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The 10 types of homosexuality (and characteristics)

The 10 types of homosexuality (and characteristics)

May 1, 2024

We live in a time when sexuality and the high level of diversity in which it can present itself is becoming a valued and increasingly visible part of society.

Over the years, a level of sexual freedom unprecedented in history is being reached . In this way, over the last few decades, it has begun little by little (since in many cases it is still being criminalized or pathologized) to accept the existence, to visualize and to protect the existence of sexual orientations different from the heterosexual one. One of these orientations, the best known and until recently persecuted, is homosexuality or attraction by people of the same sex.

Being gay or lesbian implies the existence of attraction towards people of the same biological sex as their own. However, human sexuality is broad and diverse, and not all people who are attracted to people of the same sex live their sexuality in the same way. That is why throughout this article we are going to see different types of homosexuality and orientations in which there may be attraction for people of the same sex .

  • Related article: "The 10 main types of sexual orientation"

Homosexual, gay, lesbian

At the operational level and in a generic way, we can consider homosexuality as the attraction towards people of the same sex . In other words, if you are a man you are attracted to men and if you are a woman you like women. As a general rule, this interest in individuals of the same sex occurs both sexually and romantically.

While the term gay can be used to talk about both gay men and women, homosexual men are generally called gay while lesbians mean women who are attracted to women.

But as stated above, Sexuality is not something homogeneous that can be labeled in a fixed and restrictive way . Not all gays and lesbians are the same way or live their sexuality in the same way. In fact, same-sex attraction may even appear without the sex of the person being itself the core of sexual interest. Let's see below different typologies.

  • We recommend reading: "The Kinsey scale: are we all bisexual?"

Types of homosexuality according to the experience of one's orientation

The attraction to people of the same sex can be lived in different ways according to the circumstances and personality of each individual.

In this sense we can find two types of homosexuality, depending on whether one's sexuality is lived as something positive or rejected by one's own person. You can also contemplate the possibility that a person does not know their true orientation and ends up discovering it over the years.

1. Egosytonic homosexuality

The majority of the homosexual population lives their sexuality as something egosyntonic, that is, as something with which they are in tune and is part of them .

Your impulses and desires are perceived as positive, pleasurable and satisfying. In other words, they have their sexual orientation well integrated into their lives, viewing homosexuality as something normal that should not be ashamed. It is about the type of individuals who seek or want social integration and the normalization of their orientation.

2. Egodistonic homosexuality

Gays, lesbians and bisexuals can now express their existence and their tastes with relative normality. But nevertheless, throughout history homosexuality has been frowned upon and even persecuted , instilling in the collective imagination the thought that being attracted to someone of your same sex is something negative, despicable and that must be hidden or even eliminated.

This type of thinking has been transmitted through the generations, still current in the thinking of some people. There are countries where gays and lesbians are persecuted and attacked with impunity because of their orientation without them being protected by law, and in others, an accusation of being so may even lead to the death penalty . Even in a society such as ours being homosexual can lead to the rejection of family or friends, difficulties at work, school or work harassment and even assaults.

This set of elements can cause some men and women to live their sexuality in an aversive way, being ashamed of their tastes and desires, hiding that part of themselves and even attacking those who live their orientation as something normal. Because of this, these people have a high level of life dissatisfaction and a high level of frustration. In many cases they decide to lead a typically heterosexual life, sometimes having sporadic relationships with their true object of desire that they live with shame. It is not uncommon for anxiety or mood disorders to appear, as well as substance abuse.

3. Latent homosexuality

Most gays and lesbians have taken some time to discover and assume their sexual orientation . Keep in mind that most of the population is heterosexual and has been educated in a way that heterosexuality is seen as normative.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to think throughout the development that we will like people of the opposite sex. It is usually during adolescence, the stage in which the first romantic and sexual relationships begin, the moment in which the orientation itself is defined towards an object of concrete desire (whether of the opposite sex or of the same sex).

In some cases people assume that they are heterosexual because it is the most usual, without ever questioning their preferences. However, in a given moment a person of the same sex can draw their attention and cause the subject to end up discovering that basically he has preference for people of the same sex. It would be people who have not denied homosexuality, but have never considered it .

Sometimes it can overlap with an egodistonic homosexuality that the subject has tried to hide. The knowledge of one's homosexuality can be a liberating factor for the person, although according to the beliefs and situation of each subject it can also suppose a great pain and feelings of guilt.

Homosexuality according to the level of exclusivity

Often people have to catalog the tastes and preferences of the population in a dichotomous way: either you are heterosexual or you are homosexual. They also put an intermediate point, bisexuality. However, as we have already said, human sexuality is dynamic and fluid, having a lot of intermediate situations .

Throughout the 1940s and the 1950s, Kingsley created a seven-level scale to try to unbundle and de-corset the idea of ​​completely closed and unchanging heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, developing a continuum between exclusive heterosexuality and homosexuality. .

Next we indicate those scales in which attraction to people of the same sex appears .

5. Exclusive homosexuality

This category refers to the gay population that is only sexually attracted by people of the same sex , people of the opposite sex are not stimulated on a sexual level.

6. Predominantly heterosexual with frequent homosexual contacts

This type of individual is attracted mainly by people of the opposite sex, but he also feels attracted to numerous people of the same as his own . It could be considered a form of bisexuality with a tendency to heterosexual relationships.

7. Mainly herestosexual with sporadic homosexual contacts

These are heterosexual people who feel certain sexual attraction and activation before certain people of the same sex , maintaining carnal relations with them.

Types according to the type of attraction

When we think of a gay man or a lesbian woman, a person who feels physical and emotional attraction towards people of the same sex comes to mind. However, it's not always like that.

Although it is not the most usual, sometimes it is possible to find people who are only attracted in a sexual or affective way by people of the same gender .

8. Emotional-affective attraction

It is the most common type of attraction, and what is usually imagined when talking about homosexuality. In these cases the person will feel an interest in people of the same sex, both at the level of physical desire and at the level of emotional bond .

9. Sexual attraction only

This type of attraction assumes that the person will feel a sexual interest for people of the same sex, but this attraction is not transferred to the affective terrain . The person may be sexually homosexual but affectively heterosexual.

10. Affective attraction only

It is possible to find cases of individuals who feel a romantic inclination towards people of the same sex, but said inclination does not include any type of sexual desire . It can be heterosexual people who fall in love with a person of the same sex without ceasing to be so.

There may also be a widespread interest towards the same sex without feeling sexual desire (as we will see later, it may be the case of asexual people who are romantically attracted to people of the same sex).

Other sexual orientations in which there may be attraction for people of the same sex

Human sexuality is very diverse and varied . That which produces desire and excitement, that makes us fall in love and that makes us choose the beloved person can vary enormously and, as we have seen, it can not be exclusive.

Although it is the essential characteristic of homosexuality, the fact that there is affective-sexual attraction by people of the same sex is not exclusive of this sexual orientation, there being different sexualities in which it can appear. Some of them are the following.


Considered by many people as a sexual orientation that is at the midpoint between heterosexuality and homosexuality (Although there may be preferences towards one or the other), bisexuality is conceptualized as the sexual attraction towards people of the same or opposite sex. Thus, both men and women can be of interest to these people.

Sporadic heterosexual contacts

This category includes all those bisexual people who, although they are mainly attracted to people of the same sex, occasionally feel desire for some people of the opposite sex.

Frequent heterosexual contacts

There are people who, although as a general rule they are attracted to people of the same sex, also feel stimulated and attracted by people of the opposite sex. It could be considered a form of bisexuality with a tendency to homosexual relationships.


Pansexuality is defined as sexual attraction to specific people regardless of their gender. Although by its definition can be confused with bisexuality, in the case of pansexuals the attraction ignores the nuance. It is not that these people are attracted to both men and women, but that both sex and gender identity are elements that are not taken into account.

It will be other aspects that will draw the attention of the pansexual, appearing the attraction to other characteristics such as personality. In this way, they can initiate relationships with people of the same or opposite sex.


This category refers to people who are attracted to people because of their gender identity , not your sex. The attraction is given to groups and groups with a specific gender identity, regardless of whether they are men or women.

Homorromantic heterosexuality / hetero-romantic homosexuality

Although it is not possible to completely consider a type of sexual orientation, to understand this differentiation it is necessary to take into account the difference between sexual orientation and romantic orientation. Although they generally go hand in hand, there are cases in which people who are sexually attracted to a specific sex on an affective and romantic level only feel linked to the opposite.

In other words, sexual desire is directed towards one sex and the romantic one towards the other . It does not refer to a specific infatuation of someone of the opposite sex to that of our sexual preference, but to a continuous condition in which the affective of the instinct is dissociated. Thus, we could find heterosexuals who fall in love with people of the same sex or homosexuals who do the same with people of the opposite sex.


Although asexuality is defined by the absence of sexual desire of any kind, this does not imply that people with this type of sexual orientation can not develop affective romantic bonds.

That is, not being sexually attracted or interested in sexual aspects does not mean that they can not fall in love. And said infatuation can be given to people of both the opposite sex (heterosexual heterosexual) and the same sex as their own (homoromantic asexuality).

LPS: 10 Sexualities & Gender Identities | LGBT PRIDE Month Special (May 2024).

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