3 Ways to Know If You Are Heterosexual

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3 Ways to Know If You Are Heterosexual
3 Ways to Know If You Are Heterosexual

Human sexuality is quite complex. Although some people have a clear understanding of their sexual identity from an early age, this discovery can be a lifelong process. It is normal to have questions about your own sexual orientation. If you are unsure whether you are heterosexual, it can be helpful to explore your own feelings, talk to someone you trust (a teacher, counselor, family member, or friend), and educate yourself about different aspects of sexual orientation and identity.


Method 1 of 3: Exploring Feelings

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Step 1. Try not to worry

Remember that it can take a long time to define your sexual identity, and feelings change over time. There is no need to rush into giving yourself a label. Just relax, let the feelings develop naturally, and think about how you feel without judgment.

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Step 2. Determine if you are attracted to people of the opposite gender

Even if you've never had a romantic or sexual relationship with another person, you may have shown sexual or romantic feelings toward someone. Think of people you've been attracted to, whether they're known, celebrities, or even fictional characters.

If you think that most of the people (or even all of them) you've been attracted to are of a different gender than you are, chances are you're heterosexual

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Step 3. Notice if you are comfortable dating someone of the opposite gender

Think about your close relationships with others, whether they are platonic (just friends), romantic or sexual. Take a moment to ask yourself how you feel about this, without judging or overanalyzing these feelings. Consider the relationships in which you felt most comfortable (safe, fulfilled, happy).

  • Do you feel romantic or sexual attraction towards close friends of the opposite gender? If so, ask yourself how you would feel about dating any of these people.
  • If so, how do you feel about romantic and sexual experiences you've had with people of the opposite gender or even with people of the same gender? Did you feel happy and fulfilled by them? Look at the relationships you feel most positive about, and ask yourself how much the person's gender had a bearing on that feeling.
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Step 4. Use your imagination.

Imagine yourself in romantic or sexual situations with people of different genders. Let your mind wander where it wants to go without thinking too much or judging yourself. Notice how you feel when imagining these situations.

  • If you mainly like to imagine yourself with people of different genders than you, it may be that you are heterosexual.
  • If you feel happy and excited to imagine yourself exclusively in heterosexual relationships or situations, this can also be a sign that you are straight.
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Step 5. Imagine yourself with different sexual identities

Sexual orientation is not black and white. You can be straight, gay or something in between (bisexual or bi-curious). Some people think of themselves as being heterosexual even if they occasionally feel attracted to (or even have relationships with) people of the same gender - in some cases, they even consider themselves homosexual even though they feel attracted or have relationships with people of the opposite gender.. Still others are not interested in romantic or sexual relationships at all, regardless of the person's gender. They may consider themselves asexual or aromatic. What matters most is what you think of yourself.

Try writing or saying out loud "I'm straight" or "I'm straight." How do you feel about referring to yourself in this way? Sound comfortable to your ears?

Method 2 of 3: Talking About It

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Step 1. Talk to a close friend about your sexual orientation

Sometimes it can help to talk about it with someone who is going through a similar situation and asking the same questions. Share with a trusted friend the questions you have been asking and ask about their own experiences if they feel comfortable talking about them.

If you know he talks about his sexuality without any problems, try asking questions like "when did you first find out you were straight/gay/bisexual? How did you actually know?"

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Step 2. Find a forum where you can talk about sexual identity concerns

Look for a moderated forum where you can talk (anonymously, if you prefer) with others who are also looking for answers about their sexuality. If you prefer not to join the discussion, even reading other people's conversations on the topic can be of great help. Search the internet for pages on gender and sexuality to learn more about it.

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Step 3. Talk to a counselor

If questions about gender identity are a cause of high anxiety or stress, make an appointment with a mental health specialist (psychologist, counselor, or clinical social worker). It can help you understand your own sexuality better or point you to useful resources.

Method 3 of 3: Educating Yourself

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Step 1. Read books on human sexuality and sexual orientation

This can be a great way to better understand one's sexuality. If you are still a teenager or young person and are looking for answers, look for books on the market that talk about the topic in a light and didactic way.

  • A good option is the title "Sexual Education in the Classroom", by Jimena Furlani, which talks about gender relations, sexual orientations and other important themes.
  • Also look for other options for books, magazines and articles that can broaden your horizons with respect to the subject. In personal learning, it is very important to always seek new and different sources of knowledge in order to develop thought in a full and critical way.
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Step 2. Explore pages that talk about sexuality issues

There are organizations dedicated to researching and understanding human sexuality and offering resources related to sexual and reproductive health, often with free and educational materials on their pages.

  • Association for Family Planning. NGO from Portugal dedicated to promoting knowledge about sexual, reproductive and parental knowledge to Portuguese speakers.
  • Also look for other pages that explain more about gender identity and sexuality. Other options are the search for documentaries and educational videos that speak about the subject in an impartial and educational way.
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Step 3. Take a class on sexuality

If your school offers this alternative, you may be able to apply for sex education classes or look for an open course at local colleges. It may also be possible to find free or inexpensive courses on sexual identity on the internet. Do a quick search to find out.


  • Don't worry if you don't make up your mind right away. Understanding one's sexuality can represent a journey that will last a lifetime.
  • Remember that only you can determine your own sexual identity. Don't let anyone try to label you or force you to put yourself in a box that you're not comfortable with.

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