Sexual Orientation vs. Sexual Preference

Sexual orientation and sexual preference are often talked about as different concepts.  Sexual orientation is often defined as an innate attraction to people. People argue that it’s not a choice. However, sexual preference is often seen by both the gay and straight community as a choice. Don’t they generally go hand – in – hand. People who are straight most often prefer to have sexual relations with the opposite sex and the opposite for gay people? Of course, the group that this “sexual orientation = innate/ sexual preference = choice” argument would likely apply to people who are bisexual or those who, for one reason or another don’t fit the gay/ straight pidgeon holes.

Then again, are people who are bisexual or other orientation less likely to fall for people spontaneously? Do they deliberately think, ‘hmmmm, I’m going to fall for a woman today’? I doubt it. I have argued on here before that people should ALWAYS exercise choice in whether they have sex and with whom. But that is different to who you’re attracted to or (in the context of bisexuals and bi – romantics), how strongly you are attracted to a certain gender. Again, the main choice is if and how someone acts on those attractions. That applies to all orientations, including people who are asexual.

I suppose it may apply to people who bi – curious when they originally identify as straight (or gay). But then again, what about the biological and neurological processes that would take place? Are they simply a matter of choice? I remember back in high school (Year Ten onwards), no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t for the life of me experience attracted to others. No matter what I did, the thought of even dating guys made me uncomfortable (no offence to men out there). Sex has pretty much always been foreign to me.  Did I “choose to be so indifferent to sex? I don’t think so. In fact, I would argue that at times I wish I felt the opposite. I wish I could get my act together, become straight and be “normal”. So my “preference sexually is ‘none’ because that’s how I’m oriented.

What do others think? Do you think sexual orientation and sexual preference go hand – in a- hand and are the same or different?

2 comments on “Sexual Orientation vs. Sexual Preference

  1. acetheist says:

    Being asexual is normal. All sexual orientations are normal. I understand what you’re saying about wishing you could fit in better, but you don’t have to feel bad. ❤

    "Do you think sexual orientation and sexual preference go hand – in a- hand and are the same or different?"

    Well, I'd say they go hand-in-hand to some degree (since, given the choice, most folks would prefer the people they already find sexy), but I'd always assumed that sexual orientation and sexual preference referred to different things — with sexual orientation generally being the "who", and sexual preference being the, uh, "how you like to go about it", so to speak. You've got more control over the latter than over who you are or aren't attracted to. But that doesn't necessarily make it a choice.

    • saraharnetty says:

      Thank you for your comment acetheist. That was lovely. Interesting take on the difference of sexual orientation and preference. ❤

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