Understanding Human Sexuality Through Art
Do you know each aspect of human sexuality is connected and fluid within time and space? Sounds hard to digest? No problem! I got you here. Let's take a look at the piece of reflective art I made years ago in my Art Therapy program. Through art, you'll grasp this concept quickly, easily, and solidly (Do I sound redundant? Never mind!).
Okay! In the process of understanding and exploring human sexuality, I want to take you to look at it from the five aspects which adapted from a model designed by Dennis Dailey, Ph.D. Remember, sex is not only about the act of bodies coming together or self-pleasure, it's multi-layered, multi-dimensional, and evolving with time and space (okay, not about space and galaxy either).
Sensuality: This is the most important and strength-based aspect to me. It involves our level of awareness, acceptance, and enjoyment of our own and/or others' bodies. Examples, skin hunger, aural/visual stimuli, sexual response cycle, body image, and fantasy.
Sexualization: This is the most triggering one. When thinking about it, will probably cause you to have anxious feelings or might have triggered you with uncomfortable experiences. Don't worry. If you feel anxious, you are not alone and we are here to help (relationship and sex therapists are the experts regarding this topic). It involves how we use our sexuality and may include manipulating or controlling others. Examples, media images, flirting, seduction, withholding sex, sexual harassment, incest, and rape.
Sexual Identity: How do we perceive ourselves as sexual beings? Biological gender, gender identity, gender role, and sexual orientation are those components. Do you feel comfortable with the gender assigned to you at birth? Have you ever questioned your sexual orientations and gender roles? Well, if you have been wondering that, and have nobody to talk to, I am here to listen.
Sexual Health & Reproduction: It relates to attitudes and behaviors toward our health and the consequences of sexual activity! I know you got a lot of examples in your mind, such as sexual behavior, anatomy & physiology, sexuality transmitted infection, contraception & abortion (spontaneous or induced), women's issues, men's issues, and etc.
Intimacy: Yay! Finally, we are touching on our favorite aspect. It's the degree to which we express and have a connection or a need for closeness with another person. Its components are caring, sharing, liking/loving, trust, vulnerability, self-discloser, and emotional risk-taking.
What can you see in my art? What do you want to add or erase? Leave me a comment or a private message. Let's hear it.
"Sexuality encompasses almost every aspect of our being, from attitude and values to feelings and experiences." It is influenced by individual, family, culture, society, biology, psychology, morals, religion & spirituality, laws, professions, institutions, science, and politics. I can keep going on and on and on, expanding it on different times and spaces. However, I want to use Alfred Kinsey's quote to complete this analogy that human sexuality is just like “the living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects” (Kinsey, 1948).