Psychology Today – Understanding the Evolving Nature of Sexuality

Pride month is here. Pride parades, which are celebrated in most of parts of the world, give people in the LGBTQ+ community an opportunity to be seen and heard. They help sexual minority groups, which have historically been repressed, advocate for their rights.

However, at no other time in history has the “grouping” of sexual minorities been less understood by the general public. While some folks still put themselves into specific categories like straight or gay, more and more people feel less inclined to do so, opting instead to classify themselves as “fluid” across one or more sexual domains. So, what exactly does sexual fluidity mean and how does it fit into someone’s sexual identity?

It is interesting how easily most people accept the idea of personal evolution in terms of their personality and general preferences. Perhaps you look back in horror at old beliefs you used to hold or the kinds of clothes you used to wear 10 years ago versus today. You’re the same person, but you’ve evolved. Think of the way you behave around your in-laws versus your college friends. Again, you’re the same person, but there is fluidity in how you express your personality in each context. When it comes to sexuality, however, the concept of fluidity can be a challenging concept to grasp.

The term “sexual fluidity” refers to the evolving experience of someone’s sexuality over time, across contexts, or within specific domains of their sexual identity. This concept stems from the idea that most components of our sexuality fall on a spectrum, and where they fall on that spectrum can fluctuate. Let’s start by examining some key terms.

Biologic sex refers to the sex chromosomes and reproductive organs one is born with. People born with XX chromosomes have female reproductive organs, people born with XY chromosomes have male reproductive organs, and people who are born intersex have a chromosomal makeup or reproductive organs that do not fit the male/female binary model.

Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal experience of their own gender. When someone asks for your pronouns, they are inquiring about your gender identity. The most common gender identities include woman, man, transgender, nonbinary, agender, and genderqueer. There are, of course, many more gender identities, which you can explore in this list.

Gender expression refers to how one presents themselves outwardly, either as masculine, feminine, androgynous, or something else. It encompasses how people perceive you based on your appearance, mannerisms, behavior, and voice.

Romantic orientation refers to the emotional and romantic attractions one experiences toward others. It is independent of gender identity and can exist separately from sexual orientation.

Sexual/erotic orientation refers to the types of individuals one finds sexually appealing as well as the sorts of things someone enjoys doing sexually.

Taken together, these aspects form an individual’s sexual identity. While some people feel that they fit and stay in one category across each domain for their entire lives, more and more people do not, finding that their sexuality is more fluid in nature.

To read the rest of the article, visit Read about how sexual fluidity is far from a contemporary concept; in fact, history is rife with examples.

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