Well-being Wednesday: What is sexuality? Short answer –It depends, it is complicated, and that’s why I love it.
Sexuality is about much more than who we are attracted to. From the World Association for Sexual Health’s (WAS) Declaration of Sexual Rights (WAS, 2014): Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life, encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships. While sexuality can include all these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed (WAS, 2014).
It helps to think of sexuality through a biopsychosocial lens – that is, sexuality is about much more than the genitals or sexual hormones. It is the intersection of nature and nurture, physical body (genetics, hormones, genitals), mental health and behavior, environment, relationship with body/self/partner(s)/family, spirituality, culture (as well as religious and political influences, including historical, and all the related social justice limitations here). Sexuality is fluid – it can change throughout our lives. It can incorporate relationship diversity too (ex. monogamy, ethical nonmonogamy, etc).
If you grew up in the US, we are faced with a sex-obsessed (just look at most media and advertising), but sex-negative culture, a remnant perhaps of our puritanical roots. How do you navigate our culture’s sex negativity, the perpetuation of misinformation and even shame, and how does that impact you? Compounding our sex-negative culture is the deficiency of quality sex education. The primary sex educator in the US is porn (ex. Sex Expert Webinar Series: How Sex Education Has Lost Its Way with Paul Joannides – YouTube https://youtu.be/rXfmEMl5inM), and finding accurate information and representation of bodies and relationships is challenging.
Interested in learning more about sexuality? I facilitate book clubs and pleasure cafes regarding this topic. Please check the events page for more information
#HappyHumpDay #WellbeingWednesday #sexuality #SexualWellbeing
Written by Dr. Allison Mitch, PT (DPT); copyright protected, please cite accordingly. Originally posted to social media on 1/20/21. Image is from Pexels.
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