sexuality

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English[edit]

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Two men at a gay pride event in Washington, D.C., USA
A man and a woman in bed

Etymology[edit]

sexual +‎ -ity.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

sexuality ‎(countable and uncountable, plural sexualities)

  1. That which is characterized or distinguished by sex.
    • 2000, Barbara L. Voss; Robert A. Schmidt, “Archaeologies of Sexuality: An Introduction”, in Robert A. Schmidt and Barbara L. Voss, editors, Archaeologies of Sexuality, London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-22365-2, page 2:
      Sexuality, then, is related to both biological sex and gender, and simultaneously is quite distinct from them. [] We employ sexuality to refer to all kinds of sexual relations, including sexual activities, eroticism, sexual identities, sexual meanings, and sexual politics.
    • 2005, Signe Arnfred, “Re-thinking Sexualities in Africa: Introduction”, in Signe Arnfred, editor, Re-thinking Sexualities in Africa, 2nd edition, Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, ISBN 978-91-7106-513-1, page 7:
      The time has come for re-thinking sexualities in Africa: The thinking beyond the conceptual structure of colonial and even post-colonial European imaginations, which have oscillated between notions of the exotic, the noble and the depraved savage, consistently however constructing Africans and African sexuality as something 'other'. This 'other' thing is constructed to be not only different from European/Western sexualities and self, but also functions to co-construct that which is European/Western as modern, rational and civilized.
  2. Sexual activity; concern with, or interest in, sexual activity.
    • 1995, Betty N. Gordon; Carolyn S. Schroeder, Sexuality: A Developmental Approach to Problems (Clinical Child Psychology Library), New York, N.Y.; London: Plenum Press, ISBN 978-0-306-45039-6, page 119:
      [W]hen adults with mild mental retardation are allowed to express their sexuality in appropriate ways, they are, in general, competent in terms of biological capability, sexual desire, and the psychological significance they attribute to sexual behavior []. However, they typically lack basic information about sexuality that would enhance their ability to engage in intimate relationships, as well as help them to be aware of the implications of that behavior and to protect themselves from exploitation.
    • 2000, Anne Stirling Hastings, “Introduction”, in Discovering Sexuality that Will Satisfy You Both: When Couples Want Differing Amounts and Different Kinds of Sex, Gretna, La.: Wellness Institute, Inc., ISBN 978-1-58741-022-2, page 1:
      Millions of people in recovery are going to work on their sexuality. Some identify themselves as recovering sex addicts, some as incest survivors and some simply know they are having sexual "problems." An exciting outcome of this massive energy expenditure is the opportunity to discover the real nature of sexuality. As these millions find out the truth—and live it—the world's sexuality will change.
    • 2015, Alessandra Lemma and Paul E. Lynch, editors, Sexualities: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspectives, London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-71865-3:
      The blindness that psychoanalysis had for penetrating anal sexuality as an active sexual construct, and for receptive anal sexuality as a possibly vigorous, muscular, and active option, was surely multiply determined, and without doubt related to a similar undervaluation of the active workings and possibilities that can be a part of vaginal receptivity.
  3. Sexual potency.
    • 1985, Paul M. Quay, The Christian Meaning of Human Sexuality, San Francisco, Calif.: Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-0-89870-212-5:
      As his sexual activity is aggressive, so he is interested in display and in manifestation of his sexuality, if not directly, then in contest against other men. And the whole of his life manifests his inner need to take initiative.
    • 1988, Rosemarie Morgan, Women and Sexuality in the Novels of Thomas Hardy, London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-00268-4, page 35:
      [Thomas] Hardy relies heavily upon the natural object metaphor to provide him with a language of female sexuality that is not of the fastidious, fey, 'lilies-and-lace' category. In keeping with his heterodox views—that a voluptuous woman is a fair product of nature, fit and healthy in body and mind, neither degraded by her sexuality nor mentally or morally degenerate—he relies upon wholesome, 'natural' objects to evoke her healthy sexual appetite.
    • 2012, Jennifer Hillman, Sexuality and Aging: Clinical Perspectives, New York, N.Y.: Springer, ISBN 978-1-4614-3398-9, page 77:
      [S]he often would ask him to come inside the ladies' room and make sure that no one would come inside while she was changing. [] He also was able to see that while unusual requests played into his traditional expectations about sex roles and his desire to protect her and assert his sexuality with her, they were anything but professional. She was, in fact, coming on to him the way he typically imagined a man would come on to a woman.
  4. Sexual orientation.
    • 2011, Rosie Harding, Regulating Sexuality: Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives, Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-415-57438-9, page 101:
      [T]his prospective gay adoptive father chose not to disclose his sexuality to the caseworker who interviewed him at his home, rather than admit that he was a gay man, in order to avoid being told he could not adopt.
    • 2016, Sue Westwood, Ageing, Gender and Sexuality: Equality in Later Life (Routledge Research in Gender and Society; 49), London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-138-91240-3:
      Derek is the only participant to express ambivalence about both his sexuality and his gender identity. Aged 61, he has been married to women twice and has three children. He had no prior sexual encounters with men until he left his second wife in 1999, when he was 48, and began 'experimenting' with sexual relationships with men, soon identifying as gay: []
  5. Sexual identity, gender.
    • 2013, Robert Crooks; Karla Baur, “Perspectives on Sexuality”, in Our Sexuality, 12th edition, Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-1-133-94349-1, page 11:
      Rigid gender-role conditioning can limit each person's potential and can harm his or her sexuality (Petersen & Hyde, 2011). [] It appears that when overall gender equality is greater, individuals of both sexes see male and female sexuality more similarly.
    • 2015, Ken Plummer, Cosmopolitan Sexualities: Hope and the Humanist Imagination, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire; Malden, Mass.: Polity Press, ISBN 978-0-7456-7099-7, page 67:
      And as people move, so do their sexualities: a transforming world of sexualities moves with them. They carry with them the sexual contradictions of one complex culture into the sexual contradictions of another; along, possibly, with the burdens of nomadism, rootlessness and homelessness.
  6. Sexual receptivity.
    • 1998, Susan Moore; Doreen Rosenthal, “Adolescent Sexual Behaviour”, in John Coleman and Debi Roker, editors, Teenage Sexuality: Health, Risk and Education, Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-90-5702-308-8, page 41:
      Listening to teenage girls on the telephone discuss for an hour who held whose hand at a party underscores the universal adolescent fascination with burgeoning sexuality.

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