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What Does Homoflexible (or Heteroflexible) Mean?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 28, 2021

Homoflexible people primarily identify as homosexual but are sometimes attracted to the opposite sex. Meanwhile, heteroflexible people primarily identify as heterosexual, or “straight,” but are sometimes attracted to the same sex.

Homoflexible and heteroflexible are fairly new terms that have not yet been widely adopted as sexual identities. This means that these words may mean different things to different people and that the generally accepted definitions of these words may expand or evolve. 

It is important to respect any individual’s sexual identity and the label they choose.

What Is the Difference Between Bisexual, and Homoflexible/Heteroflexible?

Bisexuality includes people who are attracted sexually or romantically to people of the same gender and another gender. That could include heteroflexible or homoflexible people. For some people, a bisexual label fits their identities best.

People can, and often do, identify as more than one label at one time. For example, some people identify as both heteroflexible and bisexual because the common definitions of both terms apply to how they describe their orientation.

It’s important to respect the terminology that a person may use at different points in their life. Each person may identify as another label at different times.

Myths and Misconceptions about Homoflexible or Heteroflexible

Some of the common misconceptions people have about bisexuality also apply to those who identify as homoflexible or heteroflexible. These include:  

  • Many people consider bisexuality or homoflexible/heteroflexible to be “just a phase.” In fact, the majority of people who identify as one of these orientations are not experimenting or casually applying these labels. 
  • Some people think of people who identify with an orientation that includes attraction to more than one sex as “greedy.” In truth, just because a person has the capacity to develop attractions to more than one gender does not necessarily mean they need to have more than one partner at a time to feel fulfilled. 
  • While some people who identify as homoflexible or heteroflexible may also identify as polyamorous (having multiple partners at one time), it again is a myth that these people are somehow greedy by nature. These identifiers are outside of the mainstream to some degree, but they are no less valid than the more common heterosexual or homosexual orientations. 
  • It’s miconseption that people who identify as bisexual (or, relatedly, homoflexible or heteroflexible) are promiscuous. While people have their own views about acceptable sexual choices, being attracted to more than one gender is a sexual orientation that’s not related to morality. 
  • Another common myth related to orientations like bisexual, homoflexible, and heteroflexible is that everybody identifies with these terms to some degree. While it is possible and normal for people to experience attraction to various genders at some point in their lives, these feelings fade for most people and do not become part of their identity. 

Helping Your Loved Ones Understand Homoflexible or Heteroflexible

Remember that it is always up to you to decide how and when to come out to your friends and loved ones. Though some people find it helpful or cathartic to come out, you do not need to be open about your sexual identity with anyone you don’t want to.

When you explain to someone what it means to identify as homoflexible or heteroflexible, you can provide as much detail as you’d like. You can simply explain that you are primarily attracted to people of the same sex but sometimes feel attracted to someone of another sex (homoflexible), or that you primarily identify as straight but sometimes feel attracted to people of the same sex (heteroflexible). 

You may find it helpful to explain these terms in relation to bisexuality, which is a more widely understood concept. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Bisexual Resource Center: “Labels.”

Bisexual Resource Center: “Pan & Bi: A Handy Guide.”

Dictionary.com: “Polysexual.”

Merriam-Webster: “Polyamorous.”

Merriam-Webster: “What do ‘homoflexible’ and ‘heteroflexible’ mean?”

University of Connecticut: “Many LGBTQ youth don’t identify with traditional sexual identity labels.”

University of Illinois Springfield: “Bisexuality Myths.”

University of Washington: “Thinking of coming out?”

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