Sexuality and eroticism are fairly complex concepts. Is there any way to define them? Are they synonymous terms, or are they fundamentally different? Although sometimes used interchangeably, sexuality and eroticism are actually quite distinct.
In this article, learn about the differences between sexuality and eroticism.
Sexuality as physical act and biological need
The term “sexuality” is quite vague on its own. Depending on who uses it, the word can have a very different connotation. However, when talking about sexuality, we generally refer to all behaviours that involve satisfying the sexual instinct.
In other words, sexuality encompasses everything related to the physical sexual act as such. We can talk as much about sexuality with a reproductive purpose as with a non-reproductive purpose. Sexuality doesn’t necessarily include people’s desires or other feelings they might experience.
Eroticism: socialized and imagined sexuality
brings a whole new meaning and even a new dimension to sexuality. The creativity and imagination of human beings have made sexuality become more than a physical act: it is also a social act.
According to world-renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel
, eroticism views sex as an ingredient of a transcendental experience. It is a destination to be reached within yourself that you can explore with different sexual partners. Sexual fantasies
are the result of erotic creativity.
Renewal is another important element of eroticism. This doesn’t necessarily involve trying new things in bed. Rather, it is what you, as a conscious human being, can bring to sex through your emotions and passion. Renewal is therefore essential for a healthy sex life in your relationship
Eroticism is therefore defined by the meaning you give to sexuality rather than by the action and behaviour that follows from it.
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In essence, sexuality is characterized by the physical act that responds to people’s sexual instincts. Eroticism refers to the meaning that individuals give to sexuality and what they bring to the sexual experience. Sexuality is physical and biological, while eroticism is social and spiritual.
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