What is sexuality and where does it come from?
In short, a person's sexuality consists of both desires, needs, fantasies, motives, experiences and current sexual manifestations, but also boundaries, shame and everything that one is repelled by.
Sexuality is what is called bio-psycho-social, which means that it is created in a continuum between nature and culture, and between body, emotions, social contexts and societal influences.
Try to think about what has helped to define your own sexuality.
- What did you learn in school about gender, body, sexuality and sex?
- How did your parents or caregivers express their sexuality in your childhood home?
- What sexuality do your friends have, and how do you talk about sex together?
- How have you explored your sexuality with current and former partners?
- And how have you seen sexuality and sex portrayed in movies, commercials and on social media?
The importance of sex and sexuality
According to the population survey SEXUS, 80.4% of the adult Danish population believe that sexuality and a good sex life are central to life and to our identity. However, it is far more individual how we understand and unfold our sexuality.
For some, sensuality, intimacy and closeness are more important than intercourse, masturbation and orgasm. It is also different what the motivation for having sex is - for some it is lust and horniness, for others it is more about affirmation and social positioning.
In 1948, biologist Albert Kinsey made a scale on which to measure homosexuality or heterosexuality. Although the scale showed that the vast majority were located somewhere in the middle, the scale is still limited, as sexuality cannot be measured on a linear axis.
Rather, sexuality is multidimensional, and is not only defined on the basis of which sex you have sex with - but also what fantasies, fetishes and kinks you have, whether you prefer sex with one partner, several partners or yourself, and how you perceive your own sexuality - which also does not necessarily reflect how one unfolds sexually.
In addition, sexuality is largely shaped by the social, societal and cultural contexts we are part of, and changes over time depending on age and life stages.
In short, fluid sexuality is a fusion of everything we do, feel, identify with, as well as the contexts we enter into and the changes we experience over time.
Complex and simple at the same time
Sexuality is complex, but it does not have to be difficult - you can define and live out your sexuality exactly as you want, as long as you do it with respect for yourself and others.
Currently, many new designations and definitions of gender, sexuality, and relationships are emerging. Some find it confusing and frustrating, but for many it offers understanding and acceptance of something that has been difficult to put into words before.