Sexual Orientation


Sexologists talk of five sexual orientations in humans.

  • Heterosexual
  • Homosexual
  • Bisexual
  • Fluid
  • Asexual

Sexual orientation locus cannot be assumed fixed, but unfolding in due course over a lifespan. While heterosexuality may represent nature’s pre-selection for some 80% of population, this is not accurate for individuals of diverse sexual orientations. Many people experience no conflict with their sexual orientation. For others however, sexual orientation creates much confusion, stress, and anxiety.

  • All sexual orientations are normal in nature.
  • Sexual orientations cannot be manipulated to social adaptation.
  • Sexual orientation is not linked to sexual addiction.

Around the globe, heterosexuality is the most recognized and accepted form of sexual orientation. This view is broadening in recent years, and making room for a wider acceptance of diversity. The word ‘homosexuality’ only exists for about 100 years. Freud referred to anal penetration as ‘immaturity’, and Queen Victoria anecdotally declared that ‘it would not be possible for two women to be sexual with each other’. Even in modern times, some countries legally punish homosexuality in men.

In 1948, Alfred Kinsey developed a concept of the ‘Sexual Continuum’. His intensive studies of human sexuality convinced him to believe that sexual orientations are not necessarily fixed over a lifetime, but can be fluid.

Michael Ross discusses concepts of sexual identity and behaviour. Ross concludes ‘a person’s sexual behaviour may not necessarily be in line with their sexual orientation’.


If you feel confused about your sexual orientation, you are not alone. People from all walks of life ring my office reporting confusion over their sexual identities. They may report being disturbed by sexual fantasies, or confused by sexual attractions to same sex partners or transsexuals. Others, who have actually acted out sex with same sex participants or transsexual partners, may have become even more confused, doubtful, or even scared of who they are, and most choose sexual counselling to clarify their sexual orientation status.

Substantial fears of social judgement and rejection can prevent anyone, who does not clearly identify as heterosexual, from coming out and living a dignifying social lifestyle true to their natural sexual orientation. Under pressure of social expectation, some same sex oriented men and women try to adapt to heterosexuality, often with devastating outcomes to their mental and physical wellbeing.

Some individuals, who identify as homosexual, fluid, bi-sexual, or asexual, may be exposed to severe external and/or internal homophobia, and may have reason to fear for their personal safety. Untreated homophobia may incur a dangerously high cost to mental, social, and physical health consequences:

  • Unhappiness
  • Distress
  • Fear
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship upheavals
  • Alcohol and Drug abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Sexual addictions
  • Pornography addiction
  • Love addiction
  • Over/under self-confidence
  • Social isolation
  • Self-hatred
  • Self harming
  • Anxiety/Panic
  • Anger/Rage
  • Arrogance
  • Retaliation
  • Rejection/self-rejection
  • Psychosomatic symptoms
  • Acute and chronic illness
  • Severe depression
  • Suicide


Sex therapist Heide McConkey is available during AEST office hours in Sydney and online for information and for booking a confidential consultation. Call Heide Now  (+61) 02 9380 4486 or email