“Are you comfortable with your sexuality?” is a question I have been asked numerous times. I always thought that it meant was I comfortable with my sexual orientation or was I comfortable with my sexual abilities. The answer to both questions is a resounding yes! However, I think there is more to sexuality than just ability and orientation. I took a set of psychology classes called Human Sexuality, and I have found that the term sexuality is regularly paired with the term human. It that context, it is more related to the study of…all things sexual, in-depth, of the human being. It is the study of the sexual being. (Hock pg 4) This is confirmed by the APA, “Sexuality has three stages: Desire is an interest in being sexual. Excitement is the state of arousal that sexual stimulation causes. And orgasm is sexual pleasure’s peaking.” In this sense, sexuality is a state of mind as well as a state of being, and ultimately acting. Also, “Sexuality is a broad area of study related to an individual’s sex, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation. It also includes the effect of prejudice and discrimination based on the aforementioned topics, as well as sexual disorders.”
Women view sexuality as a form of feminism or state of being.
Barbara Gordon states, “A woman may develop wrinkles and cellulite, lose her waistline, her bust line, her ability to bear a child, even her sense of humor, but none of that implies a loss of her sexuality, her femininity.” (“Sexuality Quotes & Quotations.”)
Angelina Jolie puts it more simply: “All women do have a different sense of sexuality, or sense of fun, or sense of like what’s sexy or cool or tough.” (“Sexuality Quotes & Quotations.”)
Camille Paglia sees it more of the act of sex, or more the pursuit of the act, “Pursuit and seduction are the essence of sexuality. It’s part of the sizzle.” (“Sexuality Quotes & Quotations.”)
“It’s just human. We all have the jungle inside of us. We all have wants and needs and desires, strange as they may seem. If you stop to think about it, we’re all pretty creative, cooking up all these fantasies. It’s like a kind of poetry.” This quote by Diane Frolov about sexuality gives us a sense that it is a state of mind. (The Quotations Page)
Men on the other hand, have slightly different ideas of what sexuality is.
Friedrich Nietzsche, a German scholar, puts it this way. “When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexuality.” He seems to separate sexuality from intelligence, and imply that the more intelligent you are the less sexual you must be. I wonder if he considered that would also apply to men, unless he feels that sexuality is more of a feminine state of being.
An early Austrian Journalist, Karl Kraus, explains sexuality to be the thoughts and beliefs about sex in the family and society as a whole. “Sexuality poorly repressed unsettles some families; well repressed, it unsettles the whole world.”
And finally, a quote that I feel really has a great point, said by American singer, Michael Stipe, “I’ve always felt that sexuality is a really slippery thing. In this day and age, it tends to get categorized and labeled, and I think labels are for food. Canned food.”
In the end, sexuality encompasses many things. It is knowledge, beliefs, our understanding of, our gender, our attraction, state of mind, the hunt, and the victory of the act of sex.
To be continued…