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What is Sexual Health?

sexual health sexual wellness

What is Sexual Health?

This month is all about sexual health awareness, but what even is sexual health? For many people the images that come to mind are about STI testing, pregnancy prevention, safer sex practices, and things of the like, but sexual health is so much more than that. According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is defined as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” So what is so important about sexual health that is not talked about? The sex-positive aspect of sexual health of course.

So much of what we talk about with sexual health focuses on trying to prevent diseases and infections, but what about the positive aspects of sexual health? Pleasure, exploration, and experimentation should be as much of the conversation as safer sex practices, preventing STIs, and fixing sexual problems. So here are some tips on how to prioritize the positive sides of sexual health in your life.

Pleasure and Sexual Health

When most people hear the word pleasure in relation to sexuality they only think of sexual pleasure, but there are many types of pleasure that impact your sexual health. If you want to enhance pleasure as it relates to your sexual health, take a look at all the different areas of your life. Are you experiencing pleasurable intimacy? By this I mean, are you engaging in intimate relationships that bring pleasure to your soul? Do you find pleasure in your relationships with friends? All of these are avenues that can impact sexual health.

Exploring your Sexual Health

Exploration is a healthy thing, when engaged safely, of course. There are many ways you can explore your sexual health–you can explore your physical body, your fantasies, relationship dynamics, your sexuality, so much and all of those examples tie back to your sexual health. If you are wanting to explore your body, toys are a great avenue. Explore your fantasies by giving them intentional thought and letting them go where they go. Explore relationship and power dynamics through kink and BDSM. If exploring your sexuality is of interest to you, know there is no timeline to it or specific checklist you need to follow. Our sexuality is an individual experience and journey. 

Experimentation and Sexual Health

Variety is the spice of life and you can add some variety to your sexual health in a multitude of ways. You can experiment with different sexual activities and different barrier methods. Try out finger cots or latex gloves for manual stimulation like fingering or fisting. You can experiment with new positions in bed, by yourself or with a partner. You can experiment with gender presentation, power dynamics, truly anything that you can imagine. Experimentation doesn’t have to be extravagant or over the top, it could simply just be you exploring a curiosity you have about sexuality.

Though health is a part of the name, sexual health is much more than just the medical things. All the different components that go into you as a sexual being go into your sexual health, so give all those parts attention. Sexual health doesn’t have to just be about the medical, the preventative, safer sex practices, it also very much includes the positive.

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