What is Normal Human Sexuality?

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Answered by: Chelsy, An Expert in the Sexuality Category
Sexuality is major part of every person's life. It is something that we become aware of at an age far younger than most would think, and continue to be aware of well into our adulthood. It is in movies, music, social circles and even laced within our daily life. We are so surrounded with images of sexuality that at times we become unaware how ingrained into our lives it actually is, or even more so, find ourselves unable to even define Normal Human Sexuality.Working at an inpatient facility with teens teaching Sex Education, I ask every teen to define Normal Human Sexuality on the first day. Without fail 9 out of 10 say "I don't know". They bring up preference, orientation, biology etc; but they are never able to pin point exactly what this subject is. My solution to this question is to break it down word by word.

I start with human, the easiest of the terms. Human being socially defined as having characteristics of the human race. It may also be scientifically defined as Homo sapiens; primates of the family Hominidae. In basic terminology humans are what you and I are, the dominant species of our planet.The next definition is of sexuality; most people automatically assume that this is referring to a romantic inclination towards another person, which is partly true. Sexuality can be defined by three main points; biological sex, gender and sexual orientation. Biological sex referring to genitalia; penis or vagina if using binary terms, but there is also inter-sexed (ambiguous genitalia). Biological sex is defined by our chromosomes xx or xy, it is inherent and for the most part permanent.

Secondly we define gender is something that we actually do. It is how we show others that we are male or female by performing masculine or feminine traits, actions and dress. We learn gender from a very young age, for example blue being a traditional color for males and pink being a traditional color for females and yellow being somehow gender neutral. It is something that we can readily identify as male or female; however there are many other genders that exist outside of the concept of male or female.

Thirdly there is sexual orientation, which can be defined as an inclination of people to feel romantic and/ or sexual attraction to other persons, things or self. Many people know of 3 orientations, homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual, and believe that those are all that exist. There are many other orientations that exist but are more of a spectrum than a category.

When we combine these three aspects we have a multifaceted view of sexuality. It is part of who we are, how we behave and also how we think. Sexuality is something that is a major part of our lives; it doesn't only serve as a blue print of who we are attracted to, but also who we are as people. It allows us to develop a firmer concept of our identity.

The last word is always the most difficult to define, how do we explain exactly what normal is? In our daily lives it is a challenge to say what is normal and what is abnormal, but in our sexual lives it is even more difficult. Normal can be defined as "conforming to an average" or "social norms, expected patterns of behavior studied within the context of sociology". While those definitions are helpful in some way, they simply do not explain what normal is when it is applied to sexuality. This is how I define "normal", normal is any part of sexuality that is within your comfort zone. It is what you can recognize, understand or explain, it doesn't have to be something that you agree with, just anything that falls into your realm of understanding.

Now that we have an idea of the terminology we are attempting to explain, it is time that we answer the question "What is Normal Human Sexuality?". Unfortunately, that answer varies person to person. It is based on life events, experiences and biology; which means that no one is capable of having the same definition. Normal Human Sexuality lies on a spectrum of sorts. It is how you view sexuality based on what you have encountered in your life. It is also something that changes throughout your lifetime. What may be normal to you at this moment, may be completely different in 10 years. Human Sexuality is fluid, it changes, adapts and is either reinforced or pushed away depending on how our lives turn out.

The best way that I could possibly explain to you what Normal Human Sexuality is, is to tell you that it is something that only you can define. It is completely unique to your life and your understanding of who you are as a sexual being. Many of us may never know what normal human sexuality consists of, or even if we are "normal". It is one of the many things we will seek out through out our life and we may eventually decide that it is something that does not exist. What I will tell you is this, sexuality occurs mostly between your ears, not between your legs. Your mind is a powerful, ever changing and broadening part of you. And the best part is, only you can decide what is or is not normal.

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