Different Sexualities

Many things are concrete and straightforward in life but a person’s sexuality is certainly not one of them. Sexuality is a deeply diverse, intimate and personal aspect of our character. For some people, it helps to be able to identify exactly what type of sexual preferences and category one’s own feelings and desires. Though some people reject any type of labeling, others find it comforting to be able to identify with certain groups and communities.

Different Sexualities Overview

It is possible to divide people into different types of sexualities depending on their sexual and romantic preferences. Here is more about it:

1.  Monosexual Orientations

Monosexual orientation is the term describing people who are exclusively attracted to only one gender, this encompasses:

  • Gay – Generally in reference to a male who is sexually attracted to other males, though can refer to all people who find attraction to members of their same sex. The word homosexual is also used in this instance, but is general considered today to be more of a medical term that should be retired from common usage.
  • Lesbian – A specific term for a female who is attracted exclusively to other females.
  • Straight – Alternatively referred to as heterosexuality, a person who is exclusively attracted to members of their opposite sex is described as straight, i.e. a man who is attracted to women and a woman who is attracted to men.

2.  Polysexual Orientations

Polysexual orientation is the blanker term for sexualities that cross multiple genders, including:

  • Bisexual – A bisexual person can be attracted to a person of their own gender and of their opposite gender in equal fashion.
  • Pansexual – Pansexuality is the term used to describe an individual who finds attraction in a person regardless of their gender, choosing to become interested in other elements of a person no matter their sex. Also occasionally referred to as omnisexuality.
  • Queer – Similar to pansexuality, somebody who identifies as queer can be attracted to people of all genders, including transgender, though this term is currently being reclaimed by the LGBT community, some still see it as offensive.

3.  Asexual Orientation

  • Asexuality - A term that can be assigned to a person who does not experience any kind of sexual attraction to individuals of any gender. It is important to note that asexuality is indeed a type of sexuality, not to be confused with celibacy because celibacy is a willful choice to not engage in sexual activity rather than a natural proclivity not to. This does not mean, however, that all asexuals do not have sex, many asexuals across the globe choose to engage in sexual activity with a partner whom they love, it is just that the sexual attraction and pleasure is not there for them personally.
  • Gray-asexuality – A term used to describe a person who feels that their sexuality falls somewhere on the spectrum between sexual attraction and complete asexuality.
  • Demisexual – Demisexuality refers to individuals who do not necessarily experience a primary sexual attraction to a person, but may experience a secondary attraction after a close personal bond has been formed.

Gender Identity and Expression

Gender can be complex and multi-faceted, and in most Western cultures there are two distinct facets of a person that get lumped together when talking about gender. Here is more about different sexualities and gender expression:

  • Biological sex – This refers to scientific anatomy such as chromosomes, hormones and the genitalia that a person forms in the womb and is born with.
  • Gender identity – This is a much more psychological facet, an individual’s sense of being a man, woman, neither or both. It is all about the inner sense of who one feels one truly is, and this will not always match up with biological sex. Alternatively, a person who identifies as a gender will not feel an affiliation to any gender at all.
  • Intersex – A person whose biological sex characteristics do not match their assigned sex. In the past such people have been referred to as hermaphrodites but this term is now deemed outdated and offensive.
  • Transgender – This is something of an umbrella term that describes a range of people who do not feel that they belong to their biological sex. Transgender people may or may not decide to undergo medical procedures to align their physical bodies with how they feel inside; but nonetheless, they are still transgender whether they have any surgeries or not.
  • Two-spirited – This refers to First Nation, Inuit or Metis people whose gender is seen to include both female and male aspects and who is not heterosexual. These people are culturally believed to be blessed by their creator.

Watch this video to learn more explanations for different sexualities: 

How Do I Know My Sexual Identity?

Ask Yourself

While it is true that you can find people having different sexualities and preferences, you are the only person who can truly define your sexual identity. Examine your feelings honestly and ask yourself a few questions. The answers can help determine:

  • What attracts you to different people?
  • What kind of sexual fantasies you usually focus on?
  • What types of bodies, acts, and porn arouse you the most?
  • Do you think you would enjoy it if you had a same sex encounter? Would you want to do it again?

Try the Kinsey Scale

The Kinsey Scale was developed in 1948 by American biologist Arthur Kinsey, and it is an attempt to classify individuals in terms of their specific sexual orientation. It is a list of questions asking you about sexual and romantic preferences that you answer with goal of receiving a number of 1 to 6 that then places you on the created scale. The number 1 signifies complete heterosexuality and the number 6 signifies complete homosexuality, which each numbers in between being allotted to individuals that display a less then straightforward sexuality in their question answers.

Note: Though some have criticized Kinsey’s scale for being too simplistic, there is no doubt that it is an interesting indicator of where a person falls on the giant spectrum of human's different sexualities. It can be fluid, it can vary with age and life experience, but what is important to remember is that no single type of sexuality is more ‘right’ or ‘correct’ than the other. Whether gay, straight, bi, trans, queer, etc., all people deserve to own their sexuality and live freely and safely in its presence.

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