Sexual health is more than about the avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases. It is comprised of many things regarding reproduction, taking care of your body and knowledge in all issues relating to sex.
In order to keep your sexual health on track, there are some things that you should know. To stay in the loop, check out our list of what you need to know about your sexual health and how to keep it going well.
Avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases
First and foremost, you should try your best to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You have to be safe when it comes to having sex, so make sure that you have measures in place for protection. This can be done with condoms, sponges or spermicides. As long as you are able to protect yourself, you should be able to avoid disease and unwanted pregnancies.
There are a multitude of diseases and infections you can receive as a result of having sex with someone. Before having sex with someone new, you may want to have them tested so that you aren’t contracting syphilis, gonorrhea or any other infection through intimate contact. You can also get yourself tested to avoid sharing these unwanted diseases and give your partner comfort in knowing that you’re on the same level playing field.
While some say that abstinence is the key to avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, we are all social creatures and abstinence is probably not the ideal solution for active couples. Some STDs can be treated, but there are others that have no cure or treatment available, so this is not something you should take any chances with.
It might be uncomfortable for you to talk about, but doing so is a sign of sexual maturity.
Know About Your Reproductive Health
If you wish to conceive children at some point in your life, then you need to know how to take care of your reproductive organs. For men, this can mean cleaning your genitalia thoroughly, especially in the case of foreskin and keeping track of your sperm count. For women, this can mean choosing whether or not to douche and keeping track of your ovulation cycles.
When you take great care of your reproductive health, you are able to enjoy sex with the reward of having children in the future. It also means that you should have access to quality methods of birth control if you wish and the means necessary to access reproductive medicine if needed.
Sexual health doesn’t just encompass the absence of sexually transmitted diseases or infections, but also your physical, emotional and mental well-being with regard to your sexuality.
Free Yourself From Sex Related Guilt
Depending on how you were raised, there is a good chance that you were brought up to be ashamed of how you think about sexual activity. When you first learned about sex, it probably wasn’t something that was openly talked about in your home. Thus, when it comes to enjoying sexual activities with our partners, we sometimes worry about what is considered socially acceptable with regard to our bedroom activities.
Regardless if it’s religious or societal pressures, we have all been conditioned to feel guilty about our enjoyment of sex. For that reason, we don’t talk about sex and sometimes feel embarrassed when it gets brought up in casual conversations – even with our partners.
You have to feel educated about all things related to sexual matters, but you shouldn’t feel guilt for knowing what you like and getting it. Feel free to express yourself sexually with your partner and don’t worry about any guilty feelings.
It is natural to want to feel like we can freely express ourselves with our partner – because we are sexual beings. Despite religious feelings on the topic of sex, enjoy your partner and educate them on what you like in the bedroom.
Sexual Health Questions For You And Your Partner
It is also natural to have questions about your sexual health and it’s best to get them out of the way before getting to that stage with a new partner. Ask your partner the following questions and give them your answers so that you can both learn about each other’s sexual health:
- Have you been tested for STDs?
- Do you use condoms?
- Are you sleeping with other people right now?
- How would you feel in case of an unexpected pregnancy?
- Are you taking any prescription medications?
- Do you get a yearly physical?
These questions aren’t intended to be your typical first date talking points, so make sure you are getting to know someone that you intend on having sex with before you go through with the act. The key to quality sexual health is regular doctor’s visits, knowledge and protecting yourself from unwanted diseases or pregnancies.
Studies have shown that a third of women don’t feel open to discussing their sexual health with their partners. So, in order to combat those figures, we must encourage both men and women to become more open to discussing these matters freely. To do so promotes a better quality of sexual health and works toward preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Sexual health all boils down to our ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our entire lives. It has been proven to be an important aspect of physical and emotional health and consists of many facets. Being sexually healthy can be attributed to our understanding that our sexuality is a natural part of life, recognizing and understanding our sexual rights, having access to quality healthcare and education, the prevention of unwanted STDs and pregnancies, the ability to experience sexual pleasure and the ability to communicate our feelings on sexual health with our partners and healthcare providers.
Having an excellent source of knowledge with regard to these matters helps us to talk more openly about how we would like to express ourselves sexually. In doing so, we are able to maintain a healthier approach to our own sexuality and can pass that freedom to express ourselves on to others.