An article about how we identify ourselves isn't dictated simply by hormones, or our genitals. The article explores the life of two intersex individuals and the struggles they've faced within and without growing up in a society that tries to 'normalize' children before they can ID what they feel is normal.
Puberty: we hear everybody talking about it, attributing everything from the development of breasts, the desire for sex or you being in a crap mood on Tuesday to it, but what is it, really?
If we look at our sexuality one way, it looks a million times simpler than it actually is. If we look at it another way, it appears a million times more complicated. While it's important that we bear everything in mind we need to in terms of infection and disease, birth control, our relationships, our bodies and the whole works, now and then we need to remember the bare bones and the human element of the thing, and keep the essentials in the forefront of our minds.
Have you just come out of the closet, or are you peeking through the keyhole thinking about it? Is life on the outside starting to look inviting, shiny and new? (Yes, even you back there, hiding behind that box of moth balls and Aunt Ethel's spectator pumps.)
The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.
Many teens have a lot of questions when it comes to homosexuality and bisexuality. In a culture that is often so damning of orientation and sexual identity outside heterosexuality, many teens become nervous when they feel attracted to those of the same sex, worried that they might be gay. Others suspect (or are even very sure) that they are homosexual or bisexual, but are afraid to say so either because they aren't completely sure and feel they will be branded in some way, or simply because they fear being rejected, outcast or scolded by their friends, family or community. While at least 8 million people in the United States are homosexual, about 70 million people still think it is an "illness" or "perversion."
Are bisexuals just confused, or are they opportunists? Do you have to have sex with people of both sexes to know you're bisexual? What do you really know about bisexuality? Think you've got all the answers? Check your bi-Q!
What we are talking about here is celibacy, the deliberate choice not to have a sexual partner for any period of time. There's nothing ambiguous about that. Being celibate entails sharing NO sexual acts with a partner: any kind of intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, manual sex, and so forth. In other words, no physical, sexual contact with others; meaning any genital (penis or vulva) touch, with mouths, hands or anything else between you and someone else is off limits.