Sexual Fluidity: What Does It Really Mean?

Have you ever known or met someone who identified as sexually fluid? Perhaps you’ve even wondered whether or not you could be described as sexually fluid yourself. “Sexual fluidity” is something we’re hearing about more and more often these days as people become increasingly more open about their sexuality, but many people still aren’t quite sure what the term really means.

So what is sexual fluidity anyway, and what is it like to date someone who’s sexually fluid? What do gay and bisexual men need to know about sexually fluidity if they’re interested in exploring someone who identifies that way? How can you tell whether you might be sexually fluid? Let’s take a closer look at the answers to all of these questions and more.

What Is Sexual Fluidity?

Sexually fluidity may in part be as hard to define as it is because the term itself can mean different things to different people. In a nutshell though, sexual fluidity refers to the idea that a person’s sexuality isn’t necessarily static. Instead, sexuality is seen as something that can evolve and change over time or according to circumstance, sometimes drastically.

A given sexually fluid man may or may not also identify as gay, straight, or bi at any point over the course of his lifetime. Another may consider himself bisexual for most of his life only to have his tastes change in the future, leading him to feel more comfortable identifying as gay from then on. A third may refuse to identify as anything, as he recognizes the fact that his sexuality is constantly changing and shifting.

Is Everyone Sexually Fluid?

Sexual orientation can be really complicated, and no two people’s journeys are the same. Just as one gay man may have known he was gay since childhood while another may not have figured it out until he was much older, sexually fluid people come to understand what they are in all sorts of different ways. Some have always known. Others thought they were something else entirely their whole lives until they suddenly realized their sexual preferences had moved from end of the spectrum to the other.

However, everyone isn’t sexually fluid anymore than everyone’s bisexual. Sexually fluid people are people whose sexual preferences actually change any number of times over the course of their lifetimes. Think of it as not liking a particular food at all for a long while only to develop a real taste for it later in life.

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What Is Dating a Sexually Fluid Person Like?

Maybe you’re interested in dating someone you know identifies as sexually fluid and want to know what to expect. Maybe you’re starting to suspect that you might be sexually fluid yourself and are curious about what that would mean for your dating life. Whatever the case may be, the following are some things sexually fluid people would like you to know about their dating lives.

Sometimes sexual fluidity is about what they feel in the moment.

For some sexually fluid people, their preferences are really more about what they’re feeling from moment to moment. They just go with the flow and remain open to whatever possibilities a given situation may bring their way. You may even see a sexually fluid friend swear off one gender or another for a while after a particularly bad heartbreak and be happy that way for years only to move right past that feeling with ease the minute they’re ready.

Sexual fluidity can be lonely sometimes.

Sexually fluid people have lots of options to choose from when it comes to their love lives, so they’re rarely socially lonely. However, having an approach to one’s sexuality that many people have trouble understanding can be emotionally lonely sometimes. Some feel compelled to actually hide who they are from the people in their lives out of fear that they won’t be understood or accepted, something many gay and bisexual men understand all too well.

Someone may be fluid sexually, but not romantically.

Once you get to know more people who identify as sexually fluid, you may notice that they may or may not be fluid across the board. For instance, some people may not care for the idea of being in a romantic relationship with someone of the same gender, but very much be interested in same-gender sex. This is especially the case for many sexually fluid men.

In other words, dating a sexually fluid person as a gay man can have a lot in common with dating a man who’s bisexual. Each individual is different and may have their own approach to dating other men, casually or otherwise, so communication is key. Always try to understand where the other person is coming from to ensure you’re both on the same page in all the ways that matter.

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Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.