Sexual orientation is an internal mechanism that directs a person’s sexual and romantic disposition towards one or more persons, to varying degrees (LeVay & Baldwin, 2012). However, defining sexual orientation is challenging in a world that is rapidly changing. Sexual orientation has been perceived either in terms of discrete categories (homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual) (LeVay & Baldwin, 2014) or as a spectrum. Even if the debate regarding its nature still remains one of the major unsolved questions in sex science (Gangestad, Bailey, & Martin, 2000; Haslam, 1997), in this post I will talk about my personal attitude towards my sexuality, which I believe to be fluid.
As you probably remember I defined myself in some posts as a bisexual woman, while in others as a lesbian. This may be confusing for some of you and that’s one of the reasons why I would like to be clearer about it. Until I was 14 I thought to be heterosexual, because I experienced romantic and sexual interests towards people of my opposite sex. However, if I look back at, for example, the 10-years-old “me” I already had some kind of fantasies or desires towards women, which emerged predominantly in the form of dreams or weird thoughts like ‘Is she looking at me? Does she like me? Is she gay?’ At 14 years old I had my first real crush for a girl at my school. After that a really long period of self-analysis began. I started to question my heterosexuality and I looked back at my past to find traces of things that could make me understand who I really was. And I remembered about how many times I asked myself if my English teacher liked me. I remembered a girl at middle school who was defined as a ‘lesbian’ just because she kissed a girl. I remembered thinking that she was gorgeous and looking at her while she smiled at me. Then I remembered my weird relationship with what I believed to be an online friend, how I tried to flirt with her and how I was sexually attracted to her. I remembered that when I was 10 I had a dream where I kissed a girl twice. After a year of deep analysis I came to the conclusion that I’m bisexual. However, my attitude and my attraction towards both sexes is different. I only had relationships with women. I define myself as a homoromantic bisexual because I only experienced romantic attraction towards women (even if I don’t exclude a remote possibility of falling in love with a man). I also believe that my degree of sexual attraction is different depending on the sex of the person involved. The majority of my sexual desires are heterosexual (85-90%), even though I’m also sexually attracted to woman and I had more sex with women than with men. However, my romantic interest in people of the opposite gender is really low. Some people have troubles understanding my sexuality and they don’t like the term homoromantic. They perceive the expression of my preferences as a threat or as a way to label what I am. But why would it be a label? Why is the term bisexual a more acceptable term than bisexual homoromantic? Bisexuality is not 50% attraction towards women and 50% attraction towards men. It’s much more complex than this, just as sexuality itself.
Even though further studies might have to clarify what sexuality is and what its relation to romantic attraction is, in this post I wanted to show you how I define myself and how proud I am to tell you: I am a bisexual. I am a homoromantic!
P. S. I’m not offended if someone uses the term lesbian to define what I am. However, I believe it’s not accurate. I prefer using the term bisexual because I don’t want to erase any part of myself. If I sleep with a man, I’m not straight. If I sleep with a woman, I’m not a lesbian. I’m still bi, I’m still me.
I thought a lot about deleting this article because it doesn’t represent what I am anymore. I believe there’s little research about romantic attraction and I’m not sure if it’s really separated from sexual attraction. While writing this article in August 2017, I found indeed some articles about romantic attraction, but they were just hypotheses. Since some bisexual people had a romantic preference for one of the sexes, they said there may be a difference between romantic and sexual attraction. However, there’s no evidence to prove it. I respect people who use terms as “homoromantic”, “biromantic” or “heteroromantic”. However, I do think that bisexual homoromantic is a word that doesn’t define me anymore. I’m a lesbian and I do fall in love just with women. I was wrong in believing that being a lesbian means excluding someone. It’s not excluding, it’s just being what I am: a woman attracted to women. A woman who loves women and loves sleeping with them.]
Gangestad, S. W., Bailey, J. M., & Martin, N. G. (2000). Taxometric analyses of sexual orientation and gender identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 1109–1121.
LeVay, S., & Baldwin, J. (2012). Human sexuality (4th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer
Savin-Williams, Ritch C. “An exploratory study of the categorical versus spectrum nature of sexual orientation.” The Journal of Sex Research 51.4 (2014): 446-453.