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Situational Sexuality
aka: Sitch Sexuality

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"Five weeks at sea, even Dave seems a catch!"
The Longest Johns, "Hoist up the Thing"

A character's assumed actual romantic preference or even sexual orientation is made moot because of the setting or limitation of the plot. This frequently occurs with characters stuck in a gender-biased population. (see: Bishoujo Series and Cast Full of Pretty Boys). Even if there's a theoretical pool of candidates off-screen, savvy writers know the audience likely doesn't care. This arises when writers apply standard romantic tropes to quirkier settings without major modification and without the explicit intent to make a plot point about it.

Some writers are fully aware of the implication and the fandom it produces and might cater to both sides of the topic, making one character very enthusiastic about the idea, while one is humorously much more hesitant.

A common by-product of this trope is the rejection of a newly introduced "common" romantic prospect, not because of a strong pre-existing fanship, but simply that they never reach the popularity of the existing cohort.

Not to be confused with If It's You, It's Okay. For particularly cliched situations where this may occur, see Girls Behind Bars and Hello, Sailor!. In a much darker context, this is often associated with Prison Rape; in an isolated agrarian setting with Vulgar Humor, the targets of Situational Sexuality often walk on four legs.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • All Of Humanity Is Yuri Except For Me: The main character Marika finds herself in a parallel Earth where Gendercide by pathogen forced the survivors to invent same-sex reproduction. Everyone is female, so everyone is either lesbian or asexual. Marika has to keep herself in a yuri relationship to keep up the masquerade without taking about boys and attracting attention, though it develops into something real over time.
  • In Black Lagoon, Revy states that she had sex with women in prison, however, her love interest is a guy. Fans debate whether her interest in women extends outside of prison, since in context she was referencing being with women as a threat to make another woman her bitch for making a pass at said male love interest.
  • The Arume in Blue Drop form a race that only consists of women, but they manage to produce offspring with the aid of technology. After conquering the earth they still appear to be mostly interested in the women though. Also happens with Earth's people in the manga, Tenshi no Bokura. The Arume keep the humans segregated by gender, so the girls grow up lesbian due to Arume... influence. Males resort to homosexuality out of necessity, although one of a pair often crossdresses.
  • One storyline in the manga Gohou Drug involves the characters infiltrating an all-male boarding school, where almost all the guys are gay simply because there are no girls around. One student even explains this trope directly to the main character.
  • Gakuen Heaven, Sukisho and Hana-Kimi for Yaoi versions.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers. Female countries exist and will often get attention or give attention to the male characters, but they're few and far in between.
  • Jyu-Oh-Sei: Women are very scarce on Chimera, and tend to live separately from men. As a result, a lot of otherwise straight men aren't against going for the next best thing (read: Thor).
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji has some Homoerotic Subtext with Kaworu. Although Shinji's sexuality is never stated, one possibility is that he's straight but too lonely to care that the only person to show him some affection happens to be an Ambiguously Gay boy.
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, the titular Inner Chambers of the female Shogun's palace are rife with male homosexual behavior; from late night "hazing" of newcomers to Bishōnen sleeping their way into better positions to rather ordinary romances and crushes. This is all the more surprising to newcomers to the Shogun's service because the gender ratio outside the Royal Harem is severely skewed in favor of women and the lack of men makes sperm worth its weight in gold, impossible to imagine wasting on coupling that will never produce a child. Meanwhile, many merchant and peasant women lust after male-impersonator kabuki actresses because men that attractive are completely out of their price range, and noblewomen often have lesbian romantic and sexual relationships because their arranged marriages are purely for conceiving female heirs.
  • Princess Evangile features an all girl school that is questioning whether to become gender integrated. The main heroine Rise talks about how girls often go full Onee-sama culture and start dating. However, she notes that they don't take it very seriously a lot of the time and tend to break up over really trivial concerns. She thinks this is a shame because a lot of the pairs she sees are actually highly compatible couples, but they don't last.
  • Saber Marionette J, where the world is all male because the only survivors of the spaceship crash were male, and since not-so-logically everyone is a clone from the DNA of those six, there aren't any women. If they can do cloning, why can't they do X-chromosome duplication? Never mind. Oddly enough Robot Girls in the series are mostly treated as impressive machines, but Hanagata is the only real obviously gay character. It is Shōnen, after all. The manga states outright that lack of women is the reason for most of the homosexual relationships on Terra 2. Meanwhile, a second planet of only women also exists that combines the nuclei of two women's egg cells for conception. The meeting of these two worlds is what kicks off the plot of the series. Despite coming from two single-gender worlds, the idea of heterosexuality is immediately and enthusiastically accepted by several main characters.
  • Everyone in Simoun's world is female until age 17, which makes all teenage romance lesbian by default.
  • Tayu-Tayu: In chapter 6, Reiju happens to overhear someone having sex inside an abandoned watermill and decides to see who it is. He's surprised to find it's not only two girls together but two of his classmates: Haruka and her younger twin sister, Sayaka. After the girls catch him and hogtie him, Haruka explains that she and her sister had been having sex with each other ever since all the boys their age had moved away. So the twins had no other outlet for relieving their pent-up hormones besides masturbation and each other. Haruka adds that she and Sayaka soon became addicted to each other's bodies, until it eventually became impossible for them to be in the same room without tearing each others clothes off. So they scissor every chance they get.
  • Inverted and deconstructed in Vandread. The two one-gender cultures start off hating each other's guts and unfamiliar with the idea of inter-gender relationships at all, but when encountering each other for the first time, some of the women and all three of the captured men turn out to be straight (or at least bi) — not that they have any idea why they find the "aliens" more attractive than their own kind. It's eventually revealed that their cultures were indoctrinated over time to be single-gender because the Harvesters didn't want occasional intersex genes when they slaughtered both civilizations' populations for replacement organs.

    Comic Books 
  • Adventures In The Rifle Brigade: Invoked in one issue, where the brigade is captured and held in a Nazi prison camp. The female commandant accuses Captain Darcy (who definitely isn't gay) and Lieutenant Milk (who almost certainly is) of being lovers since they both went to public school. Darcy dismissively and without a hint of shame replies "Everyone knows it doesn't count if it happens at school".
  • Alan Ford: In issue #627, "Minuette on trial", Minuette's cellmate Ursula mentions that she isn't actually lesbian (like, apparently, the rest of the inmates) but that since she has needs and the only alternative is a "quickie" with the male director of the prison, she had to adapt. Considering how enthralled she is by a naked Minuette to the point of kissing her on the lips, she may have lied on not being lesbian as she lied on her real identity as the dangerous banditess Dolores Sanchez.
  • The Darkness: Discussed. The titular Darkness is passed on father to son, and the father dies at the moment of conception. The Darkness's newest host Frankie, formerly The Casanova, is less than enthused to hear that he may never have sex again (condoms can fail, he can't get a vasectomy due to his Healing Factor, etc.). Wenders points out that he doesn't have to give up sex entirely; having sex with men would essentially be risk-free. Frankie refuses.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy, who is surrounded by fellow slayers (all women) and Xander, hooks up with fellow Slayer Satsu. It is shown as a result of Buffy feeling emotionally isolated (not to mention sexually-deprived), so she latches on to Satsu (who is genuinely in love with Buffy). This is similar to her relationship with Spike, where she also chose an unusual partner (a soulless corpse in that case) who was genuinely in love with her, in order to satisfy her (purely physical) needs (though at least Satsu she liked and respected, while she frequently professed outright disgust and rage at Spike during season six).
    • Hilariously, it was Satsu who broke off the relationship with Buffy... and then spent an entire issue wangsting about Buffy rejecting her, despite this never having actually happened. Although each time they slept together, Buffy kept saying that it was a mistake that should never have happened and it was dangerous for her to get romantically involved with anyone.
    • Buffy also realized that she was starting to have feelings for Xander, who had been a Hopeless Suitor to her in the past. Unfortunately, he was already dating her younger sister Dawn by that point.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • The more juvenile writers, usually the ones who get a chance to briefly play with the character in another title, throw around hints that Themyscira has embraced this sort of mindset: some of the women are chaste, some of them just masturbate, and the rest pair up. The main series itself has straightforwardly confirmed it multiple times, though quietly.
    • One throwaway basically said that Queen Hippolyta is in a relationship with General Phillipus, and Word of God confirmed it (as well as the fact that they intended to do a storyline in which they get married before the editorial axed it).
    • In Wonder Woman (2006), Diana does some traditional courtship rituals with her boyfriend Nemesis; he asks how a society of only women has such things.
    • In the Alternate Universe graphic novel Wonder Woman: Earth One, it's made explicit — in dialogue, and to a PG-13 level visually — that most or all of the Amazons are lesbians and that Diana has a girlfriend at the beginning.
  • Y: The Last Man: A lot of women are with other women as a substitute, but a lot simply go without, as many of them had before the "Gendercide". There are also some women who make a decent living as escorts who dress up like and pretend to be men for their clients.

    Fan Works 
  • With a setting that includes only two canonical male characters (and only one of them is even given a name!), this trope grows like kudzu in the Touhou Project fandom. That being said, ''Perfect Memento in Strict Sense'' illustrates (literally) that there are males in the human village. Whether or not any of the youkai girls would be interested (although the presence of Rinnosuke would indicate it's possible), the human characters should have their pick of straight options. However...
  • The Team Fortress 2 characters are seen (and promptly used) as such. As best said by Kytri, author of Cuanta Vida, "I think of most of the characters as being straight, you just wouldn't notice since there's no women around for them to be straight with."
  • The Disney Princess one-shot Kindred revolves around the girls staying together in a cabin. It's apparently normal for princes and princesses to have gender-segregated vacations together in order to prepare to take up the throne when they're older. However, these retreats apparently cause romance between the people, even the married ones.
  • In Harry Potter and Future's Past, at one point Sirius, currently effectively incarcerated at Grimmauld Place, jokes that Buckbeak is starting to seem attractive.

  • Con Air: The escaped convicts all throw Wolf Whistles at Sally-Can't-Dance after s/he's found a dress at the abandoned airfield. Cyrus even stuffs a rifle magazine into the Victoria's Secret Compartment while instructing Sally to guard the hostages.
  • Referenced in The Longest Yard when the caretaker says of the Camp Gay prisoners: "Oh, they ugly now, but in eight months, he gonna look like Beyoncé." Also, inmate Brucie who has a wife on the outside, gets caught cheating with an effeminate male inmate and mocked for it by his male cell buddies.
  • Referenced in In & Out:
    Jack: There's only two times when that kind of thing's okay: In prison where it's a substitute and guys in space.
    Mike: Guys in space?
    Jack: Well, not on purpose. They just float into each other.
  • Life (1999): There is evidence that both Jangle Leg and Biscuit are only together due to long prison terms and this trope. Jangle Leg is shown to be attracted to women (when they're around) and Biscuit can't bear to go home to his mom "like this", implying that he wasn't always gay (and flamboyant).
  • The Decadents in Sexmission don't really have a choice. Once the Pill wears off, their sexual drive returns and there aren't any men around to hook up with. Come to think of it, if they were aware of Max and Albert, they still wouldn't know what to do with them, since there haven't been any men around for generations.
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman follows two cellmates in an unidentified South American country. Since they spend all day locked up together, they become friends and eventually lovers. Played with in that one of them is openly and flamboyantly gay.
  • Mädchen in Uniform takes place in a Prussian all-girls boarding school. The enclosed environment of the One-Gender School makes quite a sum of the girls express interest in their pretty teacher, Fräulein von Bernburg.
  • In the 2002 film The Fraternity, two male characters at an all-male boarding school are engaged in a secret sexual relationship. Both deny being gay, and one even directly explains it as being like how “military men, apart from their families for long periods of time, have found comfort in each other for thousands of years.” The twist is that one of them is a student and the other a much older faculty member, making it ambiguous how much was Situational Sexuality and how much was a grown man taking advantage of a barely legal teenage boy. Regardless, the boy in question was so terrified of being outed that he murdered a fellow student who had discovered them.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): During a conversation with Steve, about topics of procreation, pleasure of the flesh and the island being populated with only women Diana alludes to the fact that ladies can find pleasure with each other, or by themselves.
  • In Starred Up, Neville seems to have no issues with being homosexual when he is prison. And, as he has no hope of parole, he has resigned himself to being in a homosexual relationship for the foreseeable future.

  • After the protagonist of Three Hundred Rains is subjected to an involuntary sex change, her wife is planning to leave her until reminded by her mother that she used to date women in college, and suddenly the couple is in a happy lesbian relationship.
  • Ai no Kusabi has homosexual relationships being very common because women are rare.
  • In A Brother's Price, men are very rare. A group of sisters will marry one man together, but premarital sex is had with women, exclusively, if the woman in question is a decent person, as it just wouldn't do to defile someone's precious brother. (There is also the option to go to a "crib" to get pregnant, but this carries the danger of STD and is avoided if at all possible.) While some women might actually be bisexual, it is implied that most would prefer men. There are female prostitutes for whom part of whose job is to pretend to be men; their customers know that they aren't, but some apparently like the illusion.
  • Dwarfs embody this through most of the Discworld series. Both male and female dwarfs wear the same clothes, have beards and so forth. Therefore, courtship for dwarfs is described as delicately finding out the sex of a fellow dwarf. This starts to change through one female dwarf taking on Tertiary Sexual Characteristics and identifying as female, causing a large uproar in the dwarfen community. While it does catch on, Unseen Academicals shows us that there's also nothing stopping biologically male dwarfs from doing the same thing.
  • The Draka: The eponymous Master Race have no moral qualms with having sex with slaves, but it is very much more than a free woman's life is worth to wind up pregnant that way. Consequently, if straight Draka women fancy a bit of strange, it will have to be with a female slave; no-one thinks this at all shameful and a free woman is at liberty to have all the fun she likes with her own property. Men don't face the same problem.
  • Rather baselessly averted in Consider Her Ways. In the aftermath of a virus wiping out all men, a basically sexless society emerges. John Wyndham seems to have utterly dismissed the possibility that women could form romantic relationships with each other, despite making a reference to Sappho at one point. He admitted that he put plot ahead of common sense in this case and seemed to regret it — happens to the best of us.
  • The Thin Red Line (the James Jones book that Terrence Malick's famous film is based on) discusses this notion and has several examples among its cast of characters.
  • The Wheel of Time
    • These are euphemistically referred to as "pillow friends", especially among initiates in the White Tower, where girls are isolated from men (and the world altogether) and would have problems anyway due to their powers and extended lifespan. Treated as a very private matter and not looked down upon, most of these relationships dissolve upon completing the long training process, anyway, though not always. All of the all-female organizations have some mention of this. Complicated by the fact that "pillow friends" can refer to a platonic friendship, since sharing a bed isn't always sexual - it's just as often that one of the friends has been punished and wants to cry herself to sleep on a friend's shoulder.
    • A comparably extremely brief allusion to a male equivalent in The Empire's military companies occurs in Knife of Dreams during Tuon's point-of-view. Enough to get the idea that it exists, but the author isn't as interested in writing about it.
    • Early books suggest that these are the only kind of situations in which homosexuality naturally occurs, reflecting a prevailing idea of the author's generation, but later books include a few characters who seem to naturally swing this way, for whom the confinement is a convenience; however, all of this is deep subtext.
  • In The Enchantment Emporium, the Gale clan usually keeps things in the family and there are more female Gales than male, so they tend to be (in the words of one of them) "enthusiastically undiscriminating".
  • The implications of this going on for generations are considered as a minor theme in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.
  • This has been a problem in the past at the main character's boarding school in The Confusions of Young Törless, initially part of why he doesn't intervene in the mistreatment of his classmate Basini.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • This is occasionally joked about in regard to the all-male, supposed-to-be-celibate Night's Watch. We don't see any instances of this actually being true with them, though. In practice, there's a convenient brothel in the nearest town that does a brisk trade.
    • Possible case with Daenerys Targaryen, who becomes intimate with her handmaiden Irri. She wasn't exactly short on men at the time, but rather men who she trusted. There's a moment when Daenerys looks at Irri in the moonlight and it seems like she might actually like her... then she realizes no, she really wants Drogo or Daario, and that she probably shouldn't treat Irri as a Replacement Goldfish.
    • Cersei ends up bedding (to some degree) one of her female friends (who is clearly genuinely sexually attracted to her) mostly as an experiment, but she finds no pleasure in the act. Partly, this is because she has Single-Target Sexuality for Jaime (she may sleep with other people, but she only ever enjoyed it with Jaime), and partly because her curiosity was less about sexual desire and more about what it would be like to "claim" someone less powerful than her the way she had been claimed by her husband during their miserable marriage.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: The planet Athos in Ethan of Athos was originally founded as a "monastery planet" by a religious cult who believed that women were the cause of all male sin, and has since evolved into a society where most men pursue non-religious professions. Reproduction is accomplished via Uterine Replicator technology. However, their religious culture forbids even depictions of women and censors all Galactic media. Thus, most Athosian men will never even see a woman, nor have their ancestors going back generations. Homosexual relationships are therefore the norm, although some men, implied to be strongly heterosexual (and who are thought of on Athos as holding a very strict view of the Founding Fathers intent), remain celibate instead.
  • This is implied to happen a lot in the society of the Masters in The Stone Dance of the Chameleon. The Masters place a tremendously high value on blood purity, so much so that their women are not allowed to leave their house, except when they get married off and are instead kept at their husband's house. As such, males often form very intense emotional and sexual relationships with each other.
  • Sword at Sunset: A Battle Couple of cavalry captains tried it out while on campaign and never looked back.
  • In Island in the Sea of Time, Kat Hollard has a short-lived fling with a Babylonian girl, because she's horny and the other girl has a bit of a crush on her. Nothing really comes of it; Kat ends up getting married soon after.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Hinted to be the case in Holderkin communities in The Arrows Trilogy. When Talia finds out one of her mentors is lesbian, it doesn't bother her because it's not uncommon for underwives to be "special friends".
  • Caliphate: Even though they live in a fundamentalistic Islamic state that stones or hangs homosexuals, the brothel instructs its houris (prostitutes) to sleep with each other when off-duty to keep each other sane. Petra is encouraged by Ling to do this to deal with the abuse she endures.
  • Different Seasons: Discussed at length in Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. The author makes a very careful distinction between heterosexual men who "come to an arrangement" because they're horny and lonely, actual homosexuals, and "the Sisters", who are a band of depraved sadistic rapists who target men because they are the only available targets in prison.
  • Maria Watches Over Us is a famous all-girls example. It takes place in an all-girls school and all the main characters have some level of Homoerotic Subtext with another girl (but only one is explicitly gay). Though it has a nearby all-boys school, that's mostly used as a plot device rather than any real threat to the shippers.
  • Marimite's male-oriented demographic twin Strawberry Panic! pretty much abandons that idea. And the two lead characters avert the trope entirely: they are quite thoroughly lesbian, as illustrated by the manga's epilogue that takes place after high school.
  • There is absolutely no appearance or mention of any female in the Yaoi light novel series and anime Sukisho, and the Valentine's Day episode shows many gay couples walking around. There is no explanation for this, females simply seem to not exist. The lead character's reaction to gayness still goes from absolutely-unbothered to completely-freaked-out (and oblivious-to-his-roommate-in-denial).

    Live-Action TV 
  • One character attempted to use this as an excuse in Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire.
    General: Do you have any idea how long I've been in that dungeon?
    Krod: Yeah. Two weeks. And it's co-ed, so...
  • iZombie: Someone's sexuality and libido can be transferred to the zombie that eats their brains, meaning that Liv and other zombies can change sexuality based on whose brains their eat. Liv once started lusting after a womanizing Victim of the Week's female lover after consuming his brain, and Lowell lost interest in Liv during a short period, as well as showing a slight interest in Ravi, after consuming the brain of a gay scientist.
  • The Sopranos:
    • The prison variant is discussed during one of Tony's therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi. Turns out you get a pass on that in the Sicilian mafia, but actively seeking out men outside of prison is crossing a line for them, even moreso if the wiseguy is "bottoming".
      Tony: Well, what are you gonna do? There's no women there! You're there five, ten years! [beat] Just for the record, my incarceration was very short term, so I never had any need for any anal— you know. (...) You think I'm lying, don't you?
    • The very homophobic Phil Leotardo, who did twenty fucking years in the can, very pointedly mentions that he always "jerked off in a tissue" whenever he wanted to be with a woman. The Suspiciously Specific Denial nature of this line, along with a Visual Pun where Phil literally emerges from a motel closet, has led some viewers to suspect that Phil had some sort of sexual encounter with a fellow inmate and is projecting his self-hatred onto Vito Spatafore.
  • T-Bag on Prison Break was very interested in his fellow male prisoners while behind bars, but as soon as he got out he seemed far more interested in women. The actor has described him as being an "anything that moves" kinda guy.
  • Oz, being an HBO show set in a men's prison, was just as chock full of this trope as you'd imagine. Possibly more. Usually, it's just pent-up sexual frustration, but in Tobias Beecher's case, he actually fell in love with his cellmate Chris Keller after Beecher's wife died of suicide. There were actually enough self-declared homosexuals and transexuals in the prison to form their own gang, but they were a very minor player.
  • Orange Is the New Black plays around with this trope, being set in a women's prison:
    • Protagonist Piper Chapman is definitely legitimately bisexual, and was involved with another woman in the past, but is engaged to a man at the time she goes to prison. In prison, however, she gets involved again with her old lover (also in prison).
    • Another inmate, Lorna Morello, was also engaged to a man prior to her incarceration but got involved with fellow prisoner Nicky Nichols — until she breaks up with her out of guilt at being unfaithful. It was implied, however, that Morello is kidding herself that her engagement is still on, as her fiance has not visited or otherwise contacted her since her third week in prison (actually, later revealed that he wasn't her fiance but stalkee), and it's possible that her real reason for the break up is her issues over her sexuality; that is, that she's telling herself that she's not really bi.
    • It is implied by one prisoner, Carrie "Big Boo" Black, that her former lover, Mercy, was not really gay, although whether that was true or was only an expression of jealousy over the fact that Mercy had left her for another prisoner, Tricia Miller, is debatable; Mercy quickly lost contact with Tricia following the former's release.
    • Downplayed with Maritza and Flaca, who attempt a one-time drunken kiss on the Christmas episode. They quickly let the experiment go, resuming their mostly platonic Pseudo-Romantic Friendship.
    • Discussed by the second season's Big Bad, Vee, who calls it "gay for stay" and warns her surrogate daughter Taystee that it's a stain on one's reputation in her mind.
    • Daya lampshades the trope in Season 6 after getting involved with Daddy.
      Daya: You never heard of "gay for the stay?" Cause I'm gona stay in here forever.
  • During the Prison Arc of My Name Is Earl, this is a major plot point. The leaders of two rival prison gangs were placed in "the hole" together, in an attempt to resolve the conflict. After they wore themselves out fighting, they started talking to one another and found they had a lot in common. Soon, this grew into a friendship...and shortly after that, it was a full-on romantic relationship. Unfortunately, they felt they couldn't be together because their gangs wouldn't they would purposely start fights in the prison yard just to get a few moments together. Earl has to figure out how to help them be together without the gang fights.
  • Played for laughs in the Married... with Children episode "Live Nude Peg", when Peggy hasn't had sex for such a long time that she starts finding Marcy attractive:
    Peggy: It's been so long since someone touched me.
    Marcy: [puts her arm around Peggy] Poor Peggy. I'm so sorry.
    Peggy: You know, Marcy, that boyish cut really becomes you.
    Marcy: [takes her arm away] Well, Peggy, there must be something you can do. With Al.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Joked about by Ygritte when she's a captive of Jon Snow and starts sexually teasing him. When Jon replies that the men of the Night's Watch have vowed to take no woman, she replies "Oh, so you lads just do it with each other, then?"
    • During an expedition beyond the Wall, Gendry asks Tormund how he keeps warm in the frozen wasteland. Tormund remarks the secret is to keep moving ("walking's good, fighting is better, fucking is best"). Jon Snow notes that there's not a woman anywhere in sight, so Tormund just replies they'll have to "make do" while giving Gendry a leery look.
  • Gimme, Gimme, Gimme had an episode in which Linda was desperate to find a date so she writes a letter to a maximum security prison (the sort that violent serial killers would go) to find a male penpal. Tom is (understandably) disturbed by Linda's plan and tries to talk her out of it, but Linda believes that Tom is just jealous that he didn't think of it first, saying that just because there are many prison rapes it doesn't mean that the prisoners are gay like him. "Once they're out of prison," she says, "it's bye-bye bottom, hello breasts!"
  • In an episode of The Vicar of Dibley, the slightly loopy Bishop, who is also an old boarding school chum of Councillor Horton shows up. His first line of dialogue is casually asking Horton to remind him if they slept together.
  • Gossip Girl: Jack Bass implied that he experimented while a student at Eton. "It's an English boarding school. Everyone tries it."
  • In Luke Cage, villains Shades and Comanche have a moment alone during a stakeout and it's revealed that they had a sexual relationship in prison. While for Shades, it was purely situational, it's heavily implied that Comanche is gay or bisexual and developed real romantic feelings for Shades. Later, Shades' girlfriend Mariah tells him that she knows all about his "little Brokeback fling" and that she doesn't care.
  • In The Golden Girls, Blanche has gone so long without a man that she turns to Dorothy for help, leading to this exchange:
    Blanche: Dorothy, do you realize it has been four days since I have enjoyed the company of a man?
    Dorothy: I know, Blanche. I’ve been marking the days off on my "Big Ships of the Navy" calendar.
    Blanche: I don’t think I can stand it much longer! My body feels like a Corvette up on blocks with its engine racin’, the wheels just spinnin’ and spinnin’ with nowhere to go! I feel like I’m gonna EXPLODE! [grabs Dorothy's wrist] Dorothy, you have to help me, you have to do somethin’…
    Dorothy: Honey, there’s nothing I can do, so get that look out of your eye and let go of my hand.
  • The Goodies: Discussed in "The End", when the boys are sealed inside a block of concrete. This leads to a hilarious sequence where Tim wants to exercise his right to have children, but Bill is more interested in them being "doomed to be bachelors gay! - That's an idea, isn't it?", with his camp petting prompting a very hasty "Get Off!" from Tim. Also Bill suggesting with a coy look at Tim that "Hey, I don't mind shaving, you know. Underneath this lot I look a bit like Liza Minelli", with Tim's unimpressed reply of "I often wondered why you grew it!" causing Bill to hiss "You bitch!"
  • In Girls, after disappearing with her mother to a yoga retreat and "being bombarded by toned women", Hannah Horvath decides to experiment sexually with her yoga instructor Holly. Only to be turned off by the experience when things get too heated up.

  • If this isn't what Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" is about, then what the hell is it about? The writers (and by their account Elvis himself) knew this was a gay line and thought it would be funny to put it in and see what happened. They said they put in lots of stuff like that because they knew Elvis wouldn't have a problem with it.
    Number forty-seven said to number three:
    "You're the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
    I sure would be delighted with your company,
    come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me."
  • Played with in T-Pain's "Up Down":
    "She don't even like girls but a stack'll make her kiss her."
  • "Lonely it Be" by Ye Banished Privateers tells the comedic story of a pirate captain who thinks that his new cabin boy is a Sweet Polly Oliver due to his extremely feminine mannerisms, impeccable hygiene, waifish looks and good behaviour, and propositions him sexually after downing some Liquid Courage. When the pants come off, and it turns out that the cabin boy actually is a man, the captain is initially enraged, and chases him off with his gun. However, he ends up having sex with him anyway, musing "it don’t matter that much under sail".

    Stand Up 
  • Referenced in Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle, when Mitch is talking about the criminalization of homosexuality "because as we all know, the way to stop people being gay is to put them in prison."

    Video Games 
  • This, with a side order of Prison Rape, is how Enzai justifies its sheer number of possible homosexual encounters. What makes it all the crueler is that the protagonist is genuinely gay.
  • Morrigi in Sword of the Stars live their entire lives in a gender-separated society where the females live on planets and the males operate the starfleet, the two only rarely meeting for mating contracts. The game mentions off-handedly that the only 'stable' Morrigi relationships are homosexual ones.
  • In one of the City Stories unlocked in Batman: Arkham Knight, it's shown that if the Mad Hatter can't find a suitable girl to kidnap to be his "Alice", he'll make do with a man until one comes along.
  • In God of War III because there aren't any men around (due to the bridge being destroyed), Aphrodite has her way with her slave maidens. Then Kratos arrives and she pushes them away so that she could invite Kratos to have sex with her. If accepted, the slavemaidens will watch and become so aroused by Kratos' sexual process that they will begin having sex with each other. After Kratos leaves, by the end, Aphrodite is once again sandwiched between her slavemaidens as Olympus crumbles.

    Visual Novel 
  • Togainu no Chi: A premise of the entire visual novel; there are practically no women in Toshima anywhere (save, except, for Arbitro's "prizes" for Igura participants, although he prioritizes the grooming of male sex slaves over female ones), and the men who are there have just learned to make do.

  • Toyed with in 1/0. Marcus, existing in a world consisting of only male characters, has no concept of women and tries to flirt with the guys instead. Tailsteak clarifies that Marcus isn't gay, "he's just settling for second best," then introduces a female character to clear things up for Marcus. (Said female character is gay, just to annoy the cast.)
  • More or less the same situation as Y: The Last Man exists in the webcomic Angels 2200.
  • Word of God is that all Erogenians in The Challenges of Zona are "situationally bisexual".
  • Thief and Red Mage have a little discussion about this and elven prisons in 8-Bit Theater. Dumb Fighter then asks what "Situational Homosexuality" means, almost exactly referencing this trope by name.
  • Cuanta Vida: Discussed when Jordi and Jeremy consider the possibility of a relationship in their all-male* combat environment. The latter's decided that If It's You, It's Okay but fears that the former would leave him once they get out, while the former isn't even sure where he stands orientation-wise. They decide to make a go of it and end up quite happy together.
  • Hinted in Oglaf, when the spectral Lizard of Guilt tries to shame two of the Mistress's guardswomen in flagrante by yelling "you're not actually gay" only to be ignored.

    Web Videos 
  • Online gaming troll Jerome Thug Love Jones insists he isn't gay based on "prison rules", but his behaviour tends to make his victims skeptical at best.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in the Family Guy episode "Perfect Castaway". Peter is stranded on an island with Quagmire, Joe, and Cleveland. Noting that there are no women and men have needs, he says they need to have an orgy. Cut to a shot of them piled on top of each other... and no one is horny.
  • Avery Bullock of American Dad! when he attended an all-boys boarding school as a kid. According to Bullock, every boy there did it.
    Bullock: It was nothing sordid, just some boyish night poundings.
  • This may explain John K's Flip-Flop of God on Ren and Stimpy and their sexual orientation. It's Truth in Television, certainly, for male dogs and cats, but it's quite possible Stimpy is a lot more smitten with that ornery old chihuahua, who most definitely has an eye for attractive females, that Ren is for that fat dopey cat.
  • The Simpsons: In one episode, the Sea Captain accepts being handed a handful of dirty magazines while saying that this will prevent his (all-male) crew from having sex with each other out of desperation (but they all look at him when he says this). It's pretty much stated that he becomes way too sex-starved for his own good with his long sea trips.
    Flanders: (sighs) Well, Sea Captain, looks like you and I are sailing solo this evening.
    Sea Captain: Arrrrre you hitting on me?! Because I don't do that. On land.

    Real Life 
  • The old Royal Navy was famously rife with "rum, sodomy, and the lash", and not all prison sex is Prison Rape. Until anti-sodomy laws were struck down in Britain, the only time that "buggery" was legal was "after ninety days at sea," at which point it was no longer a crime. Many sailors and veterans who avert this are rather uncomfortable with the assumptions and stereotypes that civilians often make about them. This isn't just rooted in the negative reactions they receive from homophobes, but also in unwarranted positive reactions, such as aggressive come-ons from homosexuals who assume that every sailor must've engaged in and developed a taste for homosexual interaction while in the Navy.
  • One ex-prisoner writing about time inside said it's a mistake to think it's only about sex and a bigger mistake to think it's always rape. His words were
    Until you've been there for over a year, you would not believe how starved you become of ordinary human affection and, to put it bluntly, love.
    • As The Onion blurb in Our Dumb Century for August 15th, 1954 put it: "Let's Work Together to Pretend Our War-Time Homosexual Experiences Never Happened".
    • Hence the phrase "Prison Gay", with the con asserting, despite the evidence, "I'm not gay"
    • Christopher Hitchens, who was bisexual, wrote about having had romances and sex with other boys in boarding school. He said that it was ubiquitous due to being in an environment with only horny teenage boys, and anyone who denied it was lying.
    • Louis Theroux encountered this when he interviewed several transgender inmates in his prison documentary "Behind Bars". They have to watch out that another prisoner doesn't kidnap them and keep them in their own cell for some length of time. They're just that starved of having a female presence at "home". He also came across a few gay couples, including one man who was straight on the outside.
  • As also noted in Everyone Is Bi, many non-Western societies do not have much concept of "sexual orientation" as an immutable personal attribute and/or as a category distinct from gender. If such societies place a high value on gender segregation or same-gender romantic friendships, they also often have a lot of situational homosexual behavior by people who otherwise appear to be purely heterosexual.
  • Since China instituted its "One Child Policy", there has been a decline in female births, since male children are traditionally more desirable in Chinese culture, leading to a much larger number of men than women among the younger generations. Not coincidentally there has also been a marked increase in male homosexual behavior.
  • Parthenogenesis: essentially, the female's eggs contain both X chromosomes. There are several species of lizards that only produce offspring this way (no males). In fact, one female will mount another, which increases fertility. Others, due to the way that reptilian genetics can work, produce only males through this method.
  • Plus bison and other animals with sex-segregated herds. You can only go so long without!
    • Male gorillas too old to stay with their mother but too weak to claim their own troop of females will often form troops with each other on the fringe of another troop's territory. They have been observed to practice mating with each other.
    • For that matter, homosexual behavior is much more common among zoo animals than among the same species in the wild, and is even displayed in captive species that in the wild are rarely or never homosexual (such as koalas). The same article briefly discusses this trope as applied to humans — 40% of high school football players admit to having engaged in same-sex kissing or similar acts.
  • While in heat, female rats and mice will often start humping each other in the absence of males.
  • Apparently cows have been known to mount each other while in heat, so much so that someone once invented a device which was glued to a cow's hindquarters and which popped up a little flag when such mating had taken place, as a sign to the farmer that it was time to fetch the bull.
  • Birds that pair-bond (for the season, if not for life) will bond with a same-sex partner if there are no opposite-sex partners available. However, the introduction of an opposite-sex individual usually breaks up the couple (apparently birds don't care much for the OT3). Needless to say, the member left in the lurch is usually not happy.
  • This trope is likely one of the reasons that royal harems were stereotyped as a place of forbidden pleasures where only women reside and men (besides their consort) are barred from entering, which could only lead to one conclusion - finding affection on each other's arms - which inspired several artists to create erotic paintings depicting this. Some ancient tales as early as the 8th Century do provide some backing for this such as during the Abbasid Caliphate when the ruler Musa al Had found two of his concubines making love to each other and he had them executed. For what it's worth, there are no actual testimonies from women that belonged in the harems (most chronicles were made from outsiders) to ever confirm if they did have relationships with each other in the absence of men.

Alternative Title(s): Sitch Sexuality, Sit Sexuality, Gay For The Stay, Situational Homosexuality