Why does all of this matter? More education = less stereotypes, less discrimination, and more sales.
Why more sales? Studies show when people feel more comfortable they buy.
If you know the difference you're less likely to say something offensive possibly killing a sale or losing potential clients. Negative word of mouth can be devastating to your business.
So what does all this mean?
Well.... Here are the basics everyone (especially those working in the adult industry) should know!
What it is: How you feel
What it is not: What's between your legs.
Your gender identity can differ from whats between your legs, what you are attracted to, or how you appear at a given moment. There are those who dress in drag and still feel like their biological sex in everyday life...On the opposing end, there are those who conform to societal norms and feel every bit of the opposite sex inside.
Play it safe: Don't assume...either ask, or leave it alone! You can say "Whats your PGP?" (Preferred Gender Pronoun) if you don't want to offend, and you should get a he/she response.
What it is: How you externally present
What it is not: Stereotypical roles of men/women
Gender Expression is (usually) how you want others to see you. If you choose to wear heels as opposed to tennis shoes, or sitting with your legs open as opposed to crossed. This is in everything the smallest gestures to what you are wearing. Just as the hetero-community has a growing number of "stay at home dads," and "independent women," leaving less room for assumption, don't assume if you see a masculine women she doesn't cook or clean, or isn't with child. Likewise, don't assume a feminine man can't change a tire.
Play it safe: Making comments that can places anyone in a gender-role box can leave a bad taste in their mouth. Example: If selling to a couple (both female), don't assume the one with a more masculine look would use a strap-on, instead ask "What are your interests?" addressing the pair, to get a feel for who's using what with whom. It may shock you to see that they are opposed to it all-together.
What it is: Whats between your legs and inside
What it is not: How you feel, or how you present
Biological sex is what anatomy you are born with, your hormones, and your chromosomes (whether XX, XY, or a combination of the two). On rare occasions you may not know from the organs down below. With intersex, and individual could have what appears to be a small penis and ovaries.
Play it safe: Never use the term "hermaphrodite." The term once used is now extremely offensive.
What it is: What you like
What it is not: What you "look like you like"
Sexual orientation can be tricky to detect. There are those that swear by their "gaydar," but truth is....you never really know....especially because an individual may not know themselves. Some are in denial, some are in the closet, some are out and proud, and others may be internally confused. Lets stay away from the choice vs. genes debate. Just as people may not know what goes on in your bedroom, people may not know what someone is sexually, emotionally, or spiritually attracted too (Or if they are sexually attracting to anyone at all).
Play it safe: Never assume...speaking as someone in the community....if you really need to know...just ask. People are much less offended by honest questions, than ignorant assumptions.
Sexual Orientation Myth:
Bisexual means you're confused, or that you like everyone equally.
Bisexual means you like biological males and biological females, it does not include transgender or intersex, and it does not mean you like both men and women the same. The term be attracted to "people" in general is Pan-Sexual.