Yes I can!
So here’s the thing. Sexuality is really, really complicated. Society tries to put it in these nice shiny boxes that make sense to everyone, like heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual, but there’s so much more to it than that.
Sexual Orientation is what it sounds like. It’s who you’re sexually attracted to. It describes the people that you might at some point have (or not have) sex with.
Affectional Orientation is different. It’s who you’re romantically attracted to. Your affectional orientation describes the people that you might at some point have (or not have) a romantic relationship with. Think about your affectional orientation as describing who you would go on a date with, or who you’d want to end up marrying.
For a lot of people, these two match.
That’s why when we think of someone heterosexual, we think of someone who is both sexually and romantically attracted to someone of the opposite sex. The same for when we think of someone homosexual (except it’s with someone of the same sex).
For some people, these don’t match.
Somebody could be heterosexual, but biromantic. This person could be sexually attracted only to somebody of the opposite sex, but romantically attracted to people of both sexes.
Somebody could be bisexual, but heteroromantic. Meaning they could be sexually attracted to someone of either sexes, but romantically attracted only to those of the opposite sex.
The pairings go on and on. Homosexual and Heteroromatic. Heterosexual and Homoromantic, biromantic and homosexual….
Society has gotten in the habit of saying that these two have to match. This is why many people stay in the closet: because they don’t have a way to describe what they’re feeling.
What does somebody with no knowledge of the difference between sexual and affectional orientation say if their student/child/friend comes to them and says “I want to go on dates with guys and girls, but I only want to have sex with guys”?
I’ll say it a thousand times: Sexuality is fluid. Be the person you feel most comfortable being, and don’t let others tell you that what you’re feeling is invalid.
So, I hope that answered your question. Any comments/critiques can, as always, be fielded into my ask box.