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The saying “you never know what you don’t know” carries a lot of weight. It’s important to stay abreast with health trends, diseases, and issues that can arise from sexual contact. Many people think that sexual health begins and ends in the physical realm. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Maintaining and enhancing your sexual health involves awareness when it comes to safe sexual practices. These practices include mental as well as physical practices that ensure that you’re healthy both mentally and physically. Awareness of STIs, unhealthy sexual behaviors, and relevant sexual health issues that may be a concern, are all part of the education you need. Access to sexual health resources that allow you to gain the information you need to protect yourself. This information is constantly being updated to reflect current issues. However, some issues like safe sex practices remain the same.
Staying abreast of sexual health issues and practices is one piece of the puzzle that helps you attain and maintain your sexual health. Another piece to this puzzle involves communication. Communication is a powerful tool that can eliminate a lot of confusion and misunderstandings when used properly. Consent, the power of “no’ and even “yes” all play a role in effective communication. Although sexual health encompasses many broad issues that apply to everyone, this doesn’t eliminate the fact that everyone has their own likes, dislikes, and preferences when it comes to sex. Aside from maintaining your sexual health and avoiding risky sexual practices, the choice still remains. Communication is also key when it comes to communicating those preferences and desires and respecting other people’s wishes when those preferences and desires don’t align as well as when they do.
No one should be made to feel as if there is a right way or wrong way to enjoy or experience sex. As long as the proper respect and safety measures are followed, everyone has the right to their own desires, wishes, and preferences. However, the ability to communicate what you want and don’t want as well as what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable is a key component of sexual health. Communication is key when it comes to communicating with your sexual partners as well as your health personnel. Open honest communication with health personnel ensures that you get the help and the information that you need. Honest communication with your sexual partners ensures that everyone’s rights and feelings are respected.
Safety is perhaps a common buzzword when it comes to sex. Most people feel that safe sex is usually tied to protecting yourself from STIs and pregnancy. However, safety related to sexual health includes more than just safe sex practices. Safety also includes understanding how consent works. The word “no” should be honored at any point in a sexual act, before, during, and after. If someone decides that they don’t want to take part, continue, or be a part of a sexual act in the future, it’s their absolute right. Honoring another person’s wishes is always a healthy response. Safety is both mental and physical.
Your sexual health should always include paying attention to the wants, needs, and wishes, of your sex partner and vice versus. For example, if you want to order sex toys but your partner is uncomfortable with the neighbors possibly seeing the packaging, its best to honor his or her wishes. You may be able to revisit the topic later. Conversely, if you’re both comfortable with the idea of ordering sex toys, there are retailers that make it easy to order sex toys with discreet packaging. Everyone should feel safe, unthreatened, and respected when it comes to their sexual health.