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Sometimes you never get to know if you do not ask, if you are not curious or just never bothered. My curiosity made me dig out this information about types of sexual orientations which I’m about to share with you. And I can assure you that I am just as taken by surprise as you are about to be.
There was a time that all we knew about sexual orientation was about being either Gay or Straight. All of that is about to change…for real! Let’s get down to it.
First, what do we mean by sexual orientation?
The concept of sexual orientation is really about who you are attracted to and want to have relationships with. The most popular types of sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual. But then, there is more you probably haven’t heard. Who knows? You just may be one of the new ones I’m about to reveal to you.
Before I move on, I feel the need to clarify to you that sexual orientation is different from gender and gender identity.
While sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and who you are drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually, it’s totally different from gender identity. Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you are!
You are either Male or Female. There is another concept called ‘genderqueer’ which means a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
This could also mean being transgender; which is a feeling like your assigned sex is very different from the gender you identify with. Please note that it isn’t the same thing as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is about who you are and how you feel about it.
Let’s deal with how people come about their sexual orientations. How did you become straight, gay or lesbian?
This intends to pretty much explain where the different types of sexual orientations source from.
According to plannedparenthood.org (a lot of this article is referenced to them by the way), it’s not completely known why someone might be lesbian, gay, straight, or bisexual. But research shows that sexual orientation is likely caused partly by biological factors that start before birth.
Sexual orientation isn’t a choice and can’t be changed. People don’t decide who they’re attracted to, and therapy, treatment, or persuasion won’t change a person’s sexual orientation. You also can’t “turn” a person gay. For example, exposing a boy to toys traditionally made for girls, such as dolls, won’t cause him to be gay.
You probably started to become aware of who you’re attracted to at a very young age. This doesn’t mean that you had sexual feelings, just that you could identify people you found attractive or liked. Many people say that they knew they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual even before puberty.
Although sexual orientation is usually set early in life, it isn’t at all uncommon for your desires and attractions to shift throughout your life. This is called “fluidity.” Many people, including sex researchers and scientists, believe that sexual orientation is like a scale with entirely gay on one end and entirely straight on the other. Lots of people would be not on the far ends, but somewhere in the middle.
Now to move to the different types of sexual orientations.
Fundamentally, there are a bunch of identities associated with sexual orientation:
- People who’re attracted to a different gender (for example, women who are attracted to men or men who are attracted to women) often call themselves straight or heterosexual.
- Those who’re attracted to people of the same gender often call themselves gay or homosexual. Gay women may prefer the term lesbian.
- People who’re attracted to both men and women often call themselves bisexual.
- Those whose attractions span across many different gender identities (male, female, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, etc.) may call themselves pansexual or queer.
- People who’re unsure about their sexual orientation may call themselves questioning or curious.
- People who don’t experience any sexual attraction for anyone often call themselves asexual.
Let’s get to the more specifics terms for types of sexual orientations.
This refers to people who aren’t able to feel a sexual connection with someone until they feel a romantic connection with them. That means that they need to become friends before they can become sexually involved.
This refers to people who feel romantic attraction to both men and women. Note that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are two completely different things!
This refers to a person who is attracted to any sexual orientation or gender identity. This is believed to be one of the most common sexual orientations out there.
A demiromantic does not experience romantic attraction unless they have already formed a strong emotional bond with the person. Are you one? You may need to check.
Asexual people are those who are not attracted to any gender, either romantically or sexually. Of course, they are still capable of maintaining a healthy relationship. You don’t have to avoid them. They aren’t sadists like you may think.
This is simply an umbrella term used to describe anyone within the LGBT Community.
This refers to someone who prefers to have sex with themselves over having sex with others. If masturbating is all you want to do, you could be an autosexual.
This refers to people who don’t feel any type of romantic attraction at all. However, they can still feel sexual attraction.
This is the romantic attraction to female-identified people, regardless of one’s gender. Female-identifed refers to someone who identifies as a woman. This concept recognizes that gender is a self-identification that does not necessarily match the sex of an individual; our physical appearance and our genitalia are not the only determinants of gender.
This refers to someone who feels an equal amount of romantic attraction towards everyone. They don’t actually prefer one gender over another.
This refers to people who are attracted to non-binary (also called genderqueer) individuals instead of cisgender individuals (denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex).
This refers to a deep sexual attraction to various sexual orientations or genders. It is very different from Omnisexual. An omnisexual doesn’t necessarily need to have sexual attraction to any gender, but a spectrasexual person feels deep sexual attraction towards anyone within the aforementioned types of sexual orientations.
It is quite important to note that some people don’t think any of these sexual orientations describe them accurately. Some other people also do not like the idea of labels at all. Yet, you will find people who feel comfortable with certain labels and not others.
It’s up to you to decide how you would like to be labeled or not labeled. Whatever you are, be proud of yourself. True love starts from you.