According to the Cleveland Clinic:

Demisexuality is a sexual orientation. People who identify as demisexual only feel sexual attraction to someone after they’ve formed a strong emotional bond with them. Compared to the general population, most people who are demisexual rarely feel sexual attraction. Some have little to no interest in sexual activity. Most people in the general population can feel sexual attraction regardless of whether they form an emotional bond with someone. They may feel sexually attracted to strangers or to new people they meet. But people who are demisexual don’t feel this initial sexual attraction.

Has there been any Halachic literature/responsa that's discussed this orientation? How would the laws of Yichud or Shomer Negiah, for instance, be affected by a person having this orientation? Perhaps there is not an issur yichud for such an individual with a single woman a man does not know?

  • 11
    Demisexuality just sounds like a healthy person?
    – ezra
    May 26, 2022 at 19:31
  • Without really ersearching I would say that one important detail would be in understanding if this is like a blind man, or like someone who has his eyes closed. If it can change, it might be different from if it cannot change. The truth about whether various orientations can shift (and whethe they are choices or not) is not fully resolved in many circles.
    – rosends
    May 26, 2022 at 20:24
  • 2
    Pretty sure we'd enact a lo plug (no distinction) policy. If there was a particular special case of need for someone's particular circumstances, they should consult a rabbi.
    – Shalom
    May 26, 2022 at 22:56
  • 1
    Also, for the yichud example it seems logically that demisexuality should not help- while they are alone, they could get to talking and form an emotional bond and then… might be even “worse”- stronger attraction or less likely to suppress- than for a random man and woman. As for halachic writings, it seems like this whole thing is less than 10 years old.
    – Damila
    May 27, 2022 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


Demisexuality sounds like an advantage in pursuing prishus and tahara but I don't see why it would exempt one from any halachos since we generally don't carve out exemptions for people who feel that they would be exempt from the temptation (see Shabbos 12b for an often-quote non-sexual example).

  • I mean, we do for [straight] men with each other all the time.
    – Double AA
    May 27, 2022 at 2:11
  • 1
    Is that an exception or is אינן חשודין על הזכר a rule of its own?
    – Yitzchak
    May 27, 2022 at 2:12
  • the nafka mina is gay men themselves. If you're strict with them (as is the common intuition) you ought be lenient here.
    – Double AA
    May 27, 2022 at 2:18
  • 1
    1- Is that the psak? I know that openly gay men sit in the men's section in shul 2- I'm not so sure because even if you don't want to just say that the lo plug cuts both ways, it's not like there's no chsash, you're down to the demisexual man's own judgment of who he knows well enough to be attracted to which is pretty much what gezeiros are for. (Limiting to yichud for obvious reasons)
    – Yitzchak
    May 27, 2022 at 2:27

"There is a small limb in a man: if he starves it, it is satisfied; if he satisfies it, it is hungry" (Sukkah 52b)

As Ezra said in the comment to the question, what you are describing sounds like an ideal, and a healthy person by Torah standards. If a person is holy, then they are capable of being in the presence of attractive people and not have uncontrollable arousal.

As far as I know, the answer to your first part is no, there is no discussion of people who cannot become aroused without an emotional bond. Such a situation bears no halachic significance (there is no halacha that one is required to experience arousal, the closest we will get would be responsa on עונה when one is unable to perform their duty, but presumable this will never be due to demisexuality?), so it wouldn't come up.

The reason for this is because the laws of yichud and other similar laws of intimacy are based on the idea that yichud and intimacy is an objective reality, not a subjective feeling. This is why there is no exception for being secluded with someone that one is not attracted to (See SH EH 22:1), nor is there any prohibition for being secluded with someone of the same gender that one is attracted to (although there is more to say on that latter point in responsa, which is irrelevant here). One cannot make an exception to the laws of shomer negiah even if one doesn't become aroused when one simply shakes the hand of someone of the opposite gender.

So, it is irrelevant that a demisexual has no subjective feelings of attraction in cases of yichud, shomer negia etc. It is still prohibited.

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