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Understanding sexuality: More women than ever before identify as “bisexual” or “no label”

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Just this week, Kristen Stewart was the latest high profile celebrity to discuss the idea of fluid sexuality, saying, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s like, just do your thing.”

Now a new survey released by a dating website has shown a drop in women identifying themselves as “lesbian”, and a rise in those opting for “bisexual” or “no label”.

Her surveyed 85,000 people and saw those describing themselves as “bisexual” increase from 16% to 27% in the last year, while 9% - jumping from just 1% previously - chose “no label”.

Meanwhile, there was an almost 20% drop in the women on its site identifying as “lesbian”.

Her founder Robyn Exton told the Independent: “It’s not about women exploring their sexuality, I think it’s about them understanding their sexuality better. It’s less, am I gay, am I not gay, and more confident that it just doesn’t matter, it’s the person you like.”

cara

Cara Delevingne and St Vincent

Several high profile celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevingne and Cynthia Nixon, and shows such as Orange is the New Black could be said to have made fluid ideas of sexuality more visible of late.

Ruby Rose, whose turn in the third series of OITNB was hugely popular, has also spoken at length about her sexuality and her dislike of labels in regards to gender fluidity in particular, saying: “Gender fluidity is not really feeling like you're at one end of the spectrum or the other. For the most part, I definitely don't identify as any gender. I'm not a guy; I don't really feel like a woman, but obviously I was born one. So, I'm somewhere in the middle, which – in my perfect imagination – is like having the best of both sexes.”

Exton believes the recent star power has helped bring about a “huge shift”. “The visibility of queer women until the last year or so was so limited, it was Ellen [DeGeneres] and Clare Balding. Now you’ve got Cara Delevingne, who’s in her second relationship with a woman, saying ‘I like who I like’. You couldn’t have a more prominent celebrity.”

Images: Rex Features

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