Sexual Identity, Sexual Orientation and Sexual Disorder

Sexual orientation refers to romantic, sexual or emotional enduring pattern of attraction to someone. The attraction can be towards the same sex, opposite sex or both sexes. There are three categories of sexual orientation. These include attraction to someone of the opposite sex (Heterosexuals), attraction to members of same-sex (gay or lesbianism) and attraction to members of both sexes (bisexuals). Asexuality refers to a situation where one lacks romantic or sexual attraction towards others. Sexual orientation also refers to a sense of identity, both personal and social, based on these attractions (Reiter, 1989). Research has proven that sexual orientation does not always occur in these definite terms, but in the continuum. Coming out refers to the point where one acknowledges and accepts their sexual orientation or discloses their attraction to others.

Sexual Identity

Sexual identity refers to the perception of one’s own sexuality. Specifically, sexual identity refers to the feelings, attitudes and behaviors that one expresses with regard to their sexuality. It refers to the gender identification as male or female. Sometimes these expressions can be in form of the roles played by the different sexes. The display of typical characteristics and their dress code can show their expression of identity. Sexual identity is closely related to sexual orientation and sexual behavior.

Sexual Disorders

Sexual disorders refer to sexual dysfunctions that are experienced at a particular stage or phase of the sexual cycle. The dysfunctions include sexual desire disorder, sexual pain disorder, sexual orgasm or sexual arousal disorders. The disorders can be due to feelings of anxiety, guilt, worry and stress. The current state of health or sexual history could also result into sexual dysfunctions. It is therefore important to consider and assess these factors to deal with the disorders.

A sexual desire is normal to all people. However, when one has an hyperactive desire for sexual intercourse then this may be referred to sexual disorder. Premature ejaculation can also be termed as sexual disorder (Anita. et al, 2007).

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