Bisexuality: 13 Types – Which Type Are You?

threesome sex, man plunging into woman's pussy

The topic of female bisexuality is so pervasive in the swinger community these days, I was intrigued when this post on www.usbigirls.com caught my eye. Scroll through a handful of online swinger profiles and you’ll find women (or their partners) describing themselves as mostly bi-curious, bi-sexual, bi-friendly or bi-furious. Swinging has become a very acceptable way for women to test their bi-sexuality, and Lord knows I’m no different.

I invite you to read on, and I’ll let you know where I fall on the spectrum at the end of the article. I would also love to hear whether this list holds true for bisexual men. (KDaddy23, any thoughts on this?)

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We all know the definition for homosexual and heterosexual. These terms are specific and definite in the description of the gender to which a person of either sexuality is attracted to, emotionally and sexually. A homosexual is attracted to his/her own gender and a heterosexual is attracted to the opposite gender. These encompass the identifying labels of gay, lesbian and straight. People whose sexuality is not specific to gender attraction fall into the general category of bisexual. There is a lot of confusion about the concept of bisexuality and what it means.

A significant percentage of people experience sexual and emotional attractions and feelings towards people of both genders, at varying times throughout their lives. Thus bisexuality is an all-encompassing term. Many find the term too vague and all-inclusive, lacking the definition to describe their particular sexuality, and prefer the labels pansexual, non-preferential, sexually fluid, ambi-sexual, or queer.

Alfred Kinsey’s sexual orientation scale allows for a continuum of zero to six. Heterosexuals score at zero and homosexuals score at six. That leaves the entire inside range of his scale in the bisexuality realm. So what does this mean?

Those whose sexuality fall at the one or two range, are primarily heterosexual, but have some attraction and experiences with same-sex partners. Those who score a three are more or less equally attracted to both sexes. People at four and five on the Kinsey scale choose primarily same-sex partners, but are not completely gay or lesbian and have some heterosexual tendencies and relationships as well.

In recent years, many have ascribed to a more gender-fluid identity, especially those who have had surgery to transition from their birth gender to the opposite gender. The labels heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual do not take into consideration those who identify as transgender. This is a recent addition to the sexuality definitions and requires additional labeling to adequately consider all sexualities.

Many transgender people are transitioning from male to female, or from female to male, or identify as “gender-queer” because they do not comfortably fit into either the male or female gender. Since sexual orientation has always been based on the gender of your sexual partners, if gender is not a rigid category, labels such as straight and gay become much less meaningful or relevant.

Bisexual people are a very diverse group. Psychologist J.R. Little has identified at least 13 types of bisexuality in his extensive research on the subject. If you identify as bisexual, perhaps one of these will sound familiar to your particular sexual orientation.

1.  Alternating – This is the bisexual who choses one gender at a time and has a relationship with that person. This person may appear to others to be straight during their relationship with the opposite sex and then appear to be gay during a time when they have a same-sex relationship.

2.  Circumstantial – This bisexual is primarily heterosexual but will choose a same-sex partner when no opposite sex partner is available. Private same-sex school, military and prison are examples of the environment where this type of bisexuality presents itself in the person.

3.  Concurrent Relationship – This bisexual has a primary relationship with one gender and concurrently has casual sex with the other gender, in an uncommitted secondary relationship.

4.  Conditional – This bisexual is primarily either gay or straight, but chooses to switch to a relationship with the other gender for a specific purpose, not related to their sexuality. An example would be a lesbian woman who marries a man for social acceptance or to have children. Also, prostitutes who will have sex with a gender outside their sexuality, is another example.

5.  Emotional – This type is primarily either gay or straight, but has intimate emotional relationships with the other gender.

6.  Integrated – This bisexual has more than one primary relationship at the same time with both genders. An example would be a polyamorous woman, living with her husband and another woman, with both relationships taking a primary position with a long term commitment.

7.  Exploratory – This bisexual is either straight or gay/lesbian, but has sex with the other gender just to satisfy their curiosity and see what it’s like.

8.  Hedonistic –  Primarily straight or gay/lesbian but will sometimes have recreational sex with a different gender purely for sexual satisfaction.

9.  Recreational – Primarily heterosexual, but will engage in gay or lesbian sex only when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

10.  Isolated – This type had one or more same-sex experiences in the past, but identifies as straight or gay/lesbian now.

11.  Latent – This type has desires, but only fantasizes and dreams of having bisexual sex. Their actual sexual behavior is clearly limited to either homosexual or heterosexual.

12.  Motivational – This type is women who are straight but have sex with other women purely as a means to pleasing their male partner who has requested it for his own satisfaction. An example would be a threesome escapade.

13.  Transitional – This is the type that is going from being straight to being gay, or vice versa. A lot of bisexuals receive criticism based on this type, and are pigeon-holed as being transitional, because transitional type bisexuals exist.

Most of the millions of bisexuals that exist in the world do not openly out themselves. Since most bisexuals keep their sexual orientation to themselves, bisexuals as a group have little visibility in society.

Moreover, many bisexuals feel unwelcomed in both the straight and gay communities. As they don’t fit in anywhere, they feel like outsiders to the mainstream, well-established hetero and homosexual communities. This breeds isolation and confusion among many, as they lack an established community of their own, where they can find acceptance and role models. Gay men believe that bisexual men are really gay, but claiming to be bisexual to ease the impact or because they are in denial. Straight men display homophobia by victimizing gay and bisexual men. Straight women reject bisexual men, fearing they may have AIDS or are on the verge of changing their sexuality. Lesbians distrust bisexual women, thinking they are all transitional, or just using men to maintain their heterosexual identity in society. Straight women distrust and reject bisexual women, fearful of sexual pressure to partake in bisexual escapades.

The two types of bisexuals that the straight and gay communities see, are not representative of the bisexual community at large. The transitional type, on their way to becoming straight or gay, and the pathological type, that of neuroses, confusion and metal instability, unable to determine what sexuality they are. Both are examples of a temporary bisexuality which is characterized by a phase, rather than an authentic sexuality.

As more information, studies and public awareness allows for a deeper understanding and acceptance of the bisexual community, there is hope that stereotypes of bisexuals will diminish and society will broaden their ability to accept bisexuals, regardless of their type.

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True confession: On Kinsey’s scale, I would place myself as a one or two. I do feel attraction toward certain women and toward certain types of women. Being married to a red-blooded American male, he of course, is very supportive of my occasional desires to play with other women.

And among this list of 13, I would say I started at #11, then moved to #7, and now alternate between #8 and #3. It’s definitely been a journey and a learning experience. One that I’ve enjoyed every step of the way.

Ladies (and gentlemen)? Where do you fall on the scale?

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  1. #1 by kdaddy23 on January 19, 2014 - 7:37 pm

    Wow, this is pretty detailed and I can say that men aren’t all that different at a high level – bi-curious, bi-friendly, etc. – but when you drill down and start looking at the why of it, I can’t honestly say that men are all that different than women except in whatever’s motivating them, how they define attraction and relationship – stuff like that. Like, I know one can be physically and/or emotionally attracted, just like they can have a ‘normal’ long-term relationship and a sexual one that could be long or short term.

    While I don’t know a whole lot about bisexual women, I do know about bisexual men. Some of us like men just as we like women while a lot of us are about the sex. We can be damned casual about the sex or we can develop a sexual relationship with one or more men so that we lessen our risk of exposure, the risk of disease, and it’s just more convenient to be able to go to a guy on a ‘regular’ basis rather than having to hunt down someone who has similar needs and desires.

    We can do this in conjunction with being in a relationship with a woman or being single but, as far as I know, we don’t behave like this to attract attention given that we fully understand that other men and women don’t like bisexual behaviors, as you noted in your writing. I know that in my experiences, men have sex with other men just because they can, because they’re not getting sex from women (or not getting enough of something in this sex), because they got bombed out of their gourd and have had their inhibitions removed and, again, because they do like men as they do women and with or without any relationship intentions. I know guys who have taken the plunge (as I like to say) because they want to find out what it’s like and some guys who have plunged so they can find out once and for all whether they’re straight, bi, or possibly gay.

    When I look at the breakdown of bisexual behavior you provided, it does a great job of showing a lot of the subsets of bisexual behavior but it seems to me that there’s some fluidity in this, like going from being bi-curious to fully engaging in various relationship types as suits their needs or situation. I know guys who have gone through most of the 13 ‘phases’ just as I know of guys who hit only one or two on the list; I know guys who have started out straight, made a stop at being bi, then gone on to being gay because they discovered that this is where they should be.

    The thing that stands out to me about that list is the word “relationship” – it appears a lot in the definitions. I think a lot of how we think about bisexuality has to do with how we define a relationship to ourselves, like, if I’m having a sexual relationship with a man, this is different than the relationship I have with my fiancee. While I play house with my fiancee, I’m not likely to do this with a man although I have had an emotional relationship with a man as well as a ‘regular’ relationship with my wife when I was married to her. You start getting into open relationships and swinging and polyamory at some point in this and that just adds to the mix and in ways that can narrow one’s bisexual focus, if you will.

    It’s a lot of food for thought and shows an evolution of how we perceive our sexuality as compared to when I was exposed to bisexuality way back in the 1960s. I can understand why people can’t seem to accept that a bisexual is somewhere between straight and homosexual – it’s because we think that, these days, you ‘have’ to be one or the other – but you can’t be both where sex and relationships are concerned; being bisexual upsets the ‘status quo’ in this.

    Which works for me – I like upsetting the apple cart! The psychology of sexuality is utter fascinating and it takes a lot of brain power to assimilate the many differences where just being bisexual is concerned. If I remember correctly, I think I placed myself at either 3 or 4 on the Kinsey scale… but that was a long time ago and I probably need to revisit the scale and see if the guy I am today still falls into that range.

    Finally – and I thank you for your patience because this is a lot of writing – there’s that angst gays have about bisexuals and their insistence that we’re in denial about being gay. My personal thought is that this is silly – how can they know this about someone? I’ve had gay men tell me that I’m in denial, that I need to give up the ‘pretense’ of wanting to be with women and embrace my gayness… and, in my mind, that’s insane and unreasonable because, unlike them, I know for a fact that I love pussy and cock, just as I’ve determined for myself that just being straight or gay is way too limiting for me in expressing my sexual desires. I love women and all of their insanity and this is something I can’t deny… but when it comes to men, I like them because of their personality and, yeah, because they’ve got something in their pants I’d love to play with. My experiences to date have proven to me that while I could fall in love with a guy, I wouldn’t do well in a serious emotional relationship with him because I know I have issues with men who behave like women – they just drive me nuttier than being with a woman does. But I understand this and because I do, it’s the thing that tells me in no uncertain terms that I could never be totally gay.

    Thank you for inviting me to read and comment on this – it was a fascinating read and very well written!

  2. #2 by lifeofalovergirl on January 19, 2014 - 7:44 pm

    I fit right in at #8, Hedonistic!! 😉

  3. #3 by lifeofalovergirl on January 20, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    Reblogged this on lifeofalovergirl and commented:
    I read this article on Indescretions blog and just HAD to repost it. It was originally posted at UsBiGirls and is a fascinating read. It really does seem to ring true that bisexual behavior falls along a scale like this. Me, at least right now, I’m right at a number 8, Hedonistic (woohoo!). To me, women are sort of like foreplay, but at the end of the day I need a nice, hard, cock! LOL I have no qualms about playing with women and wrote about it quite some time ago in my To bi or not to bi post. Since then I’ve had a little more experience with women but it’s still, for me, just fun and games. Where do you fall on the list? Or are you on there at all?

  4. #4 by rougedmount on January 20, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    i find i am 100% hetero though i definitely have an appreciation for bi or gay men..but again..it’s simply because i love the beauty that to me is encapsulated in the male genitals. seeing two of them concurrently?…lol…awesome!

  5. #5 by kdaddy23 on January 20, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    I’ve gone over the types three or four times now… and I can’t figure out which of the 13 types fit the way I am! Right now, I’m thinking I’m a 3… but as written, the word “relationship” is making things a little muddy; again, it’s all about how one defines relationship. Damn, I REALLY like this!

    • #6 by shalynne on January 20, 2014 - 7:43 pm

      🙂 Glad you are enjoying the discussion! I wonder, since this article was originally written for a bisexual website catering to females, if the categorization is more detailed because you how women are – we have to have a label for everything. Perhaps men don’t break it down (the different types) as much as women do.

      • #7 by kdaddy23 on January 20, 2014 - 7:51 pm

        That’s what I was thinking as well – I think I’m going to write something about this… after I finish my second cup of Hawaiian coffee.

      • #8 by shalynne on January 20, 2014 - 7:52 pm

        Can’t wait to read your thoughts!

  6. #9 by kdaddy23 on January 20, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    Oops – one last thing! What the heck is “bi-furious?” I’ve never heard of this!

    • #10 by shalynne on January 20, 2014 - 7:37 pm

      LOL. Bi-furious is a woman’s enthusiastic response to having sex with another woman. I think it’s mostly a swingers term

      • #11 by kdaddy23 on January 20, 2014 - 7:44 pm

        Makes sense even if it’s an odd way to describe it; I never equated the word ‘furious’ with enthusiasm… but if it works, okay, I just learned a new word!

      • #12 by shalynne on January 20, 2014 - 7:49 pm

        Cheers to that!

  7. #13 by deepexplorations on January 20, 2014 - 7:41 pm

    I’m bi-furious! LOL I have a passion for both…that’s how I’ll define it for myself! I think this does a pretty good job for men also, although I would agree that the relationship modifier is something of a distraction. Sex and relationships often combine, but sexuality exists beyond relationships. Perhaps it would be more sensible to narrow this down to fewer categories: those who are romantically attracted to the same gender, those who are just with the same gender for sex, and those who are curious/exploratory and don’t know what they want/where they fit? I definitely fall in the #3 category…although I’d like to fall into the poly category. Monogamous marriage is just waaaaay too limiting for some of us.

    • #14 by shalynne on January 20, 2014 - 7:51 pm

      Agreed. As I mentioned in my reply to KDaddy’s comment, I think women tend to categorize things in more detail, probably because we over-analyze things a bit, yes? Thank you for reading and for commenting!

  8. #15 by SukieJones on January 23, 2014 - 1:09 am

    Love this article! Thank you.

    Love, #8 xo

    • #16 by shalynne on January 23, 2014 - 1:23 am

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading!

  9. #17 by Soldierboy143 on January 23, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    I wonder if a male can chime in on this one or if these “types” are female-based only?

  10. #18 by shalynne on January 24, 2014 - 12:35 am

    Yes, soldier, you can certainly chime in. I’d also encourage you to read KDaddy23’s comments above. His blog has a lot of great information too. Thanks for reading!

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