Heterosexuality may be usefully conceptualized as a social practice, amongst many, which reproduces social inequality. It shapes the very meanings that we attach to being women and men, and thus the social conditions under which women and men may relate within and across 'gender boundaries'. It provides powerfullegitimation for marriage - or at least heterosexual cohabitation - as the commonsense, 'normal' goal for adult living. Consequently, the heterosexual practice is central to 'taken-for-granted' patterns of living. The 'naturalness' of heterosexuality conceals the arbitrary nature of gender-specific experiences and patterns ofliving.