Sexuality 101

Sexuality belongs under the big umbrella of cultural identities. As with most cultural identities, the biological aspect has social, economic, and political meanings. What is thought to be an oxymoron when referring to sexuality is that even though sexuality is personal; hence it should be kept private, we have a social code on how to communicate our sexuality to the outer world. 

Sexuality is influenced by the individual, family, religion/spirituality, laws, professions, institutions, science, and politics. If I were to give a definition to sexuality that would be anything that includes all the aspects of sexual behavior. Sexuality encompasses 5 aspects that Dailey (1981) greatly illustrates through the 5 Circles of Sexuality and how they are interconnected. These circles are: 

  • Sensuality (e.g., body image)
  • Sexualization (e.g., (flirting)
  • Sexual Health & Reproduction (e.g., anatomy and physiology)
  • Intimacy (e.g., caring)
  • Sexual Identity (e.g., sexual orientation)

Considering that sexuality includes sexual health and reproduction, it implies that sexuality begins even before the baby is bornEveryone is sexual and our sexuality is part of how we think about ourselves. Your sexuality does not depend on your sex, gender, or skin color. However, these factors may impact the way and level of power you express your sexuality. For example, if A  is attracted to the same sex, instead of the opposite sex, may not be able to get married in some places of the world. Thus, A’s power is limited due to political and/or social factors, compared to someone who is attracted to the opposite sex. 
World Health Organization claims that sexuality is a central aspect of being human; hence it is part of each person’s fundamental human rights. Knowing about sexuality and specifically about your sexuality is part of understanding your identity. Subsequently, this will give you better self-awareness and emotional stability. Therefore, if you haven’t done it yet, take the time to opportunity and unfold this chapter in your life.