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Why is defining sex so damn complicated? Sarah Calleja kicks off SEXtember!

Sex Ed

Why is defining sex so damn complicated? Sarah Calleja kicks off SEXtember!

SEX….well, it’s inspiring, thrilling, pleasurable, awkward, painful, embarrassing, confusing and provocative – it’s complicated!

The Merriam-Webster definition defines sex as ‘the state of being male or female’ and ‘physical activity/touch that is related to and often includes sexual intercourse.’ However, a study from the Kinsey Institute found that no uniform consensus existed when it came to defining sex.

As the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey put it, the only universal on human sexuality is variability itself.

In response, I have invited the sexologists who are contributing to SEXtember, to include their definitions to reveal the diversity of cultures and opinions.

Feeling acknowledged as a sexual person contributes significantly to our sense of well-being and our identity so it is significant that we are now inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people. Many organisations now provide an Ally support service which affirms the experience and rights of these diverse sexual identities. We also acknowledge Asexual people as part of the sexual spectrum.

As a Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Sexologist, I wanted to clarify individual sexual perspectives to avoid confusion by re-framing the discussion of sexuality in the context of informed consent.

To avoid confusion, I respect my clients and colleagues by asking them their personal definitions of sex, then I have clarity and I can proceed to work with that understanding.

My VISION is to take control of sexuality away from the extremists and profiteers and create an awareness and respect for sexual diversity, curiosity and experimentation. We want adults to role model to our children the concept of Sexual Integrity – when equal privilege embraces equal responsibility with curiosity and humour.

My intelligent, insightful clients have shared with me their wisdom and reflections:

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……..It’s a matter of perspective isn’t it?

So, my personal definition of sex?

“Touch that is joyful and sensuous between consenting adults who celebrate mutual responsibility and privilege”

At the end of the day, healthy sexual relationships are about connecting in real life – touching that special someone’s body and heart to create warmth and intimacy. It is creating romance and investing in companionship where you equally feel desired, valued and safe. Sex is fundamentally the difference between a friendship and a relationship.

What I share with my clients about sex is “If you’re not having fun, then you’re not doing it  right!”


Sarah Calleja is a Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Sexologist, media consultant, author, and app developer.

When Sarah isn’t hard at work as a counselling psychologist and clinical sexologist, or consulting for the media, she loves being a trendsetter in the field of sexology. Sarah regularly presents at international conferences and creates training sessions for health professionals.  She writes opinion-editorials for a variety of media and personal blogs can be viewed on her website.

Sarah’s new app, ‘Parents, Tweens and Sex’, a first of its kind app for the iPad designed in collaboration with Swinburne University and featured as a finalist in the digital design category of the 2013 Premier’s Design Awards. This interactive app empowers parents and tweens with the necessary resources to make informed choices to be mindful, comfortable, respectful and responsive when they choose to engage in sexual relationships.

Sarah is also a wife, mother, mentor, friend and the proud owner of laugh lines!


This article has been republished with permission by Sarah Calleja. To view the original post, read it here

Images courtesy of Nina Calleja
Have an amazing experience or tips you like to share on SimplySxy? Drop us an email at editorial@SimplySxy.com!

Sarah Calleja

Sarah is a counselling psychologist and clinical sexologist, media consultant, loves being a trendsetter in the field of sexology and is a proud advocate for Sexual Integrity. Sarah has been writing opinion-editorials for various media, and contributes to psychosexual community education using her blogs and social media platforms.

Contact Sarah at info@actionpsychology.com| t:+03 98231103 | f: +03 98231190

Get in touch with Sarah via email info@actionpsychology.com

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