Check Your Box: Bi-Curious and Other Oddities of the New Sexual Revolution
It used to be pretty easy to check your box. You were “straight or gay”. Then “straight, gay or lesbian”. Add in Bisexual and Transgender and now we have LGBT. Then the string of letters got longer, and longer, and longer.
For some, the “catch all” term is Queer. Back in the 1980’s this term was a slur and used in a derogatory way. Fortunately, today it is embraced and used with pride by those who choose not to “box themselves in”.
Nowadays, there are so many new “boxes” to check for gender, sexual orientation and relationship orientation. Consequently, it’s hard to keep up with them all. Many people are wanting to fit themselves into ever smaller definitions of sexual or relationship orientations, preferences, curiosities and descriptions.
This is only helpful when you know what they all are. Therefore, here is my attempt to put them all into one place so you can keep this as a “handy reference” the next time you need to check your box.
So let’s give this Queer Alphabet Soup a stir and see what we come up with! I have categorized the labels to make it easier for reference.
Check Your Box: Gender
Cis: Identifies with the gender assigned at birth
Trans: Identifies with a gender different that assigned at birth
Non-binary / GenderQueer / GenderFluid: Does not identify with a specific gender
Check Your Box: Sexual Orientation
Asexual: not attracted to any gender, sexually. May be attracted to any gender emotionally
Bi-curious/Exploring: unsure of attraction to same gender, open to exploring (usually sexually at first)
Bisexual: attracted emotionally and sexually to both male and female, usually cis-gendered
Demisexual: a person who ONLY experiences sexual attraction when they create a strong emotional connection with another (considered half-way between Asexual and Sexual)
Gay: Men who are only attracted emotionally and sexually to other men
Heteroflexible: attracted to same gender sexually, but not emotionally – usually situational or “in the moment”
Heterosexual: attracted to the opposite gender emotionally and sexually
Homosexual: attracted to the same gender emotionally and sexually
Lesbian: Women who are only emotionally and sexually attracted to other women, only
Pansexual: attracted to any gender
Queer: Catch-all to indicate anything other than “non-heterosexual”, can also apply to interest in Kink/BDSM or ECNM Lifestyles
Questioning: Unsure of and/or exploring their attraction to any gender and their gender identity
Check Your Box: Relationship Orientation
Monogamous: two people, exclusive romantically/emotionally and sexually
ECNM: Ethical and Consensual Non-Monogamy – includes the following:
Open Relationship: two people exclusive romantically/emotionally, open to sexual exploration either together or separately
Swinging: two people exclusive romantically/emotionally, connect with friends and others in the “community” sexually; recreational sex; may attend parties, clubs or vacations with other swingers
Polyamory: engaging in romantic/emotional relationships with more than one other person. May or may not include a sexual relationship.
Friends with Benefits: a non-romantic, sexual friendship
Check Your Box: Other Identifiers
Intersex: a physical condition whereupon a person’s genitals “don’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.
Ethical Slut: a person who has sexual encounters with multiple people either one time, occasionally or regularly. Is upfront with people about their sexual behavior, STI testing and practices safer sex.
Allies: people who do not identify within the “queer community” yet support the community to ensure it thrives.
2S: Two-Spirit, a tradition in many Native American cultures which considers some people to have both male and female spirits
Who Am I and Who Are You?
Curious how to check your box? Here is how I check mine. Gender Orientation is cis-female. Sexual Orientation is bisexual and Relationship Orientation is ECNM. Incidentally, I choose not to limit my ECNM Orientation to just one of the areas listed. As a matter of fact, I embrace them ALL!
Are you living your True Authentic Identity?
If you identify in a way which is not listed here, please share, so you can be celebrated and connected with in the way which feels best.
On the other hand, perhaps you are questioning or not feeling like you are living your true authentic life. I hope these definitions help you look deep inside yourself. As a result, you discover who you really are. And you determine the kind of person/s you desire to share your life with and what kind of relationship you choose to create.
Are YOU Ready to Come Out of the Box?
I live my Alternative Lifestyles openly and proudly. This isn’t always easy. Yet I made an intentional and deliberate decision to live Authentically. I stand by my decision.
Living your Alternative Lifestyle openly may not be a viable choice for you at this time. It wasn’t too long ago all LGBTQ+ people lived in the closet. Still, for many it is where you live your Alternative Life. Meanwhile, the main aspect to focus on is becoming grounded and connected with your Authentic Self. This takes getting Unstuck and Moving Forward in creating a new mindset.
Ultimately, you become secure in who you are, you come out of closet. You fully embrace your Authentic Self, which dramatically increases your Abundance, Liberation and Freedom.
Society continues to open up, and young people authentically embrace diversity. And let me tell you from my experience with the “centennial generation” (or Gen Z), things are changing radically over the next 30-50 years.
That is within my lifespan! Presumably yours as well.
Focus on the day when you can check your box with full acceptance and be embraced for who you Authentically are! In the meantime, keep creating your Alternative Lifestyle to the best of your abilities and ENJOY every moment of it.
BARDS is a division of ECNM Lifestyles Association.