Portal:Sexuality

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Same-sex couple holding hands
Same-sex couple holding hands

Human sexuality is the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. A person's sexual orientation may influence their sexual interest and attraction for another person. Sexuality can have biological, physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the reproductive functions of the sexes (including the human sexual response cycle), and the basic biological drive that exists in all species. Physical, as well as emotional, aspects of sexuality also include the bond that exists between individuals, and is expressed through profound feelings or physical manifestations of emotions of love, trust, and caring. Spiritual aspects of sexuality concern an individual's spiritual connection with others. Sexuality additionally impacts and is impacted by cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life. It can refer to issues of morality, ethics and theology, or religion. (Full article...)


Human sexual activity, or human sexual practice or human sexual behavior, is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity normally results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle. Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another, such as strategies to find or attract partners (courtship and display behavior), and personal interactions between individuals, such as foreplay. Sexual activity may follow sexual arousal. (Full article...)

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Asexuality (or nonsexuality) is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the four variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. A study in 2004 placed the prevalence of asexuality at 1% in the British population.

Asexuality is distinct from abstention from sexual activity and from celibacy, which are behavioral and generally motivated by factors such as an individual's personal or religious beliefs; sexual orientation, unlike sexual behavior, is believed to be "enduring." Some asexual people engage in sexual activity despite lacking a desire for sex or sexual attraction, due to a variety of reasons, such as a desire to please romantic partners or a desire to have children.

Acceptance of asexuality as a sexual orientation and field of scientific research is still relatively new, as a growing body of research from both sociological and psychological perspectives has begun to develop. While some researchers assert that asexuality is a sexual orientation, other researchers disagree.

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Carol Queen
Carol Queen, author, editor, sociologist and sexologist active in sex-positive feminism

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August - December 2009

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