- What Is Sexual Health?
- Why Is Sexual Wellbeing Important?
- Sexual Mindfulness
- How To Obtain Optimum Sexual Health?
- Improve Quality Of Your Sexual Relationships
Yes, we’ve all gotten into the habit of washing hands regularly. (Or have we?) But when was the last time any of us stopped to think, am I healthy overall? Sure, the last time we had the flu we worried if sudden and imminent death was upon us. Then we took measures to save ourselves and others we know and care for. (I’m sorry if it’s too soon to joke about this, but humor is my survival strategy, please understand, thanks). Although by overall health, I mean sexual well-being also.
How many of us stop on a bright Monday morning to think about sexual health? That’s the time when we think we’re perfectly healthy – physically, if not mentally – and on our way to work or anywhere it is that we have to be. Never, we never really stop to think about sexual health outside condoms. This is a sector that almost always gets pushed to the back. It is either because of stigma or because of a sheer lack of ignorance towards the topic.
For instance, did you know oral sex without a condom is considered unprotected sex? You could literally catch a disease while giving someone a blowjob. I didn’t know that when I was a teenager! And I’m hoping this article reaches those teenagers like me who only care about STDs that make you or your genitals look like Nanny McPhee left her warts there as a punishment.
To Begin With, What Is Sexual Health?
Sexual health and well-being are defined as being perfectly healthy in all aspects of your sexuality. This includes your physical, mental as well as your social side. For instance, you can’t be having sex with the curtains open in your own house and then later feel guilty about it.
Having sex with your partner when the curtains were open was your choice. Now, it’s possible that some people saw you naked (neighbors are nosy, yes). And you know that they would have seen you. If you simply got carried away with passion and didn’t check who was looking and from where that’s completely okay though…
…But if you are secretly an exhibitionist, you might have left the curtains open on purpose. All of that is well and good, but you’ll know that your sexual health is in trouble when you feel guilty about it later yet continue to do this for the thrill and fun of it at the moment. Not being accepting of your kinks, or not putting in the effort to know how to practice them safely puts you at risk.
Be it with yourself or with partners, your healthy relationship with sex is your sexual health. Specifically for kinks, try and read our articles in the kink section. You’ll find everything you need there to satiate your curiosity and practice them safely! Being sexually healthy is being open and honest with yourself about your sex life. And it’s also about having safe sexual practices.
Why Is Sexual Wellbeing Important?
Well, I just did give you an example. Both sexual well-being and having proper knowledge about it are crucial. I talked about not hiding your kinks and being open and accepting towards it and practicing it safely. This leads to happiness. Most women, when growing up, feel guilty when they masturbate. I’ve talked to my partner about it and she agreed that she too, felt like it was wrong to pleasure herself up until a point in time.
My partner and I are both really open and honest about sex, but because we were also once children we looked up to the people around us. We searched for the answers to our questions on our own because well when we were growing up there was no internet. And let me tell you, men have it easy because what’s that, a boner? Well, I guess now I’ve got to go to the shower and relieve myself.
Just because men sort of have no option but to release when they’re horny, it becomes quite easier for them to masturbate after a point of time. Masturbation comes naturally to them. Women, on the other hand, most times have no clue about what to do. My partner didn’t know at the age of 13 that a clitoris exists in a female body.
I’m saying all of this because not knowing your body and its needs can lead to stunted sexual growth. This leads to taboos and from generation to generation people don’t talk about this crucial aspect of human life because apparently, it’s private. I say we need more knowledge on sexual health ourselves so that firstly, we can be happy and guilt-free, and secondly, we can pass this knowledge on to others.
Sexual Mindfulness Is Crucial For Sexual Health
To continue talking about what we’ve been discussing above, there are a few things that make knowing about sex the most necessary thing there is. Gone are the days when children had to wait to explore their sexual side till they were married…or even 18. We could tell them to not do it, but they’re children so they won’t listen.
So, what we can do is create sexual mindfulness among them. Don’t get me wrong, this article isn’t only about teenagers, adults too can recharge their sexual selves through reading this. There are a few things common to people like us, who are always researching sex toys or new sexual trends. But to bring those things to the knowledge of everyone is the objective of this article.
Having a positive attitude toward sex and knowing what will keep you safe, healthy, and happy is being mindful of sex. A positive attitude is of most importance. Don’t shy away from talking about things that might be uncomfortable. Your partner, your children, or even yourself will benefit from this open and positive attitude. And this will contribute to your sexual well-being.
Developing sexual mindfulness and increasing your sexual well-being should not be overlooked. Begin by knowing yourself before moving on to talking about it with other people. Knowing your own self completely will help you accept other people’s kinks with an open mind. This will lead to harmony among your peers and partners leading to healthy relationships.
How To Obtain Optimum Sexual Health?
Did you know that regular erections help the penis to stay in shape? The smooth muscles of a penis need that oxygen that the blood brings in while arousal to maintain a good tone. If you didn’t know this, now you do. And this is how you obtain optimum sexual health, by knowing what’s what.
You see, sexual health isn’t just about making sure you’re taking proper precautions while engaging in sexual encounters. It’s also about making sure your sexual organs are healthy. Plus you need to know about focussing on what’s happening with your body through your senses.
Learn to focus on your senses through sensate focusing
Besides sexual mindfulness, sensate focusing is something that you must inculcate in your life for your sexual well-being. This kind of focusing asks you to focus on what’s happening to your body. This is extremely physical, in the sense, that you need to pay attention to the temperature, touch, texture, or the pressure something is creating on your body.
This exercise helps you to focus on the body and feel it the way it is. It helps you to let go of the idea of a certain kind of body, your ideal kind of body, for example, and give importance to what is present. This is a form of sex therapy that helps let off sexual anxiety and promotes sexual well-being by teaching us to be more accepting of our bodies.
Once you feel these sensations and see what you like, you’ll appreciate even the little touches and caresses that make a sexual encounter what it is. Putting your mind to the touches your body receives takes your mind away from the pressure of achieving that most coveted orgasm. Once you allow your body to respond to the stimulation around it naturally, you’ll see that penetration and orgasm aren’t really the pinnacle of a sexual encounter.
Pay attention to detail when it comes to sexual well-being.
I’ve tried to throw in tidbits throughout the article on how to keep yourself physically safe and well during sexual encounters. Starting from washing your hands every time before you touch yourself (especially you, ladies, the risk is just too much when there’s a vagina around) to use a condom before you decide to go down on somebody, some information or the other is all there.
Many of you don’t want to believe it but it’s true, blowjobs without a condom are still unsafe. I mean yeah, you’re not going to end up being pregnant with oral sex but you’re still intaking fluid from someone else. There’s a solid chance that the other person is infected with some STI (sexually transmitted infection). And now that you’ve come in contact with them, you’re at risk.
Oral sex without a condom is okay with long-term partners and people who you trust but not strangers or with people who are a one-night stand. Don’t just lose a sense of what’s going on in the heat of the moment. Don’t put anything in your mouth that you might regret later, pun intended.
Improve The Quality Of Your Sexual Relationships!
Other than this though, sexual health covers a wide range. The mental and the physical aside, how your relationship is with a partner also is crucial. Better relationships with your partners improve the quality of your sexual relationships. If you’re compatible and like the person who you’re going to be intimate with, the whole experience is just better.
I’m not saying you have to be romantically involved though, wanting to be with each other is also a good indicator. And always be honest about what you want – your and your partner’s kinks, desires, and limitations should be respected. Now then, if it’s established that you and your partner are compatible and on the same page, how do you improve your relationship even further?
Here are some things to consider:
Safety and security
There shouldn’t be any kind of coercion or violence in your sexual relationships. BDSM aside, non-consensual violence should be reported. Safety also comes in other forms, like being able to express yourself freely. Not being worried about judgments from your partner is also a good sign that you’re in a healthy relationship. Other than that, there shouldn’t be a fear of losing the relationship if you’re your true self.
Sexual respect and self-esteem
Being able to relate to your partner in terms of sexual thoughts and desires is ideal, but at times two people can have different sexual aspirations. Respect is of utmost importance in those cases. You must respect each other’s sexual orientation, wishes, preferences, and identity in order to prosper together. And not just to your partner, this applies to an even wider common of human beings that you’re surrounded by.
Moreover, feeling good about yourself, your body and your sexual desires makes your self-esteem soar. When you have a supportive partner, both your sexual self-esteem and your relationship will be on the positive side. If there’s a new sex toy your partner wants to try, encourage them! If you’re invited to join in their fantasies, take a moment to consider if you’ll be okay to be a part of it, and then join in, if you want to! However, if you don’t, help them practice their kinks safely without judgments.
It’s also important to forgive yourself and your partner for your past sexual mistakes to move forward together.
Being sexually healthy is making sure all your physical, mental, and social-sexual connections are safe, secure, and positive. You can experience a happier life if you’re more accepting and open about your sexual side.