“I kissed a girl. And I liked it.” Actually, I’ve never kissed a girl. And I haven’t the foggiest clue if I’d actually like it. But the playfully seductive words from Kate Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” certainly got me thinking: Would I? Could I?
Having topped the charts in more than 20 countries, the lyrics have apparently gotten a lot of people wondering the same thing. How much pleasure is there to be had in exploring your sex potential? Or is such experimentation a bunch of hype?
Years ago, I was at a party in Reykjavík, Iceland, where an attractive Swedish fellow was flirting with both men and women. When someone actually dared to ask about his sexual orientation, the man’s reply was classic: “I'm sexual.”
What I loved about this response is that he didn’t allow himself to be defined. His sexuality was fluid, which is the best mindset to have in exploring your sexual potential.
After all, everyone has the potential to be erotically, romantically or affectionately attracted to anybody. Looking at your sexual potential as black or white — as society has taught us — is what can confine our inner nature, longings and curiosities. Looking at your sexuality rigidly — as either gay or straight — limits your erotic imagination.
Yet there are plenty of shades of gray. For example, Lindsay Lohan, who is in a relationship with D.J. Samantha Ronson, recently said in an interview that she doesn’t consider herself gay, but she may be bisexual. She added that if she wasn’t in a relationship with Ronson, she would more than likely be in a relationship with a man.
Funny enough, when it comes to their sexual fantasies and behaviors, most people fall in that gray area.
Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey confirmed this in the last century with the Kinsey Sexual Orientation Continuum. Based on the extent to which a person engages in homosexual or heterosexual behavior, this scale argues that people can fall anywhere on a 7-point scale. Those who are at “0” are exclusively heterosexual in their sexual behavior, while those at “6” are exclusively homosexual in their behavior.
Few people are exclusive in their sexual behavior, Kinsey’s research found. Most individuals fall somewhere between “1” and “2” on Kinsey’s scale. Their behaviors are heterosexually-oriented, but they still have same-sex fantasies or have engaged in same-sex sex play. Why is this important to know?
If you’re going to explore everything your sexuality has to offer, you can’t get hung up on the labels and categories society has constructed around sexual orientation. Seeing your sexuality as fluid can open you up to a whole other world of erotic intimacy and connection. People who have or do enjoy both male and female lovers report that they:
— Are more open to most erotic activities.
— Are able to get more creative in their sexual adventures.
— Can engage in a greater variety of behaviors.
— Can have different needs met, depending on the gender of their partner.
In many ways, these people's sex lives are to envy. Whether bi-curious or able to embrace their sexual fluidity, they know more pleasures and electrifying experiences than the rest of us will ever fathom. They have opened themselves up to a whole other playground, which can fuel their libido and capacity for arousal.
It’s enough to make me wish that my own sexuality was more fluid. Only it’s not — at least for now. And yours may not be either, which if perfectly fine.
In writing this article, my agenda hasn’t been about pressuring readers to fool around with the gender you tend to ignore for sexual kicks, just for the heck of it. You should do only what feels good to you with the people you're attracted to.
But I want readers to realize that you may have more sexual potential than you will ever possibly know. When it comes to sexual potential, many people are left on the sexual sidelines for fear that engaging in certain sex acts with certain people will change their entire identity.
Yet sexual behaviors don’t always reflect your sexual orientation. And your sexual orientation doesn’t necessarily determine your sexual behaviors.
Case in point: people will often not learn about their sexual capacity for same-sex play until they find themselves living at an all-male prison, a same-sex school, or an elderly facility with slim male pickings. In seeking sexual gratification, people have learned to work with what they’ve got.
Others have simply seized opportunities to ride their sexual flow, discovering that there’s more to passion and sexual fulfillment than one gender. So you never know where your sexual fluidity can take you, which is why I hope you’ll at least be open-minded. I hope that I can be.
There may just be a day when I’ll want to kiss another girl. And who knows? Maybe I’ll like it.
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."