You probably know you need to eat enough fruit and veg, get sufficient sleep, and do regular exercise to have a healthy body, and that stress-reducing activities like meditation can do wonders for your mental health. But what about your sexual health? How often do you consider your sexual wellbeing and what you can do to improve it?
To get you started, we’re going to share 6 powerful ways you can improve your sexual health. But first of all, let’s take a look at what we mean by sexual health.
What is sexual health?
When we think of sexual health, we often just think about STIs and contraception (which are definitely important), but sexual health is so much more. Sexual health is about your physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing. Being sexually healthy allows you to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sex life, positive relationships, and peace of mind.
It’s also about enjoying your sexuality, feeling comfortable in your body, understanding what brings you pleasure, and feeling empowered to ask for what you want.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in sexual health. But there’s no need to get overwhelmed. There are some very concrete steps you can take to start nourishing yourself and improving your sexual health today.
1. Learn more about and regularly assess your contraception options
Whether it’s your first time having sex or the thousandth, if you’re sexually active and don’t want to get pregnant (or any nasty STIs) it’s essential to practice safe sex.
From male condoms, female condoms, the contraceptive pill, to IUDs, there are a dizzying array of birth control methods – Hormonal, non-hormonal, permanent, temporary… some protect you from STIs, others don’t… So educate yourself on the different types of birth control and choose the right one for you.
And remember: No matter where you are on your sexual journey, it’s important to regularly assess how your birth control method is working for you. Maybe you started out on the hormonal pill and had no problems with it, but recently you’ve noticed you’re not tolerating it, or maybe before you were using condoms, but now you’d prefer something more permanent.
Our bodies and lifestyles change throughout our lives, so just because one form of birth control worked for you in the past doesn’t mean you can’t try something else.
2. Educate yourself about STIs and get tested
Just like with birth control, it’s important to educate yourself about what different types of STIs are out there, how they’re transmitted and how to prevent them.
And if you’ve had unprotected sex and there’s a chance you could have contracted an STI, it’s super important to get tested. We know it can be embarrassing, but there’s really no need to be ashamed. Getting tested for STIs is responsible and shows respect for yourself and your sexual partners. And let’s be honest, any momentary embarrassment is better than living with an untreated STI.
If you do test positive for an STI. Try not to worry. Almost all STIs are curable and can be easily treated. And last but not least, if you find out you have an STI, you need to tell any sexual partners who could be affected. We know, we know… this is a conversation nobody wants to have, ever. But it’s the responsible thing to do, and your partner will respect you for it. You can learn more about STIs and how to have these difficult conversations in Emjoy’s STI Basics audio collection.
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3. Say goodbye to sexual shame and guilt
This one is easier said than done but it’s essential if you want to lead a fulfilled and enjoyable sex life. Think about it, if you feel embarrassed, ashamed, anxious or guilty about sex, are you really going to enjoy it? And if you feel like that, are you likely to share your sexual fantasies and desires with a partner?
A lack of communication can lead to less fulfilling sexual experience for everyone involved. And of course, it’s hard to maintain a healthy libido if sex isn’t satisfying. As you can see, sexual shame can have huge knock-on effects for you and your sexual partners and prevents you from enjoying your sex life how you’d like to.
If you’d like help to overcome sexual shame, make sure to check out this article which is full of strategies to overcome your roadblocks to pleasure and build a more sex-positive outlook.
4. Talk more about sex
We get it. Sex is still a taboo subject and most of us have never been taught how to communicate effectively about sex. But no matter how skilled your sex partner may be, nobody is a mind reader. So if you don’t communicate your needs and desires, both partners can end up feeling unsatisfied, and it can even lead to conflicts
So what can you do to become a better sexual communicator? Sharing what you liked your partner doing in bed can be a lot less intimidating than telling them what you didn’t like. So why not begin by sharing what you really enjoyed them doing. Or why not approach it in a fun way with a fantasy-sharing game? If you feel you’d like something more structured, how about penciling in a regular chat where you and your partner talk about what you’ve been enjoying, what you didn’t like, and what you’d like more of.
And your communication doesn’t always have to be verbal. Sometimes all it takes are some encouraging moans of delight or guiding your partner’s fingers to where you want to be touched. You could even show each other how you like to be touched with some mutual masturbation. Not only will you learn a lot about what gives each of you pleasure, it can be a pretty arousing show.
5. Discover your body
One of the most powerful ways you can improve your sexual health is to get to know your body. After all, if you don’t know how and where you like to be touched, how can you communicate this to a partner?
While female masturbation still raises a few eyebrows, masturbation is a form of self-care with so many health benefits. Plus, if you’re single, you shouldn’t put your sex life on hold until you find a partner. It’s your right to enjoy sexual pleasure throughout your adult life, and that starts with self-exploration. No matter where you are on your sexual wellbeing journey, this is always an exciting ride!
6. Make sexual health a part of your routine
People have routines for everything nowadays: morning routines, evening routines, skin-care routines, but how about a sexual wellbeing routine? After all, if you wanted to get into shape, you wouldn’t leave it to chance and just go to the gym when you had a spare moment and the motivation to do so. You’d make a game plan. And why should something as important as your sexual health be left to chance?
That’s one of the reasons we created the Emjoy app. Our sexual wellbeing audio app allows you to create a personalised sexual wellbeing routine based on your goals. Just select your objectives, choose how many days per week you want to focus on them and get helpful reminders to help you incorporate it into your routine. Whether you want to learn new sex techniques, increase your libido or climax consistently, Emjoy can help you get there!