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Heteroflexible

Updated: DECEMBER 20, 2021

Heteroflexible is a sexual orientation used to describe an individual that engages in mostly heterosexual activities and will engage in some homosexual activity. It has been termed both a behavior and an orientation. The term is used as an alternative to bisexual but unlike someone who defines themselves as bisexual, heteroflexible implies the person is "mostly straight."

Heteroflexible, or "mostly heterosexual," is believed to be a common way for people to identify. A worldwide survey of people's sexual orientations found that 80% of people identify as heterosexual. But data from the National Survey of Family growth (2011-2015) reported that 61.9% of women and 59% of men who identified as heterosexual also reported same-sex attraction.

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More About Heteroflexible

Some social scientists believe that the term "heteroflexible" represents a shift toward a more flexible idea of what it means to be heterosexual. In other words, people are able to expand "heterosexual" to still include some same-sex attraction or behavior. There may also be some homophobia here in terms of this behavior among men, as some surveys have found that men may ascribe to the idea that they can perform some sexual behaviors with other men while still maintaining their sense of heterosexuality - and the privilege that may come with it. While in terms of behavior, heteroflexibility ranks similarly on the Kinsey scale, the term "heteroflexible" carries less stigma than "bisexual."

While heteroflexibility can give people a sense of freedom in pursuing sexual relationships, critics of the term suggest it can contribute to bi-erasure and bi-invisibility.

Other people argue that the freedom to choose the labels that suit each individual best is important in queer communities, and that it's important to hold space for sexual fluidity and all forms of non-binary sexuality.

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