Straight, gay, pansexual, asexual, transsexual, hetero-flexible, bisexual; the endless list of sexual identities surely indicates society is heading in an ever-more inclusive direction, right? Yet there are still some social barriers that refuse to budge - especially for those people who aren't entirely sure of their own sexuality.
Sexuality is often described as a spectrum; some people identify as entirely straight and others as entirely gay. However many people lie somewhere in that sizeable grey area between the two, and it seems that more young people than ever are realising they are in that number: In short, this study would suggest young people are feeling less and less straight. Another study looked at same-sex experiences in Americans between and By the time of the last survey, 7.
I reached out to some straight-identified people who have sexually experimented, but found people reluctant to talk. So I did what a lot of people do and went online. It seems that the anonymity of an online persona, in a community of like-minded people - such as a forum - is comforting enough for some people to vocalise their experiences.
Because, despite the significant shift in numbers of younger people identifying as something other than heterosexual, there still seems to be one area of sexual activity where the shift in attitudes are lagging behind - men experimenting with men.
One idea looks at the very fundamentals of both masculinity and femininity. The alibis that are available to men are different to the ones available to women, and are consistent with the way we think about masculinity and femininity. Femininity is traditionally viewed as a spectacle, or a show. Straight-identified women get to have sexual contact with another woman as long as it is a show for men.
Often same-sex sexual contact between men will take a form of hyper-masculinity and joking around. Ward explained to me that straight men would be more likely to have a relationship with a bisexual woman than women are with a bisexual man. I wanted to see if this was true. I went back to my anonymous friends online. Getty Images Why would this be the case? Ward argues that it is largely down to both our culture and to the media.
Look at the Madonna and Britney Spears kiss. The images are everywhere and there are no consequences to that. There are events such as Bivisibility Day which takes place every year on 23 September which can only help increase awareness, but what else could help? More male celebrities to open up about their same sex dalliances - in the same way Miley and Madonna have?
Or perhaps a rather more formal approach and sex-ed in schools to become more inclusive? The reality is that probably every area needs to evolve - the media, education and as we've all become so obsessed with celebrities, a Hollywood star or two to help along the way.
Until these things happen it's likely nothing will change and bi-phobia will continue to rule.