Late adolescence and early adulthood can be a wonderful time to explore one’s sexuality. It can also be a time of questions about sexual functioning, anatomy, physiology, and emotions related to sex, gender, sexual orientation, values, sexual politics, relationships, and more.
When is the last time you were in a learning setting where the focus was on sexuality? If your answer includes a reference to your 10th-grade biology class, you’re not alone. For many people, structured, open learning about sexuality is limited to a focus on basic anatomy and physiology, and on reproduction, and ends with high school. For others, learning about one’s own sexuality lasts a lifetime.
There are a great many subjects that fall under the general umbrella topic of "sexuality." These include sexual feelings, sexual development, self-pleasuring and masturbation, communication with a partner about sexual needs and desires and responding to your partner's communications about those things, decisions about celibacy and abstinence, what is "normal" in terms of sexual function, including desire and response, sexual identity and sexual orientation, safer sex and being protected against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy, alcohol and other drugs, and a lot more.
Chances are, you have thought about some of these issues and learned varying levels of information about them. There is always more to learn about sexuality. Everyone starts from where they are, now.
Where to continue your exploring and learning? Reading can be a good place to start. It’s private, you can start wherever you are and go at your own pace, and explore the subjects that interest you. You might also consider talking to someone in person.
To explore questions or concerns about sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, or any other related issues, it can be helpful to talk with a counselor. The Counseling Center staff is knowledgeable and available to talk with students one-on-one regarding any issue of sexuality.