Pansexuality. If there is one word that best summarizes the findings of the new Centre for Disease Control study on sexuality, it is pansexuality.
The biggest change in sexual habits we are experiencing has nothing to do with how early we start having sex, how frequently we sex or the types of sex we have. The big change going on is in with whom we admit enjoying sex with.
The new CDC study is seeing a very rapid movement shift, from seeing our sexuality as a binary (we are gay or we are straight) to being along a spectrum (we are different degrees of bisexual, sometimes more and sometimes less).
The numbers are interesting:
- 17.4% of women report having had a same sex experience (up from 14% in the last survey, only 5 years earlier). While this increase may not seem he, bear in mind it is a 30% increase;
- almost 50% more women are reporting themselves as bisexual (from 3.9% last survey to 5.5% this time around)
- the increase in the rate of men reporting themselves as bisexual is even more startling – increasing from 1.2% to 2% – this is almost an 80% increase;
- men are far more like to state that they are ‘mostly’ attracted to the opposite sex, rather than ‘only attracted’
On the face of it, these numbers are not huge, but there are two really important points to consider. First, the degree of change is startling. Reported rates of bisexuality are up 50-80% in only five years. These trends are very significant. Secondly, these are the reported rates. There is little doubt that the ‘social space’ to come out as bisexual is widening; with so many celebrities coming out as bisexual and the LGBT rights movement having been so successful, it is much easier to admit your own bisexuality the it was a few years ago.
Taken together – more bisexual out and proud and more social space to be pan or bisexual – make you wonder if we are not approaching a tipping point. There is strong physiological evidence that a lot of us – like 70% of women and 30% of men – have physical reactions to same sex porn. Otherwise stated, they are at least somewhat turned on by same sex sex. Are we approaching a stage where more and more of these people begin to acknowledge that they are somewhere on a sexuality spectrum, and not just gay or straight.
Could pansexual be ‘the new normal’?