Sexual orientation describes the position taken by an individual to achieve emotional, romantic and sexual satisfaction. It does not describe the sexual act alone and indeed sex need not be a vital part of determining a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not a choice made by an individual but results from the combination of biological, hormonal and environmental factors particular to each individual.
Modern society takes the position that each individual should be categorised as either heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual. Society then takes the position that once sexual orientation has been determined the individual concerned should comply with the accepted “norm” for the category assigned. The need to categorise and the resultant expectation often causes problems for the individual concerned since an individuals’ sexual identity is a personal matter and may contradict the expected norms of society. Such a contradiction often results in a desire to either surrender to expectations or to aggressively contradict them as a result the individual may not “be true” to him or herself and experience unhappiness, depression, anxiety or othe psychological difficulties.
Counselling and psychotherapy should never be deterministic or seek to change the sexual orientation of an individual but it can and usually does enable the individual to reconcile their own sexual orientation internally and then facilitate an empowerment of the individual so that a suitable compromise can be reached between the individual and the society within which they choose to operate. The end result is beneficial to the individual and society generally.