Everything you need to know about sexual health
Sexual health is a big, broad term. What does it really mean? At first, it’s easy to think sexual health involves hygienic practices, which that’s part of it, but upon a closer look, the term encompasses so much more.
Sexual health, according to the World Health Organizaton, is “fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and countries.” It’s a positive and affirming perspective on sex that holistically impacts individual people or couples. Sexual health means being able to access information on safe and pleasurable sexual experiences, as well as accessing care, and understanding sexual health-related issues.
There are many components to sexual health but let’s unpack four of the biggest: consent, communication, pleasure, and protection.
What are the core components of sexual health?
Sexual health is an important part of a healthy sex life. It means feeling safe and free to ask your partner to spice up bedroom activities, knowing that’ll be okay.
Here are four main aspects of sexual health.
Asking, rather than assuming, sex or any sexual-related activity with your partner is paramount to sexual health, and an overall healthy relationship. Consent is voluntary, and must be given freely by both partners.
Consent is also needed for specific positions, sex toys, and even during foreplay. Into anal play? Make sure your partner is, too. Want to experience your kink or fetish with your partner? Ask them first.
Talking to your partner about anything sex-related is foundational to sexual health. The intuitive throughline from consent, communication includes anything from discussing having sex to sexual health-related concerns to a safe-word you’ve both decided on during play.
Is there something you want your partner to do specifically to you? Let them know. Are you experiencing vaginal dryness and need a little bit more care, and perhaps a lubricant like K-Y® Lubricant - Naturals*, to enhance your experience? Talk it out.
Talking about sex is the most important way to normalize sex, engage in building and rebuilding intimacy, or helping intimacy issues, and ensuring it remains a fun, pleasurable activity.
Sex feels good! Prioritizing pleasure is encouraged. If you’ve followed through with consent and communication with your partner, now it’s time to have fun, and let your sex drive take control. Bring out the sex toys, lube for your couple, and spice up your positions. Stoke your internal fires to feel all of the good things sex can do for the body and brain.
Protection in sexual health can range from talking to your current partner about your past sexual experiences, getting tested for possible infections, using condoms or other forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy, and aftercare. The goal of protection is to make sure you’re having a healthy, happy sexual experience the way you want it.
*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the product label.