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Heteroflexibility is a form of a sexual orientation or situational sexual behavior characterized by minimal homosexual activity in an otherwise primarily heterosexual orientation, which may or may not distinguish it from bisexuality. It has been characterized as "mostly straight".[1] Although sometimes equated with bi-curiosity to describe a broad continuum of sexual orientation between heterosexuality and bisexuality,[2] other authors distinguish heteroflexibility as lacking the "wish to experiment with ... sexuality" implied by the bi-curious label.[3] The corresponding situation in which homosexual activity predominates has also been described, termed homoflexibility.[4]


National surveys in the U.S. and Canada show that 3 to 4 percent of male teenagers, when given the choice to select a term that best describes their sexual feelings, desires, and behaviors, opt for "mostly" or "predominantly" heterosexual. With "100% heterosexual" being the largest assumed identity, "mostly-heterosexual" was the first runner up in self-identification.[5] Of the 160 men interviewed for a study in 2008 and 2009, nearly one in eight reported same-sex attractions, fantasies, and crushes. The majority had these feelings since high school; a few others developed them more recently. And in a national sample of young men whose average age was 22, the "mostly straight" proportion increased when they completed the same survey six years later. An even higher percentage of post-high-school young-adult men in the U.S. and in a handful of other countries (including New Zealand and Norway) make the same choice.[6]

An analytical review article looking at the experiences and meanings of same-sex sexual encounters among men and women who identify as heterosexual found that a large portion of same sex encounters occur among those who identify as heterosexual. The prevalence of same-sex sexuality among heterosexually identifying men and women is not universal. 13.6% of women and 4.6% of men reported attraction to members of the same sex, while 12.6% of women and 2.8% of men have at some point had a same-sex sexual encounter. Findings from the National Survey of Family Growth data from 2011-2015 revealed another insight into how much same sex attraction and behavior can be accounted for by heterosexually identifying people. They found that 61.9% of women and 59% of men with currently reported same-sex attractions, identified as heterosexual. Similarly, 65.2% of women and 43.4% of men who have engaged in same-sex sexual encounters identify as heterosexual.[7]


  1. ^ Thompson, E.M.; Morgan, E.M. (2008). ""Mostly straight" young women: Variations in sexual behavior and identity development". Developmental Psychology. 44 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.44.1.15. PMID 18194001.
  2. ^ Frank, Katherine (2008). "'Not Gay, but Not Homophobic': Male Sexuality and Homophobia in the 'Lifestyle'". Sexualities. 11 (4): 435–454. doi:10.1177/1363460708091743.
  3. ^ Smorag, Pascale (14 May 2008). "From Closet Talk to PC Terminology : Gay Speech and the Politics of Visibility". Transatlantica. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  4. ^ Keppel, Bobbi (2006). "Affirmative Psychotherapy with Older Bisexual Women and Men". Journal of Bisexuality. 6 (1–2): 85–104. doi:10.1300/J159v06n01_06.
  5. ^ Savin-Williams, Ritch C.; Joyner, Kara; Rieger, Gerulf (Feb 2012). "Prevalence and Stability of Self-Reported Sexual Orientation Identity During Young Adulthood". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 41 (1): 103–110. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9913-y. ISSN 0004-0002.
  6. ^ "Mostly Straight, Most of the Time". goodmenproject. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  7. ^ Hoy, Aaron; London, Andrew S. (July 2018). "The experience and meaning of same-sex sexuality among heterosexually identified men and women: An analytic review". Sociology Compass. 12 (7): e12596. doi:10.1111/soc4.12596.

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