Straight to gay scale
The 0 to 10 "straight to gay" scale below is a fun way to think about sexual orientation. Sexual preference is not a binary (gay or straight) nor a threeway (gay/straight/bisexual) "decision", it is a complex spectrum. The chart below is a huge simplification of a straight to gay spectrum and it is deliberately cheesy. If you want a more official scale lookup the "Kinsey scale". I wanted to keep this one fun to stimulate conversation.
My Graphical Representation of the "Straight to Gay Scale" (0-10)
Sexuality is complex!
Sexual preference infinitely complex and multi-dimensional. LGBTQ - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, genderqueer, demisexual (emotional connection), pansexual (personality), sapiosexual (inteligence), asexual (no interest in sex), hetroflexible, bi-curious, genderfluid, sexually fluid... the list goes on forever and each of these aspects of sexuality deserves its own scale. What are you most attracted to physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally? Do you have both a feminine and masculine side? Have you ever been attracted to a masculine female, or a feminine man? Are you so straight that you're probably a closeted gay? So yes, this scale is a huge simplification, but I hope it makes you giggle, because it is intended to make a serious topic and (for many) a life exploration more approachable by using humor.
Send this scale to anyone who will find it: (A) funny, (B) helpful in dating, (C) supporting in their sexual exploration journey, (D) conductive to great converastion!
How Might this Benefit Your Friends And Dates
Use this scale to:
- Challenge yourself: The answer you give on this scale depends on the exact question asked. What are you attracted to romantically versus sexually? It might just yield two different numbers. If you fantasize about same sex frequently but have only ever dated opposite sex does it hurt to identify as straight? Are your curiosities and actions alighted? Where do people perceive you on the scale, and is that where you feel you belong? If the world and your parents had zero judgments would you be tempted to try something different just once? It healthy or unhealthy to let you partner encourage you into same sex play to satisfy their fantasy? Have you ever pushed your will onto someone else? Are you truly 100% comfortable with your sexuality and 100% comfortable around people of different orientation? All very challenging questions for sure.
- Help enlighten people: The idea is simple... if you meet someone who thinks a little black and white, send them this page and challenge them. Could you tell me with confidence that you hate surfing if you've never tried to surf? Probably not right? Can you tell your friends you're 100% straight or gay if you've never sucked a ****. Perhaps not. Oh sure, you exclusively date one gender for now, but in a fluid world, can you say with 100% certainty you'll never look at someone of the same or different gender and find them attractive. And I don't mean "oh that's objectively a handsome person", but "oh wow, something about that person allures me". Maybe this realization will give you some empathy for the people who are going through their own journeys of discovery. "I don't know" is the most humble and enlightened answer there is.
- Encourage friends who are questioning: I have plenty of friends who came out of the closet and it's usually a very difficult and sometimes heartbreaking process. Will your parents and friends accept you? Will you accept yourself? Even in the rarest of cases when they had the coolest, most open parents, they said it was still difficult. The word fluid means you can change over time, and if you ever meet someone awkwardly exploring their sexuality, then be encouraging... actually let them know they are NOT special, because it's so normal it's a bit boring. Perhaps send them this article and let them know you accept them always for being themselves and they should exhibit a little self love too! There are probably some amazing resources for this, so if you know any, please email me so I can make a list.
- Help identify your dating prospects: Finally, sometimes it's important to know you're on the same page in dating. My favorite lesbian friend in the world (hi Nat!) says it's a little frustrating to date women who identify as bisexual, but who, at the end of the day, only see themselves marrying a man to live out the whole traditional "man, woman and two children" cookie cutter life trajectory. Or maybe they just prefer penis - either way I love that Nat just puts it out there. People are fluid, they might change, but be honest with people where you are, because your relationship will more-than-likely cause much more pain later on if you are not honest about what type of people you most deeply love.
I've been wanting to make this for ages! Lots of my gay friends keep telling me "look, nobody is 100% straight" and others tell me "nobody is 100% gay or lesbian"! I think I'm pretty straight, but I recall when I was a kid seeing a boy on the bus during the first year of my PhD with the most beautiful femine blue eyes and thinking "oh wow... I’ve never fantasized about men in my life - I have never watched man on man porn - but what if I’ve been gay this whole time". I had to pretend I wasn't staring. The biggest challenge for a straight person though is to consider what happens in prison. Same sex prison, mostly “straight” people, but yes, a heap of them have sex. Maybe it's a power-move for some, but maybe on some level it is likely about the human need for touch, and if left with no other option. If all the men or women in the world disappeared tomorrow. Well are you just going to be celibate for the rest of your life?! That was a really interesting insight. And a lot of "I'm 100% straight" people might hate these thoughts, because it might challenge the way you think.... and there's still a certain stigma people have if you say "I'm only 99% straight". What if they suddenly look at you differently? What if it limits all your future dating with opportunities with the gender that you prefer? Do these questions help give you more empathy for people who are not binary? Are these questions you are even game to talk about, or too afraid?
Our society has made amazing progress with gay marriage, but we still have plenty of homophobic people around, particularly in the older generations and highly religious countries. We're not like the Romans who just did whatever. Sexual preference is called preference because it's a preference. Maybe you just don't get your first university preference, but you have the other university listed as a close second. Do you still want to attend school or just dropout? Okay so that's an extreme analogy, but I hope the idea makes your soul chuckle. As someone who is probably 1.5 on this scale, I'm relatively straight, and people who are gay or bisexual could easily take offence to my whimpsical classification - so I would love you to email me so I can improve this scale, and improve this article, that I made late one night on a whim!
Notice in this scale, it can be used by someone male, female, transgender or basically any sexual identity. Part of me is tempted to split off a "straight to lesbian" scale, so that I can be extra cheeky and tastefully use genital parts in the scale - and not have to say "opposite gendered" on every line. With just a little encouragement I'll make that scale one day, but I think this one is good because anyone can answer, and if you are attracted to transgender or not is really just a sidenote. If a straight man falls deeply in love with a beautiful woman that was formerly a man, is he still straight? Heck, I don't even know! I will say this. Western society is a little interesting in that the newest generation often encourages women to kiss other women, but discourages men. The "I kissed a girl and I liked it" song went to the top of the charts, but I doubt a male version of that song would do well right now, but maybe in one or two generations it will. Progressive parents encourage children to explore the world, but encouraging your male or female kid to explore their sexuality (so that they know for sure) is less talked about. The Amish people have rumspringa, which is very progressive in many ways, but they don't necessarily talk about their experiences if they come back.
One last really fun thought is that I love the concept that people who are so hardcore straight that they identify as 100% straight, are actually the biggest closet gays! And hey - I want to throw it out there that people who claim to be hardcore gay and find the opposite gender gross might have a little closet straightness in them. So unlike most of my other scales, there is a funny idea that there is a loop, where 0 maps back around to 10! That thought amuses me.
Please email me for suggestions and feedback! :)
That scale again in text form:
Straight to Gay Scale
- 10 - Zero interest in the opposite gender. Proudly, exclusively homosexual.
- 9 - Gay as a poptart! Opposite gender genitals are gross. But then there is tequila.
- 8 - Pretty gay, but not all the way. Stranded on an island with nothing else I would.
- 7 - A flexible gay. I can have fun with opposite gendered people occasionally.
- 6 - Bisexual, leaning slightly towards same-sex. Maybe just easier to relate.
- 5 - Bisexual with zero gender bias. It’s more about your heart than genitals.
- 4 - Bicurious, but most likely to end up in a conventional man-female marriage.
- 3 - Heteroflexible. Mostly straight, but I’ve been attracted to a few same-sex peeps.
- 2 - If everyone of my gender died tomorrow, I’d probably do one year of celibacy.
- 1 - Honestly never had a single fantasy about the same sex since I hit puberty.
- 0 - So defensively convinced that I’m 110% straight I’m probably gay.
- Kinsey scale - The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person's sexual orientation based on one's experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to a 6, meaning exclusively homosexual.