Therapy & Counselling Resources > Sexuality



Sexuality is a complex subject and relates to a number of different ideas.

  • Sexual desire and sexual activity or behaviour relate to a persons thoughts and actions
  • Sexual orientation describes a pattern of sexual, emotional or romantic attraction to others. Unlike sexual activity or behaviour, sexual orientation is generally considered to not be a choice. No simple, single cause for sexual orientation has been proven although there have been a number of theories proposed based on genetic, biological and environmental factors. Various words are often used to describe sexual orientation and these include heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. Classifying sexual desires or people on the basis of sexual orientation is a modern Western concept that did not apply more than a couple of hundred years ago.
  • Sexual identity is a term used to describe how a person identifies to themselves or others. Someone‚Äôs sexual identity in the eyes of others may or may not be aligned with their sexual orientation, their sexual desire or sexual activities.

We live in a world where the dominant model of sexuality is heterosexuality. This can cause difficulties for many people whose desires, sexual activities or sexual orientation do not align with heterosexual norms. Heterosexual normativity can leave people feeling isolated and left out or even sick or disordered. Some people develop sexual problems as a result. However, as in nature, the existence of sexual desire or orientations which are outside the dominant model simply reflect diversity.

Because the heterosexual model of sexuality tends to be the norm, it is quite common for people to feel confused about their feelings and desires if they do not fit this norm. Counsellors should offer a non-judgemental approach to assisting people to embrace their own choices and enjoy who they are. Online counselling has the potential to be very helpful for people with concerns about sexuality because it allows for more privacy and can be more comfortable than face-to-face appointments.

This information is only general and is not a substitute for a professional consultation.

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