This paper begins with this question: what do we mean when we say “heterosexual” and how have we positioned “heterosexuality” in queer studies? The first part of the paper focuses on the normative heterosexual institutions of marriage and reproduction. Using a selection of historical works by Henry Abelove, Adele Perry, Ruth Perry, and Laura Ann Stoler, I proceed to challenge the perceived self-evident and ahistorical relationships between normative heterosexuality – heteronormativity – and the “heterosexual” institutions of marriage and reproduction. I propose a methodological opening to see “heterosexual” arrangements as often simultaneously crucial parts of colonial, capitalist, patriarchal, and racist regimes at different historical moments. This opening allows us to deconstruct the relationship between heterosexuality and heteronormativity, as well as uncover the non-sexual goals and implications of normalizing heterosexuality. In the last part of my analysis, I look at the role of “tradition” in framing discourses of heterosexuality in four Hong Kong sex and puberty education materials. I argue that comprehensive understanding of the definition and disciplining functions of “heterosexuality” in the materials requires engagement with Hong Kong’s colonial history and post-colonial present. This engagement includes, but is not limited to, the accounting for the relationship between “heterosexuality” and the erasure of same-sex desires in Hong Kong’s contemporary narratives of the Chinese “traditional” past.