What Does "Bi-Curious" Mean?

It is perfectly normal to feel bi-curious
It is perfectly normal to feel bi-curious.

 

Bi-What?

The phrase "bi-curious" refers to people who are interested in having a same gender sexual experience without necessarily labeling their sexual orientation as bisexual. 

Here's what About's Guide to Lesbian Life tells a teen who describes herself as bi-curious: 

"Being bisexual or bi-curious is perfectly an okay thing to be. I've met women who thought they were lesbian and then suddenly found themselves confused and attracted to a man.

I've met women who thought they were straight and then found themselves confused and attracted to another woman. What label do they take for themselves?"

Bi-Curious in Pop Culture

The pop singer Katy Perry's song "I Kissed a Girl" is something of a bi-curious anthem.

In it she sings, "I kissed a girl just to try it. I hope my boyfriend don't mind it...I kissed a girl and I liked it."

This song caused a bit of a stir, both from those who applauded the singers' candid discussion of this subject, as well as from those who felt Perry trivialized same sex experiences and turned them into something simply designed to titillate.

Questioning

Not everyone loves the term bi-curious and some teens call them selves "questioning" to describe what others might call bi-curious.

A lot of teens experience periods where they question their sexual orientation or have curiosity about a same sex sexual experience.

Many of these teens don't identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual and that's perfectly fine.

Figuring out one's sexual orientation can be tricky and sometimes the person we assume ourselves to be, doesn't always match the way we feel.

Mostly-Hetero

When one identifies as hetero it can be unsettling to realize that you might not exclusively feel this way but as researchers are learning, it is more common than we may realize.

Most of us are familiar with the terms, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual (or straight) to describe sexual orientations.  But more and more people are realizing that these terms don't actually capture everyone's experience.  

As a result we now hear more about the experience of being genderqueer, pansexual or omisexual.

But recently, Cornell University Professor Ritch Savin-Williams and his graduate student Zhana Vragalova identified a new category which they are calling, "mostly heterosexual."

Mostly-heterosexuals are just that: people who are usually attracted to and romantically and sexually involved with the opposite gender, but who may also experience attraction to and romantic feelings for people of the same gender from time-to-time.

What it All Comes Down to

Ultimately, how one defines themselves is a really personal thing. But sometimes knowing that others feel as you do, or that what you are feeling is normal, can be reassuring. So whether you call yourself straight or gay, mostly-heterosexual, bisexual or bi-curious, pansexual, or gayer than straight, may be less important than is feeling okay about who you are.