Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are those that are oriented towards taking care of one’s body like dressing, eating, grooming. Instrumental ADLs are those activities that support daily life within home and the community that often require more complex interactions than those required in basic ADLs.
Sexual activity falls under the category of basic ADLs. However, I would like to believe that is more than just “penetration” and requires a lot more finer integration of all sensory, physical, cognitive, perceptual areas, emotional responses and regulation of social behaviors. I have tried to explore each of these areas and their components in the following sections. Sensory System: Tactile, vestibular, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, proprioceptive systems understand, process, and modulate the sensory information allowing us to make sense of our surroundings allowing us to create meaningful responses towards the activity. Gross and fine motor skills: These skills are essential to assume and sustain various positions, manipulate objects (like toys, condom packets, buttons, hooks), and even allow self pleasure (like masturbation, fingering) which require individual finger movements. Not only this, it also requires a greater endurance, coordination, balance, and rhythm to engage in this ADL.
Perceptual skills: From positioning self to be able to carry out coordinated movements in space with your partner requires visuospatial skills, visual discrimination, and eye-hand/leg-coordination. Cognitive skills: Cognition plays a role in terms of sustaining attention to partner(s) and the activities, concentrating on cues, cognitive flexibility and control, ability to make decisions, organize and plan, adjust, and use accurate judgement so that all the partners are comfortable and find the activities pleasurable. Emotional skills: Emotional responses include community integration, and ability to participate in intimate social interactions which also include acts of smiling, touching, gesticulating, which help us to engage in acts of flirting, communicating through verbal language and non-verbal cues.
Behaviors: Lastly, with all these aspects in mind, one should be able to conduct themselves appropriately within their environment, and have the ability to freely express their values and beliefs. Let me know what others skills and activity components come to your mind when you think of people engaging in various sexual activities? 😍✨