Don’t Define my Sexuality

Fluidity around sexuality and gender preference is real. Do we really have to pick a box?

Over the years, I’ve ended up thinking about my sexuality a lot. It seems that defining your sexuality and “coming out” is almost urgent… like if I don’t pick a category today, gay or straight, I can’t decide… and that’s some kind of problem?

A bit about sexuality

A person’s understanding of who he or she is sexually, including:

  • Gender identity: a person’s internal sense of being a man or a woman, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender expression: how one’s characteristics and behaviors conform to or transgress gender norms and roles of femininity and masculinity.

In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

Audre Lorde

Circles of Sexuality and Definitions

Sexual orientation
Whether a person’s primary attraction is to the opposite sex (heterosexuality), the same-sex (homosexuality), or both sexes (bisexuality).

Sexual health and reproduction
One’s capacity to reproduce and the behaviors and attitudes that support sexual health and enjoyment. This includes factual information about sexual anatomy, sexual intercourse and different sex acts, reproduction, contraception, STI prevention, and self-care, among others.

Sexual behaviors and practices
Who does what with which body parts, items, and/or partners.

Sexual power and agency
Power within sexual relations. This includes:

  • Power within, derived from a sense of self-worth and understanding of one’s preferences and values, which enable a person to realize sexual well-being and health.
  • Power to influence, consent, and/or decline.
  • Power with others to negotiate and decide.
  • Power over others; using sex to manipulate, control, or harm other people.
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