Millennials – the word that invites a lot of terms, most of them perhaps negative. But the unconventional Millennials are the largest generation ever, and they are writing history everyday by rewriting the stone set norms of categorizing people. The ‘label repellent’ generation is constantly fighting a battle against being pigeonholed into cubicles of description. But what is contradictory to this behavior is that they prefer being labelled when it comes to sexual orientation to better define themselves.
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Let’s decrypt the millennial logic for perspective:
What are the Labels of sexual orientation?
The people who are attracted to men, males, and/or masculinity.
These people do not feel any romantic desire. Now this is not to be confused with asexuality, as they are totally different concepts. But one individual can possess both and be Aromantic asexual, a person who is neither interested in romantic relationships nor sexual ones.
A person who has no feelings of sexual attraction and has little or no interest to engage in sexual activity.
Usually referred to as ‘bi’; a person who is attracted to both men and women.
Those individuals who cannot engage in sexual activity without emotionally connecting first; they can only feel sexual attractions under specific circumstances.
The people who are attracted to women, females, and/or femininity.
Individual who are sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the opposite gender.
Individuals who are sexually and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender.
People who are attracted to individuals of any sex/ gender, like male/female/transgender/intersex or anything else. These individuals don’t seem to find gender as a barrier when they are attracted to someone.
An umbrella term which is used by those who cannot identify their sexual orientation under the known labels.
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What is the Millennial Theory of sexual orientation?
Now to the question at hand, are labels okay? This is one of those things that doesn’t have a black and white answer, even though you might think it would. Labels- while not acceptable when they are aimed at degrading someone, are perfectly fine when it is to understand your identity. Being labelled sometimes doesn’t confine a person, but rather exposes them to a community of alike people that accept and relate with each other’s mind-set or preferences.
So basically, sometimes labels are okay, and the logic behind this resembles millennial existence, confusing but amazing!
For the millennial generation heterosexuality is too mainstream! While it might seem like something of a choice, it is in fact a way keeping your options open. Millennial are the rebels of today, and they do not prefer to be confined to a certain sexual preference. A survey on sexual identities by YouGov, an internet-based research firm, said that 31 percent of Millennials identify as something “other” than straight as compared to only 10 percent of older generations.
Emily Nagoski, PhD, author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, at a panel discussion came across a young gay man who stated a fact that is perhaps the truth of millennials- “I think when people are less homophobic, fewer people will identify as bisexual,”.
The concept isn’t lucid and easily comprehensible. This supposed theory or millennial way of life makes the Kinsey’s scale, which was the key idea behind sexual studies in 1940’s -describing sexuality as exclusively homosexual on one end, and totally heterosexual on the other- completely redundant.
So, let’s take in account the pop culture that simplifies complex thoughts and dominates most young minds to understand the reasoning behind the versatile nature of millennial sexuality.
Lady Gaga’s ‘Born this way’ was what made sense earlier, and was considered the LGBTQ community’s anthem, but doesn’t hold true anymore. For the person of today, sexuality is fluid! And the world has an endless list of opportunities. You aren’t always born with all that you need, you grow up, experience, and grab what you want before life passes you by! This converts our otherwise regulated world into a somewhat tantalizing experience. That’s why, Madonna’s 1992 Sex book is perhaps more applicable!
Movies and Series like- ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Younger’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, and especially ‘Morning After’, have all depicted the concept of sexual fluidity in their plots and celebrated the liberation the concept brings. Hollywood has tried to help us understand how this new thought frees us from every restriction and boundary!
Millennial poster girls Kristen Stewart and singer Miley Cyrus, own the theory as well, and told Paper magazine: “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal, and everyone is of age. … Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
It may be tough for Boomers or Generation X to immediately wrap their heads around sexual fluidity but for millennials it is an experience that tethers to their growth. Therefore, millennials are confidently accepting a concept that other generations may find hard to experience due to the fear of society or the lack of self-validation, again! And that is the Millennial Theory.