When we talk about sexual health, we hear a lot about what happens to our bodies. An important part of information about sexual health is often missed – what happens in our minds. In a perfect world, our decisions about sex would be made according to how we feel and what we’re comfortable with, but we have to admit that every day we come in contact with people or things that influence the decisions we make. From the media (TV, magazines, movies), to the culture we come from, to the gender stereotypes of society, to pressure from our family, friends, or partner, there are a ton of things that influence our attitude towards sex and our own sexuality. The next few pages try to point out some of the pressures that might influence our attitudes towards sex and sexuality, and also try to give you some decision-making tools so you can make the choice that’s right for you.
Who Am I?
Sexual orientation refers to the gender (or genders) of the people we feel a primary attraction and affection towards, both emotionally, mentally, and physically. We can be gay, straight, bisexual, or any label that seems to fit how we feel. Or we may prefer not to label our sexuality in any particular way.
Sexual orientation is an important part of our total self-identity: it's part of who we are, how we see ourselves and how others see us. It takes us many years to figure out who we are in relation to our own sexuality... sometimes we never figure it out completely.