James W. Hicks, M.D.

Posts Tagged ‘heteroflexible’

Feedback on the Test

In Ask the Doctor* on September 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Many of you have taken the time to give me feedback on the Flex Test, and I would like to share some of the more interesting comments with readers of the blog.

The following comment points out that sexuality has many dimensions that we might not think about, such as whether one “wants” an experience or would just be “willing to try.” I think this also nicely illustrates a sort of undefensive heteroflexible attitude.

Comment: I believe my concern came up with the questions of threesomes, or sex with the same gender… if I am having sex with my girlfriend and a male friend naked as the day he was born comes in wanting to join in…ok, and if he wants to penetrate me or have me penetrate him…ok I suppose I can try that.  However, your question I thinks asked if I would seek that out or have I ever thought about things like that with the same sex…and the answer is no I have not, but if a situation like that arises, I suppose I will cross that bridge, but I do not think of it or seek it out.  Maybe it is just a matter of wording and I am a big fat dummy, I have been wrong before.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

How Straight Are Heterosexuals?

In The Flex Test on February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

A gay friend recently expressed bewilderment at how often straight guys hit on him. As he put it, completely without irony, “That’s so gay!”

For this, my 100th post, I looked back at the data I collected last year from the 4,633 men and women who took the original Flexuality Test. Half of them identified themselves as “heterosexual” at the start of the test. But it should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that people who consider themselves straight have often had same-sex desires and experiences.

Here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who reported having had the following feelings or experiences for someone of the same sex:

52% had been physically attracted to…

52% had been sexually aroused by seeing or thinking about…

48% had flirted with…

37% had had a crush on…

37% had fantasized to the point of orgasm about…

28% had made out with…

23% had given or received a sensual massage from…

22% had engaged in deep kissing with…

17% had been aroused by being naked with…

16% had masturbated with…

13% had received oral sex from…

11% had provided oral sex to…

11% had been in a threesome with…

7% had fallen in love with…

3% had engaged in vaginal sex with…

3% had penetrated anally…

3% had been penetrated anally by…

……. someone of the same sex.

Rates of sexual desire were even higher. Here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who would like to have sexual experiences with someone of the same sex:

41% would like to have a threesome with…

40% would like to receive oral sex from…

30% would like to masturbate with…

29% would like to provide oral sex to…

16% would like to engage in vaginal sex with…

14% would like to be anally penetrated by…

13% would like to anally penetrate…

……. someone of the same sex.

And here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who expressed agreement with the following statements:

58% have sometimes wondered what it would feel like to be pleasured by someone of the same sex

52% feel it would be okay for them to seek sexual release with someone of the same sex

38% would be willing to try gay sex

31% would have sex with someone of the same gender if someone of the opposite gender were not available

24% would like to be able to say they have had sex with both men and women

21% sometimes wonder if they are gay

16% could fall in love with someone of the same gender

11% could live their life with either a male or female partner

10% believe sex with a man is similar to sex with a woman

8% are similarly attracted to men and women

Keep in mind that the takers of the test are by no means a random sample of the population. Many who took the original test learned about it from internet forums about bisexuality. Nevertheless, this is only the data from those who consider themselves heterosexual.

If you consider yourself straight but worry about your same-sex curiosity, this data should be reassuring. If you are gay, bisexual, or curious, this data suggests that threesomes, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are the best ways to score with a straight, supersexual, or heteroflexible acquaintance.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

After Track

In Stories* on February 12, 2011 at 7:01 am

Maria and I had not been particularly friendly before the season started. She hung out with a different group of girls, and even on the field, we were just competitive at first. But competition turned into admiration, and within a few weeks we were seeking each other out in the locker room or going out for pizza after practice. I’d never had a friend like Maria before; she talked faster and laughed freely and couldn’t care less about shopping at the mall or dating.

One night at the pizza parlour, I got a cramp in my leg and was squirming in the bench. I was probably dehydrated from practice. Maria looked at me with concern and then said, “Give it here.” She grabbed my ankle under the table, pulled off my sneaker, pushed my toes back with one hand in her lap, and squeezed the back of my thigh through my jeans with her other hand. She did it so casually, no one who was looking would have even noticed. I found myself staring at her with amazement as her fingers pushed apart the knot in my muscles, but she was looking down, either in embarrassment or concentration.

“I owe you a massage,” I said as she finished and lowered my leg.

She took me up on the offer that weekend, when we were hanging out in my room, though she brought it up hesitantly.

“I remember,” I said, putting away my homework. “Take off those pants and lie down on the bed.”

She turned her back to me and stepped out of her jeans, pulled her shirt over her head, and took off her bra. “Okay?” she asked, sitting down on the mattress and looking at the floor.

I put my hand on her shoulder and nudged her to lie down. Then I reached down to take off my shoes and added, “I’m going to make myself comfortable too.” Down to my underwear, I sat across her legs, put my hands on her back, and waited, feeling her chest rise and lower with her breathing.

She turned her head and smiled. “You got any massage oil?”

One in Three

In Stories* on December 1, 2010 at 7:26 pm

The summer after my junior year in college, we got together for pizza and beer in my parent’s backyard. I hadn’t seen Brad and Jason since Thanksgiving, when my girlfriend at the time was visiting. But now it was just the three of us, like in high school.

After a few drinks, the conversation turned to sex, and Brad did what he does best, showing off some bit of knowledge and putting us on the defensive. He had taken a course on human sexuality to satisfy his college science requirement. “And did you know,” he said, leaning forward over his beer, “That one out of every three men has had sex with another man?” He looked Jason in the eye. “That means, statistically speaking, one of us right here has fucked around with a guy.”

We were all silent for a moment, holding tightly onto our Buds. What a conversation stopper.

Jason was the straightest guy I knew, always bragging about screwing some girl, though he never held onto them for long. And Brad had dated the same girl since high school. We were always stumbling on the two of them having sex behind a tree or in a closet. You could say he was twisted, but he sure as hell wasn’t gay.

“So boys, which one of us has done it?” Brad continued, safe from scrutiny and not letting us off the hook.

I started to sweat.

These guys were my best friends, but I had never told them about the time I fooled around with a frat mate in sophomore year. We got drunk after soccer practice and ended up showering together back at the house, when no one else was around. It started with touching and teasing, and then we ended up in his bed, giving each other head. It never happened again, but I knew I’d do it again with a guy if I had the opportunity. For a couple weeks afterwards I even worried that I might be gay, which was stupid, because I’ve always liked girls and planned to get married.

Could Brad and Jason see that I was the one? I leaned back to take another drink and banged my head against the wind chimes hanging from the rafters of the porch, spilling beer across my chin. I blushed and looked away.

“Don’t be an ass,” Jason said. “None of us is gay.” He looked at me and back at Brad. “And nobody here has fucked a guy. You’ve got a sick mind, man.”

Picking up Popcorn

In Stories* on November 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

The other guys went home around midnight, but Tad told me he would stick around and help me clean up, which I really appreciated, because I was pretty stoned and the place would stink if I left it till the morning. There were cans of beer lying on their side on the floor and nuts and popcorn slipping into the cracks of the sofa. When we had nearly finished and were moving a table back into the kitchen, Tad asked me about Bobby, who had been making loud, obnoxious comments about all the girls in the movie: how he’d like to fuck this one or that one, how big her boobs were, and stuff like that.

“The thing is,” Tad said, “I had this experience last year with Bobby. We were at Jessica’s party, and when I went to pee, he sort of pushed his way into the bathroom behind me. He said he couldn’t wait, unzipped, and started pissing into the bowl while I was using it. I didn’t mind, but then he started playing around, crossing the streams and moaning like it was something sexual. We’d had a lot of beer, so this went on for a while, and I noticed his dick was getting bigger. After he shook it off, he pushed his underwear down and asked me to suck him off.”

Tad paused, like he was waiting for my reaction.

“So did you?”

“No, of course not.” He flashed an annoyed look. “He wasn’t kidding either. He was getting really hard. I told him he was drunk and got out of there fast.” Tad looked up at me. “Do I look like I’m gay, or something?”

I reached into the fridge, popped open another can of beer, and handed it to him. We were standing just a foot or two apart. “I don’t think gay is a way you look.”

He looked annoyed again, shifting back and forth and clenching his teeth in what could have been a smile or a frown. Finally he asked me, “What would you have done?”

I held his gaze and thought about my answer. “Well, I don’t like Bobby very much.”

He held out the beer and smiled. “So you might have, if it was somebody else?”

I let my fingers brush against his as I took the beer back and had a cold swig, looking into his eyes the whole time. “I’d give it a try, with the right person.”

How Many Bisexuals?

In Research on November 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

I posted previously about the incidence of bisexuality among men and women. Since then, the results of two more national surveys have been published.

The 2008 General Social Survey involved face-to-face interviews with about 2,000 adults (though nearly 13% declined to answer the questions about sexual orientation and behavior). According to an analysis of the data by The Williams Institute, less than 2% of men said they were gay, less than 2% of women said they were lesbian, and less than 2% altogether identified as bisexual. But another 6%, who consider themselves straight, reported having had sex with someone of the same sex. In total, nearly 10% could be considered something other than heterosexual based on self-identification or sexual history.

Of note, women were twice as likely as men to consider themselves bisexual, while men were twice as likely to consider themselves straight even when they had had a same sex partner. This may reflect greater stigma for men in being anything other than straight.

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior of 2009 focused more on specific sexual behaviors and was conducted over the internet, which may have been less embarrassing. Nearly 6,000 adolescents and adults agreed to participate. According to the special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine which published the results, about 8% of adults consider themselves something other than straight, with women much more likely to identify as bisexual or “other.” The highest rate of bisexual identification (8.4%) was reported by adolescent girls (who were also much more likely than boys to engage in same-sex behaviors).

The published findings regarding sexual behaviors are frustratingly incomplete, in that they do not distinguish whether insertive anal practices and mutual masturbation were conducted with same-sex or opposite-sex partners, and cunnilingus seems to be the only same-sex activity identified for women. That said, the following rates of same-sex behavior were found among adult men: 8-15% have received oral sex, 6-13% have given oral sex, and 4-11% have received anal sex. Among women, 4-17% have received oral sex from a woman, and 4-14% have given oral sex to a woman. (The ranges reflect the rates in different age groups.)

Again, the rates of same-sex behavior are considerably higher than the rates of gay and bisexual identification, which confirms previous findings that most men and women who have had homosexual experiences nevertheless consider themselves straight (in my schema, most would probably be heteroflexible).

Of note, neither of these surveys sampled institutional settings, such as dormitories, barracks, and jails, where same-sex behavior may be more common. If we were to add in those settings and consider any same-sex behaviors that lead to orgasm, rates of de facto bisexuality would probably be closer to the 20-30% originally identified by Kinsey.

Sweet Fruit

In Stories* on October 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Even though we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other on the base, I was nervous when I finally walked over to Jackie’s room to get her for the movie. I’d never been on a date with a woman before, and I had no idea what two women were supposed to do in bed. It couldn’t be anything like having sex with a man, unless she had one of those strap-on things, and that would be just ridiculous and anyway out of the question in the dormitory. I told myself not to worry. We were going off base, and if I could just hold her hand during the movie, that would be enough.

I had butterflies in my stomach as I knocked and heard her footsteps approaching from the other side. My cheeks were suddenly hot, and my mouth was dry. She opened the door, still wearing fatigues. We just stood there, smiling at each other like idiots. Then she took hold of me by the wrist and pulled me inside, closed the door, and pressed me up against the wall.

There was no talking and no kissing, at least not on the lips. She dropped down in front of me and pulled my panties down from under my skirt and pushed my skirt up with both hands and dug in with her tongue. I was still too shocked to do anything but lean my shoulders back against the wall and tilt my legs to give her room. She slid a finger into me, or two, while nuzzling and tugging with her lips. Her whole face was slippery against me now, and I put my hands on her braids and pulled her tight as my legs started shaking uncontrollably.

And then we lay down on her bed for more. We never did make it to the movie. In fact, I don’t think we even took a break for dinner. Thank god her roommate was on leave.


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.

Bisexual Beats

In Flexible People on August 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

The Beats: Pictures of a Legend
Edmund White
The New York Review of Books
August 19, 2010

According to White, “Almost all of the Beats were bisexual and one another’s lovers.” Neal Cassady “slept with everyone” (i.e., supersexual or ambisexual). William Burroughs (author of Naked Lunch) married, but his fiction featured explicit descriptions of anal intercourse with young men from third world countries. Jack Kerouac (author of On the Road) and Peter Orlovsky were straight but would “put out” (i.e., heteroflexible) for Allen Ginsberg (author of Howl), who was gay.

Flexible Films

In Media on July 18, 2010 at 10:17 am

The new movie, The Kids Are All Right, tells the story of a lesbian couple whose children track down their sperm-donor father, with unintended consequences. All five principle actors are fabulous. The movie also reveals some interesting examples of flexible female sexual desire and behavior.

On the subject of movies that depict flexible sexualities, I also recommend Y Tu Mama Tambien, a 2001 film from Mexico, in which two young men discover their heteroflexible side with the assistance of the older woman whom they both desire.

I understand that Penelope Cruz plays a bisexual woman in last year’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but I haven’t seen the movie myself.

Chat Roulette

In Flexercises on June 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Anyone who doubts the nearly universal potential for bisexual behavior and interests should spend twenty minutes on Chat Roulette.

For those who don’t know, Chat Roulette is a relatively new internet phenomenon which allows you to chat with a series of random strangers from around the world. Everyone who visits the site becomes part of the mix. You and your chat partner are visible to each other via your web cams, and you can each end the conversation at any time with the click of a button and be flung to your next random partner.

Because there is no sign-on or membership, your participation is completely anonymous, and the site has become a giant social experiment, revealing how people behave with each other when there is virtually no accountability. Most people turn out to be curious and friendly. Sure, about a quarter of the participants at any time are faceless men jerking off in front of their camera. But if you can get past that, you can have surprisingly deep conversations with someone you don’t know and will never see again.

And what do people talk about on Chat Roulette? They ask, where are you from? what do you do? and are you gay? Most participants are male, and you will find that many, if not most, identify themselves as “mostly straight” or “bi-curious” or “experimenting” or say they are unwilling to restrict themselves to a label. Even those who initially say they are straight begin to ask themselves why they’ve never had a gay experience. Before you know it, they want to show you their underwear or ask if you find them attractive, or they inquire about the mechanics of sex between men. And many men from other countries (especially the Middle East and South Asia) quickly acknowledge that they are attracted to both men and women, even though they might be married and have children.

I’m not sure what the Chat Roulette experience is like for women. There are few women on the site, and many seem to be men masquerading as women with video loops. Statistically, it might be difficult for a woman to find a female partner to chat with.  Are the women on the site as heteroflexible as the men?

Two Short Stories

In Media on June 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

There are many coming-out novels, but who tells the stories of the not-gay and not-lesbian young men and women who have same-sex experiences?

The title stories of two acclaimed short story collections are narrated by a young man and a young woman who are left behind when their best friends recognize themselves as gay and lesbian.

In Drown, Junot Diaz, the prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, tells the story of two Dominican-American high school boys whose best friendship turns briefly sexual. But it’s the heteroflexible narrator who feels confused and marginilized, while the more confident, gay friend escapes to college.

In Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer’s narrator is an alienated, Black college freshman woman who forms her first, strong emotional bond with a classmate, only to feel rejected when her friend embraces a lesbian identity. Is the narrator “really” lesbian, or flexamorous, or asexual?

Gay and lesbian labels provide an answer for the best friends in these stories. But for the young narrators, the labels don’t fit, and they feel shut out by the friends they love. Both stories are hauntingly beautiful.

How many friendships have been tested when sexual desire enters the relationship, forcing friends to think about their sexual identity without a framework for understanding their experiences?

Go Girls!

In Flexible People on June 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

Female entertainers have been leaping out of the closet recently.

Christina Aguilera, while promoting her new album Bi-on-ic, told Out magazine this month that her husband knows she’s “into girls… it’s fun to be open and play.” She describes women as more visually attractive than men. However, she goes on to qualify that she could not live without “dick” and cannot really imagine having sex with a woman, because there would be too much “estrogen” in the room. She did not go so far as to call herself bisexual, but her statements reveal flexible thinking. The singer has a young child with her husband of many years.

Anna Paquin, a star of True Blood, the X-Men movies, and The Piano, recently declared herself bisexual for a public service announcement for The True Colors Fund, an organization advocating for LGBT rights. She is engaged to be married to her male co-star.

Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone a year ago that she was bisexual, and confirmed in an interview with Barbara Walters in December that she has had sexual relationships with women. She says her attraction to women is purely physical.

Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas told The Sun a year ago that she considers herself bisexual. She had previously revealed that she has had sex with both men and women. She is in a long-term relationship with a male actor.

A week earlier, actress Megan Fox of the Transformers also revealed that she was bisexual and had had sex with women.

Which sexual type best describes each of these entertainers? Fergie and Lady Gaga hint at being supersexual. Anna Paquin makes no apologies and might be flexamorous or ambisexual. Christina Aquilera is unafraid to say that she finds women attractive and may be heteroflexible, if not just self-promotional. If anyone knows these stars, please ask them to take the Flexuality Test!

Each of these women deserves applause for leading the way and resisting the pressure to define herself as straight.