I cringe as I write the words “sexually healthy “. There is so much pressure to be sexually “normal” , that to add on the emotional and physical burden of being sexually “healthy ” might feel like adding coal to the fire. It sounds prescriptive and I don’t like anything prescriptive when it comes to sexuality.
I imagine you checking out, and sighing , as you
think :”Oh no! Not more warnings about STI/HIV/AIDS” . Truth is that is
one part of sexual health, a vitally important part considering that the
rates for STI’s (including HIV ) just rise and rise every year. So to get that part of your sexual health taken care of here are a few simple #101 tips
1. Wear a condom with every sexual encounter
2. Know your status
3. Use PREP (Pre-exposure prophylactics ) if you don’t want to become
infected and use PEP (Post Exposure Prophylactics) if you have been
exposed- when a condom breaks, or no condom used
I present you another way of examining your Sexual health A sex positive way .
Let’s unpack this so you get how important, positive and useful it is for you to be a sexually healthy person …
A sexually healthy person is someone who makes decisions about sexual health that are in line with her/ his/they personal identities, goals, values and beliefs. He/she/they makes healthy decisions based on access to accurate, affordable and comprehensive education, services and resources.
Sexual Health means that you have the right to access services such as
contraception, abortions, PAP smears, prostate check ups, and
conversations about your sexuality with a sex positive health care
It also means that you can legally complain if you are discriminated
against because you are LGBTIQA.
It definitely means that you can seek support if you are sexually violated ,
at work or at home.
It means that as a gender diverse person, you have the right to access professional services from a trans friendly and informed service provider.
Getting Comprehensive Sexuality Education , geared for your children in this digital age, is essential to ensuring that you raise sexually healthy children .
And it most definitely means that you have the right to sexual pleasure. And consenting intimate relationships .
Think about what factors influence your sexual health? What messages have you been given about sexual health from your family? friends? society? culture? religion? spirituality? What are some of your own values and beliefs?
Sexual health is determined by
- Our values and beliefs
- Indigenous Status
- The people around us
- Our personal experiences
- Societal expectations
- Legal and/or sexual rights
Because sexuality is shrouded in shame, guilt and secrecy, there are a number of common obstacles that people experience when trying to exercise their right to sexual health and pleasure. Name some of yours .
Common obstacles include :
- negative attitudes from reproductive health clinic staff when requesting contraception , or an abortion
- lack of cooperation and compassion from the police when reporting a rape /sexual assault
- lack of comprehensive education for your children at their school
- omission of gender from a school curriculum
- omission of consent from a school curriculum
- struggle to get ARV’S/PREP/ PEP
- no support when in an abusive relationship
- no free access to a sexual dysfunction clinic
- struggle to gain access to hormones/surgery when transitioning
Here is my guide as to how you can become a sexually healthy person in 2020:
- Make sexual health decisions in line with your personal identities, goals, values and beliefs. These include respect, honesty, trust, commitment, safety , passion.
- Reduce your risk of STI’s by insisting on condom use – always , with every partner, & every sexual session.
- Reduce your risk of HIV by knowing your status , & being well informed about ARV’s, PREP and PEP
- Expand your sexual activities : routine predictable bedroom play is boring.
- Read red flags, feel them in your gut and detach from this lover, friend, colleague
- Boundaries create safety from toxicity so fearlessly establish them
- Bad sex is so yesteryear. It is your right to have sexual pleasure which includes orgasms for all.
- Disclose a STI to current and past partners. It’s embarrassing but so on trend to personal integrity and respect for self and others
- Contraception gives you sexual freedom . Discuss choices at your local clinic or with your health care provider
- Consent requires regular check ins. See it as sexy, intimate chat between 2 (or more) sober people
- Porn is educational, erotic and exciting – for adults only
- Body positivity rules in 2020. Get comfortable in accepting your body, no matter your age or size
- Sex toys matter ! Shop your sex toy right here : drevestore.co.za
- Commit to sexually educating your children
- Infidelity sucks . Avoid it by acknowledging to a partner/s your real sexual and emotional needs.
- Painful sex , even discomfort, always requires intervention. Tell your partner/s and a health care provider.
- Erections matter. If they are unreliable , do not self medicate. Tell a health care provider.
- Differences in sexual desire happens in every couple. Accept it , and adapt accordingly rather than live in blame and shame
- We live in a non binary world. Express your gender identity and sexual orientation uniquely ..and safely to avoid stigma and harm from others
- Childhood trauma, and current trauma, impacts negatively on sexual health. Talk to a trauma practitioner and sex therapist.
- Discuss the variety of relationship structures available to you such as polyamory.
For more information about your sexual health, contact me , sign up for my newsletter and follow me on social media