The society we live in thrives on labels. Be it our nationality, religion or ethnicity, we like to classify ourselves. No doubt it divides us, but it also allows us to make connections, explore our interests, and identify with people of our own kind. It helps us embark on the journey of becoming who we are to be who we want to be. Your personal identity is an amalgamation of many different workspaces. In this article, we explore one of those verticals, that is, sexuality.

Many of us assume that sexuality is a close word. However, sexuality goes far beyond who you want to have sex with. It covers your thoughts, feelings, emotions and behavior towards others. This is how you understand your body and your relationships. And this understanding can be influenced by many factors, such as your beliefs, desires, and gender. Because sexuality is made up of so many components, our perceptions of our own sexuality are ever-changing and unique. It may sound ludicrous now, but stay with us and we will let you know about it all.

gender vs sexuality

It will be hard to believe if you say that you have never been confused between the two. It is human beings to make mistakes, after all. But today, in the 21st century, ignorance is no longer bliss. So we come straight to the point. You identify as your gender at birth, while your sexuality depends on who you are physically and romantically attracted to. Let us look back to understand the difference between these two complex words.

You will be familiar with the term LGBTQ+. Here, L stands for lesbians, G stands for gay, B stands for bisexual, T represents the trans community and Q stands for queer, an umbrella term for someone who doesn’t identify with mainstream heterosexuals. does. Queer can include asexual, pansexual or questioning. Wait, did we lose you? Let’s make it simple.

One thing to keep in mind while reading further, the sex assigned to the baby at birth, called natal sex, is either male or female and is based on the child’s external anatomy. This means that if a child is born with a gender then it is considered male and if the child has a vagina then it is considered female. We will use the words ‘female’ and ‘male’ equally for your easy understanding.

homosexuals

Women who are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to women.

Gay

Men are attracted to other men physically, emotionally and sexually.

bisexuals

Women or men who feel attracted physically, emotionally and sexually by both women and men. There can be different degrees of bisexuality. That is to say, a person is interested in both male and female, but his inclination is more towards one than the other. This interest can also take various forms. For example, a bisexual individual may be attracted to both males and females but mate with only one of them.

opposite .. gender

The word trans has its roots in Latin where it means ‘across’ or ‘the other side’. Thus, transgender represents people whose gender is on the other side. Having said that, people who do not conform to their birth sex or male or female at all call themselves transgender. This means that a trans person is identified as either male or female at birth by looking at their genitals, but they do not conform to their assigned gender. They either feel belonging to the opposite sex or neither of them.

Trans people are broadly classified into two categories

  • AFAB – woman appointed at birth
  • amaab – male assigned at birth

Another term that originated with transgender was cisgender, In Latin, cis means one side. Thus those who identify themselves as the gender of their birth are the cis gender.

asexual

People who experience little or no sexual attraction to either gender are said to be asexual (ace for short). Asexuality is different from abstinence where a person chooses not to have sex despite his desire or urge. In the case of asexuals, there is no desire to engage in sexual activity. However, asexuals may be attracted to persons of the opposite sex or equally romantically.

pansexual

A person who is physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to all genders. Pansexuals can also be referred to as ‘gender-blind’, given that gender is not a determinant of someone being attracted to them.

Now that we have our vocabulary, let’s go back to the LGBTQ+ acronym. Now, L, G and B are sexuality or sexual orientation while T is a gender. To fix this, remember, a lesbian is a woman who identifies as female, agrees to her ‘innate gender’ and is attracted to another human who is identified as a ‘woman’. Also recognized as Similarly, a bisexual man resonates with being ‘male’ and feels for both ‘female’ and ‘male’. But in the case of trans people, they do not agree with their ‘natal sex’. A trans male was assigned a ‘female’ at birth and vice versa.

Let’s separate the wheat from the husk. There are some broader gender brackets such as cisgender, transgender, polygender and omnigender (person who identifies with traits of multiple genders) and non-binary (people without gender). The cisgender bifurcates into female or male. Transgender differentiate themselves as transmasculine and transfeminin.

That was to deal with gender. Now let’s talk about sexuality.

Sexuality – Strong, Wild, Hot and Free!

We will start with the most important aspect of sexuality which is self-definition. Everyone has the right to define their sexuality. Your sexual orientation should first make sense to you and only then should others matter. In second order comes the fact that sexuality is dynamic. Different parts of our lives can interact with each other in confirming or confusing ways. And that’s completely normal. Your pursuit of sexuality plays a major role in determining your state of mental and social well-being. Our level of awareness of our own and others’ bodies, acceptance and enjoyment, and our ability to communicate and express our need for intimacy (emotional and physical) with our partners also fall within the realm of sexuality.

Sexuality is individual and varied. While this is easy for many of us, some have a hard time identifying our sexuality. Being able to reconnect with your sexual identity is an extremely liberating experience. As mentioned above, you can also have different sexualities at different stages of your life. You may be attracted to men, women, both, or both, at one point or another in your life. And that’s completely normal. Although there are few words to describe sexual orientation, you shouldn’t be fixated and try to squeeze yourself into one category. You will know it eventually.

While we make our way through this maze where we explore our different identities, there are many obstacles that we must overcome. One such shackle that we must break is body image. In our next section, let’s talk about body image and its relation to sexuality.

sexy body

We all know that a lean and fit body is healthy. However, today the obsession with particular body types goes far beyond this. We fantasize about body images that are not only difficult to obtain but have long-term harmful effects on our health. To look a certain way, we alter our diets, sometimes omitting essential nutrients along with our comfort foods. This leads to deficiencies and causes diseases. Social pressure on body image also affects our self-esteem and morale. At its worst, this preoccupation with and metamorphosis of one’s body is known as body dysmorphic disorder. People with body dysmorphic disorder have a distorted image of themselves and worry excessively about a perceived flaw in their appearance. Body dysmorphia is usually accompanied by a deep shame about what their body looks like.

While the pressure that heterosexuals go through to look a certain way cannot be overstated, the story of homosexuals takes another path.

Do you think you are sexy?

research It shows that gay men (gay and bisexual) suffer from increased levels of body dissatisfaction. The objectification theory is a plausible explanation for this trend observed among these sexual minorities. The theory holds that lesbians and bisexuals with lean and muscular bodies have additional pressure to look ‘desirable’. This pressure stems from the fact that men, regardless of their sexual orientation, place more emphasis on physical appearance than women. Thus, gay men trying to attract men have to put in more effort. This self-objection leads to constant monitoring of one’s body, rather than assessing one’s physical appearance by how one feels or acts. Subsequently, pent-up resentment and self-doubt can lead to mental issues such as anxiety disorders and depression.

In general, women have a more negative body image than men, with 80% of women reporting dissatisfaction with their bodies. However, a significantly lower drive for thinner bodies exists in lesbian women (gay and bisexual) compared to heterosexual women. Lesbian women have also been seen to be less invested in their bodies, such as dieting or exercising, than heterosexual women. In addition, homosexual women prefer ideal bodies with significantly higher body fat than heterosexual women.

on top of that, a recent study reported a higher drive for masculinity in homosexual women than in heterosexual women. While the issue of dissatisfaction with gay women sounds better, it’s not quite. Women, regardless of their sexuality, are constantly subjected to public scrutiny for being viewed a certain way.

Fretting with one’s body image is closely linked with sexual health. Individuals who are dissatisfied with their appearance may find sex challenging and anxiety-provoking, as the focus is on their body rather than the experience. preliminary data suggest that physical dissatisfaction may negatively affect the quality of sexual health among homosexuals. Yet, further, it indicates that physical dissatisfaction may serve as a distant risk factor for HIV transmission through poor sexual self-efficacy, and subsequently, condomless sex in the pursuit of pleasure.

sexy and you know it

In the end, what matters is your love for yourself. It may take some time for you to recover from the fact that you are not usually like other people around you or that your priorities are different from theirs and that is okay. Take your time to accept the differences. Remind yourself every day or more often that you love who you are and that this is all the validation you will ever need. The most powerful thing anyone can tell us is what we say to ourselves. You just have to figure out who you are and then do it on purpose. Remember they can’t scare you if you scare them first!

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