Binary vs. Spectrum: How Fluid is Our Sexuality?

binary vs spectrum

Gay. Straight. Bisexual. Asexual. Pansexual. Trisexual.

We’re obsessed with labels. There’s no other way to say it. But outside the world of the Internet and Tumblr – and believe me, unless you’re a regular Tumblr visitor you have no idea, it’s another world out there – people are adamant that we all have to fit into a box. It’s easier, it creates boundaries, it keeps sexuality within the realms of normality. But is it really that simple?

The debate of gender is a hot topic at the moment, the argument about whether it’s binary, which means something composed of two sides, or spectrum based, the idea that it’s not as simple as ‘this or ‘that’, but a fluid form of variable states. Sexuality falls under a similar kind of categorization, and the human sexuality spectrum is now seen as a valid form of identification. The idea of two sexes is now seen as simplistic, and biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.

Think about it this way: if you are a gay man reading this, how many times have you slept with a man who claimed to be straight? Or, if you are a straight man reading this, have you ever thought of another man in a sexual way? The answers to those questions are probably ‘loads’ and ‘yes’. Before anyone starts screeching about how I’m ‘assuming things [you] don’t know about’ or perhaps threatening to shove your fist in my face – because y’know, you’re so straight and masculine you eat bricks for breakfast – I’m not making assumptions. I’m just going off what I’ve experienced and what I know from other circles.

I don’t have any statistics I can throw out there for this one. Because you can imagine that any straight man that is asked the question, ‘Have you any felt a funny feeling in your balls whilst thinking of a man?’ will vehemently deny such a ridiculous question because that would never happen, and then promptly go stomping into his local woods looking for more bears to wrestle. But let me assure you, if you are a straight man and you have had those thoughts and tell me you’re not gay, I believe you. No, really. And you’re not bisexual either. I know. Repeat this with me, people…it’s natural.

A recent study by The University Of Portsmouth has suggested that having homosexual thoughts is an essential part of human evolution. I don’t know how reputable this study actually is, but I do know from my own experiences to know that it’s definitely realistic. I’ve had sexual encounters with men who I have genuinely believed to be straight – they just enjoyed the thrill, the excitement, and the difference in the chase and the accessibility.

And what about asexuality? Does that even exist? According to a poll on debate.org, 77% agree that is does. There is technically no scientific study to prove or disprove that it’s ‘real’, but really, there doesn’t need to be. The fact is, it’s no-one else’s right to tell someone else how they identify. Asexuality is seen as a sexual orientation, not to be confused with celibacy, the active decision to give up sex. Asexual people still have a libido, they still form romantic relationships, and no, it’s not a disease.

Labels are always going to exist, and there’s no question of that. But in this world of acceptance and a society that is beginning to open its mind to the vast spectrum that is the human state, someone’s sexuality shouldn’t define them, nor should who they decide to sleep with. It would be great just to see people as people.

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