The Weekly Mindfuck: How Do You Know Where You Are on the Kinsey Scale?

April 13, 2017 | Posted in Editorial Features by colette-callaway


The fluid scale of sexuality can be a very confusing thing. Now that we're in a time that we understand people aren't so easy to put in buckets - gay, straight, bi - and that very few folks are 100 percent gay or 100 percent straight (or split down the middle, mind you), we're tasked with something strange: Finding out where, exactly, we fall on said scale.

If knowing yourself were easy, there wouldn't be so many self-help books out there. The mysteries of what's inside are compounded by how taboo sex is, and how so many of us are sexually repressed by our society, our social circles, and ourselves. This makes knowing our unique sexual preferences pretty damn difficult. Some people are open to love with any gender, while others much prefer the same or opposite sex. Some people love all genders, but love being in relationships with women just a little more. Some love to love men but prefer to fuck women. 

There are so many moving parts when it comes to sexuality - first, there's lust. As most of us know, to want to have sex with someone doesn't mean we want to date them, and tons of people who love having sex with their gender don't particularly like dating them. Then there's the romantic component - a totally different feeling than sexual interest, and one that doesn't always exactly line up. Are you truly bisexual if you enjoy sex with all genders but only like to date the opposite sex? What about the reverse?

And then there's the whole concept of performativity. Some women, for example, truly get off to the idea of being with another so long as a male of interest is watching. I don't think this is wrong, provided the gratification is getting their rocks off and not trying to make everyone but themselves happy, but it's distinctly different than wanting to be with another woman alone, and different still from not wanting to be with women at all. 

The Kinsey Scale seems to be a slippery slope for some, and I mean that in the best way possible - after a lifetime of being taught that wanting to date only the opposite sex is the way to be, it can be impossible to know if you might have felt otherwise had bisexuality been taught as the norm. Some folks simply don't know they're bi until they enter through a sex-only door. 

A lifetime of experimenting, keeping an open mind, and introspecting seems to be the way to find yourself, yes, but it still makes wrapping your current sexuality (which is never static) up in a little box seem like an impossibility. After all, I can only be sure of the things I like - not the things I've never tried. 

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