What do you think when you hear “Sexual Health”? For many, it means be the absence of disease or access to birth control, but it encompasses so much more. In order to ensure that you are in good sexual health you must be educated about it. So let’s stalk about it!
The World Health Organization defines sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence”. With this all-encompassing definition, we are able to get a better idea about what it means to be healthy sexually.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to assess your sexual wellbeing:
- Am I able to communicate and negotiate sexual limits?
- Can I develop friendships that do not have a sexual agenda?
- Am I able to be sexually intimate without being physical?
- Do I take responsibility for my own boundaries?
- Do I appreciate my own body?
- Do I allow myself to experience pleasurable sensual and sexual feelings?
- Do I accept refusals of sex without hostility and without feeling insulted?
- Am I comfortable with my sexual identity and orientation?
- Am I threatened by others with sexual orientation different from my own?
- Do I practice health-promoting behaviors, such as regular checkups, breast or testicular self-exams, and regular and routine testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
- When I am sexually active, do I use contraception effectively to avoid unplanned pregnancy and use condoms and safer sex to avoid contracting or spreading STIs?
- Do I feel safe when engaging in sexual activities?
These are just a few questions that can help you determine the state of your sexual health and can help identify areas that may need work.
And If you are wondering “Why try to be sexually healthy at all?“, here are some things to consider:
Your sexual health affects other aspects of your wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Ensuring that you are healthy sexually means that you stay informed and are respectful and careful with regards to yourself and those around you. Prioritizing your sexual health means that you are prioritizing your safety, physical health, mental health and overall well being. Being sexually healthy can lead to many positive experiences, which can enhance your quality of life.
It is important to know that while there may come a time when your sexual health can feel compromised, there is help and hope. You can (and should) talk to someone when you feel ready so you can receive the help you need and deserve. Just remember that you are not alone on your wellness path. Kiira is here to help every step of the way. We can connect you with trained professionals who can help you navigate the journey to being your most sexually healthy self.