Situational sexual behavior

Situational sexual behavior is sexual behavior of a kind that is different from what is usual for that person (or from what that person normally exhibits) due to a social environment that permits, encourages, or compels those acts.

For example, people might not have sex with prostitutes in their home countries, but may do so when they visit other countries, where such activities are legal or ignored by authorities. To contrast, for pedophiles, specifically visiting foreign countries where sex with minors can be easily practiced is not situational sexual behavior.

Other examples are people in prison, the military, single sex boarding schools, or other sex-segregated communities, where members of those communities might engage in homosexual behaviors but identify as heterosexual otherwise. "Jailhouse gay" is a common slang term for such a situation.

In Islamic societies where the genders are heavily segregated, same-sex encounters are performed as an alternative to heterosexual encounters. This is despite Islamic prohibitions on homosexuality, and the fact that in many of these societies sodomy is punishable by death. The Wall Street Journal reported on this occurrence within Saudi Arabia on April 4, 2007, naming Jeddah and Riyadh as capitals of gay life in the kingdom, and noting that most Saudi men who engage in same-sex encounters "don't consider themselves gay, and others dismiss past homosexual behavior in their lives as part of growing up."

Many people change their sexual behaviour depending on the situation. For example, men and women in a university may practice bisexuality, but only in that environment. Experimentation of this sort is more common among adolescents, both male and female. Some colloquialisms for this trend include "heteroflexible", "BUG" (Bisexual Until Graduation), or "LUG" (Lesbian Until Graduation).


Pseudo-homosexuality refers to homosexual anxieties, fantasies, or behavior, exhibited by people who self-identify as heterosexual or who have an opposite-sex sexual orientation (spontaneous attraction). Where actual sex is sought as a result, pseudo-homosexuality is putatively distinguished from homosexuality in that it may not reflect a desire based on sexual orientation or honest curiosity. For example, this behavior may be found in restrictive environments, such as prisons or encampments. Where consent is lacking in these circumstances, sociopathic elements may be manifest.

Due to its somewhat nebulous nature, pseudo-homosexuality may be claimed as a defense by heterosexuals who feel some insecurity or doubt concerning their own masculine role in any area of behavior -- sexual, social, or vocational. Anxieties about being homosexual are frequently symbolic reflections of failure in masculine aspiration and competitive defeat in power struggles. The fantasy of incorporation of the penis then appears as an attempt at magical repair. In such cases, the true homosexual motivation, if present at all, is very much in abeyance.

The notion of pseudo-homosexuality is important as it provided an alternative explanation for homosexual anxieties and fantasies among patients undergoing psychotherapy. These fantasies were earlier understood as the expression of the repressed homosexual component of our biological innate bisexuality.

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