A woman has come out as demisexual after struggling to identify within herself for twenty-three years.
Writing for the HuffPost, Amanda Finn explained how she is "attracted to a person's personality and not their physical appearance."
But, it took her a long time to realise this.
Growing up, Amanda described herself as feeling "broken" because when her "friends always talked about a celebrity being hot, she didn't understand how they felt."
"I have never looked at a famous person, a friend, or a stranger and thought 'wow, you're sexy.' Not once. I had crushes, sure, but they never had to do with someone's appearance. I thought other people were cute only after I developed feelings for them because of their personality," she wrote.
"There was no inkling of sexual or physical attraction to people I didn't know very well even after puberty."
Now, as an adult, Amanda understands why because she now realizes what demisexuality is.
"I'm attracted to someone only after I develop a deeper emotional connection with them. I can count on one hand the number of men I've kissed in my life or have even been attracted to and I have no problem with that number. In no way do I feel that I've missed out because, to my body's inclination, I'd much rather have a 7-hour long conversation with someone than be physically intimate with them," she explained.
"The best way to describe it is I am attracted to a person's personality, not their physical appearance."
Amanda explained that for a "sexual person, there can be an immediate spark with another person when they first meet" and for "asexual people, those sparks tend not to happen at all, even after time passes."
But for her, she has only "ever gotten that butterflies in the stomach feeling when I've known someone really well, and we've both shown romantic interest in one another."
Amanda had her first understanding of attraction aged sixteen with her first boyfriend.
"I had never wanted to kiss anyone before. He made me feel seen, beautiful and understood. For the first time in my life, someone was really invested in who I was to my very core and wanted to know everything about me. My first kiss was during a movie. He leaned in close to me, and suddenly my stomach was in knots. I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame, and it felt as natural as breathing. Everything my friends had been talking about now made sense. The more I got to know him, the more beautiful he became in my eyes."
Following their break-up 6 years later, Amanda began to question everything about her sexuality, but fortunately she had "amazing friends to confide in about these feelings."
"They told me my feelings were normal, and they told me about asexuality, a few told me about their own asexuality. 'I'm not asexual,' I'd retort. 'I do feel attraction, it's just very rare'."
"That's asexuality too, they'd explain. Like so much else, sexuality is a spectrum. They told me I sounded like a demisexual, someone who exists in between asexuality and sexuality, someone who needs a strong emotional bond to feel attraction."
It was then when Amanda felt relief as she "finally knew how to explain myself to other people."
After understanding her demisexuality, Amanda "tried to meet people and seek out that feeling of attraction again."
Using dating websites, she "spent a lot of time reading profiles, getting to know a guy before messaging them. I put a lot of time into reading through their likes and dislikes, and wondering if I would consider being their friend before I connected with them. Online dating gave me the opportunity to get to know someone before even considering a date with them."
Amanda had a few unsuccessful dating attempts, until eventually, she met the man she has now married.
"By the time we met, we'd been messaging for a week, and I was very upfront about being demi - 'Just so you know, I'm demisexual. I'm only attracted to people I have a deep emotional connection with'," I told him.
"He was the first person I ever kissed that gave me that butterflies feeling. When I have that random dream about having a new relationship or fling, oddly enough, it's always with him. I never had those dreams before I met him."
As their relationship grew, Amanda learnt more about herself and her demisexuality as she became "more open to the idea of identifying that way."
"Little by little, I've told friends as it seemed appropriate, and I've found it's often something they have not heard of or are curious about. I'm grateful that, just like the wonderful man I married, it hasn't changed how they've reacted to me. I'm especially grateful that it hasn't stopped anyone from spilling their guts about crazy weekends," she wrote.
"Demi or not, I'm still me."