SEXUALITY: 1. the state or quality of being sexual; 2. a. interest in or concern with sex; b. sexual drive or activity
Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, 1994
What is sex--and how does it differ from sexuality? One definition of sex has to do with the differences between males and females, but the term today is more commonly used to indicate sexual relations, or being involved in a sexual manner: going to bed, sleeping together, having sex, sexual intercourse, making love, doing the wild thing. For the sake of clarity, this book embraces the latter meaning of "sex," using it to indicate sexual intercourse or other sexual acts. In this usage, "sex" can become an adjective; for example, one may "feel sexy" or be a "sexy woman or man"; one has sexual fantasies or sexual organs. "Sex" can also be used as a noun, as in "they had sex."
The field that studies humans and sex currently uses the term "sexuality," because it is a more holistic concept. It encompasses feelings about ourselves and others as sexual beings, including attractiveness and body image; ideas and experiences about relationships; and a healthy concept of choice, responsibility, and mutual interaction. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) offers this working definition: "Sexuality encompasses not only anatomy and biochemistry (what most people have come to think of as 'sex'), but also gender roles, personality, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The term 'sexuality' refers to who people are as men and women, and not to body parts, reproduction, or physical acts."
Sexuality is a basic physical and emotional facet of human life. In her book Women's Wisdom, Women's Bodies, Dr. Christiane Northrup writes that "Our