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What Does It Mean To Be 'Mostly Straight'?

Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
By Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist writing about health, wellness, feminism, entertainment, personal finance, and more. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.
Photo by Alberto Bogo
November 28, 2017

In a world where there's more acceptance surrounding concepts like open relationships and sexual fluidity, sex researcher Ritch Savin-Williams decided to take a deep dive into the concept of the "mostly straight" man in his new book, Mostly Straight: Sexual Fluidity Among Men.

He found that 5 to 10 percent of men identify as mostly straight. Identifying as mostly straight is exactly what it sounds like: For the most part, you're attracted to the opposite, but once in a while you find yourself having feelings for the same sex. Adopting this identity is especially common among millennials, who are reportedly the most sexually fluid generation ever.

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And, in case you're wondering, identifying as mostly straight doesn't mean "secretly gay." "Our research has found that a mostly straight identity remains moderately stable over time," Savin-Williams writes. "If a mostly straight individual drifts, the movement is usually between a straight and a mostly straight identity—seldom toward a bisexual or gay identity. This finding challenges the widespread belief that a mostly straight man is, in reality, someone who is gay but is afraid to emerge from his closet."

Further, there's actually physiological evidence to support the mostly straight identity: Research finds that mostly straight men have similar arousal patterns to those of straight men when viewing pornography, but they are slightly aroused by footage of men masturbating. Straight men, on the other hand, experience almost no arousal when viewing this type of pornography.

Interested in emerging relationship trends? Here's why it may be time to rethink virginity.

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Leigh Weingus
Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor

Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist and former Senior Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen where she analyzed new research on human behavior, looked at the intersection of wellness and women's empowerment, and took deep dives into the latest sex and relationship trends. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis. She has written for HuffPost, Glamour, and NBC News, among others, and is a certified yoga instructor.