Sexual Orientation Across Porn Use, Sexual Fantasy, and In-Person Sexuality: Visualizing Branchedness and Coincidence Via Sexual Configurations Theory

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Gormezano, Aki M.
Harris, Emily A.
Gauvin, Stephanie
Pinto, Jude
van Anders, Greg
van Anders, Sari
Sexual orientation describes sexual interests, approaches, arousals, and attractions. People experience these interests and attractions in a number of contexts, including in-person sexuality, fantasy, and porn use, among others. The extent to which sexual orientation is divergent (branched) and/or overlapping (coincident) across these, however, is unclear. In the present study, a gender/sex and sexually diverse sample (N = 30; 15 gender/sex/ual minorities and 15 majorities) manipulated digital circles representing porn use, in-person sexuality, and fantasy on a tablet during in-person interviews. Participants used circle overlap to represent the degree of shared sexual interests across contexts, and circle size to indicate the strength and/or number of sexual interests within contexts. Across multiple dimensions of sexual orientation (gender/sex, partner number, and action/behavior), we found evidence that sexual interests were both branched and coincident. These findings contribute to new understandings about the multifaceted nature of sexual orientations across contexts and provide a novel way to measure, conceptualize, and understand sexual orientation in context.