5 types of sexual orientation

It is important to know the different types of sexual orientation that exist so that we are all able to understand our position and respect that of others. Sexuality and affectivity are two fundamental spheres in the development of the human being. Bonding at different levels is necessary to maintain good physical and psychological health.

A healthy relationship with our sexuality is essential. And this not only implies being aware of what we like, moves us and awakens desire, but also being able to accept it and express it naturally.

The myths and taboos that have surrounded sex for centuries can still make this essential task difficult for us. Therefore, it is imperative to have clear and truthful information in this regard.

What is sexual orientation?

First of all, we must be clear about what sexual orientation is, since we often confuse it with other related concepts. We can define sexual orientation as the physical, psychological or emotional attraction we feel towards a certain segment of the population. It is, therefore, a stable and lasting preference with respect to those with whom we wish to link romantically, emotionally or sexually.

We have to differentiate this term from others such as gender identity, which designates the subjective and profound experience of each individual regarding their gender. That is, with which each person identifies, which may or may not be related to their biological sex.

Nor should we confuse sexual orientation with gender expression, which alludes to the way in which we manifest ourselves externally with our behavior and appearances. This expression may not match what society expects (for example, men who are labeled effeminate).

Gender is not the same as identity or orientation. Each concept has its definition.

Read on: What is being autosexual?

Types of sexual orientation

The different preferences that individuals can manifest regarding their sexuality constitute the types of sexual orientation. Some of them are known and accepted, while others do not yet have the necessary recognition. Let's see the main ones.

1. Heterosexuality

This is the majority type of sexual orientation and also the most accepted on a social level. Heterosexual people are those who are attracted to individuals of the opposite gender., both physically and emotionally. Thus, heterosexual men prefer to be linked romantically and sexually with women and vice versa.

2. Homosexuality

Homosexuality occurs when the individual is attracted to people of the same sex or gender. After heterosexuality, it is the best known type of sexual orientation. Usually anglicism is used gay and the term lesbian to designate homosexual men and women, respectively.

3. Bisexuality

Bisexuality occurs in both men and women who they are attracted physically and emotionally to individuals of both sexes. In particular, bisexual people suffer from certain stigmas when disclosing their condition, since it is sometimes thought that it is a phase or that they are confused.

However, bisexuality has the same entity and validity as a sexual orientation as any other. Some studies even suggest that the majority of the population is bisexual to some degree.

4. Pansexuality

Pansexuality defines sexual or romantic attraction to any human being, regardless of sex, gender or appearance. Thus, the pansexual person focuses his attention on the qualities and personality of each individual, regardless of whether he is male, female, or does not identify with any binary gender.

5. Asexuality

Asexual people are those who do not experience sexual desire or attraction for any gender. Arguably, your interest in sex and sexual activity is zero.

However, they can feel emotional, intellectual or romantic attraction for other people. Thus, although there is no physical desire, there do appear preferences to bond emotionally and on other levels with people of the same sex, of the opposite or of both.

It is important not to confuse asexuality with celibacy or abstinence. Well, in the first case the desire or sexual interest does not exist, while in the second it is controlled or avoided by applying it for beliefs or convictions.

Knowledge of sexual orientations allows progress in respecting differences.

Find out more: What is asexuality?

Other types of sexual orientation

In addition to the above, there are many other types of sexual orientation. For example, demisexual people are only attracted to those individuals with whom they share a strong emotional bond. Or those who are sapiosexual feel attraction based on the intelligence of people.

Definitely, sexual preferences and tastes show a very wide and varied spectrum that it cannot be constrained to a few rigid and immovable options. Flexibility and acceptance are two essential elements in order to discover, experience and enjoy sexuality without judging ourselves or others.