Understanding our sexuality can help us enjoy our lives more.
You're talking about it, reading about it, and watching it wherever you go. But a lot of what you read, see, and hear about sex and sexuality is inaccurate, confusing, or even harmful. A basic understanding of sex and sexuality can help you sort out myth from fact and help you make good decisions about your sexual health.
Our sexuality affects who we are and how we express ourselves. There's a wide range of how people experience their sexuality. Some people are very sexual, while others experience no feelings of sexual attraction at all. Your sexuality may be influenced by your family, culture, religion, media, friends, and experiences. No matter how important sexuality is to you, we all have thoughts, desires, attractions, and values that are unique.
Sexuality is about much more than just sex. It includes
- your body, including your sexual and reproductive anatomy and body image — how you feel about your body
- your biological sex — male, female, or intersex
- your gender — being a girl, boy, woman, man, or transgender, or genderqueer
- your gender identity — feelings about and how you express your gender
- your sexual orientation — who you're sexually and/or romantically attracted to
- your desires, thoughts, fantasies, and sexual preferences
- your values, attitudes, and ideals about life, love, and sexual relationships
- your sexual behaviors — including masturbation
It's normal to have questions about sex and sexuality. And the good news is the more you know about it, the better you'll be able to take charge of your sexual health.
If you have more questions or concerns about your sexual health, we can help. Staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center can talk with you and help you find the information and resources that you need.
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