Part 2.. Gender, Sex and Various Sexualities

to move forward in my discussion about sexuality issues, i would first like to make the readers know what sexuality stands for and how different it is from your gender.

this post is dedicated to defining what gender and various sexualities stand for and also to make the readers aware that there are many many more sexual orientations other than heterosexual or homosexual, which can somehow be a part of their personality, in greater or lesser degree.

We have to understand that belonging to a particular gender is entirely different from your sexual orientation. lets first understand what gender means.

Gender- gender means the socially acceptable definitions of being male or female. it is more of a social norm. gender can be male, female or neutral.

Biological Sex- biological sex is a more scientifically approved definition of being male or female. it is your definitive identity depending upon your physical appearance and also on the various hormones that make you what you are i.e. male or female.

Sexuality- sexuality is the way one expresses himself/herself sexually. in more common terms, we can say that sexuality refers to our sexual preferences and our behavior, expectations and erotic/sexual experiences that we receive during the act of love making. or to put it more simple, what kind of sexual creatures we are.

now we have to understand that the views that we have regarding our sexuality are not wrong. however they represent only a part of the larger picture. in an orthodox and rigid setup, we may believe that a man has sexual feelings only for a woman and a woman has sexual feelings only for a man, which may or may not be applicable universally.

The Sexuality Spectrum :

now we will look at the different types of sexualities accepted by science and psychology and also the various other terms that are used by people to define their sexuality, which are more general and new.

below three are the traditional scientifically accepted sexualities.

Heterosexuality- the sexual preference for people who belong to the biologically opposite sex. Like a man has  sexual desire for a woman and a woman has the same desire for a man. this is the usual sexuality pattern that we are used to. we have been seen this in our families and atmosphere. mother-father, brother-sister, male-female. it is the classic model of representation of sexuality where opposites attract each other.

Homosexuality-  this is the most commonly known alternate sexuality. homosexuality refers to the sexual preference for someone who belongs to your own biological sex. it represents man to man relationships (commonly called ‘gay’) and woman to woman relationships (commonly called ‘lesbians’)

Bisexuality- this is a term that is applied to people who are comfortable in feeling and expressing sexual desires for both the sexes. for example : a man may involve in sexual relations with another man as well as he can connect to a female. similarly, a woman may also connect to another woman, the same way that she can connect to a man.

apart from these, there are various other sexualities that have come to surface and have been either accepted scientifically or have been gaining ground as the people who belong to these groups have come out openly defining their orientation. the following list contains various sexualities that i know about( it is not an all inclusive list, there may be other terms or sexualities as well apart from the list)

Asexuality- when a person does not feel attracted to any other person sexually. this group may contain Gray Asexuality which means an occasional sexual attraction. people who belong to this group may also pretend to belong to a certain sexuality socially which is referred to as Demi Sexuality.

Pansexuality- pansexuality or Omnisexuality refers to the ability to feel sexual desire, affection, attachment to all gender or sexualities. for example- a pansexual male or female may feel sexual desires for a homosexual, a heterosexual, asexual, pansexual, polysexual, monosexual or any other person belonging to all sexualities. gender or sexuality is not a considerable factor when it comes to feeling sexual attraction for these people.

Polysexuality- different to bisexuality and pansexuality. it is lying somewhere in between where a person may feel sexual attraction to more than one/two gender or sexuality. but not all. for example : a polysexual may like heterosexuals, homosexuals, transsexuals, third gender but not pansexuals or monosexuals.

Transsexual(ity)- when a person does not identify with his/her biological sex ans wants to be a member of the opposite sex instead. it is done in a long set of hormonal therapies, treatments and operations after which the physical identity of the person become different from his biological sex at birth.

Monosexuality- a monosexual is a person who keeps his sexual preferences limited to only a certain sex or gender. he may either be heterosexual or homosexual. they are not opening themselves to sexual experiences, desires or fantasies with any other, but the sex that they have chosen. for example – one may be a heterosexual male and chose only heterosexual female. this term is also used in place of Unisexuality and is not used commonly.

Pomosexual- a person who does not identify with or does not like to define his sexuality under a specific pre-defined label or tag.

There are various other terms and definitions that tell us how huge the sexuality spectrum is. but are these demarcations rigid? is there anything as sexual fluidity? can a person be heterosexual at adolescence and homosexual later? answers to these questions in the next two posts….


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