People tend to think of sexuality in black-and-white. They assume that people are either heterosexual or homosexual, and that just a small percentage of the population is bisexual. However, the truth is much more complicated than that
One good way to consider sexuality is with the Kinsey Scale of Sexual Orientation. The famous sex researcher created a scale which helps to explain the different sexual desires a person can experience throughout his or her lifetime. Kinsey’s scale is rated from 0-6, with 0 being exclusively heterosexual and 6 being exclusively heterosexual.
A 1 is someone who is predominantly heterosexual, and only incidentally homosexual (for example, someone who might feel a twinge of momentary attraction to a member of the same sex, perhaps even subconsciously).
A 2 (someone who is predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual) might be someone who has a same-sex fantasy or someone who has kissed or flirted with someone of the same sex.
A 3 is someone who is equally heterosexual and homosexual, while a 4 is predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual. In other words, this person probably mainly has homosexual relationships but still has enjoyed heterosexual sex or fantasies.
A 5 is someone who is predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual, meaning that while they have had experienced heterosexual encounters in the past, their primary desires are homosexual.
It can be a confusing scale, especially because it’s not uncommon for people to move up and down the scale throughout their lives. For example, you might think that you are 0 (predominantly heterosexual) when you are younger, only to find that you have same-sex fantasies and desires as you get older.
Or, perhaps the opposite might be true. Consider the case of someone like Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame. She was in a long-term relationship with photographer Danny Mozes and had two children with him, but shortly after ending their relationship, she began dating a woman to whom she is now happily married.
Such a setup can be confusing to some people. They might wonder Does this mean that Cynthia was homosexual the whole time she was dating men, or was she just pretending to be heterosexual? Neither is true. In fact, Cynthia identifies as a 3 (bisexual), but other women in similar situations might not fall at exactly that number.
Instead, they might stay in heterosexual relationships while exploring same-sex desires in their mind, or maybe they might enjoy threesomes with their partner without wanting to explore a relationship with a woman beyond sex.
Sexual desires are ever-changing and ever-evolving, but the reality is that not everyone is comfortable with that, especially men. While women are encouraged to enjoy same-sex desires and fantasies (in fact, the number one male fantasy is threesomes), men are not encouraged to have such sexual freedom.
Seeing two attractive heterosexual woman kiss at a party or dance seductively at a bar could be considered harmless flirting, but if two heterosexual men did the same, eyebrows would raise.
The truth is that male sexuality probably would be as fluid as female sexuality if men were given rein to explore their sexuality as women are. Sadly, some men still emasculated or embarrassed by homosexuality, so it’s not likely that they will embrace their sexual fluidity or allow themselves to move along the Kinsey scale. Perhaps as society progresses and women continue to explore their sexuality openly, men will be able to follow suit someday if they so desire.
Regardless, it’s always important to remember that people are so much than their sexual desires and that what goes on inside our bedrooms is just a small portion of what goes on inside our heads.