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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #1
ImCoolBeans
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Default **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

What exactly is sexuality? And what does “sexual orientation” mean?

Sexuality and sexual orientation are terms regarding someone’s personal preference when it comes to sexual interest; these two terms are often used interchangeably. Your orientation is your physical and emotional attraction towards someone, whereas sexuality is a broader term that can relate to an individual’s sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. There is not at all a clear-cut line between orientations and each person will be different –sexual orientation can be very fluid and often people find it difficult to decide which label suits them best.

Sexual identity, for the purposes of this article, refers to the identity of an individual based on their sexual characteristics – not based wholly on biology. For example, a person born with male sex organs may feel as if they are emotionally and psychologically a female.

Key terms regarding sexuality and knowing your sexual orientation/identity:


Sexual Identity/Orientation
Heterosexual- One who is physically and emotionally attracted only to the opposite sex
Homosexual- One who is physically and emotionally attracted only to members of their own sex
Bisexual- One who is physically and emotionally attracted to both sexes
Bi-curious- One who is physically attracted to the same sex and emotionally and physically attracted to the opposite sex but unsure of their orientation. People who are bi-curious are interested in both sexes, but this does not necessarily make them bi-sexual. Bi-curiosity be a phase or a short interest about experimenting with either sex.
LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgendered)- a term including all non-heterosexual sexual orientations
Pansexual- One who is physically and emotionally attracted to individuals regardless of gender or orientation
Queer- Literally, anything out of the ordinary; often used in reference to one who is homosexual (generally used at individual's discretion- there has been much debate over the term's political correctness but large amounts of homosexuals in the last few years have been in favor of it)
Questioning- One who is unsure as to his/her sexual orientation
Asexual- One who has no sexual attraction and no sexual desire (Not considered a sexual orientation by some, rather a lack of a sexual orientation)

Gender Identity/Roles:

Androgynous- Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior; having an unclear sexual identity

Transgender- A person who feels that the gender they were assigned at birth does not fit them (often transgender individuals cross-dress)
FTM/F2M/Trans-Man- A person who was born female but identifies as a male
MTF/M2F/Trans-Woman- A person who was born male but identifies as a female
Transsexual- A person who chooses to surgically change their gender because they feel that the gender they were assigned at birth does not fit them
Gender Non-conforming/Gender Queer- One who refuses to accepts society's label of male or female and presents themselves as a gender-free individual
Intersex- A general term in reference to any person whose genitalia/sexual anatomy doesn't fit the typical qualifications of male or female
Third Sex/Gender- individuals who considered themselves neither male nor female; also used in cultures where a gender aside from male and female exists

These labels and terms are only guidelines to help us find out our identity. You are not compelled to “pick” or “choose” one at any given time. You are your own person, and do not have to abide by social labels – or be a part of any social grouping that you do not wish to be a part of. They are just here to help you figure out who you are, and for many people they help them feel as if they belong to something.

Orientation: Who you are
Behavior: What you do
Identity: Self-definition
Attribution: What others perceive


Coming out – what makes it so difficult?

Coming out may be easier for some, but for others it can be very difficult. It requires a lot of effort, self-acceptance and bravery. LBGT teens often feel as if they are alone, and different from everyone else. Fear of not being accepted also plays a role in these feelings. One very large factor in this is the uncertainty as to how your family and friends will react to the news. Coming out to anyone – no matter who it is, is very significant! It means that you have truly accepted your sexuality and that you are (at least) somewhat comfortable with it.

You do not need to come out if you are uncomfortable with it. Your best bet is to wait until the time is right, and you know that you are okay with the circumstance. If you plan on coming out, you should tell someone that you are very comfortable with. Someone who you know you can trust, and who will be able to support you. Remember, these are your choices and nobody can make them for you!

Religion:
Of course, there is also the very controversial issue of religion to be addressed. There are innumerable Transformation Ministries (organizations that use religion to battle homosexuality) working to "heal" those who have found themselves to be non-heterosexual. Often these organizations offer the ability to “turn people straight,” however there is a large amount of dispute as to whether this actually works, with no real evidence to say it does. However, there are just as many deeply religious people, congregations, and denominations that are very much pro-gay rights:

Religious groups who protect the rights of LBGT and support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits the discrimination of any LBGT individuals:
American Ethical Union, American Friends Service Committee, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Church of the Brethren, Church Women United, Dignity/USA, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Hadassah, WZOA, The Interfaith Alliance, Jewish Women International, National Council of Churches of Christ, USA, National Council of Jewish Women, Presbyterian Church (USA), Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Women of Reform Judaism, Young Women's Christian Association

Discrimination:

Being discriminated against can be hurtful. If you make remarks about gay people, or comments regarding sexuality in a negative way – you never know who is listening. You could be causing emotional damage to someone without even realizing it, which is why you should be careful not to make comments such as “what a fag!” or even “you’re a homo!” These remarks send a message that it is not okay to be LBGT, and could make somebody feel even more afraid, lonely or upset.

Remember that those who are in the gay community do not choose their sexuality. Hence, any discrimination against them is prejudice and is just as bad and harmful as racism can be.

Not accepting LBGT, and treating them badly can and will negatively affect them. Low self-esteem, depression and suicide, emotional damage, loneliness and fear of being rejected are all feelings or consequences that can come from discrimination or bullying.

I hope that this information helped, and answered some questions that you may have had. If at anytime you are uncertain of anything, or need help, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions! We’re all here for you, whether you need help with any uncertainties you may have, or if you just need a friend to talk to.


Credit
(The Original Sticky “Teen Sexuality ~ THIS MIGHT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION!”)
Mike (ImCoolBeans) for putting this article together
Jon (Donkey) for editing and making minor adjustments
http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/orientation.aspx
http://www.glsen.org/

Last edited by ImCoolBeans; November 5th, 2014 at 04:54 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: What Exactly Is Sexuality?

All credit to pmm98 for this wonderful piece of writing. Original copy located here.

HEADS UP: This is a lengthy post, however it may help you out.

Most of the time when I look through the posts that people make on this forum, I find things like "Is it normal to be turned on by guys? Am I gay?" and it frustrates me because everyone always answers, "Yes, it is normal! It's called hormones!" this is extremely true, yet people continue to make posts about it anyway.

So, that being said, I thought I would make a post for those people that continue to post about whether their normal or not or whether they are gay, straight, or bi. I'm straight myself and I have questioned/gotten curious before.

This post is meant to help people that are confused about their sexuality. So without further ado, here are some reasons that I think might hint towards a person being straight, bi or gay.

*An important thing to keep in mind is that hormones are certainly raging at this point. This mostly applies to 13 to 17 year olds, in my opinion. These are my thoughts and I respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

You might be gay if;

-You have no sexual attraction to girls
-You have no emotional attraction to girls
-You can't picture yourself ever being with a girl
-You find girls to be a turnoff
-You only want to do things with a guy
-You don't want to have a life with a girl
-You do want to have a life with a guy

*If your gay, most likely a part of you deep down really knows. So it is important to ask yourself if your in denial or not, because sometimes it's not so obvious. Making excuses for things is normally a sign of denial.

These are just a couple of basic things that might hint towards you being gay. These are fairly simple reasons and I covered pretty much the essential/obvious things that suggest whether you may be gay or not. Sexuality is far to complex of a thing to be summed up in a forum post.

You might be bi if;

-You have a sexual attraction to both guys and girls
-You have an emotional attraction to both guys and girls
-You can picture yourself having a life/family/house with both guys and girls
-You can picture yourself waking up next to both guys and girls
-You want to do things with both guys and girls
-You feel like you could be in a committed relationship with both guys and girls

Again, these are just a few basic, simple things that might suggest your bisexual. The things i'm listing are so basic because in most of the posts I see this is the things they seem to be dealing with.

You might be straight if;

-You have a sexual attraction to girls
-You have an emotional attraction to girls
-You can see yourself waking up next to a girl
-You can see yourself having a family/house/life with a girl
-You can see yourself doing things with a girl
-You can see yourself being in a committed relationship with a girl
-You can see yourself proposing to and marrying a girl

These are a few simple reasons suggesting that you may be straight. It's helpful to keep in mind that VERY few people, male and female, are exclusively gay or straight. Many people are somewhere in between.

You might be bicurious if;

-You have a strong sexual attraction to girls but a minor one to guys
-You have a strong emotional attraction to girls but a minor one to guys
-Seeing same-sex sex turns you on
-You truly have no clue about your sexuality. This often means your bicurious.

Those are really the only things I could think of as to why you may be bicurious.

Honestly, the most important thing to remember for those who are questioning their sexuality is that it is mainly dependent on what you want in the long run. Many scientists will argue that sexuality is not a decision, you are born with it. This may be true to an extent but it's important to realize that it is your life and you have to do what makes you happy. It is you in the relationship, you doing the things with another person. It's all about who you love, trust and feel comfortable with. So in that regard, sexuality is your choice. As a teenager, it's incredibly normal to be turned on by sex in general. No matter what it is; gay sex, straight sex, lesbian sex, oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex any kind of sex, is sex. So it is reasonable to conclude that sex in general is what turns most people on.

I'm straight, but if I saw a naked guy I would probably get aroused. It's normal. You really can't expect much else. I've been down the road before where I had no clue about my sexuality and it truly an awful road to walk. It is full of confusion and depression. Not a fun time, in the least. All you can do is take puberty and hormones with a grain of salt and realize that even though nobody is open about it in person, most of your friends or even family members probably silently suffered through it or are currently silently suffering through it. It's normal. You probably won't really know your sexuality until you are older and are more immersed in a sexual world.

Sorry that this is so long, but I felt like I needed to get it off of my chest. Hope that I was able to help someone!

Last edited by Donkey; December 28th, 2011 at 04:32 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: What Exactly Is Sexuality?

Here is time for a break down of the big question that we get asked here...


Am I Gay?

Let's just make this super clear for you right now... if you are attracted to females physically and emotionally, no! You are not gay. Only people who are attracted to the same sex ONLY both physically and emotionally are gay, aka homosexual. Now during puberty lots of hormones are released that make you feel super horny - this means that you feel as if you want to have sex a lot more than you will do when you are older.

These feelings can become so strong that you may even become physically attracted to the same sex even if you will not turn out to be gay later in life. So this is why in a lot of situations we get teenagers asking about them sexually experimenting with other people of their own age who feel physically attracted to the same sex. Often people who are attracted to the opposite sex however have some physical attraction to the same sex call themselves bi-curious.

However if you feel an emotional attraction to the same sex, we may be discussing bisexuality or indeed homosexuality. It is sometimes difficult to know if you are emotionally attracted to the same sex. A lot of people ask themselves whether they could be in a relationship with the same sex, however this question causes a lot of confusion because often people cannot imagine this situation even if they are emotionally attracted to the same sex! This is most often simply because they are rejecting the idea in their head and they have not fully become accustomed and comfortable with the idea. And that is fair enough! Most gay or bisexual people are not at the beginning.

You should instead ask yourself whether you could love a member of the same sex. If the answer is yes, and this will require a lot of thought, then you are probably bisexual or gay. However you have a long time to decide... the hormones only calm down in your late teens or early twenties, so no need to worry! There is no pressure to label yourself and some individuals do not choose to label themselves at all.

Hopefully with this information you can make a decision as to whether or not you consider yourself gay or indeed whether or not it is hugely important what you label yourself!

Last edited by Donkey; December 28th, 2011 at 04:42 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: What Exactly Is Sexuality?

Other threads you may be interested in

Here are some other threads that may be useful to you when considering the idea of sexuality and how you fit into it.

----

Other stickies

How did you first find out you were gay or bi? - this thread lists a lot of interesting experiences from other members, maybe some you can learn from!

Rate Your Sexuality - here you can rate your sexuality and see what others have rated themselves.

----

Puberty Guides

Guide to Puberty For Boys - general puberty guide for boys covering many subject areas.

Guide to Puberty For Girls - general puberty guide for girls covering many subject areas.

----

Help Thread Examples (common questions - be careful not to post in these threads in case you bump them)

Does masturbating to gay pornography make me a gay male?

Uncomfortable coming out

Parents don't understand sexuality

How did you meet your boyfriend?

Why should I come out?

Is it possible to change your sexuality?

Bi but actually gay?

How do you approach sexual experimentation?

SamB's success story

Last edited by Donkey; December 28th, 2011 at 04:57 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!

That's all folks! Any changes to this thread or general comments can be left here as a reply but if you have a question about your sexuality, please open a new thread. I would like to thank ImCoolBeans and pmm98 for their significant contributions to this thread and to make it clear I only put their hard work and dedication together. I hope this helps and if it didn't quite answer your question, we have a community full of fantastic and helpful members here waiting for you.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

wow thats a lot of reading, i liked it though good stuff
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

I liked it although I wanted more information on the bicurious part

15
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Old March 24th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai99 View Post
I liked it although I wanted more information on the bicurious part
I added a bit

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Old March 25th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

I'm bi-curious
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Old March 25th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImCoolBeans View Post

Asexual- One who has no sexual attraction and no sexual desire (Not considered a sexual orientation by some, rather a lack of a sexual orientation)
Asexuality is simply a lack of sexual attraction. Some asexuals still experience sexual desire.

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Old April 1st, 2012, 09:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

Quote:
Originally Posted by starbrite5 View Post
Asexuality is simply a lack of sexual attraction. Some asexuals still experience sexual desire.
Asexuality is often called "nonsexuality". If you have sexual desire then you are more than likely not asexual, but you just have the lack of attraction. If you have the desire to do sexual acts then you have the desire to engage with someone; which would involve touching, feeling and arousal with a partner, all things that goes against the basic premise of asexuality.

Always here to help. Don't hesitate to PM me.


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Old April 1st, 2012, 11:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImCoolBeans View Post
Asexuality is often called "nonsexuality". If you have sexual desire then you are more than likely not asexual, but you just have the lack of attraction. If you have the desire to do sexual acts then you have the desire to engage with someone; which would involve touching, feeling and arousal with a partner, all things that goes against the basic premise of asexuality.
I have personally never seen asexuality referred to as nonsexuality, though I have seen it called the lack of a sexual orientation.

The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network website says "An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction," and on the topic of arousal/desire it says, "For some sexual arousal is a fairly regular occurrence, though it is not associated with a desire to find a sexual partner or partners. Some will occasionally masturbate, but feel no desire for partnered sexuality. Other asexual people experience little or no arousal. Because we don’t care about sex, asexual people generally do not see a lack of sexual arousal as a problem to be corrected, and focus their energy on enjoying other types of arousal and pleasure."

Me, for example. I get turned on occasionally, but the idea of acting on that with someone actually makes me sick, so I take care of it by myself. That does not make me any less asexual. Anyway, some asexuals do have have sex with a partner because it feels good, not because they're sexually attracted to them.

And because I'm already off on this ridiculous rant, I might as well make a few more suggestions. Perhaps include other identities on the asexual spectrum such as grey-a or demisexual. Grey-a people rarely experience sexual attraction or experience at such a low level that they have no desire to act on it. Demisexuals do not experience sexual attraction without a strong emotional connection.

People think sexuality is a strict progression of straight to gay when really it's more like a great, big ball of wibbly-wobbly, sexy-wexy stuff.

EDIT: As luck would have it, I just found a super relevant image on tumblr!



Last edited by starbrite5; April 1st, 2012 at 11:43 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

fantastic posts, but it seems that the second post is directed towards guys only.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

I think this is pretty relevant.

My pronouns are they/them/theirs.
Dead queer
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Old June 15th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

can you make this esayert to read for dumb people

straight you can talk to me about anything i will always listen i am ciruos and i am on skype pm me for my user name
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

I'm bi-curious
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 07:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

It's very interesting,It helped me understand many things. Thank you
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Old August 17th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

(excuse me if some my sentences R grammatically wrong , I'm italian , I'm suk in english)
I like girls & think about have s*x with them , i think about some sweet boys who 2 or 3 years younger than me ( u should know I'm not pedophil )
and think about naked look , I like & enjoy to see pen*s of sweet guys & s*ck it & oldmans who R older than 50 ,
I'm so so so sorry I thinking this isnt normal , I'm deppresed , plz plz help me
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Old September 19th, 2012, 12:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

Quote:
Originally Posted by ali_ni2012 View Post
(excuse me if some my sentences R grammatically wrong , I'm italian , I'm suk in english)
I like girls & think about have s*x with them , i think about some sweet boys who 2 or 3 years younger than me ( u should know I'm not pedophil )
and think about naked look , I like & enjoy to see pen*s of sweet guys & s*ck it & oldmans who R older than 50 ,
I'm so so so sorry I thinking this isnt normal , I'm deppresed , plz plz help me
ur fine. and ur english is incredible! also in all the places where you put these: *** you didn't have to.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 04:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: **The Big Sexuality Sticky - This WILL Answer Your Question!**

I'm straight but sometimes i am attracted to younger people that i imagine are hairless or have very little hair
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