What are sexuality and sensuality?

Module: Sexuality and Scleroderma

Elaine A Furst, BSN, MA

Sexuality is concerned with the biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual aspects of life that affect personality development and interpersonal relations.

Sexuality also includes physical intimacy such as intercourse, as well as self-image, self-esteem, body image, and one’s own concepts of love.

Sensuality means relating to the body and the senses. This is different from the intellect or spirit. It also means bodily or sensory pleasure, which is not necessarily sexual.

Examples of Sensuality

Some examples of sensual experiences using the 5 senses are:

Watching a sunset together.

Taking a warm bath together.

Having a quiet dinner in a special place.

Surrounding the bed with sweet candles or a favorite perfume.

Listening to your favorite music, live or not.

Reading your favorite poetry or other literature together.

The Importance of Sex and Sensuality

In general, pleasurable experiences of all kinds increase our quality of life. Many studies have proven this over the years.

Pleasurable sexual experiences increase a person’s quality of life, too. This aspect of a person’s life is now being studied more often.

A positive quality of life includes positive self-esteem, feelings of well-being, a decrease in reported pain, an increase in optimism, and an increase in satisfaction with a relationship.