Sexual behavior that is private, consensual, and discreet is not generally considered a security concern. Even sexual behavior which may be considered “unusual” is not a concern so long as it is legal, consensual, private, and discreet. However, even sexual behavior that is private, consensual, and discreet can be problematic if it is indicative of a mental health condition or causes the individual to be vulnerable to coercion, pressure or blackmail. Sexual behavior may disqualify an individual under other guidelines as well, such as personal conduct (Guideline E) and criminal conduct (Guideline J).
The Concern: Sexual behavior that involves a criminal offense, indicates a personality or emotional disorder, reflects lack of judgment or discretion, or which may subject the individual to undue influence or coercion, exploitation, or duress can raise questions about an individual’s reliability, trustworthiness and ability to protect classified information. No adverse inference concerning the standards in the Guideline may be raised solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual.
Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:
(a) sexual behavior of a criminal nature, whether or not the individual has been prosecuted;
(b) a pattern of compulsive, self-destructive, or high-risk sexual behavior that the person is unable to stop or that may be symptomatic of a personality disorder;
(c) sexual behavior that causes an individual to be vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or duress;
(d) sexual behavior of a public nature and/or that which reflects lack of discretion or judgment.
Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:
(a) the behavior occurred prior to or during adolescence and there is no evidence of subsequent conduct of a similar nature;
(b) the sexual behavior happened so long ago, so infrequently, or under such unusual circumstances, that it is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on the individual’s current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment;
(c) the behavior no longer serves as a basis for coercion, exploitation, or duress;
(d) the sexual behavior is strictly private, consensual, and discreet.