Among the many sexual labels that exist, you may have heard of the heteroflexibility. It is a term that refers to heterosexuals who have a sporadic sexual interest in people of the same sex but do not come to be considered bisexual. It is also known as bicurious and, as the word itself indicates, it refers to curiosity about having other erotic experiences (homosexuals in this case). When this happens in homosexual people, that is, they have a sporadic interest in people of the opposite sex, the term used is homoflexibility.
Names apart, all this is a sign that sexual orientations are not white or black, but that they move in a range of grays.
Alfred Kinsey, an American sexologist and pioneer in studies on sexual orientation, interviewed more than 20,000 men and women to describe human sexual behavior. In 1948 and 1953 he published the results obtained in two books (one on the sexual behavior of men and the other on women). Among many other data, he reported that 46% of men and 28% of women had participated in some behavior with people of the same sex.
From his studies he elaborated what is possibly his best known contribution: the Kinsey scale, which classified the population into 7 levels. 0 was 100% heterosexuality and 6 was 100% homosexuality. The remaining five levels corresponded to bisexual trends in different degrees. With this, the American sexologist wanted to express that heterosexual / homosexual dichotomous categories were insufficient to describe diversity in human sexual behavior.
Kinsey's studies were criticized for the low representativeness of the chosen sample, but their results were put on the table - in 1948! - the debate about whether the world is sexually binary.
Heteroflexible, homoflexible, bicurious ... they are the current language translation of that grayscale that Kinsey defined. According to the 2016 study “Invisible Majority: The Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How To Remedy Them” 29% of people between 18 and 29 are not completely homo or heterosexual. The percentage decreases as age increases: 24% between 30 and 44 years, 8% between 45 and 64 years and 7% among people over 65 years.
Bisexuality and other tags
At this point, someone may be thinking: "heteroflexibility, homoflexibility ... why is it not called bisexuality and ready? "
A report on bisexuality published by The Open University, reflects the data of a survey according to which 6% of the participants were included in the LGB collective (lesbians, gays, bisexuals) but more than double that number (13%) They had had some kind of sexual contact with someone of the same sex. Despite this, they were not considered bisexual.
This apparent inconsistency may be due to several factors. On the one hand, bisexuality is understood as the orientation towards people of the same sex and the opposite indistinctly and in the other labels, the attraction is not equivalent but there is a stronger one and another that manifests itself in a milder way, by the desire to try. Although we should really consider bisexuality not only as a 50% attraction, but as an orientation that includes a wide spectrum of possibilities.
On the other hand, sexual orientation can be defined according to affectivity. That is, with whom you have love relationships. If it is with men and women it would be bisexuality. If what you have is simply erotic curiosity you could talk about heteroflexibility or homoflexibility.
Another factor to keep in mind is that bisexuality is a misunderstood orientation, with many prejudices and even criticized. These negative attitudes aimed at bisexual people are known as biphobia. The Open University's bisexuality report details that the most common forms of biphobia include the denial of bisexuality (when what is said about It's just a phase, which will be decided), invisibility (when it is assumed that the person is homosexual or heterosexual according to their current partner) or negative stereotypes (when they are labeled as promiscuous because everything is going).
All these labels come to reflect that human sexuality has many nuances and that there is no room for diversity in two watertight groups. There are people who feel comfortable somewhere midway between heterosexuality and homosexuality. For example, Michael Stipe, who was the leader and vocalist of the REM band, said in an interview that since the world is not sexually binary he felt more at ease. In another interview he declared that he was considered 80% gay and 20% heterosexual.