Sex & Sexuality

What do you know about sex? What do you know about sexuality? We hear about sex and sexuality almost every day, but much of what we hear is inaccurate and can be confusing. A basic understanding of sex and sexuality can help us sort out myth from fact and help us all enjoy our lives more.

We are all sexual. We are sexual from the day we are born until the day we die. Our sexuality affects who we are and how we express ourselves as sexual beings.

Our sexuality includes:

  • our bodies, including our sexual and reproductive anatomy
  • our biological sex — male, female, or intersex
  • our gender — being a girl, boy, woman, man, or transgender
  • our gender identities — our comfort with and feelings about our gender
  • our sexual orientations — straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual
  • our sex drives
  • our sexual identity — the way we feel about our sex, gender, and sexual orientation

The ways we experience and express our sexuality include:

  • our body image — how we feel about our bodies
  • our desires, thoughts, fantasies, sexual pleasure, sexual preferences, and sexual dysfunction
  • our values, attitudes, beliefs, and ideals about life, love, and sexual relationships
  • our sexual behaviors — the ways we have sex including masturbation

Our sexuality and the ways we experience and express it are influenced by:

  • our biology
  • our emotional lives
  • our family lives
  • our culture and our status in our culture
  • our ethical, religious, and spiritual upbringing and experience

Even though we spend our lifetimes as sexual beings, it’s normal to have many questions about sex and sexuality. And this is good because the more we know about sex and sexuality, the better we are able to take charge of our sex lives and our sexual health.