When I was about 12-13, I had this amazing friend.
She had this cool goth/anime aesthetic about her, and she was such a fun person to be around.
Every time I was around her, I would light up, and I thought I was falling in love.
That was when I started to question my sexuality.
Up until that point, I had only had crushes on guys and didn’t think much of it.
But her…, she made my world spin.
Nowadays, I only feel sexually attracted to men and have yet to meet another woman who made my world turn upside down like she did (except for Margot Robbie).
Sexuality is as complicated and as fluid as the ocean (I know, poor analogy).
It changes over time, and it pulls in different directions at some points while simultaneously pushing towards others.
Sexuality is often not discussed in sex ed. curriculum leaving 12-year-olds (like myself) confused about their sexuality, leading them to ask people who aren’t educated on the subject.
In today’s blog post, we will talk about sexuality: what it is, why there are so many, and why it is essential to talk about it.
The last thing I want is another teenager being told that bisexuality does not exist and that they are confused.
Definition of Sexuality
If you have read any of my other blog posts, you know how much I love starting with definitions.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines sexuality as “a person’s identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are typically attracted [to].”
Now let’s go a little bit deeper:
Sexuality and sexual orientation (often used interchangeably) are umbrella terms used to describe the attraction a person feels towards different genders and how they express that attraction (whether it be sexually or romantically).
Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Everyone Is A Little Gay!
Now, what does it mean when someone says that sexuality is on a spectrum?
It implies that sexuality ranges on a scale and that it is not fixed as so many people preach it is.
It is fluid and can change throughout a person’s life.
For example, a person may identify as bisexual but have a stronger preference for women over men or vice versa.
It is critical to remember that sexuality cannot be defined by the person someone is dating.
Just because a bisexual girl dates a guy, it does not mean she is any less bisexual.
Models Used Throughout History
Now the debate of sexuality and whether or not it is binary has been around for decades.
To define sexual fluidity, over 200 different scales have been developed.
Now I will not go over all 200 scales because, hell, I don’t even know them.
But I will quickly go over the three most commonly used scales.
- The Kinsey Scale
- It describes sexuality on a spectrum with binary absolutes.
- Binary absolutes refer to the idea that on either end of the scale, someone is either completely heterosexual or completely homosexual, but most people fall somewhere in between.
- The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid
- This model takes into account bisexuality. This model asks participants to rate seven aspects of sexuality in 3 different categories (past, present, future).
- The aspects that are asked to be rated range from sexual attraction to identification.
- If you want to read more, click here!
- Storms Sexuality Axis
- This model tries to define asexuality while using a graph.
- I don’t really understand it but if you want to read more, click here!
I pointed out these models to show you that sexuality has been an enigma throughout history, and try as they may, science has yet to find a way to define it in all of its glory.
The last model that I want to point out is called the Gender Unicorn.
This is my favorite model because it explains sexual orientation, gender identity, and biological sex on a spectrum.
It is easy to follow and entertaining to use!
To read more, click here!
Why Are There So Many Different Sexualities
Since sexuality is on a spectrum, this indicates that there can be (and are) an infinite amount of sexual orientations.
There are so many because people have the capacity to love multiple people.
As our society becomes more advanced, new terms surrounding sexuality are constantly being added to our everyday language.
As MBG Relationships puts it, “New sexualities are NOT being INVENTED; rather, people are creating new language to describe nuances of sexual attraction and behavior that have always existed.”
So, different sexual orientations have always existed.
We just now have names for them.
These new terms work to help individuals better understand themselves and find like-minded people who are going through the same thing.
The experience of sexual discovery can be an isolating one, so why not find people who can support you?
Related Article: 12 Common Sex Myths You Have Definitely Heard
Why Is It Important?
At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “Okay, sexuality is fluid, and people can love more than we thought. But why do we need so many different terms to describe it? It’s confusing!”
I get it.
You like someone, and that should be the end of it.
And I think that’s where my privilege as a heterosexual (with bi energy) cis-gender woman shows.
Not everyone has the privilege to easily identify how they feel for someone, let alone be accepted by society with no pushback.
Sexual orientation makes up such a big part of our lives.
It’s how we identify and present ourselves to the world.
It’s how we love and experience relationships with ourselves and the people around us.
To not be able to describe how you feel towards someone or have people look at you crazy because the vocabulary that exists does not serve you can be so lonely.
These new terms can be overwhelming, but that’s just because it is new.
As our society grows and warms up to the idea that sexuality is fluid, these terms will become second nature.
And like I said above, these terms help people navigate through their sexual and romantic feelings.
Most importantly, they help people find communities that they can share this experience with.
Sexual orientation is not one-size-fits-all, so people must have space and time to figure it out.
And if you feel like none of the existing terms define you, or you don’t want to limit your sexuality, that’s cool too!
Just do what feels right to you because it’s nobody’s god damn business who you love.
What Is My Sexuality?
Now you may be questioning your sexuality, or something has come up that has made you want to rethink some things.
Either way, you are here, and I am going to do my best to gently nudge you in the direction that makes sense to you.
While I can’t make up a test that will tell you what your sexuality is (maybe BuzzFeed has one), I can compile the best questions to ask yourself to get a sense of where you lie on the sexuality spectrum.
Now, these are not scientific questions.
These are just ones that I have developed from personal experience and watching multiple tiktoks of people talking about their sexuality.
Ready? Let’s begin.
- What gender do you feel romantically attracted to?
- What gender do you feel sexually attracted to?
- Are you romantically and sexually attracted to the same gender?
- Can you see yourself having a sexual or romantic relationship with someone who identifies as a man, woman, or non-binary?
- Is it necessary to you that the person you are dating be of the opposite sex?
- Do you care if someone has the same sexuality as you, or can it be different from yours?
- Ex: You are straight, but the person you date is bisexual.
- What type of porn do you enjoy? And who do you focus on?
- When you are having sex, do you enjoy the full experience, or are you counting the minutes until it is over?
In our society, we have tried to make everything black and white.
Something is either good or bad.
You are either on one end of the spectrum or another but not in-between.
So, figuring out your sexuality can be difficult in a black and white society because it is a grey area.
It is right in the middle.
And unfortunately, instead of nurturing and supporting individuals who are trying to navigate their way through the grey, society shuts them down.
We pretend that the grey does not exist, and if they make a noise, we ridicule them and push them to the edge of society.
And it is horrible.
Demoralizing individuals because we do not understand where they are coming from is wrong.
Whatever your sexuality is or isn’t, we as a society need to learn to be respectful and supportive.
Sexuality is a beautiful thing, and as long a people explore it in a safe, consensual manner, we should be open to the possibility that love surpasses all boundaries.
If you need support, Medical News Today has a list of different groups and clinics that you can turn to.
Just click the link here and scroll to the paragraph where it says, “Where can a person receive support.”
And if you need someone to talk to, I am not a professional, but I am a good listener!
So feel free to contact me (use the contact button at the top of the page)!