According to google sexual orientation is an “enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally assumed under the following. Heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, while asexuality (the lack of sexual attraction to others) is sometimes identified as the fourth category.”.
Whilst controversial especially in African cultures. Sexual orientation is something could all stand to learn more about. For me the curiosity was triggered by my 10-year-old cousin who asked me what sexual orientation was. My answer was unclear. The first dilemma was to answer appropriately for a young person and two; I myself wasn’t clear on my own definition of sexual orientation.
What is sexual orientation?
Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientation include’s gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, homosexuality, asexual and heterosexuality.
How can you differentiate the terms?
It differs from person to person and what they prefer personally. We should never be in a position to judge, prejudice or treat unfairly those different to us. Difference can be good. And as people we should always be open to that. Here is a definition for each of the different sexual orientations;
- Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to both men and women
- Heterosexual: People who are attracted to a different gender. For example women who are attracted to men or men who are attracted to women.
- Lesbian/gay/queer: Someone who is attracted to people of the same gender. For women who are attracted to other women, the group is usually called lesbian. And men who are attracted to other men, are usually called gay or queer.
- Curious: Curious individuals are people who are unsure about their sexual orientation. And are exploring the various sexual orientation
- Asexual: Someone who isn’t sexually attracted to any gender group. And has no sexual desire towards them either.
As you can see there are many dufferent sexual orientations. And whilst you may be one, it does not mean the others are wrong Which is why it’s important to embrace all sexual orientations. Especially as they represent how the world is in general, different. So whether you like prefer dating the same sex, the opposite sex or no sex at all is up to you. And you should not be judged for it. After all, love is love and we should all be free to love who we want, how we want.
It’s okay to be different and not conform. If you don’t want to be labelled, then that’s okay too. Just as long as you’re happy and living your own truth. Only you can decide what sexual identity best describes you. Your sexual orientation and identity can remain the same throughout your life. Or it can vary depending on who you’re attracted to, or romantically partnered or sexually active with at a certain point. This is completely normal. Once you claim a label, there’s no reason why it can’t change as you change. Because as they say, you cant help who you love.