Hidden sexuality (also called latent homosexuality) is an erotic attraction toward members of the same sex that is not consciously experienced or expressed in overt action. This may mean a hidden inclination or potential for interest in homosexual relationships, which is either suppressed or not recognized, and which has not yet been explored, or may never be explored.

According to current scientific understanding, individuals are usually aware of their sexual orientation between middle childhood and early adolescence. They do not have to participate in sexual activity to be aware of these emotional, romantic, and physical attractions; people can be celibate and still recognize their sexual orientation. Homosexual women (also referred to as lesbians), homosexual men (also referred to as gays), and bisexuals of both genders may have very different experiences of discovering and accepting their sexual orientation. At the point of puberty, some may be able to claim their sexual orientations while others may be unready or unwilling to make their homosexuality or bisexuality (the attraction to individuals of either sex).

Some argue that the latent homosexuality is a potentially iatrogenic effect (that is, it is not present until suggested by a therapist). Others argue that the term latent is not truly applicable in the case of homosexual urges, since they are often not in the unconscious or unexpressed category, but rather exist in the conscious mind and are (often violently) repressed on a conscious level.

Living in a homophobic culture, not being exposed to homosexuality, and being surrounded by members of both genders may encourage latent homosexuality. Conversely, situational homosexuality may be due to exposure to a single-gender environment, such as a single-sex school, prison, or military service.

Hidden sexuality may be associated with several diseases including:


Latent homosexuality could lead to vaginismus that is refered to the involuntary (not under the woman’s conscious control) clamping of the vaginal muscles. Vaginismus, along with dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), makes one of the most prevalent sexual dysfunctions in women and, according to the most recent definition declared by the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, it has been categorized as “genito-pelvic pain disorder/ penetration disorder”.

The patients often avoid intercourse, feel involuntary pelvic muscle contraction, and anticipation or fear of pain along with its experience that persists. The definition clarifies that the experience of pain is not essential for the diagnosis. Moreover, the disorder doesn’t necessarily impair sexual response or the ability of experiencing pleasure through stimulation.

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Vaginismus ―sourced from Queensland Government licensed under CC BY 3.0 AU
Chapter 12. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality ―by Little licensed under CC BY 4.0
Latent homosexuality ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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