THINKING ABOUT SEXUALITY

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SEXUALITY:  What is sexuality?  Does it refer to who you have sex with?  Does it refer to your “sexual orientation”?  Does it refer to how often you have sex?  Is sexuality a description of your sexual attitude or your sexual politics?

SEXUALITY DEFINED: Sexuality is a broad concept.  Here are some broad definitions:

– Sexuality includes who you’re attracted to and who you want to have sex with.
– Sexuality includes your gender identity—the core sense that you are male or female or somewhere in between on the spectrum.
– Sexuality includes gender roles—the idea of how you should behave because you’re male or female.
– Sexuality includes how you feel about your body.
– Sexuality includes how you express the sexual part of yourself.
– Sexuality includes your sexual experiences, thoughts, ideas and fantasies.
– Sexuality includes how we experience intimacy, love, compassion and joy.

SEXUALITY IN YOUR LIFE: What’s the importance of sexuality in your life?  What role does play?  Is it at the very heart of who you are?  Are you attracted to people who seem to have lots of sexuality?  Or is sexuality minimally important to you?  Can you imagine living without too much focus on sex and sexuality? Are you comfortable with sexuality—yours and your partner’s?  Are you uncomfortable with talking and thinking about sex and sexuality?

SEXUALITY IS COMPLEX!  Wherever you are on the sexuality spectrum, it’s a complex idea.

SEXUALITY AND FEELING COMFORTABLE:  For many people, sexuality is a matter of those who feel comfortable with forms of sexual expression, and those who don’t.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:  What is your comfort level with your sexuality and the sexuality of your partner?  If you’re less comfortable than you wish you were, how do you manage your discomfort or distress?  Does sexual distress take a toll on your relationships?

SEXUALITY AND ‘MORE-IS-BETTER’’:  For some, sexuality is a matter of having a more-is-better’ approach, in which some aspect of sexuality frequently enters in to one’s behavior, one’s thinking and one’s feelings.  And, for those who lean toward a ‘less-is-better’ approach, sexuality is far less important and present in their lives and in their partnerships.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:  Are you happy with your approach to your own sexuality and the sexuality of your partner?  Are you well-matched?  Are you poorly matched?

SEXUALITY AND MORALITY:  For many people, sexuality comes down to a matter of right and wrong.  When, with whom, how, and even whether you should have sex is a moral and often a religious question.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:  Is there a right answer?  Is there a right answer for you?  Are your belief’s and your behavior in alignment?  Or, are your beliefs at odds with your behavior?  Are you doing things that you feel are wrong, sinful, punishable, and which you feel make you a bad person?  Is this causing distress?

SEXUALITY AND THERAPY:  If you’re struggling to discover, understand, enhance and explore your sexuality, psychoanalysis, or sexual psychotherapy is a good way to start.  Psychoanalysis or sexual psychotherapy offers you the chance to work together with a trained clinician in a safe environment.  It offers the guidance, support, and encouragement needed for a full and authentic inquiry.  It honors your thinking and your feelings and respects all striving toward self-awareness and health.

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