Gay, Bi, Str8, and Other Sexual Orientations
Homosexual / Gay (People Who Are Same Sex Attracted)
Please note: A person’s sexual orientation is separate to their gender identity. For example,there are people who are gender diverse who are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. Therefore, Dave Wells views same sex attracted as being attracted to the same gender as the person identifies, regardless of assigned sex at birth.
For example, A trans-man sexuallyattracted to males only or a trans-female who is attracted to women only = A'homosexual' sexual orientation.
There are several labels used to define a person who is sexually attracted to another person of the same sex, for example, Homosexual, Gay, and Queer. These labels all have their own definitions and yet many in our society use the terms interchangeably. Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour between members of the same sex or gender.
As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is defined as "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the same sex". It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum.
Adapted from: "Sexual orientation,homosexuality and bisexuality". American Psychological Association.
Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, andenvironmental influences, and do not view it as a choice.
Contrary to many societal myths, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting, early childhood, orsocialisation, experiences play a role regarding sexual orientation.
Adapted from: Frankowski BL; AmericanAcademy of Paediatrics Committee on Adolescence (June 2004).
Dave Wells has only included this paragraph above to inform the people who are exploring the causes of homosexuality There is no question that homosexuality is a diversity of the human form!
Even consideration being given to why a person is homosexual is 'hetero - normative' but also ignorant (innocently sometimes). Do we explore or ask the question, why are people heterosexual?
In reality, people can hold many fears, such as discrimination, judgement, rejection, and breaches in confidentiality, about sharing their personal fantasies, and desires. This results in limiting a true understanding of same sex attraction. The profession of Sexology and Dave Wells views homosexuality as a diversity of the human sexuality.
The use of the term homosexual can be regarded as a scientific term, and at the other end of the spectrum to heterosexual.
‘Gay’ is another label used to describe same sex attracted people, which has its grass-roots origins, and for many it is a polite replacement for the word 'homosexual'.
The term Gay was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy", however it is now a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person. In reality, the term gay is used to describe the trait of being homosexual. or in other words a man who is gay community attached (e.g., frequents gay venues and events), in comparison to a man who is homosexual and lives and socialises in the broader community. The original definitions of the term Gay; "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright" and "showy", are all visual representations of homosexual people and associated to displaying sexual orientation out in the community.
The label, “Queer” is relatively young in its origins, used as a blanket or umbrella term that can be used by anyone under the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-binary, Intersex, A-sexual, and Pan-sexual, spectrum. Queer conveys both an orientation and a sense of community. You will often hear the term 'Gay and Lesbian', which reduces the term 'gay' to men. However, the term 'Gay' can also be used to describe both; same sex attracted men and women.
The term 'Queer' is a relatively modern term that encompasses Homosexual and Gay. Stereo-typically, many view the label 'Queer' as a term that the younger generation use, with its origins beginning with university students. Many more mature same sex attracted men and diverse-gendered people still remember the original definition of Queer as a derogatory term, originally meaning "strange" or "peculiar".
Taking all of this information about the different interpretations of the labels used to describe people who are sexually attracted to people, Dave Wells prefers not to pigeonhole the people who he supports under a label, and although he respects personal choice, he works with the aim of creating harmony with who you are as an individual. Dave Wells views Sexual health as being intertwined with every other area in a person’s life. If the person is not congruent between their sexual behaviour and sexual thoughts, this can become detrimental to their over-all physical and psychological health and life-style.
Dave Wells works with the aim of supporting a person to identify and accept their individual sexual attractions and desires and live their lives accordingly.
Bisexual (People Who Are Attracted To Both Male And Female)
Please note: A person’s sexual orientation is separate to their gender identity. For example, there are people who are gender diverse who are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. Therefore, a gender-diverse persons sexual orientation is inclusive of how they identify and their presenting gender.
The definition of the label ‘bisexual’ in the Oxford American dictionary is: (informalbi): “Sexually attracted to both men and women.”
The definition of bisexual in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary is: (informal bi): sexually attracted to people of more than one gender.
Traditionally 'Bisexuality' is a romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour, toward both males and females. When a person is romantic or sexual attracted to people of any sex or gender identity, it is known as 'pan-sexuality'. This particular definition of Bisexual can be based on some misconceptions about gender, as you can’t always tell by looking at someone whether they’re a man, a woman, trans, or 'cis-gendered' (a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex), or the person may identify as 'non-binary'. A simple way to view the difference between the label 'Bisexual' and 'Pan-sexual' is that people who are 'Pan-sexual' are gender blind, meaning that they do not choose their sexual and romantic partners based on their gender.
The term 'Bisexual' or 'Omnisexual' allows for being attracted to different variations of gender. Therefore, the label of bisexual is not simply confined to being attracted to just cis-male and cis-female, nor does it sit on the half-way mark between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Many bisexual identifying people prefer for one gender over the other, but this preference can change by the connections they have to individual people.
One of the most persistent myths about bisexuality is the idea that it doesn’t exist, and that the person is just going through a “phase” or hiding that they are really gay? For numerous reasons bisexual people receive unfair judgement and stereotyping from both heterosexual and homosexual identifying people. For many gay men coming to terms with their sexual orientation, they often identify themselves as bisexual to “test the waters” or as a ‘steppingstone towards the self-acceptance of being gay. In these situations, the gay person often has a lot of confusion, fear of judgement and rejection, and therefore often portrays the identity of Bisexual as a person who is insecure and one that misleads people, or is indecisive. In reality, this is a gay person giving bisexuality a bad name.
Other myths include that bisexual people are “sitting on the fence” and will eventually pick a side (Male or female). Some people’s sexuality is fluid, meaning it changes from time to time, or it is more diverse than fitting into a definition of a particular sexual-orientation label. It’s also possible that you’ve learned more about yourself and sexuality over time and realized you were never bisexual in the first place. The journey to figure out who you are is an important one, growing to know and accept yourself is a display of personal strength that often translates in being viewed as more sexually attracted by others.
Heterosexual (People Attracted To The Opposite Gender)
Please note: A person’s sexual orientation is separate to their gender identity. For example; there are people who are gender diverse who are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. Therefore, Dave Wells views the sexual orientation of a person who is gender diverse as being dependent upon the gender identity of the person in context to the gender/s of whom they are sexually and romantically attracted to.
E.g.; A trans-man or trans-woman sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender = A heterosexual
One hundred years ago people had a very different idea of what it means to be heterosexual. The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”Brandon Ambrosino 2017 (https://www.bbc.com/)
Sexuality is diverse and personal which makes it unique to us individually, however we live in a society that places much more emphasis on heterosexuality. A majority of people in our society identify as heterosexual, however many people under this identity have different variations of heterosexual which is rarely identified and can place pressure on people outside of a 100% attraction to the opposite sex, leading to these feelings and desires usually being kept hidden. Heterosexual is therefore just another diagnostic label that restricts people from discovering their own personal sexual make-up.
People who are heterosexual are romantically and physically attracted to members of the opposite sex: Heterosexual males are attracted to females, and vice versa. Another label sometime used for heterosexual is "straight." Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour between members of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, Heterosexuality is "an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions" to people of the opposite sex. It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions. Along with bisexuality and homosexuality, Heterosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum.
Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, and do not view it as a choice. Contrary to many societal myths there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation.
Adapted from: Frankowski BL; American Academy of Paediatrics Committee on Adolescence (June 2004).
Whether this page on heterosexuality or the page on homosexuality, you will notice that much of the information about the sexual orientation is exactly the same, only with the sexual identities changed. The two sexual orientations (Heterosexual and homosexual) have vastly different societal pressures, however the difficulties experienced by men within the two categories do over-lap.
There are many differences between men and women, both in the way we’re designed physically, and the way we process things emotionally. Romantic and sexual relationships between a man and woman can be challenging, and men can often find it a lonely process not having another man to talk to openly and comfortably. Due to Dave Wells having a broad professional history working with men’s health as well as people who are gender diverse, he has the knowledge and skills to support you through any difficulties that arise with being heterosexual. The journey to figure out who you are is an important one, growing to have a good sense of self, and gain acceptance, is a display of personal strength that often translates in being viewed as more sexually attracted by others, but more importantly feeling attractive in ourselves.
Omnisexuality has a number of interpretations and it can be easy to confuse this term with pan-sexuality.
The term ‘Pansexual’ defines a person who is gender-blind (i.e., they’re attracted to anyone regardless of gender), while an 'Omnisexual' person is gender-inclusive.
Omni- is a Latin-based prefix meaning “all,” while pan- is its Greek counterpart, which allows for the terms Omnisexual and Pansexual to be used interchangeably.
Dave Wells has researched the labels used to define gender and sexual orientation extensively and has found an important difference between the term ‘Omnisexual’ and ‘Pansexual’. ‘Gender attraction’ encompasses the terms ‘Bisexual; meaning attracted to male and female (American) or more than one gender (English), or Pansexual; Gender blind – does not choose based on gender. Omnisexuality is a sexual orientation where the individual recognizes and is attracted to people of all sexes, genders, and gender identities, with gender as a factor in their attraction.
In other words, the term ‘Omnisexual’ is often used to define people who have a broader attraction to gender then what the American version of ‘Bisexual’ defines (Male and Female) but is not gender blind as the term ‘pansexual suggests’. There are people who find different variations of gender attractive, and unattractive, and due to an absence of a label to define these people, ‘Omnisexual’ has the closest definition. For example, a person may be sexually attracted to cis women (born with complementary genitalia to gender identity), as well as to trans-women. This person may hold no sexual attraction to men and trans-men.
Another example could be, a person who is sexually attracted to male, female, and trans-men, but they are not attracted to trans-women. The updated English term for ‘Bisexual’ would encompass these people as “they are attracted to more than one gender”. However, the American definition (traditional), would not be inclusive as the attraction is identified as; male or female (based on genitalia).
Many people are aware of the basic sexual orientation labels such as; Heterosexual, Gay, Homosexual, and Bisexual. Few concern themselves with other labels that fall outside of these commonly used ones. If a person presents as a sexual orientation label and you are unsure of the definition, it is best to ask them what the identity means to them personally.
Pansexuality has several interpretations, and it can be easy to confuse this term with Omnisexuality.
The term ‘Pansexual’ defines a person who is gender-blind and is not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity, while an omnisexual personis inclusive of all genders.
Bisexual means attracted to multiple genders, and pansexual means attracted to all genders. These are different because “multiple” isn’t the same thing as “all.” An example of this is that a person who identifies as bisexual, may be attracted to cis-male, cis-female and trans-women but not trans-men. The selection of genders found attractive can be any combination but doesn’t include all genders.
Pan- isa Greek-based prefix, meaning “all and Omni- is its Latin counterpart, which allows for the terms ‘Pansexual’ and ‘Omnisexual’ to be used interchangeably.
Some people assume that bisexual people are erasing nonbinary people. They assume the word bisexual implies that there are only two genders.
Many bisexual communities do acknowledge nonbinary people — in fact, nonbinary people identify as bisexual along-side every other identity of sexual attraction. Additionally, many pansexual people know that the definition of bisexual can include nonbinary people.
Again, bisexuality and pansexuality don’t mean the same thing, and it’s completely valid for a person to identify as either (or both!).
Pansexuality is sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind, asserting that gender and sex are not determining factors in their romantic or sexual attraction to others.
Same Sex Fantasy Verses Sexual Identity
Sexual identity and orientation encompass one’s sexual and romantic identity, in which thoughts, fantasies, and behaviours work together. It’s the alignment of affectional, romantic, psychological, spiritual, and sexual feelings and desires for those of the same or opposite gender.
Sexual orientation doesn’t change over time. One’s sexual behaviours and preferences might change, but one’s orientation remains mostly stable. The term also refers to how someone self-identifies, not how others may categorize him, her or they. Some people self-identify as straight, while others self-identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, or questioning. For some, their sexual identities do not align with whom they are engaging with sexually or their sexual thoughts and behaviours.
Sexual preferences refer to sexual acts, positions, and erotic scenarios that someone prefers to have while engaging in sexual activity. The term considers what individuals like to do and get into sexually, not necessarily with whom they like to do it. Preferences and erotic interests can change over time, as one becomes more open or closed to certain thoughts and behaviours.
Sexual fantasies are any thoughts that one finds arousing. They can encompass anything—sexual positions, romantic encounters, body parts, clothing, and shoe fetishes, even rape (role play). Sexual fantasies aren’t necessarily acted out. In fact, in many cases, they aren’t.
Sexual behaviour is any behaviour intended to pleasure oneself and/or one’s sexual partner. It doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s sexual orientation. For example, people who are imprisoned engage in sexual behaviours with other people of the same gender, but do so out of sexual necessity, not because of erotic interest in the same sex. They desire the behaviour and the sexual release it achieves, and the gender of the partner is secondary.
For straight people who have sex with people of the same gender, ‘same-sex’ encounters aren’t about romance or sexual attraction and desire, but about sexual and physiological arousal (E.g.,” getting their rocks off”), with another who is accessible, safe (little risk of others finding out), or meets with their fantasy (E.g., a 3-way sexual encounter or orgy, etc).
For people who fall within this category, they don’t necessarily have sexually desire or get aroused by looking at other people of the same sex, only by the sexual act. Their behaviour may reflect a desire to experiment, to engage in something that’s taboo, or to express inner psychological conflicts involving their sexual feelings and desires that have nothing to do with having a gay or bisexual identity, or maybe for financial reward.
For people who have sexual fantasies that include sex with the same gender, their thoughts can cause emotional conflict and behaviours where they feel they need to justify the sexual identity or orientation. This can hold many from exploring and enjoying their sexual interests and fantasies, and even if they do engage or experiment, stress, guilt, and self-loathing can soon follow. It is totally up to an individual whether they choose to engage in sexual activities with the same sex/gender and they do not need to justify it by a sexual or gender identity.
A Clinical Sexologist is trained in Psychotherapy and hold a knowledge of sexual behaviour and activities in combination of therapeutic skills to create unison with self-acceptance of oneself. Dave Wells provides a confidential, non-judgemental, safe service, aimed at supporting the person to achieve their fantasies with enjoyment and self-acceptance.