Skip to content



Sexuality is present in every human being. It is present in our bodies all the time, in our emotions and our thoughts, and these layers cannot be separated. Throughout life, sexuality is an essential part of being human. Even a small baby has a form of sexuality: a sense of being present in one’s own body, recognizing its needs, and wanting to feel good.

During puberty, sexuality intensifies and matures into adult sexuality. It begins to be oriented as interest and erotic desire towards another person. Sexuality persists into old age, albeit with a different emphasis.

Sexuality is embodied in sexual development, biological sex, perceived sex, sexual orientation, social gender identity and the role it implies, and family continuity. Feelings within your body and a perception and awareness ness of your body are also part of sexuality. Sexuality is much more than just sex. It is more about being than doing, more about feelings, emotions, and thoughts than performing.


It can take time to recognise and accept the different aspects of your sexuality. The body and its sensations and reactions are not always familiar to an adolescent. Sometimes, a person only wakes up to look and listen to these sensations later, when there is time and space to explore sexuality. Sexual orientation issues can arise early in adolescence, on the threshold of adulthood, or later in adulthood.

Questions about gender can also arise very early on. When you feel different from your biological sex, or don’t identify with either sex, you go through many emotions and processes. Help with sexual orientation and gender issues is available from professional counsellors.


Sexual behaviour is learned in families and cultures through socialisation. Customs and beliefs learned in one’s family and culture influence your perception of what is good and acceptable, and what is wrong and shameful. Therefore, customs and the permission to express one’s sexuality vary widely. However, everyone has the right to create a satisfying sexual life and to express and fulfil their sexuality in different ways.

You can act on your sexuality alone or with a partner. Ways of doing this include different types of caresses, intercourse, masturbation, fantasies, and in-dream sensations.


Inexperience in dating and sexual relations can feel worrying and distressing. It can feel like you’re the only one who has no experience of kissing, sex, or relationships in general. External expectations can put a lot of pressure on you when you compare yourself to your acquaintances, friends, or the image portrayed in the media, or when you have to account for your situation to people such as relatives.

But no one has to date, have a relationship, or have sex just because of habit or the expectations of others. It is also worth remembering that not all young people and young adults are as experienced as they make out to be.


Relationships and sexuality can bring a lot of good to one’s life. However, it is important to consider whether one’s current relationship and sexual fulfilment contribute to wellbeing. It is good to ask yourself: What kind of relationships do I want? How do I want to realise my sexuality? Do I respect my own needs and wishes, or do I let my boundaries be broken?

Setting personal boundaries and sticking to them is important in relationships and sex. Boundaries protect you from disappointment and help you live in harmony with yourself, your choices, and your values. Borders also protect our health: using a condom protects against sexually transmitted diseases, and other forms of contraception protect against unwanted pregnancy.   Taking care of your sexual health is an important part of your wellbeing.