Why is my sexual orientation so complicated

Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation means the sex to which someone feels sexually attracted with his feelings and desires. The basic sexual orientations include heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality and, for many sexologists, also pansexuality and asexuality.

It looks different with pedophilia. Calling this "sexual orientation" is rejected by most sexologists and medical professionals today. It is one of the disorders of sexual preference.


Heterosexuality means that someone is attracted to people of the opposite sex. At least 90% of people in industrialized countries aspire to be heterosexual (hetero literally: the other, opposite) relationship. Because this sexual orientation is so common, it has long been considered the "normal" orientation.


Someone feels sexually from same-sex people (homo literally: the same) attracted. In common parlance, the term "gay" has become established for male homosexuality and "lesbian" for female. Estimates of the frequency of homosexuality vary, but it is believed that around 10% of men and around 5% of women are homosexual. Usually the homosexual orientation is felt for the first time during puberty, but many people experience this tendency in themselves at first as foreign and react with defenses. This is followed by a process of clarifying feelings and needs for the person affected, which is often included Coming out, So a commitment to his homosexual orientation leads to it.

In the past, homosexual tendencies and actions were viewed as pathological and made a criminal offense (in Germany until 1974). Today both medicine and the legal system understand homosexuality as a normal variant of sexual orientation, which can also be found in all cultures of mankind.

The question of whether homosexuals suffer from their sexual identity is idle - the number of heterosexuals who suffer from their sex drive is likely to be much greater. On the other hand, even today in our comparatively tolerant culture there are women and men who suffer from their homosexual orientation (as well as from other sexual orientations). The decisive factor is what the individual makes of his sexuality, whether he can integrate it into his life or whether he experiences it as a burden and a threat.


Sexual interest in people of both sexes. Only 1–2% of people describe themselves as bisexual. Most bisexuals report a preference for when it comes to their sexual fantasies a Gender. Temporarily bi- or homosexual behavior is z. B. in prisons or during wartime a common phenomenon when the desired sex is not available as a partner.

But people with a fundamentally heterosexual orientation also have homosexual experiences in the course of their lives. And not everyone who is same-sex interested in their youth is still so in adulthood.


Pansexuality means that someone is emotionally and sexually attracted and can fall in love with people of any gender. In contrast to bisexual people, pansexuals, in addition to men and women, B. also be transgender, intersexual and hermaphrodite. The desire, however, only relates to adult people, i.e. it does not extend beyond age or species limits.


Asexuality denotes the absence of any desire for sexual interaction at all. Asexuality is now the fourth form of sexual orientation alongside hetero-, homo- and bisexuality. Asexuals are not interested in sex, but like any other human being, they can have a general libido; H. a spontaneous occurrence of sexual arousal or the need for masturbation. Asexuality doesn't rule out partnership and romantic attractions either. Many asexuals desire relationships on what is usually a purely platonic basis. The AVEN network was founded to facilitate public acceptance and discussions about asexuality for outsiders as well as the growth and communication of an asexual community. More about this at www.aven-info.de.

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Dr. med. David Goecker, Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update: Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 09:03