify as demisexuals in order to investigate how they discursively construct their (demi)sexualities. Based on these interviews, in the thesis I reflect upon the following questions: What role do gender and sexuality play in the lived experience of demisexuality? How do demisexual people construct meanings of gender and sexuality in their narratives about their demisexual identification?