As we get a better understanding of human sexuality, we realize just how layered it can be. Take, for instance, a study conducted by Illinois Institute of Technology assistant professor Nicole Legate and University of Rochester’s Ronald Rogge that calls for the recognition of another sexual orientation: heteroflexible.
The study began in 2016, spanned two years, and involved 3,000 participants. It describes heteroflexibles as men and women who identify as heterosexual but are attracted and have sex with people of the same sex. Legate labeled these people as heteroflexibles since they do not identify as bisexual. When it comes to having same-sex partners, they do share some similarities with bisexuals. The study says that 56 percent of its bisexual participants had a same-sex partner in the previous year. When it came to heteroflexible participants, 42 percent of them had a same-sex partner in the previous year.
Legate’s desire for heteroflexibility to be recognized comes from the fact that heteroflexibles have shown “higher rates of different kinds of risk and worse psychological functioning.” According to their study, heteroflexibles often engage in problematic drinking and unprotected sex, which of course translates to more sexually transmitted infections.
According to Legate, heteroflexibles are also less likely to talk about their same-sex activities when compared to LGBTQ folk, which makes it difficult for healthcare providers to properly advise them about sexual health, whether it is about getting tested or about prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis, more commonly known as PrEP.
Adam4Adam blog readers, have you ever met someone who identifies as heteroflexible? Do you agree with Legate’s opinion that they should be recognized as a new sexual orientation? Or do you think this new label is unnecessary? We’d like to hear your thoughts about this. Share it with us in the comments section below!