Shades of Gay: Is There a Real Difference Between a Kinsey 5 and a Kinsey 6?

Shades of Gay: Is There a Real Difference Between a Kinsey 5 and a Kinsey 6?

People tend to think about sexual orientation in terms of a small number of distinct categories—most commonly, straight, bisexual, and gay. Those who subscribe to this view expect that everyone will fit neatly into one of these three boxes. However, others argue that sexual orientation is far more complex and is best viewed along a continuum or spectrum. The idea of a sexual orientation spectrum can be traced back to Alfred Kinsey, whose Kinsey Scale allowed for seven degrees of heterosexuality and homosexuality:

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Can Men Who Identify as Gay Still be Aroused by Women?

Can Men Who Identify as Gay Still be Aroused by Women?

Many people think about sexual orientation in terms of just three distinct categories: straight, bisexual, and gay. Those who subscribe to this view usually don’t allow for anything in between—they expect that everyone will fit neatly into one of these three boxes.

By contrast, others have argued that sexual orientation is far more complex and is best viewed along a continuum. The idea of a sexual orientation continuum is not new and, in fact, can be traced back to Alfred Kinsey.

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Does “Gaydar” Really Exist? Here’s What the Science Says

Does “Gaydar” Really Exist? Here’s What the Science Says

The intuitive ability to determine whether or not someone is gay is known colloquially as “gaydar.” When people use their gaydar, they attempt to make inferences about someone else’s sexual interests based upon minimal information, such as the way a person dresses, walks, or talks. Gaydar has been the subject of a fair amount of controversy as of late, with some scientists arguing that it’s real and others claiming that it’s a myth. So what’s the deal—is there something to this or not?

Social psychologist Nicholas Rule pulled together all of the available research on this topic in a new paper published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (this paper is part of a forthcoming special issue devoted to “the puzzle of sexual orientation”—for coverage of other articles in this issue, see here and here). Here are some of the key highlights from Rule’s review of the literature

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Sex Question Friday: How Many Straight People Have Had Same-Sex Partners?

Sex Question Friday: How Many Straight People Have Had Same-Sex Partners?

A reader submitted the following question:

“How common is it for straight guys to experiment with other guys?”

Good question! Although there is a common tendency to think that anyone can be put into a neat little box that describes their sexuality (e.g., gay, straight, bisexual), the truth of the matter is that these boxes obscure the fact that there’s actually a lot of fluidity and flexibility in the sexual desires and behaviors of both men and women. Indeed, it’s not at all uncommon for heterosexually-identified persons to have same-sex encounters and for gay- and lesbian-identified persons to have encounters with the other sex. Let’s take a look at some of the data supporting this conclusion.

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Sex Question Friday: Can A Man Fantasize About Another Man And Still Be “Straight?”

Sex Question Friday: Can A Man Fantasize About Another Man And Still Be “Straight?”

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know whether a guy can still be straight if he watches gay porn and fantasizes about being with other men.

If a boyfriend (of a female, so a "straight guy") appears to prefer gay male porn, gets incredibly turned on by it and fantasizes about anal sex (both giving and receiving) and oral sex (both giving and receiving) with a guy, is he really straight or is this a sign of something he's not sharing?

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Sex Question Friday: What Do We Know About Asexuality?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know more about asexuals, or persons who lack interest in partnered sexual activity.

What is the science behind asexuality, and why is it not considered a sexuality option?

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Sex Question Friday: How Long it Takes to Reach Orgasm, the Sexuality Spectrum, and the Sexual Double Standard

Sex Question Friday: How Long it Takes to Reach Orgasm, the Sexuality Spectrum, and the Sexual Double Standard
Every Friday on the blog, I answer a few burning sex questions submitted to me by actual college students. This week, we’re going to talk about how long it takes men and women to achieve orgasm, whether sexual orientation exists on a continuum, and the societal double standard applied to women who are sexually promiscuous.
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