• Anthony Dimitrion, LCSW, CCSC

Fantasy & Sexuality: Understanding Sexual Fluidity


The same-sex celebrity crush that gets your blood flowing when you see them on TV or in the movies. That one summer in high school when two same-sex friends experimented...on more than one occasion. Those solo fantasies involving a same-sex stranger. That college "bromance" that always remained platonic but was often subtly--and at times overtly--sexually charged. It is not uncommon or abnormal for heterosexual (straight) individuals to have same-sex fantasies or engage in same-sex acts at one point or another.


Drs. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Clyde Martin noted in their pinnacle 1948 research that sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior towards the same or opposite sex were not always consistent across time. This research led to the creation of the Kinsey Scale. In Social Psychologist Justin Lehmiller's recent book Tell Me What You Want, he reports that 59% of women and 26% of men in a survey of more than 4,000 Americans reported having had a same-sex fantasy before. In a 2016 National Health Statistics Report of approximately 10,000 U.S. men and women ages 18-44, 2.8% of heterosexual men and 12.6% of heterosexual women reported having had same-sex sexual contact in their lifetime.


Fantasizing or having some level of sexual attraction to the same sex support the concepts of sexual fluidity and sexuality as a spectrum.


Sexual fluidity according to Dr. Lehmiller is, "the capacity for a 'flexible' erotic response, which can lead to significant variability in one’s pattern of sexual attraction, behavior, and identity over time." In other words, some people experience a fluctuation in who they are attracted to throughout their lifespan.


Defining sexuality as on a spectrum, takes into consideration the varying levels to which a person may have sexual attraction and engage in sexual behaviors with the same and opposite sex.


With all of this said, a sexual fantasy or a sexual experience does not dictate your sexuality or your sexual orientation. Only you can define what these fantasies or experiences mean for you. Yes, you may be bi-sexual, or you may just be someone who is heterosexual but enjoys fantasizing about the same sex every once in a while. An all or nothing definition does not leave room for the entirety of sexual expression or feelings.

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