know thyself

How straight are you based on your taste in men?

Happy straight couple

Have you ever wondered if there is a connection between your taste in men and your sexuality? As in, can your taste in men indicate bisexuality? 

Some people seem to think so. For example, some women who are more drawn to feminine men later realize that their attraction to femininity extends to women as well. 

But how do you answer the question “how straight is your taste in men?” 

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What Does It Mean To Be Bisexual?

Bisexuality used to be defined as being attracted to two genders: male and female. After all, “bi” means “two”. And if this is the definition of bisexuality that’s familiar to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

However, bisexuality is more than that. Most people in the bi community now use the definition cited in the Bisexual Manifesto – that bisexuality means being attracted to people of the same and different genders. 

This definition is more inclusive, as it no longer reinforces the gender binary in the same way that the old definition did. With this definition, terms like pansexual, omnisexual, and polysexual now fall under the bisexual umbrella or the bi+ umbrella. 

But are there levels of bisexuality? Is there actually a way to see how bisexual you are compared to others? Can your taste in men (or women!) indicate bisexuality?

couple in bed

Comphet And Bisexuality

If you’re assigned female at birth (AFAB), you may identify as straight by default – otherwise known as compulsory heterosexuality. Compulsory heterosexuality or comphet is a theory put forth by Adrienne Rich in the 1980s that argues that heterosexuality is imposed on individuals by the patriarchy, silencing those who identify as sexual minorities.

AFABs are the most common victims of comphet, as they are often pushed to marry males and bear children. If you are assigned female at birth, you may never have had the chance to explore your potential attraction to others.

As such, some women who may be attracted to feminine men may be drawn to femininity in general. By extension, this could mean that someone who is more into feminine men could also be attracted to other women. But this should be taken with a grain of salt and not as a definitive answer to the question “how straight are you based on your taste in men?” 

Now, the American Psychological Association has stated that “someone does not have to be exclusively homosexual or heterosexual but can feel varying degrees of both.” This means that bisexuality exists on a spectrum. You don’t have to have a 50/50 attraction to people of the same and different genders to be a “valid” bisexual. Some bi women are more attracted to men than women, others vice versa, and others may find some things attractive in men and other things attractive in women. 

Your taste in men may not necessarily be a sure sign of bisexuality. But remember that bisexuality is a spectrum or continuum that one can fall on, with different levels of attraction for different genders.

online dating matching image

Sexual Orientation vs Romantic Orientation

Most people are familiar with sexual orientation, which describes who you’re attracted to sexually. However, not a lot of people know that your romantic orientation – or who you’re attracted to on a romantic or emotional level or who you can fall in love with can be different from your sexual orientation.

Just as you can be gay/lesbian, straight, bi, ace, pan, or poly on a sexual level, so can you be on a romantic level. Heteroromantic people fall in love with people of the opposite gender, while homoromantic people only fall in love with people of the same gender. Biromantic people can fall in love with people of the same and different genders, while aromantic people don’t experience romantic attraction to anyone.

Again, your sexual and romantic orientation don’t necessarily have to align. So, you can be bisexual but heteroromantic, meaning that you’re open to sleeping with people of the same and different genders as you, but you can only form a romantic connection with someone of the opposite gender.

Why does this all matter? Because when we talk about “taste”, we need to differentiate between physical preference and ideal characteristics. With all that in mind, your taste or “type” in romantic terms may not have any bearing on your sexual interests. 

Legs with gender symbol on asphalt

So, Can Your Taste In Men Indicate Bisexuality?

A 2015 study found that having a certain “type” or particular taste might not even be a real thing. According to social psychologist Lorne Campbell of the University of Western Ontario, people tend to change their preferences once they enter a relationship to match the person they’re currently dating. 

Another interesting finding by Campbell is that people tend to put more weight on “ideals and personality” over physical types. This means that, in dating, disregarding the hard differences between sexual orientation and romantic orientation, people will tend to look at a person’s values and characteristics first before their looks.

As summed up by Bustle, “you may find yourself drawn to certain types of people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you date them. After all, people are just attracted to whoever they are attracted to.”

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