What Does It Mean to Be Sexually Fluid? 12 Things to Consider

Close-up shot of two people smiling at each other share on PinterestMattia/Stocksy United At this point in prison term, experts have disproved many of the myths surrounding intimate orientation course. Like the color of your eyes or the form of your nose, orientation course is a trait many are born with or grow into over time.

possibly in senior high school school, for exercise, you developed crushes on people of one sex lone. In college, you found yourself attracted to people of different genders. now, as an pornographic, you by and large date people of one gender but occasionally feel a flaunt of sexual attraction for people of early genders. Does that mean you ’ re confused ? Can ’ t make up your thinker ? That your college attractions were good a phase ? No, no, and absolutely not. No one can define your orientation for you, but the concept of sexual fluidity can help explain your experiences.

So, what’re the basics?

sexual fluidity, in short, means your sexual orientation international relations and security network ’ t permanently fixed. Yes, everyone has an fundamental orientation — asexual, pansexual, or heterosexual, for case. Yet there ’ sulfur room for it to expand a little, based on your experiences and current situation .

It can help to think of orientation as a spectrum that includes people of all genders. sexually fluid people tend to experience attractions at different points along the spectrum as they go through animation .

possibly you grew up thinking you were entirely attracted to men, until you had a few flings with people of early genders. After a few years, you felt most attracted to men again, but you couldn ’ t say for certain whether that would always be the sheath. These changes in how you experience amatory and sexual attraction are wholly valid. “ Fluidity is an absolutely normal aspect of sexual orientation course, ” explains Will Zogg, a Washington therapist who specializes in gender affirming guidance. “ Attraction is far more complex than many people can communicate, ” says Zogg. “ And fluidity and the display of sex vary wide across cultures, age, access, and region. ” He goes on to say people sometimes translate fluidity as confusion, or treachery of an allegiance to a specific community. “ As a resultant role of the mark around flit same-sex attraction and consequences for that ‘ treachery, ’ convention feelings of love and sex and curio frequently get swept under the rug, where the limits of western social norms keep them hidden, ” explains Zogg.

Does it only refer to sexual orientation?

If you ’ re sexually fluid, you might notice most of your intimate experiences and attractions fit under the label you use to identify yourself. The key discussion here is “ most, ” since you ’ ll probably have a few outlier experiences that fall elsewhere on the spectrum. here ’ s an exercise : You ’ ve only ever felt attracted to women. then you develop a close relationship with a nonbinary ally. Your physical and aroused stuffiness finally spark advance to a squash. You think about caressing, touching, even having sex with them. possibly you act on those desires, possibly you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate. finally, you spend a small less time together, and your attraction fades, leaving you primarily attracted to women once again. This one feel may not lead you to redefine your sexual orientation course, but it does suggest some fluidity .

close friendships sometimes fuel romanticist feelings that lead to sexual desire, but attraction can exist without you acting on it .

fluidity, by definition, changes over time, so you could develop a like drawing card in the future. Though fluidity adds an extra factor in the equation of attraction, it won ’ thyroxine necessarily change your sexual behavior.

Where did the term originate?

“ What Westerners refer to as fluidity in sex ( and in sex ) is not a modern mind for many cultures, ” Zogg notes. Researchers and anthropologists have explored fluidity across cultures and history. In terms of western research, this concept has had many names, including erotic malleability. The term intimate fluidity comes from the research of psychologist and professor Dr. Lisa Diamond, who drew attention to the concept with her 2009 record, “ intimate fluidity : understand Women ’ randomness Love and Desire. ”

Can anyone be sexually fluid? 

In hypothesis, yes, anyone can experience this fluidity, but not everyone does. Plenty of people only ever feel attracted to one sex. While people of any gender can be sexually fluid, existing research suggests women tend to experience the most fluidity. Of course, this doesn ’ metric ton mean all women are sexually fluid. “ Some sexually fluid men may feel more reluctant to talk about the scope of drawing card they experience, in part due to gender and sex stereotypes, ” Zogg points out. “ They might avoid commenting on masculine celebrities they consider attractive, for example, or hesitate to express closeness to a male best friend, ” says Zogg .

Is it OK to be more attracted to one gender than another?

Most decidedly, yes. Attraction, like orientation, is something you can ’ triiodothyronine control. You might feel more attract to one sex for a while, then your attraction might shift elsewhere on the spectrum.

possibly you choose not to express or act on certain attractions, and that ’ s OK. All the same, you typically can ’ metric ton pick and choose what part of the spectrum your attraction settles on at any given point in life.

Can you be attracted to different genders in different ways?

sexually fluid people might notice attraction shows up in a range of ways. You could feel sexually attracted to people of one sex but develop stronger quixotic feelings for people of another gender. possibly one particular person brings out feelings you ’ ve never had before. Though their traits don ’ triiodothyronine align with what you ’ d normally consider your “ type, ” you feel drawn to this specific excitement or arousal reception. You might besides notice the characteristics that appeal to you in more masculine people are completely branch from the characteristics that you look for in more feminine people .

What does this look like in practice?

It ’ randomness pretty coarse to act differently on varying types of attraction. You might :

  • enjoy kissing and cuddling partners of one gender but only have sex with people of another gender
  • enjoy a specific type of sex with one gender, but have different kinds of sex with other genders
  • develop romantic attachments with people of one gender and pursue physical relationships with people of other genders

These are all valid kinship styles. Just take care to practice good communication !

What makes this different from being bisexual or pansexual?

On the airfoil, intimate fluidity might seem pretty similar to androgyny and pansexuality. Remember, though, bisexuality and pansexuality are orientations, and sexual fluidity is not. Bisexuality doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate mean the lapp thing to everyone, but it ’ sulfur typically recognized as a reasonably reproducible drawing card to two groups : people of your gender and people of early genders. Some people who identify as bisexual might only feel attracted to people of two genders. Others might develop attractions to people of multiple genders. Pansexuality, on the early hand, means you might experience attraction to any person, regardless of their sex. In other words, you ’ rhenium attracted to people of all genders. You can be both sexually fluid and bisexual or pansexual. For exercise :

  • Sexually fluid pansexual people might occasionally feel most attracted to people of one gender, then more attracted to different genders again.
  • Sexually fluid bisexual people might temporarily feel more attracted to one gender over another, but this won’t permanently alter their overall attraction to people of other genders.

Learn more about androgyny and pansexuality here.

Why might someone opt to use this term over others?

You might describe yourself as sexually fluid when you broadly identify with an orientation that doesn ’ triiodothyronine systematically represent every attraction you experience. Say you primarily feel attract to women, but you ’ ve had a few relationships with men. You don ’ thymine name as bisexual, but you consider yourself slightly fluid, since you ’ re not entirely attracted to women. possibly you ’ ve never had a romanticist or intimate kinship with person of your gender. hush, straight doesn ’ triiodothyronine entirely resonate with you as an predilection because you feel open to the possibility of a non-heterosexual relationship. It just hasn ’ thyroxine happened yet.

How do you know if it’s the term for you?

generally speaking, sexually fluid people have an predilection that remains approximately stable over fourth dimension. then you might use this term if you largely feel attracted to one gender but want to acknowledge the manner your attraction and responses sometimes shift. As Diamond and other experts have pointed out, fluidity offers a better, more accurate explanation for what people have, in the past, stereotyped and stigmatized as “ confusion. ”

What happens if you no longer feel like this term fits?

As you go through biography, you gain enough of know, both personally and from relationships with others. This expanding cognition can have a pretty boastfully impact on self-identity, including your understand of your orientation. As awareness of your orientation develops, you might land on a different way of describing your attractions, and that ’ s just finely. You ’ re always unblock to use whatever terminus you identify with best.

Where can you learn more?

interested in learning more about sexual orientations and identities ?

  • Start with our guide to key terms here.
  • Check out the It Gets Better Project for a glossary of LGBTQ+ terms.
  • Visit Identiversity, a nonprofit website that provides factual, expert-informed education about gender and sexual diversity.

crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor program for GoodTherapy. Her fields of matter to include asian languages and literature, japanese translation, cook, natural sciences, sexual activity incontrovertibility, and genial health. In particular, she ’ mho committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues .

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