Megasexuality: The Identity of A Slut


I’m a slut. Slutty McSlutterson over here. I’ll sleep with just about anyone who piques my interest. Kidding (but not really). In reality, I identify as a megasexual.

Dr. Liz Powell and I coined the term “Megasexual“ at our panel “Actually, it *is* About the Sex” during Atlanta Poly Weekend 2015. We defined Megasexual as:

Megasexuals are characterized as individuals who lack emotional connection toward any person or persons unless they first form a strong sexual connection with someone. The level of sexual connection it takes for an emotional bond to form is often dependent on the initial attraction to the person. It is an orientation that is not chosen but often discouraged due to sex-negative attitudes.

Megasexuality is often discouraged due to sex-negative attitudes, and can frequently leave megasexuals feeling frustrated when they are involved in long-term relationships where their partner prefers to form an emotional connection before a sexual connection.

Mega- is a prefix meaning “great”. This is to indicate that a megasexual does not feel an emotional connection to someone with whom they do not share great sex.

I’m a megasexual in that I often cannot experience romantic feelings for someone I don’t have a sexual connection with. I can love someone deeply (and I have a few people I love dearly) but I’m not in love with them in the ways that I am with partners I’m having sex with. When I have had sex with those people I love dearly and deeply, often times romantic feelings follow. Many of the people I catch feels for become dear friends though, even if the sex is on point.

Whew! That was a lot, so let’s break it down.

“I’m a megasexual in that I often cannot experience romantic feelings for someone I don’t have a sexual connection with.”

– This is something that doesn’t really happen to me! Once or twice I’ve found romantic feelings for someone I don’t have a sexual connection with, but it’s so rare that I can count it on one hand.

I can love someone deeply (and I have a few people I love dearly) but I’m not in love with them in the ways that I am with partners I’m having sex with.

– I have some great friends. People I love so much who I don’t have sex with. Some of my absolute best friends I love deeply. There are some people in my life that I’d move mountains for, but I’m not in love with them. I don’t have the same kind of emotions I have as I do for the partners I’m having sex with, or even the partners I’ve had sex with (we’ll come back to this point later).

When I have had sex with those people I love dearly and deeply, often times romantic feelings follow.

– This doesn’t always happen! Sometimes the sexual connection still isn’t there for me. Sometimes the sex isn’t great and that’s why. Sometimes we’re just mismatched, or something feels off. But for whatever reason, those romantic feelings almost always follow sex.

Many of the people I catch feels for become dear friends though, even if the sex is on point.

– Going back to the point about partners I’ve had sex with not having the same emotional status as my partners I’m currently having sex with, this is important. Sometimes, people, I’ve had sex with just become friends. More than one of my closest friends are people who I once had sex with, and was in love with, and now I love dearly. Just not in the same way.


Hang on though, you just said you can’t feel emotional feelings unless you have sexual feelings for them?

– For me, emotional connection and romantic connection are similar and overlapping, but different.

 

But Rebecca! You’re obviously just lying to people to fuck them.

– No, not really. I mean, I know some fucking cool people who I want to have sex with. Many cool people, in fact. But I don’t lie to them. I share my information up front, and I let them know that I can’t make any promises about our emotional connection until after sex.

Yeah but this sounds like an excuse for cis-men to be predatory as FuCk.

– This is a great point! For some women* this is really freeing. This can be a really great term to reclaim our sexuality, an identity that we can speak to that helps us articulate some freedom. For men, this can be a suggestion of predatory behavior, very similar to when a guy mentions that they’re polyamorous.

Don’t take it from me, a cis-woman. Kevin Patterson of PolyRoleModels and Love’s Not Color Blind says:

Honestly…I just don’t talk about it. I skip out on interactions that don’t form that connection early. The lack of enthusiastic sex reads as dangerous to me. So I toss a smoke grenade and vanish. Men aren’t viewed as having sexual autonomy in the same way as women. We’re always supposed to want it. It’s all we’re supposed to want. So, an explanation of megasexuality is often seen as men just slutting it up as usual. Promiscuous guys being promiscuous guys, “sexually aggressive guys”.

Why do you say some women with an asterisk?

– There are a lot of women, specifically women of color, who are hypersexualized from an early age and may not have the same relationship to this identity. As a white cis-woman, I am very privileged to be in a space where I can openly identify as megasexual.

I asked Kevin if he thought some of the pushback against his megasexuality was because he was a person of color and he said:

Probably. The hypersexual black man (Mandingo) is a popular trope and has been for centuries. Also, pop culture by way of hip hop is very much into fucking everything that moves.

How do we make it easier for the cis-men?

– This is great, and not a question that gets asked on this blog ever very often Trying to create and cultivate a culture of healthy sexual expression that helps to alleviate toxic masculinity is important. There’s no real win here for cis-men, other than creating more knowledge and understanding of megasexuality. It’s sort of a “trust but verify” thing.

When I asked Kevin about all of this he told me:

I had a whole conversation with someone where I related megasexuality and all she heard was “cheating ass dudes”. This was with a sex educator.

Clearly, we all have some work to do.


Okay, but what happens when you stop fucking someone?

– What, you thought you’d trick me here? Sometimes my feelings morph into something more platonic. Deep and loving, but not romantic. Rarely, I maintain a romantic relationship with someone I’ve seen long-term, but often because we’re able to find a way to connect in other ways. I can’t create that romantic, emotional connection with someone without sex, but if the sex creates that connection, I can usually keep it up.

Kevin says:

We have to sort of re-evaluate the relationships because there’s a lot of little nitpicky things. I’m pretty chill, I’m easygoing, and I’m good at letting stuff go, and then when that aspect of the relationship leaves all of a sudden it’s like the way you chew your gum is annoying now, in a way that it wasn’t. You know, the little jabs you make in the name of humor all of a sudden go from humorous to insulting. It weighs down the relationship because there’s no way to really rebuild. We aren’t rebuilding that connection on a regular basis like we were, and so all the other stuff that connection overrides becomes more important.


Okay, but this seems really shitty towards ace folks. So how do you fix that?

– Like most things, every megasexual is different. I’m not the Lorax of megasexuals, and I won’t pretend to speak for us all. For me, I am happy to date ace folks, but it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to have a successful relationship with someone who is sex adverse. I need that touch in all of my romantic relationships and someone who is uninterested or completely against that would just not be compatible with me. I’m not against relationships with ace folks, but it would require a lot of negotiation and discussion beforehand.

Kevin on the other hand says:

In dating ace folks it’s something that has to be addressed early. Like “hey this is my sexuality” so I know where to set expectations, and then at the same time I’ve got to establish a different set of bonding methods. Sort of “How are we going to build this connection? How are we going to forge this connection if my standard way of forming a connection is not an option?” If that’s not on the table, sort of just what are we doing, figuring that out, and the relationship has gotta be there in a different way, the connection has gotta be formed in a different way, and in a way that doesn’t infringe on either partner. Thus, polyamory.

So you’re saying that someone needs to fuck you?

– No! I’m not going to force someone into having sex with me. I’m not going to dismiss the possibility of relationships with ace folks either. I’m never going to force someone to be attracted to me or want to have sex with me, or seek a relationship with me. I will say I would be terribly hurt if someone who was on the ace spectrum did something they didn’t want to do because they wanted to connect with me. Don’t lie to me about your attraction because you want to see if we have a connection. That would just hurt us both.

How does it feel for people on the other end?

-Great question! I asked the miraculous demisexual Chrissy Holman a singular question: What is it like dating someone who is a megasexual. Here’s what she had to say:

So for me, I’m a demisexual, demiromantic queer person. I need an emotional connection before I experience sexual and/or romantic attraction to another person. That isn’t temporally based, as I’ve had one sudden connection on all three levels simultaneously, but for the most part, I need to get to know someone before sexual and romantic feels develop.

I date people all over the sexual spectrum. When I was doing research for an ace workshop, I asked a few of my partners that lean sexual and megasexual if they noticed any difference between me and people who identified as sexual or megasexual. The answer was surprisingly no! They all said they were quite surprised by this, as they either expected me to not be into sex at all, to not have a sex drive and to not be kinky. One partner told me he was shocked at how voracious I was and that made me giggle. I enjoy sex with people with whom I’m emotionally connected. Some folx are sex-repulsed and I hold space for them and megasexuals alike. I have an ace and aro partner, too. That to me is more different than my megasexual partners since there is little to no physical activity.

The only major difference I notice with my demisexual partners vs. my megasexual partners is the initial discussion and negotiation. I think some of this is mitigated by being polyamorous and a relationship anarchist, as we write our own script and if our emotional connection takes time to develop, they have other partners. I’m not their only source of sexual connection, so we wind up meeting somewhere in the middle. We build friendship, they have sexual feels, I have emotional feels, then they develop emotional feels and I develop sexual feels and BAM. We are on the same page.

I do have a megasexual partner who I had sex with pretty quickly but we had been friends online for quite some time. The connections were already there when we met. I also have a megasexual partner who I haven’t had sex with yet but we are emotionally attached at the hip and the love is strong.

I can tell you my sexuality has nada to do with my drive. Ace people can have sex drives and my sex drive is pretty average. Overall though, I find no major differences between my mega and demi partners. I find the biggest differences between me and my queerplatonic partners.

Okay, well, what happens if I identify as a megasexual and don’t want to be having sex?

– Does a bisexual stop bisexual-ing if they’re in a monogamous relationship? NO. I’ve encountered a few times in my life when various life circumstances have left me with little sex drive. This didn’t make me any less of a megasexual. Sure, at some point I might have to re-evaluate my identity, but… I do that all the time!

Do megasexuals have tons of group sex?

-I mean… some of us are? The closest to group sex I get most days is masturbating next to my textbooks. Some megasexuals are monogamous, some are polyamorous, some are straight, bisexual, gay. This might be a newer concept, but there are probably so many of us out there that don’t really have a name for it!


As always, thank you to the indomitable Dr. Liz Powell for co-defining this amazing word with me. A special thank you to Chrissy Holman for sharing her story. Finally, a huge thank you to Kevin Patterson for his words on this post! Please visit Kevin’s blog Poly Role Models for great updates on cool polyamorous people, support his Patreon, and BUY HIS FUCKING BOOK.

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