How Do I Know My Sexual Orientation?

Are you having a hard time understanding your sexual orientation and how to label yourself? There’s no need to worry, it’s common for people to feel this way and you are not alone. Before we get into how to discover your sexual orientation, let’s first understand what sexual orientation is.

What is Sexual Orientation?

Sexual orientation is the sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction that you may feel towards someone else. Some of the different types of sexual orientation include homosexual, heterosexual, asexual, bisexual, and many others. During your teen years or youth, you may find yourself having sexual attractions and thoughts.

Sometimes, these thoughts can be very confusing especially if you’re having sexual and romantic thoughts towards someone of the same sex. Just because you’re interested in someone of the same sex as you doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gay. Also, being attracted to someone of a different sex doesn’t mean you’re heterosexual. You could only be finding out about your true self by having these feelings and thoughts. 

What is LGBTQ?

The words LGBT are usually used to describe someone’s sexual orientation. LGBTQ stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. It’s important to know that transgender is not a sexual orientation. Transgender people feel like they were not born into the right type of body. They may have one gender’s body, but acknowledge feelings of being in the opposite gender.

Do I Choose My Sexual Orientation?

No, you do not choose your sexual orientation. In addition, there’s no simple answer as to why some people may be gay and others straight. Many medical experts and professionals believe that sexual orientation emerges as a result of a mix of environmental, psychology, and biology factors. 

A person’s hormones and genes also play a vital role when it comes to sexual orientation. Sexual orientation isn’t something that you choose voluntarily. Rather, it’s a natural part of who you are. 

Knowing Your Sexual Orientation

It is normal for people to take years discovering their sexual orientation, and if you aren’t there yet, don’t take it to heart. Start by developing confidence about how you feel. Get to know yourself and talk about your feelings with your friends. 

Once you begin to understand your feelings, you might want to explore your sexuality. However, you should only take part in sexual activity when you feel ready. Only do things when you’re comfortable. Don’t start a relationship before you feel ready.

There are different words that people may use in relation to their sexual orientation. Here are some of them:

Asexual: you’re not attracted to anyone sexually.

Bisexual (bi): people who are bisexual are sexually attracted to more than one gender.

Bi-curious (curious): when you’re bi-curious, it means you are open or curious about sexual activity with a gender you aren’t normally attracted to. This means that you’re not purely homosexual or heterosexual.

Heterosexual or straight: you’re only attracted to people of the opposite gender.

Homosexual: you’re only attracted to people of the same gender.

Gay: men attracted other men. Same as homosexual.

Lesbian: women attracted to other women.

Pansexual: you’re attracted to people of any sexual orientation or gender.

Questioning: you’re still exploring and are unsure about your sexuality

Queer: anyone outside of the heterosexual norm who falls under the LGBTQ spectrum. You could be bisexual and queer if your gender doesn’t fall into the binary.