This is the second installment of interviews with speakers from the 2nd Annual Alt Sex NYC Conference, which was held on April 28 in New York City. David Ley is a sexuality expert, best known for his books including Ethical Porn for Dicks and The Myth of Sex Addiction.
His presentation on the burgeoning research on bisexuality provided insights into our rapidly developing and changing understanding of sexual orientation.
As this happens, we learn more and more about all the different nuances and contextual factors that define the incredible richness present in these varying flavors of sexual identity, arousal, and behavior.
Researchers Ritch Savins-Williams and Zhana Vrangalova find that "mostly straight" may be the largest group of sexual minority, representing people who identify as straight but have occasional same-sex arousal or behaviors.
This leaves us in the midst of a "sea change" environment, and we can only really wait and see to find out what sexuality, orientation, and identity will look like in the future.
The broadening realm of bisexuality and the many different nuances between "straight" and "gay" are where most of these developments are happening.
Q: You've mentioned a number of orientation identities, including pansexual, omnisexual, heteroflexible, and "mostly straight." What do all of these terms mean, and how are they different from bisexuality?
I call this "colonizing the middle." All of these terms, concepts, and identities represent the degree to which people are now embracing and accepting their bisexual identity, arousal, and behavior, and are expressing the things that make it unique for them.However, a recent study of British millennials found that 49 percent don't identify as entirely heterosexual. A: We used to treat sexuality, and orientation, as though these were simple, homogeneous concepts.But increasingly, we are finding that sexual behavior, arousal, and orientation/identity are distinct, overlapping, and related concepts.But this is one of the places where we make it very difficult for people, often telling them that they aren't "really" bisexual, or that they identify as bisexual to avoid bi erasure.Unfortunately, that pressure leads to people rejecting it all and keeping their bisexuality private.
Q: Seventeen percent of women have had same-sex experiences, but only 6 percent of men.