James W. Hicks, M.D.

Archive for the ‘Sexual Types’ Category

Asexual

In Ask the Doctor*, Sexual Types on April 8, 2011 at 7:49 am

Q: What if someone is asexual, as in completely uninterested in having sex at all with anyone, not out of fear, but simply out of boredom? Is this a sign of depression? What if said person doesn’t feel the least bit mentally stressed or poorly but, in fact, perfectly healthy?

A: I have received several questions like this, and also several comments expressing dissapointment that “asexual” is not a category recognized on the Flexuality Test. The point is well taken, because asexuality has become a self-defining sexual identity for many people, and not just one end of a dimensional measurement of sexual desire or behavior.

As with other types of sexual orientation, any discussion about asexuality is complicated by a multitude of definitions (does it refer to attraction, desire, behavior, or identity?), and even more so by a lack of research, though a couple of interesting exploratory studies have been published in recent years.

Perhaps the most common and useful definition is the one implied by the question above: you are asexual if you lack sexual feelings. You may find other people attractive in an aesthetic way, but not in a way that triggers sexual arousal or desire. Like many asexuals, you may have engaged in sex, if only out of curiosity or to please a partner, but you wonder, “What’s the big deal?” You are probably able to masturbate, but you may experience orgasm as a relaxing, physical release unaccompanied by sexual fantasy and craving. You may be concerned about your lack of sexual interest, since everyone else is so impressed (if not preoccupied) by sex, but you do not feel you have lost some necessary feeling.

Some people find themselves romantically attracted to others (either men or women or both), but the romantic feelings are not accompanied by a desire to have sex. Some people choose not to have sex, even though they experience some sexual desire, and this might be better characterized as celibacy. But those who choose to be celibate may do so, in part, because they experience less sexual desire or arousal to begin with.

For more information about asexuality, and to make contact with an internet community of asexuals, check out the excellent web site of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

As a psychiatrist, I should point out that some people lose interest in sex for medical or psychological reasons, such as depression or hypothyroidism. Some people have learned to fear and avoid sex, sometimes because of painful, coercive, or otherwise distressing experiences, but this seems to be distinct from the more neutral disinterest experienced by those who consider themselves asexual. If you are troubled by your lack of interest in sex, if you dread sex, or if you have experienced a change in your level of sexual desire and functioning, then you should probably consult with your doctor or a therapist.

As some readers have pointed out, asexuality is not explored on the Flexuality Test. Some questions assume that the test taker has some sexual desire (aimed at people of the same or opposite sex, or both). My intention was not to deny asexuality as a type of sexual orientation in an overall scheme. Rather, my project has been to explore only those dimensions that contribute to a spectrum of bisexual feelings and behaviors. I similarly excluded from consideration many other areas of interest, such as age preferences, sexual addiction, and fetishes. Of the categories discussed on this blog, the flexamorous sexual type is probably most likely to overlap with asexuality, in that the gender of the partner may be unimportant for some asexuals who have romantic feelings but little desire.

“Flexamorous” Replaces “Polyamorous”

In Announcements, Sexual Types on March 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Update (4-7-11): I have decided on the term “flexamorous,” which retains the association with love while emphasizing fluidity and flexibility rather than implying a multitude of partners. Thanks to everyone for your advice. I will be replacing the terms throughout the blog and on the next version of the Flexuality Test.

………………………

Several of you have suggested that I consider a name change for the polyamorous sexual type. The term is already claimed by men and women advocating for the right to have, and the benefits of having, concurrent loving relationships with more than one partner.

One reader of this blog pointed out that my usage of the term encroaches on a marginalized group’s efforts to clarify and establish a minority position. It may also confuse people who take my test or who share their sexual profile results with others, unaware of the differences in usage. I agree that this is counterproductive.

“Polyamorous” has a romantic sound that nicely fit the description of my sexual type. The next best term I have come up with is “ambiphilic,” a term that is already in use in chemistry, but that pre-existing meaning (molecules that are attracted to both water and oil) is unlikely to confuse and may even be seen as symbolic. Unfortunately the word also sounds a bit like “amphibian.”

I’m open to other suggestions. Please comment if you can think of a better term that captures those who have the capacity to fall in love with others, regardless of the other’s gender. Then I’ll revise the term throughout the blog and on the test.

Transitioning

In Sexual Types on December 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm

This is the last of a dozen posts about each of my proposed sexual types. The transitioning category captures men and women who are in transit from one sexual identity to another. It is not really a sexual type but a stage between types. “Transitioning” is also the term used by transgendered individuals (see metamorphic) who have begun the process of transforming their gender and living as a different sex from the one into which they were born. I use the term more generally.

At one extreme, you may be married and have always considered yourself straight, but you have begun to realize that you are also attracted to, and perhaps prefer, members of the same sex. You may identify yourself as “really” gay or lesbian, rather than bisexual, perhaps because only that would justify coming out of the closet and making a major change in lifestyle. On the other hand, as you complete your transition from one identity to another, you may preserve a sense of sexual flexibility, and this seems to be the more common pattern among women.

You may also transition in the other direction. Your earliest romantic experience may have been with someone of the same gender, but you have come to realize that you are also attracted to the opposite sex. Since heterosexual relationships are more socially acceptable, you may decide that you went through a phase and are “really straight.” A woman in this situation may jokingly refer to herself as a “has-bian.” The term “ex-gay” is also used, though generally only by those who have sought church-based therapy that is hostile to homosexual expression.

In some macho or tribal societies, a man’s sexual identity and role may change in young adulthood when he grows a beard and gets married, at which point he switches from being homosexually receptive to become a bisexual “top.” In the West, the phrase, “today’s trade is tomorrow’s trick,” refers to another, perhaps apocryphal, sort of transition, when bisexual hustlers grow up to become homosexual customers (the implication being that they also switch from being tops to bottoms).

Queer

In Sexual Types on October 28, 2010 at 5:26 am

If you are young or engaged in political and academic discourse about sexuality, you may prefer to identify yourself as queer rather than as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. By calling yourself queer, you challenge the idea that heterosexuality is normative, you imply that the gay-straight and male-female binaries are overly simplistic and restricting, and you assert political solidarity with others who resist being judged on the basis of their sexual preferences or gender identification. You may consider yourself post-gay and beyond labeling. You are open to exploring sexual feelings for the opposite sex.

If you are queer, others might view you as simply gay or bisexual, but your choice of terminology reflects the value you place on the potential for change and variation in sexual matters and your reluctance to fix a restrictive label on complex erotic tastes, emotional ties, gender roles, and behaviors. If you are primarily attracted to members of the same sex, you may identify as queer to reflect your own commitment to remaining flexible, or you may call yourself homoflexible.

Some who identify as queer also feel more comfortable thinking of themselves as androgynous or are attracted to men and women who are not typically masculine or feminine. In that sense, queers reject gender roles and stereotypes as well as fixed sexual orientations.

Michael Stipe, the lead singer and front man for R.E.M., identifies as queer rather than gay. He has said in interviews that he is most attracted to men but has had feelings for women as well and considers the label gay too narrow for him.

Gay and Lesbian

In Flexible People, Sexual Types on October 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm

If you are gay or lesbian (the term usually preferred by gay women), your sexual interests are directed almost exclusively towards members of the same sex. You have probably had some heterosexual experiences, but they have felt uncomfortable, unpleasant, mechanical, or devoid of passion and affection. From an early age, you have been most attracted to, fallen in love with, and sexually desired other men (if you are gay) or women (if you are lesbian). Over the years, you probably began to realize that forming a relationship with the opposite sex was not for you, and if you continued to date, you did so to provide a cover or to please your family. You began to identify with the idea of being gay or homosexual, especially if you were exposed to gay family, friends, or role models.

Since society discourages homosexuality in so many ways, those who identify as gay or lesbian tend to be those who feel they have no other choice. You may feel you were “born that way,” and several scientific studies suggest there may be a genetic component. If you have any feelings at all for the opposite sex (in other words, if you are naturally homoflexible, ambisexual, flexamorous, or some other flavor of bisexual), you may be tempted to favor those feelings and identify as straight rather than pursuing a path that can put you at odds with your family, church, and society at large.

Some lesbians and gay men express what are generally considered, respectively, masculine and feminine traits (see the description of the metamorphic type). But the opposite is not true: most gay men and women do not grow up feeling that they are, in other respects less masculine or feminine than their peers.

There are many men and women who have come out in recent years and identified themselves as gay or lesbian. Two of the most famous are the Democratic senator, Barney Frank, and the entertainer, Ellen Degeneres.

Metamorphic

In Flexible People, Sexual Types on October 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

Metamorphic is a term I invented to capture several different sexual types which have in common some degree of identification with the opposite sex. There are many theories about the features which define and distinguish the different types, for example by contrasting gender identity to sexual orientation, but we do not really have a coherent explanation for the wide range of combinations that exist in real life.

This is the most preliminary and uncertain sexual type in my model, so I hope you will bear with me and continue to give feedback until we get it right. Surprisingly, metamorphic features have turned out to be much more common in the profiles generated by my Flexuality Test than I expected.

In the most common metamorphic presentation, you are not only attracted to the opposite sex, but also sexually excited by the idea of imitating or becoming the opposite sex. As a child, you enjoyed wearing the clothing, shoes, accessories, or make-up of your opposite sex parent or siblings, and at puberty, you found these experiences sexually arousing. But in contrast to some boys and girls who later grow up to identify as gay, you are otherwise typically masculine or feminine and feel comfortable with the sex of your birth.

When you are with a sexual partner as an adult, you may ask to wear his or her clothes. When you are alone, you may cross-dress and arouse yourself in front of a mirror. You may wear undergarments of the opposite sex beneath your regular clothing in public and become aroused later when recalling the sensation. You may switch gender roles during sex, and you or your partner may use a strap-on dildo. You may have heard these sexual behaviors and preferences described as a cross-dressing or transvestic “fetish.”

For some who have these feelings, the desire to inhabit the body of the opposite sex becomes more intense. You may imagine yourself switching places with your partner or think of yourself in the role of the opposite sex when watching pornography. Though you consider yourself straight, you may have homosexual experiences (perhaps while cross-dressing) in order to better imagine what sex would feel like from the perspective of the opposite sex. A few men and women in this category eventually seek to live as the opposite sex, changing their wardrobe, taking hormones, or seeking surgery. Social scientists refer to them as “non-homosexual” transvestites and transsexuals.

In contrast, you may have identified closely, and for non-sexual reasons, with the opposite sex since childhood. You may feel you were born into the wrong body and consider yourself effeminate or butch, respectively, compared to other boys and girls, at least when you were growing up. Your interests and mannerisms may be more typical of the opposite sex. Children with these traits tend to identify as lesbian or gay when they grow up, and may be presumed to be gay by others. Some, who identify most strongly with the opposite sex, may seek to change their gender and may think of themselves as straight from that perspective. Like the other metamorphic type, you may cross-dress, take hormones, and eventually seek gender-realignment surgery, but out of a desire to live as the opposite sex rather than because you find it sexually exciting.

In clinical settings, metamorphic presentations are seen almost exclusively in men, but this may reflect the difficulty and distress felt by men who try to dress as women, rather than the actual incidence of cross-dressing. In Western countries, women can generally get away with wearing men’s clothing without attracting much attention, and “tomboys” are treated better than “sissies.”

Another variation of the metamorphic type would include those who feel that they are neither male nor female. You may dress and style your hair in a way that blurs the distinction between male and female (as opposed to cross-dressers, for example, who may exaggerate the traits of the opposite sex in the process of imitation). Some might feel uncomfortable with gender labels in the same way that others are uncomfortable calling themselves gay or straight. Some in this category may be most attracted to other androgynous individuals.

Finally, some who consider themselves unambiguously male or female may be most attracted to partners whose gender is ambiguous or paradoxically exaggerated, including transvestites and transsexuals. Again, this may be conceptually a very different group, but may also be a variant of the metamorphic type.

A recent example of the metamorphic type is Chastity Bono, the daughter of Sonny and Cher, who has legally and surgically changed his gender, and now goes by the name of Chaz Bono. He grew up lacking the interest of other girls and came out as lesbian before switching genders. The early 20th Century Brazilian, gay hustler, murderer, and transvestite, Joao Francisco dos Santos, portrayed in the movie Madame Sata, is another example. And though I don’t intend to speculate about the artist Prince’s personal sexuality, his stage persona exhibits heterosexual-metamorphic traits, evident in his hermaphroditic outfits, iconography, and lyrics. “If I were your girlfriend…,” indeed!

Straight

In Sexual Types on October 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

You may think it unnecessary for me to describe the “natural,” assumed-unless-otherwise-stated, default sexual type to which most people supposedly belong.

In polls, the vast majority of women and men identify themselves as straight, in part because the other options are so limited. Though the term presumably refers only to sexual attraction, you may feel that it also captures your sense of masculinity (if you are a man) or femininity (if you are a woman) and your sense of being sexually and socially normal. Even if you are sexually aroused by, or have had sex with, someone of the same sex, you may feel that identifying as straight better captures your romantic feelings and relationship goals. I encourage you to take the Flexuality Test and consider the other categories, since many straight men and women are probably more accurately classifiable as heteroflexible.

If you are genuinely straight, you are attracted only to members of the opposite sex and cannot imagine yourself in a romantic relationship with anyone else. Since reaching puberty, your fantasies and aspirations have always involved the other sex. If you have had a homosexual experience, you found it uninspiring, if not unpleasant. You may feel that heterosexuality is the natural state and that homosexual feelings are only experienced by gays and lesbians. You may find it hard to even entertain the possibility that you could have such feelings yourself.

On the other hand, you may be open-minded to the idea of sexual flexibility and have close friends of both genders and different sexualities while experiencing no same-sex desires yourself. Some people may just be born that way.

Macho

In Sexual Types on September 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The macho sexual type refers only to men and is a sexual category commonly seen among Latinos and men from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. But it can emerge in any culture or sub-culture (for example, in the military, in jails and prisons, in athletic circles, or in urban neighborhoods) where maintaining ones position in a hierarchy of power is particularly important. And many men, regardless of their cultural background, may consider sex an arena where ones masculinity is contested, proven, or compromised.

If you are macho, you consider yourself straight, and would never say otherwise, but you may also think of yourself as a “top” or, simply, a “man,” regardless of whether you are having sex with a man or a woman. The important thing is to be the active or insertive partner in the sexual act. If another man gives you head or lets you screw him, then it says something about his sexuality, not yours. Your ability to penetrate another man makes you more, not less, of a man. (At an extreme, this can make the rape of another man possible, for example by soldiers, police, or prisoners.) You may prefer or seek out younger, pretty, or effeminate men, or transvestites or transsexuals, or you may prefer masculine men, so long as your role in the relationship is not in doubt. You do not discuss these sexual encounters with your family or female partners, though you may joke in public or brag about them with like-minded friends, who perceive your exploits as enhancing your masculinity.

I can think of several un-exemplary examples of the macho type, for example: notorious cops who sexually abused their prisoners or the character played by Aaron Eckhart in In the Company of Men, whose most memorable sexual experience was the gang-rape of a fellow male student. There is also plenty of scientific and anecdotal literature about men in Latin, Muslim, and Mediterranean cultures who screw other men while considering themselves straight. But I can’t think of any famous individual whose sexual behaviors are acknowledged who might fit the macho type, aside from some gay Latino adult film stars, like Tiger Tyson, who exclusively top. One of the young Mexican characters in the book and movie of Mala Noche might also qualify.

Supersexual

In Sexual Types on September 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Supersexual is the term I use for mostly straight men and women who value sex for its own sake and are always seeking new ways to express themselves. If you are supersexual, you have probably had a wide variety of heterosexual fantasies or experiences. But your sexual interests are not confined to the straight and narrow. You might refer to yourself as freaky, straight-plus, polysexual, or try-sexual. Several studies suggest that men and women who have sex with both genders tend to have more partners altogether, possibly reflecting the stronger and less discriminating (in terms of gender) sex drive of people in this category.

You differ from heteroflexible men and women primarily in the degree to which you are adventurous and actively seeking out new sexual experiences. Novelty itself is arousing to you, and you push the boundaries. When you are horny, you seek relief wherever it can be found.

Some men seeking sex with other men “on the down-low” fall in this category. Some women who prefer women may sleep with men because they are easier to engage in casual sex. You may not feel affection for, or desire a relationship with, someone of the same sex, but you are happy to screw him or her, fool around, be serviced, or watch and be watched during group sex. You may tell yourself that the same-sex element in your sex life “doesn’t mean anything” when it comes to defining your sexual orientation. You are unlikely to refer to yourself as bisexual, except perhaps to signal your sexual interest and dexterity to a potential partner.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a new biography provides evidence that Vivien Leigh may have been supersexual. Lord Byron was also probably supersexual. Otherwise straight men who frequent adult video stores and restrooms for quick, anonymous encounters are also likely to be supersexual.

Restrained

In Sexual Types on August 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

“Restrained” is the fifth sexual type I discuss on this blog, though it might be more accurate to think of it as a feature that qualifies one of the other more fundamental sexual orientations.

If you are restrained, you have romantic feelings and sexual desires which are at odds with your family or societal role and sense of identity. For example, a married parent, a clergyman, or a politician may be under great pressure to deny or suppress same-sex feelings that could destroy his or her relationship to family, church, or a conservative constituency. Less commonly, you may be troubled by heterosexual urges if you are in a gay relationship. If you are sexually excited by cross-dressing or imagining yourself to be of another gender, you may feel ashamed and compelled to conceal your preference from your partner and others. You may suppress your feelings, or engage in them only secretly and guiltily, feeling they are abnormal and wrong. You may pursue furtive experiences “on the down-low.” You may feel conflicted and confused, or you may defensively deny your feelings even to yourself.

If you are restrained, you have much in common with those who are transitioning, except that you have chosen not to address your evolving feelings or to resolve the discrepancy between your outer and inner lives. You have not found an identity that successfully accommodates your orientation. Others might be tempted to label you as “really” gay or bisexual or “in the closet,” but this ignores the value you have placed on maintaining a certain role and certain loving ties in relationship to your family and society, perhaps reasonably fearing the repercussions of coming out.

Many outwardly heterosexual (and ironically, often homophobic) politicians and clergy have been caught in recent years in homosexual trysts. Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey came out of the closet as a “gay American” after being blackmailed by another man. Until that point, he was married to a woman who did not know about his sexual preferences, and his sexual type could have been characterized as “restrained.”

Among those who have taken my Flex Test, I’ve been struck by several who identify themselves as “heterosexual” at the start of the test but indicate in later answers that their attractions and experiences with the same sex are at least as strong as those with the opposite sex. Many of them also answer questions indicating that they face strong societal constraints (being married, wanting children, having nosy family) and that their lives would be “ruined” if others thought them to be gay.

Ambisexual

In Media, Sexual Types on August 10, 2010 at 10:04 am

If you are similarly sexually aroused by both women and men, then you are ambisexual. This is the simplest, classic type of bisexuality: a “Kinsey 3” on the heterosexual-homosexual seven-point scale. The prefix in the word ambisexual puts the emphasis more specifically on the equivalence of desire for both men and women, as distinct from other manifestations of bisexuality, though you may also feel comfortable calling yourself bisexual. The term “AC-DC” has been applied to those who derive equal sexual satisfaction from both sexes, or you might refer to your desires as “50-50.”

Ambisexual is probably the most natural condition, the one that would emerge most commonly if society did not so strongly encourage heterosexuality and pathologize homosexual desire, skewing the bell curve that would otherwise define a population’s erotic tastes.

If you are ambisexual, you may be attracted to men and women in more or less the same ways. You fantasize about both. You physically enjoy sex with both. You might fall in love with both, though that is more common in the flexamorous type. You are independent enough in your thinking, and free of sexual guilt and prejudice, to be able to recognize your natural attractions to both sexes and not suppress either.

Janis Joplin was probably ambisexual. She was known to have many sexual relationships with both men and women throughout her life, even when she was in longer-term romantic (and sometimes platonic) relationships.

The ambisexual type is also captured in the character of Capt. Jack (played by John Barrowman) in Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off. “He can sleep with man, woman, or alien,” as the lead writer and producer of the show told Blastr.

Versatile

In Sexual Types on August 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Versatile is a term used by male sex workers to indicate their willingness to be either a top or a bottom, but I use it here more generally as the third sexual type.

Versatile refers to both men and women who, in exchange for some benefit, are able and willing to have sex with those to whom they are not otherwise sexually attracted, male or female. The exchange could include money or less tangible compensations such as security, shelter, travel, immigration, or legal status. The derived benefits might also include excitement through exhibitionism or participation in a shared fetish. The required versatile acts range from performing in front of a camera to showing affection and providing conjugal sex during the course of a relationship. Within this category, otherwise straight male sex workers and pornographic actors are referred to as “gay-for-pay” if they engage in homosexual acts.

If you are versatile, you probably consider compensated sex to be a performance rather than an expression of desire or affection. You may improve your act, in part, by fantasizing about the gender you find attractive rather than the person (or audience) you are with. Or you may find the sexual admiration, desire, or affection of others to be sufficiently arousing, even from someone who is not otherwise your preferred type. You may also find some mechanical pleasure in the sexual act and train yourself to become aroused in situations that previously would not have interested you. You may take pride in your ability to perform your job well. Your sexual tastes may evolve and expand, and you may even come to think of yourself as heteroflexible, supersexual, or bisexual.

Many have assumed Anna Nicole Smith was versatile, because she was a model for Playboy who went on to marry a wealthy octogenarian more than sixty years her senior.

The poet and punk artist Jim Carroll hustled gay men to support his drug habit when he was a teenager.

Leaving Tangier by Tahar Ben Jelloun paints an empathetic portrait of the versatile type in telling the story of an otherwise straight Moroccan man who forms a sexual relationship with a gay Spaniard in order to escape his home country. Several other bisexual types are also deftly illustrated in the short novel.

Heteroflexible

In Sexual Types on July 31, 2010 at 5:45 am

Heteroflexible may be the most populous of the dozen sexual types.

If you are sexually flexible, you consider yourself straight, or mostly straight, but are open to the possibility, at least, of having sex with someone of the same gender. This category probably captures the majority of women and men in America today who are not exclusively homosexual or heterosexual in their attractions. It is poised to become the largest category of all as our culture becomes increasingly comfortable with the idea of sexual flexibility.

Flexible men and women may describe themselves as bi-curious, questioning, experimenting, or mostly straight. You may feel physically comfortable and emotionally close to a good friend of the same gender and curiously aroused by the possibility of fooling around with him or her. Or you may have realized that you find both men and women attractive, and you fantasize about both, though not necessarily to the same degree. You may not go looking for a homosexual experience, but you would be open if someone expressed interest in you. If you have already had a same-sex experience, you found it interesting or enjoyable, but it did not displace your interests in the opposite sex. Your worries about being gay, or being perceived as gay, are outweighed by your sense of self-confidence and curiosity, though you probably prefer to be seen by others as straight but open-minded. You may feel uncomfortable calling yourself bisexual.

Tom Hardy, one of the stars of the new movie Inception, may be best described as heteroflexible. He recently told the Daily Mail that he had sexual experiences with other men when he was a youth, but now that he’s in his thirties, “I’m done experimenting.” He is engaged to an actress and has a two year-old child.

Flexamorous

In Flexible People, Sexual Types on July 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm

(Updated 4-7-11) I previously referred to this type as “polyamorous,” but the word “polyamorous” is already being used by some people to describe their non-monogamous relationship preferences. In other words, they believe in having loving, sexual relationships with multiple partners. I had used the word with a slightly different focus on the capacity to fall in love with more than one gender.

You are flexamorous if you are capable of having romantic relationships with both men and women. In contrast to those who are ambisexual, you do not necessarily view your sexual desires as equally strong in both directions. You view each relationship, whether with a man or a woman, on its own terms. You do not define yourself by the gender of your partner, even to the extent of asserting an equal interest in both. You fall in love for a variety of reasons, and sexual excitement is not the defining condition. You are sexually compatible with both men and women, but the sexual component in your relationships may have more to do with physical comfort and affection rather than intense sexual desire.

Flexamorous sexuality is a more common presentation among women than men. Many women who do not define themselves assertively as bisexual nevertheless consider themselves capable of falling in love with both men and women. Perhaps this reflects a cultural expectation that men are primarily interested in sex and women in relationships. In either case, for men or women, this category places greater value on falling in love with an individual, regardless of his or her gender.

This category also captures men and women who may have never questioned their sexuality, and who continue to have sexual desires for the opposite sex, but who have found themselves unexpectedly in love with someone of the same sex.

Cynthia Nixon, the star of Sex and the City, may be a good example of the flexamorous type. She is commonly described as lesbian, but in fact she was married to a man for fifteen years before falling in love with her female partner of the last five years. Nixon told the Advocate this month , “I identify as gay as a political stance… I would have said I think we’re all bisexual. But I had that point of view without ever having felt attracted to a woman.”