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"I don't mind straight people, as long as they don't act straight in public."

-Dennis Rodman


The word "straight" has been adopted as a slang term used to refer to a "heterosexual person" or to "heterosexual orientation."   In this context, a "straight" person is a heterosexual person, someone having a sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex, someone who is attracted to persons of the opposite sex.  Otherwise, the word "straight" has many definitions and meanings.


According to the Urban dictionary, the term "straight" can be used to describe a person who does not participate in "dangerous" activity such as drugs, alcohol, sex or criminal activity.  A good girl.  A good guy.


Traditionally the word "straight" referenced the quality of an object possessing no bends, curves, or twists.  Today the word "straight" refers to myriad categories including heterosexuality, commonality of opinion, earnest communication, and level of comprehension.



There are multiple traditional meanings for the word, "straight:"
--Without a bend or curve, evenly formed or set, not crooked
--Frank, honest, upright, correct
--In proper order
--Without interruption or break, continuous, in an unbroken series

--Without reservations or exceptions
--Unmixed, undiluted, unmodified (i.e. alcoholic drinks)
--Showing no emotion or humor, serious rather than comic, natural rather than eccentric

--Behaving in a conventional manner, holding orthodox views, conventional, standard, normal


There are multiple slang meanings for the word, "straight:"
--Term used in agreement, approval
--Term used to denote the validity of a statement or claim
--Term used to describe a manner of frank communication (i.e. straight talk)
--Term used to determine level of understanding, agreement, or otherwise mutual understanding and agreement

--Term used to qualify one's sexual orientation



According to the Urban Dictionary, a heterosexual is a person who is attracted to persons of the opposite gender, a person who loves people of the same sex. Heterosexuality is the most common sexual orientation in the world, but by no means "normal". It is simply more common than some variations of human sexuality. Only tiny minorities are exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual (somewhere between 2 to 5% each).  Most are somewhere in between those two extremes. Heterosexuals are people that are both romantically and sexually attracted to the opposite gender. So females are attracted to males and males are attracted to females.

According to Wikipedia, heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to persons of the opposite sex.  It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.  Along with bisexuality and homosexuality, heterosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. The term heterosexual or heterosexuality is usually applied to humans, but heterosexual behavior is observed in all mammals and in other animals.

Slang terms for heterosexuals include "straight," "vanilla," and "breeders."




Salon: The Invention of the Heterosexual

Wikipedia: Heterosexuality

Examples of Heterosexual Privilege

PBS: Invention of Heterosexuality

Wikipedia: Conventional Sex

Wikipedia: Cisgender


Straight Terminology

Heterosexual -  A clinical term used to describe a person characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire and affection toward persons of the opposite sex.  A person who engages in sexual intercourse with individuals of the opposite sex.


Het / Hetero - Slang terms, shorthand for heterosexual.


Straight  -  A slang term referring to a person who is a heterosexual person, someone having a sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex, someone who is attracted to persons of the opposite sex.


Cisgender  -    A term referring to a person who is not transgender.  It refers to a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth are in alignment.


Gender Normative/Gender Straight –  A term used to describe someone whose gender presentation, whether by nature or by choice, aligns with society’s gender-based expectations.

Bromance/Bromantic - Two heterosexual men displaying affection for each other.


Ally  A term used to refer to a person who is typically straight or cis-identified who demonstrates support and respect for members of the LGBTQ community.  Allies are affirming of and friendly to the LGBTQ community without being a member of the community.  


Vanilla  -  A slang term used by the BDSM community to refer to non-kinky people and the unadventurous and dull type of sexual activity they engage in. Traditionally, "vanilla" is defined as something having no special or extra features, something that is ordinary or standard, unexciting, or conventional.  Vanilla sex refers to sex that involves no twists or kinkiness, and no S&M. No toys, fetish, or edgeplay.  Basically plain regular sex.


Breeder  -  A slang term (often derogatory) used by the homosexual community to refer to heterosexual couples, who have a significantly higher risk of contributing to the population increase than homosexuals do.  




According to the Urban Dictionary, "breeder' is a slang term used by some childfree people for one who has a child and/or has many after that, refuses to discipline the child/ren, thinks the sun rises and sets for their child/ren, look down upon people who do not have children, and are in general very selfish and greedy when it comes to their whims and those of their child/ren, especially if they can use their parenthood status or their children as an excuse to get their way.


A female breeder is commonly called a moo, and a male breeder a duh.


It can be a derogatory term used by inner city dwellers (of any sexual orientation) to define inhabitants of the suburbs who subscribe to and are enslaved by their desire to procreate.


Breeder, employed as a derogatory term, used by homosexuals to describe heterosexuals, refers to one who breeds with members of the opposite sex. It is drawn from the fact that while homosexual sex does not lead to reproduction, heterosexual sex can.  Use of the term carries an implicit mocking by connotation of animal husbandry.


Straight Talk

"What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."

-Tennessee Williams / Streetcar Named Desire


"I think heterosexuality is a perversion of nature."

-Margaret Mead


"There is objective proof that homosexuality is more interesting than heterosexuality. It's that we know a considerable  number of heterosexuals who would wish to become homosexuals.  Whereas we know very few homosexuals who would really like to become heterosexuals."

-Michael Foucault


"Heterosexuality is not normal. It's just common."

-Dorothy Parker


"In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality.  The ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man, either one, any human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation."

-Simone de Beauvoir  



Etymology and History of Heterosexual

"Hetero" comes from the Greek word héteros, meaning "other party" or "another", used in science as a prefix meaning "different". The term "heterosexual" was first published in 1892 in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis". The noun came into use from the early 1920s, but did not enter common use until the 1960s. The colloquial shortening "hetero" is attested from 1933. The abstract noun "heterosexuality" is first recorded in 1900. The word "heterosexual" was first listed in Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary as a medical term for "morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex"; however, in 1934 in their Second Edition Unabridged it is defined as a "manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality".  The adjective heterosexual is used for intimate relationships or sexual relations between male and female.

The current use of the term heterosexual has its roots in the broader 19th century tradition of personality taxonomy. It continues to influence the development of the modern concept of sexual orientation, and can be used to describe individuals' sexual orientation, sexual history, or self-identification. Some reject the term "heterosexual" as the word only refers to one's sexual behavior and does not refer to non-sexual romantic feelings. The term "heterosexual" is suggested to have come into use as a neologism after, and opposite to the word "homosexual" by Karl Maria Kertbeny in 1868. In LGBT slang, the term "breeder" has been used as a denigrating phrase to deride heterosexuals.

The word can be informally shortened to "hetero".  The term "straight" originated as a mid-20th century gay slang term for heterosexuals, ultimately coming from the phrase "to go straight" (as in "straight and narrow"), or stop engaging in homosexual sex. One of the first uses of the word in this way was in 1941 by author G. W. Henry. Henry's book concerned conversations with homosexual males and used this term in connection with the reference to ex-gays. It currently simply is a colloquial term for "heterosexual" having, like many words, changed in primary meaning over time. Some object to usage of the term "straight" because it implies that non-heteros are crooked.


(From Wikipedia)


Conventional Sex

Conventional sex, or vanilla sex, is sexual behavior that is within the range of normality for a culture or subculture, and typically involves sex which does not include elements of BDSM, kink, or fetishism. When looking at conventional sex with disdain, it may be described as unadventurous or dull.

What is regarded as conventional sex depends on cultural and sub cultural norms. Among heterosexual couples in the Western world, for example, conventional sex often refers to sexual intercourse in the missionary position. It can also describe penetrative sex which does not have any element of BDSM, kink or fetish.

The British Medical Journal regards conventional sex between homosexual couples as "sex that does not extend beyond affection, mutual masturbation, and oral and anal sex." In addition to mutual masturbation, penetrative sexual activity among same-sex pairings is contrasted by non-insertive acts such as intercrural sex, frot, and tribadism, although tribadism has been cited as a common but rarely discussed sexual practice among lesbians.




Gawker: Vanilla Sex is a Perfectly Fine Way to F**k

Wikipedia: Non-Penetrative Sex

Kinkly: Vanilla Sex/Missionary Position


Relevant Information













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